Mesh Head/Body Survey Results 2016

Hi MAddicts,

First of all, a huge thank you to (left to right) Calli Carlucci, Rioki Feldragonne, Whimsical Aristocrat and Keeley Snowfall for being my fighting models for this shoot! The poses from this shot come from this round of Collabor88 by Le Poppycock (Catfight series). The girls are wearing (note only the information they felt comfortable sharing is detailed below):
Calli – Body: TMP Basic; Head: Sadie by LOGO; Makeup: Tears/Eyeshadow/Lipstick by Izzie’s; Shirt: Trisha by R.icielli; Thong: The Boutique from TheShops. Various piercings from Punch.
Rioki – Body: Slink Physique Hourglass body; Tank top by Goji and Conie shorts by Blueberry
Whims – Body: Lara by Maitreya; Head: Jessica by CATWA; Classic sheer teddy by (fd)
Keeley – Body: Belleza; Revival Military Jacket by Addams; Heart Top by Addams; Lola shorts by Blueberry.

Now, before I get into the survey results – in case you haven’t heard, LOGO’s Sadie mesh head has been updated for Omega, so if you own her go and get a redelivery in store!

Now, on to the reason we’re all here…

The moment you’ve all been waiting for is here – the results of the 2016 Mesh Body/Head Survey! All be told, over 1,500 of you participated in the Survey, so I want to say a huge thank you to all of you for taking the time to have your thoughts heard. The Polls are an important part of what I do here on my blog – more important than I even I realised at first. Last year I started putting little ‘what are you wearing?’ polls on the sidebar of this page – but after a few months I decided to discontinue doing it – because really people are answering the same question over and over, and most people don’t switch bodies like underwear (like me).

When I took the polls down however, the outcry from designers was VERY loud – it turns out they’ve been watching the polls to get a general idea of what bodies are most popular in the fitmesh market. It’s an imperfect science of course, but some indication is better than none. So with all that in mind, I decided to put the polls back AND do a big annual survey that will enable us to track trends (as much as possible, anyway).

The Survey

A few things about the survey first. The survey was shared on my blog, through my various social media outlets (Facebook, Plurk etc) and in both my SL group and some other various SL groups.

Also please note approximately 18 entries were discarded as being from the same IP address (meaning the same person was doing the survey multiple times).

The Results

Some questions such as ‘do you use a mesh body’ were used only so that I could identify the mesh body users in the survey and therefore identify any data skewing. This question itself won’t provide an indicative answer of the take up of mesh bodies (and I’m pretty sure there are still more non-mesh bodied users than mesh bodied users), because it’s unlikely these users would a) follow my blog or social media and b) bother doing a mesh body survey.

I asked this question about gender identification purely for statistical purposes when correlating the other data in the survey, because most bodies are classified ‘male’ or ‘female’ – however SL has an amazing non-human or non-gender-specific population that I didn’t want to exclude either. For these users particularly, I may do another survey down the track to identify what they are using.

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Note – all bodies listed that received a zero response were removed from the results to save space. All remaining participants responded that they did not wear a mesh body. As far as accuracy goes, I would say this is a fairly accurate result (all things considered). Maitreya is a very clear market leader with SLink and Belleza fighting it out for second place for the moment. What I will be interested to see is what happens to these figures if/when TMP finally release a designer mesh kit, thus allowing the more popular clothing/accessory designers to create for the TMP body.

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Now this I found interesting – whilst a vast majority of men still don’t wear mesh bodies, of those that do, Slink Physique for men is becoming more popular than TMP. This is no doubt due to TMP’s incompatibility with standard fitmesh and the fact that there’s no quality fitmesh available for it (that isn’t made by TMP themselves).

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The female responses to the mesh head question didn’t surprise me – Catwa is still leading in the mesh head department, very closely followed by Lelutka and LOGO.

What did surprise me was how few men have taken up mesh heads. 66 of the 135 male respondants said they don’t use a mesh head, and those that do largely use TMP mesh head (29) followed by Catwa (16), Samurai (8) then Adam (7).

Finally, on to the last few questions…

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Now a few of you asked me about these two questions (especially the ‘most important feature’ question). Yes, I know there are so many things to consider when choosing a mesh body, but I made you choose one specifically for a reason. To me, when you have the ability to ‘rate’ or select multiple options, you often don’t give a true answer as your ‘first’ priority, because other factors weigh into your decision making (eg. ‘Should I answer Omega as first then, so more designers will add Omega compatibility, even though my first response is really fitmesh availability’) and so forth. So I made you choose one!

