Controversy, Bento & What heads are coming soon!

Hi Maddicts,

Today I’ve had a few RL things going on, so I decided (as I often do) to take some time out and just surf the web, look at facebook, check out Plurk and just generally distract myself from it all – because hey, when reality gives you a headache, the internet is there to distract!

I was really… well I don’t want to say ‘disappointed’…. but yeah disappointed (lol) in some of the comments I’ve seen floating around about Bento. It seems like right now, half of SL is in uproar about Bento mesh heads and having to pay for them, and though I don’t usually delve too much into SL drama, I wanted to comment on this because it actually really bothered me.

Second Life is a very unique world in the sense that it is created by users – you, me, designers and other creators. This takes time and endless amounts of talent to do, and we’re so fortunate to have amazing creators who have made mesh bodies, mesh heads and mesh just about everything else you can think of! I want to make one thing clear – it’s not just as simple as making a mesh head bento compatible. You need to rig to the bones, determine the weight those bones should be for the shape of head you’re making, and of course, make sure the weights are clean enough that when you increase your lip size, your lips increase – but your nose doesn’t go with it! Then you have re-scripting of the head, and creating brand new animations in a completely different format to what has been used for mesh heads in the past. By now, it’s been weeks/months or however long it takes… and then you’re paying upload fees, paying commission or fees to Omega if you’re making it Omega compatible (no, that’s not free) and so forth.

We’ve been fortunate with mesh bodies that creators have used a ‘buy it then we update for free’ process in most cases, because if you think about it, you paid $10-$20 a year ago for a product, and you’ve been given free improvements/additions/updates for the product, which has taken creators lots of time to do, for free! Personally, I’d be happy to pay an annual fee to maintain my mesh body, just to help support the creators and keep them able to make products for us – but that’s my (very unpopular) view haha.

My point here is simple really – without making money, creators just wouldn’t be able to spend the time they do making items that we love, because they wouldn’t have the time. We all need money to survive, and trust me I get that it’s scarce, but don’t forget – you don’t have to have a bento head/hands/whatever. Your existing items will work just fine no matter what 🙂

Okay rant over! In the picture today, I’m wearing two new mesh heads – and I want to talk about those AND what’s happening with some of your favourite brands and bento!!


Natasha by Murray (Update coming soon)

This mesh head isn’t so much new as now updated (release coming soon!). It’s not bento (yet), but the head has been improved to include animations, blinking and talking animations, addition skin and makeup options and much more. Here are some quick details, though I’ll do a full review once the bento update is out!

  • Cost – 990L for the blank mesh head (that is, has all the animations and HUD etc, but no skin). Texture/Skin packs are L$490 which will include a HUD with 5 brows options, the default eyes, default mouth and nose in alpha versions so you can mix and match with other texture packs, and 3 blush options.  The “complete” pack including the mesh head + 1 face texture + 2 make-up packs (lipstick and eyeshadow) costs 1980L if you prefer to do it that way.
  • Animations – 8 full face animations, plus 3 eye only animations (open, partially open and closed). Talk animation option included.
  • Lashes – 3 lashes included with mask mode option.
  • Ability to hide ears and/or teeth

Gianni Head by Signature

Yay for men’s mesh heads! This is a new mesh head for men that will also be updated to bento in due course. I really quite like this head, even though it currently doesn’t have any animations, it’s still quite a versatile mesh head (even if I couldn’t find eyelashes which made it look a bit odd lol). Again, I’m waiting for bento before doing a full review of this one, but here are the deets:

  • Cost – 3,000L
  • Omega compatible out of the box, no installer/relay required
  • Skin tones – 12 skin tones, plus the ability to choose a level of maturity which I love (young, middle aged and older)
  • Ability to input your own texture using UUID on 5 layers (great for those who like to mod and use their own textures)
  • Hairbase, Beard and eyebrow options.
  • 3 eye animation options (open/closed/partially open)
  • Ability to hide ears if you use different types of ears.

