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MegaRose

Dipping my toes into clothes making

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I'm an artist, and I'm interested in seeing how well I can turn some of my existing artwork into clothing textures for SL.  I've never done this before, and have very little experience with 3d stuff at all.  I'm hoping, at the very least, that I can competently put pictures I've already drawn onto simple Tshirts to sell for like 1L$.  I made a very quick texture to test (file attached) and wanted to preview it in-game.  I don't have the 10L$ to upload it for real, and the preview image in the upload box didn't look right (screencap also attached).  Is there something else I should be doing with the texture to make the colors come through right?

I'm also looking for general advice and guides on clothes making and selling.  As I said, I'm currently looking to just use existing artwork as textures.  What should I expect from the SL marketplace, customer preferences, etc.?

(btw my tester image is a recreation of a shirt I have up on Redbubble)

sltemplatetest.png

sltemplatetestpreview.png

Edited by MegaRose

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That's not bad for a first try.  I started that way myself in 2007, and I suspect a lot of others did too.  It's a simple way to apply a texture to the upper body of a classic avatar.  If you want to work with that for a while, I suggest a couple of things:

1. Texture more of the shirt, not just the decal artwork that you drop on the front.  Right now, you have left all of the background a single matte color and have not tried texturing folds, shadows, etc. or played with the alpha channel to adjust the sleeves and neckline.  You'll find plenty of tutorials on line (Google "Make a T shirt in Second Life),

2. Use the Local Textures option to see what your textures will look like in world, instead of paying L$10 a shot for uploads. 

You'll find quickly that the market for those T-shirts is very limited, since everyone and her cousin can make them.  Besides, an increasing number of SL residents (especially new residents) are using mesh bodies that can't wear a T-shirt designed for a classic avatar unless it's also equipped with an applier.  It won't be long before you'll want to graduate into making mesh clothing.  That's significantly more work with a dramatic learning curve, but there are temporary shortcuts along the way --- using templates created by other people -- that will help you get a feel for what's involved. If you're truly an artist, it's worth the effort to learn how to do the entire creation process yourself, but you'll at least be able to get practice and make some saleable items that way.

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17 minutes ago, MegaRose said:

The options are pretty broad, so I'm going to start by tinkering with my tshirt some more.

T-shirt tinkering is a good idea. It will give you some practice working with UV maps, which are fundamental to understanding how to texture 3D objects.  When you buy templates, you are essentially getting UV maps that you need to texture to produce your own clothing, so you are starting at a logical place.  Even if you do not intend to move right away into 3D modelling, the next important step is to start watching tutorials so that you at least get familiar with the basic concepts.  Among these, learning where UV maps come from is crucial.  As a teaser, I suggest watching some of the excellent tutorials on the machinimatrix site, starting with https://blog.machinimatrix.org/category/mesh/quests/coffee-cups/ .  Explore to see where that takes you.

27 minutes ago, MegaRose said:

I've noticed you can also sell actual textures, so I'm also wondering if there's a viable market for just providing those

Yes.  There is a vibrant market for textures.  It's much broader than simply the market for clothing textures.  It is also rife with bandits who rip off textures fairly easily, so you'll have to do some digging into the strange and murky world of intellectual property, permissions, watermarking, and related topics.  I suggest lurking in the Building and Texturing forum and in the Art, Music, and Photography forum to see what concerns other artists are raising.

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That will fit any avatar wearing the basic ("classic") avatar body.  After all, that's the body that the UV map you are using was created from.  It doesn't matter how much the user has stretched her own shape.  The topology of the body remains the same, and the UV map still defines how your texture will be applied to it.  Anyone using a custom body (what SL residents call a "mesh" body), however, will not be able to use your texture because it's not on a UV map created from their body.  The way to beat that challenge is to get hold of the UV map they are using.  That's easy enough if they are using one of the popular mesh bodies, like Maitreya's.  You can get developer kits for the most common ones.

At this point, I reach the limits of my own expertise.  I have not created or textured mesh clothing myself, although I work with people who do. ( I am a scripter with modest mesh talents.  :) )  As you have more specific questions, I suggest moving to the Building & Texturing forum.   You will have reached the limit of things we usually address in Answers anyway.

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To PREVIEW things use the Preview Grid. This is a grid the Lindens use for testing things. They have invited users to use it also. It helps their testing. They will allow us to upload things there for free. Well, oddly free. They give us money for free and we use that to pay for the uploads. When our ADITI account runs low on money, they refill it. So, free...

Your viewer has a setting that makes the Preview Grid, named ADITI and aka Beta Grid, a login choice. If you haven't set that to be always on (Preferences), use Ctrl-Shift-G to open the grid selection drop down at login.

