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 AvaStar’s Sparkles Sale Ending

Blender 2.73a

A new version of Blender came out last week; 2.73a. Click for: Download Blender and changes overview.

Blender 2.73a Released January 2015
Blender 2.73a Released January 2015

This download is a 90mb file. I use the ZIP version of the install as it operates as a standalone version. That allows me to have multiple versions installed at the same time.

AvaStar will need to be updated to the latest update (avastar-1.3-18_blender-2-70) to work with Blender 2.73a.

Blender Tutorial: Pie Menu

This tutorial from CG Masters came out in August 2014. I found it in November 2014. It is a 13 minute video on using and tweaking the PIE (or radial) menu that came out in Blender 2.72. When the video came out Blender 2.71 was current. The video was a preview of the coming PIE menu and to use that menu you needed to download a daily build of Blender to get it. Now it is included in Blender 2.72, so all you need to do is enable it.


Blender 2.73 Planning

Ton Roosendaal regularly shares his Blender developers meeting notes. Blender Nation summarizes them and links to the notes.

A feature being added back into the workflow is Mesh Transfer or Data Transfer. I’m not at all clear on what it is. The details are here. This seems like some type of attribute copy-paste… I don’t see how it will help me with my designs for SL.

Blender 2.72 - 2014-10-06
Blender 2.72 – 2014-10-06

They are planning to add support for Chinese/Asian complex characters.

A Dependency Graph is in the works. This would let you see how all the parts of a scene relate and which objects require which resources. Not something I’ll need in my simple files.

Various improvements are being made as part of the Gooseberry project. We will see viewport and asset management improvements that will likely help SL designers.

Currently Blender 2.72b is the current Blender release. The fixes and improvements list (release notes sort of) are here.


New AvaStar Training Course – Second Life

Gaia Clary has announced the release of a new course about using AvaStar with the Second Life™ skeleton (armature). The class is on sale for US$12. Find the announcement here.

The announcement is confusing. There is a course you can buy now, but it is incomplete. Huh? You can buy the course (text only $6 – to be completed by end of November) and the course video separately (video only $6)? What!?! Why? We know from the previous course that the meat of the class is in the written material. Both are needed.

The announcement is short:

This course guides you through all aspects of the Second Life Skeleton. This knowledge will help you to create your own SL compatible characters, attachments and animations.:

  • SL Appearance Sliders & Anatomy of the SL Avatar
  • The SL Avatar and rigged Mesh
  • Bone Sliders and Morph Sliders
  • Sliders and Weight maps
  • Weightmaps and Animation
  • Rest Pose and SL Default Avatar
  • Working with non default Shapes

The course video contains a brief self contained introduction into all topics which are covered in much greater detail within the course lessons.