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.
In December Siddean Munro made a video of how to easily make
the various Slink sizes.
I think the video shows how easy and quick it is. So, I continue to be baffled at why so many provide only Hourglass sizes of their products. Especially when discussions in the SL Forum show growing support for the Slink Redux bodies.
If you are a Slink Original wearer, Physique or Redux, and your designer isn’t making the sizes you need, send them a link to this article.
About 5 years ago I was testing the various models available for use in Blender and comparing them to the SL default avatar. Now Gaia of AvaStar has done that for you. Check it out.
I think it is really nice to have this information. But, there isn’t much use for it. Mesh clothes built based on the default avatar are simply never going to fit well. The sliders will always change the classic avatar and mesh clothes at different rates.
The classic avatar use morphing. Mesh clothes use rigging. Those two things respond differently.
However, the AvaStar model will get you as close to a match as is possible.
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.
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 your avatar is wearing that you can take off, 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) default-test avatar known as Ruth or Roth. Continue reading →
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
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 →
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 →
There are things I had for my classic avatar that I can’t find for my mesh avatar. There are some classic stockings that had great lacy tops and topped out at just the right place on my legs for my mini and mid-thigh skirts. I’ve not found similar stockings for my mesh body. So, I am making them.
There is a lot to learn. The Appliers are simple enough, but one does have to figure them out. See my tutorial for making Slink Hand’s nails. It isn’t difficult. But, it is different.
Next is the challenge of using Photoshop to make the textures. I once used Multi-Chan Hax to handle the SL Avatar UV Map Seams… But, that is 2011 tech and I haven’t tried it in PS CC 2017.
I have PS CC 2017 with a 3D capability. It can paint across the UV Seams in 3D mode. Easy… sure…
However, PS 3D is NOT intuitive. I am tempted to say Blender is more intuitive than Photoshop’s 3D. So, I’ve been going through tutorials and watching videos. They never seem to answer the questions I have or solve the problems I am running into.
But, I did find one that I think is way helpful. So, here it is.
The CrazyBump normal maker talked about in the video is a US$99 retail app. There is a demo video on the site. It is impressive. The site is VERY small, almost nothing to read. If you an analytic personality, it isn’t enough.
However, CrazyBump has been around for a while. I first downloaded it in 2013, v12. It is now version 122.