Second Life Fitted Mesh Doesn’t Fit

Well… surprise, surprise…

There is an excellent thread in the Second Life™ Forum about the designer side problems of getting fitted mesh to fit. See: Blender/Avastar [Fitted Mesh]: Need help/advise with a few issues. Posted by Zakiel Windlow the problems are clearly expressed. Zakiel includes a great set of images to show the problems.

ZAkiel's Images on Fitted Mesh Problems

ZAkiel’s Images on Fitted Mesh Problems

Zakiel explained where he is coming from and what he has realized, “A few weeks ago I was using a workflow that gave me good, fast and (more or less) SAFE results:

Standard rigging and 5 or 6 sizes (or more). But I wasn’t happy, anyways. I always wanted the “fitted” mesh so all the girls could use my clothes without problems or restrictions. That was what I thought or was expecting.

Now I realize that with the fitted mesh there are restrictions too; and the workflow (for now) is harder, longer and not safe as the standard rigging. I have to check the fitting with big breasts, small breasts, big+high, big+low, small+high, small+low, big+close, big+open, big+high+close… You get the idea… And what works for 1 combination probably won’t for the other…” 

Within the thread Gaia Clary responds:

 04-17-2014 03:23 AM – edited ‎04-17-2014 03:24 AM

Regarding the shape sliders in Avastar:

Our intention is to make them work exactly similar to how they work in SL. So you can see it like this:

anything that is crappy in SL should also be crappy in Avastar, so you always know that what you see in our tool is what you finaly get in the 3D world of your choice …

For some reason this approach still fails when it comes to fitted mesh. I have an idea why that is and i am trying to fix that annoying issue. It just takes a lot longer to find the fix. Until then the shape slider system in Avastar does not work reliably with fittted mesh.

But note, weighting and exporting of fitted mesh items just works as expected, and as long as you work with classic weighting (to mBones only) also the shape sliders work as intended.

From the comments I see people are forgetting AvaStar was released for Standard Size mesh clothing making. It is now being upgraded to handle Fitted Mesh. The AvaStar people are trying to figure out how to make something that works well. As Zakiel found out there is nothing that works well for fitted mesh. I think when AvaStar is completed, at least the Fitted Mesh part, we will have a tool that allows us to see  in Blender what we will see in the SL Viewer.

As I pointed out in The State of Avastar & Fitted Mesh from the 3D modeling side of things we are NOT going to be able to fix the problem that the avatar deforms using mesh-morphs and our mesh creations deform using bone weighting, which is generally used for animation. So, the result of the two processes is never going to be the same. So, Fitted Mesh will be unlikely to ever fit precisely, which has pissed off a number of people. But, where were they when the Lab was asking for feedback?

Now it is a matter of how well can we figure out how to deal with this problem.

 

24 thoughts on “Second Life Fitted Mesh Doesn’t Fit

  1. Where were we when the Lab was asking for feedback? Most likely we were either A) Secluded in our build platforms, bitter about the lack of response to this issue after 3 years of waiting, drinking ourselves to a happy place so we can continue to design despite the odds against a solution, or B) working through therapy sessions to deal with the stress of 3 years of feedback falling on deaf ears.

    Better to ask, where the hell was the lab when masses of us were not only asking for a solution, but paying for one to be developed when they did not respond and handing it to them, gratis, so that they could implement it – only to be ignored further and then denied completely in favor of a half-baked solution which gets them off the hook while simultaneously requiring that we do much more work?

    That’s what I would like to know. We gave them 3 years worth of feedback. If we did not give them, in the end, enough feedback during the few weeks that they asked for more we should not be considered negligent. We are just burnt out on giving feedback that is ignored.

    • The number of people responding to the Lab when they were working on the Mesh Deformer was very small. So, I do find it very reasonable that the Lab decided the interest was minimal and reacted accordingly.

      While there are a million reasons why they SHOULD have known… they just aren’t realistic. We pretty well know how the the Lindens (programmers) think. The community dropped the ball and let the Lab get off course. Doing so may have been justified, probably was. It is/was frustrating. But, if someone wants something giving up does not get it.

      We can play victim and blame the Lab, but in doing so we condemn ourselves to repeating the same mistake in the future. Or we can accept or portion of the blame and learn so we may hopefully avoid a similar future problem.

      • Sorry, I refuse to take any of the blame. You had people (including me) going through the closest ‘real’ channel (ie, not the JIRA or forums) we had: going to office hours to specifically talk about mesh deformation. As usual, the Lindens played 3 monkeys while pointing at each other. Nobody can say we were not trying to communicate the issues to them.

        • Well, I can.

