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Mesh hands and feet are a popular option for users with all types of avatars. For somebody who goes full mesh it’s a no brainer. Many system avatars also enjoy mesh hands or feet for various reasons including bento hand capability and a larger selection of shoes. If you have a mesh body it most likely came with hands and feet already and generally those are the ones that will work the best for the body. That doesn’t mean you can’t mix and match with other brands if you so desire!
As always you must remember that what is right for others may not be right for you. It comes down to your own needs and preferences. There are a few things to consider when demoing (yes, you should be using demos) and narrowing the options for your personal taste.
Bento vs Static Hands
As we already have a whole post devoted to this topic I’ll keep this section brief. Bento hands allow for individual finger movements and static hands can only stay in one shape. Many people prefer bento so they can make peace signs, hold lollipops, wiggle their fingers, and more. If these options aren’t important to you the static mesh hands are also an option. When this post was originally written bento was new, but it’s worth mentioning that bento is the standard for most hands now. I personally highly recommend using bento hands.
Alpha sections offer more versatility for standalone hands and feet. They allow you to make certain sections of the wrist or ankles entirely invisible. This is perfect for remedying potential clipping between your wrist and long sleeved mesh clothing. Not all mesh hands or feet come with alpha layers, but many that come with bodies do offer it. It’s handy for hiding your feet when you throw on boots to avoid clipping. For the most part you won’t use alpha layers on your hands and feet as much as you would on your main bodies, but if you wear lots of tight mesh products around the wrists and lower legs you may want to look into the alpha options.
Whether you’re just purchasing new hands/feet or you’re redoing your entire avatar you’ll need to make sure your purchase is compatible with the other products you’ll be using.
Appliers & BOM
Lots of your parts (skins, tattoos, and some gloves/socks) are put on via appliers or BOM layers. You’ll want to make sure your body parts are compatible with the products you want to use. Skins are especially important since you’ll want that to look fluid where the parts meet your body. Double check the skin you’ll be using just to be confident it’s compatible with your hands, feet, body, and head before making a purchase. Please note that BOM or system skins won’t show on parts that need appliers, and applier skins won’t show up on non mesh parts.
Not all appliers work with all mesh. You have to make sure you know what appliers will work with your body. Some brands have their own appliers, such as Maitreya and Slink. Designers can make appliers specifically for these bodies and they won’t work on other bodies. The most common applier is Omega. Many bodies are Omega compatible and can use any Omega appliers with the help of a third party relay. For more info on Omega and how to use it check out the Popular Applier Types section of our Appliers post.
BOM is a way to make mesh products work with the system layers. Appliers won’t work on BOM only parts. For BOM products you’ll simply equip the skin/tattoo/clothing and it’ll appear on your body. BOM may seem complex if you’re used to appliers, but it’s really just an updated way to handle the original system we had before appliers.
Unfamiliar with BOM? Check out our informative Bakes On Mesh guide!
There are so many bodies, heads, hands, and feet out there and no set standard for how they should fit together. This applies whether you’re using a mesh body or a system body. If your body and hands/feet don’t match it can be very obvious. Make sure that whatever hands or feet you purchase blend into the body around the wrists or ankles. Most mesh parts come with HUDs that will allow you to alter the product to match various body types. Make sure there are no distracting gaps before purchasing.
Most bodies nowadays come with hands and feet such as Maitreya’s Lara. Slink bodies do not come with hands and feet however there are hands and feet specifically made for them. When mesh body parts are made to match you have a clean fit and HUD options that match one another. Included skins, shine options, etc. will usually play nice with products that are made to be used together.
Shoes, Nails, and More
There are many mesh body parts and clothing you may want to use in addition to your hands or feet. Shoes, nails, gloves, and rings are all popular items that may or may not work with the products you’ve selected. Make sure to try on anything you know you want to wear when demoing your new mesh parts. It’s never a fun feeling to buy the wrong feet for the adorable shoes you just got.
Other Things To Consider
In HUD Customization
Many mesh products have extensive HUDs that give you a ton of different options. These options may include tinting (altering colors of applied textures), tattoos, skins, alphas, shininess or other options. Make sure to explore all areas of the HUD so you know exactly what you’re getting. Many hands have options for nails or posing. It may seem overwhelming at first, but learning every little part of your potential new body parts prevents accidentally passing up on a really cool feature you may have otherwise missed.
Different hands and feet come with different things. Make sure to know what you’re getting so you don’t have any unhappy surprises! Common things to look for are HUDs and nails. In the HUDs keep an eye out for things like nail lengths/colors, skins, tattoos, and bento poses/animations. Informational notecards will help you get started with your new look as well. Make sure to check out everything that comes with your hands and/or feet so you know all your options.