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I need some TLC

(click here for a raw shot)

I picked up a DEMO of the SLink Visage mesh heads when they were released last week and had decided not to purchase because I didn’t feel like myself in them. I still don’t feel like myself in them, however Siddean dropped them on me so I thought I would take the opportunity to blog them and share my thoughts about them.

Before we start, here are a few links that you may find informative:

  1. Slink Visage Heads Released-Review – An interesting and informative technical review by Nalates.
  2. SLink Visage 12 Facial Expressions – Maci Restless shares a picture of all 12 facial expressions that come with the mesh heads.
  3. SLink mesh head: face off – Grazia showcases a few of the appliers currently available.

Grumpy Berry
(click here for a raw shot)

My thoughts and preferences about the mesh heads are not that positive. I think it’s a wonderful idea and beautifully executed but, as I said earlier, I just don’t feel like myself in them. The facial expressions are nice, but the only one that I really like is the grumpy face. The other ones feel a bit forced. I guess it will all just take getting used to but for now, I can’t see myself wearing the head that often. I am looking forward to her future mesh head releases as she has hinted about more coming soon. I also saw her taking suggestions in this plurk for the looks of future heads.

This is what I adore about Siddean, she listens to the community and tries to meet their needs. She is also very generous in what she offers to not only her own customers, but other content creators as well. She gives them the opportunity to create appliers and accessories for all her mesh body parts. If you are a content creator looking to develop appliers for her mesh heads or accessories for her mesh hands and feet, check the developers category on the SLink blog.

I need some TLC

I am also very happy to be blogging for TLC now, which stands for The Liaison Collaborative. TLC has moved to a new location, the fall sim. This month they have three separate events going on at the same time, right next to each other. The theme for all three events is Minimal Nouveau.

The Garden is their home and garden event which has some of the best home and garden creators on the grid participating. Normally I am not a home and garden blogger, but I couldn’t resist rezzing this spectacular home by Cory Edo of Trompe Loeil.

The Boutique has a beautiful collection of mesh clothing and jewelry. I’m wearing the exquisite Perula set from Caelan Hancroft of Cae. It’s scripted and comes with many options for colors and metals.

The Poser Pavilion is a selection of poses from some of the most talented posers on the grid. There are a lot of sexy couples poses this month!

TLC this round started on the 15th of March and will run till the 10th of April. Take the SLurl to the fall sim and check it out.

*Skin: -Glam Affair – Romy skin – Base ( India ) by Aida Ewing (@ Skin Fair)
*Mesh Head: Slink Visage Mesh Head – Emma by Siddean Munro
*Applier: Glam Affair Romy Skin by Aida Ewing (@ Skin Fair)
*Eyes: IKON Promise Eyes Brown by Ikon Innovia
*Hair: TRUTH HAIR Harriet by Truth Hawks
*Outfit: ANE Abra Jumpsuit XXS Stripes 01 by Anemysk Karu (her flickr)
*Jewels: Cae :: Perula by Caelan Hancroft (@ The Boutique for TLC)
*Shoes: [Gos] Halle Sandals – Brilliant Collection – S by Gospel Voom (his flickr)
*Drink: erratic / home – drink / margarita by Erratic Rain (@ The Arcade)
*Mesh Hands: Slink Avatar Enhancement Hands – Casual – Small by Siddean Munro
*Pose: Sari-Sari – Female Pose G by AbbyAnne (her flickr)
*House: Trompe Loeil – Neoteric [mesh] by Cory Edo (@ The Garden for TLC)


Strawberry has been a Second Life Resident since 2007 and a Linden Lab employee since 2019.

23 thoughts on “I need some TLC

  • I agree with you on the Mesh heads. My female alts have tried them, and while they are indeed beautifully done, they sap away the last remnants of personality and sense of self from my point of view. If they are ever customizable , I will look at them again, but as they stand now, with Mesh standard sizing removing a fair amount of options for differing body shapes, mesh heads just seem another step closer to a clone army.

