Why It's All Skimpwear

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SickleYield's avatar
This is another one of those questions that comes up on the forum a lot, always starts the same argument, and anyone who's been working in our market for more than a couple of years is heartily sick of it.  It's parallel to the Why No Moar Mans? discussion, which I've already covered on this very journal.  I hope you'll forgive me if I seem crankier than really seems merited by the question.  The average forum newbie who is asking this for the first time means no harm and has no idea what sort of can of worms they're about to open.

So, in brief, any time you have the question "why doesn't the market have more X?" the answer is one of two things:

1.  Daz will not accept that type of product.  Usually it's not "family friendly" enough for the tyrannical Paypal and credit card processors, which is another explanation for another article.

2.  Vendors aren't making it because it is financially risky.

In the case of clothing, it's almost always Item #2.

You see, clothing is one of the financially riskier categories in the store for an individual artist.  The reason is that clothing takes a long time to make.  The base mesh and a simple rig is easy enough to achieve with Marvelous Designer, Zbrush, a template set, and some experience.  Then you get to try and make it work when a character moves.  Ha.  Ha. 

I'll be happy to go into the technical aspects at boring length if anyone should ask in the comments.  Suffice it to say that adding morphs, JCMs, and layered fits can take up more than half the time it takes to make a clothing set, and the more the clothing set covers and overlaps, the longer it takes.  Cuirasses are the absolute worst and men's suits are a close second.

An artist can easily spend a month on a clothing set.  This is fine if that clothing set then brings in a month's worth of rent money in its first week.  Most large, full-coverage clothing sets do not.

So... what if I make something skimpier instead?  Everybody loves fantasy bikini armor except a small, loud contingent who weren't going to buy it anyway because it's definitely going to be more than $10.  And with few to no overlapping pieces, I can afford to throw in some shoes and armbands, etc., with less effort on my part, and go for broke on the textures and shaders.  Maybe I can even do a fancy pauldron in the time I've saved by not having any kind of skirt or long sleeves or a bridging breast coverage area.

I'm not putting this armor or its maker down at all.  It's amazing work.  It's gorgeous, and I've never done anything remotely as good.  But there's a lot more that looks like this than looks like Val3dart's lovely full armor work - and even he has to be efficient sometimes.

For examples from my own catalog, there's Mystic Giselle, which took a week to make.  In its intro period, that important first 72 hours, it sold 156 copies and made around $546.  That's not rent money, even for me at the time, but catalog sales made the period not too bad, and it was only a week, so I got another product done in the same period.  Mystic Giselle was some easy morphs and a two-piece fantasy bikini.

Security! Genesis 2 Male sold 126 copies in its intro and made around $570, not that dissimilar to Mystic Giselle.  The difference is that Security! cost a month of my time because it had a lot of overlapping pieces and accessories.  That was an expensive lesson.  After that I learned not to make anything that takes longer than two weeks in a row, and especially not to burn myself out doing clothes.

So when I do a larger set like the Fantasy Megapack or the dForce Roman sets, I do them in little dribs and drabs in between other projects.  Because I like big clothing sets, and the market likes having them, but the intro sales will never justify the time spent. 

So the world turns, the skimpwear gets made, and people buy it.  And some other people will complain about it on the forum.  But those people also did not pay $30 for a ten piece outfit last month, either.  And if they do pony up that $30, it's going to be for the most solidly archetypal, reusable set imaginable, never for something wildly fantastical and out there.  And one can't blame the buyer for not having money; but the artist then can't afford to do something really original, ever, when that's how the market works.  And the full-coverage clothing is risky.  Bring on the bikini armor.
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LittleDragonKid's avatar


  1. thanks for this very open words!

  2. can you send me an image WHAT is Skimpwear? I checked google and the results are very different...

  3. I wish we would REALLY start getting more male clothes AND hell we have 1.000´+ Dresses, even females could get different clothes and not another! dress... same for renderosity.

About Paypal, well I pay all my stuff on renderotica via paypal, so I am confused why some does scare about it.

Patreon explained a while ago, they bann 18+ stuff because of paypal, but... other sites can use paypal (like pixiv) where is a lot naughty stuff.

SickleYield's avatar

Skimpwear is not a technical term, it just means "clothes that are skimpy." Skimpy means "not covering a lot compared to normal clothing." So this is very subjective! Different people of different ages and from different places have different opinions (and will argue them on the forum).

To me, an upper middle class American who was born in 1981, "skimpy" means "revealing some combination of the midriff, cleavage, midback, and thighs." People complaining about skimpwear usually mean they would like to see less bikini-shaped things and more long-sleeved and long-pants and full breast coverage.

Thus, definitely skimpwear:


Definitely not skimpwear:


Everything in between is some way arguable.

There are more female clothes because people buy more clothes for women. I make good money out of my male clothes, but that is because I make unisex outfits and I am bad at female clothing. :D I know from talking to others that I'm the exception to the rule here.

