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Talrion

Skeletons, Meshes and Maya

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Hey here in the forum, first post for me I think. Just decided to get into the mesh game but so far after looking through info and help about it I cant help but stand a bit... dumbstruck? I've studied game art for three years now and have been using Maya for about five, but there seem to be sparse information about using that program for these purposes, so heres a couple of questions:

1. Does a Avatar made for SL have to conform to the skeleton the default AV have or can it be deformed in Maya to follow the shape of the new model?

2. Tied into the last, will the new Skeleton require all new animations to be made?

3. Is there a good DAE exporter plugin for Maya somewhere? (Or is there one built in, might have missed it).

Thanks beforehand =)

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Hey,

 

1.You can change the proportions of the skeleton. Just Can't add new bones, yet.

2.No, the bones have the same name as the default SL ones so it works fine. Yesterday as a test I made a rig with freakishly long arms and short legs and it worked fine.

3.Load the fbxmaya.mll plugin and youll be able to export dae files. Probably a better option is exporting it as a fbx and then convert it with autodesk fbx 2011. (Maya 2012's collada is based on a later version than SL's)

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(0) Linden Lab has never been good about documenting stuff (sorry guys, you haven't)

Now to your questions:

(1) If you want to animate  the avatar body, it needs to use the same bone names and structure as the standard avatar.  Search for Wiz Daxter SLAV on the web, or on the SL marketplace.  He has a plugin for several programs with the rig already set up.  I'm not sure what changes to the rig from the T-pose will work.

(2) Existing animations will work if the new mesh avatar is correctly weighted to the bones.  I made a full body mesh avatar and it works fine with pretty much any animation.  Getting the vertexes weighted just right at the joints took a while, cause humans notice any defects in movement of other humans.

(3) Use the Autodesk FBX 2011.3 plugin for your version of Maya.  That is the one the Linden staff used when programming the mesh feature, so that works best.  Export using Autdesk Collada, and at least in 3ds Max that I use, the only thing that needed changing in the export settings was to choose Z-up for the axis.

Make sure your model feet are located at the origin (0,0,0) and is human scaled, facing +X, head pointing +Z.

 

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Thanks a lot for the replies, now I feel I definetly got a better understanding for some of the process. I went on to check the import plugins you mentioned though his page said it didnt support win7 yet for maya users. Is there an alternative way to get the rig/standard AV into maya to get a simple start from there?

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