Second Life: Updated Slink Bodies

Today I got a notice that Slink updated their Physique, Hourglass, and Male Physique bodies. The update is free. Visit the store and click the Re-delivery terminal. You’ll be sent to a web page with a list of the Slink things you have purchased.

You’ll get a new copy of your Slink body. I was using a body labeled v2.8 and a HUD labeled v2.7. They say this new body is compatible will all the stuff I bought for Slink so far.

The biggest visual changes are in the HUD. It is now 4 panels instead of the single panel with everything in one place. There is now a panel for; Alpha, Layers, Skin, and Effects.

Slink Body v3 – New HUD – Alpha

There are several changes and additions. The big change is in alpha layers. How the body areas are divided up for masking is a bit different. I am undecided if it is better. It looks like it may be. I’ve had a number of problems trying to mask the previous body to work well with mesh clothes. Backless and open sided dress were a pain. 

Often, I’ve not purchased a dress because it would not work with the Slink alpha layers. I was either going to have parts poking through or holes visible. The dress and body just didn’t work together. This new alpha areas may be better.

Also, turning alpha layers on and off was a bit tedious in the older HUD. Now, rather than having lots of buttons and a few zone toggles (think: lower arm equal a zone) the new HUD has lots of Quick Toggles, what I would call zones. I can still pick individual areas. Rather than click a button I click on the Alpha Cuts map to show or hide areas.

It looks like an improvement. I’ll have to see if it lets me wear more of those sexy-cut dresses.

Slink Body v3 – New HUD – Layers

Then there is the Auto-Alphas MiniHUD. I have (had?) a problem with alpha layers. The old HUD lets me save some sets of alpha-layer settings. But, I couldn’t label them. So, I never remember which is which. Basically I didn’t use them because of that.

With the MiniHUD, I put on the clothes, adjust my alphas, wear the MiniHUD, click it and it memorizes the alpha-layer setup. Save the MiniHUD with the outfit/clothes. When you next put on the clothes also put on the MiniHUD. It will reset your alphas to what it previously memorized. Yay!

I can rename the MiniHUDs and make as many copies as I need. I can think of a couple of ways to use them. I think I’ll make the MiniHUD part of my outfits.

I make a nude outfit as a beginning place for new outfits. This is my body, hands, feet, shape, hair, HUD’s… the stuff that is the basic me. Slink calls this a Body Basics Outfit. I made a MiniHUD I named MiniHUD Nude that has all alpha-layers off (disabled) so I have a solid nude body. I am including it in my Nude Outfit. So, when I go nude to start dressing the alpha-layers will reset automatically.

Slink Body v3 – New HUD – Skin

But, even after reading the instructions I had some problems. Things don’t work as I expected.

The MiniHUD sort of does an XOR thing… Meaning the Slink folks expect you to start with a fully visible body. The MiniHUD will enable alpha and hide the parts you designated. So, it alpha is disabled (visible) on your target part it will enable it (make invisible).

But, if a part is enabled (invisible) the MiniHUD is NOT going to make it visible. So, I can’t make a MiniHUD to make all of my body parts visible. I have to click the HUD’s Toggle All to clear the alpha-layers.

It gets even worse. If I take a MiniHUD off, all the parts it is hiding become visible. The HUD only has 1 script using 64KB of memory. But, I don’t want to wear that silly HUD. It’s OK while I dress. But, once dresses I want to take it off. But, then it undoes everything.

Slink Body v3 – New HUD – Effects

While near useless I can click the Auto-alpha toggle in the HUD… to disable the feature THEN take off the MiniHUD. The hidden parts then stay hidden.

Disappointing.

The Slink instructions explain how to setup your Basic Body and then build outfits. It is an interesting way to do it. The idea is an ‘outfit’ is something to add to your basic body. The build sequence is:

  • Put on your basic body and THEN add clothes, hair, shoes, etc.
  • Put on a new copy of the MiniHUD, appropriately named.
  • Adjust the alphas as needed. (MiniHUD has to see some changes)
  • Trigger the MiniHUD to memorize the alpha settings.
  • Now remove the basic body outfit: Take Off -Remove from current outfit. This is a subtraction step. Your Slink body, hands, feet, HUD’s, etc. will detach.
  • Now save the remaining stuff as the new outfit.
  • Next add back in your basic body. Now you’re ready to party.

These steps get you dressed and build an outfit for later use. But, how do we wear such an outfit in the future?

If you are wearing a Slink-method-built outfit and click another of these outfits using Wear – Replace current outfit, it won’t work. You’ll be missing your Slink Body, feet, hands, etc. because those are in the basic body outfit. Oops.

So, I have to wear my basic body outfit via a Replace to get my Slink stuff on. Then Add my clothes outfit. If I’m changing at a party that process will have me flashing everyone. Not always the thing to be doing.

Also, it doesn’t handle all the alpha-layer clearing. If was wearing thigh high boots and the next outfit includes heels… most of my cute legs will be invisible. I could be wrong about this but I spent a good portion of the day trying to find a way to get around the problem. I have yet to find a slick solution.

To make things look right I had to Toggle All in the main Slink body HUD to reset the Slink body alphas. This takes time thus extending the time I spend standing around naked. Once done I can click and Add the outfit.

This is way too complex, clumsy, and  seems unnecessarily tedious.

I do it a bit differently. When building an outfit I start with my Nude Outfit (basic body). I put on my clothes, hair, and stuff. Then I save the whole thing as an outfit.

When I Replace an outfit I have some minor issues. The alpha-layers can be messed up. Also, my nails are often the wrong color. This is because I use the same body, hands, and feet in all my outfits. So, changing nail color in any outfit changes them in all the outfits using those hands.

I just don’t mind making those tweaks. At a party where I change I am dressed as fast as things can download. If I need to tweak alphas and nail color, I can do it while clothed.

So… while the MiniHUD sounds like a great idea, I find it useless as is. If the HUD saved all the alpha settings and would enable and disable areas, I would find it useful. I want something I can just include in the outfit that redoes my alphas for that outfit. A nice extra touch would be for it to do its thing and then detach.

Scripts

I was curious how the script weight changed. It didn’t change much, just a little heavier.

My avatar for this measurement without a Slink Body or Body HUD uses:  Scripts: 28 – Total Memory: 1792k. Using that as a baseline…

The previous body and HUD adds 11 scripts and uses an additional 560KB of memory.

The new body and HUD adds: 12 scripts and uses 768KB of memory. That is one additional script and 202KB more memory use. Not bad but, not great.

The new body has 5 scripts using 448KB of memory. The new HUD has 5 scripts and uses 320KB more.

Effects

These are fun. I’ve played with full bright and glow. I think there are awesome possibilities for some great Sy-Fy skins and applier clothes.

Summary

This is a nice update and I think an improvement. The MiniHUD not so much. But, a good idea and attempt to solve an annoying problem.

I am looking forward to Slink releasing a Bento head. I’ll jump on the demo as soon as I see it.

I’m also considering a second body, hands, head, and feet. Maitreya and Belleza seem most interesting to me.

 

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