I wasn’t really surprised that the availability of fitmesh clothing for a mesh body is a primary influence to be honest. Most of us who have used mesh bodies since they were first released know that there’s nothing more painful than fighting with standard mesh trying to clothe your body. This is, I believe, why the alpha cuts came second in the survey answers. It’s all about fitting into clothing, and wearing items we feel good in, at the end of the day. This does have quite a number of connotations for designers of bodies as well, which is something I’ll talk about at a later date.

Now to wrap this all up, I asked the question about standard sizing and if you use it. This  is a question that I know many clothing designers want to know the answer to, because of course the more bodies you create for (and each of the ‘standard sizes’ is like a body itself) the more workload involved. What DID surprise me was that nearly half of mesh body users surveyed don’t wear anything other than fitmesh, because I honestly thought more mesh body users were still playing with standard mesh. The big take away from this one is that a quarter of mesh body users still want standard sizing included – with the other 3/4 either not caring, or not using it at all. Food for thought!

Well that’s all for now MAddicts, up next is Weekly Fitmesh Finds!

<3 Daria

36 thoughts on “Mesh Head/Body Survey Results 2016

  1. I’ve noticed a lot more designers only making stuff for Maitreya. This reason is why I wear Maitreya more than the others I have. Makes me wonder if there is some kind of business deal happening behind the scenes.

    • This is an interesting theory haha. I’m afraid it’s not true though, but I can see how you’d think that from the outside. The reason designers are releasing for Maitreya primarily is simply the number of users – there’s no loyalty in the sense that if another body comes along and takes SL by storm, they’ll all stop creating for Maitreya and create for that instead 🙂

    • I just wanted to add that I went to Maitreya simply because things fit better. I have tried them all by the way. What I do not like about Maitreya is the lack of resizing feet. As for heads, I prefer Genesis. Simple answer to that is versatility and aesthetics. The noses are diverse, the selection is amazing, and the makeup and accessories are endless and interchangeable. I would be glad to model.

  2. First…GREAT photo of woman wrestling. You girls were having fun.
    WOW, you did the statistics (lots of work), thanks for that. Interesting reading.
    And Jena…..not a conspiracy, just like Daria polled, more people using ML avi so they make more clothes for her. Pure economics.

  3. Sadly it seems Mod mesh bodies are not on great demand, i wonder if due to the fact that most users are not builders themselves or don’t care about Arc at all.

    • I think that the quality of the aesthetics matter more to people than moddability, sadly, and I admit that for myself this is true. We put up with a lot of no-mod crap just to have nice looking things.

    • They’ll start caring a LOT about Avatar Complexity soon (remember ARC doesn’t even exist anymore – if your viewer is showing you ARC its showing you data not relevant to the current code in SL).

      One of the project viewers, the Quick Graphics viewer, is designed to reduce lag by hiding people around you that have too high of an Avatar Complexity. It works wonders for preventing crashes and reducing lag by simply turning all those laggy people into single color blobs.
      And it will also tell you how many people around you can’t see you because you are too laggy.

      A LOT of people are going to start finding out that the a lot of other people can’t even see them, once this code hits the main viewer and then makes it way down to the very behind-the-curve Firestorm.

      And when that happens, people will start looking for mod alternatives or just flat out dropping brands that are laggy (I could name some of them, and on my own blog I think I have in past. There’s really only one major brand that is consistently extremely bad on lag, and it is thankfully not one of the top brands).

      The above said… the only actual ‘major brand’ mesh body that is by itself laggy is also a Mod body, who’se users mostly know this and know how to remove the laggy parts…

      So this is really just an issue for the fashion and not the bodies.

      As for chosing a body based on the clothing available: that is not what I personally do because I want a body that lets me make a shape I like and has good avatar physics.

      Belleza is one of only two bodies that does avatar physics well (Lena is the other)… and I use Freya because even though it is pear shaped, you can adjust the dials to make it hourglass shaped (and it does a better hourglass than slink’s).

      Most of the bodies out there though – all have similar enough shapes that this choice wouldn’t matter. If you liked the look of Isis, classic Slink, TMP, Lena Perky, or Eve slim – there’s no reason to NOT use Maitreya (unless you don’t like the physics) because these are all similar enough that you can recreate similar looks with all of them.
      – Which is probably why Isis lags slightly behind Freya among Belleza users.

