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Understanding the clothing of mesh avatars


Phil Deakins
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Can somebody point me to a tutorial on mesh avs and clothing please? I'd like to understand how mesh avs and clothing work together. For example, if I wear the mesh jeans that came with the Adam body, the legs are totally covered and need no alpha adjustments, regardless of whether or not I've thicked or thinned my legs. They fit any leg changes. And they change shape along with editing my shape. When I detach them, the legs are rendered. One the other hand, if I wear other mesh jeans that I have for my non-mesh body, the legs show through and alpha adjustments are needed. Of course, when I detach them, the legs are missing and the alpha needs to be adjusted again. So I'd like to understand why the jeans that came with the Adam body work, but other mesh jeans don't, and yet the other mesh jeans fit the non-mesh body regardless of the thickness or thinness of the legs. I'm just curious and would like to understand.

Edited by Phil Deakins
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There are a few types of mesh clothes. Unrigged mesh can be moved and (subject to permisions) resized; it does not respond to shape settings - it is only used for things like shoes and jewellery. Rigged mesh is connected to the skeleton, so it changes shape as the body moves, but does not respond to most shape settings, so the body needs to be adjusted to fit the clothes. Fitted mesh or Fitmesh is rigged mesh which also responds to shape settings, so when you increase your body fat, the clothes will expand too. The Adam jeans would be Fitmesh, adapted for the Adam body. The "other" jeans you mention would be rigged mesh. Rigged mesh will always fit a classic body if a matching alpha is also worn.

Edited by angeoco
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Thank you, andeoco. I appreciate it. It's things like knowing that the clothes are connected to the skeleton, that really helps my understanding of such things as why things happen with one pair of jeans but not another. So fitmesh clothes are the best one to go for - assuming there are some around for this avatar. Do all fitmesh clothes (say, shirts) attach to the same parts of the skeleton? or can they vary?

I also found a webpage (blog) about the Adam avatar, and I'm trying pick up some info from there.

 

@Laika Ravikumar Ty, Laika. I'll get over there.

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Ty again Angeoco. Yes, I learned to always try the demo first - not by a bad experience but by reading posts :)  The fitted mesh shirt that I tried would need some alpha adjustments. I would have thought that fitted mesh wouldn't need that. Maybe it was a case of what you mentioned - not being made very well - or maybe things just aren't that good yet. It does seem that it takes a little time to change clothes.

 

@Laika Ravikumar I found a page in the blog that you linked to, that lists male fitted mesh designers, and what avatars they design for, which is very good for me. From what I've seen, they don't tend to state 'fitted mesh' in the inworld stores, so testing demos is essential.

Edited by Phil Deakins
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Ok... when you edit a system shape, there are a load of sliders, right, that change it's appearance. From a 'system avi' point of view, basically all sliders are the same type.

Once you get into mesh this changes.

Sliders come in 3 flavours...

1. Skeletal sliders, these affect the length of various bones in the "skeletal rig", arm length, leg length, height, hip width, etc. These work with RIGGED mesh.

2. Morph sliders (collision rigged), morph sliders change things about a system avi that are not skeletal, like body fat, boob size etc. Some of these sliders affect your avatar's "collision rig", a series of , well, balloons attached to your skeleton , like inflatable  hitboxes. These work with FITTED mesh.

3. Morph sliders (not rigged), morphs that are not connected to any of the rigs, they change the surface of a system avi and that's all, stuff like lip shape, mouth width, eye shape etc. These don't work with mesh at all. Project Bento converted 1 type 3 head slider into a type 2, head size, hopefully Bento-2 will convert more.

The older RIGGED mesh clothing, only conforms to Type 1 SKELETAL sliders, such clothing tends to come in 'standard sizes' these days, so you find a size of pants that fit your waist, and the alpha layer hides all of your legs, regardless of them fitting or not. Such items assume you are wearing on a system avi and come with an alpha layer.

The newer FITTED mesh, responds to type 1 Skeletal sliders AND to type 2 Collision sliders, so Fitted mesh pants will  adjust to your leg thickness, butt size, saddlebags etc, Fitted mesh worn on a system avi should fit better than rigged mesh, if made properly, it will more accurately follow the invisible alpha masked legs naked shape, and often comes in 1 size fits all. Again these assume you are wearing a system avi and come with an alpha layer.

Mesh Body specific Fitted Mesh, is the same as regular fitted mesh except its base shape is that of the mesh body it's made for. It's becoming more and more common for garments made for specific mesh bodies to automatically send "alpha cut instructions" to the body when worn, just like the ones from the body's alpha hud, so you don't need to mess about hiding and unhiding parts of your mesh body, the clothing will do this by its self. These assume you are wearing a mesh body with alpha cut features, and do NOT typically come with an alpha layer.
 

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That's very informative, Klytyna. Thank you. I think I'm getting some understanding now, and it occurs to me that the shirt I tried (my previous post) may not have been fitmesh at all. It may have been rigged. I assumed it was fitted because I found the store from a list of fitted mesh clothing creators, but maybe everything in the store isn't fitted mesh. It certainly changed shape while I was changing my avatar shape, but it may not have 'recognised' my balloons, for want of a better way of putting it :) It certainly looked as though it didn't.

