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TaiVelikova

Is non-mesh doomed to extinction?

43 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

I'm not anti-mesh but I think it's questionable whether it's led to an improvement in body shapes.  Hairstyles, shoes, dresses and other loose-fitting clothes - yes, mesh is much better for those.  

If LL could tweak the system avatar to give more polygons in certain areas while ensuring that existing textures still fit, that would be great. Also adding a few more sliders would be good.

If I go to a busy place mesh avatars take ages to load.  So I have to watch disjointed body parts and stiff items of grey clothing waving about in the air for a few minutes.  

My computer is quite old and I'd like to replace it but I'm not convinced that a new computer would lead to any significant improvement in SL performance.

Edited by Conifer Dada
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I don't know if its led to an "improvement" in body shapes but certainly there is a lot more diversity today then there was with original mesh creations. Back then you had fixed sizing for which forced you to alter your shape to fit the clothing you were wearing. If you wanted to go extreme with measurements and create some of the unique shapes we see today that are in the norm, well that was simply was not possible unless you were wearing a lot of applier based clothing.

I still have some of my older mesh clothes and I have tried some of them on and the fit was terrible. It wasn't so much of an issue on my top because I am fairly petite but on the bottom I had a lot of fitment issues.

btw Conifer, a new PC will definitely help. If you do decide to upgrade keep in mind that SL relies more heavily on the CPU to offload rendering and not the GPU in your video card.

 

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Posted (edited)

11 hours ago, Penny Patton said:

If I'm understanding you correctly, the difference is that back in the old days you would adjust the outfit to fit your personal shape.

These days you have to give up any sort of personal shape to squeeze your body into the clothes.

That's a huge difference and I think the latter is more offputting for most people. People want to personalize their avatar, make it their own. People get attached to their shapes. It's a part of who they are. Forcing them to change it to wear a dress or a shirt or a pair of shoes will always make people unhappy. That's one of the reasons people hated the initial implementation of mesh and pestered LL to do it again.

Of course I'm generalizing, some people are fine changing their shapes for clothes. But I do think the majority favour the clothes fitting them, not the other way around.

For this reply and your other reply about how one could go in ad buy anything that would fit all... Well, it is true as long as you talk about system layers. We all thought that was great, because no other looked any better. You just had to be lucky so the textures was fine and matched up in the seams. We all had bulky and weird angles in shoulders, ankles, wrists, breasts and the awful butt. And the "insufficient wiping" syndrome. We had to have x number of skins, one skin for every makeup option, if we wanted a hairbase, not just to add one or use an applier.

Then came the attempt to create more realism with prims, and then sculpts. And well, it wasn't just to toss it on and go. A jacket had the system layer and then shoulder parts, lapels, collar, sleeves and maybe even pockets and straps. All that had to be adjusted to the shape. If I wanted to dress "good" in my opinion, that was to buy the most detailed outfits with as many 3D attachments as possible. It took time, and if I changed shape, it was new adjusting.

And I seem to recall that even in the good old days when I was just a newbie, the problem with no mod was just as acid as now. If one wanted to be small and the root prim was too big, it was to go in and find it and edit it smaller. Then make sure the sculpt or prim was white and not colored light grey. For system avatars was first light grey and then white. If you got a set of pants with no mod parts, and the prim legs was no mod and tinted light grey, it was totally off. And then the stuff that was set to full bright and no mod.

And then scripts, and the joy of one script for every prim.

Every era has its ups and downs.

About editing shape... the older of us here may recall the "Skirt shape" the size zero butt shape with smaller hips that you had to wear? Zaro size feet, anyone?

I think I spent a lot of time fussing with my outfits, then as now.

And still it is that no mod argument. No mod will never die. Neither will scripts. Or big textures.

But the quality of some clothing is way, way over the best that I could get before mesh. I still miss some of my old looks. But it wasn't as effortless as it sounds like.

Edited by Marianne Little
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13 hours ago, Rhonda Huntress said:

I edit my shape much less now with mesh clothes.  The clothes bend to fit me; not the other way around.  I only change my shape when I want to actually change my shape.  Then when I do, all my clothes fit the new shape.  It is very convenient now, that's for sure.

But again, that's only when you buy clothes made to fit the body you're wearing. Which is great, but it has fractured the clothing market, making it more challenging to find specific styles, and more confusing for new users.

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3 hours ago, Marianne Little said:

And well, it wasn't just to toss it on and go.

