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Amethyst Jetaime

Is Mesh Killing Creativity in Fashion?

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I was browsing the MP yesterday thinking of treating myself to some new clothes.  I sorted women's apparel "newest first" looking for something new I haven't seen all over.  I looked at over a hundred pages of stuff.  Most of what I saw was mesh, and most of that just variations of the same mesh models.  Time after time, the same dress, the same shirt, the same skirt etc., all alike other than color or fabric pattern.  I even saw mesh models textured with freebie textures from the library. I saw very little original work.  A new mesh model hits the market and within days a lot of merchants are selling it with some slight variation.

I then went shopping in world today to a variety of stores including some big name designers and saw they were using the same mesh models.  Again, very little original work.  What little there was, was very similar to each other or to the all too common mesh models, just not my style or didn't fit.

Right now I'm thinking mesh is killing creative clothing design in SL.  What I see is a sea of conformity and it is depressing.

Maybe things will improve as more people learn to make mesh clothes, but maybe they won't.  Right now these mesh model based clothes are selling cheap.  Will creators want to spend the time making truly original mesh clothing if they can't get a good price for it due to this competition or will they make mesh clothing and sell it as a model for more money with the result the same as what is going on now?  The answer to that question depends on the market of course.  So, will consumers be satisfied looking like everyone else as long as the clothes are cheap or will enough of them be willing to pay a higher price for a wide variety of truly original clothing?  What do you think?

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Traditionally creators have always used the very same mesh for clothing and that was the avi itself. If they still do what they have always done, and that is texturing meshes, then what mesh has changed is that they now have the option of texturing different ones and that is what they do if they buy a mesh model. So although it may not look like it maybe the variety has increased.

Besides, I don't think buying models is entirely new. In the pre-mesh era you saw the same sculpted boots and shoes everywhere. Maybe it's just because a dress catches more attention then just boots so you notice it easier when the same model has been used.

Having said that, in a lot of sims, especially medieval ones, I see the same houses everywhere, as if there is only a handful of creators. And although the quality of the houses themselves is rather good I do become increasingly bored if I walk into the same  tavern for the fifth sim in a row.

So I'm not sure what to think here.

Building things in SL has always been creating surfaces to texture. If the impression of conformity will disappear then it will probably be last in clothing. I think meshes for clothes are among the hardest to make and creators of clothes, besides an occasional sculpt, don't have a history of "creating surfaces".

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Amethyst Jetaime wrote:

I was browsing the MP yesterday thinking of treating myself to some new clothes. 
I sorted women's apparel "newest first"
looking for something new I haven't seen all over.  I looked at over a hundred pages of stuff.  Most of what I saw was mesh, and most of that just variations of the same mesh models.  Time after time, the same dress, the same shirt, the same skirt etc., all alike other than color or fabric pattern.  I even saw mesh models textured with freebie textures from the library. I saw very little original work.  A new mesh model hits the market and within days a lot of merchants are selling it with some slight variation.

 

Basically, you just said, "I wanted to know what people in New York were like so I opened the phone book to a random page and EVERYONE'S LAST NAME STARTED WITH J! What a boring city!" Your search technique almost guaranteed that you'd see exactly what you just saw. If you look at fashion blogs or go around to stores with designers who you know are more technically advanced you'll probably see something different.

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Theresa Tennyson wrote:


Amethyst Jetaime wrote:

I was browsing the MP yesterday thinking of treating myself to some new clothes. 
I sorted women's apparel "newest first"
looking for something new I haven't seen all over.  I looked at over a hundred pages of stuff.  Most of what I saw was mesh, and most of that just variations of the same mesh models.  Time after time, the same dress, the same shirt, the same skirt etc., all alike other than color or fabric pattern.  I even saw mesh models textured with freebie textures from the library. I saw very little original work.  A new mesh model hits the market and within days a lot of merchants are selling it with some slight variation.

 

Basically, you just said, "I wanted to know what people in New York were like so I opened the phone book to a random page and EVERYONE'S LAST NAME STARTED WITH J! What a boring city!" Your search technique almost guaranteed that you'd see exactly what you just saw. If you look at fashion blogs or go around to stores with designers who you know are more technically advanced you'll probably see something different.

I did go around to stores in world too.  Read the second paragraph of my post.

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Possibly it's down to the sheer lack of mesh skillsets of most merchants - either too scared to learn HOW to create mesh properly, or they just can't be bothered putting in the effort to learn in the first place. Time learning is money lost, I guess... so they take the easy route with the samey templates seen everywhere.

