We still do not have a final version release. This is another test version. But, each version gets us closer to a finished AvaStar. Version 1039 fixes a bug found in version 1038.
If you have created an account on the Machinimatrix Blog, you now get two benefits:
- You can register your purchases once and then always download your purchased products (including updates) right from your Machinimatrix account.
- Purchases made between 29-mar-2014 and 4-apr-2014, also get you the chance to win a 3-month Blender Gooseberry Account*.
You can enter your personal Avastar success story as a short note and get the chance to win a 3-month Blender Gooseberry Account*.
*A gooseberry account allows you to download 11 blender training videos and all production material of the previous blender foundation short films (Elephants Dream, Big Buck Bunny, Sintel, Tears of Steel) for free plus all production material from the upcoming Gooseberry Project while in progress.
The big deal in this offer the is the Gooseberry Project, With the deal comes an 11-DVD Blender training set. The set if purchased is expensive.
The 1039 Changes
To install Avastar test version 1-1-1039. Gaia has learned and published the steps that you will need to do and what to do if you have problems. I have modified them some from my experience:
- Install the zip addon, do the standard install.
- In the addon tab, type Avastar into the search field.
- Verify that Avastar is enabled.
- Save user settings.
- Restart Blender.
- If you are in Blender 2.7x, the Add menu is now at the bottom of the 3D View window. The shortcut is still Shift-A.
If you can’t enable AvaStar:
- Uninstall Avastar.
- Save your User Preferences.
- Restart Blender .
- Install Avastar.
- Save User Preferences.
- Try to enable Avastar. It should enable.
- Save User Preferences again.
- You should up and working.
If you still have problems:
- Uninstall AvaStar.
- Set Blender to Factory settings. (Menu: File->Load Factory Settings)
- Save User Preferences
- Restart Blender.
- Do a new AvaStar install per the first set of step 1 to 6 above.
Please note this workflow is for Avastar test version 1-1-1039. Gaia wrote the original and says it is likely to change with future updates. 1039 fixed a bug found in version 1038. I’ve chaged details of the process as I found I was having to figure out what was being done. I’ve also entered some branch points for different scenarios and collapsed multiple outlines into a single outline. I’m not sure it is perfect, but it worked for me as I stepped through it in Blender2.70 & AvaStar 1.1-1039.
If you want to see the original workflow get a copy from the Group Notices in the Blender AvaStar group. Remember, It will only be there until it ages out. I expect a new workflow to be on the Machinimatrix.org site when the final AvaStar 1.1 is released.
Workflow for Fitted Mesh:
- Have your mesh and the AvaStar figure and rig ready (placing the meshes and rig on different layers makes for easier selection. Use shift-select to add make more than one layer active/visible.
- Select your mesh and then the rig. Order is important for later steps.
- In the Skinning and Rigging panel (A in Image):
- For a previously weighted mesh set Weight to “Keep”.
- For new meshes select either;
- Meshes – to move weight from a previously weighted mesh to the new one.
- Bones – to generate weights from bone proximity .
- Empty – to generate vertex groups with no weights.
- The Shape Sliders should be enabled/checked by default and the values at their default values.* You should not have to check Slider values.
- Press the Assign Armature button. This parents the mesh to the armature and changes the options in the Skinning panel. At this point both your mesh and the rig should still be selected and can stay selected for the next steps.
- Fitted Mesh, In Skinning press the plus sign just under the button that now reads Detach Armature to open the panel with the Fitted button, which should be enabled.
- Non-Fitted mesh select Classic. For enabling animation of a mesh without sizing this is the preferred choice.
- The Deform panel in Skinning has been updated to try and make it as simple as possible to copy weights. In version 1039 the Deform (Classic) and Deform (Fitted) label on the panel open button does not update until the next time the file is opened. I think this is just a cosmetic flaw that has no effect.
- When taking weights from a mesh already weighted for mBones set the Source to Move. This will move the weights that were originally mBones (SL) weights and moves them to the corresponding cBones (volume/collision). If you want your mesh to also have weights placed on the cBones for which there are no corresponding mBones, enable the Generate Weights button.
- Apply the configuration.
- The mesh is now ready for you to test with sliders. Go to the object properties and select the Object icon (cube) to test the sliders. You will f ind the Sliders in the section of properties titled Avatar Shape. You may have to click Shape Editor to expose the Slider controls. At this point you can add a custom shape.
- In the Skinning & Rigging panel in the Avastar tab go to Show Bones and enable Skin. This will reveal the SL base armature(blue) and collision/volume bones (orange/red octahedrons) visible and put you in Weight mode.
- Whether or not you can enter Weight mode at this point depends on how you selected the mesh and armature. The mesh needs to be selected ahead of the armature. If you selected the armature first earlier in these steps you won’t be able to enter Weight mode now. Just clear your selections and select your mesh then the armature and open Weight mode.
- Selecting Stick in Armature Display will make the SL base bones easier to see and work with.
- Use the SL bones to pose the armature, and the volume cbones to weight.
- To update the changes in your mesh as you paint weights, press Alt-q to update the mesh. Alt-q is only a refresh, so you will have to press it from time to time to see how your painting is affecting the mesh. It is the same as clicking the Shape: Refresh button in the Skinning panel.
*NOTE: It is important to model over the default shape. Once the model is complete and parented to the rig, with sliders attached, you can load the shape you want and start weight painting on that shape.
NOTE: If you did the five standard sizes, hopefully you made one for the default shape you can use for converting to Fitted Mesh. If not, use the one closest to the default shape and edit it to fit the ‘default’ shape.
These steps get a person to where they can be weighting for Fitted Mesh. People are experimenting with Fitted Mesh and figuring out what works. Expect things to change as the optimum workflow is figured out.