To be fair, I never suggested it was "toss on and go" or that mesh didn't bring any improvements with it. It was a lot of work adjusting attachments to fit properly, but you had that option. You don't have that option with rigged mesh.If a mesh shirt is only made for Maitreya, and you're using Belleza or Kitties Lair or ::dev::, well, your'e just out of luck, unless you want to invest in another body just to wear that shirt.

3 hours ago, Marianne Little said:

And I seem to recall that even in the good old days when I was just a newbie, the problem with no mod was just as acid as now. 

...

And then scripts, and the joy of one script for every prim.

Every era has its ups and downs.

Right, I agree, but again that's unrelated to what I was saying. Mesh has brought a lot of improvements. I'm using a mesh body myself right now. I'm just saying that with the benefits, mesh has also brought some new issues which will keep many people sticking with their standard avatar body for the time being.

I think it's also fair to point out that some of us predicted these problems arising way in advance and tried to explain to LL how they could sidestep these issues altogether if they had just planned the mesh rollout better.

Unfortunately, back then LL insisted that mesh bodies and clothing would be a niche market that few SL userrs would be interested in.

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Posted (edited)

37 minutes ago, Penny Patton said:

Unfortunately, back then LL insisted that mesh bodies and clothing would be a niche market that few SL userrs would be interested in.

That's because they are out of touch and wear old old avis... if you nevewr wore 2 part thigh boots that scissored at the knee, then you never realised how amazing mesh thigh boots were...

That people who's idea of footwear was (and probably still is) a foot-shaper with a shoe colored texture edited into uit, didn't realise that mesh thighboots would be popular, should NOT come as a surprise, after all a few years back, one of those 2003 avi types at the laps rolled out new server code over 30% of the grid then derendered 50% of the prims in peoples prim hair and prim skirts leaving them half bald and half naked because "they wanted to make the scenery rez better in the  distance"

 

 

Never underestimate a Linden Dev's capability for ill informed stupidity about what's really going on on the Grid

 

Edited by Klytyna
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8 hours ago, Penny Patton said:

But again, that's only when you buy clothes made to fit the body you're wearing.

And this is different than prim days how?  I didn't buy clothes that didn't fit my body then either.  Now at least the creators have a good idea of what body I am using.  Even when not, the smaller stores often have a generic fit mesh option that works as well as big store made for Maitreya.  I may have to toggle a few alpha cuts but that happens on just about anything.

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Posted (edited)

3 hours ago, Rhonda Huntress said:

And this is different than prim days how?  I didn't buy clothes that didn't fit my body then either.  

It's different in that in the prim days, as long as the clothing was modifiable, it could be made to fit any bodyshape. It might have taken a little work on the customer's part to adjust the attachments, but everyone was a potential customer. You could reach 100% of the market, without exception. 

That market now is fractured. If you make clothes for Maitreya, only people with a maitreya body will buy your clothes. If you make for Freya or Belleza, then only the people with those bodies will be your potential market. Without putting in the extra work to release versions compatible with every mesh body plus the standard avatar, you no longer have that 100% market reach. As a creator, this greatly increases the amount of work you need to do while ultimately reducing your potential profit. As a customer this limits your options and presents a more complicated shopping environment for new residents already overwhelmed by SL's steep learning curve.

That is the difference.

3 hours ago, Rhonda Huntress said:

Now at least the creators have a good idea of what body I am using.  Even when not, the smaller stores often have a generic fit mesh option that works as well as big store made for Maitreya.  I may have to toggle a few alpha cuts but that happens on just about anything.

Again, when you're shopping for clothes made to fit that body, yes, it's super convenient and super simple. AGAIN, I am not saying mesh didn't also bring improvements. I seem to be typing this again and again. How many times do I need to repeat that? 

And, yes, sometimes you can make a piece of clothing not made specifically for your particular mesh body fit. That's not normal, though, and often takes a lot more work than toggling a few alpha cuts. I speak from experience. I've been using mesh bodies for years now. I'm wearing some fantasy abdomen belts that ONLY fit my mesh body because I'm actually wearing both the male and female versions together because that's the only way they mostly fit. Otherwise there's far too much clipping for a few alpha cuts to fix. For that matter, the skirt I wear with my fantasy av would also look good with my Fallout style avatar's Raider outfits, but it does not fit the mesh body I use for that look and there are no similar skirts that will fit that mesh body either, so on that score I'm SOL. YOU not having experienced this problem doesn't solve the problem for me. That's the fact of the matter. If you're looking for clothes in a particular style it's luck of the draw on whether or not you'll find mesh clothes

  1. In that style
  2. That will fit the particular body you're using

If you haven't run into that problem, good for you. I'm not saying you're wrong. I'm saying you lucked out but not everyone else is so lucky and that pushes some people to stick with a standard body.

