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Archive for the ‘Freebies’ Category

Pink Shirt Day, Part Duh!

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010




Pink_Shirt_Day_Again_2010

Originally uploaded by roland_zepp

The grid is awash in pink today. It’s really kinda cool.

These pink sneaker boots are a freebie from Renee Harvey at Duh!. I really like the styling. The boot tops and sneaker bottoms along with the nicely realized laces and open tongue make me smile just lookin’ at them.

There are a bunch of other shoes and boots available there as well so if you’re looking for something to go with your pink shirt? Maybe check out Duh.

Thanks, Renee!

Beyond Freebie, Revisited

Monday, April 20th, 2009

A few months ago I started writing this blog and outfitted myself with freebies. It didn’t take long for me to find that my bulky, blocky shape, and freebie skin and clothes weren’t really making it. And by “making it” I mean that I didn’t like looking at me on the screen.

So much has changed in five short months.

Right now I’m getting ready for two events coming up this week — a 10L theme and a freebie theme — and the results are surprising.

All_Free_Body

There is nothing in that picture that I paid for. With group gifts, various hunts, and store freebies I was able to put together this whole look.

All_Free_Torso

The quality of freebies and hunt items is sometimes spotty but group gifts are often very good. That’s certainly the case with the skin from LeLeutka and the vest from :sey. I was also blown away by the “Neko belt” from Trixxy’s Shop.

All_Free_Belt

I’m not sure what the fascination is with drugs, cigarettes, etc, but there’s plenty of detail work in this belt and I really liked the fit.

Shoes and boots are often problematic but I found a lot of possibilities. What I ended up with is this pair from Studio M’z.

All_Free_Boots

I’m wearing them without the tall shafts to keep my prim count down a bit and control my ARC.

All together, I’m really pleased with the result and I think the strategy of offering stuff for free in order to interest prospective buyers works very well. I know I’m going out shopping later because I’ve really grown attached to this LeLeutka skin and I’d like to see what’s new at MADesigns.

The Rundown
Shape – self created

Hair – .::MADesigns Hair::. ~ CRUZ ~ PLBL II w resize script) – Group Gift

Skin – [LeLutka]-ABSOLUTE-pale-base-faceB_1 (new release group gift)

Eyes – MADesigns NATURALS – unbelievable blue eyes (Group Freebie)

Vest – :sey R & D [505] (Group Freebie)

Shirt – WoE DG-01a Men’s Dragon T-Shirt (Bunny Hop)

Choker – UK.NANA Choker -Medium (resize) (Bunny Hop – Ultra Kitty)

Bracelet – –Umi Usagi– The Bunny Hop hunt wrist Belt

Belt – Neko Belt (Mens) – Trixxy’s Shop (Spring is in the Air Hunt)

Jeans – :sey union cross Jeans (Group freebie)

Boots – Studio M’z Strap Long VH.black (Bunny Hop Hunt)

Total cost: zero L

Effect: Priceless

Free Skin Shootout

Friday, December 5th, 2008

Skin is one of the most expensive investments people make, but what makes a “good” skin? There are a lot of crappy skins, some are just freebies re-packaged into vendors. The problem is that “good” depends on a lot of variables, many of which are subjective. In keeping with me “newbie getting adjusted to the grid” theme here, I’ve pulled up some of the readily available freebie skins for men and lined them up for a side by side comparison.

All told, these aren’t terrible. I get the distinct impression that some are actually identical skins that just had a name change and re-emerged. The question to ask is “do they look good enough?” My answer here is, “Maybe.”

I should also note, I’ve left off all the less defined, more cartoon-ish skins. There are some that look really bad, but this group of skins came to the top of the list.

First, we’ll take a look at faces.

Abyss

Abyss

Defectiva

Defectiva

We start with two that aren’t free, but I’ll use these as reference points.

Abyss has some very good skins at the higher end of the price range. Not exactly photorealistic but still amazingly good when painted on an avatar. You’ll have to make do with the demo because I don’t have enough L$ at the moment to buy one for this post. I don’t mean to imply that this is the *best* but it’s one of the top five male skins, I think. The second, from Defectiva, is my own Conor, Tan, Strap which you’ve seen in other shots.

Men and Hair

Where women have makeup options on their skins, men have hair options. Skins come with various beard and body hair painted on them, usually several of the same options across a variety of skin tones.

Bearded:
The Van Dyke style beard is very popular and these skins (labeled as found) show it in some small variation.

Braids

Braids

Michael

Michael

Paul

Paul




Goatee

Million Dollar

Ray Design

Ray Design



Look closely at Paul and Michael. To my eye, those look like identical skins. The shape of the hair patterns on both the eyebrow and beard looks identical, right down to the small brush strokes and placement of individual hairs.And while we’re on the subject of looking a lot alike, the Million Dollar Skin and Ray Design look pretty similar except for skin tone.

Not Bearded:

Bellesa

Bellesa

Empire Tan

Empire Tan

Goatee

MD: Goatee

Matthew by Platinum

Matthew

Samual

Samual

Steve

Steve



The Bellesa skin is a freebie offered at the Bellesa store and actually looks a little better than shows up in the snaps. Matthew is the freebie skin for men from the Platinum store. The Million Dollar Skins are available at the Million Dollar Skin store and comes in a pack of four with various beard options. The others are just skins I found in various freebie lots. Close examination of Empire Tan and Steve makes me think they’re the same skin as well.

