Sunday, April 28, 2013

Lashing Out

 A lot of us have a love/hate relationship going with our eyelashes in Second Life.  I'll give you a Brief History of the Lash here, and then a very Happy Ending!

At first, eyelashes were simply painted on, as part of your skin.  They still are, and in fact this is the simplest, easiest way to do your lashes in SL.  It takes up no attachment points, needs no adjustment, and looks good from either far away or close up.  A lot of us choose to let things go with that and just get on with our SLives.

Then there are makeup tattoos.  Some of these feature additional lashes or eyeliner.  But they are still painted on the avatar...they have no depth.

Next, came the invention of prim eyelashes -- well, actually these came before makeup tattoos...but they are a step up in complexity.  These consist of four prims, one for each eye's upper and lower lashes, and they have an eyelash texture painted on, with an alpha channel to make the non-lash parts of the prim invisible.  These are nice, but they have to be tediously edited to fit the curve of your lash line.  They are usually quite inexpensive.  But they also have a serious drawback...they don't blink when your eyelids do.  They can look very lovely, but it would really be nice to be able to flutter one's eyelashes.  Finally, because of the alpha channel in their texturing, they can exhibit "alpha channel conflict" with other transparent textures, producing some odd-looking effects from time to time. 

A minor variation of the four-prim lashes are sculpty eyelashes.  Aside from more flexibility in designing the lash curve, I don't see much difference between the two types.

So, someone then invented all-prim eyelashes.  Each lash is constructed from an individual micro-prim.  One prim for each little hair!  Astonishingly, I have never had a fitting problem with these, which is just as well because editing that many tiny prims one at a time would drive me insane.  The primary outlet I've found for all-prim lashes is Kimber Carter's CCD.  These lashes look absolutely stunning close up, but can start to look spikey when viewed from more than a meter or two away.  And they have the same non-blinking nature as the older four-prim eyelashes.

But  Today I ran across...drumroll please...MESH EYELASHES!  I found these at Gaeline Creations when I was there looking for AO poses. 

They come with a set of lashes, and several eyeliner tattoos.  They come with an adjustment HUD, too.  Normally, I like to edit my attachments myself, but in this case the HUD made it easy to make little micro-adjustments and get the lashes fitting perfectly.  They have an option for texturing the lashes in different colors too, and saving your favorites as presets.  This set of lashes is going to be my current "go-to" item for eye enhancement!
Mesh Lash HUD

But there is one last development...the Mesh Avatar Head.  I don't yet have one of these, but if you are a HUD type of girl, you might look into it.  Wear the mesh head, and adjust all your makeup choices by HUD.  In addition, the eyes have a slooow, sexy blink that looks very attractive.  You are, of course, limited to the choices in both the shape of your facial features and your makeups that are provided by the head's creator, and the facial features will not respond to the standard SL facial emotion triggers for smiling, laughing, etc.

Here are some examples of the different eyelash types.  As with all the pictures I publish, click on one to get a larger view, and a slideshow!
Plain Old Painted On Lashes
Four-prim Eyelashes

Sculpty Lashes

Micro-prim Individual Lashes (CCD)

Mesh Lashes - My New Fave!

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