          I remember when I was trying to get people to provide feedback and the near total lack of support.

  2. Not sure why you all discuss about lack of response from users to LL when asking for help on Mesh Deformer. Mesh Deformer had a lot of support and even others viewers in others grids have it implemented and working. The problem here is that LL decided to use collision bones, added few bones here and there and released it in 3 days without even knowing if works properly. If we take into consideration the amount of time taken into Deformer and the so little on Fitted Mesh, I cant say that was comunity fault to not provide more info. Clearly they just wanted to take out the problem of people compaining about meshes not fitting avatars and instead of thinking on a better and more reliable idea, they again just took the idea of someone else, changed a bit and released. They didnt even had the courage of providing working rigged avatars using fitted mesh. And I do not mean the actual ones that are totally wrong rigged and guessed but good ones with a good aproximation of how they actually acts in world.

    • I don’t see your comment as accurate to actual events. For almost a year I was trying to get people to help help with the Mesh Deformer project. When I was asking Oz if he was getting help or feedback the answer was consistently; none or very little and always not enough.

      While Oz has never revealed when they decided to go to work on wrapping up the Mesh Deformer or STORM-1716 issue, about 6 months before Fitted mesh testing started how he responded to Mesh Deformer questions and availability of staff for the project changed. In my opinion he was making every effort to let the issue cool. That it did, I believe was taken as a sign. I suspect they took all the feedback they had to that point and made a decision. In this weeks Bits I am writing about Ebbe commenting on how the Lab decides what to do based on what we say and do. I think this is an example of that being implemented.

      Their courage has nothing to do with this. Even the blend file in the SL wiki is not Linden made. If you have followed my coverage of Avastar and the Mesh Deformer you know the Lab feels to a large extent most of the effort to make well fitting mesh clothes is not a project they wanted to take on but a user effort… with few users actually interested. I’ve have seen this happen twice in my time in SL. I do not see users catching on. Since they, users, are not learning from history, I expect to see the scenario replay again in some new issue.

      Continuing to blame the Lab and not take responsibility prevents the user base from being able to change things. If we want a different response, we have to send a different message.

  3. I responded to the call to go to office hours and I did exactly that. I build and script though so I was talking from the POV of consumers rather than people who make clothing. I do agree it would have been nice to have some of the people that do that though as my knowledge of clothing is ‘umm, I can make a tshirt’.

    • My point isn’t that no one cared or cares. My point is that from the Lab’s side of things it appears to be so few people care. That does not mean you didn’t. But, as part of the community just attending a meeting or two isn’t much effect.

      When attending UG meetings with Lindens, you see there are only 10 to 30 somewhat consistent attendees. Mona, Inara, I, and some others blog about the meetings. That only reaches a few thousand more people of the million that login weekly.

      I could say I am excluded from the collective ‘we’ I am writing about, as you seem to be doing. But, that would make me a victim and I would do nothing different next time. When I take responsibility and join in the collective we, my actions will be different next time. I may find a way to be more effective and not have to deal with a sort-of-failed Mesh Deformer effort.

  4. I was wondering why LL never did what Inworldz has done for fitted mesh, they have change the code on the viewers end and as long as the clothing is rigged to the default avi it has been working very well. The down fall is that the mesh item like any prim add on will not [move] with the physics of the breast or bum.

    I know I’m coming to this conversation a day late and a dollar short but i had to ask as right now trying to get the new fitted bones & the old bones to all talk to each other smoothly in Maya is driving me to drink. As i prefer to hand paint all my weights as every garment in my mind has it’s own way of “flowing” on the Avi.

    • Mesh Deformer worked with avatar physics in SL. So, I’m not sure what In-Worldz changed.

      The mBones are for animations and do work very well when we wish to animate a clothing item. I am not convinced we can just transfer the weights we used with the mBones to the collision bones and have similar movement. I have more experimenting to do and too many things to do to get to it.

      The reason for the Lab’s decision is known but most people seem not to be aware of it. The problem of the base shape used for an item was a huge problem in Linden eyes. Most designers have never understood the problem. We see the Lab trying to address the same problem again in the standard mesh CLASSIFICATIONS… It wasn’t so much technical issues as it was communication issues.

  5. I am sorry Nalates but blaming the residence for the Fitted Meshes short comings or for LL not implementing the Mesh Deformer is completely unjustified and wrong.

    There was plenty of feedback by residents for both Fitted Mesh and the Mesh Deformer. LL either didn’t want to hear it or didn’t want to allocate the proper time and funds to see the projects completed and implemented properly.

    I was very active in the Jira for Fitted Mesh and just about every idea or improvement the residents suggested was off handily dismissed by LL.

