a man 4 all seasons's Blog

a blog about the weird and wonderful virtual world that is Second Life

A right Mesh up at BLM

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To Mesh or not to Mesh, that is the question. Whether ’tis kinder on the computer not to suffer the slings & arrows of V3 or retreat to the sanctity of Firestorm Beta2 and by opposing end them. Hmmm, it’s a question we will all be asking sooner or later. So having had Charity Steampunk gird my loins I ventured into V3 to try out the new Black Label Meshwear suit. After all that angst (and given that I’m a technophobe unless goaded or bribed into it anyway) V3 actually worked until my phone rang and the whole show crashed to the ground in a none too graceful manner which required a network restart. Remind me not to pick up the phone when on V3. This is, of course, one of the delights of living in a rural area with low bandwidth. At least my new graphics card is a help.

Charity coined the term ‘Meshwear’ and it’s his trademark. Apparently, Mesh wins out against sculpts because a well optimised mesh will have no more than 4,000 faces and most will have half that. Given that a pair of trousers will require around five sculpts totalling some 5,100 faces and one 2k mesh will do the same job, it’s got to be easier on the computer. Not to mention 1 texture compared to 5. So all in all, much quicker rendering.

However, Mesh requires a good texture artist to make the whole show work.  Once this is procured the problems of getting sculpt textures to accurately match clothing layers is a problem no longer. There is also no need to fiddle about getting sculpts to fit your avatar body. Providing the designer includes enough sizes then you simply pick the one that fits the best. I have noticed one slight hitch, though. In models compared to the average avatar, the leg length is often very long and so pants may require a longer variation of sizing for them. At the moment, the customer wearing a mesh piece of clothing cannot change it in any way so it’s up to the designer to provide the extra measurement variation if they want to sell their wares. I am also not sure if this is to do with the constraints of placement on the avatar mesh itself as a clothing layer but then I’m no designer of clothing.

The other thing about Mesh clothing is that it’s not going to be a general option unless everyone uses the Mesh compliant viewers. Otherwise what happens is that the clothing expands into an unflattering but cute  series of horizontal blobs and offers nothing but laughs. Then you can fully expect your friends and colleagues to fall about making rife and witty comments on your questionable choice of outfit.

Having said that, I like Mesh a lot, so here’s that suit by BLM. I’m wearing the blue wool variety which is a bit Saville Row (not sure what the US equivalent is) and it comes with three tie and shirt variations. You cannot wear the shirt on its own as all you’ll get is collar, cuffs and the bit that shows through the front of the jacket. And you’ll need to wear the clothing alpha provided. But choose your shirt and tie combo, add the jacket and pants layers and you have a very nice servicable suit. It also comes in Crocodile, Dragonhide and Snakeskin and I have yet to see those, but it sounds as though Charity has covered most styling options. He also recommends the Mesh compliant Firestorm Beta in preference to V3 as you can get it to look somewhat  like the old V1.23 (don’t forget to do a clean reinstall though, details are on their site).

Check out the BLM store and see for yourself!

Cheers, m’dears! Moz

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Written by Moz Loordes

20/09/2011 at 1:00 pm

Posted in Fashion, Modeling

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