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Mesh Avatars Still Suck..so far as I can tell.


Morwen Blaisdale
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I've tried a bunch of them. Either they require to you invest in all new clothes or else ditch all your existing outfits and start over, involving a whole lotta dinking around adjusting alpha layers.

Look, if it takes me as long to get ready to go out in VR space as it does in reality, I'll take reality any day.

They need to make mesh bodies that are totally compatible with existing mesh clothing or else stop wasting everyone's time. Quite literally. 

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It's a long-standing wish for LL to update the avatar, or at least provide an "Avatar 2.0". To some extent they tried that with the new mesh starter avis I think, but they failed so badly it's not even funny.

As usual, residents stepped up to the task and tried to come up with something workable. They definitely got it more "right" than LL ever did, but they have to work around/live with limitations imposed by the system.

One of those limitations is ultimately a deal breaker for me, for _any_ human mesh avi: Lack of multi-layer clothing support, even with appliers. The alpha issue wouldn't bother me tooooo much: Just copy a fully configured body into the matching outfit.

Realistically, the mesh body makers are massively lagging behind the tech curve:

* Provide an easy way for clothing designers to "set" the required alpha for a mesh body (i.e. simply a gesture saying e.g. "/1234hide:hip,leg,whatever" - of course more detailed, but since there's already a HUD for that, why no gesture interface?)

* Provide an easy way (gestures/chat commands) to pose hands. That's a no-brainer. Yet the ONLY creators who've done that so far are furry avi makers. Human avi makers seem disinterested or unable to do anything such. Not rocket science, and a BIG pet peeve of mine.

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Its a matter of preference on the issue of needing to replace goods.

Fashion has a limited shelf life anyway. So I don't so much mind having to upgrade things when I find new things that look so much better.

And preference wise, I find some of the mesh bodies to be a vast improvement over the default body. Others... are too stylized for me - but that just makes them fit what someone else has been looking for.

People have been trying to warp the default avatar into all sorts of forms for years and getting mixed results. These new mesh bodies let us unlock all of that. Sure, it means some of the results look absolutely horrid to my eyes - but they are exactly what another person has been trying to put together for years.

So I consider this a great time for SL: variety of preferences is so much easier to achieve now than ever before. If you're not so sure on that - find a smaller Open Sim, with little user made content, and see how well you can achieve some of the popular and less popular looks that have caught your eye in SL (either because you liked them, or disliked them).

 

Do I get frustrated that there is limited support for my preferred mesh body? Sure.

Do I have to toss out all of my older mesh clothes? Hardly. Some of it cannot be fit no matter what I do, but a good majority of it, with enough work, fits together again. It does mean I now have a collection of shapes rather than just one - each tweaked to push a different part of the body under an outfit where the alpha choices failed to meet my needs... But I've got useability as long as I remain flexible.

 

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Jenni Darkwatch wrote:

"They" can't. It'd have to be LL coming up with a new avi mesh, one that supports all the old alphas+clothing layers but has better topology and morphs, accepts 1024x1024 textures, has separate textures for left/right arm etc.pp.

Chance of that happening? NIL.

It ought to be possible for LL to update the system avatar mesh.  I haven't yet seen a "mesh" human avatar that looks, overall, better than a system one.  The creators might have managed things like more realistic nostrils, feet etc, but on the whole the mesh avartars look cartoony, even if they're not meant to be anime types.

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Conifer Dada wrote:


Jenni Darkwatch wrote:

"They" can't. It'd have to be LL coming up with a new avi mesh

It ought to be possible for LL to update the system avatar mesh.  I haven't yet seen a "mesh" human avatar that looks, overall, better than a system one.  The creators might have managed things like more realistic nostrils, feet etc, but on the whole the mesh avartars look cartoony, even if they're not meant to be anime types.

A LOT of people wearing them still have poorly proportioned shapes. Most of the sellers of them included.

Where you will start to get very nice results is if you put a well made mesh avatar through good proportions and a well done shape.

Belleza, Maitreya, and Slink can all deliver good results - in that order (in my opinion. Belleza delivers the best, Slink takes more work - but these three still do better than the rest).

I would have said TMP before as well, right after Belleza, but it bends poorly.

I do NOT include any mesh heads in this though. Mesh heads are not up to the needs in my opinion, and until / unless shape dials can effect them - this will never occur.

 

And yes, Linden Lab COULD update the system mesh. But I don't think they have anyone on staff who thinks visually enough to even realize the need to do this, let alone be able to tell when they have good results from whoever they might hire to do it.

