UPDATED: GET FOUR FEMALE MESH HEADS FOR ONLY L$22! Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: the FREE Sofie Bento, Bakes on Mesh-Compatible Mesh Head by Genesis Lab

Yes, yet another free female head! This time the generous store offering this group gift is Genesis Lab. Here’s what the image on the box looks like:

Just join the GenesisLab group (yes, it’s all one word) for free and check the group notices for the attachment:

Click to save the package to your inventory, then find a sandbox to unpack the box. Here’s a look at the contents of the box:

According to the notecard in the package:

Update 3.8.0 – Sofie head supports Omega and Baked On Mesh Project ( BOM ) functionality, added eyes with BOM support and separate texture application, 2 layers for each eye, fixed Omega texture blending settings, optimized scripting.

When using BOM, remove the alpha mask!

If you do not want to use BOM for the eyes, use the Split version of the eyes without BOM.

Here’s what the head looks like, with the Elvira skin in the fudge skin tone from 7 Deadly S[k]ins, paired with the dollarbie Classic mesh body from the Meshbody, using the eyebrow shaper and head/body shape included in the box, with zero adjustments to the sliders. Please note that no skin is included in the package, but this head will work with any regular Bakes on Mesh skin.

You will have to load the Genesis Baker button and click on it to enable Bakes on Mesh on the Sofie head. For some odd reason, the (separate) ears are not Bakes on Mesh, and you have to use the included HUD to tint those to match the rest of your body! Very odd.

After I spent a few minutes fiddling with the head and body sliders, and adding hair, shoes, and a dress, I am quite pleased with the result!

And as much as I hate to complain about a free gift, this is one of those Bento heads with a perpetually open mouth, no matter how you adjust the sliders, just so you know! Also, the animation HUD that comes with the Sofie head is very basic, with hard-to-read light-blue icons on a white background which make it hard to figure out the animation for each button! It would appear that if you click a few buttons, it randomly moves from one animation to the other:

This is just a quick blogpost to spread the word; for further information please read the posts from the Dreamer’s Virtual World and Fabulously Free in SL blogs. Apparently, Genesis Lab is also offering several free group gifts of skins and such at their in-world store location.

UPDATE Jan. 8th, 2022: If you teleport into the Genesis Lab store (SLURL), there are two female Bento mesh heads available for L$1 each, which I have reviewed previously on this blog, when they were first introduced:

No group is needed, just buy the bags indicated by the green arrows below:

There are also three free group gifts if you join the GenesisLab group for free: two skins, and a pot containing a multitude of cheerful, colourful flowers with a hold pose.

Happy freebie shopping!

UPDATE Jan. 9th, 2022: Dreamer tells me that Genesis Lab is offering yet another female mesh head for only L$20 to group members! So for a grand total of L$22 , you fan pick up no less than four female mesh heads at Genesis Lab, which is an insane bargain!

She tells me:

It’s near the body appliers. There are free ears on the shelf where the body appliers are.

So 4 heads, skins, ears and flowers 🌸

Here’s where the free ears are located; just buy the bag for L$0 (no group needed):

And the L$20 Eva head is just on the wall to the right of the skin appliers (you must be a member of the free GenesisLab group to get the discount; otherwise it’s L$2,000):

Here’s Dreamer’s blogpost. Thank you, Dreamer! I can highly recommend visiting her excellent blog as a part of your daily freebie fashionista scouting duties! 😉

UPDATED! Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: The Cat Calm Bento Mesh Head from Genesis Lab

Genesis Lab is offering yet another steep discount on a Bento mesh head for female avatars. This one is called Cat Calm, and if you join the GenesisLab group for free, you can pick one up for only L$55, a 99% discount!

As you can see, this head has a striking, angular, chiseled appearance, with a sharp, defined jawline and high cheekbones:

The package includes Bakes on Mesh skin in six different skin tones with brown brows, light brows, and no brows options, but I decided to use a recent group gift Bakes on Mesh skin I picked up from Wow Skins instead, called Elora Bronze. Here is what the Cat Calm head looks like without any adjustments to the head or body sliders:

The cellphone HUD on the right is the Material Editor, which allows you to change various aspects of different parts of the head: tint, full bright, transparency/blend, glossiness, etc. The default head comes with an absolutely hideous white, diamond-shaped tattoo under one eye (?!??), which I immediately removed by clicking on the Tattoo button, then the reset arrow icon in the upper right-hand corner of the phone.