  4. Surprised to see such a low count for TMP as it seemed to be very popular in previous polls. I think the lack of clothes and the business model hurts TMP, but not sure it would make more people buy it if development opens up with ML, B, and S so far ahead in the market at this stage.

    • Honestly, I was more surprised by how low the numbers were for physique. TMP is soooo expensive and not user friendly in the slightest. I wouldn’t be surprised if several of those Maitreya users have the TMP and opted for an easier to use body. With so many other good options out there, it isn’t worth the hassle of figuring out the store, the steep price and the body.

    • I don’t think TMP’s biggest problem is its lack of clothing, but its HUD system. It’s clear they tried to make something different and original (a good idea, in theory) but what they ended up creating is something so complicated and awkward and unintuitive that using the body (not to mention shopping for it) is an absolute chore.

      I’d bet that the only reason TMP was ever popular is because it was the first decent looking option. I definitely don’t think it’ll ever be popular again unless they completely abandon their HUD system in favor of something more traditional.

      I’d bet anything that if their male heads worked with non-TMP bodies (the female heads do, but not the male ones) the percentage of men using the TMP body would drop off very significantly very quickly.

  5. It sucks to be male in SL honestly. Not enough stuff for them since women Avis dominate the market….heck obviously majority don’t even use Mesh bodies….but on my main and alt I like using my TMP and EPOS bodies respectively mostly because it can be modified to give me a lot of booty lol least both bodies do ^_^ lol Slink is trying there but it’s just not what I’m looking for honestly even though it’s way more of an open system…heck so is EPOS, they just need to fix up their Omegas a bit by adding a clear layers option and I’m good to go ^.^

  6. I believe you made a mistake by automatically eliminating all survey responses that came from one IP address. You overlook the facts that there can be more than one SL member in a household, and SL members with more than one avi who wears a mesh body/head. I, for instance, have three alts with three different mesh bodies, and answered the survey accordingly.

    • Hey Cee – I see your point for sure. The eliminated answers were actually from a respondant who gave the same answers to each question each time they submitted, making me think it was either an error (ie. possibly a webpage issue so they kept going back and resubmitting) or done for a personal reason. Either way the responses were identical 🙂

      • I know I’ve clicked the survey more than once before – so it makes sense to eliminate multiple entries for some cases.

        On the other hand I do have 5 copies of Belleza Freya as I have 5 alts. 🙂

  7. almost (and I do say ALMOST) any mesh body can be used with most non-fit mesh too, IF you’re willing (and know how) to make multiple copies of your shape (remember ALWAYS hit save as not just save) but even some of the fitmesh expect all avatars to be flat chested and have no butt or hips. I think TMP did themselves in when they tried to make it so EVERYTHING for their heads and bodies had to be bought through them. It was a bad move at the time and it still is. A lot of people don’t buy mesh bodies or heads because they ‘don’t want to look like clones’ what they forget is the secret is in the shape UNDER the fitted mesh head and body. It’s going to conform to you far more than it’s going to make you look like it. (the only one I had that problem with was Slink Original, it just would not go curvy for me. The hourglass makes me happy though. ) I do wonder too if there Maitreya only stuff is a behind closed doors thing going on, though in a few cases, it’d be nice if those exclusives ACTUALLY fit the Maitreya body correctly.

    I’d have been horrible for your survey, I’m an early adopter and have pretty much all of the above except the mens stuff and the EVE stuff. 😀

  8. Thank you so much for running the polls and compiling all of this data, Daria!

    The results are not surprising, but what is surprising is the fact that some people think it’s still a conspiracy that Maitreya is leading. I remember when I was thinking about switching to mesh, I was afraid to make the jump but Maitreya Lara came out and I fell in love with everything about it. Since that day, I have acquired other mesh bodies but I still use Maitreya Lara primarily. Belleza (favoring Freya) comes second, Slink (favoring Hourglass) third, and I never use my TMP body. It isn’t because I am anti-TMP (I own the deluxe body and all the deluxe heads, so I’ve certainly given them enough money to not be considered a hater) or even because of the lack of fitting clothing… It’s the HUD. I own a lot of skins and it’s the most gigantic pain in the ass to go through all the pages to find the skin I want to wear. Sometimes it’s even a guessing game because some skin designers use super vague images or the same image for multiple skins. The biggest thing I could request from TMP is for them to make the HUD searchable or at least have sub folders for each designer. I appreciate what they were trying to do with their HUD system but it just complicates things.

