UPDATED! Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: A Free Bakes-on-Mesh Compatible, Bento Mesh Head for Female Avatars from the Genus Project

I just learned today from the Free*Style blog that the Genus Project, a major Bento head retailer in Second Life, is giving away a free version of their Strong Face model of female avatar head, which is Bento (fully adjustable) and supports Bakes on Mesh:

The Free*Style blogger, Helena Stringer, reports:

You can try to fight the horde that are grabbing Skin Fair Heads, or you can join the in-world group, which is free to join, and grab the head out of the notices: secondlife:///app/group/b153906f-38dd-0dd6-d327-345bef9f446e/about

They have also reduced their heads by 40% until an undisclosed time. 

Thanks, Helena! I would also very strongly advise you avoid the doubtlessly jam-packed sim where the Genus Project store is located. It will be an exercise in frustration.

Instead, join the GenusProject group for free (just copy and paste the above link into local chat in your SL client, and it will generate a group join link), and pick up the free Strong Face head from the group notices. The title of the notice you are looking for is: Support from the Genus Project team, and the head will be an attachment to that notice that you can click and download into your inventory. Group notices expire after two weeks, though, so please don’t wait too long!

The package includes:

  • the Genus Strong Face head itself and a head alpha;
  • a modifiable default shape (which should be your starting point);
  • Genus “jaws” (I assume that this is the teeth for inside the head);
  • a Genus neck fix;
  • Genus eyes and an eye alpha;
  • a Universal Setting HUD in two sizes (big and small);
  • a Basic Animation HUD in two sizes (big and small), and a variety of animations;
  • a Genus skin applier in three skin tones: Honey, Toffee, and Brownie, and four eyebrow colours: Blonde, Ginger, Brown, and Black (a nice bonus!);
  • an Information notecard explaining how to wear the head;
  • a Frequently-Asked Questions notecard.

As you can see, the included skin applier gives a beautiful result (I am also wearing the included Genus mesh eyes, and I have not changed any of the sliders from the included default shape):

The included Genus skin applier HUD (showing Honey skin, Brown eyebrows)

There are tons of options in the Universal HUD! These are just two of the three tabs:

And the animation HUD has plenty of eomtional moods and facial expressions! Here’s I selected the sleepy/yawning mood:

And this is the angry/annoyed expression:

In short, this is one of the nicest, most fully-featured freebie Bento mesh heads I have ever encountered in my many years of freebie shopping. So go and get this for your female avatar! You won’t regret it. Here’s my final look (I paired this head with the Atenea mesh body by LUCYBODY, which I wrote about here):

P.S. I will add this news to my ever-expanding, ever-popular blogpost on free and inexpensive mesh heads and bodies for female Second Life avatars.

P.P.S. SL vlogger Naria Panthar has just released a half-hour YouTube video demonstration of the various features of the Strong Face head and its HUDs:

UPDATE April 4th, 2020: I forgot to mention that this free Strong Face head is also Omega compatible! You will have to purchase and install an Omega System kit for it, though. You can purchase the Omega System kit for Genus Project heads for only L$99 from the Omega Solutions in-world store (at this exact SLURL).

So I paired the Genus Strong Face head with the Altamura Juliet body (which I picked up at Valentine’s Day 2019 as a free group gift), and applied the free Elvira Omega skin applier in snow (which was an Advent calendar gift from 7 Deadly Skins last Christmas). I was quite pleased with the results! This is the makeup-free face, since fairies don’t wear makeup 😉

Absolutely stunning!

This avatar is wearing:

  • Mesh Head: Strong Face by Genus Project (free group gift; group is free to join)
  • Mesh Body: Juliet by Altamura (former free group gift; the Altamura group costs L$100 to join)
  • Omega Skin Applier: Elvira in snow by 7 Deadly S[k]ins (a free group gift from last Christmas; I joined the group when it had a free group join period)
  • Mesh Eyes: Genus mesh eyes (comes in the package with the Strong Face head)
  • Hair: Aria by D!va Hair (a free group gift; the group is free to join)
  • Jewelry: Daphne choker and earrings by from Beloved Jewelry (free; a hunt gift from a couple of years ago)
  • Gown: Luminessence gown in white by Oi Bae! (free group gift; group is free to join; I’m not sure if this store is still on the grid or not, but they are on the SL Marketplace)
  • Shoes (not shown): white flats by Garbaggio (part of a free sample pack of Slink-compatible shoes from Garbaggio, available on the SL Marketplace; Altamura mesh bodies have Slink-compatible feet)
  • Iridescent Wings: these were a freebie I picked up many years ago and I forget where I got them
  • Magic Wand: like the wings, I forget exactly where I picked up this freebie.
  • Animation Override: Chubby Girl AO by [ImpEle] (free from the SL Marketplace). This is a nice, simple, calm, free AO with no crazy movements. I added a free, separate Bento hand animator from the Altamura Juliet package.