    What I believe we have is a feature that many residents wanted that LL never thought of nor wanted. It is only because a few residences paid privately to Qarl to create the original Mesh Deformer that LL gave in and did any sort of official beta testing.

    I believe that LL figured that interest in the Mesh Deformer would eventually wain so they could quietly cancel it and they waited a good two years but interest never did go away. LL management not wanting to implement any code written by Qarl saw an alternative, \Liquid Mesh\ now know as Fitted Mesh, and quickly took it putting as little time and effort into it so they could finally put this feature to bed.

    It is the only thing that makes sense to me. It explain why two years of testing for the Mesh Deformer and only a few months for Fitted Mesh. It explains why LL put so few official LL man hours into it and why they turned a deaf ear to all the feedback they were getting and why they exaggerated when they said they didn’t get enough feedback.

    I happen to believe Qarl when he says he had two inside sources that confirmed that LL would never use any code written by him. Don’t believe me listen to what he said yourself. Start listening at about 7 minutes and 55 seconds. Metareality Titled Good Solutions

    • We disagree.

      I followed the JIRA too. It was/is a mess. Even Karl, from his sarcasm, apparently thought some of the suggestions were contemptibly ignorant. I am also not surprised the Lab avoided feature creep.

      As to feedback… a considerable portion of what went into the JIRA was not feedback. Plus when the Lab was asking for feedback at specific points in time, no body was answering or helping.

      As to interest not waning… yours and mine didn’t. But, over time when the Lab asked for help a waning interest was blatantly obvious.

      I’ve known of Karl since his days at Cyan. I have no doubt your ‘quote’ is accurate. But, that does not make it true or accurate. That is Karl’s opinion. You can base opinion on opinion and personalities. But, that usually doesn’t lead to truth. It can reveal motive and bias to suggest who is spinning. One can also argue that it came true thus the statement was true. However, that is circular logic and doesn’t really prove it true.

      I agree the Lab and Oz in particular allowed things to cool. You can debate whether that was a deliberate plan or a by-product of the Lab’s limited resources. But, by saying the Lab let people forget and things die down, you defeat your own opinion that interest did not wan.

      We are likely to continue to disagree. I doubt that anyone, other than the people actually involved in the work, followed the Mesh Deformer development as closely as I did. Without significant new information I’ll remain convinced I have a cleared idea of events than most people.

  6. Your right Nalates. We both are basing our conclusions partly on opinions of others and on our own experiences working on the projects.

    Now because you and I are not privy to any direct information all we have to go on is our own opinions and we happen do disagree. Which one of us is closer to the truth who knows? The truth probably lies someplace in between.

    Let me give you some food for thought. Oz and the others Lindens who worked on Fitted Mesh and the Mesh Deformer are professionals. They were hired by LL for their expertise and experience to do a job. Those of us who to help with the beta testing were not paid and levels of expertise and experience varied greatly.

    If a is blaming for not being able to complete a project satisfactory we can come to several possible conclusions.

    ( A. ) LL management hasn’t hired the right kind of professionals with the right kind of expertise or experience for the project.

    ( B. ) LL management hasn’t allocated enough resources to the project.

    ( C. ) LL management hasn’t provided a reliable communications path between Professionals and the unpaid Volunteers.

    ( D. ) The LL management has put on the project are inept because a true professionals get the job done well and correct regardless of the how much or how little feedback they get from unpaid .

    Now which one or combinations of A. B. C. or D. is the case neither I or you can say for sure.

    In any event if LL is blaming the residents and volunteers for Fitted Mesh or the Mesh Deformers short comings that is just plain wrong and very .

    • I pretty much agree with those points. But, where do you get the idea LL is blaming users for Fitted Mesh?

  7. Sorry Nalates I tried using HTML code to insert Quote Marks in my previous reply but it didn’t work and ended up leaving out key words. So I am replacing the Quote Marks and just using all CAPs for those words in the re-submission.

  8. Your right Nalates. We both are basing our conclusions partly on opinions of others and on our own experiences working on the projects.

    Now because you and I are not privy to any direct information all we have to go on is our own opinions and we happen do disagree. Which one of us is closer to the truth who knows? The truth probably lies someplace in between.

    Let me give you some food for thought. Oz and the others Lindens who worked on Fitted Mesh and the Mesh Deformer are professionals. They were hired by LL for their expertise and experience to do a job. Those of us who VOLUNTEERED to help with the beta testing were not paid and levels of expertise and experience varied greatly.

    If a PROFESSIONAL is blaming VOLUNTEERS for not being able to complete a project satisfactory we can come to several possible conclusions.

