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A little help, please:

I would like to become a creator and I'm ready to start my studies so I can pursue that goal. My problem is finding the right area to focus on to start between these:

Animation/Poses (no mocap gear)

Mesh and Textures (not clothing or avatars)

Scripting

I have dabbled enough to know that I can learn any of them and be happy, and I do plan to get round to all of them, but I don't want to get overwhelmed at the start.

Learning resources are already lined up for all of these, along with appropriately licensed software, just trying to figure out where to spend the majority of my time as a beginner creator.  

I know my advice on reading this would be some version of "just pick the area you like best," but I really do like all of these equally!

My end goal is to have a nice SL business, but I love learning and experimenting with different fields (read: I'm indecisive.)  Which of these would you focus on at the beginning?  Also, are any of these skills more in demand than the others?  Should I just run back to my favorite RP sim and forget the whole thing?

Thanks for helping me out, and if you're just reading, thanks for reading 😊

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Having never ventured further than simple (though accurately measured) buildings for my own use, I can only offer a few general suggestions.

Start with the one which you think will take the least time to learn and to produce something that pleases you.  That way you'll be less likely to feel that SL has become just a place of work.

It's my impression that fewer people take up scripting seriously, because there isn't the same visual pleasure that you can get from poses or textures, but in any case take a look at the Marketplace for what is in demand in all of those fields you're considering, and it might be useful to see what people have posted in the Commerce/Wanted forum.  If you eventually were to find a way of combining all three, I imagine you'd be very popular!

Edited by Garnet Psaltery
Typo.
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If you don't have the tools for animations (such as mocap gear, even software), I would probably leave that area as your last area of interest. As such tools will be necessary to really get into that market. It may not be as easy of a market to get into as some might think, so, I would personally leave that one for when you have the resources to really dedicate to it.

Scripting is a really good area to get into, but it depends entirely upon what it is you're scripting. It can be very challenging, but also very rewarding. It can also lead to a lot of collaboration which can help bring people who are relatively new to having an "sl business" as it were, together with those who have an established (newly or otherwise) business. The mutual relationship between them can be pretty profitable. So the question you really need to ask yourself in this area is what, specifically, do you want to script? (btw, the scripting forum here is fantastic for getting information, I highly recommend checking it out). Scripts are a higher demand area, dependent on the type of scripts/their purpose, as while many can tinker with them, not nearly as many can create them from scratch (especially complicated ones). 

As for mesh, that is an area that, provided you have the tools and skills, can be relatively easy for some to get into, yet terribly difficult for others-depending entirely on the desired market. But objects and their textures, regardless of the type of object (wearable or not) are the very backbone of what sl is, how it has come to be what it is, and the vast majority of what people want/are looking for. Objects and their textures, although a very wide and quite saturated market, is the largest market there is for a "creator's skillset", so you could do very well in this area. What you may want to consider is what, precisely, you want to create. Do you want to create full perm things for other creators? Do you want to create end products? Do you want to create textures for others to use? 

It's not necessarily a matter of going with the one you like best, but rather going with whatever vision it is you have for what you desire to create. Be specific with yourself when you ask "what do I envision myself creating", it'll help tremendously with choosing which area to pursue. That's also the hardest part though, the specificity of it all. You've already narrowed it down somewhat, which is a really good start. Now you need to narrow it down further. Look at each category and determine what it is you would actually do with them....what will you create...what will you offer....what do you WANT to create. Then you can decide which area would feed your creative urges the best. You'll also then have a plan should your initial one not pan out (and prepare for that, it happens sometimes, lol), or even if it does pan out and you decide you want to branch out further. 

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Mesh and textures first... mostly. I say mostly because depending on what you want to sell, you may need to learn a little bit about scripting. I can't write a script to save my life but I can alter scripts. Then if you want to branch out and say create your own anims for your items you'll have the basics already down. You could even branch out into clothing and you'd already have the basic knowledge you'd need.

