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Please share your designer experience


demski
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Hello! I'm preparing a program for students, ages 16 and up to learn how to created digital fashions for avatars in second life. Do you think GIMP would be a good tool to use? The students will be taught in a virtual environment (online), using a modular approach, where they learn a new style/technique/tool each lesson, then be given a challenge in order to showcase the new skills. What kind of problem do you think I might run into? Can you give me some feedback on the learning process? Can a 16 year old learn how to do this? What skills would they have to learn before they begin designing clothes?

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NCI (New Citizen's Incorporated-inworld help group)gives regular beginner through advanced classes on making clothing. As far as whether a 16 year old can learn to do this, it depends on the 16 year old. The more familiar they already are with a graphics program, the easier it would be I imagine.

I noticed that you're a new resident yourself. I would highly recommend that you spend some time inworld prior to bringing in your class. There's a bit of a learning curve to just walking around and changing clothes, let alone learning to design them. Not to mention the fact that although SL has opened the grid to teens, it's still largely an adult world. just sayin'

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I've heard that Gimp is a good free art program. It has layers and allows you to make transparencies in images. You probably need to teach people on how to do various things in Gimp first. You do a lot of texture manipulation and cut & paste. You also need to show how the upper and lower body texture maps translate to the various clothing layers in SL like the infamous inability to texture both arms separately.

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Many, many people use GIMP.

Paint Shop Pro is also very good and it is inexpensive. 

They would need to be able to control their mouse well enough to make lines or marks but could use some of the built-in software tools to do some of that.

Other than that, just a good teacher, and a sense of design and balance, and of current fashion. (Or historical fashion since that also sells well here.)

 

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http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Clothing_Tutorials 

 

 

 There is a lot more to creating clothing/fashions in SL than a graphics program. I myself hate the gimp. It's limited and I love the ability to import obj into photoshop extended.   Of course there is also a freebie program out that to use in tandom with the gimp.. Its name escapes me and I dont think its free anymore.

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Using Gimp or Photoshop (which you can get at DEEP discount for students and teachers) to create avatar-layer clothing is just the beginning step in clothing design in SL. A lot of the more interesting clothing involves attachments, starting with basic shapes and moving to sculpted prims and "mesh".  As previously mentioned, it would be a good idea to spend a few days (or weeks) in SL, going to the various stores and seeing what's out there already.

 

Check out the various tutorials, by all means.

 

Another thing to consider: If you're able to get Photoshop for a classroom and teach Photoshop skills, that may be a more marketable skill and something that can go on a young Graphic Artist's Curriculum Vitae (Resume)...

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