 

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I agree that mesh bodies have been rather disappointing. I have a few mesh body parts, but so far I haven't sprung for a whole body; it seems to me that the main reason to have one would be to take care of one of the biggest problems with the system body, which is the distortion that occurs in the pelvic/crotch area when the avatar bends. So far most of these bodies are a little better, but are certainly still far from perfect. I made a "bent over" pose just for the purpose of checking this with body demos. Most of the bodies I've tried get rid of the odd lines and brown stains on the inner thighs when my avatar is bent over, but there is still the issue with the weirdly flattened butt when viewed in profile. Also, the shading most people seem to put in the crotch of the skins for these bodies still make me look like my avatar might benefit from the use of adult diapers. I don't really understand why they do this; I think system lighting should be adequate to shadow these areas. Even if it isn't, I'd rather have that area weirdly light in color than to look like, well, you know. . .

Couple this with the expense of both the body and new clothing with appliers, and the technology is just not quite to the point that I'm willing to make the switch.

But then, I have mixed feelings about mesh in general. Awhile back I replaced a sim-wide mesh walkway/ road system for a friend with one that was made of "real" system prims. The mesh stuff was from a well known maker, and had really nice bumpmapping and so on, but the borders between the mesh prims were quite obvious because the maker had done a poor job of aligning the textures on the mesh maps.

This sort of thing really bugs me, and I was very happy when she asked me to build a replacement for her, just because I knew it would look far better.

But when I got into it, I discovered the biggest problem with the mesh system was the land impact: it was nearly 600 prims worth. I was able to replace the whole thing with 149 prims.The bumpmapping wasn't as nice, of course, but the seams were invisible, and it freed up a pile of prims she could use for other things. 

So anyway, it seems to me that people often buy mesh bodies and objects simply because it is the "modern" way things are done. There is a movie quote I think is apt, though I can't remember which movie at the moment. Anyway, the quote is "Sometimes the old ways are best." :)

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Most of what I do in SL is go to live shows. There are upwards of 50 people at some shows, I have yet to see a mesh avatar. Its not that there not there, its just that I can't tell if the avatar next to me is mesh or not. And you would think with that many people around I would see at least one mesh avatar over the last months, but I just can't tell, I know they are around me but they don't stand out. And my viewer settings are between high and ultra high.

So keep in mind that the mesh avatars are more for “you” to see and not so much for others to see, unless you pole dance naked a lot and expect people to cam close.

I stay away from the mesh avatars because, one, they cost to much, and two, they are just not worth the trouble, and three, they are just not that great.

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A lot of good points. The expense is definitely an issue for the average user. The other big issue with mesh avatars alluded to already is the tweaking, torquing and general amount of messing around. It seems as though even if one chooses to just go 100% new and give up one's old inventory of clothes*, you still need to dink around with a lot of appliers and stuff as opposed to the 'pret-a-porter' days where you unpacked the clothing and slapped it on and done. 

 

*(a lot of us roleplayers are really attached to particular costumes and outfits - I still have a four year old E.D prim outfit that looks better than almost any mesh costume I've seen out there)

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For the most part, mesh bodies do still suck. One can do the whole expensive song & dance trying to get parts and alphas and clothes and appliers, and just possibly come up with something that looks great... while standing completely still or close to it. I've known a lot of people who've gone this route and got all excited, coos and squees included, and then throw it all on and head to their favorite dance club to show it off.. only to have it all fall apart the moment they start even a modest dance animation. Poke-throughs, misalignments, alpha issues, and the ever popular 'completely poor rigging' on the mesh body itself are some of what I see. Upper arms that bend between the shoulder and elbow, thighs that mutate and bend forward instead of the leg actually moving between the natural joints, and so on and so forth. It's a very unnatural and uncanny looking result that even many of the top brands have, and so for me it's not even close to being worth the tradeoff for having something new or mesh. I might have a different opinion of it all if I spent most of my time standing around, taking pictures, or even blogging.. but I don't. I spend much of my AV time in motion, moving and exploring and dancing ( yes, even nude on a dance pole :matte-motes-silly: ). Once the collective creative skills and availability of lots of options gets to a point where I feel mesh is viable for me, then I might do that, otherwise I'm just fine waiting.

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Isn't the poke through and alphas that becomes misaligned when your avatar bends and moves a mesh problem in general? Nor just mesh bodies? I started with mesh clothes as soon as they were on sale, on the standard shape. And they have the same problems when you dress up the default avatar in mesh and goes for a dance.

