Unless you’re a complete newb to SL or you’ve been living under a rock for the past couple of years, it won’t have escaped your attention how quickly Signature Gianni has become the de facto ruler of the male mesh bodies. I call it the ‘Male Maitreya’, since clothing rigged for it has monopolised much of the menswear market in the same way that Maitreya’s Lara body is monopolising the market for the ladies. But, with the recent release of Signature’s new Geralt body I figured it was time to do a review and comparison of them both, note down the pros and cons of each, and give you a little more info on them.
Skin used throughout this post: Stray Dog – Levi (tone 04).
We’ll begin with the King Regnant…
This body is fairly heavy-set, with prominent shoulder and upper arm muscles (biceps, triceps, and especially deltoids). With the default shape, it presents the muscular image of a guy who is a regular at his local gym:
As you can see, the default shape has a long torso and short, powerful legs, giving it a low centre of gravity. Perhaps the most obvious feature of it is the deltoids: those rounded outer shoulder muscles. I can always tell which guys are wearing Gianni, because of those.
The alpha tab of the Gianni HUD looks like this:
And the options tab of the HUD looks like this:
The body costs L$3,500 and the demo is free, and you can pick both up at the Signature mainstore. Inside the folder you will find:
- The body
- The hands
- The feet
- The HUD
- A default shape
- Alpha layers: one for the entire avatar (to be worn with a mesh body and mesh head) and one for just the body (to be worn with a system/classic head)
- Tattoo layer blenders in 12 tintable shades (for use with a system/classic head)
So what makes this body so popular? Quite simply, its ease of use. Let’s look at the pros and cons:
- The HUD is very simple to use and contains more than enough alpha cuts for the wearer to get pretty much any clothing to fit
- The layers section of the HUD allows you to wear tattoos separately on each arm (so if you want just one arm tattooed, you can do that)
- There’s a simple ‘clear all textures’ button to remove any appliers that you’ve added
- You can alpha out the body by whole sections or individual pieces, quickly and easily
- The alpha HUD includes some very useful additional cuts, splitting the nape of the neck into multiple sections, as well as offering the ability to mask out parts of the hands
- There are alpha and tint save slots – more than enough for Mr Average who may want a maximum of half a dozen outfits
- The default skin tones are very well made (see the ‘cons’ section for a caveat here, though)
- The hands don’t ‘starfish’ like those of at least one other popular mesh body do
- The default skin tones only match those on Signature’s own mesh heads (this is the caveat from above). While there are a few skin creators whose skins match to Signature (early skins by Vendetta, for example, or Hermony) they’re ones that you’ll need to go hunting for and have some insider knowledge of
- The on/off for the neck sheath isn’t clearly-labelled as such (instead, the words ‘neck sheath’ are coloured either blue or white, depending on its on/off status), which causes no end of problems for guys trying to match their body and head and wondering why the hell they have a different-coloured stripe of skin around their neck
- The musculature of the upper arms can only be toned down by drastic shape editing: pulling both the shoulders and pectorals to zero and then slowly nudging each one back up in small increments until you have a less-bulky shape
- Even skin appliers without overtly-muscular shading will tend to look muscular, thanks to the shape of the body itself
Other than that? It’s a solid, fantastic body with a HUD that’s a doddle to use. There is a metric fuckton of clothing available for it, and that includes the more unusual and avant-garde stuff. There is also a lot of kinkwear being made for Gianni, so if harnesses and leather are your thing, then this one is a must.
Now let’s turn our gaze to the Pretender to the Throne…
So recently-released that it’s barely got its feet wet, Geralt is Signature’s second body, and it’s less ‘gym-buff’ and a bit more ‘Bloke in the Street’. While it retains Signature’s superb shaping, the musculature is less-pronounced. This guy makes it to the gym perhaps once a week. In fact, he probably swims and runs more often than he lifts and presses.
With the default shape it’s overall a bit more balanced than Gianni. The centre of gravity is just below the navel and actually central, and the legs are just a little longer than the torso. The lats are still pretty worked but the obliques are tighter and less bulky. The quads and calves are also less pronounced than on Gianni.
The alpha tab of the Geralt HUD looks like this:
The Options tab of the Geralt HUD is the same as that of the Gianni HUD, above. As with Gianni, Geralt costs L$3,500 and the demo is free. You get the same items in the Geralt folder as you do in the Gianni one (although, obviously, it’s a different body!) so we’ll move onto the pros and cons.
- These are mostly identical to the Gianni HUD, so please see above
- This body is much more ‘man in the street’ than Gianni, so it will appeal to the guys who like a slightly less-muscular physique
- Again, the same as the Gianni HUD
- Very little clothing is available for it yet, since the body is so new. (There is some available in the Geralt section of the Signature store, to get you started.) However, please note the date of this post (April 2018), because I fully expect this body to become as popular as Gianni, so at any time in the future the amount of available clothing will have increased.
- The alpha HUD has lost some important cuts at the side of the torso
That last ‘con’ is a much bigger deal than it initially might seem. Look at the difference below, between the alpha cuts on the Gianni HUD (left) and the Geralt HUD (right) –
Those side cuts on the lower torso? They’re needed for every single open-fronted shirt/jacket-with-bare-chest look you might want to wear. It’s the one main failing of the Slink Physique HUD that I’m constantly struggling with when I wear that body. With the cuts on the right (Geralt) you can only alpha out a circle all the way around the lower torso, instead of the multiple options that you have with Gianni of front, back, left side, right side.
All that said, I would still recommend both bodies. I’ve already seen a couple of clothing items rigged for Geralt at menswear events, so I suspect it will catch on fairly quickly.
ETA: Sure enough, at this month’s (April 2018) The Mens Department event there are already multiple creators selling items rigged for Geralt.
I’ll close with some comparison side-by-side views. Each set of pictures was taken with the body’s default body shape (I used my Catwa head shape for both, editing it to have identical body sliders to the body being photographed), and from exactly the same angle and distance.