September 22, 2015

Some thoughts on mesh avatars

Sassy Romano was wondering (in the Second Life Forums) why the enthusiasm for mesh bodies and also thinking that, with applier outfits, we've gone back full circle to system clothing which everyone has tried so hard to escape from. They're good questions so here's my take:

1. The mesh bodies I have (Maitreya, TMP and even Ohana) are much more realistic in shape than the system mesh. The breasts are much more natural (don't get me started on Lola's Tangos) and the hands & feet are just much better done. No more cankles either. You also get the option of wearing insanely high feet like Slink's for ridonkulous heels. Realistic, colorable and resizable nails & toenails too!

2. Paint-on clothing for mesh (aka system type) ends up looking more realistic because the layers are actually physically separated from each other. So clothing layer sits a bit further out than underwear which sits a bit further out than tattoo which is on the same physical level as skin. This actually gives 2D clothing some depth that it wouldn't have otherwise. I'm often surprised at how much more realistic an applier outfit looks on mesh than the same outfit looks when it's on a standard avatar.

3. All this goodness aside, mesh bodies are a royal PITA. I have to save each outfit wearing all the right body parts PLUS the appliers themselves AND if it's an OMEGA applier outfit, it also has to have the OMEGA relay attached too. Then you have to apply the clothing to the right layers. Oy.

4. Mesh bodies don't always work correctly with mesh clothing. Usually something is popping through and turning on the appropriate alphas for a mesh outfit is, again, a chore. Much easier to simply wear a mesh outfit with the standard avatar provided your shape is in-range and the designer has included a properly made alpha (many don't make good alphas).

Now for YEARS I've been screaming at LL to improve the base avatar. Seriously we have so much better hardware now that doubling the vertices and tweaking the sliders should be pretty straightforward. Make the layers do exactly what the mesh body layers do -- set the physical distance away from the avatar.

Another idea I've thought is that LL could provide a true ADULT avatar. One with more realistic bits. I'll bet a lot of people would check the appropriate over 18 boxes and pay extra for one.

Right now the load on the servers has GOT to be heavier with all these unoptimized and scripted monster mesh avatars running around. Wouldn't SL be better off with a much improved standardized avatar?

As usual, all comments and thoughts are welcome.

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