Second Life Liquid Mesh Early Warning

UPDATE: 2014/1 –  A newer version of Liquid Mesh called Fitted Mesh is now the standard for mesh clothes. Fitted Mesh is still in beta development in January 2014. Liquid Mesh clothes made pre-Fitted Mesh seem to be usable and are apparently not broken by the implementation of Fitted Mesh. So, Liquid Mesh is now a sort of support way to make mesh clothes.

Liquid Mesh is very very much not supported by the Lab. We hear this at the user group meetings. The Lindens are telling us repeatedly. In some ways the Lindens are getting a bit arrogant about the issue. Like if you didn’t pay attention, tough. We told you. That attitude will walk them into a wall.

Leg Muscle Test

Leg Muscle Test

The problem is the developers and residents don’t attend the user group meetings.

The image shows jeans made of Liquid Mesh. I was changing the leg muscle settings in Appearance. You can see the jeans changed per the Appearance settings.

TPV Dev’s concern is so many people are buying ‘Liquid Mesh’ that it will become a default SL standard whether the Lab supports it or not. When the avatar is changed and all Liquid Mesh is broken the PR backlash could be horrific for the Lab.

I got into what Liquid Mesh is in an article written in December 2012: #SL LIQUID MESH is it a Real Solution? So, if you are scratching your head as to what Liquid Mesh is, check it out. You may also know Liquid Mesh as Redpoly Rigging, as Redpoly figured out how to do it and used it in some products. Others of you may know it as rigging to the collision bones.

The Lab sort of woke up Friday when the TPV Dev’s voiced their concerns. The person I think did the most to get through to them was asking not to be quoted. So, to them I say thanks.  They know who they are.

The Lindens will be discussing this internally. I see two possible outcomes.

One is the Lindens do nothing. I see that as the short term solution and long term disaster.

The other is they block uploading of Liquid Mesh. The change is simple enough. The upload just needs to check for weighting to specific bones. This will piss clothing designers off now. I doubt they would delete Liquid Mesh items from the grid. If you have them, you can use them until the avatar changes and they break, if that ever happens. I think this is the more likely scenario.

They might also use the new stats system to figure out how much Liquid Mesh is on the grid and decided if the problem is real, significant, and growing or not. This could take some time to decide. But, we may hear an answer in a couple of weeks. My take is the Lindens are getting painted into a corner.

If you want to help people avoid getting burned, get the word around about Liquid Mesh.

This may have a positive effect on the Mesh Deformer priorities. Oz Linden plans to use the information to push for a team to look at the avatar, which includes looking at the Deformer project.

Having the Deformer in place would remove the need for using Liquid Mesh.

33 thoughts on “Second Life Liquid Mesh Early Warning

  1. Hope Lab makes the right call but they wrecked thousands of shoes killing the invisi prims

    Can we rename the Deformer to the ” Customizer” — something positive? ( when I first heard “Deformer” I went eew w I don’t want that– took me a while to get it)

    The Customizer allows the residents to use the new materials to fit their most personal choice– how their avatar looks.

      • Deformation is not a bad thing, heh. This is what the mesh does to bend and twist. It is deforming. It’s a term from the 3D programs we use to make animatable mesh, so ya just have to not get hung up on terms in a bad way. I know we all do on things…human nature.

  2. Did you say “When the avatar is changed”? Changed? Huh?

    Besides… they have blog, and login messages. Why don’t they use them to communicate to the masses?

  3. I think to condemn and warn about Liquid Mesh and calling it a problem is not helping anyone. The foundation for a proper deformer has been sitting on their desk for how long? must be more than a year now (..which in LL’s calculation of time is neglectable [negligible?]) while Liquid Mesh was playing no role. Hence there seems to be no need for Liquid Mesh to let LL keep the lid on the deformer. If anything, the adoption of LM by more and more creators now is a good thing for putting the whole issue in the spotlight and stirring things up for a change.

    Right now, Liquid Mesh(LM) is far better than anything we have and we have been waiting far too long already. If saying that the adaption of LM might keep the deformer in LL’s drawer, then where is the uproar about standard sizes? they fit the same argument as they also enable us to somehow cope with the lack of a deformer and become a standard. I would strongly object to calling LM a problem. It fills a need and thus is a solution, not THE solution but in fact something that helps – while the saying that it will bring doom upon us is based on speculation.

