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Evangeline Arcadia

Has the introduction of Mesh stiffled creativity in SL?

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I've heard the line of thought mentioned here and there that before Mesh, when Prims were used to create objects and clothing, there was more variety, more 'creativity', but also maybe more possibility for anyone to create in SL (I'm talking mainly about items to sell inworld or on the Marketplace).

For example, with the steps creators now need to go through to create clothing in SL it appears a greater skill set is needed compared to learning to use prims to create, so I wonder if it actually inhibits people creating for SL (i.e. you need learn a 3D modelling program, learn rigging, and also have to create for a number of different mesh bodies, not just the standard avatar, plus others skills I may not be aware of) . I'm not saying it definitely does, I'm wondering if this is true.

Sure, before there was some learning curve to in order to build well with prims , but to me this is far less steep ( and maybe daunting for some) and involved than having to learn 3D modelling and rigging. If this theory is correct, then that may lead to fewer creators, and therefore potentially less variety. This seems to me to be true, just by what I see on the marketplace and inworld (but that could just be my tastes). In Prim days, because you could so easily rez prims and get to creating right there inworld, I would guess that more people were likely to give it a go. Of course, nothing to stop anyone doing so now, but in terms of selling items to others I think it's far more challenging in competitive terms because Mesh is better for land impact, and maybe because of realism etc. But I accept this may be a misconception,  and would like to hear others thoughts and perspectives on this.

I'm not knocking Mesh as such. In terms of reduction of land impact, and I think probably the ability to create more 'realistic' items, I think Mesh is great. I only ever buy stuff that's low LI now. If I were to see a mesh house that's say less than 25LI and a similar one I like that's made from prims that's 100LI or more, I know which one I'm gonna get:). 

It's possible that the introduction of Mesh has brought more creators to SL (those who had the 3D skills or background), which offsets the loss of creators who don't learn the skills and stop making new items for SL.

What do you think?

  • Does the greater skill set that comes with Mesh mean less people are creating for SL? If not, why do you think so?
  • Is another impact that there is less variety of objects created for SL? If not, why don't you think so?
  • Do you think there isn't much difference now compared to 'Prim' days, just a different set of creators plus those who transitioned to Mesh?

 

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16 minutes ago, Evangeline Arcadia said:

What do you think?

  • Does the greater skill set that comes with Mesh mean less people are creating for SL? If not, why do you think so?
  • Is another impact that there is less variety of objects created for SL? If not, why don't you think so?
  • Do you think there isn't much difference now compared to 'Prim' days, just a different set of creators plus those who transitioned to Mesh?

1. Yeah without doubt. I can look at myself, I used to create my own homes with prims and textures. Not for resale, not that good, but for fun. With Mesh, I have no idea how to, but I do want mesh. Because of how it looks, but mainly because the lower land impact. I do not think its necessarily a bad thing. Maybe less stuff gets created by less people, but the quality of items is much better than it was in the past. So quality over quantity IMO.

2. I don't think so. There might be less items in volume, but not really in variation. With new techniques new stuff is being pumped out still like crazy. New interactive stuff, like strip-able cloths, hair styling options and so on. So again, maybe less in volume, but better quality and up to todays standards. Old prim style was nice in 2007, not anymore.

3. Much difference, see 1 and 2 :)

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I worked with prims for many years and now work in mesh. I still enjoy working with prims. It's really FAST for one thing. I had to smile as I typed that as it didn't SEEM all that fast when I was learning.  I don't think I realized you could just "stretch things" for several years.  Part of that was because almost all building classes (yes, there were LOTS of building schools back then and going to classes was a pastime, one where I met a few of my first friends) taught by the numbers method as in "rez a cube; resize to  2.25 X by 3.0 Y by .35 Z" which gave students a finished items but didn't really teach them the "why" of things.   

 

There were some outstanding creators back then. Marcus Inkpen tops my personal favorite list and I still have some of his very old prim items in my inventory. They are still good looking, just "primmy" -- no way around that.  Texturing was more important then.  Now (happily for me) you can make your textures INSIDE a 3D program as with Cycles in Blender for example. That is great for me since while I was OK at the arty part of texturing, choosing colors and patterns to coordinate and such -- I was NOT a good "painter" of textures.  

