The long and often crazy debate over how to fit mesh clothing to the avatar (STORM-1716) has reached a turning point. In a post there, in an announcement in the official blog, and in a newly created STORM-1985; Oz Linden makes it official that they are going with what most of us know as “Liquid Mesh” as opposed to the Mesh Deformer created by Qarl. As explained in a new wiki post, LL has added 5 additional collision bones, largely so that your jiggly bits will not poke through.
I have been hoping / expecting some sort of action on this for some time. Although taking this step now probably indicates that they are not yet ready to move to Avatar2, this is a very good interim decision. The key thing is that there is a decision! A direction forward had been mapped, and we can soon expect better fitting mesh clothing from our excellent clothing designers.
This announcement was handled very well by the lab. Thank you OZ for a clear, rumor free announcement.
“Some of the best lessons are learned from past mistakes. The error of the past is the wisdom of the future.”Dale Turner
Whirly Fizzle Posted a new and important comment to STORM-1716. Qarl Fizz has a new version posted at his web site.
This is, at least potentially, very good news since one of the complaints about the deformer is that it is slow.
Lately I have been trying out mesh clothing on an unaltered LL starter shape. The results have been disappointing (with a few exceptions). A working deformer might well move things along. Of course there are other problems, the learning curve for mesh clothing makers is steep and torturous. There is a tendency to overuse the alpha layers resulting in see through areas of your avatar, especially around the edges and where clothing hangs loosely open.
We have waited quite a while for the Lab to incorporate a working deformer. Hopefully this will enable them to work on it right after Project Sunshine is complete.
May you live in interesting times.
This is really important! Once this is implemented mesh clothing should “just fit” if it is made to the proper av. No more changing you body to fit your clothes or alpha underwear!
Inara Pey: Living in a Modem World
Update: Sometimes working on multiple posts to your blog isn’t a good idea. Between drafting and pushing this one, Qarl updated his code, as Cinders points out. Sorry Qarl! Correct link is here.
Slightly later than he’d hoped, but keeping to his promise, Qarl has released version 0.3 of the Mesh deformer, stating:
Quick announcement – I’m releasing version 0.3 of the deformer code. Primary changes: 1) should now apply cleanly to recent linden viewer code, 2) deformation tables are computed in the background on another thread, so no frame stalls.
There appear to be a couple of elements missing from the patch – as spotted by Henri Beauchamp in a comment following Qarl’s post, so developers may want to hold-off grabbing the code for a bit.
I’ll be watching the various Viewer blogs for updates to see when the patch is incorporated. It’s likely to…
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Things have been going along smoothly in Second Life of late, or it seems so to me. There has been activity from Linden Lab, just not much unexpected or inexplicable. Let me illustrate:
- The new Destination Islands: obviously a work in progress. Even LL is not foolish enough to think dumping newbies in world randomly is good for retention. Time will tell.
- Premium Wilderness: – – – yawn – – – The Moles do good work but by it’s very nature the DPW implements what “the boss” says. A fine example of what happens without the personal, emotional investment of resident builds. We can hope that some Lindens got their hands dirty and learned some building skills in the process here.
- Pathfinding and the other tools LL developed for Linden Realms (created to demo and test those tools): These are working their way through the shakeout process toward full implementation, it will probably be next year before they really impact SL.
- Mesh: I am seeing more and more mesh builds for sale but this will not reach it’s full potential until the parametric deformer is fully adapted and we can have mesh clothing that fits properly.
- Direct Delivery: Rolled out to the grid in a stripped down basic form. Even so it is buggy! If anyone is surprised by that you need to check your meds.
- New Phoenix/Firestorm update: The highlight of my month; very efficient, TONs of features, lots of ways to customize your user interface. Be prepared to spend some time setting it up to your liking, this is not plug-and-play!
So you see, for me this has been an interlude of sitting back and watching the passing parade, trying not to be drawn into the drama and overreaction of the moment.
“– – – all’s well with the world.”
2011 has not been an especially good year with respect to communication from the Lab. A rumor here, a casual comment there, occasionally a missive from above combine to give us a glimpse into what we can expect at least in the beginning of the new year.
- No more magic boxes. This project is already well along, nearing general release. As I understand it there will be a special inventory folder that will, in effect, be the magic box. I do not know how I feel about selling directly from my inventory, I will be somewhat surprised if there are not security glitches and exploits in the first months. We will have to wait and see.
