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Posted (edited)

I've been making clothes (texturing mesh objects) in SL for a while now and came across something I don't understand.  Maybe someone has seen it before and can at least explain it?  (I'd like to fix it, but it seems like it might just be a property of the mesh itself.)

I purchased a full perm mesh object and I'm trying to texture it with a decorative edge.

WARNING: The pictures here are just rough tests so obviously it's not finished work.  However, the problem can still be seen.  

The first shot shows the texture in Affinity Designer, and yes, there is clippling (it's a rough test!), but mostly the little balls along the bottom border are generally the same size, right?  

The second shot shows me wearing the test product in-world, and clearly ... the little balls along the border vary from 100% - 200%.  The ones closer to the edge of the mesh are all squashed and shrunken, whilst the ones further from the edge are almost twice the diameter.  

Anyone know what (the F) is going on there?  

Screenshot 2020-03-05 at 12.12.25 PM.png

Snapshot_017.png

Edited by Sylvia Wasp

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11 minutes ago, Sylvia Wasp said:

nyone know what (the F) is going on there?  

 The little balls are on the mesh. The mesh will stretch to conform to the SHAPE of the avatar. If the shape of the avatar is NOT the same shape as the reference model used in making the garment the textures will stretch. You see this ALL the time (even on us skinny gals) so not unusual.  If you test on someone that is really hippy you will likely see more stretching.  This has been around long before mesh clothing came into being.  

 

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, Chic Aeon said:

 The little balls are on the mesh. The mesh will stretch to conform to the SHAPE of the avatar. If the shape of the avatar is NOT the same shape as the reference model used in making the garment the textures will stretch. You see this ALL the time (even on us skinny gals) so not unusual.  If you test on someone that is really hippy you will likely see more stretching.  This has been around long before mesh clothing came into being.  

 

Ah, thanks. Of course.  I feel stupid now.  😕

Although, why it's stretching right at the edge of the garment and not stretching a half an inch further in still bewilders me a bit.  And I tested it on my own skinny self too, so presumably it will stretch even more on curvier girls.

...

EDIT: 

OK, I know it's gauche to reply to your own thread but ... new information!  

Because I couldn't figure out why the image was only distorted at the mesh edges ... I moved it down (away from the edge) and the problem fixed itself (see attached image). 😮

So after a bit of screwing around I figured out that for some reason 18 pixels from the edge (not 14, not 16) the image is no longer distorted.  Luckily for me I'm making something with alpha edges anyway, but seriously ... I'd like an explanation.  This trick wouldn't work on a regular garment using this mesh.  

- Does anyone know why this mesh does this?  

- Is it just a poorly designed mesh?  

- Is there some (shoddy) technique that results in this kind of thing?  

I have never seen this before.  

Sylvia

back_edge_18_pixels.png

Edited by Sylvia Wasp
new information!
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Posted (edited)
23 minutes ago, Da5id Weatherwax said:

That thing needs some serious retopo anyway :P

not helpful.  

I already suspect it's a crappy mesh as I said.  I want to learn exactly *why* it's a crappy mesh and what actions in creating it, led to the problems it has.  

Edited by Sylvia Wasp

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Applying a UV grid texture (like the one below) can help you discern if the UV mapping is uniform across the entire mesh or if some areas have been squashed or distorted in some way.  That will give you some idea of the extent to which you'll need to distort your textures to fit the UV mapping of the mesh correctly when creating custom textures for it.

uvtemplate.thumb.png.eb79a5de19b65f747bcbb50ed38d9565.png

As for deformations that occur due to the shape you're using try rezzing the mesh rather than wearing it, assuming the creator has uploaded it at the correct scale it should conform to the default shape used to create the mesh.

As for reasons why this particular mesh is doing this, it's probably either because the creator didn't make the UV mapping uniform to begin with, or because they altered the mesh after applying UV mapping and in doing so compressed the UV, thereby causing the texture to become "squashed" on those polygons.

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My guess (on that 18 pixels thing) is that the UV map does something odd as it wraps around the edge of the mesh, probably emphasised by the way it was weighted to the various bones. The odd stretch in the mapping probably wouldn’t normally be noticed until you try with a really precise design like your lace.

