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Creating Mesh for a mesh body


Josie Enchanted
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I would like to start creating mesh hair that will fit my mesh body. Since I can't seem to find a good tutorial,I'm here with several questions.

What program do I use?

Do I have to buy it?

How do I build around my specific mesh body in the program(how do I get a copy of it)?

How difficult should I expect learning to create mesh hair to be?

What do I need to do to rig the mesh?

I'm assuming that because I'm able to use a 3D animation program for my University classes(though I haven't really used it yet and still have no experience with 3D),my computer should be able to handle the program required to make SL mesh hair.

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The short answers to your questions boil down to:

Use Blender, which is free (and the de facto standard in SL, and there are a zillion tutorials on line, to say nothing of the support from residents here in the forums).

Head shape doesn't vary so much that can't imagine it makes a lot of difference what you use as a template if you are making hair.  But I could be wrong.  Hair creators are the experts.

However, if you have never done any 3D modeling, starting with making hair is a little ambitious.  Plan on spending a fair amount of time simply learning how to model anything, until you are comfortable with the basics.

Hair doesn't truly need to be rigged if it's shoulder length.  There are no articulated skull bones, so your whole head moves as a unit.  Unless you plan on making ponytails that need to bend with your body, wearing hair is like wearing a hat.  To get a feel for what's involved when you do need rigging, try this >>> http://blog.machinimatrix.org/category/mesh/rigging/

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I tried to search for tutorials on making meshes for avatars in general, but I couldn't find many.The problem with the ones that I did find - with clothes - is that they used physics to help create the clothes rather than sculpting the clothes to drape around the body, or that - with hair - the results weren't very detailed or a full head of hair.Many 3D hair tutorials applied to things that weren't SL, such as the Sims or a game character.

The reason why I'm asking about creating meshes around bodies is because I want to make long hair that will have to fit that body's form and move with it. Would clothes be a better start to 3D modeling, or should I stay away from avatar meshes in general? If I can get good practice making clothes, then I will have to find a way to build around a body,anyway. But SL's default avatar wouldn't work for me, since I'm using a mesh avatar that doesn't perfectly match SL's default avatar. I know that other users had created clothing for my avatar already, so it must be able to be done somehow. Does receiving a copy of the body depend on the merchant,or is it something you can get on your own if you already own the body?

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