- Mesh will see increasing adoption throughout Second Life as content creators explore it’s possibilities. This will get a huge boost once Qarl is finished with the Parametric Deformer* and LL officially adopts it. I can hardly wait for my first mesh jacket that actually fits!
- Gaming tools and code will be made available sometime early in 2012. I am not big on SL games, but it will be interesting to see what Mad Peas comes up with 🙂
- Pathfinding —— I am not sure what this will accomplish other than better zombies and greeter bots, but it will be interesting to see.
- Last Names will be back for newbies. This is in the talking stages at Linden Lab, but given the clamor over “Resident” I expect some possibility to change to a name from a list. It would be interesting and a lot of fun if LL created a way for residents to suggest last names for them to choose from. We could even participate in the vetting process, weeding out names that might cause problems or misunderstandings.
My Wish List in addition to those things above:
- Continue progress toward making everything work a little better. Lag, Region crossings, Sim performance all have improved, but there is more work to do!
- Something must be done about Mainland occupancy rates. In my opinion the surest way to do this is by increasing the land allowance for premium residents. Yes, Linden Homes and the Land Barons would take a hit, but it would be correcting an unintended benefit they enjoy at the expense of the mainland.
- Linden Lab will make a complete cock-up of one of the items above.
- One development from above will be an overwhelming success and Linden Lab will not get the praise they deserve for it.
- There will be those who will predict the end of Second Life as we know it in response to every project and feature LL puts out!
*Last minute update: Qarl has posted a preliminary test version of the parametric deformer!!
Linden Lab is a corporation; a private corporation with investors backing it. We must always remember that. Their first priority is, and must always be, giving the investors a return on their money. Of course in order to do that they must, to borrow a phrase from Simon & Garfunkel “keep the customer satisfied”. Note I said satisfied, not happy, just satisfied enough so we stay around and spend our money.
There have been some interesting twists in the customer/resident – corporate dynamic since I first came to Second Life. In January of 2007 the viewer went open source and development began on Third Party viewers. This development changed the dynamic because the new viewers were more responsive to resident wants and needs. They were not at all beholden to the investors. When this worked well the feedback between Linden Lab and the Third Party Viewer developers gave us innovations LL had never even thought of (think body physics) or had not thought important enough to invest development time into (double-click teleport). When it went badly — well, Emerald was an embarrassment to both LL and the third party community.
The latest evolution of the resident relationship with Linden Lab is crowd sourcing of projects. The one-man-developed Kirsten’s Viewer is in the process of funding it’s developer in the face of a RL economic situation that would halt his work without it. The residents have also reached their US$5400 goal (in under 3 weeks) to hire Karl Stiefvater (who used to be Quarl Linden) to code a mesh deformer so mesh clothing fits properly (any additional funding will be used to improve the project beyond a single layer). If these initiatives are well accepted by Linden Lab and by the Third Party Developers a whole new avenue for resident involvement will be open. Even if you can not code beyond “Hello Avatar” you can vote with your wallet to develop the features you consider valuable.
All of that said I reiterate my initial thought: Nothing will be adopted that impedes the investor’s return on the money they have put into Linden Labs.
My father used to tell all us kids “if you are going to do something do it completely, anything less is half-a-job and will just make you look bad and piss off the people who have to deal with your laziness and incompetence.”
When Linden Lab first began work on mesh many of us, once we understood better what mesh was, really looked forward to mesh clothes. Early examples were very promising, they moved with you! Collars did not get buried in body parts as you moved. There was no more color mismatch between sculpty cuffs and pants if the light was not just right!
After a while it became apparent that there was a problem. While the clothes moved with your skeleton, they did not fit to your skin shape! SH-2374 is probably the best written of the jira requests pertaining to this. After over a month and innumerable comments it was downgraded today to “Someday / Maybe” with no Linden comment.
I will not reiterate what is covered at the jira, suffice it to point out there are probably more L$ spent on clothes than anything other than perhaps rent. I for one will not be wasting my money on mesh clothing until this is fixed.
Dad was right. Shame on you Linden Lab for leaving mesh only half-a-job. You have a mesh team assembled, use them to complete the job rather than reassembling a new team — whenever. If you wonder why we sometimes do not respect the work you do, add this to the long litany of jobs done incompletely, incompetently or without regard for your paying customers.