Meshed up

sss.bmp_largeSo, this is where i’ll be accused of being an old stick-in-the-mud, fuddy duddy, who won’t move with the times and probably has an inventory filled with invisiprim shoes and system hair.

After much consideration, experimentation and evaluation, i’ve come to the conclusion that – with a very few exceptions – mesh clothing is not, at the present time, the thing for me.

Now before you start to shake your heads in despair and try to tell me just how wonderful mesh is, let me make it absolutely clear that i’ve come to this conclusion after some proper, reasoned and common sense thinking – let me explain, if i may…

  • i like my shape!
    One of the most annoying things, as far as i’m concerned, is the upside-down, topsy-turviness that mesh clothing imposes on the wearer. Having lived the vast majority of my life in a world where we buy clothing that adjusts, (usually), to our shape and in which, if we still feel the need, we can further encourage to conform to our bodies through the judicious use of needle, thread and scissors – i find it difficult to get to grips with the notion that if i want mesh clothing that fits well, then then chances are i’m going to have to alter my body to fit the clothes. It’s the equivalent of having reconstructive surgery to slip into that new H&M top you’ve had your eye on since January!

What’s that? It’ll all be ok when we have the parametric deformer – of course it will, (although read on, below), the trouble is, by the time we do get it – if that ever happens – i’ll be wearing the sl equivalent of those beige elasticated slacks and slip-on, sheepskin-lined shoes that you see on the back of Sunday supplements – i’ll be far more concerned about SLincontinence than ‘does my bum look big in this’!

  • mesh1_001Transparent is not the new opaque
    Nothing wrong with slapping on alpha layers so your boobs don’t make an unscheduled appearance through your blouse, but it’s not quite so good when you have to choose between flashing your boobies and/or butt cheeks, or having your feet growing out of the sides of your shoes! There are times when 5 alpha layers are just not enough… especially when you have to juggle them to get them in the right order. Then we’re back to square one again… i’m really not happy about chopping off bits of my body, albeit by making them invisible, and looking a completely different shape to the one i prefer, (see above).Let’s not mention the horrors of attempting to wear those alpha layers whilst walking through a field of flowers, all mounted on 32-bit transparent prims… your poor GPU goes into paroxysms, as it tries completely unsuccessfully, to sort all those textures into the right order, leaving you flashing between clothing and background like a strobe light on acid.

That’s not my biggest gripe with alphas though – what bugs me is when i see so many people walking round with see-through armpits, amazing vanishing chesticles and legs that disappear above the knee. Badly-fitting alphas are complete pants and look dire – it’s that simple!

  • Deform or defeat?
    Back to the deformer – those of us pinning our hopes on mesh as the future for sl clothing, and stuffing our inventories with the stuff really would be well-advised to wait and see exactly what this miraculous piece of techno-wizardry is going to mean. Does anyone, for example, know whether it’ll work with existing mesh, or will it only deform some special kind of squishy-parametric-friendly meshiness? Will it mean re-stocking with a whole wardrobe of squishymesh, whilst all those lovely clothes we bought back in the heyday of non-squishymesh gather dust, and not even the local jumble-sale won’t want them? Quite apart from that, what are we going to do with all those spare alphas and alternative sizes… think of the impact on the virtual environment of all that mesh going to pixel landfill!
  • It’s mesh, or nothing!
    My worst fear is that mesh is going to take over the world. Now don’t get all uppity and accuse me of not being forward-thinking… i’m well-aware that mesh is less laggy, simpler to render and much less costly in bandwidth than prims or sculpties but that doesn’t mean that all those old stalwarts are the equivalent of council estate hoodies, up to no good and whose only interest in life is to relieve you of your pixellated goodies.

Prim clothing is how the majority of creators cut their sl ragtrade teeth and, unlike mesh, even the noobiest noob from the noob ghettos of Noobville, with a little practice is capable of producing something wearable. Little achievements like that are the building blocks that have set some of the truly great clothing creators of sl on their creative journeys. Personally, i don’t want an sl where only the elite, with the time, dedication and and ability to make fabulous mesh creations can make their mark. That may make me a bit of a Philistine and someone who goes against the tide that everybody else is surfing – but i believe it. There’s some awesome non-mesh clothing out there… it would be a shame if that was all lost because all-conquering mesh means it ends up in the trash.

Don’t misunderstand me, i do like mesh… some of it, anyway. Mainly the well-crafted outfits that i can wear without changing shape, shoes or underwear – and i’ve not found much that can tick all those boxes yet, i’m afraid.

It may be unfashionable, (sorry – bad pun!), but for the time being, i’m going to stick with what i know and makes me happy… mesh is nowhere near that yet!

s. x

He flits from shop to shop just like a butterfly. 
In matters of the cloth he is as fickle as can be, 
‘Cause he’s a dedicated follower of fashion.
The Kinks – Dedicated Follower Of Fashion

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6 Responses to Meshed up

  1. Boy do I ever agree! Mesh clothing looks beautiful in the picture, I have yet to find any that fits me! We make are avatars (well some of us do) to reflect an inner self, perhaps to (over)compensate for our RL state. We like our SL bodies as they are, not as some fashion designer thinks they should be.
    As for the deformer, there are reservations and limitations coming to light, it may never happen, or it may only happen once LL develops Avatar 2 (if ever).

    • Couldn’t agree more!

      Personally, i think it would make a lot more sense for LL to drop the deformer – which, if it really was going anywhere, we’d surely have had by now. Avatar 2, if it’s really on the cards, is going to be a long time coming and is not going to please everyone – for many in sl, change is a dirty word, even if it’s for the better!
      s. x

      • “is not going to please everyone”
        do not even whisper that phrase, it is what LL pulls out when they want to do nothing in response to overwhelming community demand (we still do not have last names back). I hope improvements to the basic avatar do not get washed down that hole.

  2. shaunas says:

    I feel the same way. I have caved in, however, and started to use mesh at my store since I managed to find some that does fit me ok. (All right, there IS a bit if virtual liposuction going on but not too much). It is a shame that deformer isn’t already in SL so people can retain their unique shapes more.

    • i wouldn’t say that it’s a case of ‘caving-in’, Shauna – from a commercial perspective it makes good sense to market what the customer is asking for, but i do have concerns that without careful management, we’ll see a glut of poor quality, badly-fitting mesh products flood the market, which will ultimately turn people away from what is essentially a very good and efficient method for creating clothing. That, coupled with interim solutions like ‘liquid mesh’ – which are not endorsed by the Lab – may mean that mesh, for clothing, has no long-term future… what a waste that will be!
      s. x

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