Second Life: Updating AvaStar with Slink Dev Kit

I happen to like Slink, so I build what I can wear. For me that means using the Slink Developer Kit. Finishing some stuff up I decided it is time to update my AvaStar, Blender, and Slink Kit before moving on to new things. Also, I wanted to try out the AvaStar feature that adds Dev Kits.

AvaStar 2.4-1 and Slink v9

My previous updates I have written about here; AvaStar – Add the Slink 2017 Model – (5/2017) and AvaStar Tutorial: Adding the Slink Model to AvaStar – (3/2017).

Blender Update

The highest Blender I have is version 2.79c. This can get a bit confusing. The official release is 2.79b according to the Blender.org site. The main download provides an MSI file for use with Windows. This is a basic Windows install file. Not what I suspect most developers want. We want the ‘Archive’ file, the one that allows us to have multiple versions installed. You get that from the same download page just look in ‘other versions’ and grab the ZIP file.

The reason to have multiple versions installed is so I can easily go back to edit a file I made with an earlier version. That saves having to make some updates. I can have an older AvaStar and Blender still setup and ready to use. It helps to note which versions are used with a project.

If you didn’t make notes, you can check the dates of Blender folders and your Blender project files. You can figure out the likely version of Blender-AvaStar to use.

Since ‘b’ is the promoted version, go with that. I’ll use it for this article. If you don’t know how to use the ZIP version, you can dig through my Blender articles to find how to install the archive or Google for help.

Blender 2.8 is coming. But, it is too far away and currently not for production. So, for today’s update, its 2.79b.

Slink Dev Kit

You get the Slink Dev Kit from Slink here.

If you have previously requested a kit and got the download link in an email, you can use that email you received to get the latest update.

You’ll find that all the Slink Dev Kit updates are named the same, Slink Physique Male and Female Kit Avastar Maya -May 2017. That is done so the link in your email continues to work. Files inside the ZIP file do have different version numbers. The current female update I got today is version number 9. Male = 3.

AvaStar

The now ubiquitous Cookies Warning covers the link you need at the Machinimatrix site. What you want is the ‘My Products’ page.

The official production release is 2.4-1. A 2.5 is in RC testing according to announcements in the AvaStar Support group (by invitation). The update of AvaStar for Blender 2.8 is waiting for somethings in Blender to be finalized.

There are instructions for adding Dev Kits to AvaStar here. These are generalized for all Dev Kits.

Installing

I’ll assume you have Blender and AvaStar installed and working. So, how do we get the Dev Kit installed and use it?

The Slink kit must be unzipped. Remember where you put the files.

AvaStar Devkit Manager

The first step is to add the Dev Kit to AvaStar.

In Blender, on the AvaStar tab, open the Devkit Manager.

You see one kit, the Avamesh – Female kit, that is the AvaStar version of the classic Linden avatar.

I need to add Slink’s Dev Kit. Click Add more Devkits…

This opens the User Preferences. Normally accessed via the menu File->User Preferences->Add-ons->AvaStar Bento.

Once in the AvaStar add-on scroll down to the section titled Devkit Configurations.

We need to fill in the information for the Dev Kit we want to add. A limit of this system is the source file can have only ONE model. So, I need to point this to the Slink file: Slink Physique Female Kit Avastar 2x Version9.blend.

The Devkit Manager in User Prefs

My Settings

I filled out the information as shown. I think I have everything correct. I used the default settings.

Click the Add/Replace Devkit Preset.

Save the settings and you are done.

You can save this file as a master from which to begin new projects. That can save a few minutes at the beginning of each new project.

But, this kit is now in Blender-AvatStar.

In a new Blender file to find a Devkit to start from click the AvaStar tab. And open the Devkit Manager section. You’ll see your newly added Dev Kit. Click it to add it as the avatar model.

You’ll need some patience. This takes a minute or two. It is the reason that I saved a copy of the file with the Dev Kit already added and start from it.

 

Summary

The new process is much nicer. Way less stuff to mess with. A few clicks and I’m there.

Blender 2.8 Coming Soon

A Blender update is coming… soon. The Alpha version and nightly builds are available now, here: Blender Latest. But, I want to know if this is an update I need or want. So, I went looking through what people are saying. The big one for me is… the User Interface is changing. Ugh.

So, here is a video (8/13) that does a decent job of showing us the changes.

The video producer provided these time stamp entry points. I suggest you start at the 2:12 TM. Or if you are only interested in how it affects those of us using it for Second Life™, just read my comments below.

TIME STAMPS
1:22 – Alpha, Beta & Release Candidate
2:12 – UI Redesign
3:24 – EEVEE, the Physical Based Real Time Render Engine
4:43 – New Work Engine: OpenGL
5:19 – Grease Pencil (2D Animation Toolset)
6:38 – Matcaps (Material Capture)
7:48 – Zootopia Hair Shader
8:01 – Pixar Open Subdiv
8:34 – Dependency Graph, Asset Manager, Static Overrides and More
9:16 – Daily Blender Build Download
10:16 – Blender Resources

The new render engine looks to be awesome. But, the User Interface (UI) is going to kill me. They seem to be trying to make Blender easier for new users to learn.  …like 3D modeling and animation can be easy to learn? Still probably a good thing no matter how annoying I find it.
They moved most of the stuff at the bottom of windows to the top… give me a break… That will take a bit to get used to. Continue reading

Second Life News 2018 w30

Servers

There is no Server-Scripting UG meeting this week. Seems the SL Summit meeting preempts it. Nor is there a deploys post this week.

