A quick lesson in Mesh Body Fitmesh Clothing – Know what you're buying!

Najwa Bed

So many moons ago (okay not that long ago), mesh clothing was introduced into SL. In order to make mesh clothing, designers established a ‘sizing’ system (Standard Sizing), because essentially, mesh clothing was static, so you had to start somewhere right? Now mesh clothing was ‘rigged’ (anchored to the body somewhere, otherwise you’d walk off and leave your dress behind!) but that’s about it.

Now we’ve evolved into fitmesh, and even mesh body fitmesh, but what do they mean?

For the normal SL avatar, fitmesh is basically a mesh clothing item that is ‘anchored’ to the body in many places, and more so, these ‘anchor’ points tell the dress to stretch wherever the designer tells it to (breasts, butt, legs etc etc) when the shape sliders are used. Now this is not a perfect science, but it works for the most part very very well, depending on how many ‘anchor’ points the designer gives that clothing item. For example, it may be fitted to adjust to your breast size, but not your torso size, so when the torso slider is moved, the avatar will break through the dress in those places. For this reason, alphas are still used most of the time really.

Now we have mesh bodies. Mesh bodies *are* fitted to cover the SL body (mostly), so basically you’re wearing an outfit (of a body) on your sl avatar! The problem is, the shape that you become once you wear a mesh body is *very* different to the sl avatar shape – arms may be lower, breasts/butts almost always bigger – so you’re basically wearing foam shaped like a gorgeous woman (or man) on your avatar, and standard sizing was not developed to cover these shapes. That’s why we have alpha HUDS.

So here enters what I call ‘Fitmesh for Mesh Bodies’ (Fitmesh for Maitreya, Fitmesh for Eve etc.). These are mesh clothes that *have* been designed to cover the Mesh Body you’re wearing. The problem is, for designers to make these, they require the designers to essentially hand over all the ‘outside of SL’ file that they used to create the mesh body. This is very risky business, especially for the designer who took however long to create it. The risk is high of theft, or someone using their technology to create a competing mesh body – and that’s just unthinkable to someone who spent a year of their life working on it. Now slowly designers are finding ways of giving ‘certain’ information types without giving away the whole farm, but it will take time before it’s common practice to hand over your mesh body hard files to clothing designers.

As a result of this issue, many mesh clothing designers are still creating mesh clothing using the SL Avatar, but are stretching/moving/adjusting the item so that when it’s worn on a mesh body, it works like fitmesh for that mesh body. To me this is amazing, and I can’t speak highly enough of those who find a way to do this, but for the mesh body user, it becomes a problem to distinguish what really is ‘fitmesh for mesh bodies’ and what is ‘an attempt at fitmesh for mesh bodies’. The main difference for you will be that legitimate Fitmesh for Mesh Bodies will fit perfectly to your mesh body, and react/move with your shape sliders. Attempts at fitmesh for mesh bodies will likely do the same, but may have one or two ‘trouble spots’ that require you to use your Alpha HUD.

The dress I’m wearing above is a great example of an Attempt at Fitmesh for Maitreya – the dress works perfectly with my shape, however there is breakthrough in the arm area. Unfortunately, no matter how small I reduce my torso muscles, the arm pokes through, and sadly, the sleeve doesn’t match up with the Alpha HUD cuts (which means I’m either going to have a disembodied arm, or put up with the poke-through) which is a shame, but it may work for your body so always, always demo!

Still awake? Good because if you are, here is my point. Designers attempting fitmesh most of the time don’t advertise the item as being ‘maitreya compatible’ and the like (sometimes they do, sometimes they do). I’m assuming those that don’t have made their clothing of their own accord without any feedback from the mesh body designer at all, I’m not sure, but this makes it almost like a ‘treasure hunt’ to find fitmesh for mesh bodies! In light of that, I’ve decided to follow the lead of my favourite blogger, Strawberry Singh, who does a wonderful weekly ’round up’ of what she’s found around SL that week, and adapt it into a weekly blog that outlines what I’ve found fitmesh wise for that week! That way, all you have to do is check out my blog each week and you’ll find the hidden gems I’ve come across. If you can think of a name for it that’s not a million miles long, leave a comment I’d love to hear it! Can we just shorten the term ‘mesh bodies’? Maybe ‘Mebo’s’? Anyone? No-one? Okay 🙁

Now designers, feel free to send me your item pictures to be included in this weekly blog, just be aware it is Fitmesh for Mesh Bodies ONLY, with a primary focus on the bodies my readers use most often, Belleza, Maitreya and Slink Physique.

