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TzunCet Xomotron

Making Mesh Clothes...

12 posts in this topic

Made some progress in my SL transition, but need a little more help...

What I would like to do is design clothes and maybe even full avatars. I watched the videos at Machinimatrix and I understand the theory behind most of what is going on, but there are still some missing blanks...

One thing is that I do not (and will not) use is Blender. I have my own arsenal of software which I am very comfortable using, and would like to incorporate what I have in my workflow rather than deal w/ another program and a learning curve.

I was so desperate, I even converted the avatar.blend file to a .dae which I tried using in Carrara, but I'm going to assume the collada plugin for Blender doesnt like Carrara, the file caused constant crashes and no matter how many times I wrote the file, it was unusable =(

How does one go about designing clothes for SL w/o Blender or any of the other "sister" modeling programs?

Usually, I model the clothes/props around the base model and import, but SL doesnt import the model in the same space/position as where it was modeled. How would I get items/clothes to snap or fit to correct position?!? Even worse, items imported are scaled wrong, making that process even harder. This happens even when I use the base Mesh as a "model" to model my clothing items over. Between size and position, I can't get things to fit.

Also, I am not getting any results trying the skin weight or joint options. I tried using the export from the avatar.blend file, and also from the robot mesh (found someone in these forums) none produced "any" results =/

I noticed a .cr2 was provided w/ the base avatar mesh. This is awesome, but how could I make the most use of this gift?!? I tested it in Carrara, and works great (poses pefectly), but how can I utilize this in Poser fashion?!?

Any help would be golden and greatly appreciated =)

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Looks like you'll have to buy Maya if Blender is no good for you. Maya has ALL the bells.
Someone will be along soon to light your way.

 

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Nah... Don't want Maya either... I own/use Carrara (which does have collada 1.4 export), Hexagon 2.3, ZBrush 4 and 3D Coat among other tools... It's not that I have a problem modeling, I don't know how to bring my models into SL to "SL-erize" them.

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well you all ready state you have one program that will do all but rigg your cloths and av's mesh, is zbrush since your  just starting out on all this ,maybeis best to stick with what you know first, if you dont want to use blender for creation,  you can at lest for the rigging , its simple and fast and 90 % of any help from this forum will be from blender users,

and for zbrush you can do  start to finish in there, i have had great luck extracting clothes form  mesh its fast and simple. and with spot light you can paint directly to mesh  , and up to  a billion  polygons to paint on if your computer handles it,

 in my personal;  option zbrush is best set up for av  and cloths creation or organic type meshes , blender  will cover more  area's of design more hard surfaces and more tools  for building type meshes or vehicals,

 

This is a hole new playing feild, and right now is like building  a house on sifting sands, hard to know what really works,till  the lindens lay down the final costs, that will help in what type of real detail we can work  with.

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I really like SL and am looking forward to content creation for it. Please understand that my issue is not about modeling or Blender.

You say you use ZBrush w/ great success, so then I ask how would do "you" bring in your clothes modeled in ZBrush into SL... I saw sheep in sequin video tutorial, but it was obvious that there was a problem w/ size and positioning on import/upload.

In the MachinMatrix video (Mesh Overview) while in blender she models the arm cover over the base geometry of the SL avatar object. On import it "snap fits" over the arm w/o issue of scale or position... That's the good stuff... How can I ensure that that happens if I model in ZBrush for example.

In theory (or through my basic practices) if I model over a base figure in "any" program, the model -should- fit over the zero position/pose of the figure I modeled the clothing item for. In SL, the drag/drop process doesnt allow for that to happen, or I just don't know how to do it yet.

The next step would be to have the model (the clothing item) move with the figure, but we cannot put the cart before the horse =/

I have to admit, that just in my short time here (less than a week), it seems that this beta stage is extremely inconsistent. Practices and techniques (and even programs) seem to become outdated way too fast, and picking info thru the forums and searches is like a wild goosechase... Should I "not" practice until the final release? Will there be updated content creator resources easily available to us?

For practice, I started a simple test project. Just simple leggings... leggins for the SL woman

If the item was NOT modeled in Blender, how do I have the figure "wear" the item? You would think it's simple, but this really is all I am trying to do =/ I believe the practice would work for custom avatars (by hiding the figure) and clothes, so I'm admittedly VERY eager to test out some "stuff" I have...

