Standard Sizing Package For mesh Clothing Design; Good or Bad Idea, or a Bit of Both?

Still need to do some edits to this… There’s a lot of argument (hardly debate, more rantish most of the time) against the ideas of standard scales and proportions for avatars. Folks often pick a horridly distorted shape, or make one for sale; and then become attached to defending that choice when made aware of its problems. Others choose a ‘fun-house mirror look’ on purpose, for effect – but these folks tend to actually know what they’re looking at, and have purposeful distortions designed for a specific intent.

Various arguments have formed over what can be done, or even if anything should be done, to address this.

Mesh now complicates the whole feud – due to the lack of its ability to ‘auto fit’ some shape dials, while perfectly matching others… Or in short; mesh will auto size itself to any height, limb length, or body width. But if your ‘bust-waist-hips’ fail to match the model used to make the mesh clothing, you’re out of luck.

Go shopping for mesh clothes and you’ll discover that this is rapidly dissolving into exactly the chaos people predicted when they warned of the problems of Linden Lab not including a deformer… There’s a motley variety of dimensions to clothes on the market, and the labels are near meaningless. Small from brand A is ‘the fat lady sings’ in the eyes of brand B… And even if two brands match for waist and hips, they might have very different ideas of bust…

I’ve read a little bit on the idea of starting a standard, and have been somewhat critical of it in past topics. Still not convinced, for some reasons noted below. But it also may be the only real solution we have unless and until Linden Lab decides to grace us with the “gift” of including the code community members had to fund a third party contractor former Lab employee to make without any guarantees it would even be adopted… That deformer… the sort of thing that really should have been a ‘cannot ship mesh without’ line in the sand element. This is the kind of lack of core feature that in most development communities, management should have laid down the law and put people’s jobs on the line to get in there before Mesh was released.

I’m ranting…

Ok, so, the above in mind, I stumbled across something interesting last night while looking for a completely different thing on Marketplace (I was looking for an SL version of a Bobo Shanti turban hat for a female Rastafarian – which is NOT those touristy hippie tam things – and that somehow landed me here after giving up on search and just hitting a few random browse buttons.)

Someone on marketplace is attempting to develop a standard sizes fashion system. 5 sizes based on these dimensions:

Medium:
Body Fat: 11
Torso Muscle: 38
Breast Size: 58
Love Handles: 31
Belly Size: 6
Leg Muscle: 56
Butt Size: 44
Saddle Bags: 36

Small:
Body Fat: 7
Torso Muscle: 35
Breast Size: 52
Love Handles: 28
Belly Size: 3
Leg Muscle: 50
Butt Size: 38
Saddle Bags: 33

The ‘package’ is a freebie with 5 shapes, that I assume have those numbers alongside the other values – the notion being that you just need to stay close to the dimensions here and any mesh clothes made for it will fit you.

It also comes with a long notecard explaining the objectives of the project, which seems a very noble goal. Some anticipated concerns are answered, such as ‘what if my shape doesn’t match these numbers’.

Finally, it has a download link to a zip file of some mesh objects – bodies to load into a 3D application to use for building clothes to match.
– I need to learn how one takes the SL avatar mesh out of SL and into a 3D app, to see how this part was done.

– The problem is they have 3 sizes under M, and only 1 above it; which is way above it. Some of the reviews on Marketplace have slammed the project for this. I would say it needs at least 1 more size in between M and L.

Note how the dimensions are basically bust-waist-hips related. Not height. Also not ‘Thickness’. That’s because mesh doesn’t care about height or limb length or avatar thickness; it rescales to those automatically, but not to these other things.

But it is missing cleavage which is extremely important. That said, its something that in RL adjusts depending on what you wear anyway, so no one has any business complaining a clothing item fails to match their cleavage setting, unless they’ve never seen a real woman’s body. 😉
– Honestly no ‘breast’ setting should seen as something to get attached to. Its the nature of wearing or not wearing clothes that it ‘mashes up’ the soft tissue there. Folks just need to get used to changing the dials for that part of the body to fit their outfit, because anytime you put something on in RL, that’s exactly what happens to you.

The standard sizes ‘team’ claims to have surveyed 500 female avatars, but I see no link to a blog or to the survey for it to be checked for accuracy. While 500 is a valid sample size (anyone who has actually studied polling at a university level knows this) – the question that is more important is how were they selected… Again, never saw any forum post or group notice or blogs announcing it. But maybe I just missed them. So the product should link to them.

Curiously M and S are very similar to my own dimensions for those parts.

Me:

Body Fat: 3
Torso Muscle: 37
Breast SIze: 50
Love Handles: 29
Belly Size: 0
Leg Muscles: 50
Butt Size: 45
Saddle Bags: 30
– So I’m going to test some items made with this system and see how well it works for me.

I’m also wondering now if my avatar has a bit of a ‘bubble butt’ on other people’s screens… 🙂

Almost every shape setting not listed above (again except for cleavage) DOES NOT MATTER for mesh. This means two people can be the same “size” on this system but actually have completely different ‘shapes’.

I’m also of the opinion that for standard sizes they should have used dimensions from the real life fashion industry for some top brands, and not SL. Second Life avatars are notorious for being deformed monstrosities… 🙂 Something to help people look better would be good.

Something like perhaps, a Proportion guide, if not fashions with sizes based on the variety real life fashion designers contend with.

Addendum from a comment I left on the nwn blog:
SL of a year from now will likely be something very alien to the SL of today. Mesh frees up a lot of past limits.

Right now folks are paying most of their attention to clothes and avatars, because that’s “sexy”.

Things like tears, ‘male bits’, hair, feet, tails, ears, and so on will bring dramatic changes even for ‘non-furries’.

But the big shock is going to come when things that you rez on the land get a serious looking at – since those need to consider prim cost, and the prim cost of a mesh is set by its -SIZE- when rezzed.

The smaller you make it, the less prims it uses.

And that will cycle us right back into discussions about things for avatars: since mesh items worn on avatars -AUTO- scale up or down regardless of avatar scale – the need to be the size the item was made for now no longer exists (you just need to have the bust-waist-hips it was made for).

– And that too will go away if we either adopt some standards like this project, or Qarl’s code makes it in. Hopefully Qarl’s code will make it in.

But do get ready to make your avatar smaller… because pretty soon that’s going to be coming up as a hot topic again when this discovery of how size affects prim cost becomes more widespread. I predict lots of flame wars, a few accusations of ‘techno-communist-child-avatar-agendas’ and other irrational insanity… but once people realize they can wear all their mesh clothes on any size, many will likely just go with the size that lets them have the most prims on their land – not for the reasons of scale so often advocated in past, but simply so they can more fully fill up things like the space of a linden home.

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