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Kurama Bingyi

What programs to use?

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I'm looking to get into mesh modeling for SL. I'm patient enough to learn the methods and such, but I would like to know and get opinions:

What programs do you use to make mesh clothing?

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I'm looking to get into mesh modeling for SL. I'm patient enough to learn the methods and such, but I would like to know and get opinions:

What programs do you use to make mesh clothing?

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The large majority of folks here use Blender because it is free and legal. Any will do. I understand that they are all hard :D.

The good thing is that there are TONS of tutorials out there for blender. Be sure and look for ones that are recent though as the interface made some big changes and when you are learning trying to translate from old to new is very very hard.

Good luck. Give yourself some time. I am just starting to feel like I know something and it has been nine months with many hours per week :D.

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Which modeling tool to use is mostly about personal preference. But, there are some facts to consider.

Probably the most important reason for choosing Blender is that Linden Lab supports Blender. And Blender is free.

Next is the fact that Linden Lab is a stakeholder in Blender. This means that the Blender Development People consider what the impact of changes to Blender may do to SL users. I am not sure how much consideration is given or how much affect that has, but I any considration is something.

Blender has some available add-ons to make its use with SL modeling much easier.

Blender-SL has in-world groups and training offered by various groups.

 

If you are going to start modeling clothes for SL, there are several things you need to consider. See: Second Life Shape Export. This article explains a problem that many fight with while never knowing it is there.

See: Blender Measurements for Second Life. The answer to many questions about getting things the right size and how to get a sense of size in a modeling program are so simple it is hard to find an answer.

See: Second Life Mesh Clothes Blender 2.6 Setup 2012 Tutorial - This is a huge article that explains the various avatar models people talk about and which files do what and how they vary (or not). Plus there are Blender setup instructions that make dealing with the Blender development rate much easier.

See: Specular Maps Tutorial - If you are not famaliar with specular maps, this is a good starting place.

There are links in all the articles to other tutorials and helpful sites.

 

Beyound suggesting you go with Blender, the best tip I have is to visit Machinimatrix.org and purchase the Avastar add-on for Blender. It makes many things much easier and handles a number of time-consuming-problems and various gotcha's.

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Nalates Urriah wrote:

Linden Lab supports Blender.

Can you provide any evidence of this, Nat?  To my knowledge, Linden Lab does not directly support any software but their own.  Perhaps our definitions of "support" are different?  How did you mean it?

 


Nalates Urriah wrote:

Next is the fact that Linden Lab is a stakeholder in Blender.

Again, can you provide a reference for this?

My understanding is it's a long-held misconception, which originated from a comment in the Blender release notes when the program's COLLADA exporter was revamped.  The comment included the phrase, "Second Life is now the primary stakeholder." A lot of people on this forum at the time seemed to grossly misinterpret the word "stakeholder" in this context. They took it to mean that Linden Lab somehow now owned a piece of Blender.  But in truth, all it actually meant was that Blender's COLLADA implementation had been rebuilt with SL compatibility in mind.

I'm not aware of any information directly indicating that Linden Lab as a company contributes, financially or otherwise, to the Blender Foundation or has any ownership in it.   Blender is more compatible with SL now than it used to be, simply because certain people who happened to be members of both the communities decided to make it so.  As far as I know, Linden Lab had nothing directly to do with the COLLADA change, or with anything else in Blender's development history.

Do you have differing information from mine?  If I'm misinformed, I'd be interested to hear more.

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Kurama Bingyi wrote:

What programs do you use to make mesh clothing?

The first thing to realize is it's not about making mesh CLOTHING.  It's simply about mesh modeling itself.  It's just like with any other artform.  You learn the principles and techniques, and then you apply them to whatever it is you want to do, whether it be clothing, or tennis rackets, or houses, or rocket ships, or robots, or space aliens, or whatever else you can think of.  It's all the same thing.

You don't learn to play the violin by playing one piece of music.  You don't learn to paint by painting just one picture.  When you know how to play the instrument, you can play any music you want on it, and when you know how to paint, you can creatre any image.  By the same token, when you know how to model, you can model anything you want, not just clothing.

