Worrying is generally pointless. However, the concerns that bring the worry can be important to consider. Such concerns have come up in a thread over on SLUniverse. The basic concern is what will the Deformer do to our existing mesh clothes? Since they are mostly expensive it would be good to have an answer.
This is Alpha
The Deformer is in the alpha stage. So, we don’t know what the final Deformer will make mesh clothes look like. We have found problems and it seems many feel we will need a flag to tell the deformer whether to deform or not. But, even that is undecided as some of the problems the flag would address can be handled in other ways.
There is also the thought that perhaps a slider setting the amount of deformation may be better. So, we could tell the Deformer to deform by 0% to 100% of its normal deformation.
With so much unknown, all we can do is make intelligent guesses and speculate.
What We Know
We do know how the current alpha version Deformer works. It is in several Third Party Viewers and one of the Lab’s project viewers. For me they all work about the same. The only difference from viewer to viewer is whether there is an on off switch for the Deformer.
The idea is that clothes will be modeled to the base avatar, Ruth-Roth. (There is a default avatar that the SL system uses that is NOT the Ruth-Roth no-shape. But, most SL users think of the default and Ruth as the same. While they aren’t it is easier for me to write Ruth and people will understand… I hope.) Since current clothes are made in sizes based on whatever the maker thinks will work best, we know existing clothes are very likely not going to be consistent with future clothes and thus will fit differently.
Da5id Weatherwax gives a clear explanation of the problems we can expect. He uses the extreme of a ‘Dolly Parton Barbie’ look. O.O
I’m not sure that his logic for what the Deformer will do with such a shape is right. The idea is that a top made for Dolly will be using the max shape settings for breasts. Supposedly the top will have been made from a model using larger breasts too. What the Deformer will do to clothes is very dependent on how these factors relate to the basic Ruth avatar.
If you pretend there is a basic Ruth inside whatever model the clothes maker uses and consider the distance from that base to the clothes, it is that distance the Deformer will use for its deformation. Whether the deformer uses a percentage based on shape settings or simply adds to shape settings I’m unclear. I think the latter. So, if the top closely clings to Dolly’s EE breasts it will leave a significant gap between the top and Ruth’s AA’s. Let’s say a 2” (5cm) gap.
With the Deformer no matter what setting you use for your shape, there will be a 2” gap. Make ‘em smaller, make ‘em bigger, the same gap will still be there. The deformer keeps clothes at the same relative distance from Ruth’s skin regardless of shape settings.
Without the deformer, changing the shape settings changes the distance from Ruth’s skin to the clothes. That is why we can poke though clothes or look like we are wearing a barrel.
As best I can tell from technical discussions and my experiments with the deformer: is if a piece of clothing fits you well now, it will likely fit well with the deformer.
If clothing fits poorly without the Deformer, it may or may not fit better with the deformer. My mesh clothes that fit OK without the Deformer generally fit better with it.
I wrote about a problem with the Deformer in #SL Content-Mesh UG Week 2. How that issue will be handled will probably change how mesh clothes fit. While it will be a significant change to appearance, it will not likely have much effect on the 2” gap problem. The change will likely improve appearance when increasing or decreasing shape size by large amounts.
The smart buyer of mesh clothes is going to want to try on the demos while using the Deformer.
Getting the Deformer is not hard. Dolphin, Exodus, Nirans’, and others have the feature. Dolphin is probably the most like the main SL Viewer 3. The interface in Exodus and Niran’s take some getting used to.
The SL Deformer Project Viewer is a touch more complicated to try out. I recommend avoiding it unless you want to help the Lab with this project. I say that because while installing the project viewer is easy enough, uninstalling it can be a bit of a pain. The SL Viewer uninstall tends to remove all the chat logs and caches. I think the only safe uninstall, if you want to keep your other SL Viewers from the Lab, is manually removing the viewer and avoid using the ‘uninstall program.’
The deformer code is also implemented in the Cool VL Viewer v1.26.3 (can be switched on and off from the Advanced menu, Rendering sub-menu).
AFAIK, this is the only v1 UI viewer with it so far.
Everyone should know that early adopters ALWAYS pay twice: First they buy overpriced products if the technology they’re based on is new and later, if the technology and products have evolved, they have to buy them again because the initial products are not compatible with the technology used for mainstream market production. That’s a well-known theory in economics and the price you have to pay if you want to be uber-cool and always have the latest shinies!