fitted mesh

After Linden Lab CEO Ebbe Altberg appeared at the VWBPE sporting a new fitted mesh avatar, there has been a period of anticipation and speculation as to when these new avatars would hit the grid. Finally, on Thursday, May 15th, the Lab announced their availability – 24 new avatars in total, available through the Avatar Selector, both for new users and existing ones. The announcement reads:

Today, we’re updating Second Life’s default avatar options with 24 brand new mesh avatars. You may have spotted a sneak peek at a few of these as Lindens tried them out recently, and starting today, you can start using them yourself!

These avatars are designed to give new users a more appealing set of choices as they start their time in Second Life. Based on the most popular avatars picked at registration, these new options are much better-looking and take advantage of technology incorporated into Second Life over the past year (like fitted mesh and materials) for a more modern feel.

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Fitted Mesh, the method that Linden Lab chose to enable content creators to produce rigged mesh garments that will better fit our avatars, has been officially released, as the Fitted Mesh project viewer, which was in release candidate status up until now, has been promoted to be the main release version as of February 10, 2014.

Linden Lab’s announcement reads:

Today, we’re happy to announce that Fitted Mesh is available in the main Second Life Viewer! As we’ve previously blogged, Fitted Mesh gives Second Life content creators the power to craft mesh garments that make avatars look their absolute best. We’d like to thank the vibrant community of creators for their thoughtful feedback and help testing this feature.

For more information, check out the video below, then update your Viewer to the latest release and get creative with Fitted Mesh!

The announcement also includes a video narrated by Torley Linden.

For more information on Fitted Mesh and the Mesh Deformer, please visit the links provided below.




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UPDATE: Nalates Urriah pointed out that the Mesh Deformer did in fact support avatar physics, so I have updated the post accordingly.

In keeping with my habit of always being in arrears when it comes to discussing important issues, this post comes quite some time after the Fitted Mesh project viewer was announced on November 20th, much to (I believe) everybody’s surprise. Personally, I didn’t expect them to move forward with any technique that would change the current state of affairs regarding fitting rigged mesh clothing to our avatars. Before I continue, I’ll need to summarise the situation as it’s been so far.

It appears that, when LL decided to introduce mesh and rigged mesh, they didn’t expect fashion designers to take advantage of this technique to use it for avatar apparel, accessories and components. So, much to everyone’s frustration, they no provision was made to make rigged mesh clothing fit the avatar regardless of its shape. Furthermore, avatar physics didn’t play nice with rigged mesh, because of the way things have been implemented so far. This meant that:

  • Rigged mesh is not resizeable and you have to modify your avatar’s shape in order to make it fit the garment.
  • Even so, alpha layers are necessary to hide various body parts inside the garment’s mesh.
  • If you use avatar physics (for bouncy boobs and butt), these parts will bounce through the mesh garment.

To make matters worse, early rigged mesh garments were often made by their designers to fit certain shapes that they thought looked good while designing the clothing. This meant that customers often needed to change their avatar shapes drastically, leading to a fair dose of frustration. To alleviate the problem, several content creators got together and decided to standardise things a bit by establishing a standard sizing system, which has been adopted practically by every SL fashion designer making rigged mesh clothing ever since. However, this was not a panacea, and I’m sure the designers behind this system knew it all along.

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