See? No glitch!!! Mesh has arrived and everyone seems to be busy falling in love. The whole grid seems to mesh enabled now, even if not all viewers are. As far as I know, only Linden 2, 3 and Kirstens are enabled at this date. I suppose the other TPV developers are very busy atm.
This entry is a small exploration of what mesh is and what it is not, my attempts to understand how it actually behaves when you use it. I'm, of course, focusing entirely on clothes. There's no technical jargon, only observations illustrated with some low key photos.
Mesh clothes and other mesh objects can be rezzed as any object inworld and they have a prim count. If mod, they can be modified as a sculpt. The big novelty they bring is that they are bendy and more malleable. When worn on the av, they will interact with it in a way that's not been possible in SL before.
They attach to the good old attachement points, just like any other object, and will adjust to the size of the avatar. My mouth fell open in wonder as I went wild with the body sliders and saw the clothes effortlessly grow or shrink with my av. Just fantastic...
BUT, the garments only react to a very basic avatar skeleton and while they will readily adjust to simple length of limbs and body and to a few defining body width measurements such as shoulder and hip width, measurements that give volume and voluptuousness are ignored.
That's why I look so silly in this suit. The suit is a beaut, it's my shape that screw things up. Recognise the good old body image issue from FL?
Just like a sculpt garment, a mesh garment is created to fit a template. In this case, the body of a smaller male av. Even if mesh clothes will stretch or shrink in response to the basic skeleton, they will keep their basic shape and you can't change that.
In the image above I've projected my av against the silhouette of the suit. My av is using the fem default and sits uneasy in anything based on the male. The curve of the spine and chest are the biggest problems and only the alpha body suits hide any body bits that doesn't fit and which could poke out where they shouldn't. It's a big bit of accepting the shape of the clothes or not use them.
So mesh or no mesh? *Groans in existential angst* The POTENTIAL of mesh... classic trouble spots like obis and lapels things of the past... no flexis doing those funny stunts only flexis can... the cool way the jacket rests so perfectly over the pants... only one object to attach instead of a whole folder full of bits and pieces...
Yup, the last is true, the yukata to the left is one single object, one single attachment worn on chest, while the suit to the right comes in four bits for mix and match. As I made pained noises while admiring the details and discovering the potential, I realised how much of my SL life I spend on adjusting prims...
However, some peeps won't be happy to trade their personal twist on human beauty, ideal or whatever reason they have to choose their looks in SL for someone else's. After all, you don't HAVE to wear them.
That's me. I've gone to a lot of pain to get my av where s/he is and in its present form, mesh isn't my cup of tea... well, I simply don't fit into the cup. I'm sure that with the creative might of SL, there's soon be a host of hybrid clothing or clever solutions to issues like mine as the creative minds settle when the novelty wears off. I'm happy to wait. Mesh has too much potential to be dismissed, even by a luddite like me.... it's just too fantastic!
The really really REALLY good fun with mesh starts with non-human avatars, however. This robo-kitty avatar is made up from four prims, if mesh units can be called that. The fully mobile and bendy body is, believe it or not, just ONE prim, one single mesh piece. The head is another and the eyes are two 'old fashioned' prims. To move around in this and see the jointless flexing of the mesh is simply mind blowing. The alpha came off just show how the human relates to the mesh body.
The yukata (several colours included in pack) and the widely advertised mesh Ameshin2011 Robo Kitty by Curious Kitties are freely available on the Marketplace.... as is many other free mesh items. The blue wool suit, part of SystemM, by Black Label Meshwear will be released on Friday together with plenty of other texture options for combinations galore.
And what does mesh look like to peeps on non-mesh viewers? Well...