show #152: mesh heads

show #152.jpg
show #152

we talk mesh heads, bento mesh heads, avatar identity and where the train is headed in second life and elsewhere >>> why do we enjoy playing dress up? is second life turning into zombie land like real life due to lifeless mesh barbies?


you be the judge:

more info on all we talks about is below:


  • music today by frank zappa and da mokettes = palolo valley girls
  • random pic of palolo valley just to complete the metaphor:

palolo valley.jpg

  • new edu vr tech looks like sl ca 2005:

  • the bunnies are dead and we will talk about them in a week or so:

  • coming MONDAY = a new drax files on arduenn – teaser below:
  • the song over the outro section is of course zappa’s “conehead”:

the drax files radio hour [with jo yardley] is a weekly production of basicdrax entertainment.

the show is supported by time portal, slartist, warbug, bay city you know for kids, zero-one heavy industries corporation, hextraordinary, ionic, maven homes, gizza creations, botanical, strawberry singh, abranimations, aeros avatars, kahruvel design, the cube republic, {what next}, landscapes unlimited, fallen gods incorporated and death row designs.

thumbnail by justin esparza

contact the show via skype draxfiles, avatar draxfiles or email

17 Comments Add yours

  1. Sorry about all the heavy breathing lol, but thanks for having me on! Great show!

    1. draxfiles says:

      I have to get a new plugin filter to prevent just your breathing 🙂

      1. LOL oh God, you have to get a whole plugin for me! I promise next time I’ll use my asthma puff BEFORE I get on air with you!

  2. Medhue says:

    I sell a Lip sync feature for bento heads which use speech gestures to make your mouth move with voice. They should work with most bento head, even non human bento avatars. As far as eyes, I never really understood why so many don’t like the system eye movement. I almost never manually animated the eyes, unless the animation specifically requires it. A quick note about eyes – Mesh eyes are technically many times better than system eyes. Why? Well, with mesh, we have materials. An important part about eyes is that their smoothness, or specularity is very high. By adding a high amount of speculaity, mesh eyes can look many times more real than the system eyes.

    1. draxfiles says:

      i am gonna go shopping ! ! ! !

  3. StudentOfLife says:

    There were many good points about how the individual user want to portray themselves. Just like RL there is a vast variety in what one thinks is beautiful and how one wants to be seen. I suppose the “Barbie” concept is valid, but I have always disliked the term because I feel it lessens the importance of the experience and the user. As children many of us cut Barbie’s hair right out the box, individualizing her ourselves, just like our avatars. But but she was just a doll. Avatars can represent much more than that. I believe that many avatars in SL represent the inner self, the side no-one sees, the conscience on display. As far as mesh heads, I do not yet own one. I suppose I am waiting, like many others, to see the price go down and the makers smooth out all the technological aspects. It is exciting to see the changes. But we must remember…there will always be those who stick to one look, flexi-prims, sculpties, original avatars or one avatar that speaks to them and their chosen portrayal…so let us “judge” not, lest we be judged. Thank you Drax for another informative and lighthearted discussion about all things SL. I will not judge your avatar!

  4. Medhue says:

    Allow me to explain some things about bento and animating the avatar in general. The head moving with the mouse or responding to others, can be adjusted by which bone you are allowing to use the system. So, if the head seems to move too far, then you can Lock, or animate the neck. In this case, now the neck is no longer controlled by the system, hence limiting how far the head can turn. With no animation at all, the torso, chest, neck, and head will respond to your mouse or others. Almost every avatar and animaton I make for avatars includes some head mouse movement, even the animals.

    Another point to make is that with bento bones, especially in the face, there needs to be animation playing on them at all time, or the bones will snap into place when an animation plays. So, Bento bones, especially in the face, should work very similarly to the how the stands work by randomly playing different subtle face movement. Take note that I’m saying they “should”, and of course, not everyone is going to listen to me, lol. All of my bento avatars, I have numerous face animations playing all the time. Just look at my wolf, with it’s extreme face animation being it licking it’s face and nose randomly.

    The final point I’ll make about the Bento heads is that the creators are handcuffed with the limitations inherent in how bento was created. In order to have the slider support that Bento heads have, creators, like myself, can not move bones, but only rotate them. I talked about this extensively at the Bento meetings. A real face does express itself by rotating a bone. A real face uses mostly muscles to create the expressions. Muscles don’t generally rotate things, but they move the position of your face features. We could mimic this almost exactly by using bone translation, but we can not, if we want to use as many sliders as possible. So, what does this mean for Bento heads? Well, it means that some human expressions just can’t be done. It also means that ALL facial expressions will not be that realistic.

    All that said, with my non human avatars, I abandon the no bone translation theory to get more sliders, and I just move the bones however I want to get as close to a real life expression as possible. With this way, I still get a decent amount of sliders working, but the quality of the expression far surpassed what any Bento Human head using the most sliders can do.

  5. drfran says:

    Mesh heads? What I want to know is when I can buy the Drax Edition War Bug.

    1. draxfiles says:

      The time will come when it is available :))))

  6. Willow says:

    I established my preferred avatar in 2005 or 2006 and used basically the same with a modified Classic or System one until January 2017. I tried a mesh heads in late 2014 (before Bento) but because I looked like some sort of stiff cookie cutter design so I went back to my modified Classic Avatar.

    That changed in early 2017 with Bento heads. I could make it my own with all the appearance sliders that LL added. Now I’m completely mesh. Sure it is different and there is a learning curve for wearing mesh clothing but it is so much better.

    Finding a good male mesh body and head is more complicate. But both my SL husband and I love his mesh look.

    1. StudentOfLife says:

      Nice! You encourage me to try a change.

      1. Willow says:

        It’s different than the one size fits all so it takes some getting used to. So don’t be discouraged and keep at it. Also getting the free demo and trying it out is now more important. Good luck if I can help just IM me. I’ll friend you next time I’m in world.

  7. Willow says:

    agg 2005 or 2006

  8. John says:

    Reblogged this on KULTIVATE MAGAZINE and commented:
    Check out a new Drax Files Radio Hour, this time about Bento heads.

  9. Willow says:

    Reblogged this on Whooshing around the metaverse and commented:
    Mesh heads are what revived my interest in SL. Before the Bento mesh heads my interest was falling.

  10. Willow says:

    Reblogged this on with the comment Bento mesh heads are what revived my interest in SL.

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