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8 hours ago, Sylvia Wasp said:

That's why programs like Marvellous Designer are a godsend.  

They allow folks who don't have that mathematical/engineering mindset or simply don't have the wherewithal to navigate a complex, counter-intuitive program like Blender or Maya ... to make mesh in an intuitive way.  

What I've learned from this thread is that apparently they do also need to also learn a few basic cleanup steps in Blender though.

MD is a fine piece of software for what it does, but it is not a modeling software. I'd call it more a "design" software. It is a great tool to bring your vision of a specific garment into the digital space (as long as you don't mind not being in full control of the result).

You can use MD for years and still know nothing about the skills you will need to bring your idea into secondlife, or any other game.

And sure you can consider that next step as simply "beneath you" and not worth your time, hell, you can probably outsource it to someone else for a hundred buck.

The reality however is that all those steps are ultimately connected, how you will UV your model depends on the textures you will use, how you will LOD your model depends on what matters and what doesn't detail wise, and even when you are still designing and refining your idea in MD, these are things that have to be kept in mind.

 

Which is why you see time and time again the same mistakes being made in SL, which lead to bloated geometry, bloated texture resolution, dodgy rigging, dodgy texture UVs and a worse experience for everyone.

I'm not telling people that they have to be perfect, just that they need to try to care at least a little. This is no different than the prim era, you can be smart about it, or you can just cram as many prims and textures as the linkset limit allows.

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9 hours ago, Kyrah Abattoir said:

MD is a fine piece of software for what it does, but it is not a modeling software. I'd call it more a "design" software. It is a great tool to bring your vision of a specific garment into the digital space (as long as you don't mind not being in full control of the result).

You can use MD for years and still know nothing about the skills you will need to bring your idea into secondlife, or any other game.

And sure you can consider that next step as simply "beneath you" and not worth your time, hell, you can probably outsource it to someone else for a hundred buck.

The reality however is that all those steps are ultimately connected, how you will UV your model depends on the textures you will use, how you will LOD your model depends on what matters and what doesn't detail wise, and even when you are still designing and refining your idea in MD, these are things that have to be kept in mind.

 

Which is why you see time and time again the same mistakes being made in SL, which lead to bloated geometry, bloated texture resolution, dodgy rigging, dodgy texture UVs and a worse experience for everyone.

I'm not telling people that they have to be perfect, just that they need to try to care at least a little. This is no different than the prim era, you can be smart about it, or you can just cram as many prims and textures as the linkset limit allows.

Every word here is true but there something I will add to it, specifically for those people who are capable of the "vision" in MD and other tools but find themselves stumbling when it comes to translating the results of that into a model for SL or any other 3d environment...

We're geeks. We do what geeks do and we use "terms of art" a lot. This can obscure that what we're really talking about is a way to think about the project. A "model" in MD or other design-oriented software is not a 3d asset in the same way that a fashion sketch is not a sewing pattern or a design sketch for a piece of furniture is not a cutting list for a carpenter. I used these two examples advisedly, because in both cases to get from the sketch to something usable you need to be thinking in the same way as you would to get from design to 3d asset  - and it's something that, shorn of all the geeky language, many of you already know how to do.

Let's stick with sewing, since in many cases when raising these concerns we're talking about clothing models.

We talk about "edge loops", "topolgy" and "UV mapping" when we're talking about many of the same concerns involved in creating a pattern and laying it out on fabric. If you sew at all you've probably worked with stretchy fabric. You know there are ways you can construct a garment that work with it and there are also wrong ways to do it, that might conceivably look ok  pinned to a mannequin but will never work on an actual body. The skin of your model is like that, we talk about working with quads and keeping clean edge loops and we're thinking in exactly the same way as you are when considering whether a particular piece of fabric should be cut on the bias or not, we're looking at the grid that makes up our model like you look at the weave of your fabric and just know that "it can't be made to stretch like that there" and you have to cut that piece differently. If the grid of your model looks too tortured to be made in cloth, it's probably not going to work well as a 3d model either.

