Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: I Test Drive the Free Onupup Male Mesh Full-Body Avatar

I have spent quite a bit of time writing about free and inexpensive female mesh avatar heads and bodies, so today I decided I would blog about a male mesh body for a change. And that is a free, full-body (i.e. head and body) male mesh avatar with the unusual name of Onupup, which has been available from the SL Marketplace for at least the last couple of years.

Here is what the Onupup male body looks like, right out of the box, with no adjustments to the default shape at all (as well as a look at the alpha sections on the HUD). The black underwear is separate and included in the package.

Now, this body comes with the skin you see here, but you can turn on the ability to use Bakes on Mesh skins with this body by selecting each of the three sections (upper body, lower body, and head, and going through this four-step process for each section:

  1. Right click on the body part in your Inventory, and select Edit from the menu.
  2. In the edit window, click on the Texture tab, then click on the actual Texture itself.
  3. Underneath the texture display, click on the Bake button.
  4. Select the correct baked texture from the drop-down menu (e.g. BAKED_UPPER for the upper body).

After this, you will be able to use Bakes on Mesh skins on the Onupup body. Here I used a set of BoM male skins I picked up from a new store called DNA, which very quickly disappeared from the grid (but not before I blogged about them). Fortunately, I made sure that all my male alts picked up this set of skins for future use! I’m quite sure you can find male Bakes on Mesh skins fairly easily nowadays, anyway.

Now, I have to admit that this is a very quirky mesh body. For example, when you set him up, his mouth hangs open, and you have to find the Mouth Close Pose gesture in your package and play it, to close his mouth (?!??). Likewise, you will probably also have to type /10 menu in local chat to pull up a blue menu and click on a button to relax this avatar’s hands so that they will work with Bento hand AOs. (Like I said, quirky.)

I found I had to fiddle with the head and body sliders a lot to get a somewhat acceptable shape for the Onupup avatar; in particular the upper arm musculature looks “wrong” to me, no matter what I do to the sliders:

Another quirk is that you need to remember to add the fingernails and toenails as separate attachments! (And to remove said toenails when alphaing out the feet, as you will have to rely on unrigged shoes and boots for this avatar.)

Another problem area is the head, in particular the eye sockets, which appear to be set a little too high for classic, system eyes. You will find that many of the newer system eyes will look absolutely terrible on this head, so I used an old set of eyes from Exodi (another store that has left the grid), which did not have an eyelash “shadow” on the top part of the eyeball, a little trick that eye designers often use to make the eyes look more realistic, and which completely fails on this particular mesh head.

From some angles the mesh head looks wrong to me, even after multiple adjustments (again, the upper eyelid area is a problem). Here you can clearly see that the holes for the system eyes are set too high on this head (you might be able to get around this by using adjustable mesh eyes, but I did not test that out).

Here is the Onupup avatar, all dressed! This entire outfit is from the Freebie Megastore in London City, and it is called the Casual Male Starter pack:

I found I had to pretty much alpha out the entire body underneath these clothes and shoes to get it to work properly, however. You can do a keyword search on the SL Marketplace for “Onupup” to find a growing collection clothing designed specifically for this body over the past two years.

If I had found this free male mesh body two years ago, when it was first released, I might have been happy enough with it. But today, right now, I do think that there are better-looking options for male mesh avatars out there that are inexpensive (for example, the wonderful, fully-featured dollarbie Classic male mesh body from Meshbody, paired with the various male Bento heads offered as limited-time group gifts by Akeruka over the past couple of years). Both the Akeruka heads and Classic bodies support Bakes on Mesh, and they work well together.

The complete lineup of freebie male full-body mesh avatars from the Gift Room at the Altamura store (which you can get if you join the Altamura group for L$100) are also a higher-quality, better-looking male body than Onupup, although they have limitations, too (you can’t change the skin on them or use Bakes on Mesh skins).

In summary, I think that the Onupup body is not bad, particularly if you are flat broke, but it has a few problem areas that need to be ironed out. The creator, Onupup Resident, says in a notecard included in the package:

This comes completely free, use it, if you like it, be my crowd-founder, patreon, donator, funder so I can continue making more things, even 10L would encourage me to do more. Any thing I will make will always be free. If you don’t have money or simply you don’t want to give money, you don’t have to, you can still happily use it.

You might want to get it from the SL Marketplace and put it through its paces yourself and, if you like it, throw a few Linden dollars Onupup’s way. I’m sure he’d appreciate it!

Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: The Free Ultra Vixen II Female Full-Body Mesh Avatar

Although I have blogged about a female Bento mesh head (Ciara by Dream) and a female mesh body (Ruthie from Tiny Things) that are available for free from The Stay at Home Club (now apparently up to 750 gifts and counting!), the Ultra Vixen II female body is the first full-body (i.e. head and body) avatar mesh body that you can pick up for free via the Club. I decided to visit the store, get this body, test it out, and write up a review.

Now, as I said before when I reviewed the Ruthie body, I am obsessed with the dumpster-fire-train-wreck of the Botched Surgeries subReddit community, where I am routinely appalled by the horrible, botched plastic surgeries that people put themselves through in real life, including breasts that land up looking like floatation devices, watermelons, or even worse. (WARNING: If you visit, you might need eye bleach afterwards. Consider yourself warned! I constantly come away from that community feeling much better about myself and my own body, though.)

Now (despite my misgivings about large-busted mesh avatars as a result of the mental scarring from regularly perusing this particular subReddit), I do honestly admire people who know how to create content in Second Life; they have a skill set that I envy. Imagine how wonderful it would be to be able to create and rig your own custom mesh avatar, for instance!