 

From my perspective there is just as much creativity now as there was then, but the learning curve is MUCH more steep. Not everyone wants to takes months or years to learn what they need to produce good looking and well working mesh objects.  There certainly seemed to be more people building when prims were the norm.  Now, unfortunately a large amount of goods for sale are not made by the people selling them.  They are frequently  downloaded from a website --- often one that isn't geared to "game asset" mesh but to very heavy  mesh designed to be used for photographs.  Sometimes items being sold are simply stolen. None of that is good.  

 

To be fair, it was pretty easy to steal prim builds too and it was done fairly often and complained about then  just like stolen things are complained about now. But at least back then, someone copying a build had to REBUILD it so some effort was definitely required and that seemed to limit theft somewhat.

 

"I" believe that creativity comes from within and folks that are creative types will BE creative types whatever tools they have to work with -- even Lego blocks :D.   So I don't think mesh has killed creativity. People can still build with prims; it is the difference in land impact that is the stumbling block to USING the objects made. 

 

Many of the creators you see today were here in the pre-prim days. They are still making lovely things, just making them differently. I think the main reason it might "seem" like there is less variety is that we have lost -- for the most part -- many of the popular genres that permeated Second Life when it was new.  Less fantasy themes -- and fantasy of course leads the imagination to create something totally new. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Evangeline Arcadia said:

What do you think?

  • Does the greater skill set that comes with Mesh mean less people are creating for SL? If not, why do you think so?
  • Is another impact that there is less variety of objects created for SL? If not, why don't you think so?
  • Do you think there isn't much difference now compared to 'Prim' days, just a different set of creators plus those who transitioned to Mesh?

 

Couple of things before I begin. I’m really starting to feel that all of these events and people buying mesh from turbo squid, then reselling is what is stifling creativity, not mesh itself.

There are so many events creators are starting to miss deadlines, not rig properly or not bother to create something...just outright buy it from somewhere and resell it. The demand is much greater than the supply.

1) I don’t think mesh needs a greater skill set than prims. There are more tools available in a 3D modeling program, but....it’s still geometry. The difference is there isn’t much of a bridge between 3d modeling programs and SL. What I mean by that, when you’re in a 3d modeling program you’re not in SL. It’s harder to share what you’re doing while you’re in the process. Thus you’re on your own a lot more. 

There’s a degree of gate keeping going on too. The sandbox era, where you could go to a sandbox and meet someone and just learn from them is over. You can ask in a group chat, but often a person who is trying to learn can’t articulate what they are trying to do. Misunderstandings happen, discouragement often follows.

2) I don’t think there’s less objects, there are less people doing it. See 1: A lot of people look at mesh like it’s wizardry. It’s not.

3) I call the prim days the sandbox days. Those were good because everything was right here. Now it’s not. I don’t think mesh got rolled out properly and it faced immediate backlash. Years later, someone is still talking about how prims are better. Mesh just doesn’t have that sense of wonder prims did. There was something that seemed more organic about prims floating in front of you taking shape. Mesh seems more clinical and it scares people away, when it shouldn’t.

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Posted (edited)

1.) Many of my builds begin as prims. I still love building with prims. Depending on what I'm doing I will take those prims and use a tool, like Mesh Studio, to turn those prims into a mesh object. Or I might take those prims and use them as a basis for creating the object in Blender. If I'm creating a building I try to make it so that it's easily modded, which means that more often then not I will not used baked shadows because it's just too hard to remove parts or relocate parts without it looking strange. If I'm making furniture I'm more likely to make an AO map in Blender and then paint my own textures. I'm not a fan of the textures that cycles spits out though I will use them as a starting place when I start the "painting" process. My favorite part of creating is painting the textures. 

Yes, my skill set has grown, but I can and do still create using in-world tools. I've seen others doing the same with prim builds and mesh generators in Bellisseria.  So to be honest, I think if there's any truth to creativity being stifled it's due to perception and not reality.  If a person wants to build with prims it's not difficult to use the tools available to turn your prim build into a mesh build. However, clothing creation is a whole other matter.

