Second Life Mesh Clothes Blender 2.6 Setup 2012 Tutorial

Weighting

Ashasekayi has a video that explains how to use the Bone Weight Copy Add-on. That does a good job of explaining the weighting process. Watch the video. Afterward I explain a couple of things.

Ashasekayi refers to a previous video on installing the Bone Weight Copy Add-on. I’ve already covered that in this tutorial. So, you should see the controls in the Tool Shelf (panel to the left in 3D view). If not you may not have enabled the tool in this file. Go into User Preferences and find 3D View: Bone Weights Copy and enable it.

#27 Parenting and Weighting Working

Ashasekayi mentions the bones I added in the Easy Method. We have skipped adding them in this more complex method because the Bone Weight Copy will add them in for us.

The morph groups she deleted in her file setup I’ve left in. Whichever way you went affects your choices when copying weights. I hope you noticed she said the morph groups are useful for other things.

Only Named Bones

This option will omit the morph groups and include any missing bones. I left the groups in so I need to select this option.

Copy Empty Groups

This will force the addition of a complete bone list to any mesh you are weighting. If you read or watch various tutorials you’ll hear you must have the bones or that you don’t need all of them. Those tutorials conflict, but they were likely correct when written. The safer path is to include all the bones. The Lab has changed and is changing the Mesh Importer in the viewer. They find edge cases and add corrections. In doing so regressive mistakes sometimes creep in. So, it is hard to say which way to do things over a long time. So, you may have different problems with different versions of the LL & TPViewers.

What to Copy From

Ashasekayi’s video assumes you have been following her series of videos. So, she doesn’t need to check for a weighted source. We are using Domino’s so I know we don’t need to check. So you’ll know how to check, I’ll explain how it’s done. Also, as Ashasekayi explains the source and destination meshes must be visible. I’ve put the armature and the target mesh in Layer 1. I moved Domino’s mesh to Layer 2.

Checking the Source Weights

In Object Mode right-click the layer selector for Layer 2. Now layer 2 should be darker meaning selected. You should be looking at Domino’s mesh, right-click to select a part of the avatar.

#28 Weight Painting – A=Selection, B=Selection Name, C=Vertex Group Selection, D=Weight Painting

Over in Properties select Object Data (the triangle icon). In Vertex Groups find a bone group in the part of the mesh you selected. Click it to highlight-select it. Now change the 3D View from Object to Weight Paint mode. You should see the weight painting. If not, something is wrong. You’ll have to track the problem down before you can proceed. Double check that you picked a group that is in the part of the avatar you selected. An arm group is not going to work if you selected the legs. See Image #28.

#29 Parenting and Weighting Working

You can repeat the check for each part of your avatar mesh. While doing the check you can get an idea of what weight painting should look like. There are numerous vertex weight painting tutorials on the net. As you learn more about weight painting you start to notice problems with the SL avatar. It would be nice to fix them. That requires the Lab’s help. Add your weight to STROM-1800 by clicking WATCH.

Copy Weights

You need to select the mesh that will receive weights first and the mesh the weights will be copied from second. This can be tricky when you are using models that are exact copies. You can use the Properties Panel to make the selections.

#30 Selecting Objects viw Property Panel

We haven’t talked about naming your meshes and keeping things well labeled. Here you’ll see a bit of why you need to label things. Let’s do some labeling to make selecting things easier.

In the 3D View in Object Mode select Layer 1 to show you mesh. Right-click the head to select it. Now look over in the Properties panel and find the highlighted item, you may need to scroll. If you want to rename it, now is a good time. Select the cube icon, Object, and type the new name in the field just below the icon. See the image. I suggest you rename all 3 parts.

#31 Selecting Object Data – Allows Easy Object Naming

Now check the mesh you imported, so you’ll know the names of those parts. Switch to Layer 2 to see Domino’s mesh that we appended earlier and right-click a part of the mesh to highlight it in the Properties Panel. I suggest you leave the name of Domino’s parts as is. But, do whatever works for you. It won’t matter to Blender.

Now that you know the names, shift-right-click Layer 1’s selector so both Layer 1 & 2 are selected. Now move up to the Properties panel and right-click the legs part of your mesh, whatever you named them. Then scroll to Domino’s lowerBody and shift-right-click it. That should select both meshes in the correct order.

Now is a good time to save a copy of the file.

#32 Bone Weight Copy Controls

Over on the left you should be able to find Weight Copy at the bottom of the panel. It only shows when the 3D View is in Object Mode. Make your copy selections, Interpolation should be 5 since we aren’t experimenting and know what we want. Also both options should be checked. Click Copy Bone Weights. The process starts. In a few seconds my screen goes black. That is normal. If you try clicking inside Blender during this time you may see Blender go Not Responding. That is normal too. Five it up to 10 minutes. If it has not come back by then, assume something is wrong. Kill Blender and try again.

