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Friday, September 09, 2011


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Thaumata Strangelove

It is not possible to "fit that mesh to your curves" at all. Isn't that the whole point of her article? Mesh cannot be stretched, shrunk or even moved (raised/lowered) in relation to your avatar. The only thing you can do is adjust your body to fit the mesh or to mask any bits that stick out with an alpha layer.


This fashion design business can be tough work! It seems very clear to many of us in the fashion world that something must be done, and I'm positively certain the Linden Lab will make things right... eventually.

If there is just one thing I've learned on my time in this world, however, it is that if you try to please everypony, you oftentimes end up pleasing nopony.

Mariko Nightfire

Well I suppose that I could create a shape specific for each mesh outfit and put that shape in the outfit's folder. But, what a pain. Do the supposed benefits of mesh fashions outweigh their disadvantages? I'd like to hear your opinions.

Dirk Grantly

She's not a plump avi imo. Nice curves...


all mesh i bought so far had alpha layers ...
so i don't fully get that post.

but without dynamic (or how they call it / editable mesh) SL clothing will never fully adapt mesh except for some few standard stuff like long skirts and stoles.

everything more specific like a mesh bikini, slut-wear (biggest clothing market in sl), etc etc can just forget it

Jupiter Firelyte

Instead of calling avatars like Rowan's (and mine) plump, curvy, and all the other buzzwords to imply we're fat and abnormal, I'm just going to start referring to the others as emaciated and misshapen.


Its amazing what you can do with Alpha .. this was a limited scope article.


Yes, alpha helps, but not a solution - why do we have physical shapes at all if we should hide it? Make us all invisible then...


Thank you for writing this! Even though I blog mesh items, and I change my shape slightly to fit certain items (most of the time, it is slimming down) -- I do feel irritated when I have to do this. I wish designers would stop calling my avatar PLUMP/CURVY! I add some curves, and some body fat to my av, but it's no where near "plump" -- and that's often the biggest size offered for mesh items!

Iris Ophelia

Don't forget, in RL fashion plus sized models often don't look plus sized at all. It's not just avatar standards that are the problem.

Noirran Marx

It's not the fashion designers with strangely restrictive standards, it's the fashion designers creating clothing within the restrictions SL imposes on us with avatar mesh. I think most who are making mesh clothing are doing the best they can, it's impossible to please everyone with every shape possible. The compromise is alpha layers which are an excellent tool at our disposal. Also quite a few are creating clothing in different sizes to try to work with their customers and their shapes. I think you are being unfair to Janie Marlowe.

Damien Fate

It's just a naming convention, when you offer four sizes what do you use for 'larger than the average avatar'?

If anything, 'plump' is a cute and playful word, not like she chose to call them fatties, or overweight, or large.


This is not just a naming convention, it is a size we're forced to fit into! If it was just a name, i wouldn't even care -- but the name doesn't fit the size. Plump is 12% body fat? really???? What do you call avatars who choose to have 20%, 30%? I guess anyone who is bigger than me, can just enjoy mesh clothes worn on other avatars.


There's nothing wrong with the word plump, and people aren't annoyed with the word itself.

It's the application of it in cases where it is clearly incorrect. Regardless of whether you use plump, plus, large, fat, overweight, they're all wrong because the shape they've been applied to is none of the above.

Sasy Scarborough

Mel - my Partner - said early on that someone should make open source models in a fairly diverse shape scale, and then all the stores should try and base their clothing builds along those shapes.

It would be like the old days when many starting out hair stores would base their head size on the same numbers.

It would be like the poser characters with specific names etc. So you could go into a store which would announce that their sizes are the "insert name here" sizing method, and you would know that they would fit or not fit.

But deciding on what body types would be the norm would be so hard :(, but probably better than everyone winging it.


Rowan Derryth

Wow! This was fun to come home to, thanks for reading and picking this up.

Damien - plump is only a playful and cute word to some. I don't really mind it, but for some it is painful. But more to the point - my avi is PLUMP?

