Friday, January 25, 2013

there's a message that I'm sending out, like a telegraph to your soul

So if you read part one and part two of the grand Candy Mountain/Yulicie controversy, you thought that was over and done with, right? Which is why this is the third part.

I realized something about all this was bugging me, and it wasn't just not having the dress to compare the Vellent Retro frock to. So, after pondering for four days, I dropped Ms. Legend a notecard.

She wrote back. Apparently she made over thirty-five variations of this, some of which only went out for limited-edition release. However, there were a couple interesting things that came out in her answer:
[19:54] Mynx Legend: (Saved Tue 22 Jan 2013 08:02:01) I made the dress templates all by hand, I never ever use photo sources or purchased templates. I can happily send you a non-special edition candy dress for you to inspect. (These were made in September with my Tea dresses)
[19:54] Mynx Legend: (Saved Tue 22 Jan 2013 08:04:08) PS: Here is the screenshot of my first WIP of my cupcake dress: If that helps you out at all
[19:54] Mynx Legend: (Saved Tue 22 Jan 2013 08:06:02) The dress is a mesh source from Meli Imako, but I haven't used the shading map provided - I don't enjoy doing that. Also, sorry for all the IMs. My brain is a bit scattered today.
It's good to have that confirmed, at least, because as the photos will show, there's virtually no difference in the actual mesh structure of both dresses:

(from the Comparisons album

That's what both dresses look like when laid over each other--if they'd used different base mesh forms, this would have shown that. As it was, they perfectly aligned, with only bits of the texture flashing on and off. This is what's going to make evaluating mesh (and mesh texturing) difficult: six different designers can buy this particular cocktail dress and turn out hundreds of different dresses. The dress form itself does not change. The mesh of the dress does not change. Just the texturing--which Ms. Legend calls "template", by which I think she means her created texture and shadow-map--for the mesh.

Okay. We know they both used the same dress form now. That's fact, that's undeniable, and it's bound to happen when full-perm mesh constructs are sold. What about the dress textures themselves?

That's where things get tricky.

A tip from a friend informed me I could actually rez the dresses out, instead of just trying them on, so for this entire picture run, that's what I did.

(from the Comparisons album

Candy Mountain's dress is on the left (note the star on the back), and Yulicie's "Vellent" is on the right. And it does look as if they've drawn shading in different places.

(from the Comparisons album

Here are both dresses from the front--the "Vellent", again, on the left, Candy Mountain's dress (note the Peter Pan collar) on the right.

(from the Comparisons album

Something was really starting to bug me, though, about the pattern itself. I couldn't put my finger on it, quite yet, so I rezzed out another version of the Candy Mountain dress. Now, Candy Mountain frocks are left and right, leaving Yulicie's "Vellent" in the center.

(from the Comparisons album

Here's the tricky bit. This is an extreme close-up of Yulicie's "Vellent" dress, showing a little jag in one of the drops of the painted texture itself.

(from the Comparisons album

And here, while it's difficult to see, is that same jag on the front of the Candy Mountain dress.

Okay, so what does that mean? Well, if I had to hazard a guess, Ms. Legend bought the template sometime in 2012, textured it with her own textures (not the six-pack that comes with the package from Ms. Imako), and released it. Then went a little crazy with brightly-colored tea dresses until she had those many, many variations.

Ms. Neaph, on the other hand, looks like she might have wandered across the Imako mesh dress recently, and picked it up. There's nothing inherently wrong with that, by the way--mesh forms that Ms. Imako releases are released with full permissions.

But. See that last picture? There's a complication, I think.

Namely, it looks like the drippy 'frosting' texture (or whatever it's supposed to be) on the Yulicie version has been flipped, front to back.

I'm going to go a little farther out on this limb, and say that it looks--at least to me--that the Yulicie dress uses the same texture as the Candy Mountain dress, which was released first, as far as I know.

I want to note: I don't know Ms. Neaph, I'm not saying she's infringing anything with her outfit. It's perfectly possible someone handed her the dress, and the texture, and she just did some quick recoloring for variation, some additional shading across the bust, et voila, her "Vellent Retro" released for the event.

But however she got it, I am saying that it's the same texture as on the Candy Mountain dress. How that happened, I'm not even hazarding a guess, but this comparison run is done, at least for me: the "Vellent Retro" dress does use the same texture as Candy Mountain's "Puddi" dress.

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