I’d also guess that this was made in a program like Marvellous Designer, and that the mesh and the UV maps were auto generated. As Da5id said, a retopo would have probably fixed the mapping problem, since you’d also remap and have a nice straight edge to work on instead of lots of weirdly placed and shaped triangles.

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The issue is simple: that mesh cleay comes from Marvelous Designer and the way it creates a mesh with its UVs is the problem. That mesh started as a rectangular pattern that was then stitched in a tapered shape. The UV though aren't tapered, so the larger side shows a stretch and I'm betting that if you perform the same test on the bottom edge, you will see a squashing effect,quite the opposite of what you've been experiencing with the top side. 

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Posted (edited)
18 hours ago, OptimoMaximo said:

The issue is simple: that mesh clay comes from Marvelous Designer and the way it creates a mesh with its UVs is the problem. That mesh started as a rectangular pattern that was then stitched in a tapered shape. The UV though aren't tapered, so the larger side shows a stretch and I'm betting that if you perform the same test on the bottom edge, you will see a squashing effect,quite the opposite of what you've been experiencing with the top side. 

Well, I'm hopeful that it isn't as simple as blaming Marvelous Designer.  That program is about 1,000% better at making clothes for Second Life than any other and I hope to buy a copy once I have the cash as part of my program to make my own meshes. 

My understanding is that even if you use Marvelous Designer that it's essential to import into Blender for many many "adjustments" before importing into Second Life so perhaps the "retopo" (still figuring that out, lol) should have been done there.  It seems like the issues with this mesh *could* certainly have been fixed at that stage. 

Sylvia

Edited by Sylvia Wasp

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Posted (edited)
20 hours ago, Peony Swee*****er said:

My guess (on that 18 pixels thing) is that the UV map does something odd as it wraps around the edge of the mesh, probably emphasised by the way it was weighted to the various bones. The odd stretch in the mapping probably wouldn’t normally be noticed until you try with a really precise design like your lace.

I’d also guess that this was made in a program like Marvellous Designer, and that the mesh and the UV maps were auto generated. As Da5id said, a retopo would have probably fixed the mapping problem, since you’d also remap and have a nice straight edge to work on instead of lots of weirdly placed and shaped triangles.

I'm still getting my head around "retopo" but I'm thinking this is something that could easily have been done in Blender *after* importing from Marvelous Designer. 

Edited by Sylvia Wasp

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20 minutes ago, Sylvia Wasp said:

Well, I'm hopeful that it isn't as simple as blaming Marvelous Designer.

Should you do the same in Blender or other 3d apps, you'd still get the same result. Perhaps less severe because you'd be working with clean laid out quads, while those triangles from the cloth simulation make things worse

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21 hours ago, Fluffy Sharkfin said:

Applying a UV grid texture (like the one below) can help you discern if the UV mapping is uniform across the entire mesh or if some areas have been squashed or distorted in some way.  That will give you some idea of the extent to which you'll need to distort your textures to fit the UV mapping of the mesh correctly when creating custom textures for it.

...

As for deformations that occur due to the shape you're using try rezzing the mesh rather than wearing it, assuming the creator has uploaded it at the correct scale it should conform to the default shape used to create the mesh.

As for reasons why this particular mesh is doing this, it's probably either because the creator didn't make the UV mapping uniform to begin with, or because they altered the mesh after applying UV mapping and in doing so compressed the UV, thereby causing the texture to become "squashed" on those polygons.

Well, with your UV texture applied, it makes what's going on at the edge obvious, but any grid would do the same.  

I was actually hoping to see a more "tangled" result.  What I'm trying to get at is what *causes* it, so I guess the answer is ... 

"not remapping the UV before upload"? 

Sylvia

Snapshot_001.png

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21 hours ago, Sylvia Wasp said:

not helpful.  

I already suspect it's a crappy mesh as I said.  I want to learn exactly *why* it's a crappy mesh and what actions in creating it, led to the problems it has.  

I'm really sorry if I came across as unhelpful, but in all honesty my - admittedly a bit glib and brief - answer was why it wasn't working.

