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

Second Life: Bento Add-on Problems

While I am happy with my new Slink Dynamic Hands and the add-on Stiletto Nails, Strawberry Singh is pointing out that not all add-ons work with all mesh body parts. See her article: Cutie Loot March 2017 Unboxing Video. She is working to keep people honestly informed about the products she reviews.

That all this new Bento stuff doesn’t work together is no surprise to me. I was expecting problems, especially for facial animations. Strawberry ran into the problems with Catya’s Bento Bubblegum. Catya, to their credit, tells you the gum is designed to work with a specific Catwa head, not all Catwa heads.

Bento Heads are going to be a problem. Trying a demo before buying any Bento product or add-on is very important, especially animations.

The Bento heads have a load of new bones. Each of those ‘head’ bones is rigged and weighted to some part of the head’s skin. So, it isn’t surprising that each developer will do things differently… even the same developer trying to make their products as similar as possible will likely not be able to achieve full compatibility.

This means add-on and animations for different heads, even in the same brand, will likely have to be tweaked. A great looking smile animation for one head is likely to look odd when run while wearing another head. So, I expect to see a lot of …for specific brand and model only… notes on Bento products.

There are some conversations in the user groups about how to minimize these problems. But, it may be awhile before things get ironed out, if they do.

So, be careful. Try a demo before you buy.

Hopefully, we will see some people using Advanced Experience Tools (AET) to make some nicer demo tools. I really don’t want to see more animation demos that work like dance demos… the ones where they put 10 to 50 animations in a pose stand and you click through them. Tedious.

Slink: The Bento Hands are Here

And wow… it is an update… no additional cost… WOW!

To get yours visit the slink main store and find a REDELEVERY terminal. Have the system redeliver the hands you previously purchased. Take them home and figure them out… J

If you purchased the multi-pack hands you get all the new Bento stuff. If you purchased a smaller pack or a single hand pose… you get less stuff. See the Slink Dynamic Hands (aka Project Bento comes to Slink) article in the Slink web site for more precise details. Or just get your update and open it. Continue reading

Photoshop 3D: How to make textures for Second Life Avatars – #1

There are a number of good and really bad Photoshop 3D tutorials online. I think Michael Hoffman makes one of the better sets of tutorial videos for those starting out. Clicking his name takes you to his YouTube channel. Here is his BASIC tutorial for getting started with Photoshop 3D (#1 in series) but, it isn’t specifically for Second Life users. So, I’ll add some SL specific help.

More to Know

There are some things left out that I think are important for the basic starting out tutorial. Plus, it doesn’t answer questions about using SL Classic Avatar files. I’ll try to answer those questions and jump you to the things we do in Second Life.  Continue reading

Second Life: Stockings – Classic & Slink

Making stockings for the Classic and Slink legs has some challenges. One is understanding how to get a straight edge at the top of the stocking. I’ll explain some of the oddities between Second Life™, Photoshop, Blender, Classic and Slink.

Classic UV Map: Slink and Classic

The frustrating oddity is dealing with avatar templates. Slink and Classic are not compatible, close but a problem.

In the image, look in the ‘A’ section, there is a copy of one of the Robin Woods templates made for the Classic Avatar. I’ve used Photoshop 3D to paint some lines on it.

If you have drawn a straight line across the 2D template assuming it will appear straight on the avatar, think again. I knew it wouldn’t work as I’ve experimented before. Continue reading