Yes, You SHOULD Be Using Demos!

Regeneration Informational, Products, Series Yes, You SHOULD Be Using Demos!

Informational Products Series

Yes, You SHOULD Be Using Demos!

Posted By Asia Ristow

If you’re a regular to the blog you know I’m a firm proponent of demoing products before purchase. I’ve had people ask if and why demos in Second Life are really important. People have also told me that they don’t want to spend the extra time demoing a product they already know they’ll like. Demos are very important, even if you’re absolutely in love with the item! Today I’ll cover what to look for when demoing so you can learn why you should never skip the demo step if it’s available.

What’s A Demo?

Demos are inexpensive (usually free or 1 linden dollar) versions of products made for you to test out before making a final purchase. Think of demos as trying on new clothes or shoes before you buy them. You wouldn’t want to make a big purchase just to find that the jacket doesn’t fit and can’t be returned, would you? In addition to being inexpensive, demos also tend to have something missing or added so you don’t use it instead of the final product. This may be weird/missing textures, extra shapes, or even a timed product that can’t be used after a period of time passes. You wouldn’t want to wear a demo out to the party you’re heading to later. The entire point of the demo is to ensure the product is what you need before making the purchase.

Finding Demos

Not all products have demos. For those that do you must first get the demo before using it. When shopping in world they can generally be found alongside the main product. Many are clearly labelled with the word “DEMO” however on occasion they’ll be a little less obvious. Try touching the advertisement for the product as that alone may give you the demo or perhaps more info. Finding demos in the Marketplace is a bit easier. Simply find the product you’re interested in, then look for the link under “Buy Now” that says “Get the demo version” and head on over to the demo! Not sure about how to use the Second Life Marketplace? Don’t worry, I have a handy guide to help.

Product Display at MODA

Using Demos

When demoing different products you’ll want to look for different things. The common thread is your personal taste. Whether something fits perfectly or not make sure you enjoy it and it’s something you want. If not, no pressure! All you have to do is get rid of the demo and move on to something else. This section is very in depth, so feel free to skip over the sections that don’t apply to you and come back to them later.

Jump to what you need below or skip to the examples section:

Mesh Body Parts
Heads
Bodies
Hands/Feet/Other

Appliers
Skins
Clothes
Tattoos/Makeup/Other

More Mesh (Not Body Parts)
Clothes
Hair
Shoes
Jewelry/Other Accessories

Mesh Body Parts

Whether you’re shopping for a new head or new hands you want to make sure your prospective parts go with what you already have. If you’re starting fresh you’ll want to demo everything at the same time to make sure it all works together before investing in your parts. It would really suck to buy an awesome new head just to find there is no way it’ll fit with your new body. Most mesh body parts have demos so you can try before you buy. To use the demo simply unpack the item (if required) and wear the object. Always make sure to read note cards that come with your demos so you know what you’re playing with. For each piece you’ll look for something a little different when testing and some things to look out for will overlap.

Heads

The head is arguably one of the most important parts of your avatar. It helps portray your personality and show off your uniqueness. You may demo many heads before finding the right one. Here is a list of what you’ll want to look for when trying it out.

LeLutka: Bento Simone Demo
  1. Neck Seam
    • Make sure the head and body come together and fit where they meet.
      • Some bodies and necks have options in the HUD to help things blend in better.
      • If it doesn’t match perfectly (but you’re in love with the head and body combination) consider items like collars or scarves that may hide the troublesome area.
  2. Hair (If using)
    • Check all angles and make sure the head isn’t peeking out through the hair.
      • If it is try other hairs or, if the head is bento, adjusting the shape
  3. Skin & Applier Compatibility
    • Make sure your skin of choice works with it.
      • Many designers will allow skins to be applied to their demo heads. Take advantage of this opportunity to ensure your skin isn’t distorted.
    • Double check which appliers can be used with the head.
      • If all your makeup is Omega based and you want to continue using it make sure you can use Omega products with the head!
      • Confused about appliers? It’s okay, we have a guide for that.
  4. Overall Look
    • Make sure you like how the head actually looks.
      • Non-bento heads
        • Make sure you like the overall appearance. While the look can be changed with skin and makeup you’ll still want to make sure you like the base they’re going on.
        • Are the proportions right to you? Make sure the eyes aren’t too big and the ears don’t stick out too much.
      • Bento heads
        • Make sure to equip the shape that comes with the demo so your face isn’t distorted.
          • If possible play with the shape by right clicking yourself and selecting Appearance> Edit Shape.
            • Some sliders will change how your head and face look, some won’t. Mess around to see what you like and if you think this is a head you’ll enjoy.
  5. HUDs
    • Animations
      • Some heads come with animations built in (or available for purchase.) Make sure you like them!
        • Equip the appropriate HUD and see what options you have. Are the animations smooth? Do they feel like you? If you’re taking photographs do they work well in screenshots?
    • General Options
      • Do you have an avatar that requires the ears to be hidden?
        • Make sure it’s an option, and that you like how things look hidden.
      • Is makeup important to you?
        • Check to see if the head comes with makeup or how makeup appliers work with it.
    • Explore the HUD
      • See if you’re comfortable with it. You want to like what you get!
        • Is anything confusing? Check notecards and if needed ask for help!

