Thursday, 23 May 2013

When Hair Attacks 2!

Some may remember my hairspear post of last year. Hair can be a funny thing in SL. Now it's gone on the offensive again!

I was in the early stages of putting together an outfit and trying on mesh hairstyles, for which an alpha mask is usually provided. This is why you can see through the top of my head.

I was extremely disconcerted to take off my hair at one point and discover that a pulsating blob of hair had apparently taken up residence inside my skull, like some kind of nesting alien parasite. You can't see the pulsating on a still shot, but pulsating it was. It was quite horrific, and not much tends to get past my 'ick' threshold. 

So what was really causing the hairbrain, given that a) avatars do not customarily possess brains of any description and b) it wasn't an alien possession (as I thankfully worked out)?


Okay - you know those bald caps/eyebrow shapers you have to wear and, if you're anything like me, probably end up wearing the same one for months at a time and forgetting about it? Since, as with eyes and skin, if you drag on a different outfit it won't take off a bald cap unless there is a different one in the outfit to replace it. If you tweak the settings, you'll find that you can grow a luxuriant head of non-prim, system hair on one of these things. It's pretty nasty looking, but it used to be a lot more common than now, in the days before decent creators kindly provided free, full avatars in the library and all over the marketplace. Most hair creators put the hair settings of the bald cap on zero, because they're only interested in the shape and colour of the eyebrows and don't want system hair messing up the prim styles.

Whoever made this eyebrow shaper (and it was marketed as such, not as a bald cap) did not switch the settings to zero. I would guess they played with the sliders until the hair disappeared from the model's head, and left it at that. The result is that a big 'tuffet' of hair was left like some kind of growth inside the skull, where normally you wouldn't see it. Eww! Everyone check your bald caps, at once, for tribble infestation!

As for the pulsating, I can only conjecture but I've noticed recently that system clothes (such as skirt layers) have an animated effect, as though rippling gently in the breeze. I'm not sure if this is an effect of the latest [Firestorm] viewer update or just that I'm noticing a) because I've updated, which makes people tend to notice things more because they are on the look-out for changes, or b) because in fact I hardly ever wear system skirts and so would not be likely to notice exactly when such a change occurred. But I wore a couple for the Colour Challenge last year and I didn't notice it then. I'm also convinced system skirts are fitting better, moulding themselves to the body in the way that mesh does, but maybe I just tried on a really well made skirt.

Anyway, it seems as though the rippling extends to hair as well as clothing. I tweaked my bald cap to grow more hair and it looked as though an alien was trying to break out of my head, with most unsettling bulging and wobbling going on. It was really very disturbing and would incline me even less to wearing system hair, were I not already 100% disinclined. But I urge you to try it, for a laugh.

I told a [furry] friend about this incident and it is hir joking response I have taken for my picture caption.

Or perhaps I have uncovered a deadly secret: Linden Labs are trying to control us through our bald caps!

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