Well, HeatherD Tungsten is one of those people (in fact, I do vividly remember meeting her at an event in SL a couple of years ago (when we was wearing an earlier prototype of this mesh body) and thinking “Wow, she knows how to make her own mesh body! Cool!“.

Heather’s personal profile states:

I’ve been on and off with Second life a few times, mainly due to lack of confuser power, and ugly avatars. Then came the mesh revolution. I started playing around with Blender (3D creation) during the fall of 2016. Learning Blender is an ongoing challenge, but when you look across the sim at me, this avatar is the fruit of my work.

If you come to Heather’s store (here’s the SLURL), you might be lucky enough to find her avatar parked up on the rooftop lounge area, dancing while she is away from the keyboard, doing something else. Heather is her own best advertisement for her female mesh body! This picture also gives you an idea of how large your breasts can be with the Ultra Vixen II mesh body, which is…quite large, indeed:

When you arrive at the Ultra Vixen II store, there are four panels to your left which have three free gifts from The Stay at Home Club, and one free gift (a set of two dresses) which you can pick up if you join the Fabulously Free in SL group in Second Life (this group is free to join):

Next to this, you will find another vendor panel for what appears to be the standard version of the Ultra Vixen II body with some starter clothing, which retails for only L$15, so I picked that up as well (hey,it was a bargain!):

The remainder of Heather’s store consists of clothing which Heather has created specifically for the Ultra Vixen II body (which is where she obviously earns her money). Most items appear to be clothing fatpacks in the L$175-L$300 range.

Anyway, here is what the first of the three The Stay at Home gifts (the one labelled the Introduction Mesh Body Kit) looks like when you unpack it and put it on, without making any adjustments to the sliders (the head and hands on this body are Bento, but it does not support Bakes on Mesh; I chose the smallest, B-cup breast size of the three included shape options):

The hair is another Stay at Home Club gift, the Sugar hairstyle from Miss Canning. The red dress was in the FabFree gift package, and the shoes came from the third Stay at Home Club gift, a package of bikinis and shoes.

The second Stay at Home Club gift is a package called the Introduction Black Girl Kit, which comes in with different, darker skin and six different starter body shapes. I chose one of the starter shapes and played around with it a lot, and discovered that this mesh body responds very well to adjustments to the sliders, including making her much less busty (the breast size slider on this image is set to 25; any less and her bust collapses into her dress):

So, as you can see, this is a large-breasted avatar which you can actually adjust if you just want a somewhat less busty shape! You are never going to get a toothpick thin, starving supermodel look on this avatar, however (and if that’s what you’re looking for, you wouldn’t be in Heather’s store anyway).

Now, here are some of the limitations of this mesh body:

  • There is no HUD that comes with this body, so you cannot alpha out any sections of it to wear any clothing that is not specifically designed for this body. If you choose this as your mesh avatar, you are locked into Heather’s store for your clothing options (I checked on the SL Marketplace and I could not find any other creators making apparel for the Ultra Vixen II body).
  • The feet come in only one height (high heels), and they do not support any shoes other than the ones you buy at Heather’s store.
  • Your skin options are limited. As far as I could tell, there were only two skin tones (the ones in the first and second Stay at Home gifts; the skin in the L$15 package was the same as the first gift). There is no HUD to change the makeup and nails. Apparently, alternate skin tones are available, although I did not see them for sale in the Ultra Vixen II store; you can IM HeatherD Tungsten in Second Life for further information.
  • This body does not support Omega skin appliers or Bakes on Mesh skins.
  • The areolas on the breasts are huge and the nipples on the breasts are quite perky! (I’m sure this is quite intentional on the part of the designer.) Anything you wear on this body will show that (again, intentional). This is not a body you want to wear if you are a wallflower, or trying to be subtle 😉

In summary, between all four gifts, this is a nice, curvy Bento mesh body which comes with a good free starter wardrobe, and definitely an option if you want a C-cup or D-cup breast size—there’s even a G-cup shape included (helloooo, Botched Surgeries!!!). If that’s your style, then you might quite like this free mesh avatar.

Thank you, Heather! Here’s the SLURL to the Ultra Vixen II store, and a link to Heather’s SL Marketplace store.

Immersive Learning Research Network Conference in VirBELA and AltspaceVR, June 21-25, 2020

iLRN 2020, the 6th International Conference of the Immersive Learning Research Network, is running in VirBELA and AltspaceVR from June 21st to 25th, 2020, one of many real-life conferences that have moved to social VR and virtual worlds because of the coronavirus pandemic. This year’s conference theme is Vision 20/20: Hindsight, Insight, and Foresight in XR and Immersive Learning:

Conference attendees must download and install a white-label version of VirBELA to attend most of the conference presentations and events. Here’s a look at the spawn point next to the information booth:

VirBELA is a virtual world I have written about before on this blog, which is very similar to Second Life (Here is a link to all my blogposts tagged VirBELA, including this one).

A view of the iLRN main stage in VirBELA

However, VirBELA is intended for corporate and conference use, as opposed to the more open-ended uses of SL, so it’s a good fit for the iLRN conference. (It looks as though AltspaceVR is primarily being used for social events associated with the conference through the Educators in VR group, according to the AltspaceVR Events calendar.)

The iLRN 2020 Expo Hall in VirBELA

If you’re interested, you can register for free for this conference via EventBrite (I got in free through an early-bird ticket special I wrote about here). I plan on attending a few presentations in between working from home for my university library system.

See you there!