Speaking from the viewpoint of a mesh creator (NOT a merchant - currently I only create meshes for my own usage).... I wouldn't be surprised if many creators like myself are waiting to see how the Parametric Deformer project turns out - which will hopefully allow for meshes to better match AV body shapes (not that it would be perfect, but it would be far better than the situation is now for mesh clothing). IF the deformer ever gets the greenlight from LL for an official release, I reckon more mesh creators would be willing to work on mesh clothing - since the fitting headaches would largely be removed.
Speaking for myself, I'm fine with creating mesh clothing for my own AV's shape specifically - but I baulk at the headaches involved with trying to guesstimate multiple sizes for wider compatibility etc etc... so I never release as a product (I am far too much of a perfectionist to release anything I am not happy with in regards to fitting). So no doubt other mesh creators are in my position as well... the hassles just aren't worth it.

I guess the other aspect is time/money. For someone like myself, who creates purely for the love of the artform, I wouldn't care about how much/little income I would receive from product releases (if I ever dip my toe in as a merchant). I guess for the template using merchants though... many are more interested in making a quick buck than actually being remotely creative in an artistic sense. (I'm referring to the merchants who just slap a quickie tiling texture onto a supplied UV template, or those who just do a tint change to a baked shadow map... and then throw it onto the market.... about one minute of work! (Often a new mesh template is released on the MP, and within half an hour some merchant has vomited out a basic tint tweak for $300L or similar - wow, talk about effort worth paying for!)).
Doubtless there ARE genuinely talented template texturers, who were probably super talented with the original art of AV clothing painting, but they seem to be dwindling away these days, drowned by the endless sea of mediocre merchants using the same templates... which is a pity.

Unfortunately, I don't see this situation reversing... lazy merchants will always take the lazy avenue to make a fast buck. It just means discerning customers will have to search extra hard to find the real mesh gems among the dross. I know there are a few genuine mesh clothing makers around who DON'T sell or use templates... but they are few and far between. These are the ones I am always happy to buy from - knowing REAL WORK and love has gone into the making of their products.

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I think it will always be much as it is now---a lot of people want cheap and don't care (or know how bad) they look, and others really care about their appearance and the quality of their clothing, just like in RL.  So there will probably always be people churning out undistinguished clothes in mass quantities and others making unique designs.

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I'm with you on this one. You can look at any given time at various places and find the same designs. But at the same time when I think about it was (and sort of still is) the same with popular templates (system layers). I do think that people use to be more willing to spend more time on creating something original when there was just system layers and maybe add a sculpted piece to their outfit to set it apart from others. Since creating system layers is still time consuming and you still needed to learn whatever softwear you wanted to use, I think it is less tedious then attempting to create mesh...making it easier to just buy something to sell.

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I think part of the problem is the confusion surrounding the rollout of mesh. System clothes were and remain straightforward. Mesh, on the other hand.

first you could use your old viewer, and there would be a patch, but then you couldn't. And the very first mesh viewers crashed all the time, slowing down some people's adoption of mesh. Even now, the mesh viewers require more resources from the resident's computer.

then most people were taken by surprise when the mesh clothing didn't automatically fit. Some to this day won't wear mesh because of it. And there are vaiations to the "standards" as well as people who just don't want to be "standard" at all.

Then the deformer was going to come out, and revolutionize mesh. Then, the deformer wasn't going to work with any "old" mesh. Only new mesh. So it would make any current mesh obsolete. Then the deformer was cancelled. then it wasn't cancelled. It was just delayed. Then it was canned again. Then, maybe not...

merchants demand answers and the ability to plan. In terms of Mesh, LL isn't delivering that. So they're just kind of playing around, kicking the dirt. There are some nice mesh designes out there. But I think a lot of the creativity is being held back until we know for sure what mesh will lead to.

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"merchants demand answers and the ability to plan. In terms of Mesh, LL isn't delivering that. So they're just kind of playing around, kicking the dirt. There are some nice mesh designes out there. But I think a lot of the creativity is being held back until we know for sure what mesh will lead to."

 

From my perspective as a content creator, there's absolutely no point in learning and working with rigged mesh clothing in Second Life until there's a definitive answer about the Deformer. I don't want to waste time on multiple sizes if they'll become obsolete soon; I hate the idea of "standard sizes" and think they're far too small.