When we're saying "your UV map is inefficient" and you can't get your head around that, try thinking "Don't lay out your pattern like that, look at all the wasted fabric. That stuff's expensive!" The edges of UV islands are called "seams" for a reason!

Too many vertices? that's like a design that needs to be pinned to the mannequin every couple of inches to hold its shape. You know you can do better than that in cloth, you can do it with vertices on a 3d model too.

None of this is anything you can't do, you just need to not be daunted by it, make the link between it and the skills and knowledge you already possess in creating stuff for the "real world" then see how the same approaches can translate well into making your creations not just "real" but also "good" in SL too.

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15 hours ago, Semirans said:

In regards to Local textures, this is a godsend. I've made textures and then uploaded the item into SL only to discover I forgot to remove the alpha (making the texture too complex) or that something didn't work on the garment that wasn't obvious in the program until I pasted onto my mesh blank.  A good example of this is matching seams on a garment.  I don't know why mesh makers do it, but almost every pair of pants I have has to be tweaked to get the patterns to match at the seams.  There is also some difference once the texture is on the mesh blank.  I make a texture, it looks great in PS with all the shading and such then I upload it and place on the grament and it looks washed out or muddy.  (my hubby explained it one day to me, but most of it was lost between OH LOOK new Textures, and aren't my mesh feet gorgeous?)

I have all these same problems.  

I've just resigned myself to spending about a thousand lindens in uploads on everything I make.  🙂

I will *try* Local Textures (at least I keep telling myself that), but the texture picker in SL, and having to navigate that horrible inventory tree is so tiresome I'm almost ready to just keep paying the price.  

That being said, I haven't tried it yet so perhaps I'm talking nonsense.  

Sylvia 

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13 hours ago, Kyrah Abattoir said:

MD is a fine piece of software for what it does, but it is not a modeling software. I'd call it more a "design" software. It is a great tool to bring your vision of a specific garment into the digital space (as long as you don't mind not being in full control of the result).

You can use MD for years and still know nothing about the skills you will need to bring your idea into secondlife, or any other game.

And sure you can consider that next step as simply "beneath you" and not worth your time, hell, you can probably outsource it to someone else for a hundred buck.

The reality however is that all those steps are ultimately connected, how you will UV your model depends on the textures you will use, how you will LOD your model depends on what matters and what doesn't detail wise, and even when you are still designing and refining your idea in MD, these are things that have to be kept in mind.

 

Which is why you see time and time again the same mistakes being made in SL, which lead to bloated geometry, bloated texture resolution, dodgy rigging, dodgy texture UVs and a worse experience for everyone.

I'm not telling people that they have to be perfect, just that they need to try to care at least a little. This is no different than the prim era, you can be smart about it, or you can just cram as many prims and textures as the linkset limit allows.

Agreed.  I know I have to learn some Blender skills in addition to Marvellous Designer.  

It's just that right now, to me, Blender seems like a mathematicians nightmare, but in RL I can make a dress.  Marvellous Designer allows me to take the same pattern for the RL dress and simply turn it into a 3D model.  It's using skills I already know, it's faster, it's more intuitive etc. 

Being the super-picky person I am, I know once I start using it I will find that I will have to use Blender to "fix" the model before upload.  The UV is especially important to me as I have spent a couple of years trying to texture other peoples mesh and a bad or poorly thought out UV is almost always the problem.  

Sylvia. 

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3 hours ago, Da5id Weatherwax said:

Every word here is true but there something I will add to it, specifically for those people who are capable of the "vision" in MD and other tools but find themselves stumbling when it comes to translating the results of that into a model for SL or any other 3d environment...

We're geeks. We do what geeks do and we use "terms of art" a lot. This can obscure that what we're really talking about is a way to think about the project. A "model" in MD or other design-oriented software is not a 3d asset in the same way that a fashion sketch is not a sewing pattern or a design sketch for a piece of furniture is not a cutting list for a carpenter. I used these two examples advisedly, because in both cases to get from the sketch to something usable you need to be thinking in the same way as you would to get from design to 3d asset  - and it's something that, shorn of all the geeky language, many of you already know how to do.

Let's stick with sewing, since in many cases when raising these concerns we're talking about clothing models.

