THE SECOND LIFE MESH REVOLUTION
Our 10 Year History of Design
Our Opinion, as a Designer
We believe that mesh by far is the largest influence on Second Life Fashion that we have seen. And even with that, Mesh design capabilities are evolving. When we first wrote this section, there was much that mesh could not do. Mesh was just not that good at lying close to the avatar skin like underwear and or nylons or the like. And when we went to look for who was doing good things in those categories, we were finding no one. And so it seemed that at least at that time that if someone wanted something close to the avatar skin that the answer for nylons and underwear were "layers" which are right on the avatar outer skin for a mesh avatar and therefore remarkably close.
Well, all that is changing, and even for us. It did not seem all that long ago that we found some underwear that did ride close to a mesh avatar skin. It was expensive. But there it was. And then shortly another company came out with a less expensive version, which of course can happen. This encouraged us to try our hand at fitmesh Maitreya underwear, and we were pleased with our results. We were more than amused when we found that at least one of our models even fit closer than the best we could find from others. This then left what seemed like the hardest item. No one, it seemed was doing nylons. Oh wait, then there was someone. One supplier that we could find that did nylons for ladies. And again, very very pricy. So we tried fitmesh nylons. It was the hardest thing we ever tried to design. But we did have a version that we like at least as well as the company that gave us encouragement to try. And our version was much lower in price. Now there are issues with underwear and nylons since the designers of outerwear clothing do not take underwear often into account. And high heel makers do not either. However, we found that our nylons, for our tests, worked at least as well as the other best person in the business. So what is the underwear nylon problem?
The Skin Tight Mesh Problem
Well, I suspect you can see this issue coming before I even state what it is. But if an outerwear dress or skirt company designs something to be skin tight on your avatar, and a high heel maker designs something to be skin tight on your feet, then they will leave no space for mesh underwear or nylons. If the mesh underwear panties and nylons are also skin tight, then everything ends up competing for the same space. Mesh does take up space. Well, you might ask, how does this work in real life? Well in real life most outer clothes are not super tight. Items like very short jean shorts for example are often skin tight, and they of course do not often allow for underwear beneath it. But many clothes in real life are a bit loose and will allow some underwear or panties or nylons beneath it. However, in real life, the outer wear knows it cannot be in the same place as the underwear and will move outward just slightly to accomodate the underwear or nylons for you. Well, there is no such thing happening in Second Life. The outer clothing is just not going to move out of the way. So then, the outer clothes would have to be "roomy" enough to allow panties or nylons below it, if that is what you wish to wear. Fortunately skirts and dresses often balloon outward allowing you a bit of room for panties, nylons, socks or other beneath it. That leaves the main problem to be high heels. Grrrrrr as I growl. lol. Yes, some high heels are so very tight to the skin that nylons or pantyhose are often going to be an issue. So then what did we do? Well, for our nylons we did a few things. In some key areas around the foot itself where the high heel is, we tried to make the nylons closer to the foot to at least stop some interference. However, we also give a hud with our nylons that can change transparencies. If you set the reinforced heel and toe to perhaps 40% transparency and set the nylons to being more sheer, perhaps at 70%, you just might see some of the heel and toe being a problem. Well, what I do is I leave the nylons leg portion at about 70% transparency and then set the reinforced heel and toe perhaps to 60% transparency, just enough to show a difference. Then I see less conflict, and I am happy. I hope others are as well. My point here is that since our HUD allows you to change more things, you can modify some color or transparency perhaps to make conflict less obvious ... for the high heel makers who want their high heels skin tight right on the avatar skin itself.
Our Solution for Outer Clothes
I am not going to pretend that we have all figured out, but we began our outer wear clothes first in classic mesh which means that the size does only varies with some avatar items... such as height and thickness ,, but not breast or butt size for example. But then we give multiple sizes just as real clothes comes in sizes. When we began Maitreya fitmesh underwear and nylons, we then used fitmesh which tries much harder to adjust to the mesh avatar body. While nothing is perfect, and there are good reasons for that since you cannot adjust for all occurrences, it works much better than classic mesh. We were thinking of making our classic mesh fitmesh now for Maitreya. But a part of us wonders if that is a good idea. If the underwear is skin tight, but the outerwear is classic mesh, and you chooses the best size, you just might have the space you need to accomodate, panties, bras, nylons, and perhaps even a garter belt under that classic mesh outer wear item.
Anyway, I admit we are still considering this. We many also look into multiple sizes of fitmesh outer clothes to take into account the idea that some ladies may wish underwear or nylons beneath.
OTHER ISSUES WITH MESH
HAIR - While we love mesh hair, what we give up of course is that some non mesh hair was flexi and could move as we move or even move in a breeze. That seems a shame to miss that. Hard to have both it seems.
FLEXI SKIRTS - I have of course met people who hate flexi skirts. Not sure why. Again, Mesh will simply not do that. Flexi skirts did at least add a level of realism that I miss. Of course mesh adds some different levels of realism. The issue is that Second Life does not allow flexible mesh at this time. Flexible mesh must be made up of standard rcctangles, cones or prisms in the Second Life world, and not in a mesh designer program. So this becomes another item we give up. But maybe someday, we find a way for it all to be compatible.
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