The only wearable mesh I make is jewelry. Once upon a time I made all my jewelry from prims. Yes, I even took some of my prim built jewelry and then using Mesh Studio turned those rings into mesh. But with the introduction of Bento, I had no choice but to learn Blender so that I could rig my rings. So, at that point, I really made myself learn Blender. I really enjoy Blender now. I also spent nearly a year creating mostly for Sansar, and since everything must be made in some sort of 3D ap, I spent a lot of focused time learning Blender and PBR texturing. I spent a lot of time making clothing in Marvelous Designer because I didn't have to rig anything! It was all done automatically. As a result, I became more familiar with the process creators go through making mesh clothing for SL. Sansar was a great learning experience for me. That experience also made me conclude that trying to make fitmesh clothing for SL avatars was not something I would ever want to tackle.

2.) I do believe that mesh has had two effects on clothing creation. While it is much more realistic and more detailed than anything we build with prims, it is also more limiting in clothing styles. Mesh simply will not move fluidly enough to create flowing skirts. It stretches patterns awkwardly when trying to use for long skirts. No matter how talented a rigger is there's just no way to make a pencil skirt that doesn't clip the legs, and so alphas must be used and then you end up quite often having the edge of leg that's alpha'd out showing if the avatar isn't standing dead still. Consequently, fashion styles in SL today don't have the variety of style we once enjoyed. But as a whole we have adopted mesh, with all its flaws, because we love how it conforms to our body shapes and the extreme realism possible with mesh. 

I do believe the proliferation of mesh deco items has created a huge amount of variety in the home and garden segment of the market. What we lost in clothing variety has been made up for in the sheer volume of deco items now displayed in our homes. It's more fun to dress my home than my avatar these days.

3.) I do agree that we see a huge amount of mesh that's been purchased online and then downloaded into SL. I constantly see comments about how a merchant is ripping off another merchant because their mesh is basically the same mesh and that's because both of those creators bought the same model from a third party source. Neither merchant ripped the other off in reality. Does that kind of behavior reduce variety? Yes, I believe it does. Does it reduce creativity? I don't think so, if the merchant in question was the creative type they'd still be creative. I think we still have the creatives here it's just that their work gets lost in a sea of third party mesh models. Also, I don't mean to say that if a merchant purchases a mesh model that they aren't creative, because if that person takes that model and uses it as a base for their own creation it's still creativity; however, if the person just takes that model and sells it as is, there's no creativity in that. That's just a merchant.

I do miss the days of watching others building in sandboxes and classes, but to be fair, I spent more time watching video tutorials on YouTube than going to classes in SL anyway. 

Edited by Blush Bravin
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What do you define as creativity?

Mesh outfits and home decor are truly gorgeous these days, and far beyond anything I've ever seen from the Golden Era/Dark Age of prims and layers. But there's also far, far less people downloading an open source t-shirt design and painting a smiley face on the front.

On the other hand, I do wonder what would have happened if BoM had been a Day One feature with mesh. It's quite possible that we'd still have those people creating their own smiley face t-shirts; while still having the truly gorgeous upper end of the industry.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, AyelaNewLife said:

On the other hand, I do wonder what would have happened if BoM had been a Day One feature with mesh. It's quite possible that we'd still have those people creating their own smiley face t-shirts; while still having the truly gorgeous upper end of the industry.

I think we are going to see a resurgence of home-made clothing once BoM is live and the mesh bodies have been updated to use BoM. I still use applier tops under jackets. I still much prefer applier stockings to mesh.... so I'm hoping that BoM will bring out some of those who like "painting" textures once again.

But I am one of the dinosaurs who still enjoys flexi skirts and hair when done right.

Edited by Blush Bravin
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20 minutes ago, AyelaNewLife said:

On the other hand, I do wonder what would have happened if BoM had been a Day One feature with mesh. It's quite possible that we'd still have those people creating their own smiley face t-shirts; while still having the truly gorgeous upper end of the industry.