    ( A. ) LL management hasn’t hired the right kind of professionals with the right kind of expertise or experience for the project.

    ( B. ) LL management hasn’t allocated enough resources to the project.

    ( C. ) LL management hasn’t provided a reliable communications path between PROFESSIONALS and the unpaid VOLUNTEERS.

    ( D. ) The PROFESSIONALS LL management has put on the project are inept because a true professionals get the job done well and correct regardless of the how much or how little feedback they get from unpaid VOLUNTEERS.

    Now which one or combinations of A. B. C. or D. is the case neither I or you can say for sure.

    In any event if LL is blaming the residents and volunteers for Fitted Mesh or the Mesh Deformers short comings that is just plain wrong and very UNPROFESSIONAL.

    • Of course I can make statements about those items and have them be reasonably accurate.

      When you say ‘professionals’ I suspect you a painting with a wide brush. Oz that fronted for the project on the LL side is a networking and open source guy. He admitted he had little clue what was being done with the Deformer and less about what needed to be done. The people with the knowledge needed were on other projects. I believe blaming him or the Lab without knowing his constraints and directed goals or the Lab’s priorities and projects is unfair.

      On ‘A’… We know the Lab hires people for specific tasks. Charlar was directing the mesh project and once released he was gone. SL is far too complex a system to have everyone know everything. Everyone knows LL and TPV Dev’s lack Mac experienced people. But, the number of Mac users in SL apparently do not justify the hiring of more Mac experts. That is a management call. Second guessing them without knowing management’s criteria and resource limits is unjust. I would like for them to hire a million people and do great things. Because they don’t doesn’t make them inept or dumb.

      ‘B’ – Obviously the resources were not allocated on the LL side until late in the game. But, this was NEVER a project they wanted to take on at the time. So, I’m not surprised it took a long time to get people for it. But, to try and say they SHOULD have assigned more people without knowing the factors affecting the decision is inequitable.

      ‘C’ – This is debatable. LL has provided office hours, wiki, forum, blog, and email. Short of calling people on their phone it is hard to get their attention. At best the Lab can only reach a small percentage of the SL users. Talking to a million people, of which 999,980+/- don’t care, about technical issues is no easy job. Where people are interested they do pretty well. Have you been to a TPV Dev meeting? Or Server Beta?

      Have you noticed the crack pots, wackadoodles, the ignorant, trolls, and trouble makers that pile into many subjects? I’m not sure how the Lab would communicate better than they are doing. Any mass communication will likely have any intelligent response buried in the noise. Unless you have some effective way for companies to communicate with a large customer base, C is unrealistic.

      ‘D’ – Is simply untrue. What is a real professional? I’ll assume you mean someone that knows their field and makes money exercising that knowledge. So, I would assume you would consider Wernher von Braun a professional. He blew up a bunch of rockets on the launch pad. All but one professional ball team loses the season, every year.
      I’ve worked with volunteer groups and I know ‘D’ to be untrue. Managing volunteers is the epitome of herding cats.

      So, while I do agree with most of the points A-D and that we lack the hard information to prove either of our positions, I do believe my position is more rational and realistic. You seem to have a lot of strawmen in your response.

      • When did I say Oz was to blame? We don’t know who in LL is to blame? Personally I think it is most likely middle to upper management that is to blame not Oz or his team.

        Don’t get me wrong the blame does lie with LL not the residents not with the ‘Volunteers’ who put in their own time to help beta test Fitted Mesh and or the Mesh Deformer.

        On ‘A’… As the possible or one of the possible conclusions I didn’t claim LL was inept or dumb if they hadn’t hired the right kind of employees for the projects. Just that it was a possibility why Fitted Mesh hasn’t been as successful as it should have been. Because they might not have had the right people with the right knowledge or experience working on the project.

        On ‘B’- You have said I am using a Straw Man in my response but clearly you are using one here. What ever reasoning LL used in not allocating enough resources to the projects is not relevant. Just as if you run out of gas in your car it doesn’t matter what your reasoning was for not filling up your car with enough gas. The car still ran out of gas before you reached your destination.

        On ‘C’- I never said ‘C’ was easy or that LL didn’t make an effort to communicate effectively. In ‘C’ I was just saying that if LL didn’t feel they got enough feedback that it could have been because the way they were attempting to communicate with volunteers may have been ineffective. Again this would be on LL shoulders not the volunteers. LL has the power as to when and where these lines of communications are open. The volunteers do not so they can not be blamed.

