LeLutka Evolution: First Impression

The Confusing

  • The very first question in the FAQ included in the demo packs is, “What is BOM and why are you moving away from Appliers and towards BOM only?” Great, except when you go to buy HD makeups, they’re all…appliers? And they don’t work on any other LeLutka head lines, because apparently none of the products available for the Evolution line are backwards compatible.
  • HD is not well-explained. The FAQ says, “but we have created HD layers for eye shadow and lipstick. UV is custom to accommodate for HD makeup layers, which means that older makeups will not work on the new line of headsWhat?
  • Unlike other lines where your “starter skins” are in the included main HUD, these starters are provided as layers with each head – 4 tones, 4 eyebrows. They’re both excellent however, the FAQ doesn’t tell you what body skin to use for each one. I found one match with Tone 7 from the 2018 body appliers from Glam Affair and there may be others that you can find too. But let’s be honest, not including this very basic information is a big miss.
  • If I use the eye applier options in the HUD, are those considered BoM or applier? And if applier, when I try to use other, older eye appliers, my eyes sometimes look like black holes – but not always with all colors. Nowhere in the FAQ does it even mention how the eyes work. Notice how the top of the eye section says “applier affect” but above that it says “Bakes on Mesh”…

The Bad(ish) – subjectively speaking

  • The basic mood animations included in the HUD are totally different than previous lines. And not in a good way. I have not been able to recreate the natural, human expression cycles that I can on my 3.4 heads. In fact, I have no idea whether I can use any of the animation packs I previously purchased from LeLutka at all. The included animations look unnatural, exaggerated, and even creepy to me.
  • This is (obviously) completely subjective, but the two heads just aren’t that pretty to me. Unlike Simone and Korina, my two favorite LeLutka heads of all time that I loved immediately, I was like, “meh” for both of these from the beginning. I can still play with my shape and style (I love the look of them from the ads, which look nothing like that on my avatar), but I don’t see myself wearing this head, which is a shame because I absolutely LOVE some of the new Glam Affair skins that are made for this line. They are gorgeous and luminous. I wish they looked right on my Korina head, because I would buy them all!
  • All the confusion with BoM/appliers – what works and what doesn’t – puts pressure on inventory size and management. But maybe more importantly, it’s completely unclear if the creator recommends we put aside our old inventory (thousands of skin appliers, makeups, hairbases, etc) and build out a new collection of items for Evolution only? If so, they need to say that this is the line they will be investing in going forward. LeLutka needs to be clear with consumers so that buyers feel confidence that no matter what, this is the path forward to align with SL’s technology. Right now, it feels very much like this is an experiment or trial.

The Bottom Line

Aside from land, mesh heads are one of the most expensive investments consumers make in Second Life. The philosophy behind a major technology shift should always come with a clear explanation of intent that answers basic investment questions such as: Will there be investments/updates on the classic head lines? Or will they be retired? How often will new heads be released in this new line? Are there any plans to update previous heads to this new technology?

Without those answers and more, I would say to serious collectors like me, grab one of these heads if you enjoy the actual head shapes. Otherwise, watch what other content creators do: are they regularly creating for this line? Or are they releasing at launch and then slowing down because there isn’t traction or demand? A good litmus test will be Powder Pack. Will the next pack feature items all for the new line – or will it be a mix with the old lines too?

Keep in mind that LeLutka heads already suffer from fewer skin and makeup releases from other creators than say, Genus – so who knows whether this will extend that disparity or close the gap some? Not sure it matters but personally, anything that increases the development for LeLutka – my mesh head supplier of choice – is good for me!

In conclusion, the heads are beautifully made but unless you absolutely positively love the specific Erin or Nova aesthetic, I would wait to see what happens. Or, pick your favorite now like I did since it’s on sale for a limited time – that way you can at least play around if you’re new to BoM.

In the meantime, if you want to find inspiration with the new line, check out the LeLutka showcase pool. I have found some absolutely STUNNING avatars wearing these heads. I just can’t seem to feel excited about the heads myself – although I would love something more like Korina, ofc.

As for me, I will keep working on my shape (which clearly needs a lot of help) and trying some more new skins from Glam Affair and others.

I hope you find this first impression helpful!