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Avatar basics, what to know

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(I'm copying and pasting as I was told you guys would have more of a knowledge base and it'd be best posted here )

 

Hello, 

This is my first time on SL and my first time wanting to create something for it. I joined basically so i could do this as i think it's the coolest thing in the world right now. 

As I tend to learn by asking and figuring out the basics. I have a few questions before I get into making my mesh. 

Is there a specific poly limit?
What about size?
how does one rig the mesh, is there a default skeleton?
I want to make a humanoid with a tail, can the tail be included in the mesh? 

I know i should use "Collada" (using blender) and export as .DAE but is there anything else format wise to be wary of? what about making weight maps and texture maps? Same as regular or are there constraints I should be wary of? 

let me know, and if you have any links to useful tutorials and information send them my way :)

Thanks guys!

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Welcome to Second Life,

to get this thread going I'll try answering just your basic questions.

  • Is there a specific poly limit?
    Yes there is. Check out this page http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Limits#Mesh
    (Note the user found temporary Mesh limits as well.)
     
  • What about size?
    The maximum size for any mesh is 64 meters on a side. However, for avatars it can be tricky to create giant avatars, because of the limited hover height of the avatar, which can be offset +-3 meters only during import.
     
  • how does one rig the mesh, is there a default skeleton?
    Yes there is. The latest addition to the Second Life avatar skeleton is called Bento. http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/BentoSkeletonGuide
    Downloads of the bento skeleton can be found here: http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Project_Bento_Testing
    ,and for Blender I would recommend the machinimatrix website which has a great amount of additional info about the skeleton and rigging as well.
    http://blog.machinimatrix.org/avatar-workbench/
     
  • I want to make a humanoid with a tail, can the tail be included in the mesh?
    Yes, utilizing the Bento skeleton will make that possible, because it has tail bones included.
     
  • I know i should use "Collada" (using blender) and export as .DAE but is there anything else format wise to be wary of?
    Collada is the only format supported to import mesh models into Second Life. To animate the skeletons bones the BVH, or a so called .anim format can be used, with the latter (AFAIK) currently only available within the commercial add-on AvaStar for Blender.
     
  • weight maps and texture maps? Same as regular or are there constraints I should be wary of?
    Second Life does support a vertex to be influenced by 4 bones only.
    The maximum size of supported textures is 1024x1024: http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Texture_sizes
    Second Life does support diffuse, tangent space normal maps, RGB specular maps, gloss maps, and environment reflection masks.
    http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Material_Data
     
  • let me know, and if you have any links to useful tutorials and information send them my way
    As mentioned above, the machinimatrix website is a great source of information. Also searching youtube about Second Life Rigging, Bento Rigging may reveal one or the other useful hint. Also worth checking out for a general overview is the Second Life Mesh wiki. http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Mesh

 

Edited by arton Rotaru
typos
  • Like 5

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