Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Choose the shoes

This is a shoe post. You've been warned. After reading it you may feel the urge to spend indecent amounts of L$$ on new shoes. I guess that's fair warning.

As I said in a previous post not too long ago, despite my infrequent activity in SL™ I still managed to take a tour of the Shoe Fair 2011 - not only that, but I also made a few purchases, which you can see in this picture:

[Click on the shoe names in the text for links to individual pictures and descriptions on my Flickr.]

Am I happy with the results? Well, it varies. At first I wondered why some spend 975L on a single pair of shoes being able to get nice stuff for half the price, but I found the answer myself.

On the upper right corner are the Naucci Heels from [Decoy], priced at a reasonable 475L. These are a nice pair of sandals; however, not to be chosen if you're in a hurry. It took me a while to do the tinting seen above, and if you zoom into the picture, you'll be able to see that I didn't *quite* get the exact shade. Call me a perfectionist, but I appreciate having RGB bars in order to do some fine-tuning. The preset tones are approximate, but not exact, and there's no notecard with instructions to help out a bit.

Second, lower right, are the Maxine Wedges by Baiastice. At first I had bought the regular sandals, but upon realising that the wedge version was the charity item at the store, I decided to get both - for 590L each pair. I have to say those have been my biggest disappointment. It took me forever to do some relatively decent tinting, and one can easily see from the picture above that I did a poor job. Anyway, once you're done, you can't save it for future use - for that matter, you don't have a set of values to write down, either. Besides, despite all the nail polish options that are included, I had a hard time finding one that I liked. The package includes a notecard, but I didn't find it very useful - it gives a long-winded explanation on how to use the resize scripts, while IMHO those are self-explanatory. Not a word, though, about how to brave with the giant coloured box.

Next, on the lower left hand side, are the really popular Soleil sold at N-Core. At first I had my doubts, as 795L seemed quite steep for a pair of shoes, but then I bought them and found out all the options that they offer. In the single-colour package, as the name indicates, you buy just one version of the shoe - but you still have the possibility of changing the colour of the straps, the heel, the metal bits, etc. This is all done via a rather spiffy HUD, which is divided into 3 tabs: skin (shown above, where you can tint both skin and nails), stocking (where you can choose to wear those and also select their pattern and colour) and options (where you control all the tintable parts, plus sound, alpha, size, position and the standing animation). In case that's not enough, the notecard included in the package has pretty exhaustive instructions, as well as a significant list of RGB skin presets - where I could find my target skin tone, Belleza's Erika in Fair. All in all, it took me a few seconds to tint the skin - after I was done reading the instructions on the notecard, that is.

Finally, on the upper left corner are Maitreya Gold's Foxy - the most expensive pair in the whole lot, costing the sizable sum of 975L, but also my favourites. In my 4+ years around the grid I've never hidden the fact that I'm a Maitreya junkie, but in this case I also think their prim feet are some of the best made ones around. On the more practical side, the package comes with detailed instructions, an easy-to-use HUD and a notecard with the values of quite a lot of skins - some of which I had never really heard of. Erika wasn't on the list, but it didn't take me long to get it right nevertheless (I used the values of another Belleza Fair skin and it worked nicely). When I got ready to take the pictures I noticed that studio lights blew up the skintone, but it was just as easy as clicking one of the given presets and it was a match, so WIN.

So what's the conclusion of all this? Like with everything, it's mostly a matter of personal taste - in my case, I would rather spend a bit more and go for something practical. Perhaps there is not much of a difference between the shoes as such, but maybe the couple hundred more you're spending are due to the fact that someone put a lot of thought into developing a truly usable HUD. Or took ages checking and compiling the settings for all existing skins. That, for me, is priceless.


Samara Barzane said...

I'm a Maitreya junkie too!

Fury said...

Me too...lol....great, informative post!

Elaine Lisle said...

Who isn't??? ;-)
Thank you Fury!

Trixie Bumbo said...

As a confirmed shoeaholic I really appreciate this post. Thank you for making it a true review. Sometimes we need to know that prims are difficult to fit or the huds are complicated for mere mortals or that the sculpties could use some work. Wish I had a Linden for every pair of shoes I've purchased and wound up deleting because the best skin tone I could create made my feet look like dead men walking or the toes were more like Vienna sausages with nail polish.

Elaine Lisle said...

Thanks a lot for your comment, Trixie! And thanks for reading it through, I know it was such a long post! I hope I managed to keep it instructive and not too judgemental...