Mesh body reviews


“So you abandon us for eight months, and then you come back to write nice things about something you always bitched about in the past? WTF, Skell?!”

Yeah, this is going to be a difficult post to write, and—from the second I made the purchase decision for this—I was thinking OK, now how the hell am I going to justify this?

But, y’know, I’ve not shied away from eating my words in the past, and I won’t do so now. So, my sartorial darlings, here—from one of the biggest and most vocal critics of The Mesh Project— comes a review of the new Legacy body by The Shops.

Let’s get the cons out of the way first, because oh boy there are many, and I almost gave up on this body in frustration before I managed to even see it. But I’m nothing if not a stubborn fucker, and if I set my mind to doing something I’ll damn well do it.

We start with the demoing experience, which is… an experience. Quite literally.

While ladies can pick up a demo of the female Legacy body from either Marketplace or the Catwa store, gents don’t have those options. There is no male body demo on Marketplace, and none at the Catwa store (and I happen to know that Catwa did ask, but—for whatever reason—there is no male demo of the body outside of the mainstore at the moment).

ETA: The male demo is now on their Marketplace store at last.

Shopping at The Shops has always been a bit of an eye-gouging, all-white ordeal, but it now takes hold of your camera and teleports you all over the bloody place. First of all, you have to accept an experience, before you select either the male or female body. You’re then teleported back and forth until you land in the demo room. So click that ‘Try’ on the wall in front of you, and see what happens.

If you’re using a pre-animesh viewer you’ll receive an error message telling you that your viewer isn’t capable of running a specific, required runtime script. At least, that’s the error I was getting when I visited while using the pre-animesh Firestorm viewer. So backup and update your viewer and try again.

Did I mention that you need to remove all attachments before you try the demo? I took off everything but my head, and still all that I saw was the white demo rings around Skell’s body. Nothing else rezzed, so I teleported home and then back. And, of course, then had to go through the whole experience-related rigmarole again. Clicked the ‘Try’ link again, and glory be, finally the body rezzed.

And within two minutes, after a good cam around myself, I’d made up my mind. Because this body, my darlings, is fucking gorgeous.

I’ve been forced to give up my Slink body because hardly anyone is creating for it anymore. And I still missed the slenderness it gave me, the lean swimmer’s torso and broad shoulders that I had with it. I switched to Signature Gianni—mostly because that and Belleza Jake are the main bodies being created for by the majority of designers these days—but, despite working for ages to slim down the body to something more approaching my taste, those bulgy deltoids still caught my eye. And Jake and I have never quite seen eye-to-eye, despite my trying to get along with him, so…

I was wearing my skinnied-down Gianni shape when I demo’d the Legacy body, and it was nigh on perfect even with that. I’m wearing it in these shots, but I’ll probably tweak the shoulders just a little.

It also comes with nine starter shapes to play around with. If you’re wearing a Bento head you should always be wearing a shape that’s created for that head, but try those shapes anyway, and—if you like any of them— write down all the slider numbers on the Body, Torso, and Legs tabs, then transfer them to your mesh head shape.

Yes, there are some issues. I’ve not been playing around with this much, but I’ve noticed a couple of issues, as follows:

  • Tiny cracks just above the armpits and above the edges of the lower abdominals when above 1000m height inworld. The creators are already aware of this, according to their blog, and it’s being investigated.
  • The ‘camera’ icon on the main ‘Edit’ HUD can seriously fuck up your main camera view. My camera was completely screwed until I realised I must have clicked that setting while testing the HUD. It took several relogs and a lot of messing around with debug settings before my camera was under my control again and pointing in the way I wanted it to.

The body comes with a very generous HUD. Multiple skins, tons of nail polish options (yes, even for the guys; nice to have black polish on both finger and toenails from the very start).

The alpha section of the HUD is tricky to work with, as the cuts aren’t marked on it, and some of them are fucking tiny and wafer-thin. You have some major cut lines visible, but have to guess where you’re clicking. But the selection of cuts is pretty good, and I like the click-and-drag option to ‘paint’ where I want the cuts to be. Between those and the deformers you should be able to get most clothing to work.

Ah yes, those deformers. Those can’t be demo’d, so you’ll only get them when you purchase the body. I didn’t really need them with the Gianni clothing I was wearing (jeans by Riot and a shirt by Mossu), but decided to try them anyway. I don’t know how they work, but it appears that they rez another upper or lower (depending which you selected) body over the top of your actual body, then… reshape it? It’s hard to explain, but what I saw was the glitchy flickering of another skinned body appearing over the main Legacy body for a few seconds until the deform worked. This doesn’t seem to affect your avatar complexity, though; the body is surprisingly low-CI, and script usage is a minimal 64kb.

One thing I really loved was the alpha export option. Get your alpha cuts all set up, then click ‘export’ on the HUD. You’ll get a popup asking you to enter a name for the export, so do that (I named mine after the outfit I was wearing). Click OK and a second later a box will rez in front of you (named whatever you just called it). Take it into inventory, and add it to your outfit folder. Next time you wear that outfit the alpha cuts will be automatically set. (The alpha HUD is tiny and invisible, but it appears you do have to keep wearing it, so that’s one HUD slot you’ll lose. Unless I was just being hit by lag, because when I detached the alpha HUD the body was reset.)

The body comes with a basic set of clothing: chinos, a sweater (slim and loose versions) and shoes, in several colours, as well as a pair of black briefs (featured in this post).

I’ve found three creators who have thus far made male skin appliers for Legacy: Birth, Stray Dog, and Vendetta. I’ve been wearing Birth’s gorgeous body appliers (in tone 01) and their Dakota head applier for Catwa throughout this post. Below is an image of that, plus two quick shots of tone 04 in both the Stray Dog and Vendetta skins:

Update: Clef de Peau now also have Legacy body appliers for men (in their ‘tight’ set only at the moment; this is the toned body applier). Currently out at the July round of Kustom 9, they should go into the CdP mainstore after the event ends.

Update: Not Found also now have legacy body appliers for men.

The neck fit against my Catwa ‘Skell’ head was damn near perfect, which was a pleasant surprise.

So yeah. Those were some crunchy, tasty words. This is a new team of people, and they’ve got rid of many of the things that irritated the hell out of me regarding The Mesh Project, so I decided to give them a chance again. I’m glad that I did. Yes, the body is much more expensive than any other one out there (L$5,000) but if you’re feeling flush and willing to give it a go I’ve at least given you a few guidelines above for things to take care of (updating your viewer and removing attachments) before you demo it.

Further information


Skin: Birth – Dakota (tone 01)
Hair: Stealthic – Like Lust
Facial hair applier: CDC Creations – Beard 46 tintable (Catwa, Omega, Signature)
Eye appliers: S0NG – Nobu Eyes (Catwa)
Piercings: Artificial Hallucination – Loke Rigged Ear Piercings (Catwa)
Head: Catwa – Skell*

*review copy

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