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I think some of the qestions that you should ask is, or ask your self is ,even after figureing out a work flow  and programs to use, is, what road you plan to go down in maken av's of clothes, there is 2 options , both with problems, 1 is useing the  old mesh av that millions use right now, its limited and maken clothes that will fit the masses has  still  not yet been worked out  yet, sure you will have a larger market to sell to,  but your limited with the uv layout and club feet,

 then option  2 create your  own av line, but then your forced to create a unless suplly of clothes to go with it, this has plus side though your lesslikely to then have others stealing your work and selling as its harder to blantly  do this or have asscess to all your  files to do it, if your succuessfull then you could sell your files to others wishing to create clothes for  your line of av's also,

Draw back, if the lindens  create a new updated mesh av then your competing again agisnt every one, and  that would be universal, but still new and a long while for the mass product lines we see today with older mesh av,

 my personal option is the lindens will  let us develop the next av for sl, there is all ready many  base female and male  av meshes for free and free use of out there now with  perfected topoligy, its a waste to start from  scratch.

other thoughts also would be if you create  a custom line  would one just merge cloths with body and rig as ahole and chage the hole av as a outfit verses the av and seport clothes and each part rigged  and worn.

so not only are alot of us figureing out how to use our programs and create the  mesh,we also have to decide, how we will market it ,building them in the best ways thats useable,sellable, and that others can build apond your works, with other products, thus createing a new market base.

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If you create in zbrush you need to export as object file then import to Blender, If i was you i would start off with, just importing a rigged av to sl .Blener is free so  use that first to get used to how this works. there is a blender file. sl mash av  thats all ready rigged. follow the vidoes provided and just import that first. rigging and importing is a mass of learning in its self  you can with in a few clicks rigs and export a mesh to sl yes,  but then  there is allso weight painting bone ajustments, the fine tuneing and full understanding of it all will take a while.

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I'm only on day 5 of my "real" SL life, bare with me =P

I honestly didn't even know we had an option to make custom avatars... That's a great thing. However, Linden people are sure to have their own default character, and working BOTH sides is not a problem for me (shouldn't be for any merchant). You can imagine plenty of new comers, most will use the items that for the linden default characters. The more advanced and long time users will use custom avatars, plenty of room for both markets... But this is really a marketing issue, and right now I just want those friggin leggins on my character =P

I don't really care about the leggings..... I want the practice to work =/

I took me a few hours trying to get Blender installed (had to fumble between various versions, not cool, and new comers wont take to it I don't think) and getting all the right "things" and plugins and scripts and pythons to work correctly only to find that the exported .dae doesn't work or yield expected results. I can bring in my objects from Carrara through Collada, and even better, the "small" world system of Carrara matches the Linden Meter scale system "perfectly", meaning I can design and work w/ SL in-world dimensions flawlessy (10m in Carrara is 10m in SL)... But because the provided resource base SL avatar mesh is not to scale, what I do w/ clothes doesn't translate w/ regards to size/position =(

Not trying to tackle marketing here, but I will get to that. Can't do marketing w/o anything to market =P

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Hi TzunCet, welcome to SL :smileyhappy:

Similar to you, I work with a variety of 3D software (and gradually deciding on my workflow in the process) - mostly Carrara or Hexagon for the actual modeling process itself.

To export the mesh INTO SL itself, at the moment I use Blender. I barely know how to use Blender at all; I just merely use it for the export process for now. The process is pretty straightforward (follow the Machinimatrix video which shows that step - very easy, plus it can convert your quad mesh into triangles if needed).

  An IMPORTANT thing to know is that SL requires mesh to be in triangle format to work properly. If you are working in a quad-based mesh format, you will need to convert it to triangular mesh BEFORE commencing on UV-mapping and material mapping (in my limited mesh experience, any change to the mesh itself will destroy any UV-mapping etc). So to avoid potential pain, I suggest converting your mesh to triangles beforehand. (I used Blender for this step - it is quite elegant in the method it uses to convert to triangles - a simple split through each quad (converts to 2 triangles); much easier than doing it manually (no doubt if I looked harder, I could find a similar function in Carrara... Hexagon converts each quad into 4 triangles - far too heavy).

As time allows, I will explore actual AV clothing mesh - using the AV mesh itself as a mannikin to build over. I will probably use Blender for the actual rigging though... the machinimatrix video appears to be fairly straightforward in this regard. So I will have to learn enough of Blender's interface to manage this step, but that shouldn't be too big a task - just enough to navigate myself for this step of the modeling process.

So yah, it's a matter of figuring out a comfortable workflow. As is the case with 3D in general, often a montage of programs are needed to get the results you want. As stated earlier, I prefer to model the mesh itself in a program I am familiar with, and then for the conversion process / rigging etc, I export to Blender (or whatever program is the best to use). At least we don't HAVE to use high-end expensive software if we choose to - just whatever works best for us.

Have much fun - mesh will be awesome when it eventually gets released to the main grid! :smileyhappy:

 

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Just a note - In Blender (4.9b, at least) the Collada exporter has an option to convert quads to triangles. I use that rather than converting in Blender itself because I don't like working with triangles. I don't know if the requirements for rigging are different.

