Hello there, Fitted Mesh Breast-Lover… Breast Mesh Creator… Clothing Designer… Skin Artist… or Curious Passerby! With the explosion of Fitted Mesh Breasts on the SL market, in recent weeks, the breast-loving community has found itself awash in a veritable cornucopia of lovely soft mounds and exquisite cleavage. However, that windfall of aesthetics does come with a few new quirks. Of course, it wouldn’t be SL if there weren’t a few issues we had to work around, right? I could ramble on about proper Alpha Layers and Physics causing gaping and the like, but those issues are getting a lot of discussion already. What I want to get into are the two biggies that everyone is asking about, but so few are explaining:
#1: VANISHING LAYERS, INVISIBLE SKINS, & NIPPLE HOLES!?!
(NOTE: I have gotten an initial response to this one from many that “My Tangos/Mirage never did this!” for this one. Its important to know that they would not have, because this is a Rigged/Fitted Mesh Issues. Un-rigged mesh behaves differently, even when worn. ALSO: This can be an issue for ANY Rigged/Fitted Mesh body part with clothing/tattoo layers over the skin!)
This is the most common issue that has been cropping up. Usually, this is seen as a Bra or Tattoo layer seeming to disappear when you wear clothing over it, or for there to be cutout ‘holes’ around the nipples. For some people, this is even worse because the breast Skin will turn invisible! This is actually the result of a visual glitch that only seems to happen with Rigged/Fitted Mesh when overlapping textures are 32bit. “What’s a 32bit texture?” You might ask. Well that’s any texture that -can- have some transparency. Tattoos, Tops, and Bras are obvious candidates. As are Nipple textures that have a soft edge. Anything you see applied that has a spot you can see through -is- 32bit. To complicate things, however, some textures that look solid can also be 32bit. Most notably, SL Skin makers generally upload their Skin Textures at 32 bit. There are reasons why, but that’s off on a tangent. What is important is that when those skin makers create appliers with the same 32bit texture they uploaded to make the skin… we run smack into this very annoying vanishing issue. If you are familiar with a much older problem in SL where sometimes a 32bit texture that’s behind another 32bit texture appears to be in front of it, then you can just consider this glitch the Rigged/Fitted Mesh version of that little jewel. To make this whole thing even more frustrating, it is camera-position based, which makes it unpredictable. This means that sometimes you’ll see the vanishing act, and other times you won’t…. while some other people nearby do. It’s enough to make you long for the days when shoes or hair up your backside after a Teleport was the peak of SL inconvenience!
Fortunately, there is an easy way that Skin Makers can make sure that their skin textures don’t disappear. They just need to upload their Skin Applier textures at 24bit. 24bit textures will, so far, never be hidden by an overlapping 32bit texture. This will solve the vanishing breasts problem. In fact, if your favorite skin applier has this problem, I encourage you to send them a copy of this notecard a link to this page. Hopefully if we can get the word out wide enough, fast enough, we can nip this issue in the bud so it doesn’t become a bigger problem… since Rigged/Fitted Mesh body attachments are NOT going away. If you are a Skin Maker and have questions, please feel free to contact Galathir Darkstone. I”ll be happy to answer them.
Unfortunately, for tattoos an bras, that doesn’t help. You can’t upload those at 24 bit unless they completely cover the breasts with a solid texture. My testing does seem to indicate that the more space between the layers there is, the less often this issue happens. Though it is a marginal thing, and given the rigged mesh ‘halo’ we can see against 32bit textures in the background, it makes large spaces between layers an ugly way to combat this issue. Also, though my Sinful Needs Venus breasts have a tattoo layer that is under the bra layer (and thus further under the Top), most brands of Fitted Mesh breasts only offer a Bra and Top layer. This pretty much means we have to suck it up and deal with it at this point, though I would like to believe it will be corrected by LL in the long run. For now, you pretty much have to decide if it is worth it to you to deal with the occasional view that is missing the lower level texture.
NOTE: One helpful tip for those that spend a lot of time in PG Regions, and would like to make sure that your nipples stay covered: Put whatever clothing/pasty is most essential on the Top layer. The Top layer should never be hidden by anything else. My Sinful Needs Venus breasts have the Redirect menu when you use an applier, so you can just tell them to wear that clothing where ever you want. Some designers also include appliers for both Top and Bra layers for their clothing. You’d just want to use the Top for those yummy pasties, and then use the Bra for that naughty pulled-up shirt or the like. It may not be your preference for realism, but it will ensure you don’t flash nipples at any of the poor, innocent souls in PG-Land.
#2: SMALL BREAST SIZES FLATTEN & PULL TO THE AVATAR’s RIGHT!
(NOTE: This one is mostly relevant to Breast Only attachments. Fitted with more of the upper body attached to it, and full bodies, are not affected by this in quite the same way.)
No less annoying for some people is the way the Breast Size slider makes Fitted Mesh breasts behave on your avatar as the slider drops below 50. Over 50, fitted mesh breasts expand/shrink in relation to the chest more or less proportionally, in all 3 dimensions. But once you get under 50, all they do is get thinner or thicker on one axis. Not only does this mean that they will look like a cardboard cutout when you first put your Fitted Mesh breasts on with that slider at zero from years of wearing your favorite brand of un-rigged boobs, but it also means that the texture on the side of the breasts where they meet the skin get more out of alignment as they flatten. This makes it difficult to wear Fitted Mesh Breasts small, unless they were built that way from the outset so they are small at a slider setting of 50. My Venus Deyn package, as an example, was crafted from the outset to be as small as I could manage. Likewise, the Tangos Delicq are a bit smaller than the Original Venus.
What’s potentially a worse issue is that the further under 50 you get, the worse a slight pull to the avatar’s right appears. It’s not a huge offset, but it will be a problem for some people, especially if they are trying to squeeze their lovely new Fitted Mesh bosom under their favorite Rigged/Fitted Mesh top. This also appears to be the way the Breast Size slider/deformer is set up in the avatar. It doesn’t manifest with Fitted Mesh attachments that encompass more than just the breasts (like wowMeh Bodies or Fitted Mesh clothing), but all of the Breast only Fitted Mesh that I tried had exactly the same issue: Sinful Needs Venus, Tangos Deliqc, Cherry Bombs, Fitted Puffy, etc.
All you can really do to combat these slider issues is try any available demos that are available to you, and make sure that you like the way the Fitted Mesh breasts are going to look at the kinds of settings you are most likely to use. Especially where size is a concern, make sure that you get a set of Fitted Mesh Breasts that are closest to what you want with your Breast Size slider at 50. Whether that is small or large, the closer you are with that setting at 50, the less likely you are to run into distortions that sour your experience with your newest beauty assets!
I think I’ve rambled enough, but I hope that this information will make your Fitted Mesh Breast experience a little more enjoyable! Hopefully you won’t run into any of these issues, but at least now if you do, you’ll have some idea how to deal with them. Please feel free to contact Galathir Darkstone if you have any questions or feedback!
Happy Bouncing Boobage to you!
The Architect of Sin
Owner/Creator, Sinful Needs