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There's really no perfect answer, as you know already. It's a good idea to know enough of the basics in each of those creative areas so that you can at least talk knowledgeably with experts as you collaborate, so I'd suggest getting your feet wet with simple projects that introduce you to building, scripting, and animation. I suspect you'll find that one of the areass is more satisfying than the others once you get into it, or that you have greater flair for it.  I spent quite a bit of time building and texturing things in pre-mesh days before I gradually admitted to myself that I am not a truly gifted artist. On the other hand, I can get excited about building the logical web of code in a challenging LSL script, so that's where I put most of my energy. 

I suggest hanging out at Builder's Brewery or someplace like that where you can learn and can look over the shoulders of people with more experience. Keep trying projects that are just a little too hard for you, and make loads of mistakes. After you have banged your head against the wall for a while, ask specific questions to clear up remaining problems, and then try something harder.  If you don't get discouraged, you've discovered your path.

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   To be fair, some of the biggest furniture brands today still use the same set of animations as everyone else does. Very few make their own custom animations (which is a bit boring, IMO). So you totally can have a crack at Blender to make some simple chairs or tables and work your way from there - there's tons and tons of tutorials for Blender on YouTube, from the very basics to the astonishingly advanced. As far as textures go, you can either UV-unwrap your mesh to paint your textures in Gimp/PS (or MS Paint!), or you can get more advanced programs such as substance painter to texture your meshes. Mesh apparel is more advanced as it requires weighting and rigging, but otherwise has a similar workflow as furniture/buildings does. Also, not all meshes have to be interactive stuff, you can totally make 'clutter' or decor that has no scripts or animations in them!

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6 minutes ago, Orwar said:

   To be fair, some of the biggest furniture brands today still use the same set of animations as everyone else does. Very few make their own custom animations (which is a bit boring, IMO). So you totally can have a crack at Blender to make some simple chairs or tables and work your way from there - there's tons and tons of tutorials for Blender on YouTube, from the very basics to the astonishingly advanced. As far as textures go, you can either UV-unwrap your mesh to paint your textures in Gimp/PS (or MS Paint!), or you can get more advanced programs such as substance painter to texture your meshes. Mesh apparel is more advanced as it requires weighting and rigging, but otherwise has a similar workflow as furniture/buildings does. Also, not all meshes have to be interactive stuff, you can totally make 'clutter' or decor that has no scripts or animations in them!

 

Uh oh. Did hell freeze over? We're on the same page! 🤣

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Like many long time creators here, I have done it all and with vary levels of success :D.  

 

I suggest BASICS FIRST.   So learn how to build with prims, learn how to make something attach to your avatar (like a bracelet) and get it stick when it attaches again -- and which part of the body to use for various placements. Learn how to make a simple vendor, make notecards, groups, vendor ads etc. All the things that you need to do in a business.  Learn how to texture items well with simple tiling textures (yes, there is an art to that LOL).  

By then you may discover what you prefer and what you seem to do well.  I would leave mesh making and script creation (not the fiddling part which most creators need, but the from scratch part) towards the end. 

And you can make perfectly good animations without any gear, but the pose market is very saturated as is the shape market and the eyes market and any of the easier crafts. 

 

If you are going to want to make mesh objects I suggest buying a few inexpensive or free full perm items and learn how towork with the finished products first.  THEN learn how to make your own mesh if you are still interested.  And note that many top creators these days don't make their own mesh -- so it is not a requirement for success.  :D

 

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Poses are easy to make. Short animations too. Just get Qavimator. You just need to have two frames of animation to make a pose. The first frame is completely ignored and the second frame is the pose. Super easy. There is a serious problem with making poses right now though. The beta grid isn't working so you can't upload for free to test the pose. Typically, you use trial an error to make a pose look correct. There is a preview in the animation upload window but the best way to preview is to upload it to the beta grid and view it on an actual avatar. I read it will take a few months to be fixed.