Look at it without the texture applied, looking where the edge loops are going, if they are following the contours of the fitted model well...

Now, on this one, in the picture I replied to you can see a couple of serious issues there. The horizontal loops are going up and down like a tarts knickers without any real justification for them to do so in the shape you're trying to achieve in the model. The paths of the vertical lines are so distorted that even without the somewhat funky triangulation it would be hard to trace them. You do expect that there will be some curving around - you want your edge loops to curve across the contours of a body, dipping down to outline an underbust curve or accentuating a cute butt a bit - but when the edge loops so blatantly do not respect the form they are trying to outline you are going to have problems.

If you beat your head against the UV unwrap hard enough you can compensate for this - It's certainly possible that by tweaking the UV map vertex by vertex you will be able to achieve a distortion-free mapping of your texture on this model as it stands but that's going to be a lot harder, take many hours more and be and front-loaded with problems if you don't clean up the topology before you go for an initial unwrap.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Sylvia Wasp said:

I was actually hoping to see a more "tangled" result.  What I'm trying to get at is what *causes* it, so I guess the answer is ... 

"not remapping the UV before upload"? 

Yes, that seems the most likely explanation.

There are two fairly simple solutions to your problem, the simplest of which is one you've already discovered i.e. just avoid applying the texture to that area and have the edges of the texture end just before the deformation of the UV begins.  The alternative would be to take that same UV grid texture and add it as an underlying layer in your bitmap editor. Then, using the grid texture as a guide, you can distort your texture so that it matches the distortion of the UV map you're seeing in the last screenshot you posted (in this case it looks like stretching the lace pattern at the edge of the texture by around 250-300% would compensate for the UV map distortion).  As long as you're using the Local Textures feature this can be relatively quick and painless and will avoid having to re-upload the texture multiple times while fixing the issue.

2 hours ago, Sylvia Wasp said:

I'm still getting my head around "retopo" but I'm thinking this is something that could easily have been done in Blender *after* importing from Marvelous Designer.

Since you stated in your OP that this is a full perm mesh that you purchased rather than one you created yourself I'm assuming you don't have access to the mesh outside of SL, so retopologizing isn't going to be an option in this instance, but if you plan on using Marvelous Designer in the future it's most definitely a process that you should try to familiarize yourself with.  Having a clean topology that follows the form of the object you're modelling not only makes UV mapping simpler but can also make rigging mesh objects far easier and more effective than trying to rig the mesh output you get from MD. 

Personally I'd recommend taking a look at an app called 3D Coat, it's relatively inexpensive and there's a 30 day demo available so you can get a good idea of how it works before having to invest any money in it.  It has a lot of tools specifically designed for the purpose of retopology and UV mapping, as well as a really nice paint room that allows you to paint directly onto a 3D model on multiple channels simultaneously (i.e. diffuse/colour, normal/bump & specular/shiny, all the maps you need for materials in SL).  It's basically like a 3D Photoshop with Zbrush and retopology/UV mapping tools thrown in for good measure.

Edited by Fluffy Sharkfin
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1 hour ago, Da5id Weatherwax said:

I'm really sorry if I came across as unhelpful, but in all honesty my - admittedly a bit glib and brief - answer was why it wasn't working.

Look at it without the texture applied, looking where the edge loops are going, if they are following the contours of the fitted model well...

Now, on this one, in the picture I replied to you can see a couple of serious issues there. The horizontal loops are going up and down like a tarts knickers without any real justification for them to do so in the shape you're trying to achieve in the model. The paths of the vertical lines are so distorted that even without the somewhat funky triangulation it would be hard to trace them. You do expect that there will be some curving around - you want your edge loops to curve across the contours of a body, dipping down to outline an underbust curve or accentuating a cute butt a bit - but when the edge loops so blatantly do not respect the form they are trying to outline you are going to have problems.

If you beat your head against the UV unwrap hard enough you can compensate for this - It's certainly possible that by tweaking the UV map vertex by vertex you will be able to achieve a distortion-free mapping of your texture on this model as it stands but that's going to be a lot harder, take many hours more and be and front-loaded with problems if you don't clean up the topology before you go for an initial unwrap.

Interesting stuff.  

