Today I am going to break down the changes to the Lelutka heads in the Evo X line (Avalon, Briannon and Ceylon) that recently came out at Skin Fair so that you will hopefully be better able to use the new heads with a bit more confidence.
FIRST! It will be very helpful if you understand how BOM and HD appliers work, so if you haven’t already, please read my blog posts on those (unless you’re a mesh head wizard, in which case proceed to the fun stuff!)
- Back that BOM Up: Part 1 in my series explaining Bakes on Mesh. This details some of the basic things you may need to understand how BOM works.
- Keep Calm and Bakes On (Mesh): Part 2 in my series explaining Bakes on Mesh, this tells you how to use BOM and how it works.
- WTF IS HD???: I explain what “HD” or “High Definition” appliers are and why they are different from standard appliers.
What the heck is Evo X?
To use Lelutka’s words: “The Evolution Xtreme (Evo X ) is the latest addition to our Evolution line. It is an extension of the original Evo heads.” One of the features of the new head is the ability to use extreme mode. Sounds cool huh? But what the heck is it?
If you look at the Evo X HUD, at the top of the head menu you will see “Classic” and “Evo X” (the X stands for Extreme). (UPDATE: as of v 3.1 these modes are called “Evo” and “Evo X”) You can tab between these two options. You will also notice that in one your avatar will look normal, and in another you will look downright wack!
Do not panic!
This is, as we say, a feature and not a bug. Bear with me. Take deep, cleansing breaths. It will be ok.
If you read my previous posts linked above you’re somewhat familiar with something called a UV. To review, it’s basically a template that lays out how a flat texture will apply to a 3D surface. Think of the UV as a clothing pattern. If you cut the fabric incorrectly it won’t fit on whatever you’re making.
Now, up until Evo X all the Lelutka heads used the standard UV by default. This is the UV that Second Life was originally made to use. This is why you can wear a BOM layer across multiple heads. They may need slight adjustments to fit different heads, but you won’t look like a freak of nature because the mouth, nose, eyes, etc. are generally in the same place. They’re all using the same “pattern”, which is, the standard UV.
You’ve been happily using Lelutka heads as usual, with your standard skin, maybe some BOM layers and HD, and everything was right with the world. Then you put on an Evo X head and this happened…
Remember what we just learned about the standard UV? Well, Evo X comes with extreme mode on by default. This mode uses a custom UV, meaning, a UV that differs from the SL standard UV. That’s why you have a mouth on your forehead. It’s actually supposed to look that way if you’re wearing a skin using the standard UV, because you’ve basically got the wrong pattern on, that’s all. See? Not the end of the digital world! Ooohhmmmm…
Now, if you use the face, ear and brow layers included with the head, while in Evo X mode, you will notice everything goes back to looking normal and way less terrifying! Yay! That’s because the skin, brows and ears included with the Evo X heads are made using the correct UV for Evo X mode.
In Evo X mode the head uses the Evo X UV, so you will need to use BOM layers that are also using the Evo X UV. Otherwise you’ve got the wrong pattern on, sort of like cutting out fabric for a dress and trying to fit it on your couch. It just wont look right, even if it makes your couch feel pretty.
So let’s take a look at the Evo X UV so we can compare it to the standard UV. Notice where it’s different?
Both UVs use the same resolution, or texture size, because SL has a max texture size of 1024×1024. Everything, even HD, is restricted to this max texture size. As I explain in my WTF IS HD!? post, the higher detail comes from giving an area (like the eyeshadow layer) more space on the texture so that it has more pixels to work with.
With the standard based UV on the left the ears and side of the head take up almost half of the texture’s space, while the face takes up a fairly small amount. This is why standard BOM makeup is not as detailed as HD makeup, because there just isn’t much space on the texture for lipstick and eye shadow. Less space means less pixels means less detail.
With the Evo X UV on the right the face area is larger. By making a custom UV in which the face area is bigger the Evo X head allows for greater facial details while still using the same texture size and utilizing the benefits of BOM. Think of it as a halfway point between standard BOM and HD appliers. HD appliers still have the most detail, but Evo X BOM has more detail than standard BOM.
The ears on the Evo X UV also get their own texture, so they also allow for more ear details like tattoos! Nifty! Expect to see a lot more Elves running around SL.
Next you’re probably thinking “So wait… I can’t use standard skins and makeup on my Evo X head that I just bought!?!?!!“
Actually, you can. Remember those two modes I pointed out in the HUD, earlier in this post? If you switch to “Classic” mode the head goes back to using the standard UV, just like previous Lelutka heads. You can switch between the two all you want, you just cannot mix which type of UV you are wearing. If you’re in Classic Mode you must wear classic UV based BOM layers. If you’re in Exo X Mode you must use Evo X BOM layers. HD appliers work the same in both modes, so you can use those on your head no matter what mode you’re in.
Here is a little cheat sheet I made to quickly reference what items work on which head and in which mode:
So how do you know you’re buying a product that works for Evo X? Read ads and… I have a secret…
DEMO DEMO DEMO
Don’t buy something until you’re sure it works the way you thought it would! The means trying a demo, whenever available, and reading the ads and any help/info note cards. Unless you like gambling with your $L in which case please go to my store and buy everything! (Ok seriously please don’t do that, I get enough people buying the wrong thing I do not need anyone else doing it pleaaaaaaaaase just demo stuff so I can make you happy!)
UPDATE: Although Lelutka updated all Evolution heads to include EvoX features, each head includes only the original skin it was released with. Heads which were originally released as Evo, before EvoX came out, include only their original Evo skins. They do not include EvoX skins. You can use EvoX skins by switching your mode, but you will need to get an EvoX skin to use it with. For heads originally released as EvoX, they include only EvoX skins.
Now, go forth and Evo X! If you have more questions about the new heads here are some resources for you:
Need help? Join Lelutka’s Discord and post in the #help-lobby.