Checking the Weighting
Earlier I showed you how to check the vertex weight panting and how to see whether the parenting worked or not. We’ll do a check now to see how things have worked.
Make Layer 1 the only active layer. Select the armature and switch From Object Mode to Pose Mode. Once in Pose Mode right-click a bone to select it. Press R to rotate it. Now the weighting should make things move like they do in Second Life.
Save the file.
Adding materials to the model makes things easier in Photoshop and you need them for making system clothes. So, let’s add the materials.
Select the head part. In properties select Materials, the round shiny ball like icon. If the part already has a material, great. Check the other parts. Each part needs it own material. If the same material is on all the parts, you’ll have problems later.
To create a new material press the PLUS control to the right of the materials control window. Name the material in the field just below the materials list window. You can assign the material a color below in the Diffuse section. That color part is not necessary, but it can be handy and will help show mistakes. Repeat the process for the upper and lower body.
It is important to assign the materials in Blender if you plan to use the model in Photoshop. Some versions of Photoshop cannot add materials to a model. CS6 has a materials section. I don’t remember CS5.5 having that.
Save a copy of the file.
Now we can make a joined copy of the weighted avatar. Select a part of your avatar, say lower body. Press Shift-D then Enter to create a duplicate. The duplicate is selected. Press M then 3 to move it to Layer 3. Repeat the process for the upper body and head.
Activate Layer 3. Select the head, upper and lower body. Press Ctrl-J to join the parts into a single part. This ‘single part’ avatar model is the part you need to export as an OBJ file for import to Photoshop.
Save a copy of the file.
If your avatar were clothing it would be read for export as Collada and import to Second Life. Let’s do an export.
Switch the 3D View window to Object Mode. Right click to select a part of the avatar to export. In the top menu select File->Export->Collada. When the file window opens look in the left side near the bottom for the export options.
Export only selected
I think this self explanatory. If it is not checked you’ll export the armature, your mesh, Domino’s mesh, everything in the file. Generally you’ll want to select this option.
Export for Second Life
Since we are exporting for Second Life this needs to be checked. This option corrects the problems the avatar.workbench-260.blend file was created to solve. So, I could skip those fixes to the Domino file because the Blender export option handles the problem.
When the options checked export your file. You can upload the file to Second Life on the ADITI (Preview/Beta) grid for free.
You can also check the file by opening a new Blender file and then importing the Collada file.
As I started to use my file from the previous version of the tutorial for dress experiment I found a problem with the Brushes. The older 2.4x files do not have all the things available in the newer 2.5x and 2.6x files. One of those things is the Painting Brushes. So, I need to add those in. Unfortunately while adding them is easy (just append the Brushes section, it makes a mess.
Custom Weight Painting Brushes or Missing Brushes
Bender 2.5x and 2.6x version have 9 brushes visible for weight painting.
If you check your file made from one of the listed files, you’ll probably have only one brush. To check:
- Enter Object Mode
- Select a part of the avatar body; head, upper, or lower
- Change to Weight Paint mode
- In the Tool Shelf (left panel) click the brush image.
You should see a window open with the available brushes. It should look like Image #36, just above. If not, you need to fix the problem. You can append the Brushes section of any new Blender 2.63a file to add in the Brushes, just as we added OBJECTS.
You have now imported, rigged, and weight painted a mesh. For making clothes, make your clothing item, parent it to the armature, select it and the weighted avatar mesh and do a bone copy. Pose the avatar to see if it moves as you want. Export it as a Collada file. Import it to Second Life. Done.
That is easier said than done. But, you have done most of the work in the tutorial.
There is much more to making clothes. Building the mesh models, vertex weight painting, and making UVMaps are all complex subjects. But, you now have the basics needed for Second Life.
Mesh modeling is the same whether you plan to take the model into SL or not. The same is true of vertex painting, and texturing with UVMaps. There are thousands of tutorial on the web for those subjects. Ashasekayi makes a series of video tutorials with a Second Life slant and so does Gaia Clary at Machinimatrix.org. Eventually I’ll get around to another tutorial. I’m working with new Bmesh, textures and weight painting now. Plus I’m experimenting with and learning CS6.
NOTE: 12-05-28 – I am having problems exporting rigged mesh from 2.63a and getting the LS Upload to work. The Bone Attachments and empties removal seems to make no difference, my uploads fail. For now I convert polygons to triangles and then open the file in 2.62 for export for SL.
Note: 12-06-16 – After recent updates in the SL Viewer and ADITI regions I am able to upload Collada exports made using 2.63a.
UPDATE: 6-25-2012 – Things may drastically change. See: Alternative to the Deformer.
Update: 7-3-2012 – It is looking as if the Alternate Deformer is less useful than first thought. It is going to change things some, but probably not all that much. So, this tutorial remains effective. However, we are learning more about the SL Avatar. See: The Second Life Skeleton