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4 minutes ago, Bree Giffen said:

Poses are easy to make. Short animations too. Just get Qavimator. You just need to have two frames of animation to make a pose. The first frame is completely ignored and the second frame is the pose. Super easy. There is a serious problem with making poses right now though. The beta grid isn't working so you can't upload for free to test the pose. Typically, you use trial an error to make a pose look correct. There is a preview in the animation upload window but the best way to preview is to upload it to the beta grid and view it on an actual avatar. I read it will take a few months to be fixed.

You can -- or at least could, as of a few months ago -- upload a temporary animation onto the main grid.

The main problem with Qavimator is that it doesn't do Bento. So . . . splay hands.

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Based on what is for sale in SL, the real money "appears" to be in making mesh templates (clothing & non-clothing) for others to buy and sell.  From what I can tell, at least 75% of the stores are selling items that they have purchased the full-perm template of and then textured it themselves.  

So, learn the basics of building with prims and texturing.  Then you can move on to more advanced texturing of mesh.  If you decide to create your own mesh, whether to sell as templates or just to sell the items, take note that the majority of the Blender tutorials out there will not teach you how to make mesh that is optimized for SL - which is far different that mesh made for photography and regular games.

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1 hour ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

The main problem with Qavimator is that it doesn't do Bento. So . . . splay hands.

Qavimator Beta does Bento, but it's rather a klutzy interface and the program was pulled some time ago. It really needs a standalone or the Beta Grid to preview the effects because the figure in the program doesn't show anything like enough detail to see what the expression you're creating really looks like.

Some time ago I recall Daz Studio and Poser were capable of exporting poses to SecondLife with some tweaking, I haven't looked at either of those for a while now but perhaps somebody else here has more current knowledge.

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26 minutes ago, LittleMe Jewell said:

So, learn the basics of building with prims and texturing.  Then you can move on to more advanced texturing of mesh.  If you decide to create your own mesh, whether to sell as templates or just to sell the items, take note that the majority of the Blender tutorials out there will not teach you how to make mesh that is optimized for SL - which is far different that mesh made for photography and regular games.

Sadly, the step beyond learning the basics of prim building and texturing is a lot like learning to swim by diving into deep water chained to a boat anchor.  If you have no experience with 3D modelling, it will take a long time and a ton of patience to get good enough to create things that are worthy of the market.  That's why so many people take the easy way and texture pre-made models that someone else has created (and why so much of the clothing in SL looks the same).  That's not to say that it can't be done. After all, people learn to be mesh modelers all the time.  Just know up front that there's a steep learning curve, so you shouldn't expect to become a Master overnight.  As a couple of others have recommended, at least put off modelling clothing until you are pretty good at simpler things. As I said earlier, my own modeling skills are good enough to get me this far

a72a96af6ed9aa258334f71c99ec46f1.png

so that I can make fairly uncomplicated things to script. Anything more difficult than this makes my brain hurt, so I leave it to people with more skill and patience while I focus on the fun part (for me) of making models do something. 😇

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8 hours ago, Scheduled said:

A little help, please:

I would like to become a creator and I'm ready to start my studies so I can pursue that goal. My problem is finding the right area to focus on to start between these:

Animation/Poses (no mocap gear)

Mesh and Textures (not clothing or avatars)

Scripting

I have dabbled enough to know that I can learn any of them and be happy, and I do plan to get round to all of them, but I don't want to get overwhelmed at the start.

Learning resources are already lined up for all of these, along with appropriately licensed software, just trying to figure out where to spend the majority of my time as a beginner creator.  

I know my advice on reading this would be some version of "just pick the area you like best," but I really do like all of these equally!

My end goal is to have a nice SL business, but I love learning and experimenting with different fields (read: I'm indecisive.)  Which of these would you focus on at the beginning?  Also, are any of these skills more in demand than the others?  Should I just run back to my favorite RP sim and forget the whole thing?

