Help! My Mesh Boots Don't Fit!!! -A Possible Solution

I have a wonderful friend in Second Life (SL), who has this boot obsession.  Now I love boots just as much as the next woman, but Lady X's (LOL...yes, protecting the names of the not so innocent)  passion for boots is well-known among our group of collective friends.  Thigh-high, calf-length, ankle length, zippered, tied, buckled, buttoned, slip-on, flats, platforms, stiletto heeled name it..she probably has it crammed into her SL closet somewhere.  

Recently, Lady X was grumbling about how mesh boots, especially those which are rigged mesh, never seem to fit her correctly.  No one seemed to have a solution for her so I tried to tackle the problem for her.

Footwear Alpha Issues

While my experience with mesh clothing is rather limited, I have messed around with sculpted shoes and thought maybe I could help.  At first, I thought she had some shoddily created alpha layers  not covering bits and pieces of her feet or legs.  Most of the complaints I have heard from others over sculpted and rigged mesh footwear have been due to poorly made alpha layers.  Because this seemed to be the most logical solution to explore, we tried varying alpha layers by different makers and some we created.  

I do have to say in defense of mesh and sculpt footwear creators, who may not work much with the SL AV Clothing Templates much, the AV foot area is not well defined having limited avatar mesh detail.  Because this area is so small and there is not a lot of mesh surface, it makes it hard to work well in this area. It is easy to make mistakes if you are not careful. And with boot, you also have to take into account the pants portion of the templates when making your alphas.  Working with the avatar feet takes patience and perseverance to learn it well, especially since the template for the foot is used for both feet (just like working with shirt sleeves).   

I don't know about other creators, but it took me some time tp figure out things about this area, which seems to require some very fine editing to get things to look half way the  way you wish them to be.  Because the avatar mesh is limited in detail is one of the reasons the SL Avatar has such ugly looking feet.  These ugly feet have prompted the explosion of  "flat" and "tiptoe" type bare feet as an AV add-on.

Unfortunately, Lady X and I discovered her problem was not related to poor alpha layers being included in what she purchased. So changing out the alpha foot layers didn't really help much to solve the boot problem other than clean up some of the left over bits from the original creator's.  

Viewer Issues 


So, if not an alpha issue what else could it be?  We thought maybe she was having some sort of glitch viewer issue.  LOL...anyone that has been in Second Life knows how oddly it can behave sometimes. So, she uninstalled the viewer she was using and did a clean reinstall of her viewer, (I think she was/is using Firestorm) and while it helped with another issue she was having it didn't help with the boot problem.

Since it was not an alpha layer issue, nor was it a viewer issue, and the issue was only occurring with  rigged mesh boots, we had to look at reasons why mesh was not fitting her smaller avatar.  

Avatar Issues


Lady X's shape in question for her normal AV, which is modeled after her real RL body size and it's height of 5'4".  Other than being really short by SL gargantuan standards, her avatar is not visually out of proportion to the rest of her body. Since Lady X's shape is modifiable, we decided to look at her settings to see if any could be really out of wack and causing the issue.

Finally, after several hours of working on this, we solved the issue!  Yay us!  It was her "Knee Angle" settings that was causing the problem.  While the number she had listed wasn't that much off from 50 (which is the balance point); it was just enough to cause mesh boots not to fit her.  Once we had the "Knee Angle" set at 50, she had NO problems with any of her mesh boots.  Needless to say, she was a very happy girl!

Moral of the Story


If you are having issues with rigged mesh shoes or boots, your AV's "Knee Angle" may be out of the norm for mesh boot creators.  Mesh footwear and clothing creators seem to be working from a "standard" created by someone or a group of someones, who may not have taken this measurement into account when they create "rigged" mesh.  I am not really sure WHY you really need to make "rigged" mesh footwear when "non-rigged" footwear works nicely. 

IF your shape is modifiable, make sure that your avatar "Knee Angle" is set to 50. You may be able to play around with this number some; we did not we simply set to 50.

IF your shape is NOT modifiable, you may need to contact your shape maker to see if they will kindly correct this number and send you an upgrade.  

Please be polite when contacting merchants.  They are people with RL lives and work hard to provide items to others in SL. Most merchants will do their best to provide their customers with excellent customer service, especially when a customer is polite.  This may issue may be an odd one so many Shape Makers may not even be aware this is an issue.  

IMPORTANT- I am not endorsing any of the products listed below.  I do not know the makers and have not used their products so have not really experimented with their alpha layers.  I prefer to make my own.  Those listed are ones I found when I ran a search on Second Life Marketplace and were "free" for everyone.  I do this as a convenience and a service to my readers. 

If you are having issues with your footwear, and think it may be due to a shoddy alpha foot layer, you might try the following links to replace the ones you received with your footwear.


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