Damon by GA.EG (Coming soon)

I haven’t seen this one yet as it’s still in development, but I wanted to share this with you guys out there waiting for bento mesh heads!
GA.EG - DAMON New BENTO Mesh Head - Coming Soon

Eva by Genesis Labs (Coming soon)

Another one I haven’t seen yet, but just so you know it’s coming 😉
Eva Bento Genesis Lab.

Simone by Lelutka (Release date not set yet)

This one will be super exciting….. LELUTKA IS GOING TO BE OMEGA COMPATIBLE IN BENTO FORM (to what extent I’m not sure)!!! They have announced that past heads won’t be updated, but those who purchased Simone would recieve a 2500L rebate upon purchase of Simone bento version. More info in the image below by Lelutka.
https://gyazo.com/cf4bfc35b19d7b668e6840c637822d67

That’s it for today Maddicts!

<3 Daria

Dario’s wearing:
Mesh Body – Gianni by Signature
Mesh Head – Gianni Head by Signature
Skin – Gianni skin by L’Etre (Available at Signature event)
Hair – Dura-Boy 73 by Dura (Available at TMD)
Coat – Admiral Pea Coat by Deadwool (Available at Signature event) – Includes Signature size
Pants – Hideo formal trouser by Ascend (Available at Signature event) – Includes Adam, Slink, Signature & TMP size

I’m wearing:
Mesh Head – Natasha by Murray (non-bento mesh head) – COMING SOON
Mesh Body – Lara by Maitreya
Skin – Natasha SK20 by Murray
Make-up – Eyeliner Pack 1 by Murray
Hair – Cinnamon by Truth
Gown – Devika gown by Zaara (Available at Collabor88)Maitreya size

Pose – Let me take care of you by Rose & Thorn (Free Gift at 2nd Level event)

26 thoughts on “Controversy, Bento & What heads are coming soon!

  1. Totally Agree, I always say to people ok, convert what you are spending into real life divide that by the days sometimes weeks or months spent creating and working on this. Then tell me if the designer is charging too much for their amazing talent.

  2. You can see the same thing in RL too. People buy software and expect free updates for life. Never mind that the developer, or an entire team, has spent the better part of a year on new features, improvements, etc. I think it’s just a human problem. The psychology of digital goods is tricky.

  3. You dont pay 20 dollars for a bento mesh head since catwa give you for free so if people wants complain have more reason than you. They may wrong,may nope and i dont see nothing bad with that.
    Your post come in good time after someone comment expensive CATWA Catya Animations HUD on youtube… is this your way to get hud animation for free? lol
    shrugs!

  4. If you can’t afford it, don’t buy it and complain about the price. I used to build small cottages, between 50-70 prims pre-Mesh, but when Mesh came in, the learning curve was so steep and the software was at a price I couldn’t afford it. I wanted to have fun with SL, not make it a job. It took me a lot of time for me to build something pre-Mesh, plus buy the texture and sculpties, plus checking around to make sure what I wanted to do, hadn’t been done yet. The fun part was seeing something in RL or SL, and putting my own twist on it. More often than not, my final product was far from what I envisioned. They are still in my inventory awaiting revision–mostly to tear apart and put back together or lower the wall heights(and probably have to alter everything else to look right. But if anyone wants a non-Mesh cottage/small house contact Lune Shadow. Glad to show you what I used to do–my takes on Medieval/Tudor, Victorian Steampunk, etc.

  5. This is what I posted on Facebook the other day after watching so many whine about the cost:

    I found it abhorrent that this argument was conducted in the Catwa chat a few days ago. The chat is for support and I couldn’t get any because there were so many whingers (Aussie slang) complaining about the OPTIONAL cost. I cannot afford the other 5k either but it is an OPTION. I have worked on a 3D program and worked on animations and for $20USD that is cheap. Catwa is not charging us for every hour she has worked on all the heads. Catwa has worked very hard as does any other designer to bring us affordable beautiful heads. Thank you Catwa. for your hard work.