    I also agree highly with you in regards to Slink and how she interacts with customers and designers. Appliers are not exclusive to her own skins etc like some other shops. Siddean provides the ability for everyone to make appliers for her mesh items. Apparently such care for the consumer is much more rare than I thought, because of Siddeans openness with customers and designers from the start, she set the standard, which others have, sadly, failed to meet.

  • Draconias Timeless

    I agree wholeheartedly regarding mesh heads. The hands and feet I could understand, and have purchased, because I dislike how blocky SL’s stock hands and feet are… but the heads, while an amusing idea, are not something I will be supporting, either financially or through my shop.

    I’ve already had a few requests for makeup appliers from customers that I’ve politely turned down (and been met with flaming opposition regarding for some reason). Personally, I believe they destroy the originality in SL and make too many other content creators dependant on applier kits and basically severely limiting our own creativity. Not to mention the creativity of normal SL folks that understand how shape sliders work.

    I get that, with the help of skin appliers (look, more appliers!) and HUD buttons you can achieve different looks, but in the end people are so much more limited with these mesh heads. I can’t and won’t be supporting them, it’s just not something I can back.

  • PinkRayne

    Agree also on the mesh heads, they just didn’t feel like ‘me’. I also think there’s a danger you’d bump into others in the same head, doppleganger much? Defo not the Berry we know and love… change back, quick! x

  • I loved the head on Macy. I think this head is gorgeous on you, I think SLink always distributes a top notch product. But! I don’t think it’s for your personally because as you say, it’s not you. Your unique lovely face us as recognizable brand to us as the Nike swoosh is to sneaker wearing consumers. Thank you for showing me all about it. 🙂

  • I agree on the whole mesh head thing. In all the years I’ve been in SL I’ve tweaked Skell’s body no end for various clothing items, but his face is something that I’ve refused to touch. It hasn’t changed from the original purchased shape way back in 2008. That shape is no longer available, and his face is his uniqueness.

    There *are* a few male mesh heads out there, but in all honesty I’ve yet to see any that would make me want to blog them, even out of sheer, “Here; I’d not wear it personally, but I’m showing it to you anyway”-ness. Not even if they were given to me as a freebie.

    Hell, I’ll be blunt (as I usually am) and say outright that the male mesh heads I’ve seen so far (and I’m sure I’ve not seen them all) veer toward the Thunderbirds/GI Joe kind of look, and they are – quite frankly – hideous.

    I do appreciate what Siddean is doing, and I can see the popularity and appeal of mesh heads, because they override the tendency for blockiness in the avatar face, with those horrible nose triangles and the angles all around the jawline, but no matter how many custom skin and makeup appliers are made available, there will always be a limited amount of base shapes. Then again, given that so many of the avatars I see these days have *identical* faces (squinty eyes, turned-down ‘fish-pout’ lips, etc) who knows? Mesh heads could take off in a huge way among the crowd that all like to conform to the same look.

    Me? I’m a stubborn, individual bastage, and I’ll stay that way :p

    Besides which, if you’re British and Of A Certain Age, replaceable heads will only make you think of two words: Worzel Gummidge. And… yeah, no thanks 😉

  • I feel this way about mesh CLOTHING, in a lot of ways. I spend time on my shape. I spend time assuring myself that it looks like a human being might look.
    Why is it OKAY that I am expected to turn myself into a praying mantis on methamphetamines to be able to wear your clothing? Why is it NORMAL That I have to size my hands up or down so that my wrists are the right size for your slink hands? It bothers me.

    The same thing goes double for the mesh head: why would I want to wear only the expressions you choose, have only the facial shape you determine?
    I like having a large nose, dammit. 🙂

  • I agree, I’m not totally convinced on mesh heads, though they are good. As has been said you loose your individuality, but also the mixing and matching of tattoo layer cosmetics is no longer possible. I also have a problem with mesh clothes too as I refuse to be big boobed just so the clothes will fit. However, I have to admit I have just purchased a mesh head avatar set (LOGO Sadie) and have set the included shape to standard S mesh size so I can use her for photography on my fashion blog where I don’t mind being anonymous!