To the left are five of the mini-HUDs that control eyeshadows, eye colours (the mesh eyes are included in the package), hairbases, eyelashes, and lipsticks. (You can also tint and adjust all of these features using the Material Editor HUD.)

Here’s what the head looks after I made some slider adjustments to the mouth area, and with some hair (a free gift I picked up at last year’s Hair Fair called Lara Winks):

One of the things that drives me crazy is when stores do not include adequate documentation in their mesh head or body packages. There is a single notecard in the Cat Calm package that mentions a few new features, and nothing else at all! Even worse, unlike some more popular heads, I could not find a brand website with any online documentation, either, which many brands offer. It’s basically trial and error here, folks.

In particular, the included facial animation override is absurdly tiny, with lettering that is impossible to decipher, and I had to make guesses at what the various buttons did. Not impressed, Genesis Lab.

Here’s a full-length shot, after I played around with the body sliders to my satisfaction (I paired this head with the Classic mesh body group gift from Meshbody):

This is a strikingly beautiful head, and at L$55 it is a real bargain.

UPDATE June 3rd, 2020: Here’s another look, once again pairing the Cat Calm head by Genesis Lab with the Classic Meshbody group gift, and using the included Bakes-on-Mesh skin tone number 5 with brown eyebrows:

I have a little test I perform to judge how attractive a female avatar is: I plunk her down next to the dancefloor at Frank’s Jazz Club (as I have in the picture below), and I wait to see how long it takes before some male avatar hits on her. This one? I broke my old record! Less than 15 seconds! And there were two of them! (Yes, I am evil. But I don’t catfish. I just ignore their instant messages.)

I think this avatar look compares quite favourably with a Maitreya Lara mesh body/Catwa Bento mesh head combination which would set you back at least L$7,750 (and that’s before you spend any money on skin appliers, hair, clothing, shoes, etc.).

The hair, gown, gold choker, shoes, and AO were all freebies I picked up somewhere along the way. So the total cost for this entire avatar was only L$56 (just L$55 for the head, and L$1 for the body)…truly an outstanding bargain for a beautiful avatar!


Now, I do not know how long this promotion will last, so you might want to pop down to the Genesis Lab store soon (here’s the exact SLURL of the vendor panel in the store).

Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: Grab the Genesis Lab Teen Head for Only L$55!

Teen roleplay is a big market in Second Life, and although I must confess I have never once felt the desire to relive my exceedingly awkward teenage years in SL, many Second Life users like to do so.

The big news today is that Genesis Lab is letting you join their store group for free, and with that free group join, you can pick up their brand new Teen model of Bento mesh head for only L$55, a 99% discount. You can also pick up Olivia Bakes on Mesh skin in six skin tones for only L$3 per tone, for use with that head (although the Teen Head already comes with Bakes on Mesh skin in six skin colours).

So I decided to have Vanity Fair revisit her gawky, surly teenage years, and had her visit the Genesis Lab store, join the group for free, and pick up the Teen Head and one shade of the Olivia skin (total outlay: L$58).

First, let’s look at the basic head without any hair, using the default brows and shape that come with the Teen Head (the mesh eyes come in four different colours and are included). Remember that this is a Bento mesh head, and you should be able to adjust it as you like:

Then Vanity popped over to the Meshbody sim to pick up the dollarbie Classic female body (which remains one of the best deals on the grid for a fully-featured mesh body). The Meshbody Classic already supports Bakes on Mesh skins, you just have to turn that feature on using the included HUD.

Here is the result, with some free hair, a freebie outfit for The Mesh Project (TMP) Classic mesh body I picked up sometime last year, and the free group gift of Jumpov TMP sneakers by Versov which I already had in my inventory. (Just remember that when you are shopping around for clothes to fit the dollarbie Meshbody Classic body, most vendors will still refer to it using the old name of The Mesh Project or TMP.)

Not a bad look overall, for a total cost of only 59 Linden dollars!

All I need is a cellphone and I’m all set to go hang out at the mall!

Here’s the SLURL to the Genesis Lab store. Happy shopping!

The Latest Skirmish in the Ongoing Second Life Bento Head Wars: Genus Project Receives a DMCA Complaint, and Shuts Down Their Store as a Result

UPDATE Sept. 3rd, 2020: The Genus Project won! More details here.

The Genus Project has been highly successful with their recent line of Bento mesh heads, and even went so far as to recently give away a free gift edition of their Strong Face head in-store and via their store group, which proved to be phenomenally popular.