TOTAL COST FOR THIS ENTIRE AVATAR: Only L$298! (L$100 to join the Altamura group, L$99 for the Genus Omega system kit, and L$99 for the Altamura Omega system kit.)

I’m all set for my next fantasy roleplay experience in Second Life!

Happy freebie shopping!

Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: A Tale of Two Frank’s

A rather amusing situation has developed in the wake of Frank’s Entertainment Group closing down most of their Second Life venues: two dueling Frank’s Jazz Clubs have arisen!

Frank’s Jazz Club (The Upstart)

The new club, which is variously called Frank’s Jazz Club, the New Frank’s Place, the Sinatra Jazz Club, and the Frank S Jazz Club, depending on which sign you’re looking at and which landmark you pick up, is the new kid on the block, obviously hoping to lure Frank’s previous clientele. (I’m quite sure that Frank’s original owner, Nanceee Sinatra, is rather ticked off about this development, but there’s not much that she can do about it. I rather doubt she trademarked the name Frank’s.)

The music mix is much the same as Nancee’s original Frank’s, but I note that you can make song requests for the DJ to play using various signs placed around the venue, which is a suitably large and impressive space, tastefully decorated for Christmas.

And I do see many familiar faces from Frank’s here already! Which just goes to show that the concept was a good one. It was very smart of someone to step immediately into the void left when Frank’s closed.

Even better, there are gifts of free formalwear for both men and women at the entrance! What more could a freebie fashionista ask for?

Here my avatar is wearing the free black ballgown, which is quite lovely and has sizes to fit most classic system and mesh bodies (this is the version for Maitreya Lara, which fits this Altamura Juliet mesh body perfectly):

She is also wearing:

TOTAL COST FOR THIS ENTIRE FORMAL OUTFIT: FREE!


Frank’s Elite Jazz Club (The Original)

On the other hand, there is Frank’s Elite Jazz Club, which is under new ownership after the previous sim owner stepped in to save it when Frank’s Entertainment Group was going to shut it down. It is a members-only club with a rather steep membership fee of L$1,000 (I had joined when the group fee was only L$500), but they sometimes have events which are open to everybody.

I must confess that I do have a soft spot for this venue, which is beautifully decorated for the holiday season:

One of things I do like about Frank’s Elite Jazz Club is the variety of talented live performers. I also appreciate the fact that the exclusivity of the club tends to attract a higher class of clientele (I did get rather sick and tired of being hit on all the time at Frank’s original club; being a drop-dead gorgeous female avatar does have its disadvantages 😉 ).

Vanity Fair is wearing her standard go-to ballgown, the Au Revoir red silk gown by Snowpaws—simple, beautiful, effortlessly elegant.

To go with the ballgown, I am also wearing:

  • Antigone gold and ruby earrings (a long-ago free gift from Kouse’s Sanctum, a store which has now closed)
  • Gigi crimson pumps by Garbaggio (not shown; my favourite shoe store!)
  • And a gold wedding band by Su Xue (as a warning signal to keep the male pestering to a minimum 😉 ).

Vanity is also wearing:

UPDATED: How You Can Get a Grant of US$1,000-25,000 for Your Avatar Project

Since I asked Facebook to delete all my data and I quit the social network at the end of 2018, I have been spending much more time on Reddit and Twitter. On Twitter, I have ruthlessly cut the number of people I’m following, focusing in on people in virtual reality and virtual worlds.

Twitter is where I found this Forbes article, which reported:

Virtual Beings Grants announced at Virtual Beings summit.

The grants range from $1,000 – $25,000 and are obtainable by any group building a virtual being. Virtual beings include digital humans, virtual influencers, virtual assistants, creative AIs, avatars, and tools for virtual beings. There are four grant categories: games, enterprise, social, and education. Applications are open through September 17th and winners will be announced October 15th.