I should clarify ... I didn't make this mesh or have access to it in Blender or Marvelous Designer, I'm just trying to texture it and at the same time understand what's wrong with it so that when I am trying to make my own mesh I don't make the same mistakes.  

Sylvia

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4 minutes ago, Sylvia Wasp said:

I'm just trying to texture it and at the same time understand what's wrong with it so that when I am trying to make my own mesh I don't make the same mistakes.

A commendable goal, and one which other would-be creators should take note of and learn from, SL content would be all the better for it if they did!

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Posted (edited)
27 minutes ago, Fluffy Sharkfin said:

There are two fairly simple solutions to your problem, the simplest of which is one you've already discovered i.e. just avoid applying the texture to that area and have the edges of the texture end just before the deformation of the UV begins.  The alternative would be to take that same UV grid texture and add it as an underlying layer in your bitmap editor. Then, using the grid texture as a guide, you can distort your texture so that it matches the distortion of the UV map you're seeing in the last screenshot you posted (in this case it looks like stretching the lace pattern at the edge of the texture by around 250-300% would compensate for the UV map distortion).  As long as you're using the Local Textures feature this can be relatively quick and painless and will avoid having to re-upload the texture multiple times while fixing the issue.

This is the kind of fiddly nonsense I'm trying to avoid, lol. 

I keep hearing about "Local Textures" but I can't see the option in Firestorm, so yeah ... everything I make costs thousands in uploads.  😡

Quote

Since you stated in your OP that this is a full perm mesh that you purchased rather than one you created yourself I'm assuming you don't have access to the mesh outside of SL, so retopologizing isn't going to be an option in this instance, but if you plan on using Marvelous Designer in the future it's most definitely a process that you should try to familiarize yourself with.  Having a clean topology that follows the form of the object you're modelling not only makes UV mapping simpler but can also make rigging mesh objects far easier and more effective than trying to rig the mesh output you get from MD. 

This "retopo" thingie seems like a gross misuse of the real meaning of the word "topology" 🙂 but that's neither here nor there.

I understand that the sort of "post processing" (retopo) necessary in Blender *after* using Marvelous Designer" simply wasn't done here.  Which is great for me because I'm a very detail and process oriented person who hates sloppiness so I don't imagine I will be making these mistakes when I make my own mesh. 

Quote

Personally I'd recommend taking a look at an app called 3D Coat, it's relatively inexpensive and there's a 30 day demo available so you can get a good idea of how it works before having to invest any money in it.  It has a lot of tools specifically designed for the purpose of retopology and UV mapping, as well as a really nice paint room that allows you to paint directly onto a 3D model on multiple channels simultaneously (i.e. diffuse/colour, normal/bump & specular/shiny, all the maps you need for materials in SL).  It's basically like a 3D Photoshop with Zbrush and retopology/UV mapping tools thrown in for good measure.

I will check out 3D Coat for sure, but I'm betting it's Windows only? (because I haven't heard of it).  Painting right on the model has always interested me although for most projects it's not necessary.  

I like to use vector based tools more than bitmap ones though, especially given the extremely low res textures we have to deal with in SL.  Here it is 2020 and most of the time our clothing is still only using 500 pixels or so of detail.  Another reason why making your own mesh and your own UV mapping is the only way to go really.  

thanks for the advice, 🙂

Sylvia

Edited by Sylvia Wasp

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7 minutes ago, Sylvia Wasp said:

I keep hearing about "Local Textures" but I can't see the option in Firestorm, so yeah ... everything I make costs thousands in uploads.  😡

Local textures are available in Firestorm, you simply need to open the texture picker in the build window and select the Local radio button (see image below). Once there you can add textures located on your hard drive and apply them to objects in world and every time the texture is changed locally (i.e. each time you save the texture in your bitmap editor and overwrite the original) the texture on the in world object updates almost instantaneously.

31611781_localtextures.jpg.87e2848528f57f9cdf34c982b1c8f579.jpg

10 minutes ago, Sylvia Wasp said:

This "retopo" thingie seems like a gross misuse of the real meaning of the word "topology" 

It's basically a 3D term that's been shortened for expedience, but retopology literally means the rearranging of the topology or "layout" of the polygons that comprise a 3D model, (which is pretty much the dictionary definition of "topology")

13 minutes ago, Sylvia Wasp said:

I will check out 3D coat for sure, but I'm betting it's Windows only? (because I haven't heard of it).