You can try logging in. It will likely fail the first try. If so, file a support ticket and ask to have your ADITI-side account activated. It may take a couple of days.

Your AGNI, main grid, inventory list will be copied to the ADITI servers. Each time you log into ADITI you trigger a "re-sync" of inventory. That re-sync usually occurs the next morning SLTime. It is a one way sync, AGNI to ADITI. Things you create in ADITI will NOT show in your AGNI inventory. A problem to be aware of, is things deleted in AGNI will NOT be deleted from you ADITI inventory. So, it is very easy to have a way messy ADITI inventory.

Everything I add while in ADITI I put in folders named or folders in a higher folder named ADITI. I can then tell what is specific to which grid. Once I have a project complete and moved to the main grid I can delete my ADITI copy.

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Another option for your artwork is to actually sell it as Art.  Upload the texture and learn how to create frames and such. There are a variety of shops in SL that sell art, though I don't know how well they do.

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Thank you!  Local textures was exactly what I needed.  I had put some very light shading on my texture but I was afraid to go too far, now I'm seeing how the colors get smoothed out by the lighting in game.  And I can see where my seams are now, so I know what to fix.

As for the clothing market and mesh bodies- I just last night started looking into what 'mesh' means on all the marketplace listings, so I'm starting to get it.  I'm definitely going to do a little research on the popular mesh bodies and any templates provided for them.  I've noticed you can also sell actual textures, so I'm also wondering if there's a viable market for just providing those, which people could potentially fit onto the mesh-compatible clothing they already have (if it works that way)?  Or perhaps I'll also look into whether any 3d artists need a 2d artist to collaborate with.

The options are pretty broad, so I'm going to start by tinkering with my tshirt some more.

Thanks again!

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I did some tinkering and this is my current draft.  The shading I've done will make for a nice template once I'm sure I'm done with it.  Would this, if sold as a texture file, be workable by other people onto their mesh body clothes?  Or does each one have its own templates that are too far incompatible with the basic?

sltemplatetest.png

sltestshirt.png

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On 5/31/2017 at 4:53 PM, LittleMe Jewell said:

There are a variety of shops in SL that sell art, though I don't know how well they do.

It is a very tough market, there is more than a variety there is a huge number, there are whole sims full of nothing but art galleries run by SL artists hoping to get noticed. I am one of them. That being said I would encourage you to go this route, as an artist I think you will find this to be the most satisfying route. I made some t-shirts as well, and have sold a few also, I think mine are at 10L plus a few that are free because they have gallery advertising on them. I have been looking at moving into mesh clothing and also mesh frames for the pictures. I doubt however that my art sales even covers the rent I pay for the galleries. I have other pursuits that I use to supplement my income to keep the galleries open, but there isnt anything quite as nice as standing in your own art gallery with your own art in SL.

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OK. I am going to jump in here with some thoughts and some honest facts. 

Your artwork looks quite engaging. I was a real life painter for many years, did the shows and galleries and all that. Got more fame than fortune, not an unusual scenario. That same scenario filters over into our virtual world. As Talligurl says there are quite a few art communities. Some are not expensive to have a shop in. There may even be some free ones out there. 

The clothing market is likely THE most competitive arena in SL. There are some outstanding designers with all sorts of skills including making and rigging mesh. If you would have come here a decade ago, your tee shirts would likely have been quite popular, but times have moved on.  I suggest looking as your art AS art and if you ALSO want to pursue clothes making, think of that as a separate pursuit. You likely have many of the skills needed already (the texturing part).

You can do many things in SL; you don't need to confine yourself in  one tiny box. 

I suspect you will meet more like-minded people in an arty setting than behind a counter (virtually speaking) of a shop. And likely enjoy yourself more. Will you make money? Perhaps, some. The folks making incomes in SL work here full time and often have a support crew and other creators working under them. It isn't easy.

That doesn't mean you shouldn't try, just that realism needs to be a part of the plan. If you absolutely want to make clothes, then by all means work on those skills and do that. If it is your art that is important to you, then concentrate on your art and bringing that over to the virtual world.

If you need upload money, I suggest heading over to the Linden Realms where you can still make money by running through crystals. You also learn some important SL skills along the way. There was a time when I played the "collect enough crystals to pay for the uploads for the day" game. It wasn't actually NECESSARY but it was sort of fun :D. 

And that is really the bottom line. Pursue what is FUN!

Best of success on your adventures. 

Edit: If you decide to put some of your art in frames, here is a tutorial on how to do that:

https://www.slartist.com/pifb-lesson-2-frames-part-1_9e4223a17.html

https://www.slartist.com/pifb-lesson-2-frames-part-2_9b9287a99.html

Two parts. 

 

Edited by Chic Aeon
adding info
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