  • I tried the Emma Head with Slink appliers for a couple days
    It started with a unnatural feeling. After a few days I turned back to my old self. But for some reason that face looks like a total stranger to me. Your avatar is more then just her shape, skin or outfit. People can look the same but act totally different and that is what defines you.

    I personally I have mixed feelings about the mesh head. I like it but I also don’t. Lets see what the future brings when the make-up appliers are out.

    I also like the grumpy face most atleast with the Glam Affair appliers. But that is a total different story when I wear the Curio applier.

  • Diana Waldorf

    Totally agree with ur opinion, the head mesh !!
    I have nothing against the mesh heads, but are an accessory that is not really necessary , unless you want to have multiple dopplegangers in SL.
    The wonderful thing about this game is to have a custom avatar , ie with the factions that you will put to your shape , but the passage of time and advancement and introduction of hardware mesh on it, have been enrolling all avatars to look like , so way in the game , you lose your autonomy and second life becomes like any other 3D game platform , I really have nothing against him MEHS , I repeat , but the mesh heads do not really add nothing .
    Do they do it to avoid copybot ? As many people know already copybotear things mesh , then the sense of creating a mesh head is lost.
    In addition to skin designers this requires multiple job because they have to do :

    Applicators Lolas Tango
    Applicators feet Slink
    Applicators hands Slink
    Applicators mouth
    Applicators Phat Azz

    And those are just some of the ones I mentioned , and there are many others on the market in SL. Now also have to make an applicator head mesh ?

    I do not know , but honestly the idea seems absurd to me .

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  • As a fan of the SLink sculpted elf ears I had to try them with the demo mesh head right away and found the opening created by hiding the head’s ears is too large to be comfortably covered by the older ears. Maybe an update for the ears is in the works.

  • Marianne Little

    I like the mesh heads because they smooth out all the default head. But as a heavy tattoo layer user, I see that they will not fit most of my looks. I struggle because 5 layers just isn’t enough. I am happy when tattoo creators include clothing layers in addition to the tattoo layer, because I use up all the 5 layers on the head and have to use undershirts or other layers for the body.

    So the mix’n match is very important to me. I have not demo’ed the Slink heads yet, so I am sorry if I ask an obvious question: Can I wear different makeups from different brands on it? Skin from creator 1, eyebrows from creator 2, hairbase from creator 3, lipstick from creator 4, blush from creator 5? If so, then this is the closest to mixing tattoo layers I have seen.
    Fantasy looks is another tough one. I have used mesh heads since Filthy released a mesh head in 2012. I loved that one even if it had no facial expressions. I love the LOGO head, and the Snow Rabbit one as well. But they only have pretty human makeups. I hope that the Slink heads are going to have bigger “patches” on the face that can use appliers. I probably express myself badly, English isn’t my #1 language. What I try to say is, will the patch for eye makeup be big enough to allow for cyborg makeups, eye masks, peacock Vegas type makeup? Will the mouth patch be big enough to make some blood smear under the lip aka vampire? Will it be possible to apply a layer over the whole face like a Maori tattoo?

    Oh, and the default Slink eye lashes… I hope they will be changed. I don’t know if I am too hard to please, I see them as “lumpy mascara”” even in beautiful, well rendered, high resolution images.No one does eyelashes as well as the Snow Rabbit head.

    Still, the Slink heads is the most versatile I have seen. I read that THE Shops puts all kind of limits on the skin creators that will make appliers for The Shops heads. The more I see how The Shops run their own show and refuse to be more customerfriendly, the more I dislike their products. Even if I like their faces, I can’t wear skins that don’t have appliers for all the other parts I use.

  • @Marianne Little The anser is No, not yet!
    Siddean said

    ” Makup appliers – I am working on a way for this to happen. There are compromises however, whether or not it happens depends on whether people would find it acceptable that their eyebrows disappear under mesh ”

    At the moment the skin changes with the make-up. That means different brands will have different skin color. But I hope that she will find a way to do so.