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The more things change...

The same march of the clones happened with sculpties, especially with shoes and accessories. Even the system layer clothes out for sale have long been infected with prefabtemplateitis, and a "big" name or high price has bever been a good way to filter out that stuff. It has always been a time consuming hunt to find really original content.

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I've been shopping mesh demos and so far, even if I accept their shapes and wear the transparent things, it's pretty ugly.  So far nothing has been worth buying the non-demo version, although I am beginning to figure out how to texture them.

It doesn't truly stick to the avatar. A skirt that looks great when standing turns into a lapful of puffy stuff when my Avi sits. 

 

The best use of mesh so far is for tall boots.

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solstyse wrote:

Then the deformer was going to come out, and revolutionize mesh. Then, the deformer wasn't going to work with any "old" mesh. Only new mesh. So it would make any current mesh obsolete. Then the deformer was cancelled. then it wasn't cancelled. It was just delayed. Then it was canned again. Then, maybe not...

Hmm... the deformer was never cancelled nor "canned".  The progress has been going on steadily since the project started - although slowly, slower than many have expected.

What comes to old rigged mesh clothes, they certainly will not become obsolete when the deformer finally will be released.  They will continue to work exactly the same way as they have done so far.  Only thing is that they don't know nothing about the deformer.  But if a specific clothing item fitted earlier, it indeed will fit the same way in the future.

 

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Coby Foden wrote:



Hmm... the deformer was never cancelled nor "canned".  The progress has been going on steadily since the project started - although slowly, slower than many have expected.

What comes to old rigged mesh clothes, they certainly will not become obsolete when the deformer finally will be released.  They will continue to work exactly the same way as they have done so far.  Only thing is that they don't know nothing about the deformer.  But if a specific clothing item fitted earlier, it indeed will fit the same way in the future.

 

I was actually coming from a "perception is reality" mindset. The problem is that so many people have been subjected to so many of these rumors, and i'm sure that's holding some of the creativity back. If someone is creating for profit, then they lose at least part of thier motivation by being unsure if a new product they make is going to have any kind of significant lifespan. If deformable mesh is introduced in a way that the deformer is incompatible with existing mesh, then the fear is that standard size clothing will be more difficult to sell.

And I think we'd see more enthusiasm from the "hobby" builders if these rumors about the deformer wouldn't have them considering what we have now just a mediuim to practice with.

I agree wholeheartedly that the problem is that people don't know enough about the deformer. I just think all the misinformation that was in this forum over the past few months is the reason why nobody knows what to think, and it's the reason why we're not seeing more creative minds putting products out.

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I agree with what has been said here but I also think that part of the issue is the lack of tutorials/resources made specifically for mesh CLOTHING.

I've seen plenty of tutorials that start out with a furniture sculpt or accessory sculpt but very few that show how to make a basic clothing sculpt (such as a shirt, jacket or a pair of pants) that is compatible with SL. I'm sure there are resources available out there but finding them is a different story. Most of these things don't really go into detail when it comes to making the item itself (which I can also understand because then there's the risk of the creator "copying" the design) or are outdated. 

Even still, I know plenty of people who would like to learn how to make mesh clothing but are unsure where to start, especially when it comes to a program such as Blender (which is known for having a rather steep learning curve).

Hopefully, things will change as more resources become available.

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Atrillia Naire wrote:

I agree with what has been said here but I also think that part of the issue is the lack of tutorials/resources made specifically for mesh CLOTHING.

I've seen plenty of tutorials that start out with a furniture sculpt or accessory sculpt but very few that show how to make a basic clothing sculpt (such as a shirt, jacket or a pair of pants) that is compatible with SL. I'm sure there are resources available out there but finding them is a different story. Most of these things don't really go into detail when it comes to making the item itself (which I can also understand because then there's the risk of the creator "copying" the design) or are outdated. 

Even still, I know plenty of people who would like to learn how to make mesh clothing but are unsure where to start, especially when it comes to a program such as Blender (which is known for having a rather steep learning curve).

Hopefully, things will change as more resources become available.

Correct. There are hardly ANY tutorials for rigged mesh for SL. The only ones who are able to create rigged mesh clothing are the Maya/Blender experts who has previous experience and are probably junkies at Renderosity. I only know basic 3D model skills and I can create simple shapes, but I have no idea how to rig that onto the SL skeleton and I have found absolutely zero tutorials on mesh rigging.