I think the new version of making t-shirts with smiley faces is “texturing” mesh. I’m not knocking people who texture mesh in any way. I’m just pointing out that there has been a migration of sorts. The template business is quietly booming. I’ve seen some pretty talented texture artists, take a template and make a base mesh look different, just with a good use of alphas. There are a lot of creators that just texture and resell textured templates. I think that portion of creators have over taken the number of creators that make original objects. That may also be why it seems like there isn’t as much creativity. There’s only so much you can do with a template and people eventually realize it’s the same mesh.

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I think I perhaps have an outlying, but by no means unique, perspective here. Before SL had mesh, I was messing with blender and other 3d progs like an artist experimenting with a new medium. SL came along and I was looking at all the cool stuff I could do by being devious about twisting and torturing prims. Then along came sculpties. "Effin' brilliant!" I thought. I knew the use of pixel RGB colors in a texture as XYZ coords was one heck of a kludge but I didnt care. I could make shapes that were impossible before. I could make complex items in ONE PRIM and I gleefully did. I used the 3d apps that I was most familiar with to do it and along the way, for a short while, I managed to sell enough of them that my second life showed a handsome profit. I still wasn't any kind of 3d expert, though. My texturing skills were rudimentary at best and if I hadn't been good RL friends with a number of awesome digital artists all my stuff would have looked like junk.

Then mesh drops.

Now the possibilities are endless, and moreover, the possibilities I can actually ACCESS are endless too.

Except since then I've made only a few dozen things in SL and they were all for a specific purpose, like modeling my RL guitars to use when performing inworld or making stuff that folks tell me "I wish I could find..... " I have "projects" but they are all out there on the edge, stuff that looks like you shouldnt be able to do it but maybe if I can just make this one little thing work.... so they are perpetually unfinished.

Mesh and all the features that followed it have not stifled creativity. But they have given creators such a smorgasbord of features that maybe a few are, even now, just looking at the possibilities and like Mole in "Wind in the Willows" just going "oh my... oh my... "

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1 hour ago, Blush Bravin said:

I think we are going to see a resurgence of home-made clothing once BoM is live and the mesh bodies have been updated to use BoM.

This and, more importantly for me, the ability to reuse that countless "system" outfits I still have that I've purchased over all those years before mesh bodies first appeared. I really, really love 90% of those and there were never "updated" to appliers, etc.

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I have deliberately saved most of my old system avatar clothing in anticipation of being able to re-use it once Bakes on Mesh is launched.

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Yes. Mesh has stifled creativity. Mesh looks nice though. It's the awful truth for which there is no solution. 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Blush Bravin said:

I think we are going to see a resurgence of home-made clothing once BoM is live and the mesh bodies have been updated to use BoM. I still use applier tops under jackets. I still much prefer applier stockings to mesh.... so I'm hoping that BoM will bring out some of those who like "painting" textures once again.

But I am one of the dinosaurs who still enjoys flexi skirts and hair when done right.

I almost always use applier tops under jackets, mostly so I don't have to worry about checking every freaking animation I might be in to verify no clipping issues.  Likewise, I'll often use applier pants with long tops and boots.  I still mostly use appliers for panties/bra/stockings if I'm wearing anything or doing anything that might create clipping with those.  Therefore I am definitely looking forward to BoM finally getting here. 

 

Overall, mesh clothing does LOOK better, but I miss the flexi stuff just because one of my favorite styles is swirly skirts.  While I can live with many of the mesh shorter dresses, I just really hate almost any mesh gown that is not a pencil/mermaid style, because the bottom just looks so fake when you move.  I have more recently come across a few gowns that are combining mesh and flexi in ways that look good and still have low CI, so there is hope.

I do love the style changers that come with some of the mesh hair these days, but in many cases hair is another area that I don't like mesh as well as prims.  So far, I haven't found any really good mesh/prim hair combos and the few that have movement in them via other methods are just so-so.

I definitely like what mesh has done for home and garden - especially garden.  Things like trees and grass and flowers look so much better.  Mesh lets us have more complex houses with much, much lower LI - if done right.

