Second Life’s Mesh Bodies and Clothes

When the new mesh avatars for new users were first released (5/15) many were concerned about what would happen when someone using one of those bought ‘system’ (e.g., shirt, pants…) clothes and tried to wear them. As was expected we are starting to hear from people about that problem in the SL Forum.

Second Life 2014

Second Life 2014

If new people find the forum they have a chance. But, the Knowledge Base is out of date (example: Controlling your avatar’s appearance), the SL Wiki is out of date (example:  Appearance), and almost any place you look the information fails to make any mention of the difference between ‘Classic’ avatars and ‘People’ or Vampire avatars. If you don’t know, those are the selections new users are going to see when signing up now.

Try searching the SL Wiki for ‘classic’. It’s not happening. If you go for a search on people avatars or vampire avatars you’ll still fail to find an explanation. Ask a question  in Answers… many of the regulars answering questions are still handing out the old answers seemingly never thinking that the person may be wearing a ‘People’ avatar.

The Commerce Team came out with a post in April (reference) hoping to make it easier to figure out which clothes to buy so they fit. That post is in regard to the posting of: Buying clothing that fits your avatar. I have to wonder why search can’t find this UNLESS you search on the exact terms in the KNOWLEDGE BASE. You can’t get to the article from the Answers section of the forum… OMG!

Have you tried explaining to someone what the difference is between the system or classic avatar and the new mesh avatars? And try to do that without using SL jargon. Some SL experienced people have no knowledge of how 3D modeling works and are ignorant of the terms used in that field. All they can do is use SL jargon. Try telling someone that has been modding for Elder Scrolls that the classic avatar is not mesh… that going to get really confusing.

Solution

I don’t know of an easy one. I think the core solution is to get SL search fixed so things actually work, but we’ve talked about that for years. I hope someone at the Lab is talking to Google about how to set up the new world so that search works with it. I doubt Second Life search will ever work.

Next is getting the SL Wiki up to date. We users can do that. I need to write a new tutorial on making clothes. But, I’ll be moving and off line for 2 or 3 weeks starting next week. So, for a time I’ll be out of touch. After that I’ll decide which things I can do.

Then there is the Knowledge Base. We can submit information to the Lindens for publication in the Knowledge Base. That saves them creating it and may get it out there sooner. In Answers… well, I write a good answer, save it in a document and paste it in each time someone asks the same question… over and over… and over…

It would be nice to see the Lab focus on getting this mess in the information flow cleaned up.

4 thoughts on “Second Life’s Mesh Bodies and Clothes

  1. It is hard to see this whole mixup getting clarified before SL2 arrives. But then perhaps that is the point (hopefully not deliberately). In SL2 we will be back to a single avatar “type” and a single clothing format that always just works.
    Of course I could be very wrong on either account — any bets?

    • I’ll bet we have a wide range of avatars in SL2 along with custom skeletons. But, I also expect that in one sense they will all be the same. Just as in RL we all lern that not all clothes fit and we much pick and choose, so too we will in SL2. In SL1 the change is confusing. I expect less confusion in SL2.

  2. If it wasn’t for Blogs like this I probably wouldn’t know diddly and in effect not even USE SL. Wouldn’t you have to actually use the World etc. to know the problems and/or possibilities and I wonder if LL employees do other than whatever their particular job is. Maybe LL should schedule employees to actually go In-world with alts and try to do what the users are doing and trying to do. I only see the limitations when I actually trying to do something (usually out of the box) which is also the case with nearly everyone I know. Usually we try some jiggery pokery to get a facsimile of what we want. The “users” are actually an inventive lot but for new users will they stick around long enough to figure out “problems”. Especially if they are buying clothes that don’t fit.

    • I agree. If users were not explaining things and making tutorials, there would be far fewer people figuring out and using SL.

      By having Lindens try to do something, aka Linden Realms, we got (are getting) the Experience Tools. Also, Lindens are apparently less restricted from being in world.

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