Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Meshing Around in Second Life

By Becky "Sha" Shamen

It is my great pleasure, to be back writing about my adventures in Second Life. Being the "been there, done that" type, it was only a matter of time before I got back on the road again. Contemplating a good adventure to commence with, each idea seemed to be countered by, haven't you already "been there, done that".  Then, I remembered that I am in the middle of an adventure and dying to tell the world about it. This adventure involves MESH, but don't worry. You won't even need the latest viewer, to read about it.

This December will be my 6th anniversary in SL.  Somewhere in the middle, they began introducing mesh clothing and avatars.  As a clothing designer/vendor, I had become adept at making clothing for basic female avatars with add-on breasts (implants), so was in no hurry to go the mesh route, at least until they got all the bugs worked out. A trickle of mesh clothing did begin to find it's way into my inventory and, before long, became my preferred choice.
 I also have a whole collection of furry avatars,but when I searched the Market Place for something new, I kept seeing all these new mesh brands and they were cuter than dimples on a bunny rabbit. When the descision was made to get a mesh avatar, naturally, I wanted the brand that had the most available mods. The clear winner of that race was the "Kemono", by Utilizator. There are also many add-on parts, that add to the ways you can mod it. I have six heads for mine.
 When shopping for mesh clothes, I now ask, will it fit both my basic and mesh bodies, is it full perm, so I can sell or share my mods and is it so cool that everybody will like it.  Looking for the next clothing to make mods for, I decided to go to the source, Utilizator.
When the LM to their main store was clicked, a grand adventure began.  The landing spot puts one in a large, two story shopping mall, with 40-50 shops, centered around the Utilizator store. The mall is called "Annie May Haven" and all of the shops cater to Kemono and other popular anime avatars, like "Rainbow Bunny" and "BG Feline". Some of the shops were familiar, since I had bought from them at Marketplace.
As if having all those shops in one place wasn't enough of a great adventure, this mall has an additional feature, that makes it very usefull to anybody that is into these cute little avs.  At any given time you come, there will be a large gathering of cute avatars, between you and the main store. They're like walking store dummies, previewing the avs and clothing. Their social conversations, among themselves, sounds like a bunch of teen aged kids, but keep this in mind. If you want to learn something about computers or anime, ask a kid. I enjoyed talking with them and even invited one to my home, to see how civilized furries live.
Doing an inworld search for "mesh clothing" places we find 1178 selections. For "mesh anime clothing", 401. Researching this article, I spent an evening going to as many as possible and none could compare with Annie May's. I bought several outfits there, but I'm not asking you to buy anything. All I'm selling is a great adventure.

1 comment:

  1. My experience was just the opposite --- I'm not a fan of mesh _at all_. For one thing, it seriously limits your options when it comes to body sizes and shapes, because only a very small number of designers seem to have any clue how to use "fitted mesh" that can adapt itself to your shape based on the rigging. The majority are still just turning out "five standard sizes" --- which don't even seem to be all that standardized, given that even when I wear the "standard" L or XL shapes, half of the L or XL mesh items I get _still_ don't fit properly.

    Alpha layers are also screwy, because designers apparently base them on a specific height, and if your height is taller or shorter, your body still clips through the mesh clothing or leaves gaps even though the mesh item might be trying to stretch to fit. (Of course, part of this can be laid at the feet of LL for the half-arsed way they implemented alpha layers; since you can't adjust their length or visibility via sliders like with normal clothing layers, if the supplied alpha doesn't work, you're just SOL unless you have the know-how to make your own.)

    And then when you add mesh _bodies_ into the mix, it turns into a complete PITA trying to figure out if outfit X will work with body Y.

    I fought with that for a couple of months, then ditched the mesh stuff and went back to the standard system body and system clothes. Maybe they're not as "modern"-looking, but at least they work. :)