December is the most wonderful time of the year—for freebie fashionistas in the virtual world of Second Life! This month heralds another edition of the popular Holiday Shop and Hop shopping event* (running from December 1st, 2023, to January 1st, 2024), with a gift at every participating vendor booth. We can also expect another iteration of the annual LeLutka Holiday event (dates as yet unknown), where you can pick up free male and female LeLutka heads, as well as many other freebies from a variety of creators supporting LeLutka, such as LeLutka EvoX skins, hair, and cosmetics. There will be sales and freebies galore all month long!
But the biggest reason why December is such a great month for freebies is that so many stores have an Advent calendar*, or a Twelve Days of Christmas calendar, where you can pick up a gift each day until (and sometimes, including) Christmas Day!
Various Second Life stores, groups, and organizations are still putting the final touches on their calendars and lists of calendars, but one that is already up and running is TeleportHub.com’s Advent Calendar Store List.
UPDATE Dec. 1st, 2023: Fabulously Free in SL (or FabFree for short) maintains the December Advent Listing of 24/25-day calendars and 12-day calendars. They also helpfully subdivide each section into free (or free-to-join group) calendars, and calendars where you have to pay a group fee to pick up each day’s gift.
Remember that these lists are updated often, so bookmark them and check back regularly. As I hear about other lists of Advent calendars, I will add them to this blog post! And please feel free to leave me a comment if you know about a store Advent calendar (or calendar list), thanks!
Volunteers (like me!) will try to post pictures of the gifts from various calendars to these Discord channels, but it will be somewhat hit-or-miss. Please see the next paragraph of this blogpost for another way to stay on top of the avalanche of Advent calendar gifts in Second Life!
Bookmark this list and check back daily; this is probably THE easiest way to actually see each day’s calendar gifts without teleporting all over the grid, collecting and unpacking items! (Please note that you do not need to set up an account on VKontakte; if you click on an image, and it asks you to sign in, just click on the X icon in the upper-right hand corner of the pop-up window—see image, right. The image will then load in full size.)
To get around the language barrier, I usually have the VKontakte list open in one browser tab, and Google Translate in a second browser tab, and just cut and paste the Russian text into the translator. As I said, this is a very useful hidden resource for us seasoned Advent calendar plunderers! 😉
Bookmark this blog post and come back often for the latest updates! I will do my best to keep this blogpost as up-to-date as possible throughout December, and into the new year (yes, a few stores do have New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day gifts!).
Happy freebie shopping!
* I regret to say that, as I did last year, I will NOT be doing a daily round-up of Advent calendar gifts every day, either here on the blog or in the RyanSchultz.com Steals, Deals, and Freebies Second Life group (although I will still try and post some fabulous freebies and bargains to the latter, as I come across them). I’m sorry, but it’s simply too much work for me this year, and therefore I will leave that task to others. I have already posted my picks for the best 2023 Holiday Shop and Hop gifts to the group notices of my group. Happy holidays to all!
Please note that I will be updating this blogpost as I hear about other major Second Life mesh head, mesh body, and skin stores (or lists of SL stores in general) that are having Black Friday sales. I can’t promise that I will cover them all, though!
Black Friday comes up on the Friday after American Thanksgiving (which is always the fourth Thursday in November; we Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving in October, because by the time American version comes around, we are knee-deep in snow!). Black Friday never used to be a thing up here in Canada; we followed the British tradition of Boxing Day sales on the day after Christmas instead. However, over time, Black Friday weekend sales have crept north of the border, and now it seems as if every store throws a huge sale with significant discounts at this time of year.
The stores in the still-popular virtual world of Second Life, much like real life, also tend to throw Black Friday sales. In fact, some sales have already started!
For example, the wonderfully creative womenswear store Web Dew is already having a 50%-off sale in their store, running from Nov. 15th to Nov. 30th, 2023. You pay the full price of the item, and are automatically refunded 50%. I decided to splurge and treat my medieval/fantasy roleplay avatar, Scarborough Fair, to this beautifully detailed cyan Marquise dress for half price! Web Dew makes such wonderful historical costumes that I simply could not pass up this bargain.
