Welcome to the Slink Redux and Bakes on Mesh FAQ
What is Bakes on Mesh?
Bakes on mesh is a Linden Lab project for Second Life that allows mesh attachments to receive baked system textures just like the SL default avatar does.
You can read about the Second Life Project here: Second Life Bakes on Mesh announcement
I see the term BOM around. What is BOM?
BOM is simply an acronym for Bakes on Mesh 🙂
Ok so what is a BOM skin?
There is no such thing as a “BOM Skin”. A skin is a skin is a skin whether it’s applied via system layer or via applier HUD. The Slink Redux body parts use system layer skins the way we used to before appliers were ever invented. You just wear the system skin and get on with your day! So when you see the term “BOM Skin”, you’re looking at a system layer skin. Same with tattoos and clothing on the system layer. BOM is relevant to the mesh item, not the skin.
Do I need a special viewer for Bakes on Mesh?
Bakes on mesh requires a viewer update. At the time of writing, Bakes on Mesh is available in the Official Second Life viewer, with 3rd party viewers such as Firestorm still to be updated. [UPDATE 18 October 2019 – MOST 3rd PARTY VIEWERS NOW SUPPORT BAKES ON MESH]
You can download the viewer here: Second Life Viewer download
Why did Slink remove all the layers when we could have just added a BOM flag to the current body?
Prior to the release of REDUX, the Slink body consisted of 4 layers, each containing about 15,000 triangles, broken up into 27 pieces, each piece containing 8 faces, in order to accomodate a high number of alpha zones that wearers could turn on and off for wearing with mesh clothing. The Avatar rendering cost of that, plus the deluxe feet, plus Dynamic Hands added up to about 17000.
Since the point of Bakes on Mesh, at least to us, is to reduce the avatar rendering cost and make Second Life a nicer, less laggy, less crashy place, we decided that removing all the extra layers and letting the bake system handle tattoos, underwear and clothing layers would allow us to reduce the rendering cost of our body system. In addition, joining the body parts together in one attachment (Bundle only) allowed us to drastically reduce the script, face and texture count of the body attachment.
The full Avatar Rendering Cost of the Redux bundle is just under 4000 now which we think is a huge improvement. Just adding a flag to the skin layer and keeping all those inefficient extra layers for appliers to us seemed to defeat the point of BOM. Both options are available now for the transition period, but there will come a day (sometime in the future) when the full appliers version is retired to make way for a purely bakes on mesh system. NOTE you can continue to use your classic appliers version of the body for as long as you have it, and as long as creators are still making appliers for it. We can’t, and don’t want to take it off you, but we do want to encourage you to explore the new options available as well.
Do I need to update my Slink Body for Bakes on Mesh?
The Slink body parts system has undergone a MAJOR update for Bakes on Mesh. We have gone back to the drawing board on many features and redesigned the whole thing from the ground up. We have streamlined the geometry and texture usage, and removed as much unnecessary overhead as possible. This includes extra onion skin layers that were no longer necessary, and the script system and HUD have been completely redesigned to take full advantage of this opportunity. The end result is that the user experience is easier, cleaner and lower avatar rendering cost, especially in the body bundle packages.
Will all my current appliers and applier body parts stop working?
The Slink applier compatible body parts have been renamed to “Classic”, and will always work as they do now. We are not taking anything away, we are adding. This is not a mandatory body update, it is optional, at least for now. However, the Classic body parts are as feature complete as they are going to be, and won’t be updated again unless there is a bug that needs to be fixed.
Do I need to buy Redux if I already own Slink Physique, Dynamic Hands or Avatar Enhancement Feet?
No. Redux is an update, not a new product. You can get your copy by visiting a redelivery terminal in the Slink Mainstore and requesting new copies of the items you own. If the redelivery is missing any items that you have previously bought or were gifted, you can IM Slink Resident for the update.
Can I upgrade my hands, feet and body purchases to a bundle
WOMEN, if you own:
- Deluxe Feet OR 4 or more of the single sets of feet
- At least ONE Physique body (Original, Hourglass or both)
You can request a like-for-like upgrade to a bundle, by sending a message with your avatar name and a list of the Slink body part items you own inworld to Slink Resident (if you do not have all the pieces you may purchase what is missing before contacting her) . You will receive a bundle that contains the same body that you own. There are advantages to the bundles that weren’t included in the separate packs that are worth converting for! An all in one attachment for body, hands and feet being one of them.
MEN, if you own:
You are eligible for an upgrade to a bundle, as above, message Slink Resident.
Contact Slink Resident here: IM Link to Slink Resident
Why am I blue and yellow with writing all over me help!
The blue and yellow textures represent the SL bakes on mesh texture ID’s and will only show if you are not in a compatible viewer. You can either unpack the “Classic” to use until your viewer is updated, or you can use an updated viewer (Currently, SL official is the only one that supports BOM)
Why am I invisible when I am on the correct viewer and using a system layer Skin?
If you are invisible, please remove any full body alphas that you have on, that will make sure you see everything as you should.
