PLEASE NOTE: Please try the demo's inworld for these mesh bodies. And when I say try I mean really play with them. The biggest mistake people make is only trying a demo for a couple minutes and then purchasing the body only to realize that the body is not for them. I was once like most of you and made a couple not so great purchases in SL that cost me quite a bit of Linden. Now, when I demo I press every button on the HUDs, try on tons of mesh clothing to test the alpha system and play with appliers (if the demo is capable).
For my reviews I will focus on five key points: The Look & Customization, Ease of Use (ex: HUD, Lag, etc), Backwards Compatibility (Omega, Slink, etc), & Shopping/Applier Experience.
Overview: The Lara body by Maitreya is one of the easiest and most complete fitmesh bodies available on the market. The cost is about mid priced in between the lower cost Lena and Slink Bodies and the higher end Belleza and Mesh Project bodies. The Lara body only comes in one size and can look great until you get up into the higher body fat percentages (>24%). Lara comes with a HUD that includes clothing layer options, an alpha system and skins. The skins available with the body are made by Glam Affair, which is a well known skin shop in Second Life. The body comes with additional hands and feet of its own that you can attach separately to the body. The HUD also has a unique head/neck joint feature that can hide the gap that occurs between mesh bodies and the standard avatars head. The best part of all is that this body is Omega compatible! Which means that there are more clothing options for you out on the market.
The Look & Customization: Of all the bodies released so far, and of all the ones I currently own, Lara is my favorite body and I find I use this body more than any other I own. It is extremely popular in Second Life right now. This body is very close to the standard avi shape but customization, in terms of size, is limited. Once you get above 24% body fat the body looks odd around the head and neck. This is bad news for those who want a fuller figured fitted mesh body as there are very few options right now. Personally my body fat is at 20% using the Lara body and I am very satisfied with the look. Now for the boob shape: Of all the bodies Lara has the nicest but it still has the common standard avatar issue of having boobs that are just too small, not that I want huge boobs but I am bigger (irl) and want it. I know I am not the only one out there that feels this way and as long as this limitation exists on these mesh bodies fitted mesh breasts will always be around (imho).
Ease of Use: Lara shines in this department because it is so easy to use. Even using Omega with it is easy! The HUD is pretty straight forward with two tabs: Alpha/ Clothing Layers and Skins. The alpha HUD allows for the best customization for your mesh clothing out there. To me, it is the best alpha HUD for clothing on the market. There are some limitations with wearing certain shirt styles on the upper body. I am hoping this will be addressed in the future. The body also loads textures quickly which will make getting dressed go a little faster than most other bodies.
The HUD is easy to use and you can wear so many different styles with it with very few issues. The neck hide feature is a great add on for those that use the provided skins. For everyone else, you have to skin match and I know how much we all love doing that (yuck!). While Glam Affair skins are a great option for most in SL those of us who land between the India (too light) and the Africa (too dark) colors are SOL. Sorry, but like most skin designers, they forget there is a whole host of darker shades out there and not a mere 1 or 2. The Maitreya skin HUD does offer an option after India but before Africa but good luck finding it. I was told it is sold in the Maitreya store but if you wear implants of any kind then you are SOL. That color was a summer 2014 release and you won’t find it sold anywhere. (Someone help me if I am wrong here) So, if you are like 90% of people in SL, then you have good skin options but, for those of us darker gals, we will have to move on and get creative.