So, leaving auto-alpha clips aside, on the whole, should a fitted mesh shirt cover the relevant part of the mesh body without the need, or very little need, of masking out alpha bits? That's what it sounds like to me. If it should, then anything that fails to cover, or very nearly cover, the body parts, and yet changes with shape changes, is likely to be rigged and not fitted. Am I getting the hang of it?

Edited by Phil Deakins
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2 minutes ago, Phil Deakins said:

So, on the whole, should a fitted mesh shirt cover the relevant part of the mesh body without the need, or very little need, of masking out alpha bits? That's what it sounds like to me. If it should, then anything that fails to cover, or very nearly cover, the body parts, and yet changes with shape changes, is likely to be rigged and not fitted. Am I getting the hang of it?

Should... Yes... Will it, that depends on the quality of the fitting, see, when you make fitted mesh, you 'weightmap' it, basically this is a process where every 'vertex' on the mesh (the dots in the wireframe join-the-dots ) gets told how far to move when a bone is rotated, and which bone to pay attention to. This is what tells the mesh to bend the way it does, to bend smoothly rather than folding up. 

For a proper fit, the weight mapping for clothes needs to be based off the weight mapping for the mesh body, and some body makers have been lax in allowing clothing makers access to this data, for fear that the clothing makers will use it to make rival bodies. So often clothing makers have to basically guess how to weight an item. they have to make clothes that don't fit well, for body x, to prove they are legitimate vendors, and get the body x weightmapping kit,
 

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1 hour ago, Phil Deakins said:

So it's pretty much a case of  demos :)

Phil, in short said, forget all above for now  ...

there is totally no need to get in technical details about rigged or not and fitmesh ... andmore of that...

just look at the logo's the creators use on their designs, every mesh brand has one. If the creator uses it, and shows yours, take a demo and fit... that's all you really need to start.

 

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4 hours ago, Klytyna said:

Ok... when you edit a system shape, there are a load of sliders, right, that change it's appearance. From a 'system avi' point of view, basically all sliders are the same type.

Once you get into mesh this changes.

Sliders come in 3 flavours...

1. Skeletal sliders, these affect the length of various bones in the "skeletal rig", arm length, leg length, height, hip width, etc. These work with RIGGED mesh.

2. Morph sliders (collision rigged), morph sliders change things about a system avi that are not skeletal, like body fat, boob size etc. Some of these sliders affect your avatar's "collision rig", a series of , well, balloons attached to your skeleton , like inflatable  hitboxes. These work with FITTED mesh.

3. Morph sliders (not rigged), morphs that are not connected to any of the rigs, they change the surface of a system avi and that's all, stuff like lip shape, mouth width, eye shape etc. These don't work with mesh at all. Project Bento converted 1 type 3 head slider into a type 2, head size, hopefully Bento-2 will convert more.

The older RIGGED mesh clothing, only conforms to Type 1 SKELETAL sliders, such clothing tends to come in 'standard sizes' these days, so you find a size of pants that fit your waist, and the alpha layer hides all of your legs, regardless of them fitting or not. Such items assume you are wearing on a system avi and come with an alpha layer.

The newer FITTED mesh, responds to type 1 Skeletal sliders AND to type 2 Collision sliders, so Fitted mesh pants will  adjust to your leg thickness, butt size, saddlebags etc, Fitted mesh worn on a system avi should fit better than rigged mesh, if made properly, it will more accurately follow the invisible alpha masked legs naked shape, and often comes in 1 size fits all. Again these assume you are wearing a system avi and come with an alpha layer.

Mesh Body specific Fitted Mesh, is the same as regular fitted mesh except its base shape is that of the mesh body it's made for. It's becoming more and more common for garments made for specific mesh bodies to automatically send "alpha cut instructions" to the body when worn, just like the ones from the body's alpha hud, so you don't need to mess about hiding and unhiding parts of your mesh body, the clothing will do this by its self. These assume you are wearing a mesh body with alpha cut features, and do NOT typically come with an alpha layer.
 

I found this very informative and helpful.  I had a vague understanding, but this really clarified things for me, especially about fitted mesh in general, and then the mesh body specific fitted mesh.   I didn't realize that some of the mesh body specific garments are not typically coming with an alpha layer, because they are automatically sending the alpha cut instructions to the body. 

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Mesh body specific fitted mesh, and the improvement of the alpha huds for standard clothing on mesh bodies, has made me start to delete in my Inventory with a hard hand. Yesterday, three times I got a warning that my trash was overflowing and that logging in could give me problems unless I emptied it. I don't think I have encountered such warnings before.

I don't think going back to a default avatar with system clothing is going to happen for me. I finally deleted all my old shoes, that's not made for Slink or Maitreya specific. Some boots I kept, because feet can be detached and legs alphaed out. I am sure I kept too many of them too, but I had other things to delete first. The constant use of mesh heads made me trash all my tattoo layer makeup, literally an insane amount.

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On 07/04/2017 at 6:48 PM, moirakathleen Resident said:

I found this very informative and helpful.  I had a vague understanding, but this really clarified things for me, especially about fitted mesh in general, and then the mesh body specific fitted mesh.   I didn't realize that some of the mesh body specific garments are not typically coming with an alpha layer, because they are automatically sending the alpha cut instructions to the body. 

Mesh clothes for mesh bodies wouldn't be able to use a standard alpha anyway, as those are for the classic body.  Oftentimes there will be a standard alpha included to use on the classic body with the standard size or fitmesh clothing.  Increasingly though,we will see mesh clothing that is only for mesh bodies.

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