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Help me on how to start learning?

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Sorry for such a vague question. I'm interested in learning how to build in Second Life. I've searched some tutorials, but there are too many and I really need something from the beggining to the advanced level.

I'm not sure what to try first, so this make my decision even more difficult. I know how to program (java and php) so I already tried some scripting. But I'd like to know how to build some furniture to add scripts, and also I'd like to know how to make skin and mesh bodies. I know I'll need blender to make this, is it right? Anyone know a good tutorial with the basics so I can learn if it's really where I want to start?

Learning Blender I'll be able to make avatars mesh, poses and animation, is it? 

What would you sugest to start first? Building, modeling, animating? What would be easier?

And once more, sorry for so many questions.

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The very first thing I'd suggest is learning to handle the basic building tools in your viewer, so that you can manipulate simple primitive objects (Prims), which are the basic building blocks in SL. Even if you go on to with with mesh objects, you will need to know the basics so you understand how to link and manipulate anything in SL.  It's also important to learn how the permissions system works, so you understand how to let other people share, modify, copy, or transfer your work (or prevent them from doing it).  You can get a start by studying appropriate pages in the Knowledge Base (click the tab above this page and search for "Building" as a key word).  I suggest two other steps as well.  First, visit Builders Brewery or Caledon Oxbridge University in world to look for free building classes.  Both areas offer frequent classes at different levels. Then, start lurking in the Creation Forum here (again, click the appropriate tab above).  Common building, texturing, and scripting questions show up there all the time, and you may pose your own questions as you need to.

You can learn the basics of the Linden Scripting Language (LSL) by working through some tutorials in the LSL wiki. Especially if you already know a couple of common languages, you should get the basics fairly quickly.  Getting beyond them takes practice and talent.  Peruse the LSL wiki for resources, including a large selection of sample scripts that you can dissect. Again, start lurking in the Scripting section of the Creation Forum as you have questions or get stuck.

Mesh is a different level of complexity. Most SL creators use Blender, because it is free and because there are a lot of SL-specific tutorials on the web. And because some of the most talented mesh creators in SL use Blender and hang out in the Mesh forum.  The learning curve for making and texturing mesh is rather steep, so don't expect to be making detailed buildings, stunning avatars, and beautiful clothing quickly.  That is without a doubt the most challenging end of the creative world in SL.  You will find free classes at Builders Brewery and Caledon Oxbridge University, and other places, but almost all the work you need to do is outside of SL, by yourself.

What's easiest?  That depends on your own skill set. I have limited artistic talent, so I find it hard to make mesh objects that I can be proud of, no matter how hard I try. I have a knack for scripting, though, so I find it easy.  You may find some other skill is your niche. It's probably a good idea to learn at least the basics in all of the areas, and then seek out experts you can collaborate with when you are over your head in one area or another.

Edited by Rolig Loon
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I have both prim building and mesh (Blender) tutorials that are SL (and Opensim) specific. They both start from the beginning and go forward. 

These are videos that you can find here: 

 

Well SLartist is apparently down for remodeling for a week. After they are back up LOL.   They "should" be here: 

http://www.slartist.com/browse-the-tutorial-chic-videos-1-date.html 

 

Meanwhile there is a playlist of BLENDER tutorials also at YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8u00idO1kA&list=PLnUjXtZrc64laa7-1NUSY8pjXedwQj7kn

 

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Rolig is spot on with learning prim-building basics. Sometimes a prim or two is the best solution to a problem and the more familiar you are with them, the better chance you have of spotting it. :) Prims are also great for blocking out furniture designs in world, which can help you get relative proportions right the first time, which means less fussing about re-doing UVs in Blender.

Seeing how other people solve problems has been very helpful to me, so things like building classes have been good. Even if I'm not all that interested in the end product, there's often a wee gem of knowledge or advice along the way which helps me figure something else out. (Add Helping Haven to the two Rolig mentioned, btw. Shout out to MT Mimulus who does great scripting courses there.)

Even more helpful has been working with FP mesh other people have made. Thank you L$60 Weekend deals for making that affordable. :) There are so many steps in going start to finish with something like animated original-mesh furniture that it helped me to be able to learn the different components separately. A lot of the lessons have been what not to do or what doesn't work with the textures I want to use. Plenty of frustrations along the way, but ultimately easier and less time spent than adding those lessons into the middle of scaling Blender's Himalayan learning curve.

Studying other people's work has also been invaluable in helping me figure out what's possible and therefore worth searching out an answer for.

As for learning Blender, for me it was a matter of trying out dozens of different tutorials until I found a teacher (BornCG on youtube) whose approach worked for me and the right projects to work on, ones that were simple enough in the right ways for me to be able to finish. Living with the objects in SL helps me figure out what I can do better so I really recommend starting with simple things. Trying to take on too much too soon can lead to using poor practices, like using certain 'cheats' to lower LI but requiring users to up their graphics settings to see the items.

That's my wee story. I hope something in it is useful to you or others who read it. :)

 

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learning blender would be really awesome for you, but if you are willing to spend about a couple of hundred dollars for some programs, your life and learning curve will be so much easier.

for making mesh you can buy Zbrush core. i think it is about $135. you can do much of what can be done in Zbrush proper except paint. Or you can buy a fully featured version of 3d coat for $99 which is a very powerful program for both mesh creation and painting textures, UV unwrapping, material maps and other things. It really is an outstanding program for the price.

a great image editor is Paintshop Pro. it costs $99, sometimes you can find it on sale for $69. it is VERY easy to learn and has just about every feature you will need. or you can go with Gimp, which is free.

as for rigging meshes such as Avatars, you will need "Avastar" plugin for blender. that costs about $25. it is soooooooo worth it and spare you much grief.

so with Zbrush/3D Coat, PaintShop/gimp and blender with Avastar. you will advance much more rapidly than if you just used blender and Photoshop.

try the demo versions of the programs i mentioned and see for yourself.

Edited by carley Greymoon

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