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Qie Niangao

Where's my free Bakes-on-Mesh avatar update?

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Well, I'm glad I asked. I was really worried this would be a chicken-and-egg problem, or Alphonse-and-Gaston, or... anyway, a standoff among TPV updates, mesh body creators, and clothing + applier makers. Well, it still sort of is, but we already have an official viewer and a very good body that uses it, so it's just waiting for the inevitable adoption now.

I'm also glad my main (in particular) wears a Slink body because, indeed, redeliveries (triggered in-store) include a free update to the "Redux" Bakes-on-Mesh-compatible body.* (In case this helps others as much as it just helped me, here's a link to Slink's FAQ about BoM. I found it easier to understand than anything else, but that may just be me.) 

Looking inside the box, I see it comes with a folder full of alpha masks and commonly-used alpha templates. This makes me so very happy: finally I can give up on the always buggy auto-alpha scripts that clothing creators screw up every time, and the always laggy "alpha cuts" HUD for the mesh avatar.

So among the things that are now obsolete (and folks should be cautioned not to buy) are all applier-based (or mesh-avatar-specific) texture products including:

  • tattoos,
  • skins,
  • make-up,
  • hair bases,
  • etc. (I'm sure I'm missing super important product categories here)

unless they come bundled with system texture-based equivalents -- or maybe iron-clad promises to supply those equivalents on dates certain.

_________________
*I have not done this part yet, but apparently if one got the Slink body, hands, and feet, one can request a manual update to a "bundle" which frees-up attachments and simplifies operation. That sounds pretty excellent to me.

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10 hours ago, Qie Niangao said:

The feature is now officially available.

It's not as if it suddenly appeared out of thin air -- it's been expected for a long, long time.

So why isn't there content, like, now? Or do I just have the wrong Mesh avatar?

The feature has only been in development for over 21 months. Adoption/Adaptation takes time. 😉

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3 hours ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

I didn't get a notification for this, so does one need to go to the store in-world to get it?

I'm assuming also that this means that the new body has lost the underwear and clothing layers (in part because I understand that the complexity of the new body is lower). But presumably with the new Omega applier the new Slink body, these will be applied directly to the remaining layer?

I think I'll be waiting until FS, at least, supports BoM. But the reduction in complexity alone makes it seem worthwhile.

The Slink body has no onion layers but it has options to hide nipples/smooth between breasts/partially fill buttcrack/hide cameltoe so clothing items won't look completely like body paint with the options toggled. It also has tattoo layers to blend out fingertip/toe weirdness.

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Posted (edited)

Thank you lindens (and thank you Slink for being so quick to update)! Finally we can be rid of appliers and onion bodies! I *never* liked that system, so much so that I already just added tattoos to my default skin, even before BoM.

Should save some processing power too since there's less invisible geometry.

Edited by Cinos Field
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9 hours ago, Chic Aeon said:

I don't know any creators personally that were terribly excited about BOM so maybe not many have been working frantically behind the scenes for the last year and a half or whatever :D.     I think that lightening the server load is a very good thing, but I am questioning how many folks will "upgrade" if there is a hefty price tag that goes along with the "improvement" .

There are some creators on the verge of irrelevance right now. There's only a minimal hurdle to get back up to date, but it will involve repackaging their items with the system layer stuff they should have been packaging all along -- or at least for the last year and a half.

It's not only the massively reduced geometric complexity (viewer side) and some fewer scripts and attachments (server side), there are also end-user advantages. Multiple times a day, avatar and head support groups field questions that amount to "how do I kludge around the alpha-sorting problem for these layers? and attached clothing?" And multiple times a day, each of us ends up fighting with the alpha-cuts HUDs and/or creators' confused attempts to supply auto-alpha scripts. And whenever we visit many popular venues we see the hideous effects of blended alpha make-up, tattoos, etc under Advanced Lighting with many projectors.

All longstanding problems, and all fixed by BoM. So personally I'm not going to be super patient with creators who still aren't including trivially produced system layers with their applier and mesh-avatar-specific products. I'm just not buying.

And I'm sure glad I didn't buy any avatar-specific skins or hairbases in the last few months!

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, AyelaNewLife said:

I highly doubt it's going to make a difference. Even with BoM, users are still going to want to keep their existing applier functionality. Partly because some clothing layer effects cannot be replicated with system layers, but mostly because people have built up large collections of appliers. There's no real reason why the body creator has to remove those applier layers when they make their body BoM friendly... so they won't. No creator that wants to stay in business is going to voluntarily reduce the functionality of their product because some mad people on the forums say it might save a few fps, it's just not going to happen.

