First of all, credit where credit’s due, I have to give my thanks to Jemsyn Fairlady of Darkadia who came up with an actual decent name for this ensemble. Without her input it would probably be called “Vaguely formal domme-ish thing”. Count your blessings.
Bringing this one to the market has been a bit of a saga – fitted mesh went live when it was approaching the end of its cycle and since it allowed a lot more flexibility in the build I decided to go back and rebuild it, so this is the first bit of Kcreations fitted mesh.
I wanted to make better use of the Advanced Lighting Model / materials in this project but I realised early on that there were problems with this. At the moment there’s no way to access things like the normal map, specular map and specular colour from scripts, which is frustrating as it limits what can be managed from a HUD. If you want this to change (and you really do!) then view MATBUG-359 and upvote/watch the feature request.
This scripting limitation meant that, to have different materials settings I needed to distribute separate objects with everything set up differently in each one. Multiply this by three components (shirt, corset, skirt) and five standard sizes and I was rapidly getting to fifty or more wearable meshes for one outfit. Madness!
Fitted mesh let me bring this down by a factor of five and still provide versions in different materials. Throw in a couple of texture packs for those unable to run ALM and it still weighs in at a hefty package, but one that is at least manageable 🙂
Another problem with building for the ALM is that the outfit looks so different from place to place. With a few moderate lights the outfit looks fantastic; worth the extra effort without question. Without lights it looks drab and flat and with too many too-bright lights it washes out in a burst of dazzling specular reflections. Lighting your environment well is going to become more and more important as more and more stuff takes advantage of ALM, so look to your lights early and often!
An advantage of using the ALM is that the diffuse texture of the mesh becomes much less important, at least for outfits like this. This means that the tint of the surface becomes much more powerful. If you wear this outfit in its basic materials-only mode then you’re no longer limited to the 32 coloured textures I provide in a texture pack – you can pick any colour you want from the millions available.
I haven’t included a texture developer’s kit with this release – the number of components make it a bit unwieldy and putting it together would only make an already overdue release even later. All the support is there for it, though, so if anyone does want to make textures for this outfit then drop me a line and I’ll send you everything you need.