I love the change of seasons in the Second Life® virtual world. We are now at the end of Summer and it’s time to think about putting away the bikinis and wide, shady hats. Coming soon is the wonderful time of Autumn to experience but now is Winter Coat Shopping Season. If I wait until Winter to shop for a new coat then all the Winter coats will be gone. Now’s the time.
I do have a problem. I just never seem to find a coat that I like. Part of my issues have been the way long coats were designed and functioned before mesh. The bottom half of long coats never moved in a realistic fashion. Mesh pretty much solves this issue.
So, I was hanging out with a new acquaintance, CarolAnne Andretti, and wining about never finding a coat that I like. She said, “I design clothes and have a new Winter coat. Try this on.” I did and it’s a great coat and I love it. I asked CarolAnne how she created this super coat. She told me that the design process is the work of several people. I’ve always assumed that clothing designers created their fashions completely by themselves; somehow molding pixels to create fashion reality.
She said, “I tried simple mesh first in Blender, but, between the rigging and upload costs along with the time needed for real life, I didn’t really get beyond Tee shirts, and an off-the-shoulder dress that sat crooked.” It turns out, in CaroAnne’s case, she needed someone to make the basic mesh shell first. “I found that there were better mesh designers and builders than I could ever be” and these experts sell full permission versions of their designs to others who can then further customize them.
“When I first started to search for ready-made mesh models, one particular designer stood way out for me; Meli Imako. Her designs were not only extremely well made but, she also keeps her selling prices within very easy reach of most budgets. The Lace Trim coat is from her store and really appealed to me for it’s cute design. So I like to think I am supporting other designers by purchasing their builds, and then setting them with my own texturing. I use the shadow maps, and a variety of folds and creases to combine with various material textures to get a finished result.“
CarolAnne’s products come with a HUD (for changing colors and textures) and appliers for people with mesh bodies. These items are scripted by CarolAnne’s business partner, Alice Andretti (Plummy95). Alice is the third link in the chain of collaborators.
I asked Alice about appliers as I’ve never quite understood how they worked, “Many of the mesh bodies work off the standard Second Life body maps using the UVs* that can be found on the SL wiki pages. Once the clothing is drawn onto the UV in Photoshop it can be uploaded in SL and used either by using system layers or one of many applier kits that mesh body companies give out. The kits always rely on two scripts – one to map the clothing and UV onto the mesh body and the other to work as a button. The button is the HUD you wear and when you click it the clothing comes onto the body.”
About this symbiotic process, CarolAnne concludes, “For me, this is what helps with my life in Second Life. I have something to do that is constructive, possibly gives people pleasure, and pays my SL rent! And yet probably, unlike for some designers who go the whole hog, I still have time to play with friends and meet lovely people.”
And I have a nice Winter coat.
- Find CarolAnne and Alice’s fashions at the Gothicaa and Romaance in-world store.
- Find Meli Imako’s work at the Quality Sculpted Items Store in the Second Life Marketplace.
- Landscape pictures made at Landscaping by Felix with the kind permission of FelixvonKotwitz Alter.
* Alice also told me what a UV was, “A UV map is a 2D version of a 3D object, like when a cube is unfolded and flat. You draw onto a UV map then bring it into SL and it will wrap around the 3D object.”
Written by Deepthinker Oh
What is ManiStyle? ManiStyle is a monthly column that explores an idea, a style, a trend or a realm in SL and gives you some links to go explore and draw your own conclusions. MANIERA SL expresses an outlook on life that is part Vanity Fair and part Rolling Stone. In ManiStyle, we introduce you to our take on life and ask that you share your views and reactions.