Bodies

Maitreya: Lara Demo

Bodies come in all shapes, sizes, and proportions. As the central part of your avatar (most if not all of your body parts connect to it) you’ll want to make sure you demo it thoroughly. Here’s what you need to look for when checking out a new body.

  1. Neck Seam
    • Make sure the head and body come together and fit where they meet.
      • Some bodies and necks have options in the HUD to help things blend in better.
      • If it doesn’t match perfectly (but you’re in love with the product combination) consider items like collars or scarves that may hide the troublesome area.
  2. Wrist & Ankle Seams
    • Does your body come with hands and feet?
      • If so you likely won’t have any noticeable seam where the feet and hands meet the body.
      • If not make sure to check where your third party hands and feet meet the body for any missing pixels (seams.)
        • Some bodies, hands, and feet have options in the HUD to help things blend in better.
      • Seams don’t have to be a deal breaker. If you love a body but it doesn’t work without seams consider bracelets or boots to hide the problem areas.
  3. Skin & Applier Compatibility
    • Make sure your skin of choice works with it.
      • Some designers will allow skins to be applied to their demo bodies. Take advantage of this opportunity to ensure your skin isn’t distorted.
    • Double check which appliers can be used with the body.
      • If your skins are Omega based and you want to continue using them make sure you can use Omega products on your new body!
      • Confused about appliers? It’s okay, we have a guide for that.
  4. Mesh Clothing Compatibility
    • If you’ll be using mesh clothing make sure they play a role in your body demo process.
      • Already own the clothes?
        • Test them out on your new body. Make sure they fit properly.
      • Don’t have any yet?
        • Look up some styles you’re interested in. Make sure you can get the look you want for your body type!
        • Don’t be afraid to try demo clothes with your demo body.
    • Don’t forget to use your HUD’s alpha section to fix body parts that stick out. (More info in the HUD section below)
  5. Overall Look
    • Are you happy with the proportions?
      • If not, try playing with the shape by right clicking yourself and selecting Appearance> Edit Shape.
    • Do you like the appearance of the body in general?
  6. HUDs
    • Alpha
      • The Alpha sections let you hide parts of your body.
        • This is especially helpful when using mesh clothing that may run a little small. Just hide the part(s) that sticks out!
      • Different bodies have different sections that can be turned on and off with the Alpha section.
        • The more options you have the more likely you can make clothes that don’t fit perfectly look okay.
    • Layer
      • The layers section controls everything to do with your applier layers.
        • Unsure about appliers and layers? Don’t worry, I’ve got ya covered.
        • Layers can generally be toggled on and off or even cleared from this section.
        • Make sure you like the level of control you have over the layers.
    • General
      • Some bodies come with skins.
        • If you’ll be sticking to the defaults make sure you like them and they match your other parts!
      • Some include hands and feet.
        • If so can you change how the nails look? Are there enough color options or will you be using appliers?
      • Many bodies include “fixes” to help blend into other parts.
        • Make sure these fixes actually blend into your other parts before purchasing.
    • Explore the HUD
      • See if you’re comfortable with it. You want to like what you get!
        • Is anything confusing? Check notecards and if needed ask the creator for help!

Hands/Feet/Other

Whether you are a beautiful elf ensuring her ears match her head or a human who just wants to wiggle his fingers with bento hands, you’ll find all the tips on demoing your new parts here.