  6. Agree with above posts. Though it would be interesting to see how many hours that was put into say the existing Catwa Bento head for an example.

  7. As for how many hours one would put, it depends – it is a case of re-rigging and re-animating. Been in a rigging and fitmesh learning spree for a month and it is just to convert things for myself. Rigging for Bento is not more complicated just adds bones, so you have to re-arrange but animations are totally horrid for anything.

    Am surprised people complain about that and not something else. Recently SL was very into steep prices and mesh heads were always in that territory. You still can use system faces and I assume they will be more dynamic.

  8. Well I think it is fully normal to pay for an item you buy.
    I don’t expect things for free but I do think it should be a balance.

    SOME mesh designers really overcharge for their items, in comparison with the work they put in and how often it gets updated (TMP *coughs*).

  9. I have lots of mesh heads and I don’t expect that I will get an update on them for Bento. Of course it would be nice, but I don’t expect it. I work in a call centre for a cell phone company and I tell you people don’t even want to pay their cellphone bills.

    No one should expect to get a bento head or anything for that matter in SL for free. I don’t make things in second life I pay for them because I don’t want the headache. And I am willing to pay money for these body parts.

    • Same with a little difference… I won’t have an headache, I’m just unable to do anything close to what designers do in SL 😉
      That said, even if I’ll pay for stuff in SL, I have limits. And if my limits lead me to look like a pre sculpties noob SL toon in a few years… well.. that’s sad but I’ll be.
      Or maybe I’ll have to find a sugga daddy?

  10. So, I have no problem with paying, but does that mean I can jump up and down yelling, “I want it now!” ?

    looking forward to see what develops. 🙂

  11. Hi MBA,

    Any news coming down the pipeline of any Bento compatible mod perm enabled heads? That’s what I’m really looking for, myself.

  12. This is apparently an unpopular view and I’ll probably be slaughtered by the few who think an opposing opinion is a bad thing, but I don’t think the designer should hike up the price, then offer a discount for a head that you already paid for and they advertised as an “update” later in their advertising. The sole reason I bought Simone was because the advertising implied it was the only head they would be updating to Bento. I did not realize that meant I would have to pay twice for the same head. I also paid far less than the $5,000L that they are charging for a rerigged head they created over a year ago. The discounted price is more than the price of the original head. I don’t mind a small fee to update your head, but I do mind if you are gouged for it. Therefore, I will probably never update to Bento compatible heads. The prices right now are too high for my limited budget (I only get so much each month and, no, I don’t care to be belittled for that limited budget) and I believe in SL if you advertise something, that is what you deliver. Having the advertisement that it’s the “only Bento compatible” head in the store so people will buy it and then reinging on that is a turn off. Misleading advertising is why you have complaints now.

  13. Hi,
    I tryed latest Bento mesh head from Lelutka and i think it’s good compromise to make an update at half price if you have already the version only it’s big update i mean, like Bento now.
    I wear Belleza Body and i hope an update for Bento Body because i realy love it.
    I often wear the light version but if we have and update we could have some animes hands and foot lighter for ARC, i try to be pretty but not greedy with servers resourses.
    I’m ready to paid half price for an update but until now i wait and Bento is on beginning.
    Happy holidays.

