Second Life released Bakes on Mesh (BOM) and it was a game changer.  I must admit, I was reluctant to hop on the BOM train.  There is so much change regularly in Second Life, I didn’t feel like changing again!  And for whatever reason, I thought it was going to be a lot more complicated than it was.  But it’s really simply and the outcome is so worth it.

The only other tricky thing is making sure your favorite skin creator has made their skins BOM enabled.  I found a working document in the Second Life BOM flickr group.

Full Second Life BOM video

Be sure to check out the video and follow along.  Yesterday was wild!  I went live for my first ever super chat after being accepted for the YouTube partner program and of course, one of my absolutely favorite YouTubers, Yorkie, joined the chat. I died.  Anyway, check out the video.  If you’re like me and just like some text steps, read below!

An Deeper Dive into System Layers and BOM


Bakes on Mesh is a feature that allows you to add system textures on mesh attachments.  For anyone who joined Second Life after the introduction of mesh, you may not understand this plot twist.  Basically, back in the early days of Second Life, when we had absolutely no mesh, we were walking around looking like this…

If you didn’t notice, all of our clothing was pretty much “painted on.”  Textures were applied directly to an avatar by simply wearing the texture.  There was no need to use an applier, etc.  When mesh was released, most of us threw our entire inventories away to buy clothing and makeup to fit these new mesh heads and bodies.  In some cases, that was definitely a good thing.  We were struggling back then!

The only major complications that came with this fabulous upgrade were the limitations on how much you can add to your mesh avatar.  For me BOM is a game changer for avatar and beauty customization.  Because all heads and bodies have limited layers you can use.  For example, Genus has just one layer on the head so if you wanted to wear blush and highlighter, you can’t because they are both trying to take up the same layer.  Let’s not even talk about the multiple tattoos + body shine issues.

I came up with tons of workarounds.  I tried using omega to push highlighter to a tattoo layer but then boom, my hairbase now wants the tattoo layer because it comes down a little low on my face.  But oh no, where do my beauty marks go!  I was seeing some creators starting to make full face looks to help – dimples + eyeliner or blush + highlighter.

So now, instead of playing that little game all you need to do is locate the system texture in your inventory and simply add it.  I can’t remember how many of these textures we’re able to wear at once.  I’m sure someone will correct me but there is a limitation, just like there’s a limit on how many objects you can wear.  But make that face up! You still have plenty of space to play with your avatar.

How to Enable BOM

  1.  First things first, you need to make sure you have the most up to date version of your viewer.  The Second Life viewer, Firestorm and Black Dragon support BOM.  If you do not have the updated version then you won’t be able to see anyone BOM enabled correctly.
  2. You need to make sure you have updated versions of your head and body.  I know Legacy, Slink Redux, Maitreya, Belleza and eBody are BOM enabled bodies.  And Genus, Lelutka (and I believe Catwa) are also now BOM enabled.
  3. Find a skin store that has BOM skins.  You will not be able to use Bakes on Mesh until you have a BOM skin.  This is the biggest step.
  4. Wear the BOM body skin.  Remember you can’t remove skins, you’ll need to wear it.  If you’re demoing a skin, you’ll just need to replace it by wearing a different skin.
  5. Wear the head skin – usually this appears in your inventory as a system tattoo later.Second Life BOM - Bakes on Mesh - Adding Skin
  6. Now that both your head and body skin are on… time for the hard part. Remove all alphas you are wearing (the only alpha you can keep on are eye alphas).  Remove avatar erasers, head alphas, etc… all of them!  I promise, this is absolutely required.  If you do not, your avatar will turn red.  If your avatar does turn red, double check the items you are wearing and be sure all alphas are removed.
  7. You now need to enable BOM on your mesh.  I used Legacy and there is an option right on the hud, in the texture section that says apply BOM.  Read the instructions or check the folder for your updated body to find where this is located for you.  Your head should also have this option.  For Genus, if you cannot find it in your folder then grab a free BOM activator here.
  8. Once you have enabled BOM on both your head and body, you should see yourself as normal, just as you looked before starting the process with the new BOM skin.

Troubleshooting Tips

There are 4 common issues I know about when switching to BOM.