Slink: Dynamic Hands Demo
  1. Seams
    • Check where the part attaches to your avatar. Is it smooth and seamless or can you see some missing pixels or jagged edges?
      • Note: Until you apply a skin or match the skin to your body there will likely be a color difference as seen above.
        • This is okay and should be fixed when you apply a skin.
      • Some parts have options in the HUD to help things blend in better.
      • If it doesn’t match perfectly but you’re in love with the product consider ways to hide the seam.
        • Wrist seams can be covered with bracelets. Ankle seams can be covered with boots. Ear seams can be covered with hair or a head accessory.
  2. Skin & Applier Compatibility
    • Double check which (if any) appliers can be used.
      • Many hands and feet have applier support so you can use your regular skins.
      • Body parts like ears and tails may not have appliers that match your skin tone.
        • In this case check the HUD for your demo. Is there an option to color match? Play with it and see if you can get a good fit.
  3. Overall Look
    • Do you like how the product looks on you?
      • Check proportions, are the wings a bit too big? Can they be adjusted via the HUD?
      • Do you like the textures on those ears? Are the piercings modifiable?
      • Is the hand natural looking? Does it feel like you?
  4. HUDs (May not apply to all products)
    • Hands/ Feet Specific
      • Check the nail options. Are there any? Do you want any?
      • Do you have layer options? Are they something you feel you need?
      • Are there options to help your new part blend seamlessly into your body?
    • General
      • Many HUDs have customization options.
        • Make sure you can make the product look how you want it to.
    • Explore the HUD
      • See if you’re comfortable with it. You want to like what you get!
        • Is anything confusing? Check notecards and if needed ask the designer for help!

Appliers

Appliers put textures onto your body parts. Check out our in depth appliers post for more information. When demoing appliers you’ll want to look at how the textures look on your parts, if the seams are natural, etc. To use the demo simply unpack the item (if required) and wear the object on your HUD. Always make sure the product actually applies to your parts before purchasing! If you have any questions check to see if a notecard came with the demo or contact the creator.

7 Deadly s{K}ins: Blair Demo
  1. Skins
    • Check for seams where the texture meets itself, especially along the arms.
      • Seams don’t have to be a deal breaker. If a seam shows at the shoulder but you always wear clothes over that spot don’t let it deter you.
    • Inspect the face.
      • Does the lips area cover the lips on your head? Conversely, do they bleed out over the edges?
        • If so makeup or adjusting your shape (if using a bento head) may fix it.
      • Does the skin come with makeup?
        • If it does, test out if it clashes with any third party makeups you may want to use.
        • If not, make sure you have third party makeups (if you use makeup!)
      • Is there a hairline?
        • If so does it look okay with your hair?
    • Do you like the overall look?
      • That’s really the most important part!
  2. Clothes
    • Check for seams where the texture meets itself, especially along the arms, stomach/pelvis, back, legs, and shoulders.
      • Seams don’t have to be a deal breaker. If a seam shows at the armpit but you’re layering other clothes over that area it likely won’t show.
    • Does it cover the parts you want it to?
      • Especially check around the nipples, genitalia, and tush.
        • If you want things peeking out that’s totally fine, you just don’t want it to be a surprise!
    • Do you like the overall look?
      • That’s really the most important part!
  3. Tattoos/Makeup/Other
    Karved Tattoos: Roots of Darkness Demo
    • Does the texture look natural?
      • Make sure your tattoos aren’t stretched out and distorted.
      • Double check that your beard is on the right part of your face.
    • Is your makeup leaking?
      • Check the lipstick, eye shadow, etc. to ensure it’s where it belongs.
    • Do you like the overall look?
      • You want it to be you!

More Mesh (Not Body Parts)

When using mesh products like clothes or shoes the fit is very important. It’s not uncommon for products to come in multiple sizes or styles to accomodate different body types. You’ll want to make sure that the product you’re purchasing fits what you have before you make your purchase. To use the demo simply unpack the item (if required) and wear the object. Always make sure to read note cards that come with your demos as they can usually answer any questions you may have.

  1. Clothes
    Lybra: Andrea Demo
    • Look at the clothing from all angles.
      • Is your body peeking out anywhere?
        • If so, can it be remedied with alpha layers on your body parts?
        • Is there another size you can try?
      • Are there large, unintentional gaps between the clothing and your body?
        • Is there another size?
      • Does it fit with any other clothes you may be using?
    • Check out the HUD if it has one.
      • Do you like the options you have?
        • Some clothing will let you change textures so it’s like having multiple outfits in one!
    • Do you like how the clothing looks on you?
      • Is it your style? Does it fit how you imagined?
  2. Hair
    TRUTH: Cheri Demo
    • Check for clipping.
      • Make sure your head isn’t peeking out of the top of the hair.
      • Check that your hair isn’t poking through your ears.
        • Some heads allow you to hide the ears. If you are using longer hair that the ears wouldn’t show through you can try that!
    • Inspect the edges.
      • Do you want a hairbase to make it look more natural?
        • Not all hair needs it, but some may look better with it.
        • Your hair may come with it or the designer may have them separately.
      • Does the hair rest against the skin naturally?
    • Check out the HUD if it has one.
      • Some HUDs let you customize the color of the hair or any accessories.
    • Do you like how it looks on you?
      • Is it your style? Is the color what you expected?
  3. Shoes
    fri.day: Aloy Demo
    • Make sure they are compatible with your feet.
      • The demo folder may have multiple shoes, make sure you’re trying on the correct ones!
    • Check for clipping
      • Is your foot poking out of or into the shoe unnaturally? Is the shoe hidden under the floor?
        • With some boots and closed toe shoes you can hide your entire foot and the shoe still works. Test it out!
        • Make sure you’re wearing the shoe base if the demo came with one.
      • Is the shoe poking through your pants or dress?
        • If so and you still love the shoes consider wearing other clothes with them.
    • Check out the HUD if it came with one.
      • Some shoes let you customize the look!
    • Do you like how they look?
      • Make sure the shoe is your style and that you like them in general.
  4.  Jewelry/Other Accessories
    Demo With A Time Limit (Click For Full Size)
    Lucas Lameth: Deva Demo
    • Do they fit properly?
      • Some jewelry and accessories need to be edited a little bit to ensure they are in the proper place.
        • Check any notecards that came with the product.
          • Some (especially jewelry) may have resizing scripts built in.
          • Some may need to be modified through the build tool.
    • Check out the HUD if applicable.
      • Some products will allow you to change colors or play with other cool options.
    • Do you like the look?
      • Make sure this is a product you actually want to use!