Why aren’t my skin appliers working on Redux?
Redux is designed to be worn with system layer skins. These are the items in your inventory that have the little peach/brown person icon next to them. Skin appliers will not apply skin textures to Redux, but they will apply specular and normal maps if they are included in the applier HUD.
If you want to use skin appliers, you can continue to use the “Classic” body parts.
Where can I get system skins for Redux
There are many skinmakers who still include system skins with their skin creations. When in doubt, a quick marketplace search with the terms “skin” and “classic avatar” or “system” should return plenty of results. If you have a particular skin that you love that only comes in appliers, consider asking the creator for a system layer.
Basic marketplace search: Search Results
I heard a rumour that Slink now only supports 512 textures
This is categorically not true. Even if we COULD somehow limit texture resolution, why WOULD we? 1024 looks much better than 512 and the Bakes on Mesh REDUX body parts simply accept whatever is worn on the system layer as it’s textures. If the system layer was made with 512×512 textures, that is what you will see. If it was made with 1024 textures, that’s what you will see.
Why are my feet white at the ends ?
Previously, shoebases were often made leaving the default white texture since it was usually hidden by an alpha. There is a set of shoe bases included with Redux bundles and feet packs that has no default texture. Please use those!
Why do my fingers and toes look weird?
Back in the days before there were mesh feet *gasp!* we had to make do with the system feet, which have no actual toes. They are just flat, roughly foot-shaped paddles. We also had no option of tattoo layers like we do now either. So skinmakers did the best they could with the tools they had, and painted toenails (and fingernails though the hands were slightly better) onto the skins they created. They looked great on the system feet, but unfortunately do not work for mesh feet where the toes have been defined and given a slightly different layout. We have created the Tintable Fingertips and Toetips tattoo layers just for this purpose. Simply wear the tattoo layers, and then right click them in your inventory and select edit, and then tint them to match your skin. Because we are not dealing with floating layers and transparent textures, and it’s all baked into one texture, you can easily get a match for your skin without worrying about your SL lighting changing the final effect! These tintable layers should work for just about EVERY skin, so if your favourite skin does not have slink compatible feet, it doesn’t matter 🙂
Can I wear system clothing and tattoos with Redux
Absolutely and there are a number of options on the redesigned HUD to make clothing look better than it would painted flat onto your body. No more toggling on or off various layers, no more of your stockings making your tattoo disappear!
What appliers DO work on Redux?
Redux still uses appliers for skin specular and normal maps (shine and bump) and for nailpolishes. All existing and new Slink, and Omega appliers will continue to work. The Redux Asymmetry Harness (Bundle option only) also uses appliers for Left arm and Right arm, Left Foot and Right Foot tattoo appliers and clothing, however the skin on the asymmetry harness uses the system skin layer bake.
How many layers can I use with Redux?
The second life system avatar supports over 60 layers of any type so you can really go nuts if you want to layer freckles, moles, scars, tattoos, underwear and makeup etc. So many more options now!
How do I manage my layers now that I don’t have a hud to hide or unhide them?
All you need to do now to remove a layer like a tattoo or an underwear is right click your avatar, select “Edit Outfit” and then find the item you want to remove in the list. Then just click the little X next to the item name.
How can I make my freckles appear beneath my tattoo layer?
Re-ordering layers in the SL outfit editor is really easy. All you have to do is right click your avatar, select Edit Outfit, and in the list of layers, next to the names, you will see a little up, or down arrow. Clicking this arrow will let you move layers up or down in the stack. They appear from the top down so if you want your tattoo to appear on top of your freckles, make sure the tattoo layer is above the freckles layer.
How do I alpha my body now that Redux doesn’t have alpha zones on a HUD?
Redux works with alpha layers, just like the system body does. All you need to do to hide your body is to wear an appropriate alpha layer! If you don’t have one for the mesh clothing you are wearing, you can use one from the Basic Alpha Layers set and adjust the edges via the Physique Redux Utilities HUD (please see instructions) or you can consider requesting one from the clothing creator, or you can make your own! I have included tools and instructions for creating alpha layers with the Redux body updates to help you.
I have created a video tutorial to show you exactly how to create your own alpha layers.
What is the Asymmetry Harness for?
Previously we could give you asymmetrical options especially for tattoos and alpha zones for asymmetrical mesh clothing, via script and HUD. Bakes on Mesh brings us back to the symmetrical avatar that we had prior to mesh bodies. For boring, technical limitation reasons, we created the asymmetry harness especially so that your asymmetrical tattoo appliers would still work, and so that you could still use alpha zones. You may need to request a chest/legs tattoo layer from your tattoo maker to wear along with the asymmetrical applier to complete your tattoo.
How do I learn more about the Redux body and HUD?
I created a video tutorial just for you! It’s only 10 minutes long and will tell you everything you need to know about the HUD and the changes to the body system. The tutorial features the Female Original Redux body, but the same principles and features apply to all of the updated Slink body parts.