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Blender/Avastar [Fitted Mesh]: Need help/advise with a few issues


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Hi everyone. First of all, forgive my English. It's not my first language and I've lost a lot of practice but i'll do my best. Second: Thank you very, very much in advance if you take the time to read this wall! 

1st issue: 
Well, few days ago I started to use Blender/Avastar because of the "new" fitted mesh. After a lot of excitement, work and tweaking I discovered that in the case of the breasts for example, when the mesh "perfectly" fit a size of 90+, probably wont work for a 20-. The same for cleavage or buoyancy (or the mix of the 3). Here some examples (with comments): 
Img 1 Img 2 Img 3 Img 4 Img 5 Img 6 Img 7 Img 8 

Related to this, I'll quote Gaia, in this post: 
http://community.secondlife.com/t5/Mesh/Using-standard-SL-mesh-as-fitted-mesh-base/td-p/2657514 

Gaia Clary wrote: 
Facts of Second Life: 

Fitted Mesh deformations work entirely different compared to the Morph based deformations of the SL Avatar.

There is especially no way to make the fitted mesh fit to the exact vertex location of the avatar shape (when you change the slider values) 

That means, even a perfect mesh copy of the SL Avatar will deform differently than the original. All you can get is to make it fit reasonably well to ONE single shape and small deviations (regarding slider settings). The farther away you move the sliders from your initial shape the less well will it fit. 

Don't get trapped bty the wording "fitted mesh" does not mean "one fits all" :matte-motes-grin: 


1) Then, is it nearly impossible to do a perfect fit for the breast sizes? (In this case) 
2) Or am I doing something wrong? 

I spent a LOT of hours painting weights, adding and subtracting, just to realize that in the end it won't fit; or the fitting changes when I touch the sliders. At this point, it's easier and faster for me going back to the standard sizes; but I want to believe that this will work. Have to. 

3) Any advice or workaround?
4) Can you see any issue with my weights?  
5) Or this is expected? 

 

2nd issue (this, for me, is the worst): X-Mirror (and topology mirror) Images:Img 1 Img 2 Img 3 

Well, for the previous example (the vest), I could paint weights mirrored using topology mirror. Worked just fine, but was only 1 object. In this example,you can see that is a mesh composed of a few objects (all attached in 3DS Max): the heart, the neck stripe, the stars. X-Mirror and topology are not working in none of those. You can also see that the weights are applied in an strange way (strange for me, that can't figure out what is happening):

For example, the front heart isn't affected by the breast (standard fitted mesh weights applied). But this issue won't be a big deal if I could paint the (mirrored) weights. 

Then, for the X-mirror and topology mirror issue: 
6) The compound mesh is the problem? 
7) What should I do in this case? 
8) Does it only works in single objects? (not attached) 

I've already deleted, duplicated and renamed the vertex group from one side, but when I try to mirror it, just fails. (Reference: http://wiki.blender.org/index.php/Doc:2.6/Manual/Modeling/Meshes/Vertex_Groups/Weight_Paint_Tools)


Final thoughts and questions:

A few weeks ago I was using a workflow that gave me good, fast and (more or less) SAFE results:
Standard rigging and 5 or 6 sizes (or more). But I wasn't happy, anyways. I always wanted the "fitted" mesh so all the girls could use my clothes without problems or restrictions. That was what I thought or was expecting.

Now I realize that with the fitted mesh there are restrictions too; and the workflow (for now) is harder, longer and not safe as the standard rigging. I have to check the fitting with big breasts, small breasts, big+high, big+low, small+high, small+low, big+close, big+open, big+high+close... You get the idea... And what works for 1 combination probably won't for the other...

The final question is:
9) Will people like and buy a mesh that is not fitted? (If I have to go back to my previous workflow)
Because I fear that nobody will buy a mesh that is not fitted: Because fitted is new, is the "future" and the standard sizes are old, the past.
It's sad. I was so excited, for me it really was the future: "No more sizes!" "Perfect fit for everyone!" but since I'm testing the fitted mesh I'm just finding "issues". It's ok, only if I can fix those issues(and you can see that I'm testing with pretty high poly meshes, that allows me more "detail" with the weight paint. Wonder how would work the fitting with a low poly mesh).

Again:
10) Am I doing something wrong?
11) Or I should not expect more from the fitted mesh?

Well, that's all, I think.
Thank you very much if you read all this wall of text! Really!