    If you want to place fear in people urging them to spread the word that LM might break after they buy it, dont forget to tell them that regular mesh and system clothes would/could break in the same way with a hypothetically changed avatar. Or that even all the standard size mesh they buy will become obsolete when a deformer is introduced.

    To break LM content while keeping regular mesh attachments would require an intent on LL’s part to do so. I think that is very unlikely considering how slow LL’s mills grind. Even if the impossible happens and they ever will implement a better deformer, there would be no technical reason for not letting both co-exist like sculpties and mesh do now.

    Again, I’m not saying LM is the final and best solution. I wish we could do without and I would be happy to convert my LM items and hand out free updates if one day, LL actually thinks LM must be destroyed in favor of a better deformer.

    • I disagree that informing people does no good. Knowledge is required to make intelligent decisions and allow people free choice.

      I agree that Liquid Mesh is stirring things up. I think that is a good thing.

      I am tired of waiting. To say we have been waiting ‘too long’ makes a lot of presumptions I am not willing to make without good information. While, I would like to see the Deformer sooner rather than later, there is more involved than just the Deformer.

      The uproar over standard sizes is past. It came and went. But, it was there. The nature of humans is such that continuous uproar is only possible in the most painful situations.

      Objecting to calling LM a problem is valid. If it ever breaks, it will become a problem. Until it does, it is a solution. The discussion now is about the potential problem and trying to put it in context to allow people to make an informed decision.

      No one I know has said LM will doom us or that LM is doomed. You’re exaggerating.

      I also think saying it would require an ‘intent on the Lindens part’ to break mesh is misleading. Any changes to the avatar will be intentional. But, the possible changes and reasons for them are unknown. To imply that there is no possibility of breaking LM without an intention to break LM for the sake of breaking it, is misleading. There are other possibilities, even if they have yet to occur to anyone.

      I tend to agree with you that there is no apparent reason that LM cannot continue to exist and work. But, I do not think it is an absolute, only a probability.

      Your willingness to replace broken items with Deformer capable or standard size replacements for free is commendable. Since there is no risk to your customers, provided you stay in SL, there is no reason for them not to purchase your products.

      I think people need to be aware of the problems and risks. To be free they must be allowed to decide for themselves how to evaluate the risks and whether to take them or not.

      • Informing people does a LOT of good…

        People need to know when what they’re looking at is based on a hacking of the engine. Its self obvious from what it does, and that we know a deformer has been in the pipeline and this is not it – but making that more obvious is still even better.

  4. As much as it was nice to see something – anything – change with the avatar sliders in an attempt to solve the sizing problem, I sincerely hope that in the end the situation will be resolved with changes to the avatar and the inclusion of the deformer as full release client feature. Its been a couple of years since the journey began, but now that SSB and materials are relatively completed it seems like Oz and the team will finally be able to focus some much needed attention to both the avi and the deformer. The effect those two things would have, should they both be put into place, would be an amazing boost to SL. Perhaps all of our time, effort and money have not been wasted after all.

    • I hope you are right. I like to think that in the end the work done on the Deformer will make it into the viewer.

  5. I see the concerns of breaking existing content as a no issue. No one cares [of if] 2 years of mesh content is “broken” just so people can get the deformer, this is no different. We can’t keep holding back progress in SL because something might get broken. We have to move the platform forward or it will die.

    • To say, “no one cares” is wrong. There are people that care. The history of Second Life emphatically supports the idea that people do care when existing content is broken. I cannot think of one software house that does not delicately handle legacy products and situations. You may not care if my stuff is broken so you can have something, but I do.

      To imply we must be willing to break content to move forward otherwise SL will die, is opinion. It is not fact. To date the Lab has done a reasonable job of preserving legacy content and moving SL forward. Plus SL has out lasted most of its other start up contemporaries.

      Your positions seem rather self-centered. But, you do make nice stuff.

      • My comment that no one cares is because people keep pushing for the deformer, without thinking about the work it would create for content creators. I have a store full if rigged mesh content, 2 years worth, I started selling rigged mesh in Sept of 2011. The majority of the people pushing for the deformer do not seem to care about the work load it will create for content creators. We will have to spend countless hours re uploading everything, sending updates. Which will not only take a lot of time, it will slow the release of new content.