That and the "goddess of mesh kits" Meli Imako and we have the mesh wasteland that is now the SL marketplace.

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For nearly all of 2011 all you would see on MP was the same set of body-paint clothes, painted in different colors.

Now since 2012, all you will see is the above, PLUS a whole new set of the same basic mesh items, painted in different colors.

There is now at least twice the variety... :D

But as others have noted, if you instead look at fashion blogs and some hot inworld stores - you will see a LOT more than just the popular templates.

And just as not all body paint, even in 2011, was templated from poplar PSDs, even on MP, not all mesh, even on MP, is template stuff.

 

Nothing has changed - most designers can 'color in the coloring book', but most of them cannot draw the underlying picture. Be it a PSD template or a mesh template.

But at least now, they can color in more than just the one body file we had pre-late-2011.

 

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Alaska Metropolitan wrote:

 

From my perspective as a content creator, there's absolutely no point in learning and working with rigged mesh clothing in Second Life until there's a definitive answer about the Deformer. I don't want to waste time on multiple sizes if they'll become obsolete soon; I hate the idea of "standard sizes" and think they're far too small.

There is, in computer science. LLs just isn't willing to tell you because no one will like it.

The answer is: ain't happening in a useable form.

The problem is posed with this question:

In deforming an outfit, say a jacket or a pair of jeans - what about the buttons?

If you know 3D art, if you ever had Wardrobe Wizard for Poser - you will know I've just a question that has no good answer. Any deformer will cause all kinds of distortions of assorted details that protrude from the model but are not part of the rigging. It could get as bad as seeing giant triangles suddenly pop out onto screen when posing in "the wrong camera angle".

- The deformer, when it comes, will result in a LOT of people who know very little about 3D art blaming LLs for what is really a fundamental math problem that, if solved, would give somebody a nobel prize.

 

We're better off never getting it, and just working within sizes. The drama of having it will be much worse.

 

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As I stated in my original post, I have gone to lots of in world stores, from the 'hot' to the obscure looking and find pretty much the same thing.  Yes there are designers that are 'original' and don't use templates but still the styles are very similiar to the templates or for the most part or boring, dumpy, too conservative, too much like RL or make you look like a fashion victim. 

I'll occasionally look at blogs and magazines but pretty see much the same thing that I see in stores and I just don't have time to wade through hundreds of them.

I have bought a few things but a lot of times if i do see something I like it doesn't fit my shape without changing it more than I am willing to go for.  Even if I were willing to make drastic alterations in my shape the shape of the mesh itself makes me look noticably different because the butt is to large, and/or the breasts are etc.etc.  Although I dress only to please myself, my partner very much likes the way my avatar looks and notices it too, so it's not just me that see's the difference.

And yes, a lot of designers of more traditional clothes use templates too, but I've always shopped in places that don't and that offer beautifully detailed clothes in styles I like.  So far haven't found one for mesh, even in the so called 'hot' stores.

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Amethyst Jetaime wrote:

 

And yes, a lot of designers of more traditional clothes use templates too, but I've always shopped in places that don't and that offer beautifully detailed clothes in styles I like.  So far haven't found one for mesh, even in the so called 'hot' stores.

Well... then you need to adjust where you shop, IF looking at mesh.

You note that this is also the same problem with bodypaint - but you avoid it by careful choice in where you shop.

The same is true for actual clothes. Change where you shop. Try starting at coldlogic. You -WILL- see a lot of familiar things there if you know a lot of people who wear clothes in SL, because it is -THE- top brand. But nothing in there is template work nor sold anywhere else. For males, the same builder behind coldlogic runs Fate Island. Right next door to coldlogic is Jane - a slightly obscure shop which is also all original work for the clothes side, but has a lot of bodypaint in the 'back room' that I do not know the answer for.

From there, you just have to start learning the names or places with styles you like. My own list of places to shop at is rather small... I suspect the same is true for many people. I'm very selective, and it takes me a while to add a new place to my list. Apple May is another good one to try - but while they are original, they also sell some of their designs as templates for others.

But as I understand, you prefer bodypaint... So, don't blame clothes here. Its just a question of learning where to shop if one wants to avoid template items.

There is an indentical issue for both - good or bad, both are "plagued" by templates and require getting to know brands to avoid such or seek out such.

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Check out faMESHed ... its a monthly event that showcases ONLY original mesh designers.

 

Its a great place to find new designers dipping their toes into mesh

 

maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Fresco/164/181/45

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