    Also, I was thinking about something else while writing this… The first mesh head I ever purchased was Slink Visage and it was less about the head and more about the skin. I wanted to make the switch from standard avatar and searched for a while through online images of mesh heads and skins. DeeTaleZ had released Laura for Visage and I fell in love! It took my breath away and really stood out to me as different. On top of that, I liked the fact that Visage had expressions when the other leading heads, TMP, did not. Just food for thought for mesh body and head creators! Having third party designers on board early can be the best advertisement for your product. I’m sure I’m not the only person to have purchased a mesh head because of a particular skin applier.

  9. I also love the picture for this post. – Great idea!

    I started with TMP, then switched to Maitreya Laura, because I prefer it’s shape and HUD system. Having the most popular mesh body is a huge bonus too, because more clothes made for it means more free and inexpensive clothes. I still remember how hard it was to find nice, inexpensive clothes for my TMP body.

    I use standard mesh and which ever fit mesh clothing works. I’m not locked into using just mesh clothes made for Maitreya Lara. Sometimes mesh clothes made for a specific body look good on a standard avatar too. One of my alts fits Slink Physique mesh clothes nearly perfectly.

  10. Great work, Daria! It’s not wholly surprising except in seeing some of the actual numbers of your users, to see just how far behind Belleza and Slink are from Maitreya is eye opening. The competition in the mesh head space is interesting too, it’s quite tight, tighter than I thought.

    As for the conspiracy theory… I think the issue is just time. There is so much work that goes into making one size of an outfit, when it comes to rigging, that having to make 10 sizes (5 standard plus Maitreya, 3 Belleza and 2 Slink) for the same amount of money taken in represents a loss to creators. They could have spent the time making more outfits, and being happier overall irl, even if they made a little less money per item because they didn’t bother to create for classic avatars, Belleza, Slink or TMP. Or any of the other bodies out there. It seems people wearing “other” bodies are stuck with appliers and standard sized mesh.

    To that end, I think that creators of alternative bodies probably need to network a bit to build up loyalty with certain clothing creators. If they made their own network for Eve, Lena, etc. there might be some traction. Exclusive special events once a month for alternate bodies, one to three sizes only, might be a good way to bring choice to the wearers of other bodies.

    • Belleza took way too long to do its major update that added the Isis and Freya bodies. They fell behind during this and I remember saying that would happen and being accused of assorted things by people who were not intelligent enough to understand that feedback is not the same as an attack on your fandom. If anything I was hoping to motivate that update to come out sooner…

      Things got even worse for Belleza when it started taking so long to get ‘approved’ to make clothing for it. I don’t know about right now, but last time I checked their form for this had been turned off because they were falling too far behind in submissions.

      Lets contrast this against Solarian – one of the most popular mesh bodies in SL that this website curiously never covers. Solarian came out with a notecard that had a URL to download your own blender file developer kit – no need to submit any forms or get any approval. Within a month of coming out Solarian was already seeing a wide variety of support from developers, and it now has a quite impressive collection of third party addons.

      Belleza hasn’t hurt itself as bad as TMP did (TMP approves almost no one to make addon content – the process is famously difficult and slow), but they did really kill a lot of their own customer base by being slow on updates and developer kits.
      – Much to my frustration as Belleza is my preferred body by a long stretch.

  11. I love your site, and I send my customers to it quite frequently. The survey was a bit surprising for me in regards to how much of a lead Maitreya has over the other mesh bodies, and that people think there could be a behind the scenes collaboration. As a designer I didn’t see this because I put all of my appliers in the same package, as well as most of the fitmesh I sell is for most the major bodies. So the work you do is so benefitial to customers and designers alike. <3.
    I too started getting mesh bodies pretty early on, I initally fell in love with my TMP body, however I hated the way you had to shop, and don't even get me started on the HUD system..grrrr. Then I fell in love with Maitreya, and it's still on the top of my list along with my newest mesh body The Hourglass, although I do also have Belleza Venus, Isis, Freya, Lena Perky, Slink Physique as well as the EVE..and love them all for different reasons. I also have a whopping 8 mesh heads, so this was a very difficult survey to do, because of only being able to choose one….lol.

    This is a great amount of work you have done, thank you so much Daria.

    • I suggest selling one moderately priced item in your collection separately for each body type to see for yourself which options your customers want. It has to be pricey enough that people will only buy the one(s) they actually intend to use, but not so much that it appears like you’re gouging the rare people that use more than one body.