My guess (or my hope) is that body makers will include a BOM version AND an appliers version in future releases. Or add functionality to remove the onion layers from a copy.

Edited by Matty Luminos
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5 minutes ago, Matty Luminos said:

My guess (or my hope) is that body makers will include a BOM version AND an appliers version in future releases. Or add functionality to remove the onion layers from a copy.

That's what I'm hoping for. There's no justifiable reason why I shouldn't be able to wear a baked layer on my skin, and then an applied layer above that if needed. You can already do this with the omega layer; but at the cost of the 'new' alpha layers not working.

I know there's already been some pushback against Slink for arbitrarily stripping applier functionality from their BoM update. I suspect the others are using that as a test, gauging the reaction before they release their own update.

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6 hours ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

Mesh is already confusing enough for most people, and involves a fairly steep learning curve. I know, because I had to climb it. If LL wants people to be informed, or even excited about this, they need to explain in terms that most people will understand. It would be all sooooooo much easier if they would take the time and effort (and, yes, money) to build a simple and easy to follow guide for non-techies, rather than relying on either the awful knowledge base, or some kind of "word of mouth" mechanism, as is most often the case now. Customization of the avatar, and the confusion it causes, is, I swear, one of the biggest issues with regard to retention that SL faces.

I was saying just last night that customising my av is no fun now and it's going to affect my decision of how much time/money I put into my SL Round Two. I accept there has to be a learning curve, as I did last time, and that I need to educate myself (when I get the chance, I'll read up on what a baked texture actually is, as I'm not sure I get it. I remember "rebaking", I guess it's related). But just how difficult does this need to be for someone like me, who isn't a complete idiot and is experienced with SL, but just isn't technical? If the experts who make this say it's got to be this complicated to get progress then I'll accept that, they know better than I do. But as you say, why can they not make the information and tutorials more accessible and understandable? I don't have a huge amount of time to spend in SL these days; I'd still like to do it but how much of this limited time should I reasonably be expected to spend on basics like making myself look contemporary and presentable? 

And then according to Rhonda's post, even if I do work this out, I'm still going to look like my toddler's scrapbook to people who don't have the same viewer? 

Will this be any simpler if I just ditch this account and its inventory (I have only a few mesh clothes and a mesh body, everything else is system and completely obsolete), wait a bit and then get a new starter av on a new account?

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7 hours ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

Is there no one at LL who knows how to speak Real Person Speak? Or write it? Or who understands that the vast majority of SL users are not content creators, coders, or mesh builders, and will have no frickin' idea what any of this actually means?????

There was this guy, a long time ago. A friendly guy, who really liked neon watermelons a lot. I think they exiled him to Sansar and don't let him back in SL very much.

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Posted (edited)

Slink does, of course, still offer the old applier bodies in the same purchase as the BoM ones.

I certainly don't want the onion layers on any new bodies. They're a completely useless drain of resources at this point, and all creators should definitely offer versions without them as they implement BoM.

I'd go one step further and say they should discontinue layer bodies entirely. That's the responsible option for helping SL's lag issues, but I can understand why they might not if people aren't willing to change. Have to make a living, after all.

Edited by Cinos Field
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19 minutes ago, Amina Sopwith said:

And then according to Rhonda's post, even if I do work this out, I'm still going to look like my toddler's scrapbook to people who don't have the same viewer? 

For a while. But I'd expect that as soon as Firestorm updates, the countdown to obsolescence starts for any non-BoM viewers. There are features (e.g. Materials, and now EEP) for which a delay in support didn't matter so much, but I think BoM is more like Mesh: when a viewer just can't see the world properly anymore, it'll be update-or-die for that TPV.

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2 hours ago, AyelaNewLife said:

I highly doubt it's going to make a difference.

Everyone's basically wearing 3 mesh bodies (not counting the legacy body). With BOM, you only need one. I'm pretty sure, that's going to have a significant impact on the sim's streaming load, especially with high visitor flux.

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...gives Scylla a Universal Translator to put in the pocket of her Universal Wearable.

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1 hour ago, Cinos Field said:

They're a completely useless drain of resources at this point, and all creators should definitely offer versions without them as they implement BoM.

 

53 minutes ago, Arduenn Schwartzman said:

Everyone's basically wearing 3 mesh bodies (not counting the legacy body). With BOM, you only need one. 

