My staple skin(s) are pale, paler, palest. But variety is the spice of life so I set out to find a more tanned skin. Not a problem you would think. Oh boy. I stand corrected. It IS a problem if you are critical.
First things first; No pictures. I am not going to fry designers here because in all honesty I can’t be arsed to contact them all and let them say their piece. Which is in my not so humble opinion the only way to play it fair. So no names, no pictures. And no I will not go into this in-world either so no use contacting me. If you want to change skins, I advise you to do the legwork.
Ready? All buckled up? Here we go, in random order:
Vendor pictures are stunning most of the time. For me, they are the first way to sort through everything when I look for something new. Now I realize that not everything is as perfect as a vendor picture might show. But there is a huge gap between that and flat out lying.
Today I demoed like a pro. I tried the advertised skins, with the heads that were mentioned in the vendor pics and the shapes that came with the demo packages. And got squat. No dice. It simply does not look even remotely like the advertisement regardless what kind of settings I use. Hell with some skin/heads/shapes I could not get a match, even after altering the shape and fiddling with the windlights.
Non-matching face and body appliers. How the hell is it possible that some designers have nearly perfect matches and while others manage to make it look like they are using two completely different tones? No, I will not use the damn neck fixes. My chest and face have different tones. Or perhaps I missed the chest-fix? mhm? Or the back-fix. Or the shoulder-fix.
Some skins have onboard makeup. Which is cool. Sort of. Most of the time. Some use rouge in ways that is beyond me. Rouge should be a slight dabbing of colored powder on the cheekbones, not fucking racing stripes. But then again, spandex these days is abused as well. I digress.
When I did find the right tone, right for me that is, then some parts of the body applier look like they have been forgotten. They have such contrasting highlights they won’t go amiss in a roadside warning set for your car. The back of the arms and/or shoulders is far to light. The knees have sometimes a vastly different shade and then to my utter amazement, there are still body appliers out there that make you look like you just pooped in your pants. Seriously?
And what’s it with the stripes of white just above a bum-cleavage? A Sumo-belt-style tan line?
Demo skins with so many lines and stamps on the face that there is no way you can judge the skin. Trust me, I can’t be arsed to steal your precious skin texture cus you fucked it up so bad it’s not worth it.
“For the best effect use windlight xyz?” Are you fucking kidding me?? Did you just really lose the plot completely? You are basically saying that your skin looks bad and needs its own special lighting. Like Michael Jackson did in later life. Rest his soul. Cus lets face it, he didn’t look so hot at some point either. But he had moves. Guess what? You are not him. You are a skin designer who is messing up.
Now even if I were to fall for the windlight scam, yes I think it is a scam, then I will be happy in my little world with my special-lighting-needed-skin. But the rest of SL still sees my skin with their windlights. Up until now, I have not yet found a designer who is willing to force SL to use specific windlight settings because someone is wearing their skins. Get a grip.
It is a skill, an art creating textures with shading for a flat mesh object that YOU created. It is freakishly hard work to get everything right and near perfect. Let alone if you are working on objects that have a gazillion faces and all that.
Now I understand, thanks to a dear friend of mine who patiently explained a few things, that creating textures for mesh someone else created is horror. But that does not really interest me. Those are your problems. Not mine. I am not a designer. I am your worst nightmare, a critical consumer who sees that some hit the mark brilliantly and others miss it so far that is beyond me and they still have people buying their stuff.
Don’t even try to blame this on developer-kits. You are the one who obviously were sleeping during coloring-by-numbers-101. Do the work properly or call it a day.
Now, what set this off? Simple, it irks me that those missing the mark are amongst those who are most known and expensive for that matter. And I would not care this much, if not for the utter disappointment I feel. Because I am disappointed. For years I have bought my skins from the same 4 designers. One is still near perfection but I don’t like their darker tones. So I went out and tried the other 3 and from there it very much snowballed in how many skins I tried. I went deep, to use another catchphrase, and far off the beaten path and after 3 days of demoing skins I still have no tanned skin.
False advertising (vendor pics), windlight setting advice, utterly ugly and out of this world shading under the guise of ‘rouge’, natural effects and so on and so forth, is really not cool. It is in fact completely the opposite. It is what in my world is called a fucking travesty.