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ZacharyArens

Order of making mesh

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I've understood the basics of using Blender in regards to the interface and general modelling from a few tutorials and find this fine. BuI have a few questions as to what happens after and would appreciate some help. I'm using Blender 2.70 with Avastar to create clothes.

So far this is the order in which I'm going as I understand, and have tried out: model the item, rig it, weight paint it, UV unwrap it and texture it. I managed to get a tshirt into SL that worked as I expected but using the viewer's own LOD settings.

Then I wanted to create creases and ran into a few problems and confusion, suggestions including normal maps for the creases and also learning about creating different LOD versions (3?).

I've been through normal map tutorials and understand the benefit in using them, however it is incorporating this aspect with creating LOD versions that I'm finding confusing.

Say I am making a tshirt, these are my questions:

1. I begin with a basic tshirt model, create 3 different versions, each with more detail (it makes more sense for me to go from low to high, I've tried it the other way around and experienced issues). What does that mean? How much of a change do I get away with? From what I understood, I can subdivide and rearrange vertices for a smoother model. However this leads onto my next questions.

2. When it comes to sculpting creases in, should I only apply these to the highest LOD version using the normal map procedure? Or do I apply the normal map to every LOD version?

3. I assume I then go ahead and rig them, after which I weightpaint. Will my creases not be affected by weightpainting? Do I have to weightpaint each LOD version?

4. UV unwrapping would follow this. I have read to start with the low LOD version and unwrap that first, then apply subdivides for my medium and higher versions, so the UV map will change accordingly. What happens if I make more changes than just subdividing, such as rearranging vertices as I need, would that create problems in my UV map? (Relating back to Q1) 

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Take it one step at a time man :) get the highpoly model you want finished first and come back for the next question. You're going to overwhelm yourself if you take it all on before you even start.

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LOL, I've made a couple of high poly models, that's the point. The modelling part is simple enough. I want to know what to do next and what order works best.

As I've said, I've already taken a model into SL that came out as I wanted. I shared a screenshot with the Blender Avastar group and was told I should avoid the high polycount by using normal maps. An idea I like.

I'm a conceptual learner, haha, I like planning and structure. Repeating the same thing again does not appeal to me.

I'd appreciate some help with these questions or pointing me to where I can answer them for myself. I tried Google and have found many tutorials, but nothing that quite answers how these link together.

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Okay, Next step would be retopology. Take your high poly models and create new almost "Cages" around them. 
Reducing the polycount drastically. Once you have the retopo you bake a normal map down to it. But Ill walk you through that once you have a retopo down. Remember to keep the edgeloops in efficient locations, IE Where a lot of bending will happen.

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=blender+retopology

 

ETA: My workflow is as such : High poly -> retopo -> Unwrap -> bake maps -> Texture -> LODs - > Export/upload

OR  Highpoly -> Poly paint texture -> Retopo -> Bake to unwrap -> LODs -> Export/upload

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I am in the same boat as you, however, I just installed 2.70 and I'm already lost. Making sculpts in Blender was easier, but now I'm on a new PC and did a clean install and on Windows 8.. boy am I lost.. LOL.

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Blender IS a complex tool. When you open it the first time then "getting lost" is the common situation. the only way to get out of this is:

 

  • Patience
  • Get some dedicated Blender courses
  • Patience
  • Ask in the Forums
  • Patiance...

You get me ? :matte-motes-sunglasses-3: Seriously, there is no way out of this except working through the pile.

I remember that when i opened Blender 2.43 the first time of my life (a few years ago) "getting lost" was not exactly what i felt. it was more like a big "?" followed by closing it quickly. But i am known to never give up :) So i opened it again and kept with it up till today :)

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It seems to put a lot of people at ease when I tell them that if you're planning to use blender for 3d Modeling, especially for use in SL. You'll not even use half of the total program :) So don't let it overwhelm you when you start. Theres a lot too it, but take it step by step and you'll have it all down soon!

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Cool, thank you MistahMoose, I made the retopo, baked the normal map (according to

) and took it into SL to try it out.

Next step texture, or would I add a specular map? I'll be focusing on clothing and attachments for now and don't see the point of an AO.

When is a good time to rig and weightpaint, considering this may result in minor changes to the actual mesh? I would think it would be a good idea to do this after the retopo and baking of a normal map. 

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I personally rig right after the retopo, because sometimes there are issues that need to be fixed before you unwrap and actually texture the mesh. Though once you get more familiar with the rigging and weight painting you'll know what you can and cannot do to the mesh to get a good rig out of it. It just sucks to have finished a texture and have a geometry problem prohibiting you from getting the project finished.

AO can or cannot be used, I personally prefer it because it gives a little extra depth to your mesh, you'll find its still used in a lot of games even if it isn't completely necessary. But with PBR its used as a map not baked into the texture itself.

Specular is always worthwhile to do with a normal map, its quite easy too, heres my favotire tut on it ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Gqp4bNJ52M)

 

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