3D Coat is available for Windows, Mac OS and Linux.  The reason you haven't heard of it is because while the creators of the app are great at making software, they really don't seem to have much of a clue when it comes to marketing, which is a shame since, in my opinion, it's one of the best pieces of 3D software available and is sold at a fraction of the price of other comparable 3D applications.

23 minutes ago, Sylvia Wasp said:

I like to use vector based tools more than bitmap ones though

3D Coat does have some vector based tools and several other resolution independent options that are quite useful when working with high/low rez textures.  It's well worth checking their youtube channels which contain a wealth of tutorial videos, they even have a feature in the app where hovering your mouse over certain tools and options and pressing F1 will automatically open a browser window to the appropriate youtube video tutorial for it.

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Posted (edited)

This is bad UV mapping and I`ve seen  A LOT of that with full perm mesh...there are so many new full perm stores and it is painfully obvious they are literally just learning...The approach 99.9% new creators have is: 1. create a mesh in Marvelous Designer, 2. rig in Avastar, 3. sell...Needless to say, they skipped at least 2. steps a professional would incorporate (optimize mesh/retopo and fix UV mapping)...Stretching can also be caused by sloppy rigging  (usually occurs between legs, under arm, shoulders, front and back mid section of longer skirts/dresses etc)

If your business is based on full perm mesh, I would suggest to buy only meshes that include a textured sample as well as UV map sample in the DEMO (for example, CBB and Underground demos include this), it will save you a lot of trouble down the road with texturing and also prevent you from wasting Linden on meshes you won`t end up selling in your store...

Edit: When it comes to just a tiny bit of stretching along one axis, you can compensate for that with your textures (make pattern more dense for affected areas)...

Edited by MaxMare
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On 3/7/2020 at 10:51 AM, Fluffy Sharkfin said:

Local textures are available in Firestorm, you simply need to open the texture picker ...

31611781_localtextures.jpg.87e2848528f57f9cdf34c982b1c8f579.jpg

That explains why I've never discovered it ... I never use the texture picker.  🙂

One of the worst things about SL in general is the dreaded inventory and I learned long ago that one can make life more tolerable by reducing the times you have to navigate it to a minimum.  I usually just drag and drop textures into the edit box.  It's way faster and far more accurate.  

I'll have to make a decision on whether the extra hassle is worth the savings in Lindens I guess.  

Quote

It's basically a 3D term that's been shortened for expedience, but retopology literally means the rearranging of the topology or "layout" of the polygons that comprise a 3D model, (which is pretty much the dictionary definition of "topology")

I see that it works for the geographical meaning of 'topology' (which I wasn't thinking of, lol)  I was referring to the mathematical definition (topological transformations etc.) which is almost opposite really.  

Quote

3D Coat is available for Windows, Mac OS and Linux. 

Cool.  I will definitely check it out then.  

thanks again, 

Sylvia

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7 hours ago, MaxMare said:

This is bad UV mapping and I`ve seen  A LOT of that with full perm mesh...there are so many new full perm stores and it is painfully obvious they are literally just learning...The approach 99.9% new creators have is: 1. create a mesh in Marvelous Designer, 2. rig in Avastar, 3. sell...Needless to say, they skipped at least 2. steps a professional would incorporate (optimize mesh/retopo and fix UV mapping)...Stretching can also be caused by sloppy rigging  (usually occurs between legs, under arm, shoulders, front and back mid section of longer skirts/dresses etc)

If your business is based on full perm mesh, I would suggest to buy only meshes that include a textured sample as well as UV map sample in the DEMO (for example, CBB and Underground demos include this), it will save you a lot of trouble down the road with texturing and also prevent you from wasting Linden on meshes you won`t end up selling in your store...

Edit: When it comes to just a tiny bit of stretching along one axis, you can compensate for that with your textures (make pattern more dense for affected areas)...

Thanks for the advice.  

