|Here I am Wearing Lara 5.0 and a Beautiful Mesh Outfit by SF. It's Called Josephine, in Bronzed|
|Here the Lara 5.0 HUD Shows. Note the Alpha Areas. Lara is Invisible There So I Don't Poke Through the Dress|
|Here's What the Outfit Looks Like When Alpha Isn't Set. Not Pretty!|
|This is What Happens When my Animation Overrider Changes My Stand. I Stick Out Again|
And so I took the plunge and bought Maitreya's Lara 4.1. I had no idea Lara 5.0 would soon be released and would undo every one of the outfits I was about to make, so I went to work.
My Body Parts Poke Through my Clothing
It was slow going. My shape is fairly muscular and pokes out of mesh clothing in odd places. I used the large size (and XL on the rare occasions when on was available), and I STILL poked through my couture, even after I compromised my dignity by dialing down my breast size and muscles.
I discovered the Lara HUD gave me considerable latitude in making the offending parts of my body invisible. When my arms showed through the sleeves of garments, I set them to alpha. Ditto other body parts, depending upon the outfit--upper legs, lower legs, pelvis, chest, breasts, back, nipples, areolae.... Eventually all visible boo-boos would be taken care of.
There were more problems, however. Whenever my AO shifted my position, entirely new parts of my body would protrude and have to be zapped. And sometimes, even when I had done all I couild do with Alpha, my legs would poke out of my dresses and skirts when I moved, sticking through the virtual cloth. I worked hard to control that, but aside from carefully testing all my stand and sit poses and replacing them with mesh-friendly ones, I had no idea how to control the problem. I still don't.
Perhaps if I were compliant and meekly wore the Maitreya shape, all would be good upon the land, but fuck that. I have no intention of being one more skinny-legged Second Life woman. I LIKE my shape and I have already compromised it enough.
When I finished my first outfit, I was confronted with another problem. How could I preserve the HUD settings? As things stood, the next time I wore the outfit I would have to spend 15 minutes setting the alpha to ensure my body parts stayed inside my clothing.
I resolved this by putting a copy of the Lara 4.1 body, the hands and feet, and the HUD in the folder of the folders of the clothing I wore. Soon I had twenty outfits, twenty copies of Lara, twenty copies of her hands and feet, and twenty HUDS. Problem solved--for about a week.
Then I discovered there was a script that, when put inside a prim, would remember the Lara HUD settings and transmit them. I deleted the twenty outfits and began to make them again.
Then Lara 5.0 was released. Apparently it had been long awaited, but it broke all the outfits I had created. Happily, though, the hands and feet were now integrated and I no longer had to worry about accidentally detaching them.
Thanking my lucky stars that 5.0 came when it did, I deleted my mesh outfits once again and started to build them again.
This time I think it will work.Things aren't 100%, though. I haven't solved the problem of protruding legs whenever I change my stance, and sometimes my foot shape isn't imported correctly from the save stick. But more or less, things seem to be working.
I'm keeping copies of the save stick that came with Lara 5.0 in a folder of their own. When I make an outfit I create a new save stick with the name of that outfit. It's a bit of a pain, as the save stick cannot be renamed without dragging it onto the ground, but it seems to work. I am now able to preserve the HUD settings without having dozens of copies of the body and HUD. When and if a new version of Lara is released, my outfits SHOULD be preserved. I hope so.
Next: In Search of a Skin for Lara