  • You guys have all brought up some great points. I do think though that there is a market for mesh heads and not everyone is so attached to their avatar’s face like we are. There are a lot of people that are shape-shifters and also those that just want to have the highest quality avatar possible. I admit when I took the mesh head off yesterday, my own face felt pale in comparison. The quality of the head is just so amazing compared to the regular SL mesh shape.

    I think as a lot of the grid has changed themselves to squeeze into standard sizing mesh, eventually a lot of us will be more inclined to try different mesh heads as they get further improved. I am definitely looking forward to the future head releases and will for sure try the demos again as they are released.

    Hopefully one day LL will introduce a way so we can adjust the face with sliders on these heads or perhaps just change the current avatar mesh on the whole. Time will tell I guess.

  • Coby Foden

    It’s about time that Linden Lab took a serious look on the avatar mesh. It is very obvious that we do need new well made default avatar mesh – male and female.

    This body parts mesh add-ons has gone totally crazy. Their only purpose is to hide the present bad avatar mesh. I’m sure that it would be much better if we had better avatar mesh. Less laggier than all those, sometimes not well optimized add-ons. And we would have full control to make our avatars individual looking, just like with the present mesh. Then the designers, instead of making the add-ons, could concentrate in making awesome clothes.

  • I am in agreement that – while the shape part add-ons we have seen of late are very nice and have truly enhanced the base avatar appreciably – what we actually need is a new base avatar. We need an update that addresses the issues covered by the add-ons.
    The creativity of someone like Siddean Munro who (as far as I know) is the first one to do something to help us is definitely admirable; I hold her and her work in high esteem. Still, recognising the issues with the base avatar, I knew that if I went that way, I’d end up with too many added parts that were, in the final analysis, a wee bit too complicated to manage with ease. Therefore, I have a limited number of add-ons and only wear the hands routinely. For one thing, there are just too many shoes that I don’t want to give up that don’t work with the feet.
    Moreover, the mesh head idea – whilst intriguing and perfect for some specific uses – is just not practical for everyday. I like some of the expressions and find the whole idea creative, but it is not something I want to use routinely. I like my face (despite those awful nose triangles that are sometimes hard to battle), and am very (VERY) choosy when it comes to skins. In fact, I often wear old favourites because I like the way they look (the lips are a major factor for me) – and am always out and about DEMO-ing like mad. I love my shape, but with the advent of mesh clothing am willing to rethink that (somewhat) – and since everything is about the combination of shape and skin….well, I’m always experimenting, which is enough for me.
    Thank you, Berry, for this most constructive and important conversation. I think it’s one we need to have – and the sooner, the better.

  • Wow. My comment did not structure as I intended. It looks like one – very long – run-on sentence. I did not intend it that way. Please forgive!

  • Chantel Ashdene

    Very pretty.

  • Spot on with this write-up, I really believe that this web site needs far more attention. I’ll probably be returning to see more, thanks for the information!

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  • Gealya Aeon

    I adore Siddean Munro’s mesh hands and feet. She’s crafted them so brilliantly that with hand gestures with all my AOs look natural and human to me. Similarly for the feet. What really impressed me so much was when I tried using some of the better dance & ballet animations: the expressivity of the hands is convincing to me; for the feet, when dancing barefoot, I feel the out-of-body, in-the-zone experience from RL dancing, which I think is remarkable to experience through SL.

    I’ve tried the Emma demo and I can only concur with the discontents mentioned in all the comments before mine. I think the only way I would wear a mesh head is one that I made myself using Blender or Z-Brush. I actually gave it a try, just enough to realize how much work it would require to make something almost as nice as what I have with the Linden’s avatar mesh and a high-quality skin. For a noobie with Blender and Z-Brush, like I am, I think it would take weeks/months of full-time work. Maybe, someday, there will be improvements to tools like Avastar that would make do-it-yourself mesh heads more worth trying.

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