Hi there. =)
Santana Lumiere (me!) has been a content creator in Second Life since early 2004 under the store name Nevermore. As a designer, I get a wide range of comments from customers, both appreciative and complaints. This is common place and all of it taken into consideration for future products. I would like to take a moment to field some comments I have amassed over the years and hope this helps those who are new to perusing La Boheme products. This article will later appear as a permanent page for future access.
First, let’s start with the basic ad, because this is what you are met with first visually.
What body and head systems do you design for?
Classic SL avatars (non mesh)
LeLutka Simone mesh head (pre-bento)
Catwa mesh head Gwen (non-bento) & Kimberly (bento)
Slink body (manicures & pedicures)
Maitreya (manicures & pedicures)
Omega (manicures & pedicures)
General mesh – works with everything
Catwa eye appliers
I have a wealth of products designed for the “classic” SL avatar. So much, in fact, that I am no longer designing items for it further at this point in time. This does not mean I am neglecting the base SL avatar, but that things become redundant because there is so much available for them in my shop and I feel cosmetic variations begin to resemble one another after a certain point. However, I do have other items which can be used with the SL avatars, such as eyes and soon to come – eyelash add-ons!
My first mesh head purchase was LeLutka’s Simone head which I fell in love with when paired with a specific Lara Hurley skin. Designing for LeLutka, however, is like pulling teeth and found myself camped out on the beta grid to save the expense of uploads – which is a lot of uploads because I try to not have wonky texture pulls and uneven lines and one eyeshadow might require 200 uploads to get it right. Add on that each of these uploads needs to be put into a hud to apply it and check, it is quite an ordeal. I have several lips and eyeshadows for their pre-bento Simone head, though when the unpleasant upgrade to them made wearing eyeshadow impossible because of the alpha conflict with the eyelashes, I was forced to stop producing products for this head. I have not invested in the bento version of Simone as of yet, and unfortunately my products for LeLutka heads do not work with the bento version because LeLutka made special scripts for their bento head for reasons beyond my understanding. I do intend to invest in it eventually, but the idea of camping out in beta grid and going through all that hardship again is a real turn off. Sorry, bento Simone head wearers! I did suggest to the creator to make a mannequin head that designers can temp-upload to check their work as they go and save $, but I have no idea if they have provided this because their initial response to me was “no.”
Catwa is possibly the most popular mesh head system out there because the creator is rather industrious and has released so many heads by this point in time, that you are guaranteed to have a look you desire and be more “you” than just another clone. I procured their Gwen head because it fit what I wanted. Therefore all my Catwa cosmetics were being made on the Gwen head (the mannequin which Catwa provided for this head), but that their scripts are universal meant that the products worked on all of their mesh heads. That does not mean that the cosmetic textures lay the same on each head, just that the scripts permit you to attempt to apply any cosmetic you like. Each head is sculpted and mapped differently, each with their own universe of texture pulls and angles to contend with – also the two sides of the face are not mirrored and what looks right on one side may not on the other. It takes a bit of work, but is worth the reward. More recently I bought their bento head Kimberly which is what I wear daily. Kimberly and Gwen share a lot of common mapping, so often what looks good on one looks just as good on the other. This is not a given rule, however, and some things look off on either head if not made for it. Currently Kimberly is what I make my cosmetics on for this brand’s mesh head system. I received a copy of their head Lona but have not made anything for it because I can’t get it to look right when worn. lol
I have no intention in purchasing 10 mesh heads by a single creator just to make cosmetics which suit them all. Sorry! Not only would that be terribly expensive, but absolutely crazy to contend with. Some things can be carried across the board in a single designer’s mesh head array, such as face paints and the likes, which is why no demos are provided for them as they will, more or less, appear as featured in the ad. Some tweaks might occur, but I cannot design for everything.
Do you plan to branch out to other mesh head systems with your cosmetics?