  1. My forehead has a forehead!  This bizarre brown head that pokes through your head once you finish everything – this is an issue with your eyebrow shaper.  All of the hair options need to be set to zero.  So just right click the eyebrow shaper in your inventory and then click edit.  You can adjust the sliders. Second Life BOM - Bakes on Mesh - Hair Error
  2. Layers are missing!?  Remember because you’re applying system layers, they need to go in order.  They’re going to add to your avatar in the order you add them.  For example, if you add your hairbase BOM layer and then add the face skin after, the face skin is going to cover your hairbase.  Keep that in mind when switching looks.  You may need to remove and readd to keep the proper order.  Same with something like eye shadow and eyeliner.
  3. My wig is still slipping!  If you haven’t seen the big hairbase-hating mesh hair debacle then good for you.  But what’s been happening lately, for girls who like full hairbases, some of which come a little lower on our foreheads or longer sideburns, they are not compatible with many mesh hair styles.  You get an awkward alpha at the top of the hair that looks like a faulty lace front wig.  Remember, when you go BOM, clear the hair base from your head and use a system or BOM layer for your hairbase.
  4. My toes are MESSED up!! Like they had little baby rolls on them.  Now, I don’t know if this is the fault of the body creator or the skin creator but a few of us went through a toe struggle when we converted.  I’m still struggling but I found a tintable toe corrector on marketplace.

Second Life BOM Fun Facts

The thing I was most excited about – you can still wear your BOM layers and appliers for your skin and body.  The more comfortable you get with BOM and the more creators release BOM makeup and other features, I’m sure you may stop using appliers all together.  But its perfectly possible to wear a BOM lipstick and toss your favorite Genus lip gloss over it, if the creator hasn’t gone BOM yet.  Same with tattoos or any other features you can think of.

Anywho, I hope that helps! I’ve been using BOM for a few weeks and still waiting for more creators to hop on for makeup and other avatar customization features! I’m sure there will be plenty coming.  In the meantime, keep an eye on groups like the one I linked above to check out new releases or enter BOM in marketplace to search.

Second Life BOM - Bakes on Mesh - Meela Vanderbuilt
My Final BOM look



3 Replies to “Second Life BOM – Bakes on Mesh Tutorial”

  1. Friday Afternoon says: June 27, 2020 at 7:36 am

    I often have issues with missing layers when wearing multiple BOM tattoo layers. Even when Intake them off and put them on again so the6 are in the correct order they sometimes do not show up because they aren’t applied in the right order. Example, I have a BoM boy chest applied as a tattoo, and then a tattoo on top of that. Sometimes I can’t get the tattoo to show up on top of the boy chest skin tattoo. Same thing with face make up on top of a head skin where the head skin is a BOM tattoo separate from the body skin. Taking them on and off and applying in the correct order doesn’t work sometimes. Any suggestions as to what is happening?

    Other than that, BOM is awesome, being able to save all those BOM “applied” as inventory items makes switching from one outfit to another with different skins, make up, and tattoos, really easy. How it gets the order correct when the outfit goes on I don’t know, but it seems to work most of the time, again, sometimes it won’t load a layer in the right order, and I have to take them off and put them on again, but it’s still easier than using applied. Except when I still can’t get them on the right layer, something broken there.

    1. Meela says: July 1, 2020 at 5:42 pm

      Yeah that is a little bizarre. Are you putting on a body applier over your BOM. Your body appliers sit on top of BOM. So if I put on a BOM tattoo then a Legacy applier tattoo its going to cover the BOM. But yeah taking layers off and putting them back on can get pesky but I think I’m so used to it because I was around back when we only had appliers and had to do the same lol

  2. Nellie Wilde says: March 7, 2021 at 3:13 am

    I know this is a little late more than likely, but just in case anyone else happens acorss this and has the same question/problem as Friday Afternoon, try this.

    Right click your avatar and find “Edit Outfit”. At the top left of the window that opens is a back arrow, click that. Then in the upper right corner hit the wrench. All of your layers will be listed there. Where the tattoo layers are hover your mouse over them and it will show up and down arrows. The higher in the list the layer is the more “front” it is. Whatever you want on top should be on top of this list. Much easier than taking them off and putting them back on in any sort of order.

    ***I use Firestorm Viewer so I do not know how this is done in the LL Viewer.

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