Remember. After you run MCH and get the output you need to handle the possible gaps around the edges of the patterns. This is often referred to as bleed. It is a printing term used to describe extending the ink in printing past the trim lines, like the edges of business cards. That allows the cut to be off tiny bits and not leave an edge with no ink. It is a way to allow some room for error in the SL render.
Adding bleed is the last step in your design. Remember, MCH removes these bleed areas in each transform.
Using map #4 making the bleed is not as easy as it first seems. In image #6 you can see the white edges and the parts of the map/template not used. The parts of the top that are on the edge of Chip template parts need to be extended to cover the white edges. However, the skin near the shoulders needs to remain clear.
One can either paint those in or use the Solidify filter. If painting, I place a layer under my top’s texture then select my texture and expand the selection by at least 4 pixels. That makes the bleed area. Then I have several ways to proceed. I can reselect the top in subtract mode to remove the main part of texture or modify the section into a 4 pixel border. The border thing doesn’t work as well in PS. However you do it, you want to end up with at least a 4 pixel border. Then paint it in with an appropriate color.
Patterns present a problem of needing to change colors as you paint in the bleed area. Solidify solves that problem by doing it for you. Select your texture and modify the selection by expanding it at least 4 pixels. Now we have the bleed area. But we also have some of the skin area that is inside the template pattern, not just the edges. We DO need to exclude the main texture as Solidify will modify it if there are transparent areas. Clean up the selection so we add bleed in just the appropriate areas.
For cleaning up the selections I started making a copy of the pattern with a solid opaque texture. I can then use it for a subtraction-select that allows me to protect my main texture.
Once you have your selection correct, run the Filter -> Flaming Pear -> Solidify B. It will color in the bleed for you.
Halos seem to be inherent in TGA images used in SL. I think it has to do with how images are compressed for use in SL. It certainly is not part of what one typically sees in TGA files used in other applications. There are loads of posts and tutorials on removing halos from TGA files for use in SL.
Halos are less of a problem when one uses Ping or PNG files for uploading to SL. However, you can still get halos using PNG files. I played a little bit with this problem to see how the new KDU is handling it. I think most of the halo problem is on the client side not SL’s server side. I used SLV2.6-219991 for my testing as it has the latest KDU version.
I tend to design with large images to try and retain detail as I work. (…and so I can be sloppy) I usually design with a 1024×1024 images and some times larger. I then resize the image before uploading to SL. How that is done seems to make a significant difference in the size of halo that appears using PNG files.
In PS one will see they recommend Bi-Cubic Sharper for image size reduction. When I use that choice I get a small halo (Image 10). The more I shrink the image, the more halo I get (Image 11 – way over done). Going from 1024 to 128 is a disaster. I can use Nearest Neighbor to resize the image and avoid the halo. (Yes those are PNG files with halos.) Clothes templates/maps with fine detail should be 256 or 512 pixel images. Solid colors can be smaller.
It used to make for less halo if one put a transparent layer at the bottom of the layer stack. That doesn’t seem to make any difference now.
One can search the SL forum for TGA PNG and find most of the information on how people are using the file types. Remember. Lots of people that do not stay up on things, post in the forum. So, a new post won’t necessary have the latest or most correct information. Especially since the Development Viewer is literally changing every day. Consider several opinions before deciding then test to see if it works.
Enough. I’ve been playing with MCH, this top, and this article for a couple of days, time to move on. I hope this gets you a better understanding of how to use MCH to speed up your design work.
I plan to play some more with the top and finish it. When I learn more I’ll blog it.
If you find I’ve made a mistake, let me know.