New Second Life Tool for Blender

Machinimatrix.org is releasing a new tool for use by Second Life™ creators. This one is called Sparkles Tool Box. The promotional video comes as a tutorial for merging UVMaps and shows people how to perform the task manually. Then goes on to show how much time can be saved by using the new tool.

If you already have AvaStar, you may not need the new tool, depending on your workflow. I have Blender 2.71 and avastar-1.1-beta-4_blender-2-70 installed. When I copy the AvaStar model’s lower, upper, and head and combine them I get the UVMap result that Sparkles provides as shown in the video.

But, if you are working with anything other than the AvaStar model, Sparkles is going to be a time saver.

Gaia Asking for Help

Gaia Clary of Machinimatrix.org is making a new video tutorial on weight painting for Second Life™. A new post is up on her blog asking for input. See: Weighting with Blender.

The actual tutorial part being worked on is here: Course: Weight Painting (Blender&Avastar).

AvaStar is not required. Plain Blender (2.70+) can be used for the tutorial.

One handy thing is the free ‘blend’ file with example clothes. There is also a free OBJ file with the same models. The models are licensed via Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 with accommodation for the current Linden Lab TOS. The models are not yet weighted, that is for a class activity.

New Blender 2.71 Weight Painting Video

Medhue, of Medhue Animations, has a tutorial video up on weight painting for Second Life using Blender 2.71. The information in general works for any modeling system. But, is specifically for Second Life and Blender w/AvaStar users. While the ideas are transferable to any system, the button presses are specific to AvaStar users. He does not get into Fitted mesh, but for a button press or two it is the same.

There is a commercial in the middle if you watch on YouTube. Its short but it is a surprising burst of sound.

This tutorial is based on Medhue’s work flow, which is very much like the workflow pattern I use. The basic idea is to make one master weight garment or body and then use that for all future weighting. Medhue shows how to do that.

You can discuss the video with Medhue in the SL Forum here: Tutorial – Rigging & Weighting in Blender  2.71 with Avastar for Second Life. (I modified the title a bit…)

AvaStar 1.1 Beta Released

On Sunday Machinimatrix announced the release of AvaStar 1.1 Beta. Gaia Clary is saying there will be no more test releases as the last one is not drawing any big reports. This suggests AvaStar is near completion for the Fitted Mesh addition.

The announcement is here: Avastar-1.1 Beta is Out. The download is via your personal link for AvaStar.

I am guessing that with the exception of minor changes this beta will be the final release.

Bogus AvaStar

Gaia Clary has posted that someone is selling a ripped off of AvaStar in the SL Market Place for L$8,000. The rip-off is an old version of AvaStar. The rip-off is here (so you know which one NOT to buy).

The real AvaStar is available at: http://blog.machinimatrix.org . AvaStar sells for US$27 or about  L$6,750.

Gaia filed a DMCA June 5th. As of this morning the rip-off remains on the Market Place.

Blender 2.71 Update

The test build of Blender 2.71 is out. The release notes are here.

While 2.70a has some Cycles baking ability, 2.71 extends Cycles to include most of the abilities in the materials system associated with Blender Render. There are possibilities here for Second Life™ users.

There are some improvements in modeling and sculpting that may help those modeling for SL.

I see several changes in animation. I doubt those improvements will transfer into SL. But, they may improve our work flow.

See Blender.org for details and the release notes foe specifics.