PS: Please, don't get me wrong: I'm not complaining!!
After a lot of testing and reading I finally decided to come to the forums because I feel a bit lost. Yap, and sad, but I knew from the beggining (5 years ago I think) that nothing is easy in SL and maybe (probably) I'm the one that is doing something wrong.

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Just appreciate that Fitted mesh is a bit crap and you'll be fine.  It's a bunch of inflatable balloons that roughly corresponds to an avatar volume but not the actual mesh deformation.

Boobs are always a compromise and as you've seen, you need more than one size to accomodate the full slider range.

Then start to play with cleavage and buoyancy and it literally goes "**bleep** up".

Fitted mesh IS good for burkas, turtle neck sweaters, baggy pants but don't expect it to work for tight fitting, slinky, low neckline outfits.  Unless you can alpha out so much of the dysaffected mesh, you're up for disappointment!

Prime example of the customer knowing what they need but LL telling us we were wrong and giving us crap instead.

I am sort of holding the opinion that this is the wrong solution and too late.

With standard sizes, although I don't like them, the shape is a given and won't vary and most people understand that they may have to make a shape tweak to fit but once done, most stuff will work with little tweaks here and there.  Fitted mesh is all over the place in terms of how people rig it.

It's a pure subjective guess that probably 80% of the potential customer base are already at a point where they'll accept standard sizes (of which there is a LOT already available) so the fitted mesh initiative requires far more work to chase the final 20%.  Sensible? no.

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Regarding the shape sliders in Avastar:

Our intention is to make them work exactly similar to how they work in SL. So you can see it like this:

anything that is crappy in SL should also be crappy in Avastar, so you always know that what you see in our tool is what you finaly get in the 3D world of your choice ...

For some reason this approach still fails when it comes to fitted mesh. I have an idea why that is and i am trying to fix that annoying issue. It just takes a lot longer to find the fix. Until then the shape slider system in Avastar does not work reliably with fittted mesh.

But note, weighting and exporting of fitted mesh items just works as expected, and as long as you work with classic weighting (to mBones only) also the shape sliders work as intended.

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Well, dunno how to reply/quote both of you in the same post (without using copy/paste), but thanks very much.

@Sassy:
Having more than one size (or weights) of the fitted mesh was something that came to my head yesterday, doing some testings. Maybe just 2 meshes are enough to cover the full range and combinations of the sliders. 2 different sizes or 2 meshes with different weights. I need to test it.

And about this:

Sassy Romano wrote:
With standard sizes, although I don't like them, the shape is a given and won't vary and most people understand that they may have to make a shape tweak to fit but once done, most stuff will work with little tweaks here and there. Fitted mesh is all over the place in terms of how people rig it.
It's a pure subjective guess that probably 80% of the potential customer base are already at a point where they'll accept standard sizes (of which there is a LOT already available) so the fitted mesh initiative requires far more work to chase the final 20%. Sensible? no.

Thanks. Calms me down a bit. I'll try to do both, standard and fitted; but standard will be my priority for now; because I can use 2 or more meshes of the standard sizing to do the fitted rigging. Again, have to test.


@Gaia

Thought that the Avastar sliders worked exactly as the SL ones!
I mean, what I saw and tested in Avastar looked almost the same in SL. Anyways, is a LOT better than the avatar available for 3DS Max, which has no sliders. That's why I decided to buy it and learn Blender (Note: Not with this resident/account)


What I didn't understand is this:

Gaia Clary wrote:
But note, weighting and exporting of fitted mesh items just works as expected, and as long as you work with classic weighting (to mBones only) also the shape sliders work as intended.

I'm using this workflow. Sorry if I didn't get the idea of what you wrote :P


An about the X-mirror
Made a quick search in google and is related to the object origin. My bad for not doing this before.
Gonna try to fix it and see what happens.

Anyways, doesn't explain why some parts of my mesh are ignored by the weights :S.

Thanks, very much, for your replies!

PS: Can't believe I've been in SL for almost 6 years and this was my first post ¬¬

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Speaking to your first issue, Sassy has the best description of the limitations of fitted mesh of any that I have seen.  I had not thought of a burka, but yes, that would be *perfect* application of fitted mesh.  If what you want is to closely fit the female breast, it is of no use at all.  Talk about a badly named technology.

Oh, no use at all is a bit too harsh.  It might be of limited and actually interesting use with a female breast, tracking avatar physics.  *If* you make a custom mesh to fit the particular avatar, and if you are not too fussy about what "tracking" means.