 The SL avatar break up and get funny angles too.. Wear the standard shape and try some more complicated poses than standing straight up, and it does not look good. All rigging in SL is bad, and the avatar skeleton is the same with a mesh body or not. I have the Robert Longo pose pack from DARE, and the default avatar looks just awful in it. https://darestyle.wordpress.com/2009/04/20/dare-robert-longo-poses/ Not from a distance, but boy when you look close. Not that the mesh bodies look 100% either. They look smoother in many poses but still with flaws. The SL avatar can not copy more difficult human movements without looking ugly.

I have not seen any of the deforming described in thequote under (bolded)  . I have used many mesh avatars. They are not perfect, but they are imperfect in a different way than this. I have done pole dancing with them as well. This posing animation would break the torso and knees worse than the default shape. It is only cropped, no liquify or other tricks.14125767431_1bd4acbcea_z.jpg


Dana Hickman wrote:

For the most part, mesh bodies do still suck. One can do the whole expensive song & dance trying to get parts and alphas and clothes and appliers, and just possibly come up with something that looks great... while standing completely still or close to it. I've known a lot of people who've gone this route and got all excited, coos and squees included, and then throw it all on and head to their favorite dance club to show it off.. only to have it all fall apart the moment they start even a modest dance animation. Poke-throughs, misalignments, alpha issues, and the ever popular 'completely poor rigging' on the mesh body itself are some of what I see.
Upper arms that bend between the shoulder and elbow, thighs that mutate and bend forward instead of the leg actually moving between the natural joints, and so on and so forth.
It's a very unnatural and uncanny looking result that even many of the top brands have, and so for me it's not even close to being worth the tradeoff for having something new or mesh. I might have a different opinion of it all if I spent most of my time standing around, taking pictures, or even blogging.. but I don't. I spend much of my AV time in motion, moving and exploring and dancing ( yes, even nude on a dance pole :matte-motes-silly: ). Once the collective creative skills and availability of lots of options gets to a point where I feel mesh is viable for me, then I might do that, otherwise I'm just fine waiting.

 

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Yeah I've never had the weird bending described with any of the mesh bodies I've used.

I've got, across assorted alts:

Belleza

Maitreya

The Mesh Project

Banned

Lena Perky

EvE

Fusion (the 'normal' and the 'androgenous')

Slink

 

- The only bend problem I see is that TMP 'flattens' the butt and leg bottom on some of my sit AOs, when viewed from the side.

Many of these do lack enough alpha cuts. Some have weird physics issues, a couple have closed applier systems (only people who are approved can make applier content for them), and most are no-mod.

But that's really it.I know those I have thus far checked are also pretty low on Avatar Draw Weight, and most of them are decently light on script memory.If people find they 'suck', it might not be the item that has the problem.

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With something like SL, ease of use is really a paramount concern. Some people live in virtual space and seem to have endless hours to futz around with their avatars, but I generally have enough time to go clubbing or do roleplays for a couple hours a couple times a week. So my interest in editing each article of clothing is minimal. I've enjoyed this discussion, as prior to, I had next to no idea of the state of things. I was getting a LOT of peer pressure to 'upgrade' to a style of avatar I wasn't impressed with. I am in this for the aesthetics to a large degree and if that means that I have to wait, or eventually just opt out rather than walk around looking like I don't want to look then that's what I'll have to do. At least many of your posts have given me 'ammunition' for discussions with friends enamored of all things mesh.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Yet another clueless fashionably backward troll bashing fashionably forward ideas. Here are some suggestions for OP:

- Go learn basic 3D modelling principles before coming here and sounding like a complete moron demanding "everything to fit to everything". Old mesh are not fitted mesh so they will NOT fit to everything. Are you saying you never had to change your shape to fit into those old 2010 mesh skirts?

- I bet you just demo'd a mesh body, then found your breasts are too large for a mesh bra and your butts are too large for a mesh thong, then binned the demo body because "it won't fit"

- Or, just stay with your fugly noob body and shop in your fashionably backward shops because like it or not, fitmesh bodies are the future of SL

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  • 1 month later...

If you are referring to me, I should point out that participating in Second Life shouldn't require "learning basic 3D modeling principles". Nor should it require ditching a hundred dollars plus in mesh clothes after a couple years after having to replace all the prim stuff.

 

Fact

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There are plenty of good ones out there. I would skip TMP as it's 5000L for one with the alpha hud. A hud which needs vast improvement. 

Slink is good and has a ton of alpha selections. All of the ones i have seen are very very good. Some mesh fits better than others. Maitreya has some mesh that is fitted to that body, i think others do as well. Plus with the Omega system there are more and more designers that are making appliers for you to wear system clothing on mesh bodies.

Personally, i think the Niramyth body is the best for men..

web_553391e28da57208eb000001.jpg

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