However, my in-world monitor says my main channel region was restarted today. That region is running version 18.06.14.516450. This is the same version it ran last week. So, no roll out just a restart.

::Beached::

::Beached::

From last week’s Beta Server UG meeting we know there are no new versions expected to roll out to the RC channels.

Viewers

Second Life Bugsplat Viewer version 5.1.7.518003 – This is a new RC viewer version. The release notes describe the viewer version as;

This viewer should be functionally identical to the current release viewer, save that if it crashes, the crash report is sent to BugSplat rather than to Linden’s crash reporting system. Continue reading

What is Blender’s Eevee?

There are a bunch of technical explanations, but those don’t mean a lot to many SL modelers. It is probably more helpful to know what you can do with it and why you would want to use it. So, this video does the best job of explaining that I’ve seen.

This feature is a work-in-progress. It is looking like we will have it in Blender 2.8. But, it won’t be complete. Still it will make adding materials to models MUCH easier, cause you can see what you are doing in real time.

Blender as a Video Editor?

Need a free video editor? Learn Blender Video Editing in 35-minutes. This is the video that shows you how to set Blender up for video editing.

Even if you are not interested in using Blender for video editing, check this out. I learned a bunch about setting up the user interface.

He is going really fast. The video is loaded with information. Red meat… yum.

One of the better video tutorials I’ve stumbled on.

AvaStar and Slink March 2018

AvaStar is at version 2.3-1 released 17 January 2018 according to announcements in the Blender-AvaStar group. In the products page where I download the file, it is labeled 2.3-2. The release is called a bug fix. It has 10 bug fixes and 4 improvements. See the changelog here. Notice the Dev Kit manager…

Blender is currently at version 2.79a. The Blender download is here. The Portable version is the version I use so I can have multiple versions installed. I’ll explain why later.

Blender Download March 2018

Today I see Slink released an update to their Dev Kit for AvaStar. I find the email got to me yesterday 3/19. It tells me, “The bodies in these kits have been reworked from the ground up, for better geometry, more accurate weighting and better fit!” (Emphasis is theirs.)

Also, Slink Development now has a Discord Server for developers. The link is in the email. Siddean is available 9 to 5 Eastern Australian Time… Australia has 13 time zones… O.O  so… divide by 13 then 24 and multiply by… and turn the world around once… and that gives us 4pm to 12AM SLT/PT. Technically, they are 17 to 18 hours ahead of California, depending on Daylight Saving Time. If it is Monday here it is likely Tuesday there.

If it weren’t for the International Date Line they would be 5 to 6 hours behind California.  Continue reading

News Bits III 2018 w09

Skin Fair 2018

This is always an interesting fair. It runs from March 9 to 25. For a list of participants look here Website. The location of the fair is not yet accessible. Event organizer.

Skin Fair 2018

You can advertise there, on a billboard (PG only), by purchasing board space starting March 1 for L$3,000. Ad Office.

Blogger applications for early access are here.

Fashion Bloggers

I’m not that much into fashion review. My GA.EG Jennifer mesh head article provides the type of information that interests me. That article is like 1,500 words. I don’t see that in most fashion reviews. The amount of information normally provided by the hundreds of fashion sites popping up on iHeartSL is a picture and a list of stuff worn. It is sort of customary to include a link to where an item can be purchased, but not always. Continue reading

Second Life Bits 2018 w06

I had to correct my article AvaStar – Infected Download about the AvaStar package being infected with malicious software. Seems others thought it had been not The Machinimatrix people, who seriously doubted it. I agree with them now that I think about it. Very unlikely AvaStar was compromised.

 

Tralala’s Diner (URL) is a region in Second Life™ that is getting some deserved coverage in the blogosphere. Hamlet at New World Notes is covering Strawberry’s coverage of Tralala’s Diner.

There is a Tralalas Diner Flickr group where you can see a ton of pictures. I have some there. They don’t stand out that much. (Mine: Cat, The Diner, The Lake, Darts, Sunset, Boom, Power, Urban Renewal, and Arriving. )

PineLake_029

PineLake – Tralala’s Diner

Strawberry is into streaming video. She made a Live Stream (33 min). We can see it here: Strawberry’s Tralala’s Diner. There is a problem with streaming live. One is limited to 720 and a single sound track at whatever volume you had set. You have to get everything right in production. It is much easier to tweak a video in post-production, which is why I like OBS. But, you get live chat and Strawberry is pretty good at tweaking things as she goes.

You may know the place as Pine Lake. If you haven’t been… it is a fun exploration.