      Do that, and your results will actually be a lot more useful than a survey.

  12. I will just make a small note and say that Ive seen a swing towards the Belleza .. Ive had people contact me on IMs asking about Belleza also Ive seen more activity on the Belleza group ( Belleza Mesh Body Users) mostly from new people that just got the body .. worth noticing.

    I know its hard for designers but if I was to only speak from a customers point of view then the choice of bodies are very personal. Of course as wel as the friendlyness of use factors into it. Honestly I think its really worth for designers to keep an eye on developement as more and more venture into using mesh bodies. As Daria rightly saya as it is atm tehre are still more non mesh body users in SL than the meshed up people but people are slowly buying and learning to use them and personally I have the Slink, TMP, Meitreya and Belleza. Not just on one account but nearly all my accounts. All depending what shape I have I found that different bodies fit better for some than others.
    Personal taste is a huge factor and I will always prefer Belleza over the others after using them for more than a year cos that body is simply my personal taste plus it has some advantages that other bodies dont have. If asked however I point to Darias blog everytime and tell people to demo the crap out of the different bodies cos not all are nutters enough to go buy that many bodies so its important that you(!) like the body you choose.

    Re the conspiracy theory aired above: Designers (sadly) have a lot of power over the use of bodies and when I see the exclusive sign I cant help being a little anoyed. I find it highly unfair towards other body designers that make some high quality bodies as well. That is one side of compertition I do not like at all. (Rant over for now lol )

  13. This is so interesting. As a TMP body user, I really don’t get the hype around the Maitreya body. When demo-ing bodies, I instantly fell in love with the TMP body. Sure, it’s more expensive but man, those curves are lovely! I guess if you’re into appliers, the HUD system can be confusing but I rarely use it. Most clothing does fit if you adjust your shape a bit. I save all my outfits, including an adjusted shape, so it makes it super easy to change. I do wish there were several more alpha cuts, especially in the chest area, but not a deal breaker.

    I think the TMP body can be very confusing and overwhelming at first, but super easy to use when you get used to it.

  14. Its interesting to see these results. Thanks for posting this.
    I wish I’d known about the survey when it was up so I could add my answers.

    For me I’ve always been a Belleza girl since I bought my first skin. I’ve tried other skins but they just never quite worked on my shape like Belleza did. When they came out with Venus, I rushed out to buy it. For me personally I love the Belleza Venus and Freya bodies and much prefer them over the others. I have the Maitreya and Slink bodies on alts and they all have their pro’s and cons.

    As for clothing, I use a mix of fitmesh and standard sizes and I have custom shapes that work with each. I prefer fitmesh now whenever I can get it. I’m also seeing a lot more designers supporting Belleza bodies which makes me a happy, happy girl.

  15. I’m new to the idea of a mesh body. Just started using the slink hands and feet only months ago. Even got mesh ears because why the heck not. I’m just finding that the mesh body seems more difficult to figure out then the ears, hands, and feet (slink makes it pretty easy with the hands and feet). I got the Lena lush body because I’ve always had a curvier avatar and it’s the one I liked the most out of the demos I have tried (plus can’t beat that price). I do like it but just finding it a little more complicated then I thought it would be. I also finding it hard to buy clothes for it. I know the omega is suppose to open those options but not a lot of stuff I’ve tried has been successful (could be doing something wrong). So, do designers and such only put time and effort into mesh bodies that are more popular then others? At least that is what I can tell so for since looking into all of this.

    • Hi Peach! The situation with designers creating fitmesh for mesh bodies is this – for each type of mesh body they rig their clothing for, it adds a lot of extra time in terms of rigging it, and that’s only if they have the mesh body kit to use in their 3d programs. Lena never released their developer kit for mesh creators, which is why you don’t see any fitmesh for it from designers other than Lena.

      In cases where designers do have the kit, the generally choose the most popular bodies at the time so that they can fit the most amount of people, given that making an item for 10 different mesh bodies each time and selling it for 250L or so would make their profits almost nothing 🙁

  16. Im a die hard belleza fan. I tried maitreya and the legs are the shape of a 12 year old boy. The booty goes straight down into the leg with no curve at all. Take a 360 view of your Avie and check out the shapeless legs. Belleza didn’t give out a dev kit as early as maitreya. So designers got a jump start on fit mesh for the maitreya body . I think you may see alot of folks jump the maitreya ship when designers start working on clothes for belleza.
    I also liked TMP body but its a bit spendy for most.
    Just my thoughts….

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