Obviously I am messing with Fitted Mesh. Since it has been released lots more people are attempting to work with it. The result is things are changing quickly because a larger number of people are attempting to work with it. That increase in interest tends to reveal more problems as more users do more things and find the problems not discovered during development, which is what is happening.
Today I found out Gaia has published: Fitted Mesh Kit. The key piece of information is that Blender and Fitted Mesh are only compatible starting with Blender 2.70, which has yet to be released. You will probably be able to get a current build of the planned Blender 2.7 from GraphicsAll.org. But, as of today I don’t see one.
However, the nightly builds are available. Download at Blender.org. Gaia provided the link in the Kit article. But, I don’t see a 2.7 build. The RC builds may not appear until March.
The current plan from Blender.org is to release 2.7 in early March. The RC is to be frozen March 2nd, according to December plans. We may not have a usable plain Blender, meaning without Avastar, until we see that RC release.
Gaia says the fix she is talking about will be in the next nightly build. That means any build dated after today (2/19 – which I have confirmed does not have it). The Avastar Collada export works in Blender version 2.65 and up. So, there is currently a way to work with Fitted Mesh, provided you have Avastar.
You can read the thread discussing the fix here: Add Maya compatible “Bone Scale for Edit Bones.
I consider Gaia one of the more helpful developers I have come across. As part of Gaia’s development work a free fitted_mesh_270.blend file has been made available. If you have read my previous articles on work_bench files, you’ll expect there to be a bunch of stuff in the file that is related to Avastar. There doesn’t seem to be, the file is much cleaner than the previous work_bench files. So, it will be very usable for those still trying to build for SL without the Avastar add-on. They just have to wait for Blender 2.7.
The SL Wiki files provided by the Lab have problems that Gaia has corrected in fitted_mesh_270.blend. The contents of the file are described in the Kit post.
This file still has what I think are weighting problems. For instance:
- mKneeRight, mKneeLeft – there are vertices in the foot weighted to these bones.
- mFootLeft, mFootRight – have vertices in the toes weighted to these bones.
- R_FOOT, L_FOOT – are only partially weighted.
- Weighting in general is poor. See the image. Any bone that has collision bone weighting is of less quality than the former weighting we had with the mBones.
This file gets us much farther down the road toward being able to make Fitted Mesh clothes. But, it is still a weak starting point for most of us. We need to do lots of work to get to a good place from which we can start building.
I expect to find better weighted models in the future. For now this file gives us a much better starting place than the SL Wiki files. And Gaia is providing a good summary of the Fitted Mesh work flow in the Kit post.
I tried importing the SL Wiki Collada file to Second Life. That import works OK. The shape sliders work reasonably well and things change pretty much as the avatar changes. But, it is certainly not an exact duplication of the SL Avatar we see in the viewer. I would expect it to be an EXACT duplicate because this is supposed to be a copy of the SL Avatar. But, it appears it is not.