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Status of Conforming Mesh to Appearance Sliders Feature?


DanielRavenNest Noe
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There was a feature request in the JIRA by Maxwell Graf to have rigged mesh conform to all the appearance sliders, not just bone changes.  The issue (SH-2374) got taken internal to LL, so we cannot see the status.  I added a question about the status to the upcoming  Mesh Import User Group agenda.  I am visiting family and will be unable to attend the meeting.  Could someone who is going please make sure the question is addressed?  Given that it had at least 260 watchers before going private, a LOT of people are interested in it.

Some background for people who didn't see the issue before it got hidden:

Right now rigged meshes are set up to follow movements of the standard avatar bones, including length and position.  So if you make your avatar taller, the rigged mesh will stretch too.  But they do not follow "skin morph" changes, such as body fat.  This puts mesh in the unhappy situation of forcing people to adapt their avatar shape to fit the mesh, rather than the other way around.

The appearance sliders have complex and overlapping effects, but the end result is simple.  Each vertex of the standard avatar's visible skin is moved a certain distance and direction from the "neutral" or "default" location.  Conforming a mesh would simply move the mesh vertexes the same distance and direction as the nearest underlying skin vertex on the avatar.

I suggested additional Edit window controls for "Strength" and "Bias".  Strength would be a multiplier of the vertex movement, with a range of something like 0 to 2 times how far the skin moves.  Bias adds a small amount closer (negative bias) or farther (postive bias) from the bone axis.  Additionally, bias controls the render order.  Higher bias items are rendered later, so will appear on top of lower bias items.  These added controls will allow better fit and layering of mesh items to the standard avatar shape, and among different mesh items made by different people.

My personal opinion is this feature will make mesh clothing and attachments hugely easier to design and much more acceptable to most people.  The former because now we will only have to design for the "neutral" or "standard" avatar shape, or at worst a few different ones to adapt for the extremes of possible shapes. (One size fits all mesh items would stretch textures a lot on an extreme body morph, so it's better to make a few sizes with correct texturing on each to minimize the stretching). The latter because many people like the shape they have, and don't want to change it just to wear a clothing item, and *nobody* likes a situation where several different mesh items are designed for several different body shapes, and thus no single shape will work with all of them at once.

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I believe the issue was this but it no longer shows up on JIRA:

Request for Rigged Mesh Parametric Deformer

Key: CTS-693

URL: https://jira.secondlife.com/browse/CTS-693

 This is a request for a parametric deformation feature for rigged mesh items. In producing rigged items such as full avatars, partial body parts or clothing items, once an item is uploaded and worn there is currently no way to adjust the item for the many variations in a persons existing shape. The ability to personalize an avatar is one of the primary psychological keys to creating a virtual identity. Currently rigged mesh items do not allow for viable customization, limiting both usability and marketability for what is clearly the largest economic market in SL. If a pair of pants or a jacket (made of mesh) are worn, they do not conform to any avatar shape, changing even from the shape defined by using the default mesh avatar object to create them; when uploaded and worn, they do not retain the original shape as they should, but are considerably scaled, making it extremely difficult to match to even one existing shape, let alone the many variations possible.

 A rigged mesh parametric deformer is essentially a cagee-type system which automatically adjusts an item, scaling it to a predefined boundary outside of the existing avatar mesh polygons, regardless of the items polygonal shape, layout or UV map. In practical application, it appears to "shrink-wrap" your item to conform to an avatar. It also provides and opportunity to implement a layering system so that, for example, an item placed in a lower layer would appear slightly under (and remain under) and item placed in a higher layer. This hierarchy allows for a shirt to go over a pair of pants, and prevents the pants from showing through the shirt item, while both items still conform to the existing avatar mesh shape.

 Additionally, this type of parametric deformer layering system would allow a resident to wear an avatar shape, and then wear items or clothing from another provider on that mesh avatar, yet again extending the capabilities of all rigged mesh items by allowing them to be used together regardless of your original shape and where your acquired those items; they would still work together effectively.

 This problem is identical to the mesh item attachment issues encountered in early versions of the BlueMars virtual platform, which were very effectively resolved with the introduction of a layered deformer system as mentioned above. The introduction of that system eliminated the scaling/sizing problem and eliminated the need for rigging, thus opening up the platform for a creators to market a wide variety of items that could be used together with no limitations to existing size and shape of the avatars.

 This request is similar in some ways to https://jira.secondlife.com/browse/CTS-452 , yet different in many ways. 

 

And the added suggestion from DanielRavenNest above.



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When an item is in the agenda, they discuss it. You'll see your answer in the meeting minutes.

