Date Posted: 15th Jun 2008 at 9:00 PM
It's official: I am not a mesher. Frustrated by the lack of in-game meshes (or custom meshes suitable for what I wanted to do), I decided that I was going to learn how to mesh. I'd looked at the tutorials before and gotten turned off by the complexity of it all. But yesterday I decided I was just going to sit down and work my way through the tutorials. Easier said than done.
First, I had to get a new copy of SimPE, because my old copy didn't match up with the instructions or screenshots. Then, the new SimPE wouldn't work without various download thingies from Microsoft. When I finally got all that sorted out, I found that my copy of SimPE still
wasn't showing the same things as the tutorial pictures. I eventually figured out part of what I was supposed to be doing, only to get completely stuck. After Googling another meshing tutorial, I was back on track. I eventually finished all the nit-picky SimPE stuff and got into the actual meshing program. I played with the mesh a little bit, just to make a change that I could see. I exported it and tried to open it back up in SimPE... and I got nothing except an error message.
At that point, I closed it all down, trashed my temporary mesh files, and went back to Body Shop to see if there was some existing mesh I could use for my textures. But not without a few tears of frustration.
I am not a mesher. There was a reason I didn't take 3D modelling in school (I took Photoshop instead). I don't want to mesh for the sake of meshing. I prefer to be creative with the actual Photoshop work. That said, it is frustrating to not be able to find what you want: the mesh that will make your texture look awesome.
As I was slogging through the beginning steps in SimPE (which appear to be standard for whatever type of clothing mesh you're making), the thought occurred to me that all of this should be simplified with some kind of batch process. And then I wondered: Why hasn't it been? To keep it difficult? To keep meshing as some sort of elite art club that only those with extreme amounts of patience, properly functioning computers, and left-brain sensibilities can join? I mean, the mesh tool itself was not that difficult to use; with time, and a lot of messing about, I'm sure I could create a half-decent dress shape. But it's the pre- and post-MilkShape stuff that's the problem. Export this file. Rename this. Set this instance. Clone this. Add these parts. Make a new folder. Etcetera.
So I guess it's time to fire up Google and search for some really good meshes. Unfortunately for me, most seem to be for adults or teenagers (and I make clothes for kids and toddlers). But I'll keep looking. And I hope that, one day, someone creates some sort of meshing batch process for SimPE so those of us who really want to mesh won't have to pull out our hair instead.