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Yap, despite the promotional video, i'm seeing now that it is pretty limited and I will need to relax (my obsession) and don't expect too much (from my skills and from the technology). I mean, I cannot spend like 3 days (or more) trying to get the perfect fit.
I'll have to see/evaluate which cases are the "best" for each skinning mode.
(Omg, and loled with your last sentence, because I'm being fussy about that "tracking" ¬¬)

And about the X-Mirror:
Works when I export it from 3DS Max as .FBX (it is converted from editable poly to editable mesh). Don't know why it works with FBX and not OBJ. I'll have to do some more research about this, but for now, I'll export/import as FBX and "problem solved"

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@Gaia

Thought that the Avastar sliders worked exactly as the SL ones!

I mean, what I saw and tested in Avastar looked almost the same in SL. Anyways,
is a LOT better than the avatar available for 3DS Max, which has no sliders. That's why I decided to buy it and learn Blender
(Note: Not with this resident/account)

 

What I didn't understand is this:

 

Gaia Clary wrote:

But note, weighting and exporting of fitted mesh items just works as expected, and as long as you work with classic weighting (to mBones only) also the shape sliders work as intended.

 

Gaia may respond later today. I think she means:

The AvaStar sliders produce the same deformation in Blender as the Viewer's sliders do in Second Life. The point is to make a model in Blender that you can work with that represents what you have in the SL Viewer.

If you export the mesh modeled in Blender to the modified shape to the mbones, it will fit an avatar in SL just as it does in Blender provided: the avatar uses the same shape settings as you. Of course it won't respond to avatar physics or any of the shape sliders. This is what Gaia means by 'as intended.' It is as the Avastar people intended AvaStar to work, to give matching results in Blender and SL. BUT... that is only for mbone exports not Fitted. They are still working on AvaStar's Fitted.

Unfortunately the Lindens did not understand the problem or our intentions. When they were asking for feedback in the developement phase, people were ignoring them. There was not much interest. So, we got this mess as their 'simpler' solution... simpler for them.

The avatar and our creations use two different deformation processes. The math is such that we will never get parallel deformations. That is the problem you ran into. It isn't that you are doing anything wrong. It is a matter of not being able to duplicate in one deform process what is happening in a different deform process.

Also, the render process is such that there is no way for the Lab to add morph-deformations to our custom mesh-prims. See The State of Avastar & Fitted Mesh for more details on that problem.

When we were hearng requests for feedback we were warned that it would be a couple of years before the Lindens would get back to the avatar changes work. I think that hints at what the Linden planned schedule may look like. Now that Altberg is running things that plan will likely change. But, the real solution to this problem apparently requires a major change to prim render pipeline. That is unlikely to happen any time soon.

Your post is great and you did a good job of stating the problem. I wish we had better answers.

I expect in the future we will start to see Fitted Mesh advertised with sizes something like what we see in RL: for breasts 60% to 100%, for breasts 0% to 40%, and for 30% to 70%. I am thinking I will need 2 or may be 3 sizes to cover all avatar shapes. Even then I suspect there will be poor fits on somae shapes.

Demo versions will be the thing. I simply don't buy if I cannot try a demo.

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Nalates Urriah wrote:

I expect in the future we will start to see Fitted Mesh advertised with sizes something like what we see in RL: for breasts 60% to 100%, for breasts 0% to 40%, and for 30% to 70%. I am thinking I will need 2 or may be 3 sizes to cover all avatar shapes. Even then I suspect there will be poor fits on somae shapes.

 

I agree although this is where it gets tricky.  Breasts 60 to 100 but with Ass 0 to 20, then Breasts 60 to 100/Ass 20 to 100, then Breasts 0 to 60, Ass 0 to 20 and then again Breasts 0 to 60 with Ass 20 to 100 etc.

It's starting to get rather silly at this point.

Should have just called it "Don'tFit Mesh" and been done with it :P

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@Natales:
Thanks for your reply and the time!
It answers many questions I had and explains the context around all this fitted mesh; context I wasn't aware of.

As I said, in my case, my future "fitted creations" will be composed of 2 or 3 sizes, or 2 o 3 different weights values (have to test all these).

For example:Testing, I've noted that I "need" more weight over the breast for high values; and vice versa for low values. For low values, seems better to have those vertex controlled by the chest and not the pecs (because the mesh is pulled inside the avatar and the chest seems to keep them in their place). And as you said, the demo is a must, no doubt.

@Sassy:
You got a good point. God, I hadn't thought about those situations ¬¬.
I see that a lot of testing will be needed.

Thanks again, for your replies!

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