        On ‘D’- I never said ‘D’ was in fact true just that it was a possibility. A professional is anyone who gets paid to do a job and finish it. The volunteers are a tool for the professional to use to complete the job successfully even if they find that tool to be less than idea they are still responsible in getting the job done and the job done well. That is what they are getting paid for. If they can’t and it isn’t A, B, or C then D may be the case.

        I really don’t think you and I are that far apart in our take on things. We both seem to agree not enough resources were made available to Oz for the Fitted Mesh project or the Mesh Deformer. We both seem to agree that getting good communication and feedback from the volunteers was difficult. We also both seem to agree that the current state of Fitted Mesh is way less than ideal.

        Where we apparently seem to disagree is I do not believe that the volunteers hold any responsibility for the current state of Fitted Mesh and that LL is solely responsible for the state we find ourselves in while you feel the volunteers are responsible to some degree.

        • I had planned to come back to this. But, listening to Drax Radio Hour #17 provides a better counter and I think far better frames and sets a context for what happened with the Mesh Deformer. So, see: http://blog.nalates.net/2014/05/03/drax-radio-show-17/

  9. OMG, my heart almost exploded inside my chest when I found this. Thanks very much for the review. Never thought that my post could be \that interesting\.

    With that said, well, I take part of the blame:
    I left SL for 1 year or so, and when I came back and decided to create stuff seriously, I found this new \technology\ around. I never gave any feedback in the past, so I cannot complain. But I didn’t know either that these \technology\ was in development .

    So, what you can read in that post are just my first approaches or tests with something new; just trying to understand what was happening or how it would work. I had to learn Blender in days and adapt an old project to these new stuff. In addition to these \issues\, there were other problems like the X-Mirror not working. So, I was close to give up and just use the standard rigging/weighting. But, in the process, I found my way and finally, could finish that product.

    Took me almost 2 months, but I’ve learned a lot and found a few fixes for some problems:
    I did all the standard sizes + 6 extra sizes: S1, S2, S3, M1, M2, M3 (just because i’m kinda obsessed with the breast fit…). Then, once I did the standard rigging, I tested with the fitted (again), because I needed it for the bra.
    After a LOT of HANDPAINTED weights, I could get something acceptable. Then, I just transferred these weights to all the sizes and tested them. Worked but with limitations: buoyancy, cleavage limits… Physics? Yeah sure, etc.

    The same limitations, but the difference was that (now) there were a lot of sizes. So, I thought: \Ok, the sizes are there, the fitting works more or less…So, lets sell it as \semi-fitted\. Just think it as an \standard\ mesh with some extra features.\

    But, Would the customer think in the same way? JUST as an standard mesh with some extra features?

    So now, after all that process, the NEW problem to face would be the perception or expectations of the costumers towards the fitted mesh (You know, LL did a \very nice\ promotional/fictional video where THEIR fitted mesh works like a charm…). So, I didn’t want to use the word \fitted\, because it wasn’t. And dunno if naming it \semi-fitted\ is correct. I think It also raises the expectations, in a negative way.

    Dunno what will happen, but well…

    Sorry for the long and heavy reply. And forgive my English/grammar errors.
    Oh, and I almost forgot: When I get time, I’ll post my tests and results in the forum, with all the sizes. Maybe it is useful for somebody.

    PS: Great blog! Learned a lot from here in all this process. Thanks very much for that.

  10. I completely agree with Kit here. They are a business and clearly not concerned about what the community says. Other places don’t even charge creators for their uploads and such. They go to great lengths to work their business stature with the community in mind. There would be no world without these creators. The lab has become obsessed with greed so much that they are completely blind to their own failings.

    Thumbs Up Kit! The Lab dropped the ball here. In 11 years of Second Life, they STILL want to blame the community for their failings. They charge a lot for their tier and other small items. Enough that they could certainly afford to hire someone that knows what they are doing if they don’t. I’m sorry but, After creating my own open sim and seeing that it really isn’t that hard for them to program a sim into play… I was flabbergasted by the 1,000 USD and 300 a month tier. And that’s just for the larger islands. On top of all of that, they charge an annual membership fee that’s pretty steep!

    What is amazing here is that… they take other grid’s ideas, put them into some half ass play and still point the finger to someone else when they fail to implement something as basic as a mesh avatar with fluid bones.

  11. Just out of curiosity and talking about fitted mesh and blender, how do these people create the various layers inside things like breasts, butts, full avatars? Do they just make a slightly larger model for each layer? Or UV layers? I’ve always wondered about that while trying to learn and play with Blender.

    • I’m not sure how you mean ‘layers’. I guess you mean like we layer clothes in real life. In that case I suspect what you see is items made larger to fit over smaller items. Good design would eliminate the parts of covered layers not seen.

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