Gaia Clary Explains Second Life Fitted Mesh

I am finding there is a wide variation in how well fitted mesh fits. Some brands work very well. Others only look good if you stand still. Others have noticed this too. I just saw someone on Fab Free comment that when trying demos you needed to walk around, sit down, and jump to test the demo fully. Good advice.

If you are thinking about fitted mesh, Gaia has one of better explanations of what it is here:

Gaia is working with the ideas of giving AvaStar away free and charging for the tutorials or charging more for AvaStar and giving the tutorials away for free. I have no idea what Gaia will decide. I wish Gaia a profitable business whatever is decided.

AvaStar 1.5 Released

Gaia has a post out today (5/13 – Wednesday) announcing a new release of AvaStar 1.5.6. See: Avastar-1.5 is Out.

There is an update tool in AvaStar Blender. I was thinking it is in the release I have, 1.4.5. But, I don’t see it. Seems it only arrived with version 1.4.8. If you have 1.4.8 the last part of the video shows how to use it. Otherwise, you will have to download 1.5 and manually update AvaStar as I did.

There are a number of small fixes in this release. The list of them is in the announcement. But, the most interesting ones are discussed in the video.

The End of Second Life?

Everything ends. It is just a matter of when. We hear this story of Second Life™ ending all the time. It is not new. Lots of Chicken Little. That SL has not ended, does not mean it won’t. The sky COULD fall. But, I think we will have plenty of warning should the end draw near.

mediterranean girl

Mediterranean girl by Annahyss Resident, on Flickr

I came to Second Life from Myst Online, which has closed and come back a number of times. So, I’m used to games I like closing. Rizom is another one I liked and played for a time. It too closed and came back. Others just closed.  Continue reading

Blender and Shape Keys

Blender has had shape keys for some time. They are a common part of most 3D models. But, since we can’t import Blender generated shape key information into Second Life™, the keys have not been much use to us. However, they can be used to make different size dresses, shirts, hands, feet, and whatever along with testing whatever we make.

AvaStar added tools for the use of shape keys to help in making standard sizes of our creations. Now Medhue Simoni has made a video showing what can be done with shape keys and how they work. He doesn’t say much about how we use the keys with things we are making for SL, but he does mention an important point: we will likely be able to use shape keys in the Next Generation Platform, SANSAR.

If you are interested in using shape keys to more quickly make standard size clothing items, refer to the AvaStar tutorials on Machinimatrix.org.

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