Also, I do want to mention here, as I did in my article, that I LOVE the JANE clothes. I've been wearing them a bunch, so this wasn't to be critical to her styles.

Also, I was joking with some friends much in the manner of Jupiter's comments - maybe we should call the sizes: Lush, Sensuous, Fine, Please Eat Something, and Where'd You Go? ;-)

Luc Aubret

It's not any different IRL as far as standards are concerned. Fashion designers often become sizeists over time. It's very difficult to drape fabric consistently over unpredictable curves, which is why designers usually chose models with boyish figures.

This is essentially the same challenge, translated into 3D modeling. You can't blame designers for the standards; they're trying to design for the largest percentage of body types, and in SL that's 8-foot tall waifs that are 60% leg.


Mesh is a very new thing. We're still working on getting the shapes right, plus trying to get things out as fast as we can.
We think about a lot of options with these clothes. How many shapes should I do? In what sizes? What should I call these sizes? Basically there will be a lot of trial and error for now.
The terms plump or curvy were not meant to be derogatory in any way. However it's amazing what the range is for the avatars we see shopping at the stores. We're also trying to fit avatars that have "0" in every slider... no fat, no thickness, no hips, no muscle mass.
With the meshes Damien and I make... we don't get many people telling us that they are too big for the meshes. MOST people say they are too small for them! The original meshes for Damien Fate's and Janie's store fit both me and Janie. I am more curvy than the average avatar. Wide hips, full chest, a bit of belly fat and saddle bags.
So, in RL clothes can stretch over your body to accommodate your shape a bit. All we have in SL for now is the alpha layer.
I might be rambling a bit, but anyway... Janie does not try to impose restrictions on people. She asked her customers for shape advice and worked on shapes for several days before she found some good averages of HER customers. :)

Rowan Derryth

Again, I think Janie is awesome, and I don't think ANYONE is complaining about curvy.

But actually, the MAIN issue here is that many of us don't like to have to modify our shapes to fit clothes, which is the current central problem of mesh. This is not the fault of designers, but something Linden Labs has to sort out, which is why I sent readers to Max's JIRA.

Also, even though I have to use an alpha to fit them, I bought several of the JANE pieces because they are lovely, fun, and I want to give my lindens to awesome creators like her who are opening new doors. My pointing out the plump is partially tongue-in-cheek, but also to raise this body issue a bit as others have. I'm glad people are talking about it. Whether or not someone is offended by the term is, to me, less of an issue than the labelling of a body as plump that actually isn't. I don't think Janie meant anything rude at all, but it is interesting for everyone to think about, no?


I really do hope that LL changes how mesh fits the body, because right now it's frustrating for both the designers and the customers. I loved your article by the way, Rowan. :)
However this article here on NWN seems accusatory, as though we are trying to force people into certain body shapes.
I believe that Janie has already changed the names of her shapes now, too. I know she wouldn't want anyone to feel uncomfortable about their shapes in SL... we all get enough of that in RL, right? LOL


Holy cow people. You don't like the mesh clothes others are making, go make your own and quit all the freakin' whining. Nobody has any inherent 'right' to have mesh clothing that fits the shape they like to have.

For crying out loud!

Melissa Yeuxdoux

This problem has *always* existed in SL. ALL SL clothing really only fits the shape it was designed for; it's just that the side effects for painted-on textures aren't as extreme. (System skirts skirt the edge of what happens to mesh--I often find that when I put on a system skirt, there are gaps on the outer side of the leg near the knee that shouldn't be there.)

SL clothing should adapt itself to your shape when you put it on, and be kept in a format that permits it, e.g. vector graphics that would be converted to a texture suited to the wearer for display. Most of the time, patterns should replicate as needed to fit around the body, not stretch. Ditto for skins; wouldn't furries like to have skins that are generated with Turing patterns the way shells and skins are in RL?

Mauricette Morane

Like Rowan's, my shape is on the curvy side (especially compared to SL fashionista standards, which I find really ...ooohh, let's not go there!). I tried on a bunch of mesh clothes yesterday, and I'm left with the very distinct feeling that mesh - as it's currently available - is NOT going to be an option for me.

