Taking a Look at the All-in-One Bakes on Mesh Eden Body by Rebirth: The Second Life Mesh Body that Takes You from Child to Teenager to Adult, and from Male to Female to Transgender

The advent of Bakes on Mesh has led to some interesting developments in the mesh body market in Second Life. I have written about a few of them before, such as the highly-recommended Anya and Alexa mesh bodies by Kalhene, which are fully compatible with apparel and footwear designed for Maitreya Lara:

The Genus Project Strong Face mesh head paired with the Kalhene Ariadna mesh body (the free predecessor of the current Kalhene Anya mesh body, for sale for L$1,695 here)

Bakes on Mesh allows mesh body makers to focus on the actual mesh of their products, without having to worry about providing support for skin appliers, or even a HUD with alpha sections (although the Kalhene Anya body does include such a HUD). After all, BoM bodies can use the clothing alphas that often come with clothing. If you should need a set of alphas to use with clothing that does not come with them, you can pick up a free set from Little Black Dress at this SLURL (just click on the bag on the floor).

Very early this morning, unable to sleep, I dragged my weary ass out of bed and paid a visit to the Freebie Megastore on the London City sim, just to see what was new. While there, I noticed an advertisement for a new, Bakes on Mesh, Bento mesh body called Eden, by a company called Rebirth, which I had never heard of before.

So, I popped into the brand-new Rebirth store (here’s the SLURL) to check it out.

The Rebirth store
Two examples of the Eden avatar: as you can see, you can get some very different looks!
Four examples of the Eden avatar: as you can see, you can get many different looks!

The Eden body is a unique proposition in the Second Life mesh body market: one body that can take you from child to teenager to adult, and from male to female to transgender! There are three options for sale at the Rebirth store:

  • a male version of the Eden body, which includes starter shapes for child, teenage, and adult male avatars, in ten skin tones, for L$2,790 (head not included);
  • a female version of the Eden body, which includes starter shapes for child, teenage, and adult female avatars, in ten skin tones, for L$2,790 (head not included); and
  • a transgender version which includes both male and female starter shapes and skins for L$4,890 (the base mesh body is the same regardless).

Now, I have seen a lot of mesh bodies in SL, but never before have I seen a single mesh body that offers you such a wide range of ages and genders! So, curious, I paid my Linden dollar to obtain the demo version of the transgender package, and I put it through the paces.

Now, remember that this is a Bakes on Mesh body, which does include ten different body skin tones as tattoo layers, plus matching neck fades to work with your own mesh head. Of course, you will probably opt for a Bakes on Mesh skin which works on both the head and body, and for the following pictures I used as my base skin one of the lovely skins which came with the Limited Akeruka head (a recent group gift).

The starter shapes are just that: starting points, and I suspect you will have to do a lot of tweaking to get something that you will be happy with (my personal pet peeve is avatars with arms that are way too short!). Here is the default adult woman shape with the Akeruka Limited BoM skin (the underwear shown in these pictures is included for all possible shapes and breast sizes):

Here’s the default little girl shape, which I used with one of the included flat body skin tattoos (because the Akeruka Limited skin is intended for an adult woman, and frankly looks really disturbing on a child avatar!).

Here’s the default male teenager body shape with the included male body tattoo (again, the underwear is included):

And finally, here is the default adult male shape, again with the included male body skin tattoo:

After futzing around with the body sliders, here’s what the adult female shape looks like, paired with the Kalhene Bakes on Mesh Bento head and a skin from 7 Deadly S[k]ins called Elvira, in the maple skin tone (an Advent calendar gift from 2019):

All in all, not a bad result (although I’m not a big fan of the shape of the hands):

Here’s a look at the HUD for the Eden body, which does not include alpha sections for the body. You do get settings for four feet heights, four different breast sizes (flat, small, normal, and male), and the ability to tint your toenails and fingernails.

So, what’s my overall verdict on the Eden body?

This is definitely a very malleable body, where you can adjust it using the body sliders (and the included HUD to adjust the breasts and feet) to allow you to express virtually any gender you wish—male, female, or anything in between—and any age. A sign in the Rebirth store (see image below) says you can take this body from age 8 to age 25, and my experiments with the demo version confirm that.

However, this very malleability also makes it hard to recommend the Eden body if you are only interested in one of the many possible looks: male, female, child, teenager, or adult. For example, if you’re only going to present as a female avatar, you are much better off with one of the many female mesh bodies on the marketplace (and I would therefore recommend the Kalhene Anya mesh body as a reasonably-priced alternative which even includes a Bento head, given that everybody and their dog makes clothing to fit Maitreya Lara mesh bodies). If you want to be a child avatar, and only that, then I would probably recommend one of the child mesh heads and bodies such as the ToddleeDoo, which will have much better designer support.

