It’s not quite as volatile a subject as politics or religion, but it’s certainly up there with appropriate hotdog toppings.
Don’t even get me started on people who put ketchup on hotdogs. If there isn’t mustard and onions, it isn’t a hotdog.
Mesh has a lot going for it. My limited budget doesn’t allow me to buy very many of the new mesh clothing items, but when Jane’s had a sale a while back I treated myself to a few dresses and I’m thrilled with them. The absolute best part of wearing mesh is how it moves with your avatar. No more funky stretched or twisted textures when your AO moves, no more showing glitchpants when you sit or dance in a dress. Pictures can’t really capture how great mesh looks in motion, I should have taken a video. If I’m walking around wearing a mesh dress, guaranteed I’m looking at my own ass. It’s freaking fabulous. Having said that, there were a few complications.
If you haven’t worn mesh yet, I can’t stress enough that you should try on demos. Even if other mesh has worked for you, even if other items from that creator fit, always always try a demo. You’ll save yourself a lot of frustration and buyer’s remorse.
Mesh clothing also usually has to be worn with an alpha that basically makes your body invisible on the parts that will be covered. This doesn’t make sizing perfect though so many mesh items are sold with several size options. Still, even then it’s not a guarantee any will fit you properly.
Many sizes are too small, and even with the alpha, you’ll have body parts sticking out.
If mesh is too big, you get weird gaps. Normally, in real life, a gap in a shirt isn’t so bad. Free boob flashing right? Not in these cases though because remember you are wearing the alpha. All you get is a void.
If you aren’t using a mesh viewer, and honestly I can’t even think of any current ones that aren’t mesh enabled so it would have to be one of the older versions, but if you aren’t using a mesh enabled viewer it will just look like a mishapen blob to you. I remember once I standing on a sim taking photos and this guy kept bumping into me. So I said excuse me, and moved out of his way. Speaking must have gotten his attention because he quickly apologized and said he had been trying to sit on me because he thought I was a cube. Now, that might have been the lamest pick up line in Second Life, or maybe I did look like a cube, either way if you are using a viewer that can’t see mesh I suggest you update to avoid these potentially uncomfortable social situations.
Having said that, it’s becoming more and more common that I meet people who ARE on viewers that should be able to see mesh, but they don’t. All they see is a void. I recently had that experience myself. The mesh is just missing, all you see is the alpha. Something like this.
If this happens to you don’t panic. There are a few solutions that can help.
1) Make sure basic shaders are enabled. I know for some with older computers this will kill their FPS and SL will become difficult, but on some of the viewers you will not see mesh if your shaders are not on.
2) Go to Advanced – Debug Settings and find MeshMaxConcurrentRequests and increase this. Your default is probably 32 and you want to double this to at least 64. I’ve heard of one person who set it to 300, but I keep mine at 100 and haven’t had a problem since. I’m no technical expert, but my understanding is your viewer’s ability to see mesh can get “full”, like a cache of sorts I guess. As more and more mesh hits the grid, the default MeshMaxConcurrentRequests is proving to be too small to handle what we see and sooner or later our viewer just stops showing us mesh. Increasing this helped me a lot.
This has worked for most of the people I recommended it to, at least for mesh clothing. There have been a few exceptions, but those seem to be for those on Phoenix. You can have similar issues with mesh objects, like buildings, but the suggestions above usually fix it. If it doesn’t, another suggestion I was given is to update your drivers.
Now that you can see mesh again, we’re back to the sizing issue. I don’t consider my avatar very big, in fact the one I use most often to do this blog is the thinnest of all my characters, but even so the smallest sizes never fit me, not even with shape tweaks. The largest often have gaps that distract me, but other times they don’t fit either. Honestly I give SL a momentary dirty look when I have to wear sizes called “Plump” and it still doesn’t fit. Come on, can we just call the sizes A, B, C, D? Anyway, too big, too small, none are ever just right. I sound like goldilocks now don’t I?
My solution is to find the closest fitting size that isn’t too big and then adjust my shape. Usually this just means shrinking my boobs and butt a little bit, just until they don’t poke out of my clothes. It’s not that big a deal I guess, no different then when I had a skirt shape with no butt. I just keep copies of my shape for the different meshes.
Ta-da! Just right.
For all the great things about mesh, there is one that I don’t think we’ll ever solve. One that my partner mentions regularly.
It’s killed the upskirt view.
The fabulous dress I tortured in this post is called tankdress.crush.marine from Jane http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Zyrra/116/150/23
The hair? I know it’s cute right! It’s called Bunny and was a gift from the Truth Subscribo over Easter while I was out of town. I cried when I came back and saw it on the feeds. I have 50 billion pigtails and yet as soon as I saw this style I knew it was the one I *had* to have. Luckily it’s still in the subscribo at Truth, just go to the store, click to redeliver. You get a box with the whole fat pack, every color, but be careful when you rez it. Open, don’t buy. For some reason it’s set to 1750L even though it was sent as a gift.