Mesh body review: Signature Gianni vs Signature Geralt

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…

Signature Gianni

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:

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • 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…

Signature Geralt

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.

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • 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.

Slink Physique Male Mesh Body

UPDATE: I’ve noticed that this post is getting a lot of hits lately, and I’m just putting it out there that it’s almost a two year-old post by now (October 2015). The Slink body has been updated a couple of times, so much of this post is a little bit out-of-date. I’ve now added some updates to it, which will be in this colour.

Well, I’ve been waiting for it, and it’s finally here. Now that I’ve had the Slink Male Mesh body for a month or so, I can give a decent review of what it is, and – for those new to this kind of thing – how it works.

First of all: where do you get this thing in the first place? You can either head to the Slink store inworld (SLurl – head inside and to the far right corner) or from Marketplace (link). The full price for the body is L$1250.

MAKE SURE YOU GET THE FREE DEMO FIRST! You can only get the demo from the mainstore (not from Marketplace).

The ad looks like this:

Image by Siddean Munro of Slink.

What’s inside? Well, what appears to be a bewildering number of things, but the main ones you’ll need initially are:

  • The alpha layer
  • The body itself
  • The utilities HUD

You’ll also notice a number of system skins and other items in the pack. Don’t worry too much about those initially. Pick the relevant alpha layer for what you’ll be adding to the body. If you already have Slink mesh hands and feet, but you’ll be using your original avatar head (eg: not a mesh head) then pick the alpha for use with the system head. If you don’t have Slink mesh hands and feet, pick the alpha layer that doesn’t mask them out.

Slink hands need to have their wrist size set to XS. UPDATE: There is now a ‘Phys’ option for the hands, which they should default to if you’re wearing them with a Slink body. If you don’t have the wrist size option on your hands HUD, you have outdated hands, so go to the Slink store and hit the redelivery terminal (or simply take off and re-wear your hands and an updated pair will be sent to you).

Find a pose stand (or use your viewer’s built-in pose stand, if it has one), put on the alpha, the body, and the HUD. Be warned: the HUD is very big, so you may need to edit and move it across to one side so you can see yourself. It’s pretty self-explanatory, so play around with it to see how the alpha masking works. Try on some of your mesh clothing (especially any fitted mesh you have) to get the hang of it.

This is what one of the included base skintone appliers looks like on the mesh body when matched as closely as I can get it to my Aeros skin:

I’m also wearing a pair of Slink’s own stovepipe mesh jeans, created especially for the body. You’ll find them (in many colours) along with basic tanks and underwear, beside the body in the Slink store, so if you want some no fuss readymade clothing to wear with the body, those are a good starter option.

One really nice thing about this body is the (optional) included cock. Yes, it might not be to everyone’s taste, and yes it’s not scripted for… general use, shall we say. But if you just want to get naked in a hurry and look good without fiddling to match an attachable dick to your skintone, it’s a great addition. Note, too, that you have options for cut/uncut, and for pubic hair. You can also slap on a pair of undies via the utilities HUD in a matter of seconds (just remember to use the HUD to hide your crown jewels, or – as with other cocks in SL – they’ll poke through your skivvies).

You will  need to edit your underlying body shape in order to look more like your usual SL self. Skell had to up the muscle sliders to get his torso and shoulders back to their usual size. But the beauty of this body is in the rigging that even allows you to play with body fat (a little, anyway; up to 5%) to give yourself a bit more bulk. It’s a great option for those who want something in between the muscle queen and skinny model mesh body options out there so far.

TIP: Make a copy of your usual shape and re-name it so you know only to use that shape with the Slink mesh body.

There are some system skins inside the pack, and they match up with the skintone options on the body itself. They’re perfectly serviceable, but most of us will be looking around for regular skin-makers who are putting out Slink Physique Male Mesh Body appliers, and – to that end – the next part of this post is for you shoppers.

