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Nethya Emor

Matching of Body Layer Seams

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I've been looking over the forums in search to find all the ways to match Body Layers between each other and found just a few replies as the forums are new. Matching these three different layers is something that is just too irritating for me to do so I decided to find some ways to ease it and then return back on making stuff.

Personally the first thing that I do while working on more Body Layers is to pump them all inside one file of combined size, usually 1024x1024 or 2048x2048. And then draw there so I can use image editing tools on all layers at once or pick the one I want.

Besides that, I have tried using AvPainter without much of results, finding the Color Palette just too slow and the jumpy edges too jumpy. Has anyone been using it efficiently?

And as last, I have heard of this awesome tool for clothing designers while browsing the forums, going to try it to see what could it all do. Its called Multi-Chan Hax and has some nice tutorials on the linked site.

How do you match body layers and fix seams? Feel free to share any tips as they are all welcome.

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I'm assuming your are using either Chip Midnight's or Robin Woods' clothing/skin templates.  Those are PSD files that contain all the layers that make up the templates.  Both of those template sets have a layer that has different colors around the outside of each body part.........those are there to help you line up your textures front to back, upper to lower.  You must line up each layer for the front to the back and the upper to the lower to have a "seamless" transission when you put it all together on your avatar.........on a 1024 by 1024 template 2 pixels off will show when you apply it to your avatar.  You need to count all the UV lines on each template and keep them the same.

 

The problem is that the SL avatar mesh is really screwed up.  The front and back UV's are not the same size in relation to each on upper and lower templates.........and those are not even the same in relation to the upper to lower templates.  The scales are different on all the templates.  The head template is huge compared to the upper and lower.  It's difficult to get it right and there's no way around it.....if you are looking for an easy way, then you're out of luck (there ain't one).  The common "work around" is to not have any pattern or changing texture at the seams.  On skins blur the edges to make a smoother seam.  Clothing is hard if you want horizontal strips or a flower texture but it can be done.........just not easily.

 

There's really no easy way out except to just avoid textures with detail at the seams.  Experimenting will eventually get you to the point where you can make textures with detail at the seams........it takes time and patience is all.

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Or use Photoshop CS4 or CS5, both of which allow you to work on your design in 3D, so that you can paint directly on the avatar body.  That will let you see exactly where the seams fall and make it easy to align and adjust patterns across them. If you don't have that capability, you'll have to do a lot of uploading temporary textures to SL (they are free if you use Phoenix or Imprudence, or if you upload to the Aditi grid), trying them on, photographing seams, and then adjusting. It can be slow work, but doable.

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I used to do it the hard way, by selectively resizing various details along the edges, so that all details end up the same size, and in the same relative locations, on both sides of each seam.  It's a painstaking process, that can take forever and a day, for even a moderately complex texture.

Now, I use Mudbox, and I can be done in seconds.  Photoshop Extended is great, too, and I also use that.  But the majority of my Photoshop work is done on the 2D canvas.  I only use Photoshop's 3D paint engine very occasionally.   When it comes to 3D painting, Mudbox is much faster, and far less quirky than Photoshop.  I guess that's the difference between a 2D app that's had 3D added to it, and one that was built for 3D from the ground up.

Mudbox can use Photoshop brushes, by the way, and it works with layers, so if any diehard PS users haven't wanted to sacrifice your brush collection or your existing work flow style, by using a different 3D painter, that's a non-issue.  Mudbox and Photoshop can work toegether quite seamlessly.

 

 

 

If anyone who's interested in this subject would care to search through the old forum archives, you might want to check out the post I wrote, about how I created 50 unique alien skins in just two days, using just Modbox and Filter Forge. Sorry, I don't have the link.  I don't feel like searching for it myself right now.

To summarize, the skins were highly detailed, totally seamless, and each one was done in just about 10 minutes.  I simply whipped up some freaky organic looking patterns in Filter Forge, and projection painted them onto the avatar surface, from various angles.

Ordinarily, I'd spend more than 10 minutes per skin, of course.  But I was facing a very tight deadline.  It worked out quite well.

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Multi Chan Hax RAWKS my SL WORLD!!!  I cant thank the person enough for the wonderful video tut on how to use this and the Flaming Pear Filter, and the person that created this wonderful tool...High 5 to the both of you!  I recommend this to anyone making clothing, as there is nothing worse than seams that dont match and a line along the sides of the avatar where the fabric doesnt cover.

 

FYI: anyone wanting to make clothing in SL....please research, watch YouTube Vids, practice and most of all...know what you are getting into before doing it!

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Rolig Loon wrote:

Or use Photoshop CS4 or CS5, both of which allow you to work on your design in 3D, so that you can paint directly on the avatar body.  That will let you see exactly where the seams fall and make it easy to align and adjust patterns across them. If you don't have that capability, you'll have to do a lot of uploading temporary textures to SL (they are free if you use Phoenix or Imprudence, or if you upload to the Aditi grid), trying them on, photographing seams, and then adjusting. It can be slow work, but doable.