 

Those layers are not useless. Even if there was some idiot-proof way to convert every applier out there into system layers (let's not even start on the legal issues with that), there are still a good number of effects that cannot be replicated with a single skin-layer. "Have fun rebuying your inventory because I've decided to reduce functionality on a whim" is a terrible approach, and not something praiseworthy at all.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Amina Sopwith said:

I was saying just last night that customising my av is no fun now and it's going to affect my decision of how much time/money I put into my SL Round Two. I accept there has to be a learning curve, as I did last time, and that I need to educate myself (when I get the chance, I'll read up on what a baked texture actually is, as I'm not sure I get it. I remember "rebaking", I guess it's related). But just how difficult does this need to be for someone like me, who isn't a complete idiot and is experienced with SL, but just isn't technical? If the experts who make this say it's got to be this complicated to get progress then I'll accept that, they know better than I do. But as you say, why can they not make the information and tutorials more accessible and understandable? I don't have a huge amount of time to spend in SL these days; I'd still like to do it but how much of this limited time should I reasonably be expected to spend on basics like making myself look contemporary and presentable? 

And then according to Rhonda's post, even if I do work this out, I'm still going to look like my toddler's scrapbook to people who don't have the same viewer? 

Will this be any simpler if I just ditch this account and its inventory (I have only a few mesh clothes and a mesh body, everything else is system and completely obsolete), wait a bit and then get a new starter av on a new account?

The theory is that this will, in the long run, make avatar customization easier, because all of the stuff for which we currently use appliers will be replaced with system versions. So, it should become as easy as it was pre-mesh. If you want to wear, for instance, a non-mesh tee shirt, you'll just need to right click on the item in your inventory and choose "wear": no need to open the applier, or the Omega relay if that's been necessary, to put that on.

But it's surely going to be a year or two before the makers of mesh bodies, heads, and body parts, the TPVs, and, most importantly, the content makers have all caught up on this.

And in the meantime, it's going to be chaos, partially because of incomplete adoption, and partially because no one is taking the time to explain this in layperson terms. God help the customer service reps for product lines like Maitreya, Slink, and Catwa.

1 hour ago, Lyssa Greymoon said:

There was this guy, a long time ago. A friendly guy, who really liked neon watermelons a lot. I think they exiled him to Sansar and don't let him back in SL very much.

Yes, not for the first time do I find myself asking, "Where's Torley when we need him?"

Someone who could do an excellent job is Strawberry Singh, but I don't think her position with LL is quite the same as the one that Torley performed for SL. In fact, she produced a video on the subject, but it's now a year and a half old.

 

Edited by Scylla Rhiadra
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I can see BOM being good for things like makeup and tattoo's and skins..But the system clothes would still need something to give them depth wouldn't they?

If I put on a system outfit I have in my inventory ,it's just going to wrap my body rather than cover it ,isn't it?

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Posted (edited)
48 minutes ago, AyelaNewLife said:

Those layers are not useless. Even if there was some idiot-proof way to convert every applier out there into system layers (let's not even start on the legal issues with that), there are still a good number of effects that cannot be replicated with a single skin-layer. "Have fun rebuying your inventory because I've decided to reduce functionality on a whim" is a terrible approach, and not something praiseworthy at all.

I think, relatively speaking, my own needs are relatively simple. I don't wear tattoos, or any sort of "special effects."

But I do use underwear and clothing appliers. A lot. In fact, probably about a third or more of my fairly extensive list of outfits rely on some form of applier clothing -- tees, camisoles, sweaters, jeans, leggings, etc. And that's because "layering" -- or even finding a pair of jeans that will work well with a particular top -- often requires applier clothing.

So, as I understand it -- and if I'm wrong, someone please correct me! -- if I choose to update my Slink mesh body to the new BoM compatible one, that content, all of those outfits, are now "broken." The new body has only the one layer, for tattoos (I think, if I'm getting this right), so there's nowhere to put those old applier clothes.

I'm sure that some of the more prominent makers of that applier clothing will quickly(?) produce new system layer versions, but a lot of the smaller makers, who may not even be active anymore, won't. And I highly doubt that the applier clothing will be replaced with a "free upgrade" -- I'll be buying whole new sets of tops, pants, and bottoms.

And what about those outfits that are mesh, but that include applier components? I don't have a lot of those, but there are a few.

