Second Life – How to Lower ACI – A Script

One of the complications in 3D rendering is working out how to blend the objects with transparent parts. Think of windows and SL hair. Designers can reduce the complication by how they use alpha layers and blending. I’m not going to try to explain how to set stuff up because I have yet to get it figured out. But, I came across a handy workaround for things we already have.

I buy hair, dresses, and other things that use blending modes. Most are no-mod. But, the script below can be used to modify them.

In the beginning of the video, I am wearing Magika’s Dreamy as purchased. This is hair that in the Linden viewer has an ACI of 4,699. Using the script reduces the ACI by 702. That is a saving of 15±%. This is my first try, so I have no idea if this is typical, minimal, or a max. You may find that high ACI items benefit more.

There is some degradation in the appearance. When zoomed out, it is barely noticeable. Only when zoomed in can you see the difference. Personally, the 702 ACI saving is not worth the loss of appearance. Continue reading

Second Life – Content Creation UG 2017 w/23

Getting this video out was a problem. Adobe Premiere started crashing and refusing to show video in the Project Editor panel. Plus, the Hippotropolis region was crashing during the meeting. That made for an interesting meeting and made more work putting the video together.

There were lots of audio challenges in this video. I tried to clean up several places. Cathy Foil’s microphone is over driving the system. Vir Linden apparently talks into a fixed position mic. He tends to move toward and away from it when talking. Anyway, I did what I could with it.

Meeting Summary

Vir Linden starts the meeting talking about viewers. The AssetsHTTP viewer is still in QA, but expected to update the RC in week 24.

Work is continuing on animated objects. Vir has the server and a pre-project viewer working so one can see animated objects. Other viewers crash. So, that has to be handled. Continue reading

AvaStar Updates to 2RC10

Today AvaStar released a new release. You can get it from your products page. I’m not sure what, if anything, is new or changed. I assume there are bug fixes. If you read the problems I had adding in the Slink 2.0.30 rig to the then current 2.0.46, you are aware of one problem.

Crystal Gardens

Crystal Gardens

The new version is 2.0.48. It updates easily. I disabled and removed 2.0.26, installed and enabled 2.0.48 (2RC10) without error.

Of first interest to me is whether I can update the Slink model I want to use. Slink updated their May 2016 to a May 2017 version. The 2017 version used AvaStar 2.0.30. The Slink people, AvaStar people, and I had trouble updating. Slink was gracious enough to update their files to 2.0.46.

With this new AvaStar version I tried updating the Slink 2.0.46 version to 2.0.48. At first, it seemed to have updated without a problem. I did have to close Blender and reopen to get the Outliner to update. Then I realized all the Slink meshes failed to parent to the rig in the update. So, I’ll have to move the Slink model and my things manually.

Second Life – Slink – New Tool Released Today

The Slink people have come out with a new tool for those making Appliers for Slink bodies. Siddean Munro has made a video of the tool: Slink Texture Studio. The formal announcement from Slink is here: The Slink Texture Studio – for Creators!

A really interesting feature is the ability to use textures on your local computer without having to upload them. Instructions start at 04:50.

I know Firestorm has a feature to allow the use of local textures, those on your computer. I hadn’t realized the feature is also available in the Linden Viewer.

The Studio has a land impact cost of 71 prims. That pushes me over my main grid parcel’s limit. So, for me, this is a tool for the ADITI grid or AGNI sandboxes. Of course, while it can be used in either grid, if you do use it on ADITI the UUID’s used and generated will not work in the AGNI grid.

AvaStar – Add the Slink 2017 Model

The Latest Word 6/1 Late

Talking with Eleanora Newell (AvaStar) and Siddean Munro (Slink) We have come to the conclusion the updater in AvaStar 2RC8 has a bug. It will supposedly be fixed in 2RC9. Fortunately, we don’t have to deal with the bug.

Siddean Munro has updated the May 2017 Slink Dev Kit. The May Kit updated to AvaStar 2.0.30. It is now a June 1 Kit updated to 2.0.46, the newest AvaStar.

So, just download the Kit again and get the latest version.

Also, if you are moving older projects to the new version, Append those objects to the new updated avatar. It is easier, faster, and presents fewer problems than trying to update the rig.

