The Great Bakes-On-Mesh Debate

What is changing?

The BOM service will extend the SSA to bake textures for mesh attachments and at some point, any mesh item in Second Life. Plus, it will deliver 1024 textures in place of the current 512.

The Mesh Body/Head HUD’s we use now, will mostly be a thing of the past. New improved system-clothing layer items like we now use with classic avatars will replace the HUD’s. The skin, tat, underwear, and clothes items applied to the various layers of a mesh body will be put in new system-clothes items and worn for a mesh body just as they would be for a classic avatar.



The mesh body maker will set a flag in the mesh items that tells the system which bake texture to use; Baked_Head, Baked_Upper, Baked_Lower, Baked Hair, Baked Eyes and Baked Skirt.

When one of those textures is used for an attachment, the corresponding classic body part is flagged in the viewer to tell it not to render that part of the classic body. So, mix and match between mesh and classic is going to be a bit more complex and looks to have some limits.

The pain parts being hands and feet, because feet are part of the lower texture and hands the upper. So, if you use the Bake_Upper to texture mesh hand attachments, the hands will show and the rest of the upper body will disappear.

I use my mesh hands and body, so that isn’t a problem. The classic head uses the Bake_Head texture and when I wear my mesh body and classic head the ‘head’ texture isn’t assigned to an attached mesh. The upper and lower textures will be diverted from the classic body and applied to the mesh attachments which are flagged to use them which causes those sections of the classic avatar not to render.

So, those wearing parts, ears, tits, tails, lips, and whatever other small part may have to stay with Appliers. A lipstick using BOM with a classic head would cause the head not to render. Mixing BOM attachments and classic parts will be tricky.


This feature of BOM is lacking. Our classic avatars do NOT use materials. Our mesh bodies do. I have water drops for my mesh body that are based on SL Materials.

There are some complex issues to figure out for how to bake materials, if it is even possible, which while it likely is… is going to require more thinking and testing than the Lindens want to spend. They have been pretty good at figuring what to get out the door then wait and see what works and what is needed. Then they make a second pass. Materials for BOM is going to be that way.

I won’t lose the ability to have materials on my mesh body. But, BOM is not going to provide them. So, just as I do now, I’ll put materials on with an Applier.

More… links below.

6 thoughts on “The Great Bakes-On-Mesh Debate

  1. Thanks for trying to explain all this but I fear the people who currently don’t get it wont even take the time to try to get it, or even see anyone else’s point of view. Sometimes change gives people who want to complain an excuse to do so and reasonable people just stand in their way of achieving their goal of making everyone as miserable as they are. I wouldn’t waste any time on the naysayers as neither side ends up happy.

    Anyways, I wanted to try to understand your comments on the materials textures better. It seems like you should still be able to apply them to the same mesh surface. It would not be much different than taking an existing prim that has a base texture and then adding the normal and specular maps. You don’t need an onion skin to do that. Changing the diffuse texture does not automatically wipe the others, so if your mesh body has an option for shine or perspiration, I don’t see why that would have to change when replacing the diffuse map. If changing the BOM texture does wipe the materials or prohibits their use, I would be curious to know why.

    • I think you see it as I do. I should be able to add material to any mod-ok mesh attachment.

      The problem I am still unclear on is what happens if I have need of more than one material? Say I add a swimsuit. I don’t want my ‘skin’ water drops on top of it. So, I think the materials part is going to be complex and confusing.

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  3. Please note that the “bake on mesh” feature is not related *at all* to how avatar textures are baked (SSA/SSB or old bakes), i.e. you can use it as well in OpenSim, where textures are baked viewer-side instead of server-side.

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