You also have to remember that everyone has different priorities. Things they absolutely need in a mesh body if they're going to purchase one. I didn't get a mesh body until I found one that was

  • Modifiable, because I like to mod and the avatars I make are not possible without being able to mod my body
  • Had modifiable clothing available for it, so I could make clothing in the very specific styles I wanted even if no one was making them
  • Was capable of the specific body type I was going for

These were my priorities. They may not be yours. The options I found that fit my priorities may not work for someone else. The bodies you purchased might not fit that hypothetical person's priorities either. Maybe their is nothing currently available for them.

 Again, I'm not arguing mesh is bad, I'm addressing the question of the thread. "Is non-mesh doomed to extinction?"  Until everyone can find a mesh body that meets ALL of these criteria:

  • Can work with the body type they want
  • Is easy enough for them to work with at their appearance editing skill level
  • Has clothing options in the styles they are looking for
  • Has a variety of clothing and accessories support that meets their needs
  • Meets their needs as far as permissions go

...then the answer to that question is a resounding and definitive "No." You or I having found bodies that meet these criteria, for our individual needs, does not change that if the same cannot be said for everybody.

Edited by Penny Patton

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7 hours ago, Penny Patton said:

It's different in that in the prim days, as long as the clothing was modifiable, it could be made to fit any bodyshape. It might have taken a little work on the customer's part to adjust the attachments, but everyone was a potential customer. You could reach 100% of the market, without exception. 

That market now is fractured. If you make clothes for Maitreya, only people with a maitreya body will buy your clothes. If you make for Freya or Belleza, then only the people with those bodies will be your potential market. Without putting in the extra work to release versions compatible with every mesh body plus the standard avatar, you no longer have that 100% market reach. As a creator, this greatly increases the amount of work you need to do while ultimately reducing your potential profit. As a customer this limits your options and presents a more complicated shopping environment for new residents already overwhelmed by SL's steep learning curve.

 

Here's the problem - in the pre-mesh days, I knew everything would "work" with my avatar, but I also knew that nothing would work really well, which greatly reduced the amount I was willing to spend on a given piece of clothing. In those days spending L$250 for an entire outfit would be a special occasion. I also knew that the difference between the "good" makers and the bottom feeders wasn't particularly high. A pair of jeans I got for L$20 from Magi Take were often at least as good as ones from the "big names" of the time. It was also unusual for anyone to offer demos so most clothing purchases were a gamble.

Now it's routine for me to spend L$199 on a single tank top, and the in-world stores of those makers of L$199 tank tops are often packed. I'm comfortable paying this much higher price because the product is better and I can try it before I buy. It seems that clothing is actually a much bigger business now than it was in the past.

As far as the fractured market, I take it you didn't buy a personal computer in the 1980's, a high-end camera in the second half of the 20th century or auto parts... well... ever. I see mesh bodies the same way I saw SLR camera systems. I bought an Olympus camera because I liked the features and I knew that it had reasonable support by third party lens and accessory makers. It had less than Nikon and Pentax, but more than, say, a Fujica. I also realized that I didn't need a system camera at all to just take pictures.

With fitted-mesh avatars it took a while for them to be really good, and there were abandoned directions and products. I'm sure most people thought that Slink would dominate the market, and of course they haven't. Personally I think the Wowmeh body had better slider support than any of the bodies on the market today.

I heard that as fitted mesh was being prepared for release there was a semi-secret project where various resident designers were approached to make clothing to fit the new fitted-mesh starter avatars. Obviously nothing came from that, and it was no loss. The thing is, if they waited for a good, fully-developed avatar everyone could agree on than we'd either still be waiting or have another "standard" that's even kludgier than the popular bodies we have now.

(Someone will now mention the mesh deformer project. I experienced it in testing; I experienced it in InWorldz. It was so, so not the answer.)

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1 hour ago, Theresa Tennyson said:

The thing is, if they waited for a good, fully-developed avatar everyone could agree on than we'd either still be waiting or have another "standard" that's even kludgier than the popular bodies we have now.