Yes and no. I am rather particular about mesh heads and while I am 100% in support of designers and their efforts to deliver great products to the SL public, I find that if I am unhappy wearing something, I am even less inspired to try to create for it. This is not a slight against the other mesh head designers out there, but I am sitting patiently and waiting to find that gem which I will impulsively purchase and want to make things for. So, stay tuned on this!
Why don’t you provide Omega huds for your cosmetics so they can be used on other mesh heads?
This is a big deal to me, and I will explain it as best I can without going into it at length. If I design an eyeshadow for a mesh head, it’s not going to look right on any other head outside that system. Each creator’s line of mesh heads are very different, all those texture pulls, the sculpt, the way they mapped the texture to lay on the head. Therefore what I made for Catwa is going to look awful on LeLutka, etc. I can make a hud for it and market it in 18 different systems plus Omega, but that doesn’t mean it looks good in 18 systems plus Omega. I do see other cosmetic designers doing this and I am not here to lecture them or anyone on this faux pas. However, I like to be honest and therefore cannot bring myself to claim this one cosmetic item is going to work across the board the way I hoped it might. Therefore, no Omega applier will be supplied for my cosmetics.
I really like this lipstick or eyeshadow, will you be offering it in other systems?
Again, no cosmetic texture is universal when you are creating for a specific system. Cosmetics for the SL avatar which I have created look bad on mesh heads and vice versa. The proportions, the placement, the accommodation of catering to fifty texture pulls, etc. really make it difficult to import the same item to another platform. If I had a little auto converter button, I would provide it, but this does not exist and so what I offer for one system most likely will not be offered in another system. It’s a lot of work just to create the item, but transposing every item to be cross platform would really be too laborious and I don’t have the time to dedicate to such a chore.
I like your mesh eyes but you don’t offer them for the Catwa mesh eye system.
We are offering this now, but it is too much work to back date every single set of mesh eyes released to accommodate them all for the Catwa system. All newly released mesh eye sets do come with this hud now, however. I list it on the ads so you can see it’s included. Enjoy those peepers! =)
I bought this product from you but the item looks different than in the ad picture.
If you are using a different mesh head than what is listed on the ad then of course it is going to look different- it was made with the mannequin of the head specified (if Catwa). I cannot be responsible for all the differences in the mesh sculpt and how the designer had textures lay over the mesh sculpt with the variety of heads they sell. With the new bento craze, how things wear are dependent on your shape PLUS the mesh head you choose to wear. Everyone is going to look a bit different. Same with classic SL avatars – all your appearance settings don’t just define your av, they define how textures look on your av. As explained in the above image of the anatomy of my ads, all those little circles in the ad (what will be buttons on your hud) are straight snapshots. No photoshop foo going on there. They are taken in plain, true lighting. If you are in a sim with some severe windlight settings or local lighting on, your avatar surface is affected by the atmosphere. This also includes eyes. Make use of demos, please, they are there so you can see how things look on you. =)
Where is that Maitreya pedicure..?
All questions about lack of Maitreya pedicures in illustrated nails I sell can be addressed better in this page I wrote on it. I will repeat one blurb there for this page, however – I am not responsible for how Omega transposes textures from one medium to the next. That is 100% their scripting and how they set the way textures work between two different mesh platforms. So, using an Omega hud for a Maitreya pedicure is entirely your own risk and all I can do is provide the hud for many other mesh systems to enjoy the design I crafted and is not intended to replace the lack of a Maitreya pedicure. Any nails I sell which do not have an illustration do come with the Maitreya pedicure hud.
Oh, one more thing…!
Santana,why is everything black when I try to apply your cosmetics from the hud?
Remember to untint whatever plane of the face you are applying to. Most heads will not untint what you tinted for another item (such as eyeliner and then trying to apply an eyeshadow from my shop). Untint it using your mesh head system’s main hud, it will work. Promise. All the cosmetic huds are checked before being set for sale. Also, sometimes laggy sims cause slow loading. Problems with your mesh head should be brought to the mesh head creator’s attention and not me, as La Boheme has nothing to do with any of that.
Thank you for taking the time to read this, and I hope I helped answer questions for some of you!