• Ampersand Artful


Updated: Apr 10

hello #ADORABLE! ready to take your makeup & tattoo game up to the next level? then man alive, am I happy to introduce you to BAKES-ON-MESH! this is part one in my series about Bakes-On-Mesh. to learn how to use Bakes-On-Mesh, read the tutorial in the second part.

since this post is in regards to a relatively new feature, all information listed below is subject to edits and updates.

recently, second life & the firestorm viewer have been updated with a new feature called bakes-on-mesh (referred to as "BOM"). bakes-on-mesh allows system layers like skin, eyes, tattoo & alpha layers to be applied directly to mesh attachments like bodies & heads. there is also a new layer type that has been added, the Universal layer, that has different capabilities from other layer types.

most bento head & body brands are now BOM friendly, you will need either an update to your body/head or a relay (more about using BOM & a BOM relay in the tutorial here).

why is Bakes-On-Mesh so great?

1. with BOM enabled mesh, you can wear up to forty-two (42. FORTY. TWO! (EDIT: there are some reports of up to 62 layers, will test & update (UPDATE: the fabulous Izzie tested for science and 62 layers are indeed possible))) layers at the same time. say buh-bye to choosing between brows on fleek or that highlighter glow. you can have both now, and thensome.

2. no alpha glitch from alpha attachments like hair or eyelashes, and no alpha glitch between your layers either. stack those tattoos and fishnet stockings up, babes!

3. with the addition of a new system layer, called Universal layer, skins, tattoos & clothing can be created & worn with 2 different designs on each arm now! there are many more possibilities for the Universal layer as well, I am interested to see what creative uses people come up with.

4. less fiddling with complicated applier HUDs. good for customers, and great for designers. building applier HUDs is a time consuming process, being rid of the majority of appliers will allow creators to focus instead on offering more options & larger variety!

5. better compatibility from your skin, eye, tattoo, makeup & clothing layers across different brands of bodies & heads. WARNING: the uv of each brand of head/body/eyes differs, sometimes slightly, sometimes a lot. demo before purchase to make sure the fit is right!

6. BOM works with alpha layers, so no need to be restricted with the built-in alpha sections included with your mesh body & head. EDIT: the ability for bakes-on-mesh to work with alpha layers depends on how the mesh was made to be BOM compatible. for example, the Slink Redux bodies were fully optimized to be used with BOM natively and can be used with alpha layers. bodies & heads that use a BOM relay probably haven't been properly optimized yet and still require the use of the included alpha slot HUDs.

7. reduced lag & avatar complexity. since all BOM system layers are compressed & applied onto 1 single layer, this reduces complexity, but it also means the need for multiple onion layers is largely unnecessary. if mesh body & head creators update and remove all or most of the onion layers from their mesh, that will lower complexity & lag further.

8. EDIT: another bonus of returning to system layers instead of using HUDS is you won't have to worry about forgetting what tone or brand of skin you're wearing or what the name is of the applier your favorite eyeshadow is in. you can simply go to the worn outfit tab and see the name of the layers you are wearing. this also means you can once again save outfits with customized skin & makeup again, no more saving individual copies of your customized mesh head/body for each outfit, or saving the outfit with all your HUDS attached and reapplying everytime you switch!

9. EDIT: assuming you're using BOM with system layers made from a newer texture (about 5 or so years ago Second Life doubled the size of texture uploads from 512 to 1024 pixels, which means newer textures can have twice as much detail & clarity as older/smaller textures), the quality is exactly the same as non-HD appliers made with the same texture.

another problem that might cause lower resolution textures while using BOM is the bug that causes baked textures to go blurry while in edit appearance/outfit mode, and pop back into normal resolution once exited. this bug has been reported and a fix is coming, eventually.

are there any drawbacks to Bakes-On-Mesh?

1. as with any new feature, there is a learning curve (tutorial here), a time delay in creators updating/creating compatible content, and the potential for further changes & bugs (at the moment of posting, if applying BOM system layers to mesh that is not materials enabled, the baked layers disappear/turn gray when Advanced Lighting Model is turned on). patience is a virtue, baby!

2. limited compatibility with appliers. this one largely depends on the creator of your mesh body & head, and the method they chose to make their mesh BOM compatible. if at least one onion layer is left, appliers can be worn on top of BOM system skins & makeups etc. however, BOM system layers cannot be worn on top of applier skins. if you want to use BOM system layer makeup, tattoos, clothing, etc., you will need a BOM system layer skin. many skin designers are already including BOM system layers in new releases, and working hard to offer updates for older skins (read the policies regarding #ADORED BOM updates here).

3. not everything is compatible with BOM system layers, and will still require HUDs to apply. HD lips like those included with Catwa & Genus (EDIT: and now Lelutka Evo.), the lashes built into mesh heads, nail polish appliers for the nails built into mesh hands, and materials shine will all require appliers to use still.

4. unless the creator includes an image of all the options, there isn't the same visual that a HUD provides. also instead of multiple options being condensed into a single HUD, they will all be on individual layers, meaning a larger inventory.

5. BOM system layers do not have the ability to have their opacity changed. responsibility will fall on the creator to offer different opacity options for their BOM system layers. UPDATE: I submitted a feature request to the Second Life Jira, the ability to change select system layer opacity is officially being considered!

6. BOM system layers can also not be set to have glow effects.


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