        This is why a lot of creators are lukewarm about the deformer. It is so late into the mesh game, you are taking about a costing a lot of money in rework to designers. I don’t take it lightly at all. Everyone in SL is looking out after their own interests. I want to keep my content up to date and offer people the most variety and options. Yes, I am not thrilled about the ideas of uploading hundreds of mesh items ( yes I would still make sizes even with the deformer), but I would do it.

        The platform is going to be outdated if they do not make changes and keep the platform up to date. We need a new avatar, if we get a new avatar and it breaks existing content, I think that is a price worth paying, because the avatar is that bad. The idea of crippling the existing content cannot be allowed to prevent SL from moving forward, Even if it means a month of rework for people like me.

        • Like I said… your viewpoint is rather self-centered.

          I also don’t believe any significant number of clothing makers have not figured out the Deformer will reduce their workload. With the Deformer they can go from making 5 or more sizes of each item to generally just one size.

        • I’m sorry but I’ve been on sl since 2006 and I’ve seen a ton of things come and go. That’s just how the game works. If people can’t accept that, then yes, Second Life will in fact die. The game is already so outdated it’s insane. Mesh is awesome, but everyone would love for something even more awesome to come along. Lots of us gave up regular layer clothing for mesh. I myself had 50,000+ inventory items that I literally just deleted because mesh was way better… and if something even better came along, I would do the exact same thing again. As far as designers go, when mesh came along, everyone had to remake their clothing, so how is this any different? If you don’t feel like doing it, then don’t. There are plenty of other designers who would redo their things in a heartbeat. I don’t mean to sound rude…but I agree with Nalates, your view is fairly self-centered. Everyone has to embrace change because change is always good. LL needs to change the avatars really bad and this has been a long time coming. It has to be done and I hope they change them soon.

          • I mostly agree with you. But, on a couple of points I’ll point out some things.

            When you gave up your 50k things that was voluntary, not imposed on you. It makes a difference how the Lab does things.

            This week we were told again that Avatar 2.0 is not something that will happen anytime soon.

  6. Even with the deformer, you can’t make just one size, the variations that the sliders allow for are too wide. People that care about quality will still make more than one size, so the deformer does less work. Making sizes takes about 5 minutes, it is not a labor intensive or tedious process, if you only make them for standard sizes the variation between the sizes is +/- 3-4% on 2 axis. Custom sizes take more time, but that is not where the bottleneck is for content creation. The workload is a non issue from the standpoint of making sizes.

    The ability to make SL easier for consumers, and less frustrating is a benefit that I think all content creators want. That is what the deformer offers, not a time savings since in some cases meshes will have to be designed to work with the deformer calculation limitations.

    The number of people in SL making their own rigged meshes is less than 1% of active users, probably under 100, we are the very small minority. No one really cares about our concerns.

    • I am not sure why you think making multiple sizes for Deformer enabled mesh is going to be a necessity. The Deformer includes the ability to use a custom base shape. So, non-human shapes and extreme shapes will be easy to support. It is only when you have an item you want to be able to support Giants, regular sized, and petites that you need to make multiple sizes. Personally I think that will be a rare case.

      I think you are in a minority in thinking that the Deformer’s reduction in creative effort is negligible. Max started up the Deformer project because a large group of people thought standard sizing was too much work. While it may not be an issue for you, you might want to listen to the rest of the community.

      In general most people do want SL to be easy to use. The Deformer is a mix of easier and more confusing. The confusing part is about how those custom base shapes are explained to users. The Lab has held up the Deformer in part because of that specific problem. So, the Deformer is not as clean a solution as the Lab feels is needed. As much as I want the Deformer I have to agree with them.

      Your idea that no one cares… there is lots of caring going on for both designers and customers. Just not for your personal interests and preferences. Look beyond yourself.

      • Whether the deformer will include the custom base shape upload is still very much in the air. The last time I heard Oz Linden say something about it, he said that the ability to upload a custom base shape is not something LL considers to be important, and it complicates both the deformer and the content creation process.

