AvaStar News 2017 w48

Loki Elliot has been running a series of articles titled AvaStar Unleashed (now part 7). The articles appear when Loki gets to it, meaning not a regularly published thing.

In this one, he has found a problem…

For sometime, Loki has been frustrated with AvaStar as it wasn’t doing what he wanted… or it maybe he just wasn’t doing things as AvaStar was designed to do them. I haven’t dug deeply enough into his workflow to know. But, I have been in the same place a number of times finding it was more me than AvaStar.

Frozen in time

Frozen in time

Often how we work and how AvaStar is designed to work conflict. The best way to resolve such issues is in the Blender AvatStar in-world group. Filing trouble tickets on the AvaStar site is great for reporting bugs. But, not that great for getting feedback. Feedback comes best from the in-world group.

In the current article, Loki has found the math precision problems that creep into Blender work from repeated operations on a model. He has a GIF image that shows the progression and eventual distortion. Continue reading

AvaStar 2.1 Released 10/1

Yay! We have a final release version, 2.1. The official announcement is here: AvaStar 2.1.

The price for 2.1 is:

  • Upgrade from AvaStar-1 for just 3500 Linden$ (or 14 US$)
  • Get a new license for just 6500 Linden$ (or 27 US$)

Lindens are going for L$265/US$1 as I write this. $L6,500/265=US$24.53 or is that L$265 x 27 for L$7,155? Whether $24 or $27, it is worth it.

If you are undecided about purchasing, I recommend you do. AvaStar saves one work on a number of tedious tasks required to get mesh working in SL as it does in Blender …or maybe turn that around… and handles some hidden gotchas in the SL design process. Save time and reduce your learning curve, buy it.

I use it… maybe that is a good thing… For animation and modeling of things going to SL, I think it is great.

AvaStar 2 RC-14 is Out

When I saw the announcement for the final release of AvaStar 2.0, I hadn’t noticed the RC-14 version is out, which was me being a bit slow considering the video I posted. Check your AvaStar Products Page for the download.

I won’t get to play with it today. But… soon.

The release notes are here. The big change is in BVH import and export. Bone translations now work. The IK controls for the hands change.

There are other minor improvements and some fixes.

Word is Sparkles will update with or just after AvaStar 2.0 releases.

AvaStar 2.0 – Sept 30?

AvaStar is thinking they will release AvaStar 2.0 around the end of September… yes, 2017.

I like the AvaStar developers and support people. But, I’ve decided they are way too susceptible to feature creep. Fortunately, they release RC versions that keep us going.

If you are using Blender, there is nothing equal to AvaStar for Second Life developers. If you are new to SL development, AvaStar is the one tool that can reduce your learning curve significantly. Well worth the cost.

With Bento out, animation for SL became way more feature rich. I expect we will start to see animations labeled in ways similar to how we label clothes; Maitreya, Belleza, Slink, and etc. compatible.

Facial animations are likely to be the most problematic, as we are sensitive to even the smallest imperfections in facial expressions.

Blender 2.79 Released – What’s Do for Second Life?

We have a new release of Blender as of 9/12. I always want to know what is the new release going to do for me in my work flow for Second Life. So, the TL:DR take is it messes up some things I do. But, not too bad. It looks like 2.8 will trip me worse. Still, for production, you’ll probably want to stay with 2.78c for a bit longer.

Blender 2.79 Splash – Sept 2017

For those working with Sansar, this is going to be an improvement. It will probably mess up your work flow a bit too. But, you’ll be getting advantages you can use in Sansar, like PBR. I’ll have to figure out if there is any ‘serious’ advantage for me in SL.

The release announcement is here: Blender 2.79.

I haven’t learned enough, yet, to comment on 2.79 accurately. So, these are the videos I think give us the information we need. This one is pre-release of 2.79. The short one first. This is about the video Blender can output when rendering. Mikey obviously hasn’t kept up on what is being done with Blender 2.8.

This next one is the better presentation of new features. It is a quick overview and at 18 minutes it should give you an idea of how much new stuff is in 2.79.  Continue reading

Blender 2.8 Overview

New in Blender 2.8 is an over view of Blender 2.8. The current version of Blender is 2.78c. A Blender 2.79 RC2 is available for download now. So, the 2.8 overview is a what’s coming type thing.

I’ve been seeing the Eevee word for some time. I know what PBR is, Physically Based Rendering. Meaning it looks more realistic. Eevee is Blender nickname for the render engine in the coming Blender. If you don’t know Eevee is also a whole Pokemon thing.

So Eevee is way neat. What we are getting that is such a big deal in Blender, in other words, is real time rendering in the viewports. Blender rendering has sort been a same day kind of render. Those grainy windows that progressively got more and more clear.

Now all the light and objects will render in real time.

The grease pencil is getting an update. If you don’t know the grease pencil is used more and more for modeling. But, there are 2D artists, think cartoons, that need better 2D tools. They are getting them. The 3D modelers will see more abilities added from the new grease pencil lines that are objects.

Workspaces are improving. These allow a UI configuration for different tasks. I have a UI arrangement for my animation and another for my modeling and weight painting. We’ve had that UI workspaces to a degree. They are pushing farther.

In Blender, we have had 20 layers to put things on and hide them or show them. The Layer system will no longer be limited to 20. The Layer paradigm is changing and Collections are being added.

An asset management system is coming to Blender.

As most of these are not things done to mesh or animation, what we do in that regard isn’t changing much. How we do it is significantly changing. The Eevee PBR engine is going to save us tons of time. This will be an update most of the SL users will want.