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Shoes with meshes


Amphei Jierdon
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Amphei: Yours is a VERY GOOD question, not a stupid question by any means!  :matte-motes-smile:

Myself, I am working on various items of mesh footwear (for my own use mostly, but eventually I'll probably dip my toe in as a merchant (out of pure curiosity)).... Anyways.... From what I have learned so far, I think that in most cases shoes AND boots tend to have pretty random results when rigged - and this is purely due to the zillions of possible animations out there, either AOs or menu/poseball ones. For instances where the foot simply bends forwards and backwards, rigged footwear looks reasonable, however, as soon as twisting (ankle/shins) occurs, the results can look hideous - ESPECIALLY of you have geometry detailing around these distorted areas (buckles etc).

With rigging, for sure, the geometry follows the AV's movements, but for instances like footwear I personally avoid rigging like the plague. It's a personal preference thing I guess... I just hate the appearance of badly distorted footwear (in my own eyes, it looks as bad as the old style two-piece jointed sculpt boots (separate foot and ankle attachments)).

Sidenote: Having used Poser and DAZ content for a few years (for 3D rendering), the same distortion issues also occur - it's a fairly generic issue with 3D in general, getting an automated rigged attachment like footwear to look realistic and NOT look weirdly distorted when bending/twisting is applied to the base figure wearing them. So it's not just a SL specific thing.

So yah, all my footwear meshes, shoes AND boots, are all simple attachments. They work fine like that, plus an extra bonus is that if you allow modding, customers can easily resize the mesh attachments to fit their feet perfectly (without needing resize scripts).... potentially, if your mesh footwear items are single meshes for each foot, TINIES could probably wear them as well (a potentially untapped market there). Also, for shoes that don't go above the ankle joint, rigging would be a wasted effort anyway, since they only sit ON the foot without needing any bending/twisting applied.

I hope this helps - have fun!

:matte-motes-smile:

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While developing two developer resources for low shoes, I did a lot of testing weighing rigged meshes and mesh that behaving more like traditional prims up against each other, and found that for this type of shoes, the non-rigged version provides better overall fit and flexibility for the final product. 

The latest of these resources have 7 dfferent meshes that can be handled as individual prims, in addition to 6 different material zones. 

Lug Boots Linked parts

Lug boots materials zones

 

Combined with a fully uv-mapped mesh, this gives a very high degree of flexibility to texture, color, size, and add other elements to the shoes (you could even remove parts of the mesh.)

For boots, however, a rigged mesh will in normal situations look better, but then you are much more constrained to the sizes you can provide. 

Ideally we should have something like the DAZ Studio Genesis figure for easier creation of rigged mesh shoes and clothes. 

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I'm gonna chime in here, just to give a different perspective.

I agree with many that low profile shoes, meaning shoes that don't go higher than your foot, those should all really be non rigged. The customer can resize them easily and it works the same either way anyways.

For Boots tho, my feeling is, you gotta rig them. The look of a boot bending and moving as it should just looks way better than trying to do it unrigged. As an animator, It is rare for me to move the foot more than a few degrees left or right. Generally, for movements that place the foot at greater degrees, it involves rotating the shin to make that turn, not the foot. Naturally, your foot doesn't move too far left or right. and when it does, it is the other part of the leg doing most of the turning, especially in the hips. This is not to say that there aren't ever going to be animations that turn the foot, but I would not call it a common thing to see. Maybe on animations where you are balled up more, like landing or crouching.

Another point to make, is that you will need more verts in the bending and twisting areas. Usually, an extra set more than you think you will need. Weighting the verts can be tricky to get good bends and not have skin poking thru, or the texture getting distorted. Generally tho, the solution ends up being that I need a few extra verts here and there. I'm not advocating for 4000 vertice shoes, but a few extra sets of verts here and there will allow you to gradually weight the verts to act more like you want it to. Plus, with more verts to gradually blend the weighting, you have less texture distortion. Keeping the vert count down is still very important if you want to keep your display costs down.

Last suggestion that I will make, keep your texture count low, 1 is good enough for shoes, and don't use invisiprims. This will help to keep your display costs down.

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