Always check the official groups for the various brands of mesh heads, mesh bodies, avatar apparel, and accessories, for announcements of the dates and details of sales (and, of course, follow your favourite Second Life bloggers…like me 😉 ).
You should also monitor the following lists of Black Friday sales (please note that these lists are subject to update and change, so re-check them often):
Black Friday is also the time when most Bento mesh head and body creators have sales. If you’ve had your eye on that pricey mesh body, this is the time of year to buy! For example, the mesh body maker Inithium sent out the following notice to their group (the Inithium group is free to join):
Enjoy a 50% discount on Kupra, Kups, Khara, and Kario for a week! Seize this fantastic opportunity, available for a limited time only. Both at the main store and at The Inithium Event. The Inithium group tag is mandatory to get the discounted price.
With the 50% discount once you join the free store group, the prices for the various Inithium mesh bodies are as follows, for one week only:
Inithium Kupra: L$2,000
Inithium Kupra Kups (Kupra with smaller breasts): L$2,000
Inithium Khara: L$1,750
Inithium Kario (male body): L$2,000
Likewise, you can expect that Maitreya will be having a (usually unannounced) half-price sale on the ever-popular Maitreya Lara female mesh body, as they have in previous years. Usually, the Maitreya sale runs from the Friday through to the Monday of the Black Friday weekend (November 24th to 27th, 2023). Word gets around, and the Maitreya store is usually jam-packed that weekend, and next to impossible to get into, but keep trying!
Remember that all purchasers of the Maitreya Lara 5.3 body will receive a free upgrade to the hotly-anticipated LaraX mesh body (and there are some rumours flying around that Maitreya might even release the new LaraX mesh body in time for Black Friday!).
UPDATE Nov. 20th, 9:14 p.m.: Guess what? The rumours were true! Hit the redelivery button on your Lara HUD to get the new LaraX body, starting tonight! Also, you might want to unpack and look carefully at everything in the LaraX package before you go out and buy any Velour body skins (see section below).
UPDATE Nov. 23rd, 7:10 p.m.: It has now been confirmed that Maitreya will, as they have in previous years, have a 50%-off sale this year! Vendors will be set to the sale price, and you can use the 50% discount when gifting other avatars. The Black Friday sale will take place at the Maitreya mainstore, between Friday, November 24th and Monday, November 27th. The half-off price for the Maitreya Lara mesh body will be L$1,375, and the package will include both Lara 5.3, and the new LaraX body—that’s right, you’re getting two bodies for L$1,375! Now that’s what I call a bargain!
UPDATE Nov. 23rd, 2023:Meshbody has announced a 50%-off sale on their Legacy line of mesh bodies, running from Friday, November 24th to Monday, November 27th, 2023. These expensive male and female mesh bodies rarely go on sale, so now is the time to buy! The prices for the female Legacy, female Legacy Perky, male Legacy, and male Athletic bodies will be L$2,500 instead of their usual L$5,000.
UPDATE Nov. 21st, 2023: Belleza has announced a Black Friday sale running from today, November 21st, to November 26th, with “up to” 50% off mesh bodies—but note that the popular Belleza Jake male mesh body has been “50% off” for a long, long time already, so at L$1,500 it’s not any cheaper than it was before the sale. However, it’s still the best bargain among the Big Three of male mesh bodies (Belleza Jake, Signature Gianni, and Meshbody Legacy). Other Black Friday sale prices are:
Belleza GenX Classic: Lite L$1,550, Regular L$1,750, Premium L$2,750
Belleza GenX Curvy: Lite L$1,550, Regular L$1,750, Premium L$2,750
Belleza Freya, Venus, and Isis: L$625 each (of the three, Freya was probably the most popular, but keep in mind that many designers have stopped creating for all three of these older bodies)
Skins, cosmetics and clothing seem to be 50% off throughout the Belleza store.
UPDATE Nov. 21st, 2023:eBody Reborn‘s Black Friday sale also started today, and it runs until November 28th; everything in the store is 30% off. The popular eBody Reborn female mesh body is on sale for L$2,400.
