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!
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 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:
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?
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!
The FabFree blog was first to break the news: this weekend, you can purchase version 3.8 of the Eva female Bento mesh head for only L$20 from the Genesis Lab store, a 99% saving! You will need to join the GenesisLab group for L$99 to pick up this group gift from the wall, as shown here by the red arrow (SLURL):
Just join the group, right click on the small black bag to the left of the Eva sign, select Pay, click on the L$20 button, and the package is yours! As you can expect, the Genesis Lab store is jam-packed, so you will probably have to rely on something like the Teleport Hammer to force your way in.
Once again, there is not a lot of documentation to guide you through the set-up process, something I always find irritating. The Eva 3.8 package consists of two folders: one for the Eva Omega Bento Bakes on Mesh head, and another folder for the Eva 3.1 Bento head. (Note that you will need to purchase the separate Omega system kit for Genesis to be able to use Omega appliers for skins and makeup.)
In this blogpost, I am going to focus on the Bakes on Mesh version of the Eva head. I used an old Adam & Eve system skin from my inventory, and this is the result (the hairbase and lipstick seem to be included with the head, but I assume that you can remove them using one of the free Omega makeup-removal HUDs available on the SL Marketplace (such as this free NEFA Clear All Layers Omega HUD):
I had to use an eyeball alpha to remove the eyes (such as this free set from the SL Marketplace), as the system eyes poked through the head in spots, and looked really ugly. Instead, I used the Bakes on Mesh split eyes that were in the Bento Omega BoM folder along with the head; you can retexture those eyes as you like using any Bakes on Mesh eye textures. The package also includes two types of eyelashes.
Most of my alts were already members of the GenesisLab group, to get precious group gifts, so my total cost per head per alt is only L$20. But even if you do have to pay L$99 to join the group, you’re only paying L$119 total for a fully-adjustable Bento mesh head that supports both Omega appliers and Bakes on Mesh—a significant saving over full-priced Bento heads!
I do not know how long this promotion will last in the store, so I would encourage you to hurry down there as soon as possible! Use the Teleport Hammer and be patient; you will eventually get in!
UPDATE March 23rd, 2020: Cat Pink SL has posted a video review of the Eva head here:
One of the Second Life vloggers I follow is Cat Pink SL, whose videos are in Spanish, but have English subtitles, so it’s pretty easy to follow along. She covers hunts, events, and freebies, and in a couple of recent YouTube videos, she talks about the free versions of the eBody Classic and Curvy female mesh avatar bodies (which now support Bakes on Mesh), and the free mesh heads, skins, and cosmetics from Genesis Lab:
I had talked about the three free Genesis Lab static (non-Bento) female mesh avatar heads before here (scroll down to the Genesis Lab section), so I am not going to repeat all that information here. But what I did not know is that the Genesis Lab group is once again free to join; there is a small black panel on the Group Gifts wall in the store (SLURL) you can click on to join the store group:
So I decided to experiment a little with one of my alts, using the Kenna head from Genesis Lab (still my personal favourite static mesh head, which comes with a HUD with lots and lots of options), paired with the eBody Classic mesh avatar body. As you can see from these pictures, she turned out looking really good!
I did have one problem: the Genesis Lab Cream skin I applied to the BoM eBody avatar did not work on the feet! However, this is not a serious problem when wearing a long ballgown such as this, and you can get around it in other outfits by using boots which replace the eBody feet completely (they are a separate attachment, along with the hands). I am not sure if this was a problem with the eBody mesh, the eBody BoM relay HUD, or the skin appliers I used (I tried several from the Genesis Lab group gifts, all with the same result). It’s a weird bug.
UPDATE Jan. 20th, 2020: I have now found the cause of the strange white patches on the feet of the eBody mesh avatar. It was the result of a classic, system shoebase I applied to the foot. You can get around this problem by removing any shoebase that causes this, and using the avatar hover height instead when wearing high heels. You can ignore my complaining later on in this blogpost about not being able to wear certain types of shoes; any Slink-compatible shoes should now work!