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA for short) is American copyright law which includes a complaint mechanism which, some say, is routinely abused by those parties who want to harm or “take out” their competitors.

It would now appear that someone is doing just that. Yesterday, the Genus Project sent out the following message to their user group:

Forgive the spam if you’re already aware of the issue. For those who have not been around, the mainstore will be closed due to the DMCA situation announced here:

The Strong Face gift head is no longer available and re-deliveries will not be possible at this time. With chat being broken, we are encouraging anyone who needs help to come on to our Discord and join us there.

The above image was first shared with the Genus Project group on April 12th, 2020, and that bombshell announcement has sparked intense speculation as to the identity of the competitor who filed the DMCA complaint against Genus Project, so much so that the company quickly issued another announcement two hours later, saying:

Just a quick reminder that we do not know who filed the DMCA (read the other notice from Anna), and Catwa Clip has confirmed it wasn’t her. We are also on good terms with the wonderful people from LeLutka, and a few of us work with the good people at Meshbody. Please do not point fingers at others and while we appreciate your fervent support? Please keep the pitchforks down.

As info comes to light it will be shared. We’re not going anywhere. <3

Many people, however, automatically leapt to the conclusion that it was Catwa who had filed the DMCA against the Genus Project, which has led to further strong denials by both Catwa and Genus Project, who posted this image to their group:

Sadly (but perhaps not too surprisingly), the rumours took on a life of their own, which led to some extremely difficult times for Catwa’s customer support reps, who have been bombarded with hateful messages (please click on “Reveal Hidden Elements” in Skell Dagger’s post I just linked to). Such behaviour is absolutely shameful and reprehensible. People should be ashamed of themselves.

Other people have speculated that it was rival head store Genesis Lab who pulled the trigger, since after all the Genus Project was founded after a split from that particular brand, but they have also issued a statement that they didn’t file the DMCA, either:

So, if it’s not Catwa or LeLutka or Meshbody or Genesis Lab, who did it? Nobody knows. All we do know, is that Linden Lab received a DMCA complaint against Genus Project heads, and were obligated by U.S. law to take down the offending content.

The Genus Project company can, in turn, file a counterclaim to the original DMCA complaint, and in the following 10 to 14 days (while the offending content is removed from sale), the original complainant must file a case in court against Genus and provide Linden Lab with information on their court case. With the complaint moved to court, LL will keep the Genus content down pending the court’s decision. If the complainant fails to follow up on the DMCA claim with a court case, Genus Project heads can go back on sale (which is what some hope will happen).

So, assuming that Genus Project has filed a counter-notice, their heads could be available for sale again in a couple of weeks. We’ll see.

But this incident is indicative of the intrigue and drama that seem to erupt regularly in the world of the mesh head and body makers of Second Life. Every mesh head and body brand has its passionate adherents and just-as-passionate detractors, who do not hesitate to take pot shots at each other in such gossipy venues like Virtual Secrets (the National Enquirer of Second Life), which of course has had no shortage of submissions this week with commentary on this recent controversy, attacking various vendors and brands:

This is getting downright nasty, folks. For the love of God, behave like responsible, reasonable, sensible adults here for once. People’s livelihoods are at stake. I’m quite sure the skin, makeup, and shape makers for Genus heads are wondering what to do under the circumstances; are they suddenly out of a job?

We may be facing a new and much more intense battle, not only among the various Bento head makers, but also the mesh body makers, too, now that The Meshbody has decided to give away the fully-featured, updated version of their Classic male and female mesh bodies as L$1 group gifts to anybody who joins their group for free and visits their sim. Who knows what will happen next?

There is probably no shortage of companies who look with envy at the top-selling models of heads and bodies, and would dearly love to knock Maitreya Lara and Catwa off their lofty pedestals, and thereby potentially gain a bigger slice of this lucrative Second Life market. Stay turned for further dispatches of skirmishes to come, in what I jokingly used to call the Bento Head Wars, but which I am now officially dubbing The Great Bento War of 2020. (Chapters in history books will be written about it…documentaries will be made… 😉 )

One thing that I can guarantee is that it will not be boring. Stay tuned!

P.S. I am not a lawyer, I have never filed a DMCA complaint, neither have I ever been the recipient of a DMCA complaint. What I have written here is my best understanding of what’s going on, based on this very informative discussion thread on the incident over on the official Second Life community forums.