UPDATE Nov. 23rd, 2023:Signature is having a 50%-off sale on all their products, including the Gianni and Davis male bodies and the Alice female bodies. The sign in the Signature store is very confusing, because it states that the Black Friday sale runs from 10:00 a.m. Second LifeTime (SLT)/Pacific Time on Friday, November 24th to 12:00 p.m. (noon) SLT Tuesday, November 28th, BUT the prices on the mesh bodies appear to have already been set in the in-store vendor displays as follows:
Davis male body: L$2,500
Gianni male body: L$1,950 (one of the “Big Three” male mesh bodies I mentioned earlier)
Alice female body: L$1,745
Please note that not a lot of Second Life creators make apparel for the Davis and Alice mesh bodies, but the Signature Gianni body is popular and well-supported by creators. Signature also sells a line of male mesh heads, and male clothing for Davis and Gianni, all of which appear to have already been marked down 50% in-store as of this evening, when I paid a visit.
UPDATE Nov. 24th, 2023: The Kalhene Erika female mesh body is on sale for 50% off (L$1,495), running from Nov. 24th to 30th, 2023. This is quite a nice body, adjustable to create both slim and curvy looks, and more and more designers are creating clothing for it. Also, the Erika Mesh Body group is free to join, and you can pick up a number of group gifts, including a large breast add-on, for free!
The Erika Zero X body is a free, limited-feature version of the full-priced body, which you can pick up if you join the Erika Mesh Body group, which is free. It’s perfect for newbies, people who cannot afford a pricier female mesh body, or those of you who just want to test-drive it for a while before buying. More information here.
UPDATE Nov. 25th, 2023: The Anatomy unisex mesh body by Malediction is on sale for 60% off (L$1,800), along with everything else in the store. The Black Friday sale runs from Nov. 24th to Dec. 1st, 2023. The Anatomy mesh body can be used with male or female heads, and can be shaped in masculine or feminine ways, so you can express your gender however you please! You can read more about my drag queen adventures wearing this body here.
UPDATE Nov. 23rd, 2023: The Prima female mesh body is on sale for 50% off, from November 22nd to 28th, 2023. Likewise, everything at the Star Mesh Body store is on sale for 50% off, running from November 20th to December 5th, 2023. Please note that relatively few creators are making and selling apparel for the Prima and Star Mesh bodies, compared to the Big Three of female mesh bodies (Maitreya Lara, Meshbody Legacy, and eBody Reborn), or perhaps we could make it a Big Four if you include Inithium Kupra, which a lot of designers also create clothes for.
We are slashing our prices by 50% on all our heads from November 22nd, 00:01 SLT till November 27th, 23:59 SLT. You don’t want to miss this, so go get your demos before the sale starts. Looking forward to seeing you there!
Like Maitreya, you can expect the LeLutka store region to be absolutely heaving with avatars, so plan accordingly! As they suggest, please pick up your demos before the sale starts, try them on at your home or another location, then come back to buy. The half-off sale price of LeLutka male and female mesh heads is L$1,995, which is quite the bargain!
UPDATE Nov. 19th, 2023:Akeruka is also having a 50%-off sale on all its EvoX-compatible Bento mesh heads. The sale runs from Nov. 19th to 28th, 2023.
UPDATE Nov. 20th, 2023:Genus has announced that they are having a Black Friday sale, running from today, Nov. 20th, to Nov. 27th, 2023, with women’s heads and skins 50% off, men’s heads and skins 30% off, and older female skins (version 1.0, the non-4K ones) selling for 75% off. Hurry on down!
UPDATE Nov. 24th, 2023:Catwa (which used to be the leading male and female mesh head maker until they were dethroned by LeLutka) has announced that they are throwing a half-off sale from Nov. 24th to 29th, 2023. The sale includes Catwa’s expensive HD PRO line of heads, and their first EvoX-compatible head, Reema.
UPDATE Nov. 24, 2023:LOGO is throwing a 50%-off sale on everything in their store, running from today until midnight on Monday, November 27th. All male and female heads are L$1,000 each, and three female heads are featured at the front of the LOGO store at only L$400 each! Note that LOGO is another one of those stores where you buy the HUD once, and it works for all LOGO heads.
