MESH CLOTHING KITS FOR USE IN SECOND LIFE-PART 1

I seem to be encountering quite a few folks lately wanting to take the plunge into mesh clothing.  Most have lots of questions like what type of full permissions clothing kits should I buy?  What is all this stuff for that came with the kit?  Others are asking, how do you make your own texture with the stuff that comes with the kits?  How can I make the mesh show me as the creator?  And many other questions most of us have or have had, when we started delving into mesh clothing. 

ADVENTURE BEGINS
I started out exploring mesh clothing buying purchased full perms mesh about a year and a half ago.  I wanted to know more about mesh clothing before I made a large time commitment or Linden investment. And really, my ultimate goals was to make some of my own mesh items but how?  I already had a good building creation background so knew how to construct and texture things.  I also had some knowledge of Photoshop.  But, it was still difficult at times to get things the way I wanted them to be. 

The most important thing I learned when purchasing full perms mesh clothing is it is not all equally or skillfully made by all creators.  And, the purchase price, what you receive in the kits, and the licensing requirements from the original creators are not the same.  

I am going to post a few tips I found useful to me when I look at buying a mesh full permissions clothing kit.  These things were pretty important to me and saved me a few headaches along the way, not of the issues, but most.

MESH KITS--SHOP, SHOP, SHOP 
You should take your time and do research BEFORE you buy anything.  Be it mesh clothes, houses, textures, what have you. One of the most important things you need to know is what the licensing requirements are from the original mesh createor.  Read ALL licensing requirements of the product you are consider buying to see if they are agreeable with what the mesh creator's requirements, especially if you are going to sell the item in a clothing product line.  

I generally steer clear of those creators that require me to sell my finished product for a minimal price they have chosen.  I understand they are seeking to equalize the market between aftermarket creators and to lessen competition with their product.

NOT ALL mesh clothing products are created equally nor, are the kits. Figure out exactly what the kit(s) contain and try on any demos if available. Here is what I generally do if I am in the market for full perms mesh clothing items I can't or don't wish to create myself.

PRE-SHOPPING
Before you begin shopping, decide on what you want to create.
  • Are you creating this to sell or for personal use?
  • If you plan to sell a complete outfit will you add accessories? 
  •  What market are you creating for?  Goth? Slutwear? Tinies/Petite? Gor? Fantasy? Post-Industrial?  Biker? General population? 

Set a budget for your project.  
  • Set a hard budget and do not deviate from it. A soft budge it fine in some cases, but I do suggest you set a maximum limit on what you are going to spend and stick to it.
  • How must do you want to spend for the total project?  What items are you going to have to buy to complete your project? How much do you want to spend on each item you need?  How much time will be involved to create additional accessories yourself? 
  • Avoid impulse purchases you may not need or be able to use.  Don't buy something to use later then later never comes.

If you will be selling the completed project, how much do you want to sell it for?
  • This can be a ball park figure if you want but, remember it could change when you finished the product(s) to sell.

START RESEARCH SHOPPING
Browse the Second Life Market Place (MP) first.   
  • Most creators offer more detail to their product on MP than in-world.
  • Can filter your searches 
  • Most, but NOT ALL, creators will have information or links posted for their licensing requirements.
  • Some Sellers will have a licensing requirement posted with their product, but do not bother updating it on MP.  Check to see if the have web links for any updated information; otherwise, you won't know this till AFTER you buy. 
  • Be leery of a merchant that does not provide detailed information, their licensing agreement, or has only a single photo of the product

READ READ READ
When you find a product that meets your project criteria, read...read..read again and scrutinize the product.
  • Carefully read ALL information on the page of the product including permissions listed, land impact, price, and what comes with the kit. 
  • NOT ALL full perms mesh kits are equal.  Some Sellers give you more items than others. Decide what minimum items you need to create your product in a mesh kit. 
  • Read MP reviews.  Sort out the wheat kernels from the chaff in the reviews.  Is it a bad review because the buyer didn't know how to use it or, is it because the product is crappy? 
  • If you are not sure, about a review, try contacting the buyer in-world and see if they would provide you with more information on their experience.
  • Does the Seller provide good customer service after the sale? Before the sale?   Be sure to read any "comments on comments" in MP reviews.
  • Be skeptical of a product that has an overall 1 or 5 star rating.  Remember reviews may be padded by friends or lowered by a competitor of the seller. 
  • If you do happen to buy from MP, leave an objective product review for future potential customers.

GET THE DEMOS
When you decide on a product, see if a demo is available.
  • Purchases all Demos of items you need.
  • If no Demos are available, does the Creator have an in-world store?  If yes, visit store to see if demos might be available there.  MP Sellers are limited on being able to sell 0L items. 
  • Check out the fit and construction of clothing and alpha layers using the 5 Standard Mesh Sizes AND your personal AV shape...others if you have them.
  • If there are issues, can you easily fix them? Remember, most mesh items are rigged and cannot be resized, but the alphas can generally be corrected if you take the time to do so. 
  • Check to see if there are movement problems with the mesh.  Use different AO to check this out.
  • Market Place should become flooded with fitted mesh soon if not already.  I don't know much about fitted mesh at this point, but if you do purchase fitted mesh, test it as completely as possible.  

GO FOR IT 
If the criteria you have set for you project is met to your satisfaction, purchase the mesh kit and and review the items you receive.  Begin your creating!


UMM NOW WHAT DO I DO
That is the big question isn't?  What do you do with everything you received.  In Part 2, I have some resources, which may help you on your mesh clothing creation journey.

Happy Creating!
Morgaine

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