Thursday, February 21, 2013

Second Life LotD 003 & TSG's Dakota Hybrid Mesh Head Review

Many creators are making mesh heads nowadays. Some people are salivating at the thought of new perfect faces to wear, others are fearing that the mesh trend will lead to a clone army of busty, cute-faced look-alikes in slutty clothes.

Deneva "Ayane" Jinx and I recently took a look at a new release by The Sugar Garden. It is a hybrid head where you can use your own eyes instead of including eyes you would have to mod already attached to the head.

Six expression options via HUD

 As you can see in the picture above, there are six expressions that come included. There are also six different makeup options that are not shown.

Ayane and I do love the cutesy anime girl look. And this head is inspired by Dakota Rose, one of those gals that is famous for having that anime look in RL. The face is very sweet and I do like that you can use whatever eyes you want (though resizeable prim/sculpt/mesh eyes are the best since system eyes can still sometimes be too small for the sockets) along with any lashes to make your look more girly. And I dig that there are clear instructions on how to make the head seamless to your avatar's shape. We are however, somewhat disappointed in the price vs. quality/options available.

Firstly, this head is 1350L for one skin tone. It does come with a Lumiere skin in the box so I suppose that could be why the price is bumped; her skins are quite lovely and Ayane loves them to death. However, I am concerned the the rest of the cost wasn't worth it. The six expressions are little more than lip tweaks. I've seen other heads that have more emotion to them -- adjusting not just the mouth but eyes and brows. The six makeup colors range from nudes and pinks to lilac which is not much variety. The thing that bugs me the most is this:

studio lighting
estate lighting
If you look at the two pictures above, the first is using one of the provided studio lightings in Firestorm. The second is with default estate lighting. As you can see, the head up close has a strange indention on one side of the mouth, the mesh "wrinkles" are only accentuated more when you have overhead lighting which will make the whole center of the face rather unappealing. While it doesn't matter when someone is looking at the head in studio lighting, it does make a difference when they are using any other type of lighting -- weird shadows are cast that doesn't compliment the sweet-looking, youthful face.

All in all, I'm not too terribly impressed with this release. Considering I can get a full avatar from <UTILIZATOR> for around 800L that I can mod however I want with better scripting/3D modeling, it's just not a sound purchase for me. I may not know how to make mesh objects, but as a consumer there are better options out there with more out of the box options and future modding capabilities. Ayane still loves her Dakota head and plans on wearing it on occasion. I still think she looks cute with it on. Just glad I usually run with studio lighting on anyways.

- LookBook Details -

Skin: .tsg. mei mei A tone
*Head: .tsg. Dakota Head A tone
Hands: .tsg. Lumiere A Mesh Hands
Eyes: .tsg. Sugoi Green (for some reason the right eye was "no mod" so another left had to be made and enlarged)
Hair: (Chemistry) Bubbles - Browns - Chocolate
Top: Gawk! White Tummy Shirt
Bottom: League Booty-Shorts~D.Blue
Shoes: [Gos] Triumph Boots - Fem - Black
Wings: [europa] WHITE Archon wings
Necklaces: [twee.] USB Cable Necklace
Earrings: [A] Limited - Cloudy - (Mesh) Earrings
Hairpin: [ Love Soul ] Hair Pin*Bear*Pink
Bandaids: Reek - Bandaids - Hearts

Shot at Toxian City

*Please be aware that this item was purchased and was not given for review by the creator.


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