The big alpha.tribe update

I did not want to switch over to a mesh avatar for a very long time. I have had the Alpha shape and skin for years and I have really identified with Alpha, in that appearance. She looks like me. Or rather she looked like I looked 20 years ago. But, then a few weeks ago I decided that the switch had to be made if I wanted to keep up with SL as a fashion designer. I had to know how this stuff worked. It all had to do with what I have talked about on this blog from time to time. About no longer feeling up to scratch in SL, about a feeling that the world had overtaken me technologically and that I found it hard to be creative in it. So, among some other changes, I made the switch.

And almost had a coronary!

I have been using a skin template for years which has worked very well on the classic SL avatar. But when I rezzed the skin on the mesh avatar what I saw was nothing short of a monster. Very obviously the UV maps on the mesh heads and bodies had changed drastically and nothing that had been created specifically for the classic SL avatar was in place anymore. A grotesque mouth stretching from ear to ear. Eyes that were no longer where they were supposed to be. So awful looking, in fact, that I do not want to sully the appearance of this blog by posting before and after pictures. Instead I have posted a selection of the new skins at the top of this post.

Now, I take some pride in my SL store and my reputation as a SL merchant. So, once the shock was over I decided to update my entire store inventory. Which is what I have been doing full time for the past 3 or 4 weeks. I am now done. Only very few things left, and I am not sure that I will actually bother with those since they were never very big sellers.

Everyone, who can provide proof of purchase will get an update on things they paid good money to buy. Especially things that they bought since the advent of mesh avatars. I can just imagine how disappointed they must have been when they put on the skins and outfits. Akin to how one feels when something that one has ordered online arrives and turns out to be nothing but crap. I feel really ashamed. And whatever I can do to make it up to these folks I will do. Obviously the place to announce this is in SL itself, through the alpha.tribe group. Which I will do very shortly. But, if you are an alpha.tribe customer, send a screenshot of your inventory for every item you purchased from alpha.tribe to and I will see to it that you get your update (and my big apologies) shortly. 


  1. Those look amazing, Elif! I'm sure you expended a lot of blood, sweat, & tears making them as well as saying goodbye to your sl classic skins... It's hard letting go! You did a GREAT job (& I think they still look like you!)... BTW, I've had your products for AGES (like since I joined sl in 2010), so how will I prove that I bought them since those purchases no longer display in my sl account? Will you have a redelivery terminal available? Either way, I love what you've done here, and can't wait to get my updates - thank you for your generosity in that!!! ~ Skye (McLeod) Fairywren ♥♥♥♥

    1. Thank you Skye! The avi isn't "me", she is my seamstress alt who does most of the production these days. I got her the mesh head and body too since she is the one who takes all the photos. And Grapho also got a mesh set since we also need a male model. I gave her a generic pretty face, didn't try for anything more ambitious than that. I did work quite a bit on Grapho (who has a special place, he isn't just a worker bee), so his face has quite a bit of personality, just like his old SL avatar had also.

      As for Alpha - her appearance is still problematic for me. The trouble with the mesh head is that whatever I do I cannot make a "normal" looking face. It is always too pretty, too perfect. And Alpha was anything but pretty. So...

      The mesh head I got for Grapho is made by GA.EG, the Damon type. Highly highly recommended. As for the female mesh head the best I could find was from Mayreal. My criterion was 1) Can I make a straight nose? 2) Can I make lips that do not have a cupid's bow? I must have tried every brand demo and Mayreal was the only one I found that allowed me to make a straight nose and a more or less straight mouth. But, I still can't get Alpha to look like she is supposed to look - which is like a regular woman, not a super model. :-\

  2. I'm glad you found a mesh head you can work with...I have so many different brands (LeLutka, Catwa, Genus, LAQ, Logo, just to name a few), so it will be really interesting seeing what your new applier look like on some of those!

    One of outfits I have on my top 5 favorites of yours is "Vanitas"...That one was love at first site for if you find the time to get appliers made for that one, I think I'll be one happy camper... It's SOOO well done, and I love wearing it...but now that you're making appliers...well... *hint* *hint*... :D Just uploaded a pic earlier tonight of your Ascomycota and I hope you like it. I hope to take a lot more pics of what I refer to your line as "Art Nouveau"...incredibly "artsy" - and which I love wearing when I want to be totally outrageously unique! Keep up the good work, my friend, and I'll keep trying to take lots of pics of each ensemble as I get to it! You are one uniquely talented artist, and I always look forward to your next creation!!! Oh here's the pic I took today on Flickr: Hugs, Skye ♥♥

    1. Thank you for the photo Skye! Wonderful!

      I made a separate applier for Lelutka (the v.2 thing) because the Lelutka nose is very narrow on the UV map and the regular skin leaves a streak on the nostril since the nostril crease ends up on the middle of the nostril. This v.2 applier also seems to work on Catwa. The others, quite frankly, I haven't tested. But the results will vary because it seems that all these mesh bodies and heads have slightly different UV maps. Not only different from the classic SL avatar, but also different from one another.

      As for Vanitas - that is a tough one. Not because of the skin but because of the skirt. I have discovered that the classic SL avatar was much bigger than these mesh bodies. So, a shape worn on the classic avatar gives a very different result to the mesh body. Which means most old attachments have to be reconfigured. That was a pretty big part of what I updated actually. The Vanitas skirt is very complicated, as you know, and I simply haven't had the energy to tackle that one. And to be completely honest with you, I may not do it at all. Because it really is a big job that is not just about simply resizing it but tearing the whole thing apart and resizing everything one by one and then reassembling it. :-\

  3. I totally understand that, Elif - I just happen to love that one (also!). :D It's just a very unusual & very cool musical ensemble... I photographed it eons ago (2011) when I was still quite new at doing sl photography: . I'm really enjoying photographing all your redux's as they're released! Thanks so much for making so many new appliers for all those ensembles! What a labor of love!!! More hugs, Skye ♥♥♥♥