If you are interested and want to find out more, you can visit the grants information page. This initiative is spearheaded by the first-ever Virtual Beings Summit, a recent conference held in San Francisco meant to encourage virtual beings projects. They say:

Virtual Beings Is A New Space. To Believe Today That A Virtual Being Might Be At The Heart Of Every Part Of Our Lives Is A Big, Crazy Leap Of Faith. We Invite Those Crazy Enough To Believe To Sign Up Here!

Hmmm, I wonder if I should apply for a grant to support my work informing Second Life users about how to style their avatar for as few Linden dollars as possible? *sigh* Probably not.

By the way, here’s my latest Second Life avatar styling accomplishment:

This avatar is wearing:

Mesh Head: Leila Bento mesh head by Altamura (free group gift from last Christmas)

Mesh Body: Lara Bento mesh body by Maitreya

Skin Applier: Diana by Clef de Peau (free group gift from last Christmas)

Kimono and Shoes: Tsuru women’s kimono outfit by Secrets of Gaia (free hunt gift in the current Medieval Fantasy Hunt XIX)

Choker: Daphne choker from Beloved Jewelry (free; a hunt gift from last year)

Hair: Haruka hair by aa*Hair (free gift from the 2018 Hair Fair)

Animation Override: Chubby Girl AO by [ImpEle] (free from the SL Marketplace). This is a nice, simple, calm, free AO with no crazy movements. To show off the sleeves on this wonderful kimono, I added the Shoulder Overrider by Ethik Nacon, which you can use to adjust the shoulder position of any pose or AO.

TOTAL COST OF THIS AVATAR: L$3,198 (L$2,075 for the Maitreya Lara body, L$299 for the Shoulder Overrider, L$50 to join the Altamura Design/Mesh Avatars group, and L$99 for the Altamura Omega System Kit available at this exact SLURL.)


UPDATE July 29th: I just discovered this VentureBeat article reporting on the various presentations at the Virtual Beings Summit.

Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: A Fifteen-Minute Elf Angel Makeover for FREE!

OK, here’s another one of my fifteen-minute avatar makeovers. I started off with one of my old alts, named Peace Dove, who is essentially the avatar embodiment of peace. Here’s the “before” shot, taken back in 2012:

Peace Dove 27 Sept 2018

And here are the “after” shots, all taken in the gorgeous fantasy sim called Lost Unicorn. Everything I am wearing I picked up for FREE!

Peace Dove 9 Oct 2018

Peace Dove 4 9 Oct 2018.png

Peace Dove 2 9 Oct 2018.png

Peace Dove 5 9 Oct 2018

Here are all the details on what I am wearing and where/when I got it:

Bento mesh head with animated elf ears and mesh eyes: Jessy 3 head by Safybelle, who you can get for free by earning 30,000 points on her in-store roulette wheel game or piggie sploder (scroll down to the very end of this blogpost to get more information). Seriously, this beautiful head is one of best-kept freebie secrets in Second Life!

Bento mesh body and hands AO: the Jenny Altamura mesh avatar head and body from the Freebie Megastore at London City (free; one skin tone; has Bento hands and head; more information here); you can remove the head and replace it with any other head, only if you got the freebie Jenny body from last year’s Women Only Hunt; however, you cannot remove the head on the version you can pick up now at the London City Freebie Megastore!

Body AO: Chubby Girl AO by [ImpEle] (free from the SL Marketplace). This is a nice, simple, calm, free AO with no crazy movements. Perfect for an angel wearing a ballgown!

Bento animated wings: angel wings by Blueberry (I picked these up for free using the discount vendor and the generous L$500 gift card offered by Blueberry at the Second Life 15th Anniversary Shopping Event)

Gown: Nadia ballgown in white from Hilly Haalan (free group gift; group is free to join)

Shoes (not shown): White flats by Garbaggio (part of the free sample pack for Slink feet; available on the SL Marketplace). Altamura mesh avatar bodies have Slink-compatible feet.

Jewelry: Daphne collar and bracelet by Beloved Jewelry (two free hunt items from the September Free Dove mini-hunt at the Beloved Jewelry mainstore). The included HUD gives a choice of 12 different metals and 33 different gemstones, so you can match any outfit!

Hair (the only thing I kept from the original avatar): Say 2 hair in white by elikatira (this was a freebie I picked up years ago, way back in the pre-mesh hair days, and I’m not sure it’s still available; I checked and it’s not on the SL Marketplace)

TOTAL COST FOR THIS AVATAR: FREE!