I think you're missing the point. I'm not saying anyone should wait on anything.

I'm saying that non-mesh avatars will continue to stick around as long as there are people dissatisfied with what the mesh body market has on offer. That is ALL I am saying. If you need me to provide any evidence to support this position, log in. Find any sim with a decent amount of avatars. Look around. You will see avatars with standard avatar bodies. If you ask them why they don't upgrade to mesh they will give you an answer, probably similar to one of the reasons I stated above, or maybe something I didn't think of.

In addition, I don't believe the answer lies in a single mesh body from a single content creator. The way I see it, LL could have largely avoided the current situation by providing a brand new, updated, set of standard avatars. A well made one. An improved male and female basic avatar with baked textures, an improved appearance editor. An improved, standard, UV. Materials. BAM. Everyone has this body. The bulk of skin and clothing support goes to this body. New residents are started off with this body. The old SL avatar is still there, you can use it if you want, but as time goes on it largely gets phased out beyond a handful of holdouts. Third party mesh bodies still exist to serve specific body type wants and needs (giant boobs, giant muscles, etcetera).

That should have happened before the mesh roll out. People in the mesh beta should have been given access so the day mesh was released to the main grid, so was the new body along with clothing support from mesh beta creators.

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5 minutes ago, Penny Patton said:

I think you're missing the point. I'm not saying anyone should wait on anything.

I'm saying that non-mesh avatars will continue to stick around as long as there are people dissatisfied with what the mesh body market has on offer. That is ALL I am saying. If you need me to provide any evidence to support this position, log in. Find any sim with a decent amount of avatars. Look around. You will see avatars with standard avatar bodies. If you ask them why they don't upgrade to mesh they will give you an answer, probably similar to one of the reasons I stated above, or maybe something I didn't think of.

In addition, I don't believe the answer lies in a single mesh body from a single content creator. The way I see it, LL could have largely avoided the current situation by providing a brand new, updated, set of standard avatars. A well made one. An improved male and female basic avatar with baked textures, an improved appearance editor. An improved, standard, UV. Materials. BAM. Everyone has this body. The bulk of skin and clothing support goes to this body. New residents are started off with this body. The old SL avatar is still there, you can use it if you want, but as time goes on it largely gets phased out beyond a handful of holdouts. Third party mesh bodies still exist to serve specific body type wants and needs (giant boobs, giant muscles, etcetera).

That should have happened before the mesh roll out. People in the mesh beta should have been given access so the day mesh was released to the main grid, so was the new body along with clothing support from mesh beta creators.

And nobody would have had to wait for the new Sooper Avatars?

 

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I don't want to make any assumptions about what I think you're saying, so I'll just say you've lost me. What?

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14 minutes ago, Penny Patton said:

I don't want to make any assumptions about what I think you're saying, so I'll just say you've lost me. What?

It seems to me that you're simultaneously saying, "There's no need to wait for..." and "Somebody else should have done [something that logic would indicate would take time, therefore require waiting.]"

You're also asking for it to be done by an organization you regularly accuse of incompetence, which might not be a great idea.

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16 minutes ago, Theresa Tennyson said:

It seems to me that you're simultaneously saying, "There's no need to wait for..." and "Somebody else should have done [something that logic would indicate would take time, therefore require waiting.]"

Ok, no, that's not what I'm saying at all.

Originally, you seemed to believe I was, in my earlier posts, saying that people shouldn't use the mesh available, that instead we should wait for some perfect mesh. I tried to clarify that I was not saying that at all. I was saying if there are mesh bodies that work for you, great, use them. I have a couple I use myself for different looks.  However, regarding the original question posed by the thread (which, again, was "Is non-mesh Doomed to Extinction?") there are people who aren't satisfied with the limited options provided by the current mesh body market and many of them will continue to stick with the standard avatars until they find a mesh body that suits their needs.

That is an observation. An objective description of what is happening in SL right now. It has nothing to do with my opinions on anything. I pointed out the issues with the current mesh market which have lead to this situation based on my own experiences with mesh bodies and body parts as well as comments I have heard from the many people I know still using the standard avatar body.

The second statement you highlight is part of my thoughts on how LL could have avoided the problem of the fractured clothing market as well as given everyone a suitable option to upgrade to from the old, standard SL avatar bodies.