Head and Body Skins
UPDATE Nov. 20th, 2023: Velour has just announced that they are having a 50%-off sale on everything in the store, except for their new line of Picasso skins, which are 30% off. Why is this important? Because so many head skin makers use Velour skin tones, and because Velour so rarely has their body skins on sale at all—let alone at half price! This is a major deal, folks.
I use the Venus body skin tones, to match with various free head skins I pick up throughout the year, and during Velour’s Black Week sale (running from Nov. 20th to Nov. 26th, 2023) they are only L$150 per skintone, L$400 each for the lighter skin tone fatpack and the darker skin tone fatpack, and L$650 for the super fatpack of all Velour skin tones! I can guarantee you that the Velour region will be absolutely jam packed with avatars once word gets out, so go go go!
UPDATE Nov. 23rd, 2023: Here are the details on a few more Black Friday skin store sales happening in Second Life (please accept my apologies if I have forgotten any):
Ives Beauty: 75% off sale at their main store, Nov. 20th-30th (L$200 per skin tone for women’s and men’s skins, L$60 for makeup)
Amara Beauty: 50% off sale, Nov. 20th-27th (and don’t forget that their body skins are free!)
The Skinnery: 40% off sale, Nov. 22nd-27th; no discount for store credit purchases
Nuve: 50% off sale, except for latest releases and new event releases; Nov. 23rd-30th (Nuve’s body skins are included with their head skins)
ALT3 Beauty‘s Black Friday sale runs from Nov. 20th-Dec. 4th. Details below:
ALT3 has TWO Black Friday deals going on – the first is exclusive Discord membership access to 75% off mainstore wide savings. Everything and anything is up for grabs using a promo code that starts today! The second deal is a universal user promo code that starts on the 24th, for 30% off. If you would like to get the best savings of the entire year – join the Discord and get the exclusive promo code! Join – discord.com/invite/sWxS99eNRz
Clearance Sale on LAQ Mesh Heads and Skins
UPDATE Nov. 18th, 2023: Technically, it’s not a Black Friday sale (it’s more like a a clearance sale), but another Bento mesh head creator, LAQ, is having a 99%-off sale on everything in their store! All their mesh heads are now only L$15 each!
Apparently they are clearing out in preparation for a new line of heads. In a note posted to their group, they state:
After 4 years in the making, Era2 is now about to take off – and we want to make a special celebration only for our group members. We invite you to a pre-party with the entire collection marked down 99% as we prepare for the new arrival!
The celebration will last for the rest of November, and the store is exclusively open for our group members. Your friends will need to be invited to the group in order to get into the store during this time.
Please note that you will first need to join the LAQ Updates group for free before you can teleport into the store. Also, please note that the heads on sale are not EvoX compatible (but apparently, the new Era2 line of heads will be). The heads all come with skin appliers (sold separately), and you can also use Bakes on Mesh skins with them if you get the free BoM relay in the store (see red arrow in picture below):
I do have the LAQ Vivien head for one alt, and I am quite happy with it! So I might take advantage of this 99%-off sale and pick up a few more heads and skins for my small army of alts… 😉
You will need to buy the HUD once (also 99% off, now L$15), and it will work with any LAQ head. Matching body skins are available on the opposite wall, also on sale for L$15 for each fatpack (Maitreya, Belleza, Slink, Legacy, and Omega). LAQ also sells eyes, eyelashes, hairbases, makeup, and other related accessories (such as a cute motion capture, bubble gum blowing-and-popping animation, now on sale for only L$3!).
Here’s a look at the LAQ Zahra mesh head. Total cost for everything—the Zahra head, the Zahra head and body BoM skin 1.0 package, the HUD, the BoM relay, plus a set of version 2.0 tattoo-layer body skins for Maitreya Lara mesh bodies—came to only L$43!Now that’s what I call a real bargain.
And here’s that L$3 bubble gum popping animated attachment I mentioned earlier:
And One Last Black Friday Gift… (NEW Nov. 25th)
Semotion Libellune, the animation and animesh attachment store, is having a 50%-off sale on selected items in their store (SLURL), but to sweeten the deal, they are giving away a group gift if you join their store group for free: a rideable unicorn!