Because I like my shape and don't want to fiddle with it for that reason. Because I'm absolutely NOT willing to spend several hours, every time I buy a piece of clothing, to fit my shape around it; life's is too short for that. I love playing barbie doll, but not that much! And because even if I DID tweak my shape so that the clothes would fit, the resulting shape, to my eyes, is incredibly ugly (wrong proportions everywhere), and I don't want to look that way, no matter how pretty the clothes might be. And no, I don't find alpha layers to be that useful, all they do it slice you in pieces where the clothing end, like trousers tops, and that doesn't look good at all, at least to me. And alpha layers don't help when a garment is too long. And alpha layers also won't help if you like to wear men's clothes, like I do (at least occasionally).

Sure, clothes in IRL come with a bunch of restrictions. But I don't come to SL to be faced with the same hassle! And IRL, there's lycra, and alterations places, so there's actually more flexibility than we're currently getting with mesh.

Don't get me wrong, I appreciate this is a time of challenges for designers, and I'm very grateful for those designer out there (thank you, Janie Marlowe. And thank you Siddean Munro for the jeans...) who are at the front line. I'm personally not bothered about sizes names (anyway how about using numbers? Size 1, size 2, size 3...). I'm more bothered about the fact that if you're between sizes, well, that's it. Nothing you can do (at this stage).

I do think it would be a good idea, at this stage, for designers not only to offer a range of sizes, but also include either a shape or a notecard with the relevant numbers to replicate the shape the clothes were built to fit, which I can see being a massive hassle. Or maybe each designer will end up have one (or several) standard shapes that they build ALL their clothing to, and if the shape doesn't fit you, then you know not to shop there. That doesn't sound like fun.

Then again, I realize it's early days...but for the moment, it feels like mesh is taking options away, and I sure hope designers continue to make non mesh clothes.

Masami Kuramoto

"Basically, if you have an avatar classified by SL designers like Janie Marlowe as "plump" -- that is to say, an avatar who looks like a healthy, sexy, bodonkified curvy woman -- you're going to have troubles with mesh."

No, you're not. You're only going to have trouble with that particular designer. Not with mesh in general.

This is Second Life emulating real life. You can't just go to any fashion store and expect that all the clothes will be available in your particular size. However, there will be designers making clothes for your shape somewhere. The absence of "one size fits all" will make SL fashion more interesting and less uniform.


The sad truth is that curvy avatars have to sacrifice their shape to fit mesh. We are at the mercy of designers in what they feel is small, average, medium or large. I look forward to seeing how mesh will affect building and some fashion accessories, but I am wary of what it will do for apparel.

Salvatore Otoro

@Masami Your logic is heavily flawed. Yes, art imitates life but not in this version. Many people work really hard to customize their shapes for individual style so unless you use a shape you bought which is no mod, avatar shapes are not cookie cutter shapes.

As such, it's unfair to place RL fashion in the same category as SL fashion when there are no sizes in SL to create a proper fit. We have not nor do I think we will ever get to a point where avatars will go to a store to buy clothing in standardized sizes such as misses size 2 or 8, Men's extra tall, or petites. Even the standard S M L and XL will not come without headaches.

Logistically, it would be a nightmare to buy clothes and then worry about pants/skirts in one size and tops in another for those that don't fit the offered sizes, not to mention some not being able to properly fit the clothes they buy. It would come down to having demos of all the sizes in order for avatars to be sure of a proper fit or resizer scripts in all the clothing.


actually - there is a technical fix for this problem - see Maxwell Graf's JIRA on the issue. he worked with the blue mars guys to find a solution over there when they hit the same problem.

LL: compute how the morph targets alter the vertices of the original avatar mesh, then use that to deform the clothing mesh as well.

