04-20-2011 04:18 PM
Made some progress in my SL transition, but need a little more help...
What I would like to do is design clothes and maybe even full avatars. I watched the videos at Machinimatrix and I understand the theory behind most of what is going on, but there are still some missing blanks...
One thing is that I do not (and will not) use is Blender. I have my own arsenal of software which I am very comfortable using, and would like to incorporate what I have in my workflow rather than deal w/ another program and a learning curve.
I was so desperate, I even converted the avatar.blend file to a .dae which I tried using in Carrara, but I'm going to assume the collada plugin for Blender doesnt like Carrara, the file caused constant crashes and no matter how many times I wrote the file, it was unusable =(
How does one go about designing clothes for SL w/o Blender or any of the other "sister" modeling programs?
Usually, I model the clothes/props around the base model and import, but SL doesnt import the model in the same space/position as where it was modeled. How would I get items/clothes to snap or fit to correct position?!? Even worse, items imported are scaled wrong, making that process even harder. This happens even when I use the base Mesh as a "model" to model my clothing items over. Between size and position, I can't get things to fit.
Also, I am not getting any results trying the skin weight or joint options. I tried using the export from the avatar.blend file, and also from the robot mesh (found someone in these forums) none produced "any" results =/
I noticed a .cr2 was provided w/ the base avatar mesh. This is awesome, but how could I make the most use of this gift?!? I tested it in Carrara, and works great (poses pefectly), but how can I utilize this in Poser fashion?!?
Any help would be golden and greatly appreciated =)
04-20-2011 04:38 PM
Looks like you'll have to buy Maya if Blender is no good for you. Maya has ALL the bells.
Someone will be along soon to light your way.
04-20-2011 05:29 PM
Nah... Don't want Maya either... I own/use Carrara (which does have collada 1.4 export), Hexagon 2.3, ZBrush 4 and 3D Coat among other tools... It's not that I have a problem modeling, I don't know how to bring my models into SL to "SL-erize" them.
04-21-2011 07:00 AM
well you all ready state you have one program that will do all but rigg your cloths and av's mesh, is zbrush since your just starting out on all this ,maybeis best to stick with what you know first, if you dont want to use blender for creation, you can at lest for the rigging , its simple and fast and 90 % of any help from this forum will be from blender users,
and for zbrush you can do start to finish in there, i have had great luck extracting clothes form mesh its fast and simple. and with spot light you can paint directly to mesh , and up to a billion polygons to paint on if your computer handles it,
in my personal; option zbrush is best set up for av and cloths creation or organic type meshes , blender will cover more area's of design more hard surfaces and more tools for building type meshes or vehicals,
This is a hole new playing feild, and right now is like building a house on sifting sands, hard to know what really works,till the lindens lay down the final costs, that will help in what type of real detail we can work with.
04-21-2011 08:13 AM
I really like SL and am looking forward to content creation for it. Please understand that my issue is not about modeling or Blender.
You say you use ZBrush w/ great success, so then I ask how would do "you" bring in your clothes modeled in ZBrush into SL... I saw sheep in sequin video tutorial, but it was obvious that there was a problem w/ size and positioning on import/upload.
In the MachinMatrix video (Mesh Overview) while in blender she models the arm cover over the base geometry of the SL avatar object. On import it "snap fits" over the arm w/o issue of scale or position... That's the good stuff... How can I ensure that that happens if I model in ZBrush for example.
In theory (or through my basic practices) if I model over a base figure in "any" program, the model -should- fit over the zero position/pose of the figure I modeled the clothing item for. In SL, the drag/drop process doesnt allow for that to happen, or I just don't know how to do it yet.
The next step would be to have the model (the clothing item) move with the figure, but we cannot put the cart before the horse =/
I have to admit, that just in my short time here (less than a week), it seems that this beta stage is extremely inconsistent. Practices and techniques (and even programs) seem to become outdated way too fast, and picking info thru the forums and searches is like a wild goosechase... Should I "not" practice until the final release? Will there be updated content creator resources easily available to us?
For practice, I started a simple test project. Just simple leggings...
If the item was NOT modeled in Blender, how do I have the figure "wear" the item? You would think it's simple, but this really is all I am trying to do =/ I believe the practice would work for custom avatars (by hiding the figure) and clothes, so I'm admittedly VERY eager to test out some "stuff" I have...