I mean, c’mon, how could you pass this up?!?? The unicorn comes with a HUD with three different sets of stand/walk/run animations. The Black Friday sale (and presumably, this wonderful gift) is on from now until November 27th only, so hurry down!
Well, now, there’s a blogpost title designed to attract attention, right? 😉
I was one of those people who, at the height of the bird flu scare, stocked up on rice, beans, and N95 masks to prepare for what I thought (at the time) to be an imminent pandemic. Well, we had a pandemic, but I was wrong about the when and the why of it.
Well, I have been doing a fair bit of reading lately, and following a number of intelligent, well-read people on Mastodon, and I feel like I’m in a situation somewhat similar to the one I was in a decade-and-a-half ago: I’m willing to bet something bad will happen, but like with the pandemic, I’m probably going to be wrong about the when and why. What is that something bad? Climate change (fuelled by growth-at-any-cost, maximize-the-value-to-shareholders capitalism) leading to widespread agricultural failures, leading in turn to famine, war, and civilization collapse.
Cheerful topic, eh?
But I am increasingly of the opinion that we, as a society, are going to continue to see more and more of the kind of things that would have been unthinkable even at the beginning of this year. A hurricane-driven wildfire leveling a Hawaiian city, Lahaina, burning 100 people to death before they could flee. A torrential downpour in a Libyan city, Derna, leading to dam failures and flooding, with11,300dead and 10,100 missing.
And my home country of Canada is not immune. This summer, almost every city and town in the Northwest Territories had to be evacuated due to an unprecedented wildfire season. A tropical storm named Lee rapidly turned into a Category-5 hurricane due to off-the-charts ocean warming, finally coming aground as a still-fierce storm attacking the Maritime provinces as I write this.
My usual response to depressing events like this is pretty much summed up by the following picture:
But the truth of the matter is, there’s only so much you can stick your head in the sand, like an ostrich, when it’s becoming increasingly clear that things are not okay.
We talk a lot about saving the world or preventing the collapse of civilization, but we don’t talk about what it really means. We don’t talk about which world or which civilization we’re trying to save.
It can’t be this one.
This civilization is gone. This world is gone. It already ended for millions of people. Some of us just haven’t felt it yet. It was never an easy one for most of us. It was never fair, but there was a level of predictability. There was a level of comfort and convenience. That’s gone now. Things aren’t going to get better. They’re not going to get back to the way they were.
Now, when the pandemic hit, I bewildered and even irritated some of my regular readers by abruptly swerving my blog content from “news and views on social VR, virtual worlds, and the metaverse” (as the tagline for this blog states) to wall-to-wall coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic. So, you’ll all no doubt be quite pleased to hear that I’m not planning to turn this into a doomer blog about the end of the world.
From now on, my writing about the metaverse will take place in a context that we might be in the earliest stages of a climate-change-driven societal upheaval, perhaps even collapse. For example, how will sales of virtual reality headsets fare when more and more people are struggling to put food on their table and keep a roof over their heads? And, as the metaverse evolves, how many people will consider it as an acceptable alternative to airplane travel to conferences, given that plane travel adds to the overall toll of global warming? How can virtual worlds and social VR be used to help educate people on the challenges facing our world? What happens to VR/AR/MR/XR headset manufacture when components from companies in India or China or the U.S. are impacted by supply-chain problems caused by climate change?
So, while this will continue to be, first and foremost, a blog about virtual reality and the metaverse, I expect that, from now on, I will be looking at everything that is currently happening from a wider perspective, encompassing climate change and its possible impacts. And, if I should stray from that perspective, please feel free to call me out on it.*
UPDATE Sept. 21st, 2023: One of the people whom I follow on Mastodon, who posts about this topic regularly under the pseudonym Bread and Circuses (profile link), recently wrote the following (post link):
Okay, so here’s where we are…
If trends continue on their present course, within 30 years or even less, human industry and commerce and land use will have altered Earth’s livable environment to such an extent that modern industrial society will collapse. This would be an utter disaster. Hundreds of millions of the most vulnerable among us, perhaps even billions, will die. Not to mention all the thousands of animal and plant species we will have driven to extinction.
Sounds bad, right? And that’s what happens on our present course, which includes the belated (and much applauded) shift of most electricity generation to “renewables.” Sorry, but that ain’t gonna be enough to stop what’s coming.
