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BonBun Paperdoll

Need to know how to make custom skeletons

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Since Linden Labs has totaly blocked the ability to upload deformer animations, my buisness is faceing haveing to close down if I can not get the same results with useing mesh.

For those of you that dont know, a deformer animation was an edited animation file that, when uploaded to SL, allowed you to move an AV's joints to a new position. This allowed for oddly-shaped AVs, aswell as extremely large AVs such as mechs and vehicles.

Since LL has blocked people from uploading new deformers, the only hope I have to stay in buisness is to see if I can get the same results useing mesh. However, I have been unable to find a decent turtorial that explains how to create custom skeletons with mesh that will use normal animations.

Deformer animations only required Windows Notepad to make. I can not afford to purchase Maya or 3d Max, nor can I afford to take courses on how to use them. Blender or some other free program is my only option. If anyone can pass me a link to a tutorial that explains how to make and upload a custom skeleton mesh, I would very much appreciate it.

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Not realy sure how this helps my problem any, but I'll look into it.

To be clear, I dont need a new animation program. I need a tutorial on how to make a custom skelecton for a mesh AV I can upload to SL in order to create larger than normal AVs.

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I have recently made 2 tutorials, one for the free Avatar Workbench (based on avatar.blend from Domino Designs), and one for the Avastar Product. You can find the tutorial for the tiny Avatar & Avatar workbench here:

    http://blog.machinimatrix.org/avatar-workbench-tiny-avatar/

If you want to make giants, you basically do the same as descroibed for tinies. You only need to scale up instead of scaling down and the z-offset will be positive, not negative. Maybe that helps.

one tip: I found that z-offset is limitted to +- 3 meters, so rigged giants seem to be limitted to roughly 10 meters in height.

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Thanks. Hopefuly this will help, and I wont have to scrap over a year's worth of work and effort.

And as for the offset limit, the +3 meters should be fine for the smaller AVs I have. Anything bigger and Im already planning on useing a vehicle plus normal animations to get the proper size. Just as long as the skeleton itself isnt limited to 3 meters I should be able to work with that.

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If you are willing to really work at it you could learn a program such as blender. It is free and open source and it works for making custom mesh avatars with custom bone structions. I personally could not tell you how to do  it with the program but it is possible. With some learning of Blender you can make custom meshes and then add bones and weight to them. You would really need to learn how to import that into second life. I am not sure how that is done.

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I did manage to get something that sorta works, thanks to Gaia Clary. However Im still having some issues. Im not exactly sure if it's just my inexperience with Blender, or if Im missing something required to correctly export mesh from Blender for upload to SL. 

Im also noticeing that mesh may not be able to get the same results I used to be able to get with deformer animations. With deformers, I could fully reposition an AV's joints, and any attatchments worn on the corrisponding locations would also be moved to the new position aswell. With a rigged mesh AV, it seems, atleast at first, that while the mesh moves as if it was an enlarged version of the AV, that any other attatchments would move and position according to the normal AV, not the mesh one. If this is the case, then mesh is almost completely useless for what I need it for, and Linden Labs has basicly destroyed over a years worth of work for apparently no reason.

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Hey BonBun,

One thing I've tried is to modify the avatar.blend skeleton to a larger size. You can lengthen or shorten the bones as you need. It's important to leave the skeleton in the T-Pose though. The dae files don't record rotations. Instead of  trying to use a mesh body (I'm assuming you are using either sculpts and/or prims for the bodies) , I make a very small ball and attach it to the skeleton, same as you would a mesh body at the hip and assign the weights there. That hides the mesh part. This is exported as a dae (both ball and skeleton together) and uploaded to SL. You may need to adjust your hip offset though. Best to try on the Beta grid to save $L. 

Once you're uploaded, wear the mesh. It will distort your avatar. Then you can add attachments/body parts. Once you get the hip offset like you need, you can use regular animations with the modyfied body, even dance animations. 

I'm not quarenteeing how good this will work, I'm still learning the possibilities with mesh and what you can do. But it's worth a try. :)

One other option would be to use viewer 1.23 and upload your deforms. I'm not sure but some of the 3rd party viewers might can be used to upload deforms as well. The cool thing about deforms is that you can make the ones you need, upload, and change out different offsets quickly without having to make a whole  mesh/skeleton. Then again, being able to use normal animations with the mesh/skeleton is very cool too.

If you like, get in touch with me in-world and I'll show you one of my tests for a giant werewolf.

 

Burtrum

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BunBun  LL has been saying for over a year (has it been several years ?)  that mesh deformatsion were a hack they did not support and that one day the things were gonna get broken by something they did.  So  there has been warning out there.  I don't mean to sound unsymapthetic but well you took a chance.

 

Now on the positive side of things maybe this would be a good time for L to invest in what avatar2.0 will be like?  Its gonna take several years of slow development so if they started now in the backgroun with resident input maybe they would stay on top of the technology curve.

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