Think I should include others? Let me know! <3

He loves me, he loves me not in:
Mesh Body – Lara by Maitreya
Skin – Lucy 1 by Glam Affair 
Hair – Lithium by Mithral (at Collabor88)
Dress – V Neck Dress Red by Bueno (at Fameshed)
Shoes – Statice Heels by Glamistry (Maitreya, Belleza and Slink sizes)

I’m comfy on:
Bed – Najwa Lovers Divan by {RW} (Available at Fresh (by ROMP) event)

0 thoughts on “A quick lesson in Mesh Body Fitmesh Clothing – Know what you're buying!

  1. I feel like the first part of this explanation is too simplified to really give an understanding.
    The SecondLife avatar body has a skeleton that consists of bones. Animations move our bones so we can walk, run, jump and dance. Our avatar skin is attached at anchor points to the bones with a weighting how much several bones influence one part of our skin, so our skin flows neatly around the bones. This is called “rigging” and it is a little complicated.
    The old clothing is just a layer on our skin and so it changes in size and moves with our skin.
    Sculpties are just simplified inflexible meshes. It was tried to attach them at one part of our body and use it for clothing and it is ok for hats or stiff attachments (I don’t name them here 😉 ) But because they are inflexible, in case of using them for dresses, trousers, tops then our arms and legs always break through the clothes. So it was rarely used for clothing but there are some skirts out there.
    There is no principal difference between “mesh” and “fitmesh”. Mesh is attached to the anchor points at the bones and moves with them like our skin does. But it has no connection to our skin, so if the clothes are rigged differently from our skin, then they move differently, so we may see the skin peek through the clothes. With introduction of “alpha-layers” as skin-clothes that makes our skin invisible, many clothes designers became lazy and did not care about the form of our skin and the right rigging.
    Normal rigged mesh adjusts to your height, your hips width and so on. But there are soft parts of the body where it does not adjust, because there are no real bones in the real world and so there were no bones in SecondLife. For the first mesh clothes you had to change your body for each piece of clothing. That is the reason that standard sizing has been defined for slim bodies with low fat (XS) or ones with plenty of fat (XL) – but a body could still be small in size and width or broad in all standard sizes.
    Many people cried out about not wanting to be a “Standard Size”. LindenLab heard the cries and thought about alternatives (for example computing the collisions between body skin and clothes and stretching the clothes automatically or everybody twiddles with editing the cloth meshes for their soft parts). They took the easy way that does not need much user abilities and not much computer processing power while allowing a dynamic body with swinging soft parts. They defined new additional “Bones” for your fat, your muscles, your breasts, stomach, ass and so on. Fitmesh just takes the anchors of these additional bones with the right weighting into account to stretch the clothes at the right places – not an easy task. With “physics” these new bones also swing on your movements so e.g. your breasts swing happily 😉 Sadly many mesh clothing designers were already unable to cope with the normal bones (remember: to many alphas) and never managed to use the new “bones”, so fitmesh did not have a break through.

    The other parts of the article explain everything very well. Thank you so much for these explanations!

    I like the new word Mebo, would be nice if it would be accepted. I think fitmesh is so little accepted by designers that also hints to fitmesh for the normal avatar body would be nice.


    • Hi Miri – Wow good on you for taking the time to explain that! I was trying to keep it simple (I create mesh clothing myself) because it’s such a complex subject, but I feel many people find it difficult to understand where designers are coming from so I tried to paint a simplistic picture without giving so much information their heads explode (mine almost did when I learnt it). Thank you for giving more information though, I’m sure many readers will find it really helpful 😀

      Oh and yay, one on board for “MeBo’!

      • You are welcome, Your post is great, I always hope some people are interested to understand what happens when turning the switch 😉 I hope my little extension will help more people to understand the background and that things like rigging are in fact as old as SecondLife is 😉

  2. All suggestions sound really nice and I love both explanations here! I’m not sure if Besh (Body mesh) would work or not, however, I thought I would toss that in the mix as well. Lovely photo, lovely post! xoxo

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