        Personally, I really, really want to see the deformer. My shape is unusual enough that pretty much nobody makes mesh to fit it. I arrived at that shape after careful design (and some expert assistance). It conveys a definite impression of my character, as well as an appearance. I will not modify it to fit clothing; the clothing should fit me, not the other way around.

        The [nest net] result is that I pretty much refuse to buy mesh. The deformer will fix that. That’s why I want to see it.

        • From what I know your comments are accurate.

          There are benefits and problems should a base shape be part of the Deformer upload. The Lindens did build the capability into the object type. So, until they move on the Deformer we can only guess at what they may do. I do know Oz has a concern about how all the different base shapes might work from a Market Place standpoint. How will anyone ever know what they are buying?

          I’ve spent lots of time tweaking my shape. I don’t plan to change it either. So, while I have bought a few mesh things, I would likely buy way more if the Deformer were out there.

          I am curious when the FS team will have a Deformer experimental version out based on the latest FS version? I think that may have an effect very much like Liquid Mesh is having. People are adopting it so fast, LL may have to do something.

          • We put the deformer in the Firestorm development branch. It was enabled only for non-SL grids. (That pesky TPVP 2.k again.) We had to back it back out because of a major memory leak.

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  8. My comment from the blog about this blog on NWN:

    It’ll be like ‘Emerald Drama’ all over again. Remember custom attachment points?

    Only this time around – some folks are going to find their products simply no longer work, period.

    No one should expect to be able to keep things and toys that are based upon an unsanctioned hack. To the folks who lose product over this:

    Tough cookies.

    Hack the system, get burned.

    To their customers:

    Learn to shop better – if something looks too good to be true, stop buying Brooklyn Bridges and pay attention.

    Harsh? NO. Because any heartache could be avoided by simply paying attention to what you’re selling or buying.

    We can’t make the world foolproof for fools…
    – It’ll hurt the rest of us too much.

    • OK, that says it pretty much like it is. People that can’t deal with RL will get burnt.

      If you could make it idiot proof, some one would come out with a better idiot.

      I think it was Einstein that commented genius had its limits, but stupidity was boundless.

      • Ezra over on NWN put up a good list of counter arguments against my point. Strong enough that I have to agree my own conclusion might have been a bit hasty, but I’m also not qualified enough in the subject matter to really be constructive in breaking down the details…

        • His points sound well made. But he doesn’t really address the core issues of responsibility and being informed that you so bluntly put out there. He sidesteps it saying that hacks are common and a good thing. That is debatable, but I tend to agree. Also hacks are hard to recognize and avoid, true. But is that like some excuse that makes everything OK? You hit the ultimate truth. In the end it falls to the customer.

          He doesn’t really address the problems that are growing. People are spending money and not being informed. That tends to happen in free markets. It is the job of the media in a free market to get information out, think Consumer Reports.

          When things crash he will likely be into pushing ‘victim mentality’ ideas and blaming everyone but the customer. Customers have a responsibility. It is their money and they suffer the result of a problem. When that happens there is a whole flock of people that cry and whine and avoid any personal responsibility. Leave out all this messy personal responsibility and his argument sounds pretty good.

          There are lots of debate twists in his comments that debate students will recognize. He spun the meaning of your comment to characterize it as chastising poor innocent customers that can’t possibly be informed… which is bogus but sets things up to support victim mentality and the inability of people to protect their selves, whether customer or merchant. I see it as a miss framing of the scenario. Your comment contains hard facts he doesn’t like. None of those are challenged, just excused and it is implied you shouldn’t say that sort of thing because it is not kind. Facts and natural laws are never kind nor forgiving.

          Oh… Liquid Mesh is not on the Linden “Hit List.” There is a probability that someday they MAY break it. But we cannot estimate the odds either way. It may break this year… next year… or never. We don’t know. That is the rub.

          • No, it’s not on the hit list, but Nyx’s comment was that he bears absolutely no responsibility to see that it will not break.

            Given that, there was some significant discussion about whether or not it was better for users to stop people uploading it now, in order to not have any more broken content on the grid than already exists.

            • I believe the biggest problem is in knowing whether Avatar 2.0 would actually break Liquid Mesh. Whatever is done now, is going to be done blindly based on possibilities for which we cannot calc the odds.

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