There is indeed a boatload of badly made full perm mesh out there.  I'm hoping to make my own soon simply because of the complete lack of any really good alternatives.  I'm not sure why mesh makers don't make good full perm mesh for SL use, but they don't.  

- The few folks that make the good stuff are usually just making things for themselves and make only one or two items, rigged only for the body that they use.  

- The people making full perm mesh for sale, are typically amateurs as you say, and don't even know how to rig properly.  

Sylvia 

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12 minutes ago, Sylvia Wasp said:

There is indeed a boatload of badly made full perm mesh out there.  I'm hoping to make my own soon simply because of the complete lack of any really good alternatives.  I'm not sure why mesh makers don't make good full perm mesh for SL use, but they don't.  

I think the answer on those is either:

  • They sell fullperm mesh 'kits' because they are beginners and they don't have the ability/time/drive to make it a complete product.
  • They don't care and they know that their customers don't know any better.
  • Time spent vs asking price.

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43 minutes ago, Sylvia Wasp said:

One of the worst things about SL in general is the dreaded inventory and I learned long ago that one can make life more tolerable by reducing the times you have to navigate it to a minimum.  I usually just drag and drop textures into the edit box.  It's way faster and far more accurate.  

I'll have to make a decision on whether the extra hassle is worth the savings in Lindens I guess. 

Fortunately you won't have to see your inventory if you're using local textures. They are in their own tab, no folders, and they are removed every time you log off. Very clean in a way you can't mess up. 

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Posted (edited)
On 3/9/2020 at 8:07 AM, Kyrah Abattoir said:

I think the answer on those is either:

  • They sell fullperm mesh 'kits' because they are beginners and they don't have the ability/time/drive to make it a complete product.
  • They don't care and they know that their customers don't know any better.
  • Time spent vs asking price.

I think perhaps you are a tad too harsh here.  

I've been in SL for ages and have met and worked with some of the great creators and it's always seemed rather obvious to me that the skills and qualities required to make good mesh are entirely opposite to the skills and qualities required to make nice clothing.  

It's not that the full perm mesh makers are lazy, or poor workers, or don't bother to make "complete products," it's that they would like to make clothes, and have the vision for what is required, but they don't have the skill set.  Because the kind of person who's good at using a 3D mesh making program is not the kind of person who is generally good at design, colour, intuition, etc.  Good mesh makers have an engineering mind set, not a designers mind set.  

In a way ... by introducing mesh but not providing an easy way for the average person to make it, Linden Labs has somewhat ruined SL.  The idea that we are living in a "user-created" world has never been further from the truth than it is right now.  There are no supported methods for making mesh "in-world" and there are no tools or utilities offered by Linden Labs to make mesh outside of SL either.  A simple plug-in to allow us to export our prim-work as mesh and then re-upload it would be the obvious next step, but Linden Labs has shown no sign of taking it.  You can futz around with that sort of thing if you use Firestorm, but the results are somewhere between dismal and non-functional. Long time SL residents like myself, who are expert prim-workers have seemingly acquired a skill that is now entirely useless.  All we have left is our ability to texture things.  

That's why programs like Marvellous Designer are a godsend.  

They allow folks who don't have that mathematical/engineering mindset or simply don't have the wherewithal to navigate a complex, counter-intuitive program like Blender or Maya ... to make mesh in an intuitive way.  

What I've learned from this thread is that apparently they do also need to also learn a few basic cleanup steps in Blender though.

good to know 🙂

Sylvia

Edited by Sylvia Wasp
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In regards to Local textures, this is a godsend. I've made textures and then uploaded the item into SL only to discover I forgot to remove the alpha (making the texture too complex) or that something didn't work on the garment that wasn't obvious in the program until I pasted onto my mesh blank.  A good example of this is matching seams on a garment.  I don't know why mesh makers do it, but almost every pair of pants I have has to be tweaked to get the patterns to match at the seams.  There is also some difference once the texture is on the mesh blank.  I make a texture, it looks great in PS with all the shading and such then I upload it and place on the grament and it looks washed out or muddy.  (my hubby explained it one day to me, but most of it was lost between OH LOOK new Textures, and aren't my mesh feet gorgeous?)

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