Let's be absolutely crystal clear about that:

I am NOT asking LL to do this. I'm NOT saying they will do this. I'm saying "this is what they should have done, from the beginning, and this is why they should have done it."

I am NOT saying anyone should wait for LL to do this. LL is not likely to do this. They should, but they probably will not. LL has a long tradition of not doing things they really should have done, instead creating lots of avoidable problems for themselves and their customers.

Does that make sense? Does that clarify my statements?

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6 minutes ago, Penny Patton said:

I am NOT asking LL to do this. I'm NOT saying they will do this. I'm saying "this is what they should have done, from the beginning, and this is why they should have done it."

I am NOT saying anyone should wait for LL to do this. LL is not likely to do this. They should, but they probably will not. LL has a long tradition of not doing things they really should have done, instead creating lots of avoidable problems for themselves and their customers.

Does that make sense? Does that clarify my statements?

You're saying that people should have waited for Linden Lab to do it in 2011 (because it takes time to do anything), but that they would probably have done it badly anyway.

What exactly does this accomplish?

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5 minutes ago, Theresa Tennyson said:

You're saying

No.

No I am not.You are shadow boxing.

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2 hours ago, Penny Patton said:

In addition, I don't believe the answer lies in a single mesh body from a single content creator. The way I see it, LL could have largely avoided the current situation by providing a brand new, updated, set of standard avatars. A well made one. An improved male and female basic avatar with baked textures, an improved appearance editor. An improved, standard, UV. Materials. BAM. Everyone has this body. The bulk of skin and clothing support goes to this body. New residents are started off with this body. The old SL avatar is still there, you can use it if you want, but as time goes on it largely gets phased out beyond a handful of holdouts. Third party mesh bodies still exist to serve specific body type wants and needs (giant boobs, giant muscles, etcetera).

That should have happened before the mesh roll out. People in the mesh beta should have been given access so the day mesh was released to the main grid, so was the new body along with clothing support from mesh beta creators.

Okay, let's look at everything that would have been necessary to support your proposal besides developing the new avatars themselves.

1) Second Life is built on the assumption that all avatars are identical, and this avatar, its skeleton and its morphs are hard-coded into the viewer. Also, at this time the viewers did the baking.

2) Because of this, there's no messaging system from the servers saying what "kind" of avatar any given avatar is - since there's only one thing that can be considered an avatar it's unnecessary. It's how you can tell a printer the length or width of a piece of paper but it assumes that it's rectangular. If you somehow got a word-processing file from the Krell of Forbidden Planet that was intended to be printed on trapezoidal paper there's no way your Earthbound printer can get it's electronic head around that.

3) In order for a new avatar to exist alongside the old avatar using all the viewer-side technology like the appearance editor, it would need to be added to all viewers in order to appear as something new. Now bear in mind that during the time frame you're proposing this happening, well over half of Second Life residents were using Phoenix, which not only wasn't being written by Linden Lab but used a different code base, and those users would scrrrreeeeaaaaammmm if asked to use anything else. It was months before Phoenix got mesh support and they didn't think they'd be able to do it at all at first.

4) Now you need to add a completely new message system to the servers to send information about the new Sooper Avatars, including a message saying that they existed and weren't Ruth, and make sure that all of this new information wouldn't crash old viewers.

5) Remember, no mesh at all until all this is done (including adding materials support too, mind you.) That's what you decided.

Not as simple as saying, "You should have done this," is it?

 

 

 

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I wear mesh hair, Slink hands and feet, often wear mesh clothes, but hadn't felt the need to get a mesh body.  I'm pretty satisfied with the skin that I have, and don't hang out at places where I wouldn't be wearing any clothes, so that eliminated some of the reasons I'd heard for getting a mesh body.  I also have some non-mesh clothes that I still like to wear at times, as well.  

Several weeks ago I decided to get a petite sized avatar... for when I'm feeling fae ...  and now I have a petite sized mesh body, with a bento head and bento hands. :D   So, I've dipped my toe into the water, so to speak.  

I haven't decided yet if I'm going to look for a mesh body for when I'm more normal sized or not yet.   I haven't felt pressured yet, or felt any need in terms of not being able to find clothing or accessories for my system body.  When I do buy mesh clothes that come with mesh body specific versions as well as the standard sizes, I do keep all of them - I just stick them in an 'extras' folder for the item, so if I do choose to move to a mesh body, I'll already have clothes that I'll be able to wear (I think, anyway) :)

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