Given all of that, I do think that the variety in things like clothing has definitely decreased.  I don't know if it is skill set or time required or what, but I do seem to see a whole lot more template clothing being sold than I ever did when things were prim.  I'm guessing that it is a combination of having to learn an outside 3D modeling tool, combined with having to learn how to properly rig for multiple bodies.

 

Edited by LittleMe Jewell
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Is this another thread to hate mesh or what? Wear prims and textures for gods sake, if you think its better.

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16 minutes ago, Syo Emerald said:

Is this another thread to hate mesh or what? Wear prims and textures for gods sake, if you think its better.

No, it was posted because I genuinely wanted to hear from others what they think, as I know my assumptions may not be the 'full picture', and I'm curious. If you read the replies you'll see that many have pointed out positives for mesh, including myself.

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Yes i do believe that builds were more creative and elaborate in the pre-mesh era. It was easier for people to create, there was less pressure from events to crank out as much as possible and especially texturing was higher quality. I love mesh but there was more creativity pre-mesh. My personal opinion.

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17 minutes ago, Syo Emerald said:

Is this another thread to hate mesh or what? Wear prims and textures for gods sake, if you think its better.

I don’t think that was the intention of the op. It certainly could go that way because a lot of people that post here have been around for a while and really don’t care for mesh. 

I think what she’s saying is valid and I’ve heard many people say that, especially in the last couple years.

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1 minute ago, Jules Catlyn said:

there was less pressure from events to crank out

The biggest reason creativity is suffering right here, IMO.

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Thanks everyone so far for taking the time to reply!! :)  There are some great perspectives here, and I appreciate all your responses.

I certainly agree regarding home and garden items, there are some great items out there, which I don't remember seeing the equivalent of in terms of LI and quality in pre-mesh days (my Linden dollars often go through periods of decrease because I get more than I really need now!).

I haven't heard about Bakes on Mesh...will have to look that up, so thanks for mentioning those who did:)

 

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8 minutes ago, Evangeline Arcadia said:

No, it was posted because I genuinely wanted to hear from others what they think, as I know my assumptions may not be the 'full picture', and I'm curious. If you read the replies you'll see that many have pointed out positives for mesh, including myself.

Ok, thats fair, I guess. It just rubbed me the wrong way, because in the past there had been very vocal discussions started by people to just get their hate for mesh out and I kind of feel like nobody ever questioned if prims and textures were limiting creativity, because of the limits of what could be archieved with them. I often wear clothes, that wouldn't exist if it wasn't for mesh. Since mesh has been introduced, it has also gotten easier to let out my love for decorating a parcel, since I can get more stuff for less LI.

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8 minutes ago, Syo Emerald said:

Ok, thats fair, I guess. It just rubbed me the wrong way, because in the past there had been very vocal discussions started by people to just get their hate for mesh out and I kind of feel like nobody ever questioned if prims and textures were limiting creativity, because of the limits of what could be archieved with them. I often wear clothes, that wouldn't exist if it wasn't for mesh. Since mesh has been introduced, it has also gotten easier to let out my love for decorating a parcel, since I can get more stuff for less LI.

Not only that, but there were a lot of people putting out crap in those days too. People tend to look at the past through rose colored glasses. People forget about the one legged pants and other SL oddities people used to sell.

I think what will happen with BoM is people are going to rush to dust off their old system stuff only to realize it doesn’t look as great as it did in 2008.

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Posted (edited)

I love it all! I love prims! I love mesh! Both entice my creative juices. Honestly, we need both, IMO. To say one is better than the other is kind of like throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Prims and old texture based clothing has its place in our world and wardrobes, but so does mesh. Why limit yourself by liking one more than the other? :) 

Edited by Blush Bravin
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Posted (edited)

What I think would be awesome would be some way to create directly inworld, as you do with prims, but with quality of mesh (i.e. without having to convert anything like using a mesh creator). Alas, I doubt very much that will happen (anytime in the near future anyway) as Ebbe pretty much said in a video I saw online somewhere that they weren't planning to do that, and they thought that mesh was good as it gave creators the flexibility to create in whichever software they choose rather than be confined to using just prims.

 

Edited by Evangeline Arcadia

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