Second Life: Will We Bake Our Mesh Body Avatars?

The idea of baking mesh avatars has been a subject coming up in the Content Creators UG over the last couple of weeks. The idea is to change how mesh avatars work. If you don’t understand how a Classic body layers work now, this may be confusing. I’ll try to sort it.

Mechanical beauty

Mechanical beauty

Starting back a couple of years, the Lindens added Server Side Appearance baking (SSA). The Classic avatar is made of three separate parts; head, upper body, and lower body. The parts allow layering of textures placed on the Classic body. Sort of like sticking decals one a top another.  Continue reading

Slink Male Dynamic Hands Released

I just saw an in-world notice that Slink has released their Male Dynamic Hands, or AKA Bento hands.

If you already have Slink hands then this is just an update, no cost. Just visit the in-world Slink store (map URL) and click redeliver.

What you get depends on which hands package you purchased. If the full pack, you get the full HUD that has all the hand poses.

I’ve been wearing my Dynamic hands since they came out. Love them. Of course none of my rings work any more and nails have to be Slink or Slink Bento nails.

Second Life: Mesh vs Classic Bodies

The question keeps coming up in the SL Forum, what is a mesh body and why won’t my clothes show? I am so confused… Yeah, I can see how that would happen. So, I need something I can link them to. This is the ‘something’. I’ve tried to keep it simple for noobs without 3D modeling experience.

Basics

To understand Classic and Mesh avatars one has to understand Second Life™ has a history and understand some of the basics of 3D modeling.

Mesh & Classic Avatar 2017

SL Started in 2003, 2004 depending on what you define as ‘starting’. It started with a basic avatar that evolved over time. That is the Classic avatar. It is still with us.

If you take off everything you can take off your avatar is wearing, you are looking at the Classic avatar. You can click the top menu Developer (press Ctrl-Alt-Q to reveal the menu item if it isn’t showing)->Avatar->Character Tests->Test Male/Female. This will set your avatar to the very basic (Classic) avatar known as Ruth. Continue reading

Photoshop 2017: Bump, Normal, and Depth Maps

How Bump, Normal, and Depth Maps are created in Photoshop changed in 2017 CC. I hadn’t noticed until I needed to make a normal map. Then I stumbled across this video while checking to see if NVIDIA’s normal map tool would work with the newest 2017 CC.

The video uses the 3D mode. When creating mesh from bump map as shown PS isn’t exactly polygon efficient, but for use in PS and texture creation that isn’t an issue. For a 100+ brick wall PS made just under 500,000 vertices and 977,000 faces, which is way too heavy for Second Life(TM).

I’m playing with Photoshop’s 3D and deciding if I can use it for some of the things I want to make. My choices seem to be PS, Blender, and Sculptris… or to spend money… For work I have Adobe’s suite of apps. But, increasing my monthly software rental cost or spending US$800 or more for a 3D painting app isn’t something I want to do.

So, I’m painting in all three and trying to figure out how easily put fine detail into things I want to make for my Slink body.

What app do you use for making finely detailed textures for clothes in SL?

 

AvaStar: MakeHuman or Manuel Bastioni?

I noticed Machinimatrix posting a video on how to integrate Manuel Bastioni with AvaStar. BElow is an image link to the video as it won’t display embedded here. Sheeesh..

So, what is Manuel Bastioni? It is an open source character generator for Blender. Seems it is competition for MakeHuman. The download is here: Manuel BastioniContinue reading

Slink Update

In my article AvaStar Tutorial: Adding the Slink Model to AvaStar I provide the steps to get the Slink Mesh Dev Model updated in AvaStar 2RC5. Slink has been handing out a model made with AvaStar 1.1.34. So, there are a lot of AvaStar updates between that and 2RC5. Enough so that 2RC5 can’t update that old a rig.

Ara

Ara
Nal: Mesh clothes make the…

I contacted both the AvaStar and Slink people in regard to getting the problem resolved. Siddean Munro, the creative behind Slink contacted me to say,  Continue reading

AvaStar Tutorial: Adding the Slink Model to AvaStar

Update 3/24 – AvaStar 2 RC 6 fixes part of the problem previously reported. But, it does not yield a working rig. You still need to follow this process to update the rig 1.1.34 version to 2.0.45.

Update: 2017 – As I used the Slink model I had updated, I found some problems. So, after more testing and a back and forth with AvaStar/Machinimatrix, I pulled the original of this article the day after I published it and rewrote it.

Revised

Slink provides a developer’s kit labeled Slink Creators Kit March 2016. It contains all the models needed to make shoes, pants, dresses, and shirts for Slink’s Physique and Hourglass. Both male and female models. There are blend, dea, fbx, and mb files for import to various modeling programs.

The file is an older version made with AvaStar 1.1.34. So, the rig in the blend file provided must be updated. I’ll step you through the process.

The video is handy, but unrelated to the rig update process.

The first step in developing for Slink, or any brand of body, is applying for the developr’s kit. In the case of slink it is the Slink Creators Kit. Apply here. Let them know you want to develop mesh clothes. Only ask for one kit at a time. Otherwise, you won’t know which ONE they will choose to send you. The kit will arrive in-world and the model files by via email.

Correction: Slink people ask that you ask for all the kits you want in one request. See: Slink Update

Continue reading

AvaStar Price Changes are Coming

The Blender-AvaStar combination is still the least expensive entry point for making clothes, animations, and avatars for Second Life™. Blender is free and awesome, if difficult to learn. AvaStar has sold for US$27 for, I think, a couple of years. So, a price increase is to be expected.

It’s Oh So Quiet

It’s Oh So Quiet

At the end of March 2017, the price of AvaStar will increase from US$27 to $40 for the full version and yearly support from $14 to $20. So, if you have been on the fence about purchasing AvaStar, now would be a good time. I plan to update my support package. See: AvaStar Pricing. Continue reading