I love the fact that Linden Lab continues to work on new features to improve Second Life, even after 15 years! Recently they did a blog post, 15 Reasons to Celebrate Second Life, and number 14 on the list was Bakes on Mesh.
BakesOnMesh is a new feature that has NOT hit the main viewer yet! Linden Lab first announced that they were starting to work on it about a year ago and now it is in a Project Viewer. I am not sure when it will reach the main viewer, but I will do another blog post once it does. For now, I figured I would tell you a bit about it and what a game changer it will be for us, especially since so many people are very excited about it.
Project BakesOnMesh is a new feature that will allow system avatar baked textures to be shown on mesh attachments. That means that textures such as skins, tattoos, cosmetics, underwear, clothing, and even alpha layers could be used on mesh body parts, that have been setup for BakesOnMesh, in the same way as system layer clothing is applied to classic avatars. So basically it will make your mesh body parts behave like they are classic system avatars.
Here is some more information about Project BakesOnMesh which I got from the Feedback Thread on the forums:
- Any face of a mesh object can be textured using one of the server baked textures.
- The corresponding region of the system avatar is hidden if an attached mesh is using a baked texture.
- Avoid the need for appliers -> easier customization workflow
- Avoid the need for onion avatars -> fewer meshes, fewer textures at display time
- Avoid the need to sell full-perm meshes. You can customize any mesh you have modify permissions for simply by setting the flags and equipping the appropriate wearables.
How to apply texture to Mesh once BakesOnMesh goes live, and creators have updated their body parts to work with it:
Avatar wearables are baked into six different textures (BAKE_HEAD, BAKE_UPPER, BAKE_LOWER, BAKE_EYES, BAKE_SKIRT, BAKE_HAIR) by the baking service. You can now apply these textures to your avatar’s object attachments’ diffuse texture.
- Right click on the attachment, click edit and from the edit face menu select textures.
- Click the diffuse texture icon to open up the texture picker.
- The texture picker has an extra radio button mode called ‘bake’ for selecting server bakes. The ‘bake’ radio button mode has a dropdown for selecting BAKE_HEAD, BAKE_UPPER, BAKE_LOWER, BAKE_EYES, BAKE_SKIRT, BAKE_HAIR server bake textures.
When an attachment is using a baked texture, the corresponding base mesh region of the system avatar is hidden.
If a mesh face is set to show a baked texture but is not attached to an avatar, you will see a default baked texture. If you are using an older viewer without bakes on mesh support, then faces set to show baked textures will also display as the default baked texture, and base mesh regions will not be hidden.
The BakesOnMesh Omega HUD:
Recently a FREE BakesOnMesh HUD has become at the Omega store inworld. What the HUD does is using the Omega layer on any mesh body part, that is omega compatible, it lets you apply system layers on the mesh body parts, similar to how BakesOnMesh will when it goes live. You of course need to use the BakesOnMesh Project Viewer in order to use it.
Please note that this is just a work around right now before BakesOnMesh goes live. This is NOT how BakesOnMesh will work when it goes live. Once it goes live, you won’t need to use this HUD. In fact, I can see omega going obsolete because of BakesOnMesh, if all creators update their mesh body parts to work with BakesOnMesh. Once creators update their content, you will just use system layers without the use of any HUDs at all. It will be much faster and convenient.
However, if you want to try out some of your older skins and other layers on your mesh body parts to see how they look, you can download the Project Viewer and purchase this omega HUD to get an idea right now. I’ve done that today for this blog post and made a video about it, so check that below.
I have tried playing with BakesOnMesh using the Omega HUD, and here are my notes about it:
- Download Project BakesOnMesh Viewer – I downloaded and installed the viewer.
- Purchase and Wear the Bake on Mesh skin applier (Omega) HUD, there is one available for FREE at the Omega store inworld.) – You need to wear this HUD for mesh body parts that are omega compatible to get the BakesOnMesh to work right now with the Project Viewer. I believe once BakesOnMesh is released to main viewer and designers have updated their body parts to work with BakesOnMesh, you won’t need to use this HUD anymore.
- Wear Omega Relay HUDs for your Mesh Body Parts – I wore my Omega relay HUDs (or activated omega using activation kits) for the mesh body parts that I used.
- Remove Alpha Layers – I removed all the alpha layers I was wearing for my mesh head and body.
- Wear an alpha layer for system lashes & eyes – You only need to do this if you feel you need it after removing your alphas. I like to wear mesh eyes so I wear a free lashes and eyes alpha layer that I picked up from the Mayfly store. If you use a system layer to go over the eyes, then you probably won’t need to wear an alpha for the eyes either, but I didn’t try that.
- Wear any system layer – I’ve tried wearing all sorts of system layers on my mesh head and body and it worked for skins, cosmetics, tattoos and even clothing layers. We have the option to wear up to 62 layers.
- Mesh Body Parts that I’ve personally tried this with – I’ve personally tried this on the following mesh body parts and they all work with it: SLink Physique Body, Maitreya Lara Body, Catwa Head, LeLutka Head, Logo Head, Vista Head, and LAQ Head. This will work on any omega compatible body part.
- This will not be visible to anyone not using the Project Viewer – Please note that if you try this right now and walk around the grid with it, the only people that will be able to see your system layers on your mesh body parts will be others that are also using this Project Viewer. People using Firestorm or other viewers right now will see default skin.
Watch my video where I tried on old skins and cosmetics on Maitreya Lara Body and Catwa Catya Head using the Omega HUD:
Important links for BakesOnMesh:
- Project BakesOnMesh Wiki Page
- BakesOnMesh Feedback Thread on the Second Life Community Forums
- Bake on Mesh skin applier (Omega) HUD
- BakesOnMesh Jira Filter
- Cathy Foil’s Informative Video about BakesOnMesh
- Siddean Munro’s Blog Post about BakesOnMesh <- very informative!
- Content Creation User Group Meetings – A weekly meeting happening every Thursday at 1:00pm PST. It is a public meeting intended for discussion of issues around content creation, including avatars, animations, mesh, etc… Vir Linden is the moderator and all are welcome to attend. You can attend any of these meetings to share your input about new features, ask questions and stay updated with what’s going on in Second Life.
- UPDATE: BakesOnMesh Blog Post by Omega Solutions – Read Omega’s post which has more information and predictions on what they see in the future with BakesOnMesh. Please note that I have also updated this post and removed the link to the BakesOnMesh HUD that I used in the video because on the Omega blog it states that they were breaking their TOS by charging for that HUD. So I have removed the link to that HUD and I’m just sharing the Omega store SLurl where you can pick up a BakesOnMesh HUD for FREE.
I tried to make this post and video easy to understand so I hope it wasn’t too confusing to you all and you got the idea of what BakesOnMesh will do for us all in the future. It will makes things so much more convenient and easier for both content creators and consumers. I am really looking forward to just wearing simple system layers on all my mesh body parts in the future!
My Style Credits:
Shape: StrawberrySingh.com Catya 2 Shape by Strawberry Singh
*Mesh Body: Maitreya Mesh Body – Lara V4.1 by Onyx LeShelle
*Mesh Head: CATWA HEAD Catya v3.2 by Catwa Clip
*Eyes: Avi-Glam Dramatic Eyes by Kendra Parfort (The Seasons Story)
*Skin: Various Skins (watch video)
*Hair: Tableau Vivant \\ Stella hair by M4ri1yn Magic
*Blazer: Tee*fy Kiara Blazer – Nude by Azure Electricteeth (c88)
*Earrings: Maxi Gossamer Antique London Drop Earrings by Maxi Gossamer