Technically you don't buy anything from Renderotica via Paypal. If you go through checkout there, you may note the checkout screen is routed through their NON erotica site, CG Bytes. This allows them to dodge the rules. I don't know if Pixiv is doing something similar, but I wouldn't be surprised. At some point it is possible Paypal will realize this and cut them off, but it's a reasonable risk.

LittleDragonKid's avatar

Ahhh wonderful explaining! Yeah I am sad, we have so much "skimpwear" I love casual clothes, giving my images more the touch of a normal life, same for environments, does our char always have to "life" in a Villa? do they need Luxery Sport cars?

A Normal house is very rare, its mainly all Luxery.

"you may note the checkout screen is routed through their NON erotica site, CG Bytes. "

Oh yeah thats right!

Well for Pixiv... the site themself is not declared as erotica, some peoples try theyre luck and post there just normal art :D (not with much views^^; peoples are there for naughty stuff).

The Fanbox is just like Patreon so... the question is, will Paypal go and checkout from who it comes? If paypal only get the info "Pixiv Subscription" they will not get any info. On my Paypal bills are just Japanese letters.

"ピクシブ株式会社 hat Ihnen 699 JPY gesendet"

(Pixiv ltd, did send you xY money) nice mixed from Japanese and German :D

No idea why Paypal is so crazy with erotica... but you can pay in german erotic stores also with Paypal. Eis.de is a Erotic store and you can use PP :)

"I make good money out of my male clothes, but that is because I make unisex outfits and I am bad at female clothing."

If you wanna make me happy with something unisex:

Make a Dungaree/overall which is undressable, so far I know this is the only:


but the buttons are bad and it opens like a jacket.

The most Dforce dungarees can just fall a bit down like a skirt, but when you move the straps under the arms it will break because of the buttons :(

I think I saw one dungaree with undressing morphs but I think it was for poser or for a "low" Genesis char.

I asked already on Renderosity peoples, most arent answering, one answered, that he prefer to make dresses.

The store is overloaded with dresses :(

I wish there would be a option to Hire people to make outfits/props, but not even on Fiverr can you find People with skills for daz3d.

SickleYield's avatar

Sorry, but probably not. That's a female piece, a more technically difficult piece, and I'm not certain of its marketability to a larger audience.

I have an article on why I don't do commissions:

This is also why there aren't people on Fiverr. If someone actually knows how to model AND texture AND rig, commissions are not a good use of those talents because fully rigged, textured clothes that look good take a lot of hours to make. The only way to get paid a livable wage for the inevitable big time chunk is to be on a market where you can sell to a wide audience.

LittleDragonKid's avatar

well, my idea of comission is those: I pay the Creator a bigger first time purchase value and THEN he is still allowed to sell it to daz3d or renderosity, because I know the one time payment is it not worth.

That would also be bad, I would love when someone does also enjoy the product I "initiated", like I pay 50-70€/$ for the first Purchase and then it goes into public market, like Kickstarter, just Personal ;)

"and I'm not certain of its marketability to a larger audience." People love naughty undressable clothes, there is just so far no naughty dungaree ;)

And... no dungarees arent female exclusive ;)






So you see its very flexible, for young, old, Man and Women.

Maybe.... there is time to make something like Patreon daz3d?

Where good artists can present 2-5 concepts and the users can vote what they would like of them AND they support it, so the Artist get however paid, even if it fails at the end, he know he HAVE some money...

Or like Kickstarter, but just for every product.

Just an idea :/

I would love to support awesome outfits I would say ~70$ is a good max amount for myself for a good clothe piece ;)

ODastein's avatar
Sorry to comment on such a rather old post, but I have a question : Why are the sales in the opening 72 hours so important? Especially for a PA like you, with a rather impressive catalogue including so well known and pretty useful products. I would have assumed that most of your income would come from catalogue sales, and that long-term sales would matter vastly more to you than how many copies are sold during the intro sales. 
SickleYield's avatar
Intro sales often mean 80% or so of the sales on a given product, and determine my income for the period more directly than anything else. There are exceptions, but that is the rule. And that new product also draws customers to my catalog. So the more successful the new product, the more people look at the catalog. Without new products that do well the catalog would cease to pay the rent very quickly.
ODastein's avatar
I see. I thought that sales were much more spread over time. Thanks for your answer. 
member9's avatar
If you ever considered doing a commission, how much would you need to be paid for it to be worthwhile?
SickleYield's avatar
Usually if someone was willing to pay that much it's going to also be for something I really don't want to spend 20-40 hours of my time doing.
member9's avatar
Fair enough.  You should do what you enjoy.
honormacdonald's avatar
I'm never going to be one to "complain" about skimpy stuff - I've been a pro in my own field long enough to know market forces when I see 'em, and I'm not easily offended, anyway.  But it _is_ sometimes fun to look at an exquisitely crafted outfit and still be able to smile and say "Maybe you wanna put on some clothes if you're going to fight evil today, Bunny..."  :)

I appreciate the fascinating and well written info here.  I knew on a basic, big-picture level that clothing must be much more difficult than most of the stuff I want to do, but I didn't have a realistic sense of scale on that difficulty (historically accurate / realistic medieval plate armour is one of those things I've always wanted, and thought "Maybe someday" I'd make, just for my own satisfaction, and I figured it had to be just about impossible to get the joints to work, or someone would have already done it.)