Upper Bodies:

“Definition” is the term most applied to body skin. Given the basic structure of an avatar, how a skin maps onto the shape and provides detail in terms of highlight and shadow is what sets a “good” skin apart.

Abyss

Abyss

Defectiva

Defectiva



Once again, these are the purchased skins for reference. Notice the way the muscles are indicated with light and shadow and the variations in color and body hair.

Bellesa

Bellesa

Braids

Braids

Empire Tan

Empire Tan

Michael

Michael

Million Dollar (Goatee)

MD: Goatee

Matthew

Matthew

Paul

Paul

Ray Design

Ray Design

Samual

Samual

Steve

Steve

(VanDyke)

MD: VanDyke



The detail variations here are really interesting. Seeing the torsos lined up, the similarity between Michael and Paul is evident. What’s less obvious (because I got the pose wrong) is the similarity between the Million Dollar (VanDyke) model skin and the Ray Design.

Another interesting detail is revealed in the nipples. Granted it’s not something I’m normally looking at on guys, but there’s some strangeness in these.

Paul

Paul




Here’s a close up of Paul’s nipple. Notice the kind of pinwheel asymmetry in the shape that’s repeated on Paul. If you look closely at Steve and Empire Tan, you’ll see the same shape, but capsized.

Samual

Samual




This is a close up of Samual’s chest. There’s a very prounounced discoloration indicating that the nipple was apparently moved. Comparing this skin to the MD:Goatee and Ray Design, we see a lot of similarities that weren’t obvious on the first blush. Once you know it’s there, the lighter circles jump out of the torso shot on Sam.

Legs and Feet:

The lower torso is often revealed in swimwear and shorts, even for guys. While most guys probably wear long pants, it’s worth paying attention to the variations in leg and feet.

For comparison purposes, once more, here are the Abyss and Defectiva skins:

Abyss

Abyss

Defectiva

Defectiva




I didn’t do a good job picking up the foot details on these two shots, but the top of the foot on the Abyss skin is very nicely detailed and the whole leg is depicted very realistically. By comparison, the Defectiva skin is relatively featureless except for some shading around the knees and some very subtle shading on the upper thighs. It actually looks a bit sharper in-world than in these snaps.

Bellesa

Bellesa

Braids

Braids

Empire Tan

Empire Tan

Michael

Michael

Goatee

MD: Goatee

Matthew by Platinum

Matthew

Paul

Paul

Ray Design

Ray Design

Samual

Samual

Steve

Steve

VanDyke

MD: VanDyke




I won’t take up time discussing the similarities so much this time. If you follow the pattern you’ll see that it continues into the lower extremities. One thing I do want to point out is the foot detail in those images where I actually caught the foot. In the MD: Base skin, the foot detail is nicely integrated on the shape. The toes line up with the end of the foot and it looks pretty natural. Compare that to the MD: VanDyke foot and you’ll see that the texture for the foot is slightly out of alignment with the foot itself and that same mistake is repeated on a couple of other skins.

My take away on these was a lot more positive than I thought it would be. Overlooking the possibility that somebody ripped off somebody else with copied skins, the only real flaws in most of them are the nipple-pin wheels. I really do like the Million Dollar Skin: Goatee version .. and as long as I don’t take off my shoes, it’s not a bad look. The real winner in this group is Braids, though, in my opinion. It’s cleanly done, has none of the flaws that I noted in the others, and other than being too “overly muscled” for my taste, would make somebody a good starter skin.

Braids

Braids




This is the skin without my prim hair on and you can see the detailing on the scalp which gives the skin its name. This hair texture gets in the way of my normal hair, but something with a longer tail in the back would cover it nicely. There is one flaw in this skin, too, but most people won’t notice it. He has two ear canals.

Thanks for reading and I’ll see you out on the Grid.

Beyond Freebie

Sunday, November 30th, 2008

Trollng through endless freebies gets you only so far, and after a while, I got tired of throwing away the same old stuff. That’s the point where I threw $10USD into my free account and began thinking about my first look.

The Task: Get out of Newbie Land

I wanted a decent skin, shape, hair, eyes, and at least one good outfit. Freebies are great for filling in the missing pieces, but there’s something to be said for having at least one great look you can wear around the Main Grid.

The Budget: $1000L

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The Freebie Newbie

Friday, November 28th, 2008

First day in my new Second Life. How much more exciting can it be than to start with nothing and build from there! After by-passing orientation and skipping out of the newbie island, I made my way to the mainland in search of freebies to unload my default gear and start up my new life on the Main Grid.

Freebies World

Freebies World

Good freebie spots are key to starting up life on the Main Grid. While a quick search for “freebies” or “newbies” will give more hits than you can shake a mouse at, one of my new favorites is Freebies World. The real advantage here is that you get to pick individual items while looking at real vendor images. It’s not some blind, box with floating text claiming “4000 Men’s T-Shirts” but an actual vendor and you get to see what it is you’re picking up. This is a huge help when it comes to sorting out your inventory later.

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