NOTE: The prices I’ve put here are correct at the time of writing, and do not include special low prices for event skins. Prices may also change, at the designer’s discretion. I’m just giving them as a rough guide so you know what you can expect to pay. This is also not an exhaustive list, but it’s what I’ve found so far. Know of any more? Drop a comment either here or on this Flickr post :-)

KEY

  • Skin = Prices for the standard, default avatar skin. While this body doesn’t have a mesh head, you’ll need a base skin to match the applier.
  • Applier = Prices for the Slink Physique Male Mesh Body applier HUD
  • Hands/Feet = Prices for the Slink AvEnhance Hands and Feet appliers (if sold separately). Where ‘each’ is used, this means for either hands OR feet. ‘All tones together’ means you’ll either get a fatpack of appliers for that price, or one HUD with all available tone options on it.
  • Omega = Slink-compatible appliers for skins, tattoos, and clothing. More on this later

NOTE: Many of the body appliers will also change your Slink hands and feet – as long as the hands/feet are the latest version. Some, however, won’t. Always test a demo first.

I’m linking to each designer’s profile, as per my usual MO for this blog. Stores often move around in SL (or close and go to Marketplace-only) but most creators will always have their current store location in their picks. Simply copy the link, paste it into local chat, and click it to bring up the designer’s profile. I went around as many skin stores as I could think of, off the top of my head. Most had appliers available, some didn’t, but I’m including them here anyway because they do have hand/feet appliers already and will very likely have body appliers sometime in the near future.

DESIGNERS: If I’ve got any of this wrong (or you change anything at a later date – eg: you start offering appliers for the body) please either drop a comment or send a notecard/IM to Skell Dagger inworld. I’ll try to keep this post as up-to-date as I can.

In no particular order, all prices in L$:

Birth

  • Creator: Silent Alchemi
  • Skin: 1000 per tone, per facial hair type (new tones), or 990 (old tones)
  • Applier: 450 per tone (new tones only – Omega appliers only)
  • Hands/Feet: 100 each (all tones together = new or old)

Clef de Peau

  • Creator: lapenderiedenicole
  • Skin: 990 – 1000 per tone (includes hand/feet appliers)
  • Applier: 700 per tone, per body type (options: soft, athletic, 6-pack)
  • Hands/Feet: Not sold separately

Tableau Vivant

Swallow

  • Creator: Luciayes Magic
  • Skin: 990 per tone
  • Applier: 599 (all tones together)
  • Hands/Feet: 150 each (all tones together)

KOOQLA

  • Creator: Rocketta Haven
  • Skin: 890 per tone
  • Applier: None yet
  • Hands/Feet: 100 each (all tones together)

7 Deadly Skins

  • Creator: Izara Zuta
  • Skin: 1250 per tone (includes hand/feet appliers)
  • Applier: 350 per tone, per body hair type (options: smooth, trail, hairy)
  • Hands/Feet: 250 each per tone

Adam n Eve

  • Creator: Sachi Vixen
  • Skin: 949 per tone
  • Applier: 390 per tone
  • Hands/Feet: I could only find these for old tones of female skins

.:Soul:.

  • Creator: Lerochelle Destiny
  • Skin: 800 per tone (includes hand/feet appliers)
  • Applier: 349 per tone (Omega appliers only)
  • Hands/Feet: Not sold separately

Ooh-la-licious Skins

  • Creator: Oohlala Sassoon
  • Skin: 1999 per tone
  • Applier: 500 (all tones together)
  • Hands/Feet: Not sold separately

Aeros

  • Creator: Pi Rain
  • Skin: 2000 (full avatar, inc 3 shapes and 3 skintones)
  • Applier: None yet
  • Hands/Feet: 75 each per tone. Fingernail/toenail appliers 75 each per tone.

Redgrave

  • Creator: Emilia Redgrave
  • Skin: 1490 per tone (all facial hair options)
  • Applier: None yet
  • Hands/Feet: 95 each per skin

Belleza

  • Creator: Tricky Boucher
  • Skin: 1000 per tone
  • Applier: None yet
  • Hands/Feet: Are in the group gift by the service desk. (Group costs 250 to join.) All tones together.

UPDATE: There are now many  more designers creating appliers for this body than I can list here.

