I appreciate Siddean and her contributions to the Second Life community. I believe her bodies have always been and are the technological leaders in the field. There is no technically better body.
I am saddened by the closing and to learn of the stresses in Siddean’s life. I wish her and her’s the best.
While I have not been paying a lot of attention to other bodies, I have from time to time looked at them and played with demos. The leader in the field is unquestionably Maitreya. I have Maitreya demos. I do not like the body because of how the shoulders are made and how the joints animate. Both are deal breakers for me.
So, now I will be looking at alternatives. While I had been thinking of a change to Cinn & Chai they are part of the Slink empire that is closing. That idea is out. But I am glad I purchased Cinn & Chai during the recent sale.
I suppose I may do reviews of the various bodies as I look at them. But there is no rush. The Slink bodies will continue to work for years to come. And there is a huge inventory of clothes for the Slink bodies. While few designers are designing for Slink these days, and the number is likely to decrease, there are numerous designers designing for Slink and lots of clothes for Slink. I know I bought over 150 new dresses and other clothes in 2022. So, no need for immediate change.
Years ago (2012) I wrote a tutorial on installing Blender and setting up for making clothes in Second Life ™. It is titled: Second Life Mesh Clothes Blender 2.6 Setup 2012 Tutorial. It has all the gory details a person with OCD would need. A couple of years later I wrote: Fitted Mesh Base Avatar Files, about which mesh models to use for making clothes. The articles have good information but we have learned and advanced since then. So, we can simplify things.
This article will hopefully take some of the pain out of your entry into clothes making for Second Life.
There are two ways to install Blender™. You can install it as one does any Windows program using the provided install program. This is simple and quick. If you are just curious and in the process of exploring, this is your option.
However, if you are serious and committed to making clothes then there is a better option.
Blender is in what I consider rapid development and updates often. Some of the updates make changes in the core parts of Blender. These changes force third-party add-on makers to update their add-ons. If you are dependent on an add-on you’ll run into times when a Blender update will break your model and/or your add-ons and you are left waiting for a third-party update.
The fashion industry in Second Life™ is massive and profitable. Ten years ago, I was writing tutorials for making SL clothes. Since then, I made the stuff I wanted and just coasted along. Then playing with friends inside SL I stopped making mesh anything.
There are a couple of things I now want to make. So, I started updating Blender, renewing, and updating AvaStar™. I find Blender has changed… a bunch, AvaStar has changed… some, I assume MayaStar has too – but I don’t use Maya.
There are also now more tools for making clothing for 3D models. So, I need to get my skills and knowledge updated and may as well add an update to the blog.
Here is what I am finding; (starting with a video)
Pretty neat stuff. Not all of it is specifically for clothes or Second Life, but some of those tools have possible uses for those of us playing in and modeling for SL.
The Cadillac of clothing design tools is Marvelous Designer (MD). Design is done in MD and then transferred to Blender where the design is tweaked and rigged to the various brands of bodies. For me, the big drawback is the cost of MD. Slink people in Discord talk about some clean-up work needed for things made with MD.
The ubiquitous tool for 3D modeling by Second Life people is Blender (free – donation appreciated – All previous Blender versions are here). To adapt Blender specifically to SL modeling the standard addon is AvaStar. While not required, AvaStar simplifies the process and handles gotchas that are a pain to learn about and remember to deal with. Well worth the money. (See AvaLab.org.)
AvaStar solves the initial problem of where to find the Classic avatar body made by SL. Way back when I went through ‘how to find the SL avatar model’ and which was the best source. It is tedious figuring it out. But, that work has been done and the result is in AvaStar, which includes the SL Classic avatar model. Or you can go through my old posts in the category: Clothes Skins Etc. (234 articles as of 5/2022)
Blender and AvaStar are the basic tools for SL developers, at least for me. My other considerations for this update are;
Recommended for Blender 3 and up. Slink Dev Kits recommend Blender 2.93. From what I can tell whether you can use various things with the latest Blender or have to use the specified version depends on what you are doing. Meaning the only way to know which version of Blender or addon to use is determined by experiment.
I am passing on this as the only use I have for MD is for making SL clothes. The cost will eat up all my profits as I don’t make or sell that much in SL.
