UPDATE: 3/2012 – The site where the HAX files can be downloaded is down. It may come back… or not.
Photoshop CS4 and 5 and Blender will allow one to accomplish the same thing as HAX. Both are easier as you can work directly on the 3D avatar. Look through the Mesh Clothing tutorials to see how to get the avatar model.
UPDATE: claireharford has started hosting the files needed for Multi-Chan Hax. LINK
I’ve taken some time to play with the multi-chan hax filter. It works, but it is not intuitive. The video tutorial that MistressOfDesign made on faces and socks helps. I think she did an excellent job fitting a lot of information in the time allotted. But, it still leaves things to be figured out.
When you want to make a pair of pants or a top you’ll find you need to know more. I’ve been sorting my way through Multi-Chan Hax (MCH). Below is what I’ve learned so far from starting a top/blouse. One thing I’ve learned is when it comes to making tops MCH is a tool to help you make things, NOT a tool that does everything for you.
If you want to follow along, look at the first tutorial on Multi-Chan Hax that I published and get MCH installed and tested. Also know this is not a Photoshop (PS) tutorial nor a beginner’s tutorial, it’s about MCH. So, I won’t be explaining how to do PS things. I’ll assume you know the basics of image editing and compositing. You’ll have to Google for PS help.
First, several people have had a problem with the Alpha Channel that MistressOfDesign used in her tutorial. I’m one of them. But, I’ve made enough clothes in SL and OpenSim that I have my own style of handling transparency. So, I just left the Alpha Channel steps out and did it my way. One does not have to use an alpha channel if they use a PNG image. I think of TGA images as an older way of making textures for SL. Using Solidify is optional too.
Some people think they get a better quality image using TGA. But low cut blouses and other clothing items that need transparent areas tend to get halos when using TGA’s, a border that shows between the opaque and transparent parts of a garment. Halos are just another item to deal with in TGA. PNG files mostly bypass the problem, or at least minimize it.
One still needs to expand the result from MCH to create a bleed area. I’ll explain more about bleed later.
Also you may notice a small halo in some of the images I use in this tutorial. Those are halos in PNG images. One can still get several halos even using PNG, more about that later.
Mucho 23 Channel
In the first tutorial on Multi-Chan Hax (MCH) that I wrote are the links to the MCH files. There are 10 compressed files in RAR format that expand into 12 template ‘collections’. The mucho23chan.mch file is a collection of 23 UVmaps. That is a lot of maps. Plus most of the other template collections have more than one template/map. My first thought was, ‘Dang. How do I use this stuff?’
Claire Hartford in the comments on the article Multi Chan Hax- It’s all kinds of awesome!, got me started down the right path.