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I know this forum is for people already in Beta, but I'd still like to say I  hope someone will help me learn and join the Beta.

I want to be able to do it all in Second Life, make it all, I mean. But it's very hard to catch up. There are so many professionals creating things.

Anyone want to mentor a noob creator?

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I don't have time to  spend as a mentor, but I did put together some links that may help a noob get started. I put them on a notecard in world. I have copied it here for you, hoping it gives you a place to start from.

Someone asked me recently what programs I use to make mesh. I thought others might find this information useful as well.

I use ZBrush mostly, which I bought and learned to make sculpties. It is a great program that costs around $700 US. It enables professionals in the game and movie industries to detail, paint and texture on high polygon versions of their models that other programs could not support and make textures and normal maps to preserve the find detail to apply to lower polygon versions of their models. It was meant as a finishing tool, and does that extremely well. It is widely used by professionals for that purpose and has been used on many newer movies, such as Avatar. It is one of the lower priced programs and I love the sculpting tools.

ZBrush does not do everything I need it to do, such as rigging and weighting mesh to be worn by avatars as avatar replacements or as mesh clothing. For that I had to learn Blender. I find it easier to rough out a base mesh with uniformly placed quads and extra edge loops in areas where I need greater detail in Blender than in ZBrush, so I start in Blender and then move to ZBrush. Blender is also better at making and manipulating UV maps. A plug in was recently made that handles sculpty export from ZBrush and collada export, which works just fine for static mesh.

Blender is a free program, and some people use Blender alone to make wonderful sculpties and mesh. It is a powerful program.

My back and forth process looks like this:

1. Make basic mesh in Blender. This permits me to rough out a very low poly form with perfect quads. I can extrude, select edge loops, add edge loops to areas where I want more detail, and so on.

2. Export basic mesh as an .obj and then import that into ZBrush. There I can subdivide the model to get good density to sculpt detail into and shape the mesh. Once I have done so, I move down to the lowest subdivision level and export that as an .obj.

3. Take the shaped mesh back into Blender as an .obj import. I then mark the seams where I want the UV map to be cut to make islands that will make sense to me. I unwrap the mesh and check out the UV map to make sure it is good. I then export the mesh again as an .obj, usually adding “UV mapped” to the name to avoid confusion.

4. Weight your mesh in Blender. At this point you can export the mesh as collada and set that aside, ready to take into Second Life.

5. Import the .obj UV mapped mesh back into ZBrush, and using the UV Master plugin I hit the “copy UVs” button. I then load up the subdivided mesh model I was working on and take the geometry down to the lowest level. I then open up the UV Master plug in again and hit the “paste UVs” button. This works very well!

6. Now I can texture it in ZBrush using that program’s fantastic tools at the highest subdivision level. When done, make a texture map from your polypaint, clone it, flip it vertically, and export it out.

7. Go into the test grid and import your collada model as weighted mesh and your texture. Put them together, and voila!

Here are some links for you to learn more and help you get started:

 

3D Modelling Start Links


BLENDER LINKS
Blender download (get 2.49 version): http://www.blender.org/
Machinimatrix Blender Sculptie Tutorials: http://blog.machinimatrix.org/
Machinimatrix Introduction to SL Mesh: http://blog.machinimatrix.org/2010/09/15/meshes-i-a-preliminary-tutorial-about-meshes/
Machinimatrix Blender Static Mesh Tutorials: http://blog.machinimatrix.org/2010/10/12/the-meshes-trail-is-out/
Blender Video Tutorials: http://www.youtube.com/cannedmushrooms#g/c/1EA3895B386258A4

ZBRUSH LINKS
Pixologic Home Page: http://www.pixologic.com/home.php
ZBrush Central Forums ZBrush 4 Features: http://www.pixologic.com/home.php
ZBrush Central Forums SL Sculpty Tools & Collada Export Plugin for ZBrush: http://www.zbrushcentral.com/showthread.php?p=725133
Shiny Life: Vlad Beornsen's SL ZBrush Tutorials and Blog: http://www.shiny-life.com/
ZBrush 4 Video Tutorials: http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=AF8FE85B2A969BD3

OTHERS
Google Sketchup (Good for buildings & furniture, free and easy to learn): http://sketchup.google.com/
Daz Hexagon 2: http://www.daz3d.com/i/software/hexagon
Autodesk 3dsMax: http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/pc/index?id=13567410&siteID=123112
Autodesk Maya: http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/pc/index?id=13577897&siteID=123112
Luxology Modo: http://www.luxology.com/modo/

 

 

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