We talk about "edge loops", "topolgy" and "UV mapping" when we're talking about many of the same concerns involved in creating a pattern and laying it out on fabric. If you sew at all you've probably worked with stretchy fabric. You know there are ways you can construct a garment that work with it and there are also wrong ways to do it, that might conceivably look ok  pinned to a mannequin but will never work on an actual body. The skin of your model is like that, we talk about working with quads and keeping clean edge loops and we're thinking in exactly the same way as you are when considering whether a particular piece of fabric should be cut on the bias or not, we're looking at the grid that makes up our model like you look at the weave of your fabric and just know that "it can't be made to stretch like that there" and you have to cut that piece differently. If the grid of your model looks too tortured to be made in cloth, it's probably not going to work well as a 3d model either.

When we're saying "your UV map is inefficient" and you can't get your head around that, try thinking "Don't lay out your pattern like that, look at all the wasted fabric. That stuff's expensive!" The edges of UV islands are called "seams" for a reason!

Too many vertices? that's like a design that needs to be pinned to the mannequin every couple of inches to hold its shape. You know you can do better than that in cloth, you can do it with vertices on a 3d model too.

None of this is anything you can't do, you just need to not be daunted by it, make the link between it and the skills and knowledge you already possess in creating stuff for the "real world" then see how the same approaches can translate well into making your creations not just "real" but also "good" in SL too.

I love this.  A very succinct and insightful take on the problems (and rewards) involved. 🙂

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well, @Sylvia Wasp, I didn't know for certain you were skilled with a needle when I used the analogy (my wife was, extremely so - and we worked together on projects a lot although my RL sewing skill is limited to leatherwork and sailmaking, at least it was when we first got together - I learned a lot from her over the years) but, since you are, here's another analogy you'll like. LODs.

When you're making a bridal gown you want the mere silhouette, the vague outline of the bride standing in the church door  backlit and blurred slightly by the sunlight from outside, to make every man in the place and most of the women go "Wow..... " - That's low-LOD. You can't see any of the details, but what you can see is important. As she walks down the aisle you'll see more as she passes (medium LOD) but still not everything that the lucky so-and-so waiting at the altar will get to see - either once she gets really close or much later after the ceremony and reception.

There are mathematical tools in blender and in the SL importer that can take detail away and lower the impact of rendering a model to make the lower LODs, but they cant tell what's important to keep - you can, so it's much better to remove the stuff that isn't important yourself, use those tools to help but not to direct the work, because when you let them control the process they almost always get it horribly wrong and your poor bride in the doorway will look like she's wearing a sack.

When somebody walks towards you in SL and first steps into your draw distance, they are like that bride in the doorway as the first chord of the processional rolls through the place and every head turns. You want the good first impression, not the other one.

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The local textures are in a very small selection window (no navigation is required, except for finding them on your HD first and adding them to the selection window.  When you choose to upload them, they go in your textures folder by default and once you have applied them to your item, you can move them and they keep the texture.  My blond moment is being satisfied with the local texture, clicking upload and then forgetting to apply the uploaded version back onto the garment.

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6 hours ago, Sylvia Wasp said:

I've just resigned myself to spending about a thousand lindens in uploads on everything I make.  🙂

Count yourself lucky, "In my 2004" days I don't know how many thousands uploads i had to do to test the couple dresses I made originally. Thankfully we don't have to do that anymore :D

6 hours ago, Sylvia Wasp said:

I will *try* Local Textures (at least I keep telling myself that), but the texture picker in SL, and having to navigate that horrible inventory tree is so tiresome I'm almost ready to just keep paying the price.  

An added bonus of local textures is that they update live, you can have SL in a small window next to your texturing program and everytime you save over the file that the local texture uses, it will update in-world (only for you obviously it's called 'local' for a reason)

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19 hours ago, Kyrah Abattoir said:

Count yourself lucky, "In my 2004" days I don't know how many thousands uploads i had to do to test the couple dresses I made originally. Thankfully we don't have to do that anymore :D

I remember making a camisole in those days that cost similarly and sold for $150 lindens.  I think I sold 6 or 7 total, lol. 

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