How will my new system skin for my BoM-compatible body work with the skin for my head, which may still be using an applier? No one here has talked about mesh heads, but I assume that they're going to need to get on board as well. Not to mention other body parts: I currently use a Slink body, but Vista hands. So, if mesh heads go BoM compatible, I'll also be tossing a whole lot of makeup and hair base appliers.

In theory, Slink is doing this "right" by issuing an update that doesn't include the extra onion layers: the point of this whole exercise is rendered at least partly moot if everyone is still wearing complex mesh bodies and heads with multiple layers.

But it's going to be a while before I switch over to the new body, for the simple reason that doing so immediately will wipe out a really healthy proportion of my wardrobe.

ETA: Forgot to mention the fact that, with alpha cuts gone(?) -- or so it appears from the Slink Redux video that Qie has provided -- residents are going to have start creating their own alpha layers for mesh clothing? Really????

Edited by Scylla Rhiadra
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4 hours ago, Qie Niangao said:

I'm also glad my main (in particular) wears a Slink body because, indeed, redeliveries (triggered in-store) include a free update to the "Redux" Bakes-on-Mesh-compatible body.* (In case this helps others as much as it just helped me, here's a link to Slink's FAQ about BoM. I found it easier to understand than anything else, but that may just be me.) 

 

Massive thanks for that reminder; that's a great resource, that SLink faq.  We're Slink lovers in my wee circle and this is extremely helpful.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, AyelaNewLife said:

"Have fun rebuying your inventory because I've decided to reduce functionality on a whim" is a terrible approach, and not something praiseworthy at all.

Let me reiterate the advantages again: faster loading times, highter FPS, less lag, ease of use in dressing up (e.g. by eliminating these overly-complicated alpha layer HUDs).

"Your inventory" -  Only part of my inventory, like when mesh was introduced, or sculpties, or flexi prim. You did not completely replace your inventory then either.

"reduce functionality" - Like what? mixing material layers? I'll choose BOM for above reasons over the vaguely-defined benefits of having two or more mesh layers any time.

"on a whim" - Carefully considered, paid for and  implemented by LL (and anticipated by yours truly for, again, above reasons). That's a rather disrespectful claim toward the people who made this possible.

"terrible approach/not something praiseworthy at all" - That's a rather dramatic response to something that only requires the use of an updated viewer, and as if above benefits don't count at all.

Edited by Arduenn Schwartzman
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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, Arduenn Schwartzman said:

"Your inventory" -  Only part of my inventory, like when mesh was introduced, or sculpties, or flexi prim. You did not completely replace your inventory then either.

A pretty substantial part of my inventory, actually.

And -- to reiterate -- I'm expected to create my own alpha layers for clothing that doesn't include it as part of the package?

Do you have any idea how steep a learning curve, not to mention time and effort, that will involve for many residents? Not to mention the time involved? I have dozens of dresses, tops, pants, etc. that don't come with alpha layers, and that would require the generation of a custom one.

 

Edited by Scylla Rhiadra
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2 minutes ago, Arduenn Schwartzman said:

Let me reiterate the advantages again: faster loading times, highter FPS, less lag, ease of use in dressing up (e.g. by eliminating these overly-complicated alpha layer HUDs).

"Your inventory" -  Only part of my inventory, like when mesh was introduced, or sculpties, or flexi prim. You did not completely replace your inventory then either.

"reduce functionality" - Like what? mixing material layers? I'll choose BOM for above reasons over the vaguely-defined benefits of having two or more mesh layers any time.

"on a whim" - Carefully considered, paid for and  implemented by LL (and anticipated by yours truly for, again, above reasons). That's a rather disrespectful claim toward the people who made this possible.

"terrible approach/not something praiseworthy at all" - That's a rather dramatic response to something that only requires the use of an updated viewer, and as if above benefits don't count at all.

That's a false comparison. The introduction of mesh bodies was a direct replacement for system skins, tattoos, etc; the two could not co-exist. That's clearly not the case with BoM, as a baked skin layer and applier layers have worked together perfectly fine for months now on the project viewer. If parts of my inventory are fundamentally incompatible with the new tech, then that's fine, that's just the cost of staying updated. But that's demonstrably not the case here, we're expected to dump large portions of our inventory for the ideological purity of a handful of forum posters. No thanks.

In terms of reduced functionality; clothing applier layers are intentionally not skin-tight. They don't get sucked into the buttcrack, they don't highlight the female genitalia, they cover the nipples. This is essential for applier-based clothing to function at all, and none of that is possible if you strip out all applier layers from a mesh body.