Talking with Siddean,

Heya, I’ve been chatting with Eleanora and Gaia [AvaStar peeps] about the update process. It’s not entirely unique to my kit.

There was some bug with the update process that Gaia says she’s fixed, will be released in the next version of the release candidate, and Eleanora says you need to have the little snowflake enabled on the update tool for the female body, and to uncheck “male” under the appearance sliders on the male body.

I found it just easier to add the new rig and attach the bodies to it, than mess around with their update tool. It’s always been problematic.

I will be advising anyone who asks to download the latest from my DropBox though, I will try and keep on top of Avastar updates as much as I can.

The thing you described with the bones all rotating from their individual origins – I asked about that in the Blender channel the other day, and someone responded she’d had the same issue as me, and locking and unlocking the bones did the trick. 🙂

I don’t really know why they lock the bone rotations. It’s like they have AvaStar all setup for animations, but we have to jump through so many hoops to get the rig ready for creating mesh with it. I’m going to send them a NC with some thoughts today so I will put in a suggestion for a rig setup toggle – animation to skinning maybe.

The best thing you can do with your older projects is append them into the new kit, rather than updating the old rig and risking errors from the old body meshes.

Eleanora just messaged me that the update tool is broken, the sliders don’t work. So appending to an updated rig might be better in the short term until they figure this out.

The rest of the article below is mostly outdated now. However, if you need to update a rig, you may find some help in it.

================================Original Below================

Having some problems with newly released Slink model? I did. Took me some time to figure out how to get it working. This is the ‘step-by-step’ to getting an integrated Slink-AvaStar working base.

PS: 6/1/2017 – Various people and myself are running into additional problems. Be sure to read the comments. BUT…

Siddean Munro has resolved the problem. A new Dev Kit was released 6/1/2017 that is updated to AvaStar 2.0.46. So, save yourself some heartache and get the new file. If you are updating one of your older files, the information in this article may help.

As it appears now, the fix is to replace the old rig with a new AvaStar generated rig and avoid trying to update.

The model released by Slink is made with AvaStar 2.0.30 (or 2.0-Beta-30). The latest release of AvaStar as I write this is 2RC8 (or 2.0.46). The original Slink file works just fine. Whether you are Skinning and Wight Painting or Animating.

Here is the problem I found.

The file as received works as I expected. In Blender Weight Paint and Pose Mode, the bones behave as I expect. Once I ran the AvaStar Rig Update, the bones were screwed.

So, I did a bunch of experiments thinking it might be an update problem in AvaStar. I ran into something like this before. See: AvaStar Tutorial: Adding the Slink Model to AvaStar (March 2017). Continue reading

AvaStar Updates 2RC8

I saw people talking about AvaStar 2RC8 (2.0-46) in group chat. I can’t find any announcement of it being released. There is update information in the release notes: Fixed in Avastar 2.0-46 (Avastar-2-RC8).

There are about a dozen and half fixes.

Become Undone

Become Undone

There is also information about: Limited Bind Pose Support for Blender 2.79.

For those that do not know, the AvaStar people do provide code to update Blender. The Bind Pose stuff has value for non-AvaStar users.

Blender 2.7 Photorealistic Texture Painting Tutorial

Adding more detail and making a texture look real takes some effort. The know-how is in a tutorial in this series: Creating a Realistic Head in Blender – part 08 – Clothing Textures. In the 8th of the series, CG Cookie Blender is working on the clothes. So, don’t let the title put you off.

You’ll notice Cycles and the Node Editor are not used in the early creation part. So, it is mostly an older workflow. Still, I found the video helpful on a number of levels.

Blender 2.7 Texture Painting Tutorial

I’m not that great at texture painting in 3D. I am trying to get better. So, when this video caught my eye, I checked it out. Blender Character Texture Painting (Play List).

Darrin Lile made the videos. I think he did a good job. There are six in the set, each about 15 minutes long. I found them clear and well explained.

I want to put way more detail in some of the stuff I am doing. But, this is a good basic ‘how to’ tutorial. The last video on baking and converting to Cycles is nice and clear.

Well done. Thanks Darrin.