Next, onto Omega appliers. You might think you don’t need these, but some skins are relying on them and – boy oh boy – if you want to wear tattoos then you’ll definitely  need them.

Where to get them

Go to the Omega Solutions store inworld and take the teleporter to the 3rd floor. Head to the Mens Body Mesh section, and look for this one:

The kit will cost you L$99. Or, if you join the Omega group and wear the group tag while purchasing, you’ll be refunded L$98, so it’ll only cost you L$1 UPDATE: I believe the refund is less now, so that the kit only costs L$50 or similar, after it. You can also get the kit for L$99 here on Marketplace.

Simply wear your Slink body and the Omega HUD. Click the HUD and Omega compatibility will be installed into your Slink body. You can now remove the Omega HUD. (Keep hold of it, though, because Slink will  issue updates for this body, and you’ll need to install Omega compatibility into each new release). UPDATE: You will also need to install Omega into any copies that you make of the body, since it doesn’t persist into new copies.

With Omega installed, you can now make use of the TONS of Omega tattoos and clothing already out there, because the ladies have had this stuff for ages. And, guys, you’ll love  how crisp the tattoos look on the mesh body. And – because the male Slink body has a nice built-in cock bulge, you can wear female Omega pants appliers without looking as if you’re tucking ;-)

Using Omega appliers requires you to also have the Slink utilities HUD attached. You’ll need to play around here, especially if you’re using Omega appliers that were made for women, as they might have been made for different bodies with different application types. At the bottom side of your Slink utilities HUD you’ll see different options to show or hide things like tattoos, underwear, and clothing. This is what you click on/off to show various Omega appliers for things like tattoos and pants, so if you’ve clicked your tattoo applier and nothing’s happened, check the various options on the Slink HUD, to see which one you need to set ‘green’ ‘white’ in order for the tats to show.

Swallow skin and body applier, with White Widow Omega tattoo applier. Full credits here

Swallow skin and body applier, with Omega tattoos from Suicide Gurls and Omega (female!) pants applier from [email protected] Full credits here

Mesh clothing, and using the Slink Utilities HUD

You’ll find that some clothing works better than others with the Slink body. Fitted mesh is your best bet, but you can use the various alpha masking options on the utilities HUD to remove bits of your body that poke through mesh clothing. Eventually, designers might start creating mesh clothes especially for the Slink body – as some currently do for the TMP body – but those will probably be few and far between. UPDATE: Not the case now! Slink is one of the best-supported mesh bodies for specifically-fitted mesh clothing. Expect some frustration as the utilities HUD sometimes won’t quite mask enough and the next section up masks too much. UPDATE: The alpha HUD has been updated and now includes far more cuts, which means you should be able to fit almost any clothing. It’ll be trial and error, and you may need to add a jacket to cover some issues with some pants at the back waistband, and certain types of plunging necklines won’t be accommodated by the alpha options. Put some time into it, though, and it’ll be worth it.

Summing up

I knew this body was going to be good, and I wasn’t disappointed. While I won’t be wearing it all the time UPDATE: Um, yeah. About that… *cough* (I love my vast system/sculpt/mesh inventory too much to limit myself to applier and fitted mesh clothing only) having the ability to wear all that fabulous female Omega-compatible stuff out there (crisp tattoos instead of them stretching out across your shoulders! And all those Omega pants omg!) is wonderful. It also makes the small investment in the Omega kit a worthwhile one.

Final tips: Make a copy of your body, hands, and feet. Put them all – together with the alpha layer and your edited shape – into a new folder, and label it something like “Slink body for demos”. Use that special folder only  for demoing new skin appliers, to save you from messing up your usual body/hands/feet.

And, before making outfits, simply put a copy of the body, hands, and feet into the relevant skin folder, wear them, hit the applier, and you’ll have ready-prepared mesh body goodness, all set to wear-n-go.

Other links

Omega Gents Flickr Group – Not too busy (and, as most Flickr groups, occasionally suffers from people putting inappropriate items in it, such as women’s dresses) but a good place to watch for new Omega items.