There is a free demo and the manual is online. Recommended for Blender 2.93 & 3.1.
Installing the addon in Blender 3.1.2 resulted in a series of errors with the demo. Using 2.93.1 the install was not reporting errors but I couldn’t get it working and the warning ‘written for 3.00’ popped up. So, I downloaded Blender 3.00. But I still got errors when installing. I emailed the author and asked about the demo.
About 36 hours later I got an answer. Basically, use 2.93.0. So, I installed 2.93.0. That was a bit tricky. The portable version does not unzip/install the same as other versions. The unzipped folder is misnamed, IMO. Not a difficult fix but it does not sort into the list of Blender folders the way I expected. With the misnaming, I also ran into problems with AvaStar, which may or may not have been folder name-related. Whatever…
This is a clothes modeling tool. A set of videos is here.
I’ve got my AvaStar and Blender updates installed. Now I am relearning Blender… stuff is moved around and several things work differently. In general, things are more intuitive. But it is still a challenge to find and figure out how to do things that were muscle memory ingrained. (sigh)
I plan to write more later to get into my experience with Slink’s new Cinnamon & Chai Dev Kit.
Back in December of 2019… that long ago? …I wrote a review of available women’s genitals. See Second Life Vaginas: The V. That is the vagina for the Maitreya body. Now there is a version for Slink Original and Hourglass and Inithium Kupra (with a 50% off Kupra version until Feb 14, 2021 – see details at the in-world store. – MAP URL). The marketplace URL is here (URL – NSFW).
I got the Slink Hourglass demo. It comes with Slink Classic and Redux versions. Both in the same package. If you don’t know Slink, the Redux version is the version highly optimized for BOM. Slink Classic is their older more complex applier style body. Whichever you prefer, they have something for you.
The Original and Hourglass versions of The V are different and NOT interchangeable. So, for Slink users that frequently swap between Slink bodies like I do, they will need to make a decision. Hourglass or Original or buy both? They don’t have a package deal for buying the two.
Anna Ivanova, owner of the Genus Project, has provided an update on the legal drama washing over Genus products. You’ll find the update on Facebook. Since I hadn’t figured out how to link to a FB Post, I had to look it up. The time stamp at the top of a post contains a link to the post. Anyone can right-click copy that link and use it.
For those that do not know Genus Project makes products for Second Life™. The Genus mesh heads are somewhat popular. You can see people writing about them in the SL Forum.
Marketplace Store – As of today 9/3/2020, the mp store is still empty. Expect that to change as soon as the court verdict propagates through the system.
The original post is here. I’ve quoted the post below…
In Second Life™ lots of people are all about looks. Few of those people know much about making a beautiful avatar. They just shape their avatar by eye. Those that are better at making shapes may end up selling shapes to the rest of us. The next step up from making shapes is sculpting heads and bodies.
I keep looking at people’s avatars and notice how some are just gorgeous. Some with incredible faces. What makes their face so pleasing?
One part of the beauty equation is proportions. Some time ago I made a tool for getting body shapes proportional. Mostly getting height and arm lengths right. Now I’ve made a guide for getting facial proportions correct. The video is the quick answer to what it is and how it works. About 3 minutes.
Before you run off to buy this tool and fix that ugly face of yours… well… you’re not that bad… you need to know this tool is just a guide to assist you in creating a face shape. It doesn’t make a shape. Also, it isn’t easy to use CORRECTLY. Read on or watch the video before you decide.
Be warned. The Guide is Copy-OK so there are NO REFUNDS.
Every so often I stumble onto something in Second Life™ I didn’t know about. Slink’s Deluxe Feet Auto Switcher is one of those things… and I’m a Slink fan.
Slink has five foot-positions in their main body HUD, Slink Physique (F) Utilities HUD (Redux) V4.0.0.
I’ve been putting on the HUD every time I needed to change foot positions. It can take a minute for the HUD to fully render. But the way I dress that usually isn’t a problem. I’m a top to bottom girl. By the time my dressing routine that I am picking out shoes the HUD has had plenty of time to rez.
When I change between existing outfits, going from a club to the beach, it can force me to wait on the HUD. However, there is a solution for the existing Outfit problem, the Foot Switcher. Makes the wait go away.