Anyway, I've now got the luxury of expanding my time into some creative fields I've had to ignore in favor of the ones I was already good at, and I stumbled upon one of your tutorials on YouTube, and, boy, do you do a good job of 'em.  I'll thank you by buying your tutorials on DAZ as I have time to digest them and move on to the next one, but I wanted to thank you here, as well.  Then, today, a link on the DAZ forums led me here, to learn about transferring face morphs from G3 to G8, and I find out you're as fun / rewarding to read as you are to listen to.  So thanks, again :)
I-Am-Madbat's avatar
People make what sells and T&A sells, it seems quite simple. I mean, look at what art gets attention in Daz/Poser galleries. Tits and ass, or fairy fantasies (with tits and ass). So, that's what people want to buy. I'm one of those rare weirdo's that want mens, wimmens, and fugly people of all kinds. I'm also one of those people that bought that security set for the G2 figures. I don't recall ever actually using it, but It's there for when I do, cause I just might want to render a security guard that doesn't look like a stripper in costume. That's not my style. That's also why I've been spending less time rendering, less time purchasing, and less time on Renderosity and DA. One can only take so much of the same ol' stuff. I don't blame the vendor for what's being made, that's all market driven, and the market is us.
SickleYield's avatar
I have a lot of interests that are less marketable myself (also see: all my character sets that didn't sell), so I do sympathize. It's just that none of us can get away from the economics of it.
I-Am-Madbat's avatar
That's kinda the bottom line of being a vendor, you got to make what sells. Spending a months worth of hours for essentially a weeks worth of pay is a fast way to fail. From my end, I have nothing to seriously grumble about. If I want something that bad, I can get off my ass and learn to make it. 
Dimples-Bratt's avatar
Fascinating...thankz U for sharing

On the catalogue salez...I woz taking with...Aeon Soul? And I woz thinking, if you left your old V4 stuffz up...wouldn't you get trickle sales? I mean I iz use V4 still...almost exclusively..and many of the old stuffz iz gone...and they woz nice and I haz seen her still in use all over..plus wif the Generation transfer utilites U can sue them on Gemesis 2 and so on.

Second...I woz thinking of getting into Blender for I guess "Simple" prop design...prolly nuffink simple about it but iz wanna dip my toe...iz see you use Z-Brush on U-Tubez for hair and so on.

I wud be very interested in you posting some of the more basic details or work flowz?

Keep being Awesomez! Thumbs Up 
SickleYield's avatar
I have a couple of Blender tutorials on the Daz store and one for clothes here:

Dimples-Bratt's avatar
Yay...thankz U :)

Ur U-Tubez video on...oh... U know.."tugging" the mesh in blender to help itemz fit woz very helpful...these iz be awesomez!
aethyrulf's avatar
I think there's also an element of a vicious circle from the side of Daz Studio/Poser artists; I don't have your insider knowledge, of course, so it's hard to say if I've got this right or if I'm way off base. Would be cool to hear if you have any input.

Anyway, as far as I've figured things out, it goes something like this:

* A vocal (at least on DA) portion of DS/Poser artists are only or primarily interested in rendering pinups of sexy women
* Those artists like and purchase the skimpy outfits (which are almost always for the female characters -- not that you can't cross-fit, sometimes with rather good results, but I digress)
* Content creators see that people are buying these outfits (even for those of us who buy them to cross-fit) and make more of them
* People see DS/Poser as only or chiefly able of making those kind of pinups

Lather, rinse, repeat.

It's a frustrating circumstance for me; it can feel awkward to tell people I'm a Daz Studio artist out of concerns that it's associated only with nude pinups rather than more "fine art" ideas. Also, as a gay guy, I'm naturally more interested in purchasing and rendering content involving male characters; it's even become a point where I have to think twice about portraying female characters, not out of any real bias, but because how is it going to stand out in the sea of similar images?

I think you've hit the key issue -- it sells, that's why people make this kind of outfit -- but there's certainly a lot to be discussed around it.
qishmish's avatar
So, skimpy for $ and non-skimpy for "ok I can allow myself to do it once in a while" 
SickleYield's avatar
That is exactly how it is for most artists.  For me clothes in general are "ok I can allow myself to do it once in a while," because my core business is props, effects and utilities.
Hippokampos's avatar
Thank you for taking the time to explain this. It makes perfect logic sense, though the selfish b*stard that I am wants a full set of Roman cuirass's to play with right now. :-) But it's nice to gain a greater understanding of the biz and what you as designers and vendors are up against. I just bought Marvelous Designer and really want to learn to make/design clothes, but for myself and not commercial. Instead of complaining about not having the clothes I want, I thought, why not make it myself.  It looks like a monumental task ahad and I'm taking CGElves course...but man, is it intense! You have my complete admiration. 
Dimples-Bratt's avatar
Excuse me...wot is CGElves course?
Hippokampos's avatar
It's a course which teaches you how to use Marvelous Designer to make 3D clothing. cgelves.com
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