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Amoralie Triellis

Which Avatar Base to Use?

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Hello All!

I've begun my meshing journey watching a number of tutorials JUST on blender to get a good feel for the interface. I'm sure I have a ton more to learn, but I don't see any harm in getting the basic setup ready in blender. So my question is:

Which avatar base should I import into blender to mesh clothing off of? I am curious about 'standard sizes' and if this is something I have to consider, and if avatstar / workbench offer support for this.

Does rigged mesh make sizing obsolete? 

Any information you can offer about what I need to add to blender to get the 'canvas' ready to go would be great!

 Thank you!

 

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Amoralie Triellis wrote:

Which avatar base should I import into blender to mesh clothing off of?

I would recommend to take the Avatar from our Workbench. This character has following benefits:

 

  • It is prepared for export to Second Life (it has all necessary bones)
  • It is based on the Viewer's Avatar definition files.
  • The newest version of the workbench also contains meshes which are prepared for being useable with Fitted Mesh.

There is also a set of work files available from Linden Lab. You might prefer to use these as they are "official". More info is on the official Second Life Fitted Mesh page.


I am curious about 'standard sizes' and if this is something I have to consider, and if avastar / workbench offer support for this.

You can organise your projects easily by using multiple armatures besides each other, or rig meshes for different sizes to the same armature. This can all be done with Blender. Neither Avastar nor the Workbench offer any direct support for this.


Does rigged mesh make sizing obsolete? 

Fitted Mesh allows users(customers) to modify the shape of mesh attachments to some extend. So in the best of all cases you might be able to get away with just one mesh atachment that "fits all purposes". However i believe that in most cases you still get better results when you create 2 or more variations of your mesh depending on its complexity. Somehow fitted mesh has made the situation better but not good (in my opinion).

However no general rule seems to apply here.

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Fitted mesh was supposed to help make sizing less important. In reality its meant that even with changing your size you cannot fit into their outfit until you find that magic dial that matters above all others - and the exact specific right value for it...

I'd suggest working with the standard sizes.

Unless you can figure out why so many other fitted mesh makers are doing it so badly, and yourself do it right... that's a nightmare of messy product you should avoid.

If you're going to do anything other than standard sizes... pick one of the popular mesh avatars and make outfits for it - but this limits your customer base to just the people using that body... Unless you have the skills to quickly make items for the standard sizes, AND a fitted-thing for one of the mesh bodies... which of course also means being able to do fitted right... and almost no mesh maker in SL seems able to do that...

 

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I just wanted to say that while I was not a fitted mesh fan when it was introduced (that large layer of "air" that seemed to come with almost all garments then), designers seem to be making great strides and I often find that the fitted mesh version works perfectly.

 

I don't make fitted mesh, happily just the static stuff but I DO try on a lot of clothes each week :D.

 

So for folks that haven't tried fitted mesh LATELY, they might want to find some demos and see who has beat it into submission.  I don't have a mesh body BTW, just regular.

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There are a few things about Fitted Mesh that make it incredibility difficult to get the weights just right.

Unlike regular mesh which you only have to worry about how the mesh moves and bends as the joints bend with Fitted Mesh you also have to worry about how the mesh changes shape as the different joints change scales.  The tighter and or skimpier the clothes the more difficult this becomes.

Lastly the avatar itself mainly doesn't change its shape by changing the scales of the joints it is rigged to.  It mainly uses morphs or what in Maya is called Blendshapes.  Morphs/Blendshapes don't take the different parts of the mesh and simply scale them up or down like Fitted Mesh.  Morphs are made by taking the default shape and making a duplicate and reshaping the duplicate into a new shape.  Then this new shape is made a target mesh for the original mesh to create the Morph/Blenshape.  If the Morph/Blenshape is set to 0 then the default mesh doesn't change.  If the Morph/Blenshape is set to 0.5 then the vertices of the default move half way between the two shapes.  If it is set to 1 then the vertices move all the way so the default mesh now has the same shape as the duplicated mesh.  The duplicated mesh can be reshaped into an shape even something that looks nothing like the original mesh.  

Because the avatar mainly changes shape in a different way than Fitted Mesh it is darn near impossible to Fitted Mesh to change shape and follow the real avatars shape accurately.

I am coming out with an update for my MayaStar real soon which should make getting acceptable weighting a lot easier.

Personally I wish LL had gone with the Mesh Deformer or at least let us have both Fitted Mesh and the Mesh Deformer.  The Mesh Deformer worked much better for tight and or skimpy mesh clothes than Fitted Mesh ever will.  With the Mesh Deformer custom mesh avatars made by residents would have full facial expressions and fingers that moved.  All without having to do any special.  Just rig to the normal skeleton bones.  Don't believe me?

Here's proof:

The whole mesh head is weighted to just the mHead bone/joint.  I didn't have any animation overides that had facial expressions but you can clearly see the eyelids blink and of course the whole face changes shape as I change the Appearance Sliders or change from wearing a female body shape to a male one.

LL really missed out though it is no too late if they like to change their mind.

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Thanks for the responses! So what I'm hearing is that.. as a beginner it may be wise to get my bearings with standard sizes. Once I have a good handle on meshing, then I should be looking into the recipe for fitted mesh. 

I think thats where I feel inclined to start.

 

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