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Question about Blender & AvaStar from a beginner


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Hello all, my first time posting in these forums and I'm hoping I can get some advice.

Mostly ... should I get AvaStar with Blender?

I grabbed Blender because, hi, I'm an ambitious soul who has an idea for designing an in-game Christmas gift for his husband and I've been doing some reading and research. I don't know if I'm going to ever try designing avatars and I found out that AvaStar is designed around that, though I may attempt that and animations down the line as I learn, but I have seen people saying that AvaStar is worth getting because it helps you avoid 'gotcha' moments with Blender.

Mostly, right now, I'm interested in possibly designing clothing and jewelry items and was wondering if AvaStar would be good to get in conjunction with Blender if they both work together, more or less. I know I plan to start small, probably with jewelry designs, but I am wondering f AvaStar would be worth the investment or if I should just stick with Blender. Or if, instead, there's a different program I should look into getting with Blender?

Any advice on this front is very appreciated. Thank you. ♥

And speaking of that  Christmas gift idea, can anyone tell me if it's a viable idea to design what I have in mind for him and give him a personalized version of it and somehow upload it in SL for his use only?

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Well I worked in Blender for at least seven years before getting Avastar. It is pretty necessary if you want to make Bento poses and most clothing creators use it and would not work without it === BUT before you get to those things there are tons of things that you can make JUST with Blender (including jewelry) so I would work on my skillset for awhile and not worry about learning two programs instead of one.

Furniture and jewelry are considerably easier than clothing and avatar making.   Poses aren't hard  but for the most part do need extra software besides Blender (at least for SL).   

 

 

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18 minutes ago, Chic Aeon said:

Well I worked in Blender for at least seven years before getting Avastar. It is pretty necessary if you want to make Bento poses and most clothing creators use it and would not work without it === BUT before you get to those things there are tons of things that you can make JUST with Blender (including jewelry) so I would work on my skillset for awhile and not worry about learning two programs instead of one.

Furniture and jewelry are considerably easier than clothing and avatar making.   Poses aren't hard  but for the most part do need extra software besides Blender (at least for SL).   

 

 

I admit that right now I'm considering my own options and what I know of myself and my skillset in regards to beginning somewhere simple and building up my skillset, but I was thinking of the possible long-term for this process. I do know I want to start with jewelry and see what I can manage in that area, since I figure that jewelry would be a nice way to begin learning what Blender's capable of.

Still, this is certainly useful to know since I'm not going to consider clothing just yet. I'm ambitious but I also know that I'm the kind of person who would, somehow, break the program if I tried too much. Ahaha.

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Avastar's strong points are handling Fitted Mesh and animations in a straightforward fashion. (Fitted Mesh is the feature LL added to allow mesh clothing and bodies to respond to all the body shape customization sliders instead of only to about half of them. Fitted Mesh often gets lumped in with Bento because it also involved adding new bones to the basic skeleton, but it was actually a separate, earlier feature than Bento.) Also, if you want to design clothes based on a body in a dev kit, you'll need Avastar yourself if Avastar was used to make that dev kit.

You can create Fitted Mesh clothes and animations without Avastar, but it's fussy and requires Deep Technical Knowledge[TM].

Avastar does nothing for you if you're making unrigged jewelry, so that's not a bad start. There's plenty of stuff involved in mesh creation -- UV unwrapping, Levels of Detail, Second Life's sizing and material constraints -- that has nothing to do with armatures and which you have to learn anyway.

Edited by Quarrel Kukulcan
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  • 2 weeks later...

Even at the time of the creation of this forum post another tool is available called "Bento Buddy", which I'm guessing is ok to mention, even though it is my creation, since others seem to feel free to advertise another product.

Bento Buddy is constantly being updated and also exports "fitted" mesh and is the only tool that I am aware of that exports proper dae (collada) files, which can be used in any other sane 3d application.

Bento Buddy currently contains a slew of animation tools to tweak your motion, capture motion from other animations and even converts well known characters, and their associated animations, for use with Second Life.

*whew*

Now you have options.  Contact me in-world if you have any questions, need assistance or just wanna chatter.  I'm very knowie \o/

Fun fun

Edited by BinBash
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