Tired of Mesh Hate/rs

Mesh is just one more tool in the SLbox. Mesh clothes may not be what mesh is best for especially as the "shape" they fit is anorexic. But then the SL goal is to be either "more real" than reality or "less real" than reality. Ultra skinny white people wearing fancy clothes all the time fit both of those goals, as do the people who spend their time as animals, nature spirits, fae, elves & tinies.

Mesh clothes aren't going to do much for anything other than those willing to torture their bodies to fit the fashion. Sounds like real life with ladies tucking their toes into ridiculous shoes, removing whatever hair is unfashionable this generation and lacing bellies into corsets. I guess if you like sacrificing self for fashion, mesh clothes are perfect!

In SL, on group chats and in person, I've heard from many creators they're waiting to see the dust settle before leaping into mesh. The world won't come to an end if they wait a few weeks, months or years to adopt a new tool, there's plenty of stuff being made with plain prims today that will still be made with plain prims in future. Need one example? Vendor boxes to sell the mesh products.

Mesh is really important to people who have made it important to themselves and are frantic to make it important to others, but it really isn't. Important is how we relate to our family, friends, neighborhood and others... Important is how we maintain our politeness to others with whom we may disagree.

Unimportant is what tool is used to create imaginary clothes to improbable imaginary shapes.

Therefore let's stop the hate based on who uses and who doesn't, who wants to and who doesn't, because it's really not that important. In so doing, please stop calling names especially at designers who choose to wait on mesh. All that does is divide a group that really needs to hang together.

Eliza Wierwight

Great Article Rowan ~peenches your assets~
Early days for mesh as we all know and I have no doubt whatsoever that with time and especially so if LL implements (insert accurate technical term that I currently forget) that lets mesh shrink wrap to our individual shapes and all will be fine in the longer term. Failing that innovation, the Creators of SL are amazing, intuitive & crafty. Fear not in good time , all will be sated.

Hmmn I can see a bit of a fetish thing developing with that tearing in the Interim Rowan, I think you may be onto something ~beams~

Melissa Yeuxdoux

@Eliza: the problem with that solution is that it doesn't accommodate those of us who have to resort to attachments to overcome the limitations of the stock avatar. Since attachments don't influence the sliders, changes to make mesh clothing honor all relevant sliders leaves us still cut off from the vast majority of the SL fashion cornucopia.

Snakekiss Noir's Proposition 125, which dates back at least to 2005, got as far as being "acknowledged" by Linden Lab before the move to JIRA threw it and a bunch of other old-style requests under the bus. I resurrected it as VWR-1258, where it's lingered unreviewed since 2007. Please consider voting for, and more importantly, watching it.

Arcadia Codesmith

I'm not really interested in buying or making mesh clothing until they implement qarl's solution or something very similar.

Sorry, nothing personal, but sculpties and body paint are still more versatile at the moment.

David Cartier

Maybe someone could open a Chico's or a Dress Barn for everyone who doesn't want to look like a seven foot tall heroin addict.

Eliza Wierwight

"parametric deformer" ~flexes laughs~

Oh noted, Melissa (with genuine interest ). I'll get my Uncle Maxwell Graf to explain that to me, he'd doing amazing mesh everything and is as smart as a whip. I'm pretty sure I know what you mean and though optimistic knowledge is imperative to me.


Rowan back to the body thing , you and I have discussed this before. I'm a Zulu next to you Inworld and slender. Though I've had my AV 'faults' pointed out several times.

Boobs too small
Legs too fat
Bum too small
Not smiley enough.

Who the Hell smiles ALL the time.

Just sayun lol

Rowan Derryth

Actually, Masami, it isn't just this one designer at all. In fact, it isn't just mesh - I always have to resize my clothes to fit my curves, and only shop designers who make that possible. And I don't mind doing it, every time it is a reminder of my avatar's uniqueness. But that's what this is about - we need the ability.

As well, I only blogged JANE, and I haven't tried too many others, but I will say that one gown I tried - and I'll be kind and not name the designer - seemed to think that when your hips are the size of mine, your boobs must be MASSIVE and your waist must be tiny. Alas.

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