  14. Alright Ladies,
    I will go ahead and play devil’s Advocate cause I feel their are points you are flatly missing. While reading Ms Daria’s rant their I see plenty from what I would say is 1/3 of the creators on SL. Given that its only 1/3 and the other 2/3 of the creators for SL can be divided up as ether Scammers or Creators making the products cause they want to, and if they make money its a bonus. The other side that your failing to see is the side of the customer, and your argument that we the customers only allowed to enjoy SL cause of content made by the creators. Yet it should be noted without said customers they wouldn’t be making anything. Look its a symbiotic relationship and one side can’t exist without the other. Now for the griping on the updates some of it I can see, and agree with and I will give you an example. If I buy the Gayline Hugo head then they release an bento updated version also called Gaeline Hugo but tell me I have to buy the update. I will flatly won’t bother with then and its sells as a result will plumit. Mostly cause of other shoppers that came to same conclusion, why would I pay for update to a line that has been givin to for free. On the other hand I also see them griping why I have to buy the said Daemon head when I already bought the hugo one. Shouldn’t I get that new daemon head for free, which I will happily tell them to grow up cause the daemon head is an entirely new and different product, not an update! Now as for free updates its accepted because it works, and when they force you to pay for updates those products die. Good example was the signature first edition bodies each update required you to pay full price for it, because of this the and some the design flaws those bodies had their sales where very, very low! Now if my Gianni body i had to pay for each update (by the way Signature releases body updates very frequently) I would have spent more $150 US on that body. Sorry but that don’t sit well with me ladies!

  15. While I do understand where creators are coming from, trust me I’m a maker RL and people can be infuriating about prices. All these “updates” are bug fixes for the most part, few actual features. Now with software and many other things bug fixes are on the creator. If I 3d print a model for someone and a piece doesn’t fit quite right, I don’t charge them to fix the stuff I made and sold to them if its a bug from manufacturing (In the case of a mesh body clipping crashing the viewer or similar things). Blizzard entertainment for example supported Diablo 2 for a decade after release they worked on fixes till a few months before the third iteration of the game came out. And they do on going support of the game, and you do not pay for it. Now before you all grump at me if there is a feature update for a mesh body or head yes you should have to pay for that, and hence I agree with paying for a new head which I got the bento head as my first (OMG the change is mind blowing from the system) And yes if she comes out with a huge update that changes the heads features I would pay for that. But there is zero reason that bug fixes should EVER be charged for. Something you have to think about is a lot of people don’t understand the difference between LL updating their stuff and creators building things as a result. Maybe drop the angst and explain that, that there is a HUGE difference between the heads. Have a good day 😀

    • Oh and one other thing subscription models rarely do well, ask Adobe, Microsoft, skads of MMO’s and some of the loot box type things. They work good for a while, but as the person above my comments said spending hundreds in real money, no, Id pass as well, because the L in the end is $ Again have a great day! 😀

      • Yes fair point about the subscription models – in relation to the bug fixes though, most mesh body releases are feature additions (I totally agree the product should be supported bug-wise at no cost). I’m not sure about the angst comment – Part of what I was doing was explaining the difference in bento vs traditional mesh heads to help users understand. Merry Christmas!

  16. It’s just a shame ‘all that talent’ couldn’t create something that’s at least attractive – and if not attractive, then give us the option to modify the things ourselves so WE can do something about it.

    I’m sorry, but most of these bento/mesh heads and hands things are downright ugly and don’t allow ‘mod’. I’m certainly not going to pay an arm and a leg for someone else’s misguided idea of ‘attractive’.

  17. Interesting post. My friend has a Bento head and I was finally able to see it via Firestorm. I am forced to use Alchemy because SL won’t continue to upgrade overall with Macs in mind. The further along we go, the farther behind we Mac users are…lag being the biggest and most obvious issue. But I have a question; You spoke about what designers do to make products. Is there any special reason why they cannot make a round of normal baseline things? How about a simple mesh t-shirt for a guy? I know there are a few out there but (ahem) how about a normal t-shirt? How about a normal haircut? Something that is humble and simple. Why isn’t there any normal AOs? I just want to stand there – look normal – act normal – wearing a normal t-shirt. Look at “Damon” that you posted above. What in the hell? How did we get this far already in mesh without making just a freaking normal guy who looks normal and stands there with normal hair but looks real! It’s not happening. Normal clothes – normal everything. It’s so depressing sometimes…for a “normal” guy.

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