UPDATED! Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: I Test-Drive the Free Viva Full-Body Mesh Avatar

Sometime in the past month, somebody alerted me to a free mesh full-body (i.e. head and body) female avatar on the SL Marketplace, called the Viva Full Featured Mesh Avatar (Level 3). Here is the image used to illustrate that Marketplace listing, which I do not think shows off the body in its best light:

The creator writes in the product description:

I had originally set the price at L$3,500 and you’ll see why when you look at the Master HUD, but Viva really needs to develop a solid user base and it needs creators to make skins, clothing and other items for her.

Because the market is almost exclusively dominated by a couple of brands, it’s almost impossible for someone new to establish any sort of presence. So . . . for the time being, I am giving away the avatar free. Sometime down the road, I will need to charge. Right now, the Level 3 package is available at no charge.

Trying to launch a brand new female mesh body against the “Big Three” (Maitreya Lara, Belleza Venus/Isis/Freya, and Slink Physique/Hourglass), which is rapidly becoming a “Big Four” with Meshbody Legacy also becoming popular among designers, is a truly daunting prospect.

Throw in the monkey-wrench of Meshbody releasing their fully-featured Classic female mesh avatar body as a high-quality dollarbie. Add in eBody, Altamura, LucyBody, and countless other female mesh body creators offering various kinds of giveaways in an effort to steal even a small part of the leaders’ marketshare, and you can see how hard it is for any newcomer to gain any traction.

I bought the Viva mesh body from the SL Marketplace (link up top), and I was pleasantly surprised to see a neatly-organized series of file folders in my Received Files inventory section. No need to unpack anything at all!

So, I started trying things out. Thankfully, there’s a link to a Quick Start Guide on their website, so I started there (they even helpfully included a pose stand!). Everything seems to be controlled using one Master HUD, which takes up a lot of on-screen real estate, but can be easily minimized to a single button.

If you are already familiar with topics like skin appliers and Bakes on Mesh, what you have already learned from using other mesh bodies pretty much applies here too. One interesting feature of the Viva mesh body that I have not seen in other products is that you can you can actually add designs to your fingernails and toenails, in addition to changing their basic colour:

The Viva mesh body (with Bento hands) and Bakes-on-Mesh-compatible Bento mesh head both adjust well with the body appearance sliders, and take most Bakes on Mesh skins well (I did have a few problems with some Bakes on Mesh skins from Amara Beauty around the mouth area, so your mileage may vary).

Here, I used one of the BoM skins included with the recent Akeruka Limited head, with good results after a bit of tweaking with the face and body sliders and the eyebrow shaper:

This strapless dress came with the package, and you can even tint it using the Master HUD, using the instructions in the Quick Start Guide! I paired the dress with my trusty wardrobe staple, the free Sonnet heels from Hilly Haalan; the feet appear to be Slink-compatible, although the included foot height made the base of the feet turn white, so I had to set it aside and just adjust the shoe heights by hand.

The Master HUD includes a full component of alpha selections, which is good, because you are quite obviously not going to find a lot of clothing to fit this mesh body exactly! But, if you are prepared to invest some time and patience learning about all the features this full-body mesh avatar has to offer, I think you’ll find it compares quite favourably with other free and inexpensive options out there on the marketplace (and yes, even those that charge thousands of Linden dollars!).

For more information about the Viva mesh body, you can check out their website, including some user forums and a creator’s kit and resources. So, if you’re feeling creative, perhaps you might want to design and create some clothing for this body?

UPDATE June 10th, 2020: I have taken a second look at the Viva mesh body, and you can see what I did with it, paired with an Akeruka Bento mesh head, here. I am quite pleased with the results! (I wasn’t too crazy about the head that came included with the Viva mesh body, but that is a separate attachment, and you can use literally any head with it.)

The Viva mesh body paired with the Lulu Bento mesh head by Akeruka
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2 thoughts on “UPDATED! Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: I Test-Drive the Free Viva Full-Body Mesh Avatar”

  1. I did get one to try. It will take a lot to move me away from the Maitreya/Vista combination I’ve used for years. But we will see.

    I’m not sure if all the controls available is an advantage or not. I don’t really use all the controls available with my current mesh body/head. After a few tweaks put it on and just go is more my style.

    1. Initial impressions:
      I REALLY liked the way things were organized with things already organized in folders and NO unpacking. When I first started in SL in 2005 you had to click DROP on the ground for something new you bought. I know its sort of silly but the idea of DROPing a new baby like I had to still sends shudders through me.

      It was very easy to get the default mesh avatar going by following the Quick Start on the Viva web site. A prim is included that will take you to the Viva web site is included. Naturally the way I’ve learned to set windows up over the years is different from what I Viva uses. I will get used to it or modify attachment points so they are what I’m used to. Now to tweak things so I look like myself. I’ve never been a fan of other people’s body shapes.

      I like the way each section of the alpha body HUD selection is a different color. I wish Maitreya did that because its too easy to click just above or below of the body section you want when you are getting dressed in a hurry.

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