I’m not the only one who can see this, obviously. Many scientists are now raising a similar alarm.
The rich and powerful can see it too, which is why they’re quietly buying large tracts of land in New Zealand and constructing luxury bunkers, hoping to get through the apocalypse that way.
Government and industry leaders certainly can see what lies ahead. And if they use their brains (which not all of them have), they’ll realize that the only possible way to head off catastrophic collapse is to begin an immediate shift to a post-growth economy.
Except — that would mean the cessation of capitalism. Well, we can’t have that! So, instead, they’re now making plans to drastically alter the environment in order to overcome the problems caused by altering the environment.
Yes, you read that right. Capitalists want to use fossil-fueled technology to fix all the damage caused by fossil-fueled technology. 🥴
Our Mastodon friend Geoffrey Deihl (aka Sane Thinker, @gdeihl) recently published a thorough exploration and evaluation of those plans.
“Stratospheric Aerosol Injection: Earth’s Last Chance Dance?”
*True confession time. Hey, I still don’t bother to recycle my plastic. 😱 I recently bought a new gasoline-powered car instead of a hybrid or electric vehicle. 😱😱 And I just booked a plane ticket to go see the rest of my family. 😱😱😱 I’m just as much a climate-change hypocrite as the next person. All I can do is continue to educate myself, and try to do better.
I have spent my weekend testing out the new Senra line of mesh starter bodies, Blake and Jamie, which were launched in beta last week. While I think that there is a lot to like about these bodies, my investigation has led me to the following conclusion: that these mesh bodies, while nice in many ways, have a big problem.
But first, I want to talk about what I do like. I really like fact that Linden Lab has, finally, created a mesh starter avatar system that gives new users an out-of-the-box, modern mesh body, with a generous, mix-and-match unisex capsule wardrobe to get them started.
For example, here is my oldest male avatar, Morden Winkler, hanging out at the bar, listening to the music at FogBound Blues. I used an old Belleza male skin called Ewan from my inventory, and if I may say so, he looks damn good for a completely free avatar (an important consideration because, unlike the many options for women, men have relatively few free/inexpensive mesh body choices in Second Life):
The Senra bodies and wardrobes I like; it’s the heads that are giving me conniption fits. Let me explain.
I am rapidly coming to the conclusion, after trying on innumerable older skins on both the Blake and Jamie bodies, that they all have this weirdness to the eyebrow and upper eyelid area, such that any SLUV skin (i.e., any skin based on the standard system avatar mapping) is simply not going to work with these heads. 🙁
Morden may look great in still pictures, but watch this 8-second video and see what happens to the eyebrows on this old Belleza skin when he blinks:
You see how his eyebrows get deeper when he blinks? This problem, as near as I can tell, happens with all SLUV skins. It means that the older skins that many of us have in our inventories will be absolutely useless on the Blake and Jamie heads, no matter how much fiddling we do with the eye and eyebrow sliders (and trust and believe, I tried everything!). It’s a problem with the underlying mesh of the Blake and Jamie heads. It’s incompatible with SLUV skins.
I shared this problem on the Second Life Community forums, and someone suggested I try a Bakes on Mesh eyebrow concealer from Izzie’s (exact SLURL; it’s also available on the SL Marketplace), for L$149. It comes in a variety of skin tones to match just about any skin, and they are tintable to match any skin.*
Here’s two pictures showing another old female skin I had in my oldest female avatar’s inventory, the “photorealistic” Bella Snow skin from IC Skins (a store long since vanished from the grid and the Marketplace). The picture on the left is the skin as it looks on the Senra Jamie mesh head (where the eyebrows do move when the avatar blinks). The picture on the right is the same head and skin, using the Izzie’s eyebrow concealer and the Jamie brows, taken from the hair folder in the Senra Jamie package.
You can very clearly see just how much higher up the Jamie brows sit. There is a lot of real estate between the eye and eyebrow, which is fine if that is what you want. But I set the eyebrow height slider to its LOWEST level, and they are still sky-high compared to the regular brows! I’m sorry, but this is a deal-breaker for me.
