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 week #5 – Jan 31, my Windows 10 computer updated. Immediately my Firestorm Viewer started freezing. Very annoying.
The viewer would freeze for 2 to 15 seconds, the screen would go black for a second then come back with everything working for a few seconds or minutes. Then things would go sideways again and the sequence would repeat. Basically, not usable.
Any teleport to a new region would trigger the sequence. So sailing and flying were impossible. Walking was hard enough.
I started my diagnostic process. Both Black Dragon and SL Default viewers had the same problem. Grid Status looked good. Only a few people were complaining of similar problems.
My computer seemed to be running well through the freeze as was network communications.
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.
This is a tutorial on how to use Black Dragon to capture DEPTH information for use in Photoshop (PS). The techniques can be used in GIMP and Paint.Net. The buttons are just in different places.
The reason you may be interested in using PS rather than a viewer’s built-in DoF is to get more control. Viewers tend to provide a perfect render of a scene. Our eyes pick up the texture and dust of real-life so a computer image usually doesn’t fit our experience of how the world looks. Making a photo-realistic is about adding the subtle noise of real life to an image.
This image raised some questions in the SL Forum thread How does your avatar look today? (About 1,300 pages) Mostly, I think, because I pointed out I did the Depth of Field out of focus thing using Photoshop with a Black Dragon Depth map.
Most viewers provide Depth Maps. You can create Windlight settings that will create a depth map too, but that is a PITA. It is easier to use a viewer that has the feature. So, Firestorm or Black Dragon or the Linden Default Viewer. I haven’t checked the others. I assume most have the feature.
Those experienced in using Second Life™ (SL) don’t think of SL as a game to play. You’ll find out it is not a game with points or levels. There are such games within SL. But, SL, the overall ‘thing’, is much more like real life with an amazing variety of things and things to do.
Also, it is like Adobe’s Photoshop® in that no one knows everything there is to know about either. This means there is a learning curve. Probably beyond any game you have played. But you can take your time learning as in general no one is trying to kill your character.
Second Life has changed considerably in 2020. New players and returning players are challenged by the learning curve. Fortunately, lots of people make tutorials. Here I have collected what I think are some of the better ones.
The Sign Up & Moving About Tutorial…
This is a 4-minute basic tutorial walking through how to signup, pick an avatar, walk, and fly. It is the first in a series of tutorial videos made by Strawberry Linden. The playlist for the series is here.
There are more in this series. If you want one thing at a time, this is an ideal set of tutorials. Also, if you are looking for a specific subject then the series is handy as the video are named things like; Getting Started with Bakes on Mesh, Finding Interesting Places, and Customizing Your Avatar Shape.
This is probably the best set of tutorials for the total newbie. Those that follow will be easier for those with some SL experience.
I keep finding things I either haven’t known about or haven’t taken the time to… study… play with… whatever. One of these is a set of related toys all named Project something. I think Project Arousal is somewhat known. It is the core engine of a series of sex toys with a strong anime flavor, that supposedly makes SL sex more realistic. Sure. Of course. But, is it fun and what is meant by more realistic? What if you aren’t into anime?
When I started this a couple of weeks ago, SoCal was
drowning in major rain like I hadn’t seen for at least a couple of years. It
was a good day to stay in and play with sex toys.
What it is…
First, there is the Project Arousal Engine (L$1,000). This is the core of the Projects’ system and is mostly required for all the various parts to work. But some items in the Project family are standalone. This core mostly provides sounds and facial and body animations denoting arousal. The number of body brands supported for some features is very limited. But as a female with a Slink body, I haven’t found that to be a problem. I first suspected it might be for males. But as I learn more, I think it won’t be.
This core part of the system does not need to be rezzed. You simply wear it and your partner wears it. There is a guest HUD in the PA package you get. It is for your partner without Project Arousal. The PA engine can be used in No_rez areas. This is and isn’t true for some of the add-ons. Read the promo material carefully to know which is which.
There are a number of things in the new Photoshop. This is one I don’t remember seeing mentioned by others. I think it is handy for making pattern backgrounds.
While I am pointing out somewhat ignored features I’ll include this WordPress-Facebook feature.
In WordPress when posting there is a feature section labeled Open Graph and Twitter Card Tags. You may have to go into WP’s settings and enable Open Graph display on the editor. Whether in the Classic or Block editor the section will appear below the bottom of the editor.
There are two fields in the section, Use this image and Use this description. These are for automated systems that pick up on articles in your blog. The image field needs to be set to avoid Facebook, aggregators, and other automated systems grabbing the first image they find to use with their display of an article on your blog. If these systems comply with web standards they will use these two fields, if available, in whatever they post. Continue reading →