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SpaceMilks

Looking for free alternatives to Avastar and Sparkles!

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Hi!! I'm newish to SL, I really wanted to play in order to not only be in a sandbox/open world type life game, but I wanted the opportunity to start creating mesh designs for a variety of reasons and hone my skill.

I have Blender, but I'm looking at tutorials and they all say I need the Avastar and Sparkles extensions.

I'm wondering what exactly they are used for, is there free alternatives, do I need them, and if not, how do I go about using Blender and uploading/downloading without it.

Thank you all so much :)

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Google is your friend for tutorials. There are maybe a zillion of them.  Download from the Blender web site.  Also, Blender is the most popular tool for modeling mesh in SL, so most of the discussion in the Mesh forum is about Blender questions. Start mining the archives there.  You don't need Avastar, but life is a lot easier if you have it, and most people who create wearable mesh use it.  It's not a huge cash outlay, and it will save you a load of headaches.  AFAIK, there are no free alternatives.

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You do not need either (or any really) plugins for Blender. Plenty of folks have been making items (even clothes and animations) with JUST Blender.

That being said, most people making CLOTHES do use Avastar to make things easier.  I didn't even know what Sparkles was and had to look it up :D. 

Making clothes is a complex skill that pretty much comes AFTER you can make other things in Blender (or any other 3D program).  So work on general skills first and then worry about buying addons after you find out if you like creating in 3D. There is a learning curve; no doubt about it. Not everyone enjoys the journey.  

There are tons of Blender tutorials out there. Only some are made for our Second Life type world that needs "game assets". Others will teach you things but not necessarily what you need to know for here -- so be prepared to wade though. 

Here is my list of TEXT tutorials. There are some beginning ones in there as well as info on learning cycles -- that's after you understand the basics.  

 

There are also some very good and clear (and old so the interface doesn't match) tutorials made by Neal Hirsig here: https://vimeo.com/channels/blendervideotutorials    I believe these were made for a college class. He goes slowly and explains well, but the difference in the interface may be a problem when you are new to Blender. Still, a good resource for later. 

 

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lol I guess Imma just start from the beginning then. I hope to achieve an androgynous type cyclops girl someday and have awesome clothes so it's gonna be a process x.x

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20 minutes ago, Chic Aeon said:

You do not need either (or any really) plugins for Blender. Plenty of folks have been making items (even clothes and animations) with JUST Blender.

That being said, most people making CLOTHES do use Avastar to make things easier.  I didn't even know what Sparkles was and had to look it up :D. 

Making clothes is a complex skill that pretty much comes AFTER you can make other things in Blender (or any other 3D program).  So work on general skills first and then worry about buying addons after you find out if you like creating in 3D. There is a learning curve; no doubt about it. Not everyone enjoys the journey.  

There are tons of Blender tutorials out there. Only some are made for our Second Life type world that needs "game assets". Others will teach you things but not necessarily what you need to know for here -- so be prepared to wade though. 

Here is my list of TEXT tutorials. There are some beginning ones in there as well as info on learning cycles -- that's after you understand the basics.  

 

There are also some very good and clear (and old so the interface doesn't match) tutorials made by Neal Hirsig here: https://vimeo.com/channels/blendervideotutorials    I believe these were made for a college class. He goes slowly and explains well, but the difference in the interface may be a problem when you are new to Blender. Still, a good resource for later. 

 

deffs gotta check out this list. Thank you :)

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Things have changed a lot this past year. So, most tutorials are out of date. My older tutorials are here: http://blog.nalates.net/the-stuff/tutorials-index-clothes/ Most of these were made while I was doing plain Blender development.They will explain some of the gotcha's so framiliar to SL builders few even mention them these days.

The two primary tools are AvaStar-Blender and MayaStar. Someone has been working on a 3D Max plug-in. These are not needed to build things for SL. However, the SL avatar is an evolving avatar. Since the Lab insists on legacy compatibility, they have kept some of the avatar problems. For those new to 3D character design and professional designers too there are a number of gotcha's to be figured out for SL. AvaStar and MayaStar handle most of those gotcha's taking much of the pain out of building avatars and clothes.

At some point soon the cost of AvaStar will go up. Probably this month. So, if you want to save US$7+/-, buy now.

Mesh body makers provide developer kits, mostly free. AvaStar provides a free Blender file with the basic SL avatar included. Find Machinimatrix.org and look for the workbench file.

I suggest people get the basic ideas of making classic clothes down first then move on to making mesh clothes. Then you can try to figure out why the SL avatar has dual bones...

Many of the answers you'll want are in the forum or YouTube. There are some very detailed technical discussions in the forum.

I don't envy you starting from scratch, however, good luck.

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