Okay, so you have your mesh and all this stuff that came with your clothing kit. What's it for?  How do I use it?

First thing you should do when you receive your purchased item is unpack it and review what was included.  Was everything included that was promised? If not, you may need to contact the merchant selling the product.  Let's look at what full permission mesh clothing kits generally contain.  

Most full permission mesh clothing kits contain...
1)  5 mesh objects--Looks like a yellow cube. 
  • You should have one of each of the 5 of the Standard Sizes, each named according to the size. 
  • Fitted mesh may contain the same or less.  You will have to do your own research to be sure. 
2)  1 or more Alpha Layers--Looks like a little shirt.  
  • You wear it under the mesh.
3)  1 or more Alpha Layer Textures--Looks a square with red, yellow,green,blue dots.  
  • You use this to create a new Alpha Layer so your name will be the creator. 
  • You may also use it, depending on the licensing, to download to your hard drive to tweak it for the mesh and reupload. 
  • Don't forget to set permissions on your created Alpha Layers.
  • DO NOT use the alpha texture and apply it to your mesh clothing pieces.
4)  UV maps--Looks like a Texture
  • You will need to save this to your hard drive.  
  • Depending on the UV you may need to save it as .png or a .tga file.
  • You use these to add your own fabrics and detail via graphics software, upload and apply to the mesh objects.
5)  Read Me Notecards--Looks like a small letter-Varies widely by Creator.
  • Generally, has important things you need to know about your purchase.  Be sure to READ IT.
  • Download instructions for .pds, .obj, and/or, .dae files you may also see as a notecard if they are part of the kit. Most kits DO NOT contain these.
  • Licensing agreements/Terms of Service
6) Extra Items--Looks like any of the above
  • May have sample textures--read licensing agreement to see if you can use it if you plan on selling the mesh.
  • May have a sample textured Mesh Example
  • The sky is the limit on what can be included
  • Shadow and/or AO Maps

This is what I consider the minimum your kit should contain; others may have different ideas of what should be the minimum.  For me a kit needs to contain a UV map, a Shadow and/or AO map, the mesh objects, Alpha Layer, and Alpha Layer Texture. Be wary of kits that do not include these items.  If you get more, then you are doing well.

What I have listed is "usually"  or "generally" included in these kinds of kits.  There IS NO standard to my knowledge what a merchant must or should include in a full permissions mesh clothing kit. It all depends on the merchant. 

Most of the well-known merchants generally offer you more things than you ever bargain for!  TD Templates is a great resource for mesh clothing as is AngelRed Couture, Niah Larsson and Meshit.  I cannot speak for the expensive "Exclusive" mesh creators since their products are totally out of my price range but, I would assume for their prices, they would include everything but the kitchen sink. 

I am afraid after all the above and part one, I am going to make you do some more work.  My wordiness gets the better of me; it would take a ton of articles for me to explain the process.  So, the wise move on my part is to steer you to good  resources that others have created already.  You can read and/or watch...reread or rewatch as many times as needed and as your time allows. You can also bookmark for later reference.  Not all of these resources are geared to mesh clothing specifically but will give you an idea how to work with mesh kits, how to use the UVs and other maps to create your own textures or add detail, how to make alpha layers, etc. 

Before I post this, I thought I had better confess.  I am a bit biased because I have a couple TD Templates' mesh clothing kits.  They are pretty easy to work with compared to others I have used. I balked at the price when I first starting to use mesh clothing kits, but really, I wish I had went ahead and bought one from TD Templates knowing what I know now. Usually, a .psd file  comes with the kit for me to add my own fabrics and details but, you should read the package to to see if a .psd is included.  Again, read the package before you buy to make sure it meets your needs. Having confessed my biases, the .pdf created by TD Templates is basic but necessary information you need to know.  It also seems to be very inclusive.

Red Poly
How to use mesh prefabs created by RedPoly

Typhaon Nishi & Suzy Sommerton
Top Designer (TD) Templates

Mesh in SL - Part 1 of 3

Mesh in SL - Part 2 of 3

Mesh in SL - Part 3 of 3


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