This avatar is wearing:
Mesh Head: Kenna by Genesis Lab (includes the mesh eyes shown here; free group gift; group is free to join)
Mesh Body: eBody Classic from the eBody Shop (pay the vendor in the store L$1 and it will automatically be refunded; these mesh bodies do not have Bento hands, and they only have “thick” alpha selections on the included HUD, which means you have to be somewhat careful what you wear with them)
Skin Applier: Cream skin by Genesis Lab (part of the Lakki skin package from Genesis Lab; free group gift; requires the eBody Bakes on Mesh relay HUD which you can get from the eBody store, just pay the vendor L$1 and it will automatically be refunded)
Gown: Holly gown by JUMO (a recent Advent gift which comes in a size specifically for eBody Classic mesh avatars)
Hair: Bella by Alli & Ali, an elegant updo with a colour-changeable comb in the back (a freebie I picked up at a recent virtual conference; it pays to check conference sims in Second Life for any freebies provided for presenters and attendees to outfit and style their avatars!)
Animation Override: Chubby Girl AO by [ImpEle] (free from the SL Marketplace). This is a nice, simple, calm, free AO with no crazy movements. (Note the freebie versions of the eBody do not come with Bento hands, so you don’t have to worry about animating them.)
TOTAL COST FOR THIS AVATAR: FREE! (All you need is L$1 to pay the vendors in the eBody store to get the eBody Classic mesh body and the eBody Bakes on Mesh relay HUD, which is automatically refunded.)
Note that I do not know how long you will be able to join the Genesis Lab group for free (they used to charge for it), so if you are interested in picking up their free group gifts, I recommend you don’t wait to do so.
UPDATE 6:20 p.m.: You know what? I am actually going to do something that I’ve never done before on this blog: I am going to NOT recommend (un-recommend?) a freebie. And that is the latest freebie version of the eBody Classic and Curvy mesh avatar bodies.They are dreadful. The problem with the feet not taking Bakes on Mesh skins is bad enough, but it gets even worse.
I went over to The Free Dove freebie store, and picked up a few outfits that said they came in versions designed specifically for eBody, like this minidress from Hilly Haalan, and even the eBody stuff doesn’t fit properly!
The previous version had slightly more workable “thick” alpha sections than this new one, especially in the chest/bust area and the back, and it’s a absolute pain in the butt to find something—anything—that works with them, short of a gunnysack where you can alpha out your whole body (and I’m not even sure about that anymore, either!). I also tried adjusting the body sliders to get rid of the skin breaking through, but to no avail.
The brutal truth is that even the Holly gown I showed you up top had some problems with certain poses in my freebie AO, where some skin would break through at the sides of the gown, a problem that the included alpha sections on the freebie eBody Classic mesh body can’t fix.
Perhaps the paid-for eBody version (with the full complement of smaller alpha sections) would fix the problem, but I don’t think that even that would fix such issues as I found with the Hilly Haalan minidress above. I am discovering to my dismay that many “eBody” versions of garments simply don’t work as advertised, particularly for the freebie version (here’s their HUD showing you the alpha sections; the top part is all greyed out and cannot be used):
(Note: I do have an alt with a paid-for version of the eBody Classic avatar, and I might just go back and try all these dresses from The Free Dove on again with that body, to see if they work out any better.)
UPDATE Jan. 11th, 2020: I tested the Hilly Haalan minidress I mentioned above on my paid-for full version of the eBody Classic mesh body, and it fits perfectly, without any issues! So something is up with the latest freebie version.
The best I could come up with was this outfit, consisting of the Faythe dress by GeMyles, paired with the Lita Lolita shoes in ochre, which include the socks and allowed me to completely alpha out the feet:
There was only one other pair of free shoes I found at The Free Dove that I could wear with this mesh body, the Paper Sparrow Alice heels which also came with socks (worn here with a free red minidress from eBody, which I had picked up in December as an Advent gift at the eBento event):
Here’s a better look at them in a place that’s not all black-on-black:
So, after over an hour on unpacking and trying on garments and tossing them aside in frustration, I found exactly two mesh dresses and two pair of shoes that I could wear with the freebie eBody Classic mesh body (and one of those dresses was already in my inventory). Every other dress specifically designed for eBody that I picked up at The Free Dove would not work properly with the “thick” alpha sections.
Nope, sorry, pass. Consider the freebie eBody Classsic and Curvy as demos only, not for actual wear.
However, if you are looking for a nice static (non-Bento) mesh head, I can certainly still recommend the free group gifts at Genesis Lab, especially if you are down to your last Linden dollar!