Switching From a Classic to a Mesh Body

More and more folks in Second Life are switching their Classic avatar bodies for newer mesh bodies. It’s an excellent choice, as the new bodies look and move more realistically than the older ones. But the new ones come with drawbacks of their own., probably the greatest of which is their expense.

One of the most popular mesh kits is Lara, from Maitreya. The body kit will run you $L2750, which as of this writing is about $12.50 in US dollars. That’s before buying any clothes, but fortunately, Maitreya has a free dress kit and three pairs of shoes to go with it. In addition, the body itself comes with matching bra and panties.

When I (Aisling) switched from a classic avatar to Lara, I budgeted $L5,000 for the body, a new wardrobe, and a few other incidentals, such as a new Animation Override (AO).

But not everyone is in a position to spend that much money, much less all at once. So I’m going to show you a way you can save on expenses ahead of making the change.

Enter The Free Dove

And I mean to enter it both literally and figuratively. THE FREE DOVE FASHION  (www.thefreedove.com) is SL’s oldest (13+ years) and most popular site for free, high-quality fashions for men and women. It features clothes and accessories for both classic and mesh avatars, and their inventory is constantly changing.

How do they do this? Palomma Casanova, the owner and operator of The Free Dove, invites SL’s top designers to provide free samples of their works. This accomplishes two things: it allows you, the customer, to acquire a decent wardrobe while giving the designers free publicity for their goods and services. And to be fair, when I’m in the market for new clothes, I always check out the vendors who have kindly provided me with the free goods before I check anywhere else.

Meet Heather Wilkenson

Heather is a new account I created to show you what all this means. Right now she’s wearing a classic-style body, which I plan to upgrade to a mesh (Lara) sometime in the next few weeks. She’s wearing an outfit from The Free Dove; specifically, (SP) Winter Day -caramel-. This is an outfit specifically designed for classic bodies. But she’s also acquired several mesh outfits in anticipation of the upgrade since they might not be available by then.

More importantly, a few of the outfits she likes are for both classic and mesh avatars. So she can wear them now, and still be able to wear them after she switches to Lara (or any other mesh avatar).

Summing Up

Like everything else in SL, going with a mesh avatar or staying with a classic shape is a purely personal choice, which depends on many factors—primarily your budget. But I hope I’ve given you some options to explore while you decide.

Merfolk (Mermaids and Mermen)

Or, Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Being a Mermaid or Merman Before You Even Knew You Wanted to Know It

Remember when I told you that in SL, you can be anything you want to be? Ever imagine living a life under the sea? Be honest—wasn’t that every little girl’s dream? Well, now you can become one for only $10 Lindens. Or, if you prefer, absolutely free.

Safe Waters Foundation

Head on over to the Safe Waters Foundation Headquarters (SWF). When you get there, turn around to see this:

SWF-1.png

The arrows won’t be there; I added them for clarity. The shorter one points to the SWF group joiner. There is no cost to join.

The longer arrow points to the door you need to pass through to get to the goodies:

SWF-2.png

Again, I added the arrows for clarity. They point to the Pearl, which you have to touch to receive the free outfit.

Unfortunately, if you’re using a mesh avatar like mine, it’s not that easy. All of these options are designed for classic (non-mesh) avatars (avis). And because mesh avis are complex and expensive, it follows that mesh accessories for mesh avis are also expensive.

Fear Not!

mer 1

The item shown above can be found on the SL Marketplace for only $L1! It comes with a standard body that you can use to replace your mesh body, so everything will work peachy-keen!

mer-2.png

This is my friend Jenny in that very same outfit.

Safe Waters Foundation Redux

You can find out more about the Safe Waters Foundation at its website, which also contains an events calendar as well as a long list of mer-related sites in Second Life.

Or you can check out their Digital Mermaids blog on Blogspot. The blog also has minutes of the most recent weekly meeting.

Now if you will excuse me, I have an octopus’s garden to explore!

Aisling's Signature" Love, Aisling

Let’s Go Shopping!

Today we’re going to look at a few places where you can shop ‘til you drop, get yourself a new wardrobe, find a new avatar, and deck yourself out in some fine jewelry—all without spending a dime! (Or even a $Linden.) Sounds too good to be true? HEY! WAKE UP! This is Second Life! If you can imagine it, you can do it!

The Free Dove

The Free Dove is one of SL’s oldest purveyors of quality freebies. Located in the Gallii region, it should be one of your first stops when you go shopping. Serious shopping.

Paloma has partnered with some of SL’s finest fashion designers to bring you samples of their works. And whether you have a standard avatar or one of the new mesh avatars, you’ll find a wide variety of items to fill your shopping cart.

Did you know that your standard SL avatar can wear mesh clothing? Many of the Free Dove’s items will work just fine on you.

Free Dove 1

Free Dove 2

Free Dove 3

Whether it’s clothing, shoes, jewelry, or makeup, check out the selection at the Free Dove. And check back often—Paloma frequently updates her inventory, so if you see something you like, be sure to grab it. It might not be there on your next visit!

New Resident Island

New Resident Island, or NRI, also offers free “shopping.” I put shopping in quotes because while you do have to buy their items, all of the prices are $L0; that is, free.

But besides shopping, NRI also offers tutorials where you can brush up on your basic SL skills. In addition, you can watch movies or learn how to build things. They even offer a variety of free building items. And in addition to clothing and fashions, you can even pick up a new avatar, complete with wardrobe and animation over-rider.

So if it’s clothing you need, a refresher course, or miscellaneous objects you’re looking for, hop on over to New Resident Island and look around.

Which brings us to…

New Citizens, Incorporated

NCI Kuula, to be exact. A very popular spot for building, learning, and just plain socializing.

NCI 1

Enjoy a balloon ride for an aerial view of the region, explore the extensive selection of freebies, make new friends—it’s all designed for the new SL resident.

Summing Up

While it’s always exciting to explore SL, these are a few excellent places to start.

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