Using a Mesh Body can sometimes leaving you feeling like you’ve fallen down the rabbit hole – and now you’re stranded in Wonderland! Well, I can relate to that, so below I’ve compiled some Frequently Asked Questions that land in my inbox, hopefully you’ll find a solution here! 🙂
FAQ & TROUBLESHOOTING MESH BODIES
1) What is Omega?
Omega appliers were created to be ‘universal appliers’, meaning, you could buy a clothing item with only one applier in it (omega), and know it would work on your body. This works by utilising the standard Second Life uv maps (which are maps that tell the textures where to go, in simple terms). This means that the designer of your body/head has managed to use the standard SL UV layout on their head/body, thus making it ‘Omega compatible’. This saves time for designers, because they only have to make one applier and know that it will work on most mesh bodies, rather than making a different applier for every mesh body out there. This has worked very well, with most mesh body creators agreeing to make their bodies ‘omega compatible’ however The Mesh Project has declined to do so. Other bodies, like Belleza, Maitreya, SLink, Eve, Adam, Lena, Banned, Perfect Body – are all Omega compatible.
So how do you use an Omega applier? Well it’s no different to any other applier (ie. you attach the HUD then click the ‘apply’ button and the clothing appears), however you may need to ‘activate’ the Omega in your body first, depending on what type you use. By going to Omega headquarters, you can join their free group and purchase the applier for your body. Depending on your body, you may have to rez your body and drag/drop the script in, or open the installer HUD and hit ‘install’, or in the case of Maitreya, wear a relay HUD when you want to use Omega appliers. Some bodies like Lena, you don’t have to do anything at all. After that, you can buy any outfit that has Omega appliers, which opens your range a lot.
2) What’s the big deal with ‘fitmesh?’ What does that even mean?
Okay first let’s look at what ‘standard mesh’ is.
Standard Mesh is the standard sizing mesh clothing you find in most stores. You will most likely find that your body will ‘break through’ the standard mesh because the mesh body *isn’t* the same shape as the standard SL Avatar (and because most standard SL avatars break through them anyway), so this is where your Alpha HUD becomes necessary, to hide parts of your body. Standard mesh is mostly rigged, which means it’s attached to your body at a certain point or points (imagine imaginary anchors holding the clothes on your body at the shoulders, stomach and hips for example). Now standard mesh (rigged or not) is solid, which means it doesn’t stretch with your body, it just warps as you move a little.
Fitted Mesh is mesh that is made to stretch, grow/shrink and move with an avatar. Standard fitted mesh (that is, fitmesh that does *not* have a specific size for a mesh body) is fitted to the SL default system avatar. This means that the garment will move with your sliders, but if you’re wearing a mesh body, because mesh bodies and system bodies are different shapes, you will find it difficult to make standard fitted mesh fit you.
Speciality Fitted Mesh – eg. Fitmesh for Maitreya or Fitmesh for Belleza – this type of fitmesh has been created by a designer and specifically fitted to your mesh body. What does that mean? Well it means that (depending on how well the creator has ‘fitted’ it to your body) it should fit your mesh body, irrespective of your size/shape! Now this isn’t a perfect science, because mesh clothing creators need certain models from each mesh body creator to make ‘perfect’ fitmesh for their body, and many creators do not give this out. For this reason, many designers are ‘eyeballing it’ or just plain doing their best to make the garmet be the closest fit it can be for your body. So always demo demo demo and remember, creators doing this are doing their best. It’s incredibly difficult to do, and I say good on them for giving it a go!
3) My HUD isn’t working/isn’t responding/won’t detach
- Are you in a sim that allows you to run scripts? (Note – some sandboxes/shops/sims don’t allow scripts to be used, and your HUD requires that to work).
- Have you tried to detach and reattach the HUD? If the HUD won’t detach, odds are it’s ‘stuck’, which means you have reboot your viewer to fix it.
4) I was wearing applier pants/a top/whatever when I teleported, but now that I’ve landed it’s gone!?
This is typically a result of wearing two or more appliers on layers that overlap each other (for example – wearing stockings on the underwear layer, and high waisted shorts on the clothing layer). In summary, each of these clothing items has transparency in them (alpha) and that causes a graphics issue which results in one layer partially or fully becoming transparent against the other. To fix this, if your mesh body has a ‘mask mode’ function, you can try using that on your shorts/pant layer. It will reduce the quality of the textures, but at least you’ll have pants when you land! Otherwise, it’s generally safer to stick to one layer at a time.
5) I’m try to apply skin/a top/pants/whatever and it won’t show on my body when I press ‘apply’!
- Are you in a sim that allows you to run scripts? (Note – some sandboxes/shops/sims don’t allow scripts to be used, and appliers require that to work).
- Are you using the correct applier for your body? (ie. a Maitreya applier for a Maitreya body)
- Are you using an Omega applier? If so, is Omega installed in your body (not all bodies have this included out of the box, Belleza for example requires you to buy the Omega Installer, then press the ‘Install’ button to put the scripts in the body. Don’t forget, if you update your body, you’ll need to do this process again!), or do you have the relay HUD on (for bodies like Maitreya you must wear the relay HUD any time you want to apply Omega items)?
6) My body has weird shadows on it/looks really strange!?
For Mesh Bodies to render correctly, you must have ‘Hardware skinning’ enabled in your settings, or it will look like you’re deflating. For Firestorm users you can find this setting in your Preferences – Graphics tab (tick the box that says’ hardware skinning’). This basically allows some aspects of avatar rendering to be handled by your graphics card, which increases performance, especially for heavy render items like mesh bodies. For 99% of people, this must be ticked for mesh bodies to ‘look’ correct.
7) My mesh body has cracks through it, like little lines of light or ‘cracks’ around the alpha cuts?
This is typically a Level of Detail issue. Mesh bodies require a lot of rendering power, so sometimes they can look broken (or even mushed up!). The first thing to do is to make sure that in your Preferences – Graphics tab, you have your ‘Level of detail’ set to 4. This should fix most issues, however sometimes if you cam away from your avi, or when you teleport, you might find your mesh body/head becomes distorted. If this happens (and your Level of Detail is at 4), open your ‘outfits’, look at the ‘wearing’ tab and right click – edit on your mesh body/head. This will bring up the ‘build’ menu that lets you move objects/resize them etc (not that you can with a mesh body because it’s rigged) but just do nothing for a few seconds, then close out of it. That will force your graphics card to focus on your mesh body for a moment, giving it enough power to load properly.
Now keep in mind, just because you look distorted to you, doesn’t mean you do to everyone else. Similarly, you may look fine to you, but if the person looking at you doesn’t have their Level of Detail set high enough, or has a slower graphics card, you’ll look weird to them. That’s life on the grid!
I hope this has helped one or two of you!