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Posted (edited)
18 minutes ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

A pretty substantial part of my inventory, actually.

And -- to reiterate -- I'm expected to create my own alpha layers for clothing that doesn't include it as part of the package?

Do you have any idea how steep a learning curve, not to mention time and effort, that will involve for many residents? Not to mention the time involved? I have dozens of dresses, tops, pants, etc. that don't come with alpha layers, and that would require the generation of a custom one.

 

The new "Redux" version of the Slink body comes with a collection of generic alphas already - also, since Slink is an older body a fair amount of the rigged mesh content made for it also came with "standard size" versions that included alphas. It also comes with a complete version of their original body.

Slink's approach with their new version is very aggressive. I see it as being similar to the original Apple Macintosh - Apple, like Slink, had been losing market share and they needed to do something radically different to be noticed. I imagine an "official" BOM version of the Maitreya body would be more Windows-ish, with greater reverse compatibility but less of a radical reduction of geometry and complication.

Edited by Theresa Tennyson
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3 minutes ago, AyelaNewLife said:

In terms of reduced functionality; clothing applier layers are intentionally not skin-tight. They don't get sucked into the buttcrack, they don't highlight the female genitalia, they cover the nipples. This is essential for applier-based clothing to function at all, and none of that is possible if you strip out all applier layers from a mesh body.

Which is why the new Slink body has built-in options to do all of that.

One thing that is very possible that we haven't seen yet with the "big" body brands is including separate layers that could act like the current clothing layers but would be removable. Some minor body makers include them now. They haven't used in the high-priced spread bodies because of the needs of the alpha-cut system.

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1 minute ago, Theresa Tennyson said:

The new "Redux" version of the Slink body comes with a collection of generic alphas already - also, since Slink is an older body a fair amount of the rigged mesh content made for it also came with "standard size" versions that included alphas. It also comes with a complete version of their original body.

This is true -- I'm sure that some of the generic alphas will do the trick. But a great deal won't.

And yes, I do own some mesh clothing that comes with standard sizing and hence includes alpha layers. But of the newer stuff that I've bought -- and like many people here, I buy a lot of new clothing -- maybe 10% comes with that?

3 minutes ago, Theresa Tennyson said:

Slink's approach with their new version is very aggressive. I see it as being similar to the original Apple Mackintosh - Apple, like Slink, had been losing market share and they needed to do something radically different to be noticed. I imagine an "official" BOM version of the Maitreya body would be more Windows-ish, with greater reverse compatibility but less of a radical reduction of geometry and complication.

That's an interesting analogy: I guess we'll see when Maitreya comes out with theirs.

I'm not convinced that Slink's move is wise. To a great degree, getting rid of the backward-compatibility requires that consumers be "altruistic." The resulting reduction in my avatar's complexity is good for the grid, and good for those around me, but it frankly does nothing for me. Slink seems to be hoping that everyone will just "do the right thing." I'm highly doubtful that they will -- and one reason they might not, again, is because no one is really explaining why they should.

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50 minutes ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

This is true -- I'm sure that some of the generic alphas will do the trick. But a great deal won't.

And yes, I do own some mesh clothing that comes with standard sizing and hence includes alpha layers. But of the newer stuff that I've bought -- and like many people here, I buy a lot of new clothing -- maybe 10% comes with that?

That's an interesting analogy: I guess we'll see when Maitreya comes out with theirs.

I'm not convinced that Slink's move is wise. To a great degree, getting rid of the backward-compatibility requires that consumers be "altruistic." The resulting reduction in my avatar's complexity is good for the grid, and good for those around me, but it frankly does nothing for me. Slink seems to be hoping that everyone will just "do the right thing." I'm highly doubtful that they will -- and one reason they might not, again, is because no one is really explaining why they should.

Slink has always been the "responsible" brand, the problem is just they don't leverage that in advertising. Even the layered version of the hourglass is about half the polygons of Maitreya, and a tenth of Belleza, while still managing to get just as pretty a shape. If they did advertise it like that it'd surely be a wise move; who hasn't experienced huge lag spikes around certain avatars in SL?

So they're like the electric car of SL, competing against regular Joe car Maitreya and the gas-guzzling luxury vehicle that is Belleza. The tradeoff being that it's a little harder to make skins for, and now you can't use appliers anymore. It's consistent with their brand identity, at least the perceived one, and if that's how they marketed themselves I'd definitely think it's a smart move.

Alas...

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