 

I have to ask, its been bugging me for a long time now....how do you load the avatar body/shape into photoshop, im guessing there is some really simple easy way but im lost if i can find it lol, also was there not a template floating around once that lined up the different body lines...i want to make a tattoo that covers the lower jacket layer and the upper around the back...but can't line it up :( any help would be greatly appreciated

 

thankyou

Debbi x

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As with many of life's tricker Photoshop questions, the best answer lies in a Robin Woods tutorial.  Take a look at http://www.robinwood.com/Catalog/Technical/PhotoshopTuts/PhotoTutPages/CS4-3D-1_Open.html , wherein all secrets are revealed. Robin even shows exactly how to align a tattoo across the waistline.  What could be nicer?   :smileyhappy:

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Awesome thankyou sooo much Rolig i look forward to checking that out tomorow :-D your awesome Rolig and so is Robin Woods. :-D thanks so much *hugs* Debbi x

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is there any other quick quirks to matching the seams...surely there must be something simple..lol..ive not had chance to try Robins 3D painting straight onto the body yet...just curious if there is any other options...not tried Multi chan hax as it didn't seem to clear if it would do what i actually wanted to do as its a tattoo so not sure how well that would work for me...

thanks

Debbi x

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Unless you usesomething like Maya or Mudbox (Chosen's favorite), both of which are real 3D modeling programs, your next best option is still Photoshop CS4 or CS5.  They are 2D software, but their 3D capability works well enough to do what you want.  Work through Robin's four videos in order, with your own CS4(5) open at the same time so you can follow along.  She does a nice job of laying out the basics.  The last video in the series, in which she shows how to handle a tattoo that's in the lower back, goes a bit fast, so be patient.  Once you understand what she's doing, you ought to be able to figure out much of the rest.

If you don't feel up to learning the 3D tricks in Photoshop, you'll have to fall back on the "old" way with 2D.  Match up textures across seams by eye as well as you can, do temporary (L$0) uploads to SL so you can see what they look like on your av, make tiny adjustments with your favorite tools, upload again, and again, and again.....  It's tedious, and definitely not quick, but it's how we were all doing it until a couple of years ago.

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/me smiles " thanks again, i will make sure to watch the videos on Robins site tomorrow when i get a spare minute lol...i hate doing it the old 2d way my eyes go all wiggly lol

Debbi x

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Rolig Loon wrote:

As with many of life's tricker Photoshop questions, the best answer lies in a Robin Woods tutorial.  Take a look at
, wherein all secrets are revealed. Robin even shows exactly how to align a tattoo across the waistline.  What could be nicer?   :smileyhappy:

 

OMG i just finished looking at the video tutorial and i can't wait to try it lol...it looks sooooo damn simple, thankyou so much Rolig and of course Robin Woods for the tutorial :) your both Ace *hugs you both*

Debbi x

Just to add...its not so easy to wrap a vine around the leg going down...lol...that still seems to have to be done the old way...but i have just made my first dual layer tattoo and it worked perfectly :smileyvery-happy:

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I don't know if you already use the SLCP (second life clothing previewer) stand-alone program, but it is extremely helpful and simple to use, and free. It won't help you correct the graphic itself, but it is very helpful in previewing seam lines and patterns across them on a 3-D avatar model. I don't think I could design clothes without it. I've used the 3-D capabilities that PS Extended has but I still rely on this simple yet useful tool to help me get things just right before final upload.

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Rolig Loon wrote:

Or use Photoshop CS4 or CS5, both of which allow you to work on your design in 3D, so that you can paint directly on the avatar body.  

How do you export the avatar to Photoshop CS? Yes I have looked at the Robin Wood tutorials. It just says open the file I think. It's a great tutorial don't get me wrong.

 

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Shelby Silverspar wrote:

I don't know if you already use the SLCP (second life clothing previewer) stand-alone program, but it is extremely helpful and simple to use, and free. It won't help you correct the graphic itself, but it is very helpful in previewing seam lines and patterns across them on a 3-D avatar model. I don't think I could design clothes without it. I've used the 3-D capabilities that PS Extended has but I still rely on this simple yet useful tool to help me get things just right before final upload.

It is only made for PC though.

 

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Clarissa Lowell wrote:

 

Shelby Silverspar wrote:

I don't know if you already use the SLCP (second life clothing previewer) stand-alone program, but it is extremely helpful and simple to use, and free. It won't help you correct the graphic itself, but it is very helpful in previewing seam lines and patterns across them on a 3-D avatar model. I don't think I could design clothes without it. I've used the 3-D capabilities that PS Extended has but I still rely on this simple yet useful tool to help me get things just right before final upload.

It is only made for PC though.

 

Hi, there was a Mac version of SLCP, but it is old and will need Rosetta on an Intel Mac. Snow Leopard still has Rosetta but it is an optional install. I saw that it will probably be removed in Lion.

 

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Clarissa Lowell wrote:

 

Rolig Loon wrote:

Or use Photoshop CS4 or CS5, both of which allow you to work on your design in 3D, so that you can paint directly on the avatar body.  

How do you export the avatar to Photoshop CS? Yes I have looked at the Robin Wood tutorials. It just says open the file I think. It's a great tutorial don't get me wrong.

 

Yup, that's all you have to do.  Open the obj file, just the same way you'd open any other file.  Or are you asking where you get the avatar obj file? It's right on Robin's site, on the same page as the tutorial.

 

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That's true, and it's somewhat dated for use now, too.  Now that I can get free temporary uploads easily, I find it much easier to do my fitting directly on my own av in world.  SLCP shows a lower-resolution image and it's more awkward to rotate and view than my own av. 

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Regarding Robins tutorial, is there or does anyone know of a way that you can wrap textures/paintbrush layers around the legs, arms and body without it going wonky...i've watched robins video tutorial about 5 times and unless im missing something it doesn't cover that point...and its frustrating me no end now lol

thanks

Debbi x

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