 

That said, to answer your direct question, I personally use Maya.  This is not because Maya is inherently any better or worse than other available choices; it's simply because it's what I was trained on and am comfortable with.  I make my living using it every day.

The best program to use is whatever prorgram you're most comfortable using. If you don't want to spend money, then as has been mentioned a few times now, Blender is by far the most full-featured free option, and it's well supported among the SL community.  If price is no object, then I'd suggest you also check out popular commercial options, such as Maya, 3DS Max, Lightwave, etc.  Most of them come with 30-day free trials.  Give them a whirl, and see which one best speaks your language.

 

Whetever you do, just don't get caught up in trying to learn just the things you think you need to know.  That's not how it works.  First you have to learn all the basics, and only then can you transition into applying them to the things you want to make.  In the beginning, you don't yet know enough to know what it is you don't know, and trying to cherry-pick information will only lead to endless frustration.  So, pick a course of study, and stick with it, from start to finish, BEFORE you try to attempt your own projects.

Maya comes with the best included help file of any program on this planet.  To get started, just open up the help, click on "Learning Maya", and follow the tutorials.  Do them all, from start to finish.  Don't skip any, and don't go out of order.  When you're done, you'll have a solid command of the basics, and you'll be able to start making whatever you want.  After that, it's just practice, practice, practice.

If you go with Blender, then I'd suggest you follow the beginner tutorials at blendercookie.com.  Again, do them all from strart to finish, don't skip any, and don't go out of order.  Let each lesson build up the last, like it's supposed to, and you'll do fine.

Rember, although the learning curve is steep, it's never hard if you take it one step at a time.  Whenever you see frantic cries for help from hopelessly confused and stressed out people, it's nearly always because they tried to go out of order and do something they're not yet ready for.

You said you're patient, and that's great.  It takes patience and discipline to learn this stuff for the first time.  Learn it the right way, and you'll find that although it's time consuming, it's fun, easy, and very rewarding, the whole way through.

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My understanding is it's a long-held misnomer, which originated from a comment in the Blender release notes when the program's COLLADA exporter was revamped.  The comment included the phrase, "Second Life is now the primary stakeholder." A lot of people on this forum at the time seemed to grossly misinterpret the word "stakeholder" in this context. They took it to mean that Linden Lab somehow now owned a piece of Blender.  But in truth, all it actually meant was that Blender's COLLADA implementation had been rebuilt with SL compatibility in mind.

I think i can say something here :matte-motes-sunglasses-3:

First and most important: Linden Lab does NOT support Blender by any means!

Only after i started taking care of this about 18 months ago, Blender reacted by telling the world: "Second Life is now the primary stakeholder of the Collada module".

So i took this verbatim and started doing just that (make the exporter fit for SL). Actually it was Juha Mäki-Kanto who added the most important fix that made Blender work again for SL. I only polished the beast later and added all sort of useful extras to the exporter for better support of SL (mostly due to hints from Drongle and others from this forum)

And since Blender still has a collada exporter, it looks like i was somewhat succesful with my doing. I also am not aware of any SL related Collada issue after Blender 2.64 was released.

So the summary is:

-- Happy End --

 

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I will suggest Blender, although I originally trained in 3ds Max. Because I was a Max user, I always found Blender to be a confusing mess, in which everything worked differently. It is not an easy transition, but I'm extremely happy to be working in Blender more and more. Now I realize that Blender isn't really confusing at all. When you learn how things are done in the program, you'll likely think it's much simpler. When you add in the Avastar plugin, you now have something that is literally made to help you produce mesh clothing for SL.

Currently, I still do most of my modeling in 3ds Max, but only because I'm so much quicker in it. Blender is now the main program that I use to animate for SL, as well as rigging and weighting. I've messed around in Maya a few times, but never liked it much at all. I will likely never buy another 3d software program, as IMHO, Blender is quickly becoming the end all be all to me. They will likely see a few donations from me. If you want hair simulation, it's at your finger tips. If you want to do a complete ocean storm with realistic water simulations, it's right there. If you want to do 3d camera tracking in a video to add 3d elements, yep, you can do that. If you want to use a Micheal Jackson video to track his movements and convert that onto a skeleton, yes, it can do that. The only real question is, can your pc handle it.

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