JD Lewellyn tipped me about an announcement by RicoRacer Flux about a new release of mesh clothes named: LIQUID MESH. The release is timed for today, December 1, 2012. The basic take away is: Good but over hyped.
According to the announcement:
Really simple! Our new LIQUID MESH products automatically adjust to your body shape! That means no more changes to your shape needed!
But we went even further. The mesh also follows certain body shape sliders. That means you can even kind of resize our products along with your shape which is not possible with any other mesh till now.
…with LIQUID MESH you can adjust your mesh now also with sliders for:
- Leg Muscles
- Butt Size
- Saddle Bags
- Knee Angle
- Foot Size (to change pants cuffs width)
Oddly they did not include a link to their store. I forget links too, so I won’t complain too much. I’ll just be more determined to try and remember to put my links in my articles.
So, the place that has Liquid Mesh is Redgrave Skins & Fashion. The first product they have on sale is a sexy pair of jeans. The Demo is L$1 and the actual jeans L$290. I got the demo. I’m a skeptic, which is why I probably annoy people with my political views.
The jeans come in a nice Redgrave shopping bag labeled wear me in inventory. It attaches to the left hand and removed my nails. :/ Viewers do not have an option to OPEN attachments… But, you can left-click it for TOUCH and it is scripted to open. Doing the ‘attachment thing’ saves one needing to find a rez spot. Once in inventory the contents are:
You can see 4 pairs of jeans (Oh, These pics are from the Exodus Viewer – no Mesh Deformer – also something goes wacko in Appearance Edit and my skin goes really dark – apologies for the dark images, I’m short time this morning) and 5 alpha layers. The alpha layers are all labeled must wear. I tried the jeans on without any alpha layers.
Layer #1 works pretty well for me. But… OMG I have saddle bags on my hips! Is that me or the jeans? Whew! No it is the jeans. I am wearing my ‘skirt’ shape for the Java First Ladies Romance outfit, so no saddle bags in the shape. Honest!
I tried the second alpha layer (image 3) and still have problems at the waist. I tried the 3rd alpha layer (image 4). I tried the 4th alpha layer (image 5), and the 5th (image 6).
OK… all five alphas have the same problem at the waist.
Oh well… time to see what the sliders do. First I tried Belly Size, mine is usually set to 0. That does nothing for the jeans. But, they didn’t claim it would.
Next I tried Body Fat. I usually have mine set at 19. Taking it to 100 doesn’t work so well with the jeans. Also even at 0 Body Fat I still have some problems at the waist. Going to 0 Body Fat accentuates the saddle bags even more. Not good.
Leg Muscles was next. Taking mine down to 0 cured the saddle bag problem…
The Leg Muscles change rate is better than the Body Fat rate. You can see I removed the alpha layer in the image. With the Leg Muscles at 100 the fit is about the same as at 0.
Changing the Saddle Bags size was disappointing. I normally have mine at 13. Taking it up to 100 gives this:
You can see the jeans did not follow the Saddle Bag setting well. Taking the Saddle Bags to 0 was also not producing what I wanted to see.
So, what are Redgrave designers doing that makes mesh ‘liquid’? I think they are using the technique that we saw Redpoly discuss at the Content & Mesh UG back in June (2012), see: #SL Mesh Deformer Alternative.
A sure test is to turn your butt bounce up to the max. I did a test and the Liquid Mesh is NOT conforming to Avatar Enhanced Physics. My butt bounces ridiculously but the jeans are frozen in place. So, with each bounce my butt shows. A video would be cute, but that takes too long.
So, the new ‘Liquid Mesh’ most probably uses weighting to the collision bones to achieve their ‘liquidity’. Yes, there is a double entendre there.
This is not a Linden supported method for making clothes. I seriously doubt that any future change to SL or the viewer is going to break these jeans. But, we don’t know and neither does the Lab. But, Nyx and Oz Linden have made it clear that ANY non-supported feature may be broken at any time and while the Lindens may personally feel regret about breaking some non-supported thing they also will not be overly inhibited. Consider yourself warned.
If I liked these jeans the possibility of them eventually breaking would NOT stop me from buying them. I really seriously doubt that will ever happen. But, I won’t guarantee it. So, make your own decision.
I think we all know how standard sizes are being used. The Mesh Deformer is to get us way from that. The newest deformer allows us to use different base shapes for clothing. That is still a ‘standard’ size of a type. But, the end user will be less likely to have to change their shape to fit into clothes when the Deformer is used.
Redgrave’s Liquid Mesh does move you away from the ‘standard size’ and the having to fit your shape to the clothes paradigm. But, it is not a perfect solution. The saddle bags I have when wearing the jeans is likely from the base shape they used to model the jeans. I suspect they used the default shape model. I can’t get rid of the saddle bags except by changing the Leg Muscles slider. By the time I have removed the saddle bag, my legs are too skinny. May be I’m just being picky.
For now I still think the best solution is going to be the Mesh Deformer. We are testing it and using it with a project viewer. White Rabbit just pointed out how well the Deformer works with facial morphs.
White Rabbit has been experimenting with getting the mouth to work and has run into some Deformer deficiencies… not in the code… but I believe in the limits of the process. I tried to illustrate the problems in: #SL Mesh Deformer New Twist. See the image right.
But, even the Mesh Deformer is not going to solve all the problems. I think it will take care of 90+% of all the problems with clothes. It is not intended to solve problems with complete avatar replacement.
We need a better animation system and possibly the ability to use custom armatures (skeletons). Until we get those we will get by with the Deformer. Until we get the Deformer the Liquid Mesh is a nice intermediate.
I think the Liquid Mesh thing is over hyped. But, I love the jeans except for the saddle bags they give me. They are a, I think, reasonably low poly high quality pair of jeans that push the SL envelope. You’ll have to try the demo to decide if you like the fit and feel the cost is acceptable. Except for the saddle bags I would buy them.
Oh, and the four pair of jeans, there are two colors and a pair for wearing high-heels and a pair for wearing flats. It is a great demo set.