In the audio interview by Metareality Charlar touches on the issue and is specifically asked about Maxwell's JIRA. See Charlar Linden Interview for an index of the audio tape to find the right section.

For now mesh clothes and replacement avatars are only affected by appearance sliders that affect bones. Breast, belly, and butt sizes have no effect. The Lindens are considering how they will handle the problem.

There are several other features for mesh that they are considering. For the next few weeks we will likely see them working on changing and adding tools to convey more meaning to the idea of resource consumption that is behind Prim Equivalence calc's. They have to do something because too many people are confused by PE. One can't figure out how PE works by experimentation without having read the tech info on PE.

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The issue was taken private by the Lindens for a while, but now it has reappeared as JIRA SH-2374.  Apparently you cannot edit the description any more, but we can still add comments.  I revised and extended my suggested implementation as a comment, since I have read other people's ideas and had more time to think during the two weeks the issue was invisible.

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The JIRA i submitted (CTS-693) has been moved to the shining project HERE and is viewable again. During the meeting today, the question was raised about it, again.

The answer is that they are reviewing it and (pick response/s of your choice below):

• would like to see this happen and will consider it, etc.

• it is not a priority at the moment, stability is the primary focus right now, etc.

• these things usually take a lot of time and effort, it may be a lot of work, much more than you realize, etc.

• its being looked at but we have not committed to it, etc.

• this is something that we may consider doing at some future time, but not now, etc.

All of the answers above have been given at one point or another, which means that the almost 500 of us or so that considered this a major priority basically have little or no more information on if this will be implemented than we did before i posted the JIRA. In other words, it looks like we will be facing 4-6 months of struggling with the issues that a parametric deformer would solve even in the best case scenario, which is exactly what happened in bluemars with it, as Daniel can remember well.

However, once it was decided to develop a deformation system and layers, it took 2 devs about a week to come up with the solution, since it is pretty standard and has been applied for the same problems in a variety of other environments, for example bluemars, eve onine, guild wars and several others. This can be done with a modicum of effort. The hard part is getting them to commit to it.

Without it, I personally see mesh clothing as a pretty limited set of experiments, not a viable market to engage in, unless you like to torture yourself with hours of extra work, additional uploads and just love getting angry customer complaints. Up to you.

If you are NOT happy about this, write a Linden and ask them to change it. They will look into it.

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Perhaps the best approach is to tell Rodvik Linden loudly and often that "I will not buy mesh clothes until the clothes fit me, rather than forcing me to fit the clothes".  I have heard that comment any number of times already directly from people in my shop and other shops selling mesh items, and on the forums.  If people feel that way, tell a Linden, and keep telling them till they make it a priority to fix.

I've done a more detailed description of the implementation in the JIRA comments.  There may be a better way to do it, but the one I wrote is straightforward and removes any excuse that "we can't figure out how to do it" or "it will create too much lag".  The cost should be about 1 animation keyframe per wear/login/appearance change. I used to test and document software for the Space Station project, so I do know something about writing software requirements.  I don't know everything, though, so if there is a better way, I will applaud whoever comes up with it and happily use it.

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04:40 – Did you know mesh clothing would be such a big thing? Charlar says people in beta were telling them that would be the big mesh thing. The Lindens were not sure what would be the case.


I am utterly, utterly, gobsmacked by this.  I can't believe that 2 years in testing and they *weren't sure that mesh clothing would be a big thing* I just can't get my head around that.  What the hell did they THINK was going to happen when they gave SL clothing creators the option to finally ditch the poorly fitted, rigid sculpty/stretchy smeary texture method for the big kids modelling tools and clothing that moves properly with our SL skeletons??  Do they walk around NAKED???  No one I know in SL gets around naked, except for your occasional wide eyed newb who hasn't worked out how to scroll out to third person view!  I find this utterly amazing.  When will they learn - THEY HAVE NO IDEA HOW PEOPLE USE THEIR SERVICE, AND MAYBE, JUST OCCASIONALLY, THEY COULD LISTEN TO US!!?!

We need more votes on this jira - they need to know how important this is to us!

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This issue was brought up during beta several times. However, it just seemed to be low priority to the developers. IMHO, I think they imagined that people would be most interested in rezzables not clothing. But yes, it seems hard to imagine that mesh was released before solving this issue. To their defense, there were some people advocating releasing static mesh first and holding off on rigged mesh all together. So, they were getting some mixed messages.

But anyway, I do hope that they understand how important it is to creators and users now. As it stands, the mesh clothing excitement for some creators and users is beginning to wane because of this sizing issue. And, that is truly sad.

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