Mesh Mess – A Lesson in Frustration

Mess MeshI’m a big fan of mesh.

I wear pretty much all mesh clothes, I own a mesh body, I have mesh hands and feet, and I own about 4 or 5 mesh heads.

I love how much prettier mesh is when I’m taking photos.

Since the advent of mesh, the question of whether or not to use it when dancing has been debated.

I’ve danced in mesh clothing before.

I’ve danced with mesh hands and feet before.

I have never danced with a mesh head or a mesh body.

I’ve heard complaints from others about watching shows where headless bodies were dancing, costumes didn’t rez, set pieces didn’t rez, etc.

Never having experienced these problems (other than the occasional SL glitch), I realized I kind of dismissed the issue.

*I* could see everything fine, so what’s the big deal?

It must be their computers, or their preferences, or whatever.

After a recent fiasco at a performance, I’m re-thinking my approach.

Preferences

I attended a dance show where I knew it would be crowded.

I arrived about 30 minutes early to give myself (and my computer) time to cache everything prior to showtime.

When I arrived, I was immediately hit by a small bout of lag.

I began to make adjustments.

I lowered my graphics preferences (I usually run on Ultra).

I lowered my draw distance and particles.

I went into the advanced menu and began disabling things like sky, water, clouds, etc., that I wouldn’t need to render for the show.

The first number went okay, with only one dancer being sans hands for the entire routine.

I figured I had acted in time, and I would be able to enjoy the rest of the show.

Act Two

Mesh Mess 2The second act hit the stage, and out of 8 dancers, two of them remained stubbornly bald, naked, and without hands or feet.

I wish I understood why this happened – all 8 dancers were wearing the same costume.

6 rezzed, 2 did not.  ???

Feeling frustrated, I was going to try either tp’ing out and back, or relogging, to see if that would clear up whatever issue I was having.

Unfortunately for me, just as I was contemplating this, it was announced that access had been closed, and that if anyone left or crashed, you would be unable to get back in.

So that option was no longer available. 😦

I decided to try and tough it out, hoping that things would somehow fix themselves and I would be able to see.

Third Time’s a Charm?

Mesh Mess 3Sadly, no, it wasn’t.

Again, out of 8 or 10 dancers, the two main dancers appeared naked, bald, and missing appendages.

I don’t know if it was the same issue as the previous act, where everyone was wearing the same costume, or not.

But it’s very hard to enjoy a dance performance when literally half (or more) of the performer is missing/invisible.

Now, I know this issue is NOT the fault of the performers.

Most of them were simply wearing the costumes they were given and doing their jobs.

Mesh Mess 4(Note – some of the pictures may appear a bit pixellated due to their small size.  I tried to crop out as much extraneous information as possible in the pictures, because I am not trying to blame the dancers or the venue.)

In desperation, I de-rendered the entire audience, hoping that would help.

At this point, I was soooo frustrated.

I decided to stay for one more act.

It had already been almost an hour, and I knew that if the next act didn’t go well, there was no point in staying for the rest of the show.

What I saw (or rather, didn’t see) next, is what made me re-think my attitude towards mesh.

Mesh MessAs the curtain slooowly opened, I sighed.

Rather than getting better, it appeared my problems were getting worse.

The main dancer was nothing but a floating head.

I’m assuming she was wearing a mesh body.

I don’t know, because I couldn’t see it.

The gentlemen next to her had hands, thankfully, but no hair, and no lower half.

Argghhhhhh!

Time to call it a night. 😦

Reflections

After having some time to reflect on things, my attitude towards mesh has changed a bit.

For photography, I will continue to wear mesh so I don’t have to spend hours faffing with photos to get rid of jagged edges and such.

For dancing – I’m still not sure, but I know that I will at least put more thought into how I create my routines after my experience.

Yes, mesh looks fabulous.

But does that matter if many in the audience can’t see it anyway?

I have seen dancers who wore mesh bodies and clothing and I had no issues.

However, I’m not sure it’s worth the risk, even if it’s only one or two people who have problems.

It’s easy to blame the audience members, or their computers, or their ISPs, or whatever.

I have a good computer, a high-speed direct cable connection, and I did a ton of things to reduce lag issues, some of which most casual users wouldn’t even know to do.

It’s also easy to blame SL, though I’m not certain that’s the issue either.

Could I have arrived earlier and avoided issues?

Possibly.

But 30 minutes has generally been a good window, and quite frankly, unless the show is a one-time event, it’s just not worth sitting somewhere for an hour waiting for the show to start.

I think perhaps it just boils down to your own personal approach.

While it would be amazing to put on a show where 100+ people came, if the end result is even one person having my experience, to me, it’s not worth it.

I would much rather limit the amount of people to ensure that everyone has a good experience.

I will probably continue to use mesh props and wear mesh costume pieces, but I doubt that I will ever dance in my mesh head and/or body.

Previous to this experience, I had been considering it.

Now, I’m not sure it’s worth the possible problems.