Second Life Tools

Blender 2.7 Materials Baking

Blender is moving more and more toward use of Cycles Rendering. With Cycles comes the need to use the Node Editor to build materials. For those materials to be of use in Second Life™ we often need to bake them to an image.

Server Scripting 2014-38

Server Scripting 2014-38

As I was baking materials I kept getting strange and seemingly random results. Sometimes everything would work as I expected. Other times I seemed to lose all control over which image Blender was going to bake to. I finally found how to control which output image is used to receive the bake output. See this answer/tutorial on the problem: How do I bake a texture using Cycles bake.

Output is controlled by which Image Texture node is selected in the Node Editor, not the 3D window or UV Editor window, which is why I was having trouble understanding what Blender was doing.  Continue reading

AvaStar Pricing to Change

The rumor is… AvaStar pricing is going up. Gaia is having a problem supporting development and customer support. Something has to give. Development slows considerably or the price goes up. Various ideas have been voiced for how to price the tool with accompanying screams from the user base. But, that is to be expected whenever a merchant has to raise prices.

Norder Ney HeavenScent - 2014

Norder Ney HeavenScent – 2014

Gaia Clary says she is now working on Avatar and SL products full time. She has to make her living selling these products.

Gaia does not seem to be a fan of subscription pricing. So, I expect the initial purchase price on AvaStar 2.0 to jump up, but that has not been decided. The current US$27± price is not providing Gaia a living. So, will we see $100? May be. The final price is yet to be decided. Continue reading

AvaStar RC4 Released

Yesterday Gaia Clary released a new Release Candidate of AvaStar. This release is mostly cosmetic. Tool labels have changed to better reflect industry jargon. Some may have moved to smooth out some bumps in workflow.

Norder Ney @ HeavenScent 2014

Norder Ney @ HeavenScent 2014

Also, the Help Documentation has been updated to reflect the AvaStar 1.1 user interface. You can access the AvaStar Help pages here. Once on the first page there is a tree-like menu giving access to other help pages.

Gaia is revising the workflow documents to AvaStar 1.1 interface. There is no mention of an ETA for when those will be available.

AvaStar has context sensitive help. When in Blender, with AvaStar installed of course, right click a control and select Online Manual. Easy. Continue reading

Blender-AvaStar Animation IK/FK Tip

I am getting deeper into making animations I’ll use in Second Life™. I am a novice animator/modeler, so I probably don’t know the best way to accomplish any given task nor do I understand Blender cooncepts all that well. But, I wasn’t seeing any tutorials and I haven’t been in any classes that helped me with using both IK (Inverse Kinematics) and FK (Forward Kinematics) in a single animation. (See What is IK/FK for more information on IK/FK.)

Animating w/AvaStar

Animating w/AvaStar

Since I’ve had to figure out how to do this, I thought I’d make a short tutorial.

I used Blender 2.71 and AvaStar 1.1 RC3 while experimenting and writing this.  Continue reading

AvaStar Changing

AvaStar is Second Life’s handiest tool for animators and clothing designers. It comes as an add-in for Blender.

Loki's Experience - 2014

Loki’s Experience – 2014

The next release of AvaStar will have several changes in the menus. It is always a pain when a designers moves things and changes labels in a program we use. We users have to relearn the menus and adjust our work flow to deal with the changes. Ugh!  Continue reading

Second Life Bits 2014-35

Skill Gaming

Ciaran has an article up on what Skill Gaming is. If there is any confusion on your part check it out. See: LL Issue Reminder And Warning On Skill Gaming Policy. His information is based on Linden Lab’s latest: Reminder: New Skill Gaming Policy in Effect September 1, 2014.

Be sure to check out the comments below that article. It seems they are a bit one sided… Where do all these negative people come from?

Video for Noobies

Purdie Silkmour made a video that popped up on YouTube today: How To Improve Your Appearance in Second Life. (11 minutes) This is much better than your typical SL How To. Purdie does a great job of showing how to change avatar appearance and gives a good taste of the verity in Second Life. Plus they get to see search in action and learn how to find shapes, skins, etc. It isn’t just about the technical details of using SL. Nice!

I think the big problem is how to get this video in front of new SL users. This would be a good URL to save and give to new peeps you meet.

It seems there is a series of these videos… well two.  Continue reading

Machinimatrix – AvaStar Ticket System

The makers of Avatar and other SL/OS related products have started a instituted a trouble ticket system for support. No other support is offered or provided. The time being consumed by answering questions was too much. They had to do something.

Tableau 2014

Tableau 2014

So, you can get most questions answered in-world in the Blender-Avastar group. It is free to join and enough users are around to answer questions most of the time. Plus various other groups like Builders Brewery and others answer questions and provide classes.

On the Machinimatrix.org site questions will only ne answered if you file a trouble ticket. No more impromptu help. See: New Ticket System available.

Current version: avastar-1.1-RC-2_blender-2-70.