Which brings me to another problem: there’s a lack of clothing for the Eden bodies. Although there is a clothing store off to the side of the Rebirth store, containing a small but serviceable selection of different outfits for male, female, and intersex avatars, I don’t think there’s a lot of other designers making clothing for this body yet (and there’s a rather large sign in the store next to the entrance, pleading with apparel designers to pick up a devkit for this body and make some clothing for it).

This is, sadly, a problem with all new mesh bodies; designers tend to focus on the best-selling models of male and female mesh bodies, which means it can be next to impossible to find apparel specifically designed for them.

But, if you are a true chameleon, who likes to change their age and/or gender on a whim, the Eden mesh body might be absolutely perfect for you (provided you also get an appropriate Bakes on Mesh skin and Bento mesh head to match whatever look you’re going for).

However, the extreme malleability of this mesh body—its major selling point—also means that purchasers have a duty and a responsibility to NOT create offensive results. For example, if you mix and match an adult skin, an adult head, and a child’s shape, you could well land up in Frankenstein territory (and reap a swift and permanent ban for breaking Second Life’s ironclad rules against ageplay).

While I was in the store, I saw an avatar shopping in the clothing section, wearing what appeared to be a combination of an adult, system head and an Eden body in a child’s shape, and it just creeped me out completely. I wonder if the creators of the Eden mesh body realize that they may have opened up a Pandora’s box here.

Therefore, I am somewhat concerned at the potential for abuse of this product (but I also realize that some people are going to go right ahead and push the boundaries of decency and good taste in Second Life anyway, just like they always do… helloooo, Tiny Things! That last link is completely safe for work, by the way…).

O.K., it’s 5:30 a.m. and I am going to go back to bed and try to get some sleep before my workday starts…

Second Life News: There’s a Flash Sale on Signature Alice, Geralt, and Gianni Mesh Bodies Until September 27th, 2020

I paid a quick visit to the Signature shopping event in Second Life after watching this video by Cat Pink SL (whom you should be following for news on sales such as this):

If you are in the market for a high-quality mesh avatar body, you might be interested to know that Signature is having a flash sale at the Signature Event, selling the Alice female mesh body for less than half its regular retail price, and offering a smaller but still significant discount on both the Gianni and Geralt models of male mesh bodies (here’s a direct SLURL to the vendors at the Signature Event):

The vendors at the Signature Event

Now, the male body panel at the event appears to only sell the Signature Gianni body, but I have checked back at the Signature main store, and you can buy both the Gianni and Geralt bodies there at the same flash sale price, L$2,750 (the regular price is L$4,000). Compare this to the current price of the other two major male mesh bodies: L$2,999 for Belleza Jake, and L$5,000 for the Meshbody Legacy male body.

The “Big Three” of male mesh bodies favoured by fashion designers are Belleza Jake, Signature Gianni, and the Meshbody Legacy male mesh body, with the Slink male body coming in fourth (and frankly, a lot of men in Second Life are still rocking a classic, system avatar!). The Signature Gianni body is very well supported by clothing and footwear designers, so you should have no problems finding apparel that fits.

Fewer SL clothing makers design for the newer, less muscular Signature Geralt body, however, so that might well factor into your purchase decision. (Here’s a handy blogpost from the Virtual Bloke blog, which compares and contrasts the Gianni and Geralt bodies.)

The Signature Alice female mesh body is only L$1,500 (the regular price is L$3,500), which is a real bargain. However, you should be aware that not a lot of fashion designers are making clothing specifically for the Alice body yet, instead focusing on what I like to call the “Big Seven” brands of female bodies: Maitreya Lara (L$2,750), Belleza Freya, Venus, and Isis (L$2,499 each), Slink Physique and Hourglass (L$2,800 each), and the new, popular Meshbody Legacy female body (L$5,000). Signature obviously hopes to grease the wheel a bit by offering such a sizable discount on the Alice body, but you should go into this knowing that you will still have a somewhat harder time finding apparel for it.

All Signature bodies have Bento hands and will work with any Bento animations. The bodies work with both Signature and Omega skin appliers (with the separately available Omega System Kit for Signature), and they also support Bakes on Mesh skins, cosmetics, and tattoos. They should work well with any Bento mesh heads.

This flash sale ends at midnight SL Time/Pacific Time on September 17th, 2020, so if you’re interested, hurry down, try on some demos and decide for yourself if it’s too good a deal to pass up. Happy shopping!

Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: Free Bakes on Mesh Skin from MILA

Now that The Genus Project has finally won the DMCA case filed against it, and reopened their store, the free group gift of the Strong Face head is once again available from the group notices of the GenusProject group (the group is free to join). This is a stunningly beautiful head, with all the bells and whistles of the full-price product, and if you haven’t picked one up yet to play with, now’s your time!

The head does come with a starter skin applier in three skin tones, but if you are looking for some more skin to use with that head, MILA is currently giving away two Bakes on Mesh skin tones of their Aggie skin, which is intended for Genus and LeLutka mesh heads:

So, I decided to visit their store (here’s the exact SLURL to their group gift wall; you will need to right-click on it and select Show Map, and follow the red arrow from the central spawn point). To pick up this free gift, you must first join the Mila Poses group, which is free to join.

Here is what the darker Aggie skin tone looks like on the free Strong Face head from The Genus Project:

This avatar is wearing:

Mesh Head: Strong Face gift Bento mesh head from The Genus Project (free group gift)

Hair: Aria by D!va Hair. Join the D!va store group for free and you can pick up this lovely Aria hairstyle from the panel right behind the front counter, which comes in a full fatpack of colours, plus a styling HUD.

Mesh Body, Nails, Rings, and Shoes: the Kalhene Ariadna mesh body, version 2.4. which I picked up for free at the time. Please note the Ariadna body is no longer available, but the L$1,695 Anya mesh body by Kalhene (which is frequently updated, and simply gets better and better with each new update!) is the successor to the original Ariadna freebie mesh body. Anya is available to buy at the Kalhene store, and is fully Maitreya Lara compatible; please see this blogpost for further information. I am mightily impressed with this body, and it is a great bargain!

Dress: the Lyna dress is a free group gift from Seniha (the group is free to join).

TOTAL COST FOR THIS AVATAR LOOK: FREE! (L$1,695 if you have to buy the Anya mesh body).

Happy freebie shopping!

Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: The New Bae Bento, Bakes on Mesh Head by META Is Only L$99 for a Limited Time

PERSONAL NOTE: Well, I actually lasted a whole TWELVE DAYS between blogposts, which I think is a new personal record!

I was going to save this particular blogpost for when I resume blogging in September, but I didn’t know how long this special, promotional price would last, so I decided to publish this post now rather than wait.

Because I need to work overtime (including evenings and weekends) on my full-time university job in order to meet some firm deadlines this fall, I regret that I will not have any time to blog about the various social VR and virtual worlds, at least this month. Consider this a one-off, single-time exception.

See you in September!

I swear, you come across great deals in Second Life in the damnedest places.

I was enjoying the blues at Bray’s Place (my new favourite hangout on the grid) and idly checking out what the other avatars were wearing (using the handy free What Is She Wearing? HUD) when I discovered a model of Bento mesh head that I hadn’t encountered before, from a company called META. And it’s a real bargain if you are looking for a Bento, Bakes on Mesh-compatible female mesh head!

It is currently on sale for only L$99, in what I assume is a special, time-limited promotional offer (here is the link to the SL Marketplace listing):

This is what the Bae head looks like, using the included brow shaper and body shape, right out of the box, with zero adjustments to the sliders. The shape of this head reminds me a bit of the freebie Catwa Freya head (sorry, it’s no longer a freebie!).

The head skin you see in this image is actually a full-head tattoo layer included with this head (I experimented and found that the butter body skin tone of 7 Deadly S[k]ins matches it well). I am wearing it on the freebie Ariadna body by Kalhene, which is, sadly, no longer available*. There was a slight neck seam visible, which I covered with the golden choker you see here.

After making various adjustments to the head and body sliders to my liking, here is my final avatar look, using the Bae head and the Ariadna body. In these pictures my avatar is wearing the Elvira skin from 7 Deadly S[k]ins in the butter skin tone (this was an Advent calendar gift from last December). I found that this Bento mesh head responds very well to the sliders, and of course it works with any Bakes on Mesh skins and makeup:

Here’s a full-body shot:

Now, I don’t know how long the L$99 promotional pricing will apply to the Bae head, so I would snap it now if you’re interested! I think this is a real bargain, especially when you compare it to Bento mesh heads that cost L$5,000 or more.

*Note that the L$1,695 Anya mesh body by Kalhene (which is frequently updated, and simply gets better and better with each new update!) is the successor to the original Ariadna freebie mesh body. Anya is available to buy at the Kalhene store, and is fully Maitreya Lara compatible; please see this blogpost for further information. I am mightily impressed with this body!