Thanks for helping me out, and if you're just reading, thanks for reading 😊

Textures, learn to make your own textures by learning how to overlap items and meld them into one, and how to bake in shadows by melding your texture to the AO.  Then learn how to adjust the AO to more or less shadow.  I think it's textures.   You can look up how to videos on You Tube for a lot of things in SL.  I think a good texture artist goes a long, long way in SL.

Edited by JanuarySwan
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5 hours ago, Profaitchikenz Haiku said:

Qavimator Beta does Bento, but it's rather a klutzy interface and the program was pulled some time ago. It really needs a standalone or the Beta Grid to preview the effects because the figure in the program doesn't show anything like enough detail to see what the expression you're creating really looks like.

Some time ago I recall Daz Studio and Poser were capable of exporting poses to SecondLife with some tweaking, I haven't looked at either of those for a while now but perhaps somebody else here has more current knowledge.

When i last used Daz as long as you had the SL male/female models that can be downloaded from i can't remember where on the SL site and you imported them in to daz you could could create poses and animations, when you exported them as .bvh there was a SecondLife compatibility check box option. anything created using the default model didn't work. don't know what i would have needed in order to do Bento, however once set up i found Daz much easier to work with 

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Thank you all for your great advice!  You've definitely brought up things I haven't considered.  Best part is I now have a good plan based on everything I've read here.  Now I just have to dig in and learn.  Maybe I'll never be great at it, but I'll give it my best 😊

Thanks again!

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6 hours ago, Scheduled said:

Thank you all for your great advice!  You've definitely brought up things I haven't considered.  Best part is I now have a good plan based on everything I've read here.  Now I just have to dig in and learn.  Maybe I'll never be great at it, but I'll give it my best 😊

Thanks again!

That's all you can do. But won't it be nice to be able to make some things for yourself! \o/

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13 hours ago, Scheduled said:

Thank you all for your great advice!  You've definitely brought up things I haven't considered.  Best part is I now have a good plan based on everything I've read here.  Now I just have to dig in and learn.  Maybe I'll never be great at it, but I'll give it my best 😊

Thanks again!

It's a lot of hard work!  

I'd say textures is the way to start otherwise you have just a gray item.  I think what's needed in SL are more full perm animations at a great price.  The pose part of SL has a bazillion but when it comes to full perm animations there aren't a whole lot or they are rather expensive.  My Dinkie is non-Bento and Dinkies can use a lot of the older non-Bento animations as well as older unrigged items and some older non-Bento animations I can find full perm for free or practically nothing.  It is often needed to have unrigged items as there are many avatars besides human here.  Another thing that may make you a success is that most customers want modify permissions, so if you can, offer your products copy and modify.  

I'm with Rolig too, I like items that "do" stuff, so yes learning how to script at least for the animations is necessary and a lot of work also.  I am doing a Dinkie Therapy Room and Spa and it's been an enormous amount of work.  Looks darn easy.  Darn easy it ain't.  It was so exhausting making my Dinkie Therapy Room and Spa, I am tooooooo tired to use it or enjoy it right now.  It's exhausting work.

Snapshot_629 (2).jpg

Edited by FairreLilette
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My suggestion is to pick the area that you can have the earliest success with - i.e. that you can sell the soonest.

Imo, that would be animations. You don't need mocap to make decent animations, and you can sell them initially in forms that don't need much in building skills; e.g. poseballs with free scripts.

Then you could perhaps get into mesh and create furniture that your animations can be used in, again using free script systems.

After that, and only if it makes sense to do it, you could get stuck into your own scripting.
 

An example (sort of):-
I made and sold furniture with my own animations in it. I'm a programmer and was fully capable of writing the system to use the animations in furniture, but why bother when there was a perfectly good free one around, so I didn't do it. That was until someone in the forum wrote that they are now using systems that don't use poseballs. That's when I wrote my own. That's what I meant by "only if it makes sense to do it".

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