Every mesh avatar I have ever seen has a HUD with many alpha mask stripes on it.
That makes sense, but from a creators point of view is still now where near as versatile as being able to make an alpha for the clothing your making.[/quote]
left Logan's just for reference but here I'll have to agree and disagree with you Manwa.
Agree: Yes, for clothes designers it is often easier to make alpha's specifically for their clothes. Problem is that either someone uses a mesh deformer (which I haven't yet in either across the pond or here) OR their body sliders just don't work always with the alpha mask. As a purchaser (versus a creator), this is hard. Especially for someone who does photography.
Disagree: On the HUDS across the street (didn't even know we had mesh bodies here)...those strips that Logan mentioned are incremental. Meaning that it's small strips that are alpha and by clicking each one, a person can get pretty much a perfect match up.
BUT...the catch to this is that many Clothing designers make clothes specifically for certain mesh bodies. They are still usable with the basic avatar mesh with their own created alpha's. They still also do different sizes as well (S, M, L, etc) So it's a challenge for creators to do clothes because (from what I understand) each one has to be altered slightly depending on if it's used for a pre-made body or the 'generic' body, etc.
Skins are all done by the HUD for heads and bodes by a click of the button. This is included a neck ring that joins the two together. So it is basically seamless from top to bottom and allows a consumer to have one body but use multiple heads from many different designers.
With that said...if I did not take pictures over yonder of my avatar, I probably wouldn't be too interested in mesh bodies. It's sometimes a pain to find skins for a particular one while others are in abundance of options. However.....there is absolutely no doubt that for anyone who is interested in pictures of Avatars...it's basically a requirement to run with a full Mesh Body and Head otherwise...you have to be even more careful with windlight options and often...you still need to do some heavy duty PS'ing to make those pictures equal to those with the Mesh Bodies.
One thing I have always wished is that a VW offered their own Mesh Body II (while keeping the traditional one to not break content). It's not difficult to run different heads, which would open the door for many types of head creations and skins--see above(many people will use their own traditional mesh body with an updated mesh head). Problem with that....well I'm not sure since I don't know what goes into creating bodies...would it still be adjustable? I don't know..the current Mesh Bodies on the market are adjustable to a degree but not to other degree's. Same as heads.