Second Life: How To Use AvaStar Shape Keys – Tutorials

Figuring out how to use the new shape keys isn’t too hard. Gaia Clary has provided free help, which I link to below. Figuring out what you will do with them is another challenge. It looks to me like using shape keys will be most useful to those making clothes for Standard Sizes and custom sizes.

AvaStar Shape Key Tutorials

AvaStar Shape Key Tutorials

I don’t see the shape keys being particularly helpful for those making fitted mesh clothes. But, I’m not making clothes right now, so I haven’t worked with the shape keys. Continue reading

Second Life: Machinimatrix AvaStar 1.4-5 Released

April 9 – Machinimatrix updated AvaStar. The announcement is here: Avastar 1.4-5.

AvaStar now has the ability to use custom shape keys. This doesn’t mean the shape keys can be loaded into Second Life™. It does mean you can use them to speed your design while working in Blender.

AvaStar 1.4.5 Promo Video

AvaStar 1.4.5 Promo Video

As the video shows, (if you clicked through) you need both AvaStar and Sparkels installed to use the shape keys feature.

Gaia doesn’t really explain the work flow one would use with Shape keys. I expect there will eventually be a video explaining that process. However, training videos from Machinimatrix now tend to be in the form of retail training courses. The basic overall-this-what-this-does-videos are still free. But, the detailed how-to-videos are sold as training courses. Continue reading

How To Easily Update to Blender 2.74

Blender 2.74

Blender 2.74

Blender released a new version 3/31. The short list of improvements is:

  • Cycles got several precision, noise, speed, memory improvements, new Pointiness attribute.
  • Viewport has new cool compositing features, outliner now manages orphan data-blocks better.
  • Modeling now allows custom normals, and transferring data layers between meshes!
  • Massive improvements to hair dynamics and editing tools: a big step forward with more to come…
  • A new tool “Cavity Mask” was added to sculpting/painting, along with other improvements.
  • Great memory consumption optimization in Freestyle NPR stroke rendering.
  • Grease pencil and Game engine improvements, and more…

Download: Blender 2.74Blender 2.74 Features List  Continue reading

Second Life: AvaStar Shape-keys Teaser

Gaia is working on better and easier use of shape keys in AvaStar. Watch the teaser:

These are only for use in Blender. They cannot be transferred into Second Life. SL shapes are baked into the viewer, meaning users cannot change them. But, they should allow us to make our various shapes for clothing and transfer the clothing into SL.

For instance, if I understood correctly, the shapes we personally model for, say large, medium, and small, could be setup in shape-keys and we could click between them. That would make a number of things easier.

No release date.

AvaStar Feedback Request 2015 Week 09

Gaia is asking for feedback regarding what changes to make in AvatStar during 2015. See: Avastar 2015 where to go? You can pick 3 items:

  • Implement: “The Mesh machine” (for easier fitting mesh attachments)
  • Make basic video(s): “Blender for SL Noobies”
  • Make Video: Fitted Mesh (basics)
  • Add Sample Models
  • Make basic video: “Create Attachment”
  • Update existing Reference Videos
  • Help Blender to improve the
  • Implement function: “Import SL animation to Avastar”
  • Implement: Avastar Update check in Blender’s splash screen

Click over to Machinimatrix and put in your two-cents.

As of 12 noon 2/26 the Mesh Machine was winning.

AvaStar’s Sparkles Sale Ending

Gaia Clary at is running a 50% off on Sparkles for AvaStar users. It ends February 15, until then Sparkles Pro: US$15 web* – US$7.50±/L$1,800* in-world, with 1 year of updates. (Prices are a bit unclear. I checked and the regular price is/will be $15.)

If you are not sure what Sparkles is… the video is a preview. But, read on…

Sparkles is a standalone tool set for building clothes and characters for Second Life. It is integrated with AvaStar, but does not require AvaStar to be used. The list of tools is: Continue reading