Yesterday Linden Lab announced an experimental and controversial project, the Fitted Mesh Viewer. They also closed the jira for the Mesh Deformer that was started by Qarl Fizz. They are attempting to adapt the approach that requires creators to rig to the collision bones. This approach was labeled as “Liquid Mesh” by Redgrave, however I know a lot of people do not like to use that term as they feel it may be misleading. So from now on, I will refer to this method as “Cbones” which is the term some creators have adapted.
Since this announcement, there has been a lot of talk on various blogs and social networks. I thought I would summarize what I have read and understood from different sources, so here goes:
- Fitted Mesh Skeletons – Creators can download the fitted mesh skeletons at that link to use in their 3D modelling programs such as Blender, Maya, etc.. I know some of them had some difficulty importing it into certain programs and they were discussing it in Siddean Munro’s plurk.
- Second Life Project Viewer for Fitted Mesh – I did download this viewer and try it out. I checked some of my previous items that were rigged to Cbones and they are working fine. I am just waiting for someone to release something new that is rigged to the new bones so I can give it a whirl.
- Fitted Mesh Post by Inara Pey – This post is very informative as she stated that Oz and Pete Linden assisted her a lot in using and understanding all this. You can also see an image of Oz Linden wearing a shirt that is rigged to the new Cbones and how it looks to her in Firestorm. Must read!
- Fitted Mesh Blender/Avastar Update – For those that use Avastar, there is an update to it that supports the new collision bones. All the details can be found in that link.
- Which is the better method, Mesh Deformer or Collision Bones? – This topic has been much debated in the last 24 hours. Will Burns says the Second Life community has Stockholm Syndrome and basically we happily let Linden Lab screw us over continuously. I can see why a lot of people may feel that way, especially with recent events, such as the big TOS debate and now this new announcement. However, after speaking to many different creators and seeing them discuss this all over different social networks and also inworld directly to me, majority of them say that they prefer the CBones method as the mesh deformer that was developed did not produce desirable results. Here are some designers and other 3D modelers declaring publicly how they feel about it:
- Adeon Writer on Twitter: “People whining about not getting the mesh deformer either A.) Aren’t 3D modelers. B.) Haven’t used it. Or C.) Don’t understand how it works.”
- Eboni Khan on plurk: “I am really happy they went the collision way since it was far superior, and it works pretty easy. and you can decide bone by bone if it conforms or not these prevent mesh destruction that you got with the deformer, and the performance issues. This is really great news.”
- Siddean Munro on plurk: “This is definitely my preferred method of the 2″ and also “it’s a case of what produces the best results and I think that the cbones will, provided we can actually work with LL to tweak some of the influences”
- Tyr Rozenblum has already started rigging to the new bones – Tyr has already started playing around with the new skeleton and has shared results on her flickr. She shares some very good points on that page, especially for those with extreme shapes. She also states on this page that she will start putting the Cbones version of her outfits in the folders once this has fully released so people can play around with it. I love that idea and am waiting to get my hands on something soon!
UPDATE: Tyr just posted this image on flickr so I had to share it, click through to her flickr for full explanation, amazing!
- Avatar Physics will work with this new mesh update – Rumor has it that this new Cbones approach will work with the physics layer so those of you that liked to see your boobs and butts bounce as you walked around pre-mesh, you shall have that again, but this time while wearing your mesh clothing.
- When will this go live? – Who knows really? They are in the testing phase and I’m sure a lot of changes will be implemented once everyone voices their opinions and findings on this jira. When it finally does hit the regular viewer, I’m sure it’ll take another 6 months to get to Firestorm. Look how long Materials took? So we still have lots of time for that, but the wheels are definitely in motion.
Am I happy about this new approach? I admit, I absolutely am. The clothing I am wearing in this post is all a standard size small in mesh. In order to get into this size, I had to change my shape quite a bit when mesh was first introduced to the grid. So does this make me a sheep and a desperate Linden Lab fangirl? Possibly, I do always try to look on the positive side of things. But in all honesty, I was not one of the people that contributed to the funding of the mesh deformer, so I’m not too upset that it was not implemented.
I have already tried and blogged items that were rigged to Cbones: Bax Liquid Mesh Boots and the Hucci Akita Boots and I really liked the fact that they were so easy to work with and didn’t distort at all for me. I even made a video in both of those posts showing in detail how I was able to fit them to my shape. I like this method because I’m familiar with it and saw it working well with my own eyes.
So yes, definitely happy about this new project and looking forward to seeing how it goes and what the talented Second Life community does with it.
*Skin: al vulo- Ewa* natural dark brow bronze by Hlin Bluebird (flickr)
*Hair: Exile::Erase and Rewind (L) by Kavar Cleanslate
*Coat: coldLogic coat – golding.mesa (S) by coldLogic
*Boots: ::HH:: Hucci Tottori Boots – Midnight (S) by Eboni Khan (@ Collabor88)
*Bag: ANE Barrington Bag BLACK/red (mesh) by Anemysk Karu
*Scarf: DRIFT Chunky Scarf [MESH] Female by Kallisto Destiny
*Mesh Hands: Slink Avatar Enhancement Hands – Relaxed by Siddean Munro
*Poses: Diesel Works by Rogan Diesel
Location: Dawn of Radiance (It’s my Friday Find!)