Maybe because this is all so overwhelming since I just discovered this thread and my skill level is not up to par, but I feel like I missed something about how normal maps/ material textures will be combined.
Normal maps can't just be flattened onto each other without adjusting each color channel. It's terrifying thinking when now we have materials to enable pore effects on skin and tattoos and what not plus on clothing.
Also the default SL UVs were very distorted/ low resolution in regards to tris density how is this going to translate to all the random custom tris on heads and bodies etc that have better weighting on joints or just curvy edges in general?
I haven't worked as much with system layers but I am familiar with retopology from 'organic' mesh to low poly meshes and I'm really not getting good vibes. Retopo is best with quads, but here we already have odd tris on the UVs.
Example: Say I have a bloody tattoo and another one with dirt and a bandaid...how will I know the bandaid will fall on top? Also If I was the designer of this I would use materials/ normal maps because that's what adds definition on the bandaid because you know the devil is in the details. Bandaids, jeans pockets, certain fabric textures.. Bandaid is on the knee.. lot's of distortion on system avatars but not on my Maitreya Lara.
Also... as I am sitting here waiting for my software to finish baking on my products (30ish min for sculpted organic shapes)..I'm thinking...how long will this mish baking take especially if say someone really does want to combine layers? How will you order the bakes? Going through a zillion outfits deciding what I want to wear?