Second Life University: Episodes 13 & 14 – Lelutka Mesh Heads

A platinum blond in a silver bikini gazes past palm trees toward a tropical sunset

Tonight I’m writing from Salt Water Beach. It’s a nice looking beach region with an amazing sky. I’ll have to explore more of it later.

A couple of weeks ago, Boston Blaisdale dropped a pair of how-to videos covering the Lelutka mesh head; one for men and one for women. Both videos cover much the same material, so I’ll go over them as one, pointing out the few obvious differences.

As usual for Second Life University entries, each video has and detailed table of contents with timestamped links in the description.

The first video is for the guys. Doesn’t that make a nice change? It’s on the long side for “bite sized” at a bit under 18 minutes. The women’s version is nearly 15 minutes long. However, I’ll forgive them their lack of brevity because mesh heads are complicated creatures. There’s a lot of stuff to cover in that time.

Once again, Boston is assuming nothing. These videos are ready for the newest newbie to start out with. He begins with searching for the shop, navigating to it, and finding the vendor in the shop. Purchasing, finding the package in inventory, unpacking, and finding all the pieces of the new mesh head, all covered for the complete beginner.

Next, he goes over all the preparation to try on and start working with the new mesh head. All the stuff you should remove from your avatar before you get started (he goes all the way down to the things that can’t be removed). Finally, which alpha to wear and why. Then it’s on to the head itself.

After that, he shows how to wear the head itself. Notes that you’ll want to add eyes, teeth, the HUD. He also stresses that you need to start with the shape included with the head, and that the starter shape varies with each model as well. No short cuts here. Wear the head’s shape and start tweaking it to look more like you. (He once again goes over how to do that with the shape editor’s sliders.)

The complex topic of skins comes next. He shows how to apply one of the included skins but notes that most will want to buy a 3rd party made skin. Eyebrow layers, ear textures, are quickly discussed. Also presented is the specific to Lelutka EVO vs. EVO X issue. It feels like skin application for mesh heads could be a video all by itself.

Hair bases are next, covered in admirable detail. Lelutka hair bases look much more varied and extensive than those for my LaQ head.

In the guys’ video, facial hair is covered next. Two methods are covered: BoM and HD appliers. The relative merits of both are quickly discussed and some examples shown. This whole topic gets completely skipped in the women’s video. Unfair! 😜

Next come all the details about eyes. Again, he shows us two methods for dealing with them. Applier eyes, using the HUD, and BoM eyes. The mechanics of both are gone over. BoM is recommended.

Eyebrows get a similar treatment. Once again, two methods. You can have eyebrows on the skin or wear an eyebrowless skin and use HD eyebrows. Boston notes that there’s more flexibility in the latter approach as they can be tinted, resized, repositioned.

Boston shows us a few more basic appearance features. Face shine and HD eyelids are covered as is the need to look for mesh hair to add more texture and life to the mesh head.

A bit more HUD magic is illustrated as he shows how to use static poses and dynamic animations built into the HUD. Using the static poses for photos and the animations to make your mesh head ‘speak’ and cycle through animations to give it more life are shown.

The videos both wind up with a list of all the ways to get help, from the FAQ on the Lelutka website to their Discord server.

In short, a whole bunch of stuff about how to acquire, set up, and use a new mesh head from Lelutka. A mesh head is one of the most complicated things you can add your avatar. There’s a big learning curve to getting one to look and work right. These videos should significantly flatten that curve. Well done again!

(I’m starting to sound like a Second Life University cheerleader. Say! Do they have cheerleaders?! Maybe I can go out for the squad!)


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