I recently decided to buy Avastar-1 (RC2-782) and see if it could solve some problems I’ve run into with posing the avatar for weight painting. I’ve also had some problems getting custom mesh to fit my avatar. Tight skirts require everything be precise. Things weren’t as precise as I hoped. I was getting frustrated.
Avastar is an add-on for Blender sold by Machinimatrix.org for US$22. ($27 4/2017) I resisted purchasing it because I wanted to provide tutorials that provide a free path to accomplishing the same things. I’m in the process of updating my tutorial: Second Life Mesh Clothes Blender 2.6 Setup 2012 Tutorial. It’s almost a year old and a few things have changed.
There are only two ways that I know of for getting a shape out of Second Life™. There is an XML and OBJ export available. And of course, you have to have permissions on the shape.
Update 3/2017 – All OBJ shape export from SL is gone. There are some OBJ Shape export tools listed in the SL Marketplace, but those are scams. Check the reviews before buying and even then be VERY skeptical.
Most viewers have the XML export; SL Viewer and most third party viewers. As far as I know the only built-in OBJ export is in Phoenix 1185 (4/2013). The feature has not been imported to Firestorm 4.4.0, yet. I am told it is on the list of features to be added.
See the Firestorm JIRA FIRE-290. (As of 3/2017 the feature has not been added back in.)
One can still get the Phoenix 1185 viewer if they dig through the Phoenix-Firestorm archives. (3/2017 But, that old version CANNOT log into SL. – So, there is no OBJ export of shape via Firestorm.)
An OBJ file is a Wavefront file format that is widely used. The format is built into Blender. So, it would seem to make for an easy transfer from SL to Blender and other modeling programs. It basically does, but there is a gotcha I just found. It has apparently been known since January 2011 (PHOE-2248). I just didn’t know.
It seems the Phoenix export does not export a correctly proportioned avatar. It is close and often close enough, depending on what one is making. The image above shows how it can be off. (The toes make the in-world avatar look taller, but that is camera lens distortion and perspective viewing.) But all is not lost. The mesh can be fixed in any modeling program.
In general the legs are too long. They need to be scaled down vertically more than the rest of the avatar. The torso, at least in my case, is about right vertically. The head, again in my case, is a bit tall. I also find the arms to be short. I can fix those things in Blender.
OBJ Export Tool
Update 3/2017 – This product and similar ones are o longer on the SL Marketplace.
Wiz Daxter sells an OBJ Exporter in the SL Market Place: Exporting SL Avatar to Wavefront OBJ file – L$1,000 – US$4.56. The item sold on the MP comes with a bad link. I sent a note card (10 AM SLT weekday) with all the purchase details and in minutes received an updated link. On Windows the llm.zip file name with a contained EXE file upsets my ESET anti-virus. But once unpacked, is not seen as a virus. This file produces a near exact copy of the avatar exported by Phoenix 1185. It seems to have the same shape distortions. I tried it with an XML file from Firestorm 4.4.0 and SL 3.5.2. I got the same result from both, which is surprising as Firestorm exports a 56kb file while the SL Viewer exports only a 9kb file.
Second page linked to below…