Another issue to note is that tattoos that go up into the neck area, for the most part, do not cover the full neck of this body. For these tattoos, you have to wear the system tattoo layer or shirt layer, in addition to applying the actual tattoo applier, so that the tattoo continuously goes from the low neck into the head. The extended head/neck joint creates a gap where the tattoo does not cover. See image below. Because of this you can do 1 of 3 things: cover the area with a choker or necklace, just deal with the gap or contact the creator & hope the creator releases a Maitreya applier for the tattoo.
|Gap on the tattoo where the head and neck glitch occurs on Maitreya using a regular Omega tattoo applier and the added standard avi tattoo layer going into the base of the skull. This is not an Omega issue its just the way Lara was made.|
A major downside, like most of the mesh bodies, is that you cannot clear your clothing layers when changing. There is a free option on the MP. You can check in the links at the end of this article to find it. Its just another HUD to wear so that you can clear your layers. There are some issues where the applier texture will show when you use the alpha, even when the layer is disabled. All I do is enable and disable the layer and the problem is fixed. I really do not have issues getting confused over what is on what layer but I guess I am in the minority. And, like many other HUDs, the Maitreya HUD is HUGE!!! Like it takes up the whole top left of my viewer (when Minimized). When Maximized, it makes seeing my body while dressing a challenge in some cases. My AO HUDs usually land in the upper left of the viewer so I have to detach the Maitreya HUD when I am not dressing.
Backwards Compatibility: So now on to some big questions: Can I still wear my mesh parts with the Lara body? The answer is yes. The body is compatible with slink hands and feet. It does come with its own hands and feet as well. And while I see that the hands are good, it just seems silly to try and reinvent the wheel and make another different sized pair of feet in similar shapes to the slink ones but do not quite fit the slink shoes exactly (ugh, headaches!). I am also able to wear my fitted mesh breasts with this body. I use both Cherry Bomb and Sinful Needs and they attach perfectly with very little seam showing. (I also use optimal windlighting to hide seams most of the time. I use "analu studio 5" or "Tron Legacy Clean". If others complain of seams tell them to use an optimal setting. If they refuse then screw them!! Mesh is the way of the future so they need to either change or deal with seeing more seams on more bodies.)
The best part about this body is that it is Omega compatible. Omega is a universal applier system that is used by 95% of mesh bodies and parts! This body uses a relay HUD that must be worn when you dress. This is as easy as it can get for Omega appliers. There is no need to edit the content of your body to add an omega script so there is less confusion! Check out the Love n Lust blog to learn more about their revolutionary Omega system. (See credits below). Because it can use Omega, appliers shopping for your mesh body is easy as many designers are switching over to Omega. Most Lolas appliers can also be worn with an Omega enabled body (as long as the full texture was used and not just the boob texture) Azz, Ghetto Booty and Brazillia appliers can also be converted using Omega kits so that you can wear many of your older styles with your new body. Lena appliers can also be converted to Omega appliers.
Shopping experience: Because of the ability to wear Omega appliers shopping is not difficult for this mesh body! Yay! Also, more and more designers are making Maitreya appliers so your options are growing. The Omega system is also virtually free when you join the Love n Lust group and grab the kit inworld at their store. I think its about 4L versus the 99L you will pay at the affiliate kiosks (what you see in most stores) and the Marketplace.
In conclusion, this body is probably the best option on the market for those who want an easy to use, fast loading body and do not desire to have a higher body fat percentage. For those ladies, you will have to wait and see what the future holds. The cost of this body is on the higher end of pricing but not as bad as Belleza and nowhere near as high as the Mesh Projects Body is. If you are going to save for a mesh body I suggest this one be your target at the moment. But who knows what is in store, maybe we will see more bodies surface from creators of the ghetto booty and phat azz. We can only hope right. ;) On a scale from 1-10 with 10 being the super awesomest, bestest body ever I give this one a 9! Yeah, its good but it isn't perfect. The standard avi body, though outdated looking, is still easier to use, has less glitches and has the most customization with no HUDs and tons of fashion available to wear.
SLURLS & Links:
Maitreya SLURL: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Maitreya%20Isle/174/192/23
Omega/ Love n Lust Sim (to get your Omega Scripts and converter kits): http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Jacuma/76/79/25
Love n Lust/ Omega Blog: http://lovenlustdesigns.blogspot.com/p/the-vision.html
Aggressione Maitreya & Omega Applier clear layers HUDs: https://marketplace.secondlife.com/stores/75336