Repeat this process for the torso and head. The torso takes the longest to copy over. The head and leags are about the same. The torso is about 4.5 times longer.

You can check the weighting as I did earlier.

38 thoughts on “Second Life Mesh Clothes Blender 2.6 Setup 2012 Tutorial

  1. Pingback: Second Life Mesh Clothing Tutorial

  2. Greetings Nalates, thank you so much for this nice tutorial. This could my final motivation to push myself learn make clothes.

    In the page 3 you say that all the viewers uses the same avatar files, but it may be not true. I am not completely sure, so I won’t say names, but I think that there are one or more viewers using the modified avatar filed on STORM-1800:

    https://jira.secondlife.com/browse/STORM-1800?

    • You may be right. There may be some viewers that use the STORM-1800 Avatar. BUT… I expect those to be experimental versions. I think all the main versions TPV Dev’s release will use the same LL avatar. That because of the recent TPV Policy change. Most dev’s interpret it more strictly than I do.

      I have yet to test the STORM-1800 avatar to see how it works.

  3. Nal, I think the key to exporting your shape in the SL viewer, at least for Windows, may be to run the viewer as administrator. If I don’t do this, the shape doesn’t export while if I do run as administrator I do get the new_arrchetype.xml file. Right click on the icon that starts the viewer and select Run as Admnistrator.

    I think the problem in windows is that the program tires to write to the Program Files (x86) folder which is only allowed in administrator mode.

    • No… it depends on the version of the viewer you are using. I’ve tried the run as Admin, select avatar, etc. Plus Whirly was able to reproduce the problem.

      But, Thx…

      • Well, I tried it on v 3.3.1 as described, and was able to successfully export the xml. It also works on the current versions of Firestorm and Dolphin, although not in Niran’s. I thought I’d mention it since you specifically mentioned v 3.3.1 of the SL viewer. It could be operating system dependent too.

          • It looks like the newer viewers (i.e 3.3.3 and those using the newer code base like Niran’s) write the file to C:\Users\User_name\AppData\Roaming\Viewer-Name\user_settings instead of to C:\Program Files (x86)\Viewer-Name\character as before because of write permission prohibition to the latter folder in newer Windows OS’s

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  5. This is a great tutorial!. Thanks so much for taking the time to do this. I’m just starting to learn Blender and working with mesh. I agree it’s important for people to get under the hood and learn the “poor man’s” approach to doing this. When I get more time, I plan to walk through every step of your tutorial.

    I also agree that Avastar is a great product. I’ve uploaded my own shape and am making animations specific to it. Although I haven’t tried mesh clothing yet, making regular mesh objects and uploading them to SL is pretty seamless. It’s cost of $22 USD is no more than most good books.

  6. Just to double check, if you have the avastar add-on you don’t need the Bone Weight Copy script, correct?

    • Look in your User Preferences -> Add-ons. It will be near the top if it installed. Look for 3D View Copy Bone Weight.

  7. Not sure if I am missing something here. It seems like everything does great up until I do the bone weight copy. From what I can tell, it appears that the process sets the weight for all bones to zero not only on the target mesh, but on the mesh being copied from.
    I’m using Blender 2.63a. Is there a known issue, or a different weight copy plug-in I should be using?
    Sorry. Still new to all this. :(

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  10. I cannot get the bone weight copy to work I have redone all the steps starting at page one more than 25 times now & everything is fine up to the bone weight copy. They never copy…I have made sure both layers are selected & my mesh is chosen 1st & then the mesh to be copied from which I made sure had weighting. Blender acts like it’s doing something for a minute or two but when it finishes there are no bone weights in my mesh.

    • Check the weight painting on the source… make sure your source avatar shape has weight painting.

      Open a new copy of your base file, add a cylinder around the avatar. Add some edge loops (Ctrl-R then mouse wheel). Parent it to the armature. Do a Bone Weight Copy to see if the weights transfer.

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  13. Awesome. Works like a charm and very well written. But I have a problem. When I upload my rigged avatar its head and feet shrink. Any idea why?

    • Which viewer are you using?

      Just imagine I placed my standard rant about including your technical information in with a question about technical issues.

      Also, your fastest and likely best answers will come from the SL Forum’s section on content creation.

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  19. hello may i ask something? can we put a cloth pattern in blender? and apply it to an avatar body?

  20. Thanks for this! Now that Blender has a transfer weights option built in, are you planning on updating this guide for that?

    • I’ll probably put off updating until I am sure we have a working Fitted Mesh process. The ‘Fitted Avatar Model’ in the viewer is broken. We have JIRA BUG describing problems. The Lab will likely have to make some changes. I have no idea how that may affect what we know now.

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