Demo vs Final Product (Examples)

So you know all about demos in Second Life now, but of course it’s more fun to compare the demo to the final product, right? Here are some examples of demo products and their final form along with information about each brand. (Sidenote: I absolutely love all of these products and use them personally quite often!) Demos are shown first, the final product is on the second slide.

LeLutka: Simone

Simone was LeLutka‘s first bento head. Since then two others have come out, but I’m still a big fan of Simone. Her demo is basically the full product, just with big obvious content around the head. You can play with the HUD, apply skins and makeup, and see the animations she comes with. You can pick up Simone and her demo at the LeLutka store.

7 Deadly s{K}ins: Blair

Blair is one of the newer skins from 7 Deadly s{K}ins. Her demo is the same as the final product, but with demo text placed over the skin. You can still see all the beautiful detail in her face as well as the plump lips and well groomed eyebrows. You can pick up Blair at Lost & Found until April 1, 2017.

D!Vine Style: Luna Cocktail Dress

Pose – Overlow Poses: Gift (3)

The Luna Cocktail dress is one of D!vine Style‘s classic creations. The demo allows you to play with the full final product, it just has the large DEMO ring around it. Make sure to play with the HUD, there are literally hundreds of ways to wear this dress. You can purchase the Luna Cocktail dress at the D!Vine Style store.

TRUTH: Aviva

Pose – Inspired Poses: Gift 5

Aviva is a cute ponytail style from TRUTH. The demo has a strand that won’t change colors and the obvious box above the head. You can still play with all available colors in the demo, they just won’t change that one grey section. Aviva can be purchased at the TRUTH location.

EVolved creatures: DEmon wings

Pose – Rayne’s Poses: Morrigan

DEmon wings are absolutely gorgeous bat style wings from EVolved creatures. The demo has the obvious demo box above the head and different size wings to try. The demo does not include the HUD, which I think is absolutely the best part of the purchase. The wings are infinitely customizable as the final product and include an AO HUD as well. The DEmon wings can be purchased at the EVolved creatures store.


Credits

This credits section will be a little different than usual for Regeneration posts. Any poses or demos used have already been credited above. As such we won’t be showing all the images again, simply crediting each piece. All poses (aside from SL defaults) are credited in the post at the image.

Head – LeLutka: Simone
Shape – LeLutka: Simone
Eyes – Catwa: Mesh Eyes
Body – Maitreya: Lara
Bra & Panties – Maitreya: Lara
Hands – Slink: Dynamic Hands
Feet – Slink: Female Feet High
Skin – 7 Deadly s{K}ins: Blair (Available at Lost & Found)
Tattoo – Karved Tattoos: Roots of Darkness
Bodysuit – Lybra: Andrea (Available at Uber)
Hair – TRUTH: Cheri (Available at Uber) and Aviva
Demo Shoes – fri.day: Aloy (Available at Uber)
Jewelry – Lucas Lameth: Deva (Available at Uber)
Dress – D!Vine Style: Luna Cocktail Dress
Shoes – MODA: Reagan Punk Maryjanes
Wings – EVolved creatures: DEmon wings

 

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Written by Asia Ristow

Asia has been enjoying Second Life for over a decade. She loves helping people learn how to express themselves through their avatars.

2 thoughts on “Yes, You SHOULD Be Using Demos!

    1. Thanks for reading! That’s always the worst. For me it was just a single bad purchase. One time not using a demo and I KNEW I’d never make that mistake again! Especially on big purchases like heads and bodies, demos are king!

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