Strawberry Singh published an article asking questions about Liquid Mesh. Several people are answering and some are asking more questions. See: Hucci Akita Boots & Questions regarding “Liquid Mesh”. In many cases the questions come from ambiguous terms used in the discussion.
Strawberry made a video to demonstrate what she was seeing and asking about.
The boots are gorgeous.
They are ‘Liquid Mesh.’ The precise technical language is to say the boots are rigged to the collision bones. For most SL users that is meaningless jargon.
Redpoly is the first person I know to use this method to rig clothes. So, for a time it was Redpoly rigging. If you are Redgrave, putting Redpoly’s brand name on your stuff is not smart marketing. Liquid Mesh is somewhat brand neutral. It is a smart marketing technique. Now it is a fairly well known term for mesh clothing that adapts to your shape, as is Molten Mesh.
Is there a correct term for this type of rigging? No. You can be technically precise and communicate poorly. Or you can ignore technical precision and communicate something people will understand. I’ll stick with using Liquid, Molten, or whatever Mesh term conveys a meaning people can understand and remember. Plus Google can find the term Liquid Mesh for us because it is very Second Life™ specific.
There is no other technique I know of that is in Second Life that adapts a mesh to your shape. There is the Mesh Deformer, but it is currently not in SL. So, anything that adapts to your shape is using collision bone rigging.
I haven’t tried it, but I think Avastar allows you to easily rig to the collision bones. That may explain why it is becoming so popular.
The boots are not using materials. They appear to be using a nicely painted diffuse texture and no specular map.
But are they Materials Ready? That probably depends on what one means by materials ready. I am sure the term has a specific meaning for strawberry. But, that is not a technically precise term that eliminates ambiguity.
I wrote about people building for ALM-E and ALM-D: Advanced Lighting Model - Enabled/Disabled. See: More on Second Life Mesh.
Technically any mesh object in SL is Materials Ready, meaning you can use materials on any mesh item, clothes, furniture, buildings, rocks… anything. So, the boots are Materials Ready in that respect.
If the boots are Mod-OK and the merchant included the UVMaps with the product, then the customer could add materials to the boots. I would consider that more Materials Ready.
Rather than describe a product made using materials as Materials Ready, I would say something along the line: Uses SL Materials – For use with ALM enabled viewers. I think that, while wordy, describes what is meant. Those that have even a rudimentary understanding of what the SL Materials will understand it. I expect a more creative person to come up with nice marketing term that describes this as well as Liquid Mesh describes rigging to collision bones.
Will Liquid Mesh Break?
I have been so misquoted… The factual answer is we do not know.
The haters say the Lab is mean and will deliberately break Liquid Mesh items to spite users. I think that shows the haters are out of touch with reality.
Strawberry believes the Lab will never break Liquid Mesh items. Like most belief systems there is little proof either way. We base beliefs on our personal experience and available information. So, Strawberry is entitled to believe as she decides.
Is there any factual information on which to decide? No. We do know that SL users want the skeleton that the avatar is based on redone. If the Lab decides to redo the avatar, the skeleton and most likely the collision bone system will change.