Second Life: Skin Fair 2015 Review

I finally made it in Sunday Morning about 4 AM. There are some pronounced changes since the 2014 fair. For one, Appliers are much more prominent.

Skin Fair 2015 - Appliers

Skin Fair 2015 – Appliers

Makeup is changing too. Brows, lipstick, eye shadow… they are all more likely to come separate, which I like.

Tattoos are changing. Better, more detailed, and more tats targeted at various body parts. Appliers let us target various parts of the body. They also let us vary how they display via HUD. It is a new world of tats. 

Nipple Appliers are new to me…

Demos are more common, which I think is a good thing. Some are hard to find. But, they are usually there now. Eventually people may learn that the location of a demo is a bit like user interface design, but for a store. RL companies like Target, Pennys, Nordstom, Walmart, grocery stores, and others design the whole store the way software engineers design a UI. With software it is becoming common to put HELP in the upper right. With demos most appear near the bottom of a promotional display.

Nar Mattaru’s was the only one I wanted to check out, but could not find its demo.

Also, skins are no longer universal. We do have to look to see which Appliers come with a skin. Then we have to figure out whether we have to buy a separate skin for Classic and Mesh bodies. Many creative types fail to convey how their stuff works… Classic and mesh included or separate.

Few of the promo pieces show the whole body this year. If you want to know what the abs look like, you have to get the demo. I think that is a negative.


Mesh Project Only


I see more skins made for the Mesh Project. Last time I looked at that ‘body’ it was getting bad reviews. I assume the increased popularity, signaled by more support, suggests the Mesh Project is improving. Many of the make-ups and other accessories were marked for the Mesh Project only. Some really talented designers are creating for the Project.

On Color… this year it has been easier to find dark completions. It may just be my impression wearing my special color glasses, but fewer promo pieces show the darker colors. That not a racist thing. It’s just hard to make great promo pieces with dark skins.

Looking at the colors skins are actually available in, I’ve found lots of dark completion skins. I have a bunch of demos to play with. So, to me it seems like there are more dark skins.

I’ll have to dig into Loud Mouth. I saw quite a bit about it at the fair. I picked up a demo. But, I have no clue.

Some of the fantasy skins appear to be using glow and bright to create new effects. With mesh bodies glow, bright, normal maps, and specular maps can be part of the skin artist’s tools. Something we can’t do with Classic skin. I would guess the new world may include these features starting out.

The Experience

The shops are spread out. If you turn your draw distance down, 64m, things speed up as most shops are father than 64m from the cluster you are in. I found that both Firestorm and the SL Main Viewer had problems. Mesh was slow loading. Textures seemed to load faster.


Slow Loading Avatars


Both SL and FS viewers handled cursor over texture speed ups. The items I ran the cursor over, no clicks, rez’d quickly. It seems to me parking the cursor on a texture stalls it load… which makes no sense to me. But, too many times the texture snapped to full rez only AFTER I moved the cursor off it. I could leave the cursor there for varying times and it seemed it was when I moved off that they rez’d. That makes for a lot of coincidental timing events.

Firestorm would go to black screens after 20 or 30 minutes. Then they came faster and faster. I could open Preferences, click Apply and slow that process. Once out of fair both SL and FS had fewer problems. I think that was more a population thing than a region thing. The FS viewer picked up speed after an ‘Apply’ click. But, at 90 minutes or so I needed to teleport or restart the viewer.

I seemed to be able to run longer on the SL Main Viewer. But, I wasn’t doing objective testing. So, that may just be my imagination.

I did not have any shop that did not render. Some did take a few minutes, 3 to 5 to render. Most in less than a minute. Some people just never rendered. Lots of boobies and mons pubi showing as mesh clothes failed to rez. Seems one of the big issues years ago was bake fail causing problems in PG and moderate regions to appear naked. I don’t seem to hear the same complaints today with mesh… and some of these people are way naked.

With the addition of mesh, it is now possible for females to wear their vagina/mons pubis parts  under a dress. It must be some trick of fate that they seem to render ahead of the dress. Why does the world work that way… I suppose that isn’t always true. But, it seems…

All in all for regions at 40+ avatars things were pretty nice. There was rubber-banding. It was annoying but I could move.

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