Second Life: MayaStar News – Week 15

A week or two back I covered MayaStar®, the addon for Maya® users developing Second Life™ content. I suppose many are aware of the similar product AvaStar for Blender. These are different products made by different people. They are not competitors as they serve different audiences.

Even if you are a Blender/AvaStar user there is still a bit of information here that may help you in  your design work. I’ve sot of added the work flow Cathy is building into MayaStar into my AvaStar work flow.

The video is 30 minutes long. 

I recently got a note card letter from Cathy Foil the author of MayaStar. Cathy is telling me about developments in her MayaStar world. Check out what she wrote. I published the letter because I didn’t see a way to improve on what Cathy wrote.

If you are using MayaStar let me know what you think of it in comments. I’m wading through spam comments right now as I have all my plug-in spam filters disabled. So, please get the world ‘MayaStar’ in your first sentence…  thanks.

Hi Nalates,

I hope you are doing well. 🙂

I just wanted to let you know I just released a new update for my MayaStar 4.3.

I saw Medhue’s video and wet suit product he created for Blender users and Avastar users and it was such a good idea I had to create my own version for my MayaStar users.

I have tried to improve on Medhue’s idea and created 4 custom avatar meshes specially designed for transferring the weights over to MayaStar users mesh clothes.

What makes these avatar meshes different is I made them so the vertices were more evenly spaced and closer together than LL’s avatar mesh.  I did this in hopes to get a more accurate and evenly weight transfer to the mesh clothes.  Hopefully this will cut down on the amount of weight adjustment time for my MayaStar users.

I spent weeks carefully adjusting the weights of the four new avatar meshes and using these new avatars to do the initial weighting of the mesh clothes will probably do 90% of the work of rigging in just a couple of minutes.

I have also come up with a new Body Type Fitted Mesh system.  Basically if you create your mesh clothes to fit the default avatar shape and rig it as traditional Fitted Mesh it will fit probably about 80% of the most common avatar body shapes seen in SL.

How the Body Type Fitted Mesh works with is MayaStar you first create your mesh clothes to fit the Linden Lab default avatar shape and rig it and adjust the weights.

Then using MayaStar’s Auto Mesh Resizing function reshape the mesh clothes into the three body types I have come up with.

Reshaping the mesh clothes into the three body type shapes only takes a few minutes each using the Auto Mesh Resizing function in MayaStar.  I say between 5 and 10 minutes each.

For females I came up with Waif, Hourglass and Voluptuous body types.  Hourglass is perhaps the most common body type I see in SL.  For males there is Cyclist, Swimmer and Bodybuilder body types.

The three body types will probably cover over 90% of the most common avatar shapes I see in SL.  Another benefit of the body types is they can help eliminate unwanted texture stretching and distortions.

For example Voluptuous body shape has the breast size set at maximum.  This normally causes great amounts of texture stretching and distortions on traditional Fitted Mesh clothes that are created to fit the default avatar shape.

When creating the Voluptuous Fitted Mesh the mesh clothing is reshaped to fit the larger breast and the UV Layout can be “Relaxed” with pinned UV boarders and using World Space.  This removes the texture Stretching and distortions.

Each Body Type Fitted Mesh basically uses the same weighting with just minor adjustments needed here and there so the additional amount of time to create them is minimal.

What the MayaStar user ends up with is the three Body Type Fitted Mesh and a traditional Fitted Mesh designed to fit the default avatar shape.  This gives the clothing customer a much better chance of the one of the fitted mesh fitting properly.  Of course no one will be forced to use the Body Types if they just want to make traditional Fitted Mesh.

I hope that wasn’t too much detailed information Nalates.  I know you are very technically savy when it comes to mesh so I wanted to give you enough info.

Here is a link to my YouTube video on the update for MayaStar 4.3 overview.

I haven’t done a video for the Body Type Fitted Mesh system yet but will be doing one shortly.

Hope to hear from you soon and thanks.

Cathy [Foil]

I am so thankful we have people like Gaia and Cathy building tools for Second Life. Also, I appreciate people like Optimo who teaches AvaStar classes at Builder’s Brewery, and actually the whole team there. They make life much easier for us. Support them wherever you can.

If your teaching classes in Second Life, let me know. I won’t promise coverage, but cause I get swamped with RL from time to time. But, chances are good you will get a mention.

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