Well… surprise, surprise…
There is an excellent thread in the Second Life™ Forum about the designer side problems of getting fitted mesh to fit. See: Blender/Avastar [Fitted Mesh]: Need help/advise with a few issues. Posted by Zakiel Windlow the problems are clearly expressed. Zakiel includes a great set of images to show the problems.
ZAkiel’s Images on Fitted Mesh Problems
Zakiel explained where he is coming from and what he has realized, “A few weeks ago I was using a workflow that gave me good, fast and (more or less) SAFE results:
Standard rigging and 5 or 6 sizes (or more). But I wasn’t happy, anyways. I always wanted the “fitted” mesh so all the girls could use my clothes without problems or restrictions. That was what I thought or was expecting.
Now I realize that with the fitted mesh there are restrictions too; and the workflow (for now) is harder, longer and not safe as the standard rigging. I have to check the fitting with big breasts, small breasts, big+high, big+low, small+high, small+low, big+close, big+open, big+high+close… You get the idea… And what works for 1 combination probably won’t for the other…” Continue reading
Numerous people are running into the problem with their mesh clothes creations not working well with the Second Life avatar. Gaia Clary’s latest comment in the SL Forum is here:
2014-04-14 06:35 AM – edited 2014-04-14 06:36 AM
Maybe I [Gaia] can add 2 remarks here:
- You could use the Morph targets to create a dummy character and implement the SL Shape sliders to shape the dummy into the SL shape. Then you can use that dummy as reference for making your mesh garments of course. But note that the morphs themself [sic] take no active role in the fitted mesh deforming.
- If you wanted to create something reasonable then you would create some sort of controllers that modify the Collision Volume bones. If properly done, then you could immediately see how your mesh would react in SL with changing slider values.
The main problem is to understand which bones are affected in which way by which slider. Most of this is noted down in the avatar_lad.xml file. And yes, in Avastar we actually have ported the SL Shape slider system into Blender This works as intended for the dummy itself. But for the mesh garments there is still something wrong (so right now we do not have a complete solution )
BTW: Blender allows to export shape keys to Collada, so in theory you could take our workbench blend file, then export the character with shape keys, and then try to upload that to Maya. Maybe that works, maybe not, I have never tried it myself.
At the Content and Mesh Import User Group we got some new information on the problem and what it might take to fix it. Don’t get your hopes up. It looks like we are going to have to learn to work around the problem. But, At least we know what the problem is and can quit wasting time searching through viewer code. Continue reading
A couple of days ago Jeremy Linden put a new page into the Second Life™ Knowledge Base: Buying clothing that fits your avatar. The same day a post appeared in the Second Life Blog: Help Customers Buy Clothing that Fits their Avatars. Both of these target the confusion surrounding mesh clothes and avatars.
Consider. We started out with what I call system clothes. These are the decals we place on the avatar that look like clothes. This is the shirt or pants we make when use the features in Appearance. We hang prims and sculpties on the avatar to embellish the ‘decal’ clothes. These clothes fit the avatar perfectly. Consider ‘perfectly’ to mean no skin poke through. Continue reading
The two big JIRA items relating to the Second Life avatar are STORM-1716 and STORM-1800. 1716 was the Mesh Deformer. It is considered closed with the release of Fitted Mesh. 1800 is the item that deals with the avatar weighting and mesh layout, which many of us still consider a problem.
You can see the partial fix discussed in 1800 in the Singularity Viewer. It uses the adjusted weights recommended as an improvement to the existing avatar we see in the SL Viewer. I’ve added the weight to a couple of versions of the SL Viewer. It helps. But, the patch only affects what I see not others. You can add the fix to your viewer using the file found in the JIRA. Continue reading
There is currently some discussion about aspects of the new avatar bones being used in odd ways. The third party viewers in some cases have adjusted some things in the upload code to allow use of bones and joints in ways not completely support by the Lab.
New Outfit – 2014-09
As the discussion goes, those aspects may be blocked at the server soon. That would mean things like weighting mesh to the attachment points would no longer be allowed. We do not know whether the Lab will or won’t decide to block such use. So, don’t panic. But, if you have a good use case for your uses, get it into a Feature Request as soon at the JIRA’s new Feature Request channel opens up.
I am not done with my testing of the new avatar yet. But, so far there is no model avatar I can find that is in use in Blender that can be imported to SL and behave as the SL avatar does. The supposed exact same avatar is not an exact copy nor do the sliders affect it in the same ways. It is close, but not the same. Continue reading
Today we did get a new nightly build of Blender. You can find the builds as 2.69.1 and the 2.7 test build. These are NOT the same files. One is 76k± and the other is 78k±. I know the 2.7 test build will not load the AvaStar 979 version. I also know it will not correctly export the SL Avatar. See the images.
Blender 2.7 Test Still having problems?
I also downloaded the Feb 20 build blender-2.69-e7f3424-win64. It too will not install AvaStar 979. Bummer. But, it will install 978. It also does not have a Collada export that works correctly. You get the same skinny avatar mess.
Also, as I try various options in the plain Blender export, I find I am just crashing Blender. So, today is still not the day for Fitted Mesh.
What a downer. May be tomorrow…
I see that Gaia has posted in the SL Forum that a new nightly build of Blender is out. This is important as the 2/19 builds still lacked the Collada fix needed for Fitted Mesh export. I covered that problem yesterday.
Get the new builds from these two locations:
I’ve downloaded the test build and will be playing with it later.
There is also another test build of AvaStar out: avastar-1-1-979_blender-2-65.
WARNING: 979 seems to be broken. It refuses to install. Others in the Blender Avastar group are having the same problem.
Notice: the 979 file has been replaced (2/21). This file installs as expected.
Obviously I am messing with Fitted Mesh. Since it has been released lots more people are attempting to work with it. The result is things are changing quickly because a larger number of people are attempting to work with it. That increase in interest tends to reveal more problems as more users do more things and find the problems not discovered during development, which is what is happening.
Current Blender Problem (up to 2.69.10-6466454-win64)
Today I found out Gaia has published: Fitted Mesh Kit. The key piece of information is that Blender and Fitted Mesh are only compatible starting with Blender 2.70, which has yet to be released. You will probably be able to get a current build of the planned Blender 2.7 from GraphicsAll.org. But, as of today I don’t see one.
However, the nightly builds are available. Download at Blender.org. Gaia provided the link in the Kit article. But, I don’t see a 2.7 build. The RC builds may not appear until March.
The current plan from Blender.org is to release 2.7 in early March. The RC is to be frozen March 2nd, according to December plans. We may not have a usable plain Blender, meaning without Avastar, until we see that RC release. Continue reading