At this point, it is very clear to me that entire eyebrow/upper eyelid area on the Blake AND the Jamie mesh heads is VERY different from the SLUV used on most older skins, and it is therefore unlikely that any will work with the Blake and Jamie heads!
I do consider this a MAJOR problem with the Blake and Jamie heads, and frankly, I’d rather just use one of the free LeLutka heads I picked up at previous Christmases than try to find an old SLUV skin in my inventory that will work with it. It’s extremely disappointing; I was so looking forward to being able to use all the old skins in my avatars’ inventories with these heads.
However, the Senra line of starter mesh avatars will provide an opportunity for creators to make new skins which will work with the Blake and Jamie bodies. But part of me is also hoping that Linden lab is taking the word “beta” seriously, and listening to the feedback from users like me, and are willing to make some changes to these starter mesh avatar heads so that they do work better with older SLUV skins.
Also, please keep in mind that this is an experienced SL user talking here (almost 17 years), and most SL newbies will not be aware of this issue, not have any older skins in their inventories, and be happy enough with the Jamie and Blake bodies as they are, until they decide to upgrade the head and/or body to another brand.
I guess we’ll see, won’t we?
*I did test out the Izzie’s Eyebrow Concealer on the older Belleza Ewan skin that Morden Winkler is wearing in the top photo, and unfortunately, it does not completely cover the bottom part of that bushy male eyebrow, so I cannot use it with that skin. It’s a shame, because I really liked it a lot, and wore it a lot, back in the old pre-mesh days.
Strip the blink script out of the head. Think of it—when was the last time you actually noticed someone blinking in real life? The blink animation in the head is unrealistically slow, and I’m not sure, it’s even possible to have a realistic instant blink by animating bones anyway.
And I went and tested this on both the Senra Blake and Jamie mesh heads, and it works! Both Senra mesh heads are modify/no transfer, so here is how you do it, step by step:
Make a copy of the Jamie (or Blake) head first, by right -clicking on the head in your inventory, then selecting Copy from the drop-down menu.
Then, click on or in the folder you want to place the modified head in, right-click again, and select Paste to save it.
Find a place with rez rights, like a sandbox, and drag the head you wish to modify from your inventory onto the ground.
Right-click on it, and select Edit.
IMPORTANT! In the first tab, change the name of the head to indicate that it is non-blink, e.g. “Senra – Jamie Head NOBLINK”. Otherwise, you’ll never know which is which! 😉
Then, click on the Contents tab in the Edit window, and delete the blinking script (there is only one, you can’t miss it).
Close the Edit window and take your modified, no-blink head back into your inventory.
I have tested this, and it works well! The head no longer has that slow blinking motion which seems to deform the skin around the upper eyelid and brow, but the eyes still have natural, looking around movements (you can see all the eye movement animations in the same Contents tab as the script you just deleted).
Please note that this is a solution for older, SLUV-based skins to get them to work with the Senra Blake and Jamie mesh heads and bodies, and it should not be necessary for any skins created specifically for the Senra line. In fact, one quick-working creator, Alaskametro, has already released a line of female skins for Jamie, and an associated shape (SL Marketplace link) . The skins cost L$50 per skin tone, and the (modifiable) shape is only L$10 (I used it as my starting point in the pictures below, fiddling with the head and body sliders a bit until I got my desired look).
I found it very interesting that, even with a skin designed for Senra, and using the default body shape from Alaskametro, that the inner parts of the eyebrows still deformed, ever so slightly, when my avatar blinked. So I stripped the blinking animation out of a copy of the Senra Jamie mesh head, and used the non-blink version instead.
I’m quite happy with this avatar look, and after spending only L$60 grand total, I think she would blend in seamlessly in a bar or club, mingling with other avatars wearing much pricier, brand-name mesh bodies and heads!
So now you have two different solutions to the problem with the upper eyelid and eyebrow area on the Senra Jamie and Blake avatars! Personally, I am just going to go with deleting the blink script from these heads, since I do want to be able to use older SLUV skins from my avatars’ inventories with them, and that solution is cheaper (in fact, free!) than purchasing Izzie’s Eyebrow Concealer I mentioned up top, and using the brows that come with this body, supplied by Linden Lab.