– Mesh body parts required, well… because this IS about a mesh body!
– Minimal spend look, just L$1!
Mesh bodies and heads have hit the grid in a big way over the past couple of years, but the one thing most of them have in common is that they’re flippin’ expensive! Not good when you’re trying to live an SL4Nowt-y kind of life, but I have a solution for you, and it’s the free mesh body by The Mesh Project.
The body is feature-limited (as you would expect from a free version of something that normally costs several thousands of L$!) but it comes with a lovely selection of skins, plus a free dress and three heights of feet. I’ve even found a pair of dollarbie heels on the Marketplace, which match the colours in the dress and work with the free version’s Style Mode HUD!
Here, Mar is wearing a combination of the Linden Lab default avatars ‘Shawna’ and ‘Maria’ (which we all have in our inventories). The colour match with the TMP skin tone is 99% perfect, which was a fabby surprise that I really wasn’t expecting!
(Note: The dark line down the inside of her arm in the following pic is a shadow, not a flaw in the body or its skin.)
Mar has teamed it with some gorgeous freebie jewellery by RealEvil:
And some great dollarbie heels for TMP Mid feet by Horacia Hoof of H.H. Designs:
Lastly, the hair in the first piccy (and the one below) is from Rezology at The Free Dove, and – again – is absolutely free!
Hop behind the cut, because shopping for the TMP freebie and then styling it using their Style Mode HUD is a little bit complicated, so I’ve create a tutorial to help you out :)
First up, you need to go to The Shops, which is where The Mesh Project are based. When you land, you’ll be offered a folder titled ‘The Shops! Huds & More’. You must accept this, or you can’t buy anything, even the freebie body! Inside the folder you’ll find two HUDs: Style Mode, and the Shopping HUD. Wear the Shopping HUD and wait for it to fill your screen. Once you’ve accepted the terms and conditions, you can click the X to minimise the HUD:
Once you can see where you’re going (!) look around for this sign on the wall. Once you see it, click the ‘girls’ text and you’ll be teleported to where the female TMP items are:
The landing animation might be a bit weird (I kept walking for ages!) but once it’s stopped, turn around and look for this sign on the wall. Once you see it, click the pink ‘free!’ icon:
Your Shopping HUD will whir into life and show you all of the bodies in the centre of your screen, with the free version highlighted. Note that, in the screenshot below, my HUD is prompting me if I want to redeliver. That’s because I already own the body. As a new purchaser, you should see 0L$ in big letters there. If you do, great! Go ahead and click that 0L$ and the body should be delivered to you!
That’s it! You’ve bought the body, so now it’s time to go home and style it.
You need to wear the following from the folder:
- Free Body
- Free Feet
- Free Hands
- (Wear Me!) (Body/Hands/Feet) – this is the alpha layer that will hide your system body
Yes, it’s all white when you first start! Now you need to take off the Shopping HUD (you don’t need it anymore) and add the Style Hud. It will attach to the lower-right corner of your viewer and look like this:
Click it to get started. (You may get an error saying “you must be wearing a mesh to use this HUD”. That’s a lag issue, I think. Click it again and Style Mode will load some icons at the bottom of your screen like this. You won’t have the dress and shoes icons, initially.)
Click the body icon. A small new HUD area will pop up with ‘styles’ and ‘modify’ on it. Click ‘styles’ and this will pop up:
(I think I missed a screenshot here! You won’t see all of those colours initially, so just click that big circle at the top – mine says ’10’ in it – and that should bring up the colours. If it doesn’t, then first click the small black ‘body’ icon on the top of that row of icons on the right, then click the big circle. Lordy, I’m still half-asleep, so cut me some slack! :p)
Now start clicking the colours to find a good match to your skin. For the Linden Lab default ‘Shawna’ skin that Mar is wearing, 33 was a perfect match!
You then have three options to apply. As labelled below, #1 is anatomically-correct (nipples and labia), #2 has underwear (both bra and panties; I couldn’t find a way to wear only one or the other, I’m afraid), and #3 is the PG version with nipples and labia blurred out (ideal, because you can’t separate that underwear on the free body and you don’t want pervs camming to see your bits!)
You’ll probably notice that there’s a horrible big gap around your neck where it joins the body. That can be minimised by clicking the Body icon on your Style HUD, then selecting ‘modify’ followed by ‘retrofit neck’. It’s not 100% perfect (I noticed a tiny gap at the back, which is easily covered by long hair) but at the front it looked great in all but close-ups from the side.)
Just quickly take a look at your feet. Yep, they’re TINY! You need to edit your shape and change your foot slider to about 40 to get them looking reasonably human-sized.
Now we’re going to get dressed. Inside the TMP free body folder you’ll also find a pretty little mini dress, so add it to wear it. Like the skin, it will be white when you first wear it, but a new dress icon should suddenly appear in your Style Mode HUD. (If it doesn’t, take off the HUD, re-attach it, then click it to load it again.)
Click the dress icon, then click ‘styles’ in the HUD. Once the dress styles section appears, click the little fabric swatch icon:
These are the six colours that you can change the dress to. Just pick and click!
Now onto the shoes. Because you’re using the feature-limited freebie body there aren’t many things that work with it, and one of the complaints that I’ve seen about it (a free mesh body, of all things, and people are complaining!) is that you have to go barefoot. Well not anymore!
Step forward, the dollarbie of the day: these shoes for TMP mid feet by Horacia Hoof of H.H. Designs. These will actually work with the freebie Style Mode HUD, so pick them up and put them on!
Oh, wait. You’ve got flat feet, haven’t you? *giggles* I’d best tell you how to fix that. You need to click the Feet icon in your Style Mode HUD, then click ‘modify’. Once the new section pops up, click ‘heel heights’ and choose ‘mid’.
Much better. Your feet now fit the shoes perfectly. As with the dress, they may or may not appear instantly in your Style Mode HUD, so if they don’t, detach and re-attach it. Now you’ll see the shoes icon. It works exactly the same as the dress: click it, click ‘styles’, then the fabric swatch, and choose your colour. Best of all, these shoes match the colours of the freebie TMP dress!
And you’re all done. If all you wanted was one nice outfit and a mesh body, you’re set to look fab in Second Life. But even if you’re considering a full-priced mesh body at some point, the TMP freebie is a good one to tide you over until you’ve saved your pennies :)