04-21-2011 08:33 AM
I think some of the qestions that you should ask is, or ask your self is ,even after figureing out a work flow and programs to use, is, what road you plan to go down in maken av's of clothes, there is 2 options , both with problems, 1 is useing the old mesh av that millions use right now, its limited and maken clothes that will fit the masses has still not yet been worked out yet, sure you will have a larger market to sell to, but your limited with the uv layout and club feet,
then option 2 create your own av line, but then your forced to create a unless suplly of clothes to go with it, this has plus side though your lesslikely to then have others stealing your work and selling as its harder to blantly do this or have asscess to all your files to do it, if your succuessfull then you could sell your files to others wishing to create clothes for your line of av's also,
Draw back, if the lindens create a new updated mesh av then your competing again agisnt every one, and that would be universal, but still new and a long while for the mass product lines we see today with older mesh av,
my personal option is the lindens will let us develop the next av for sl, there is all ready many base female and male av meshes for free and free use of out there now with perfected topoligy, its a waste to start from scratch.
other thoughts also would be if you create a custom line would one just merge cloths with body and rig as ahole and chage the hole av as a outfit verses the av and seport clothes and each part rigged and worn.
so not only are alot of us figureing out how to use our programs and create the mesh,we also have to decide, how we will market it ,building them in the best ways thats useable,sellable, and that others can build apond your works, with other products, thus createing a new market base.
04-21-2011 08:52 AM
If you create in zbrush you need to export as object file then import to Blender, If i was you i would start off with, just importing a rigged av to sl .Blener is free so use that first to get used to how this works. there is a blender file. sl mash av thats all ready rigged. follow the vidoes provided and just import that first. rigging and importing is a mass of learning in its self you can with in a few clicks rigs and export a mesh to sl yes, but then there is allso weight painting bone ajustments, the fine tuneing and full understanding of it all will take a while.
04-21-2011 09:03 AM
I'm only on day 5 of my "real" SL life, bare with me =P
I honestly didn't even know we had an option to make custom avatars... That's a great thing. However, Linden people are sure to have their own default character, and working BOTH sides is not a problem for me (shouldn't be for any merchant). You can imagine plenty of new comers, most will use the items that for the linden default characters. The more advanced and long time users will use custom avatars, plenty of room for both markets... But this is really a marketing issue, and right now I just want those friggin leggins on my character =P
I don't really care about the leggings..... I want the practice to work =/
I took me a few hours trying to get Blender installed (had to fumble between various versions, not cool, and new comers wont take to it I don't think) and getting all the right "things" and plugins and scripts and pythons to work correctly only to find that the exported .dae doesn't work or yield expected results. I can bring in my objects from Carrara through Collada, and even better, the "small" world system of Carrara matches the Linden Meter scale system "perfectly", meaning I can design and work w/ SL in-world dimensions flawlessy (10m in Carrara is 10m in SL)... But because the provided resource base SL avatar mesh is not to scale, what I do w/ clothes doesn't translate w/ regards to size/position =(
Not trying to tackle marketing here, but I will get to that. Can't do marketing w/o anything to market =P
04-23-2011 06:04 PM
Hi TzunCet, welcome to SL
Similar to you, I work with a variety of 3D software (and gradually deciding on my workflow in the process) - mostly Carrara or Hexagon for the actual modeling process itself.
To export the mesh INTO SL itself, at the moment I use Blender. I barely know how to use Blender at all; I just merely use it for the export process for now. The process is pretty straightforward (follow the Machinimatrix video which shows that step - very easy, plus it can convert your quad mesh into triangles if needed).
An IMPORTANT thing to know is that SL requires mesh to be in triangle format to work properly. If you are working in a quad-based mesh format, you will need to convert it to triangular mesh BEFORE commencing on UV-mapping and material mapping (in my limited mesh experience, any change to the mesh itself will destroy any UV-mapping etc). So to avoid potential pain, I suggest converting your mesh to triangles beforehand. (I used Blender for this step - it is quite elegant in the method it uses to convert to triangles - a simple split through each quad (converts to 2 triangles); much easier than doing it manually (no doubt if I looked harder, I could find a similar function in Carrara... Hexagon converts each quad into 4 triangles - far too heavy).
As time allows, I will explore actual AV clothing mesh - using the AV mesh itself as a mannikin to build over. I will probably use Blender for the actual rigging though... the machinimatrix video appears to be fairly straightforward in this regard. So I will have to learn enough of Blender's interface to manage this step, but that shouldn't be too big a task - just enough to navigate myself for this step of the modeling process.
So yah, it's a matter of figuring out a comfortable workflow. As is the case with 3D in general, often a montage of programs are needed to get the results you want. As stated earlier, I prefer to model the mesh itself in a program I am familiar with, and then for the conversion process / rigging etc, I export to Blender (or whatever program is the best to use). At least we don't HAVE to use high-end expensive software if we choose to - just whatever works best for us.
Have much fun - mesh will be awesome when it eventually gets released to the main grid!
04-23-2011 06:56 PM
Just a note - In Blender (4.9b, at least) the Collada exporter has an option to convert quads to triangles. I use that rather than converting in Blender itself because I don't like working with triangles. I don't know if the requirements for rigging are different.