Honored Resident
Posts: 15
0 Kudos

mesh clothing tutorials

Hello, im new to blender and i have it downloded as well as dominos avatar program.

I wanted to know what tutorials are out there to help new mesh clothing creators with designing them and texturing them. ty in advance!

✮✮Legends Blog✮✮
✮✮Legends on Marketplace✮✮
Posts: 113
0 Kudos

Re: mesh clothing tutorials

Reply to Emily1313 - view message


Hi Emily, 

the best place to start is learning just to model,  because with anything ,  it doesnt matter what the software is wether it be blender, zbrush or maya to name but a few ..  you have to look at things such as topology of the models,  UV unwrapping,  Texturing then of course theres rigging and skinning. Theres no absolute tutorial to do things from start to finish but I always found that Blendercookie was excellent,  followed by blender guru.  theres also a good tutorial on youtube by David Ward called Johnny Blender which i think is an excellent start to blender and teaches you all the basics.


Good Luck


Builder, Sculpter, Scripter Allround miracle worker.
RPCCA RolePlay Content Creation Association
Posts: 748
Topics: 19
Registered: ‎04-24-2009
0 Kudos

Re: mesh clothing tutorials

Reply to Emily1313 - view message

The general steps will be similar for any 3D program:

- First create the geometry of the clothing item(s).  That will be one or more sets of connected triangles or rectangles (meshes).  It helps if you have a human avatar shape pre-loaded and locked in place to fit the clothing to, like a dress dummy in real life.  Use as few triangles as possible to make it look decent at typical viewing distances.  Extra detail too small to be seen just makes more lag.

- Next, you want to make the UV mapping.  That is what tells the SL software what part of the texture goes on what part of the model.  If you have ever made skins or clothes for the standard SL avatar, you have used the result of the UV mapping.  The clothing templates show what part of the texture is used for the arms, torso, etc.  For mesh items you get to create your own custom templates, which effectively unwrap the 3d shape into a flat pattern like a clothing pattern in real life.  That pattern then guides you making your textures.

- Mesh can optionally bend when attached to the avatar, following the bones of the avatar when it animates.  Some items don't need it (like a hat).  This step is called "rigging", because it is similar to hanging sails onto the rigid masts of a sailing ship.  For mesh, you "rig" your model to a copy of the bone set SL uses, within your 3D program.  That tells the SL software which bone to follow for each point (vertex) of the model.

- You can upload the model to the beta grid (Aditi) to test how it looks.  The upload there uses "fake L$", so effectively it is free.  With no textures applied, your model will be all white, but you can test how it animates at that stage, or upload and apply the UV templates or a reference checkerboard texture to see how the texture mapping fits and stretches.  Once that looks decent you can then make the final clothing textures.

- There is no rule that says a clothing item has to be 100% mesh, or all rigged.  In particular, mesh can not be flexi.  So for things like skirts, you can use flexi prims, and link them to the mesh parts.  I think of mesh as being able to make custom prims of whatever shape I want, so they are parts to make a finished item, but not an entire item as a single mesh.

- Like other objects in SL, mesh is one sided for texturing.  At cuffs and skirt hems where you would see the "inside", you need to add more geometry facing the other way.  At the moment, mesh does not adjust for all the appearance sliders, just the ones that affect bones (hopefully that will be improved sometime soon).  Your choices right now are to use a custom avatar shape that the mesh will fit, make the clothing in multiple sizes to fit different avatars, and/or use an alpha layer to make parts that stick out transparent.

Builder and newbie helper in SL and other virtual worlds. Download free Mesh Avatar templates from
Posts: 1,092
Topics: 23
Kudos: 105
Registered: ‎09-23-2009
0 Kudos

Re: mesh clothing tutorials

[ Edited ]

Reply to Emily1313 - view message

Hi Emily welcome to the forum (and to Blender) Smiley Happy

I'd agree with a previous comment about learning general modeling skills before tackling clothing. In the end, if you learn how to model properly, you can model anything. There are many great Blender tutorial sites our there now. I'd recommend checking out the Blender Training series at Canned Mushroom. It has more of a course feel and will get you started on the right foot.



Another great site is, which has a great modeling section. Another site that has a course style is

I've started a channel dedicated to digital clothing (for the most part). Here are two playlists:

General SL:

SL Rigged Clothing:

SL Mesh Video Tutorials: All SL Mesh Videos | SL Rigged Clothing Series
Honored Resident
Posts: 2
0 Kudos

Re: mesh clothing tutorials

[ Edited ]

Reply to Emily1313 - view message


I have been reading this post and see this is all related most to blender, as I use 3ds Max I have seen there is a collada exporter to convert the meshes into .dae so my question is.

Is it more convenient to create meshes for SL with blender or will it be as efefctive with 3dsMax.

My idea of meshing is related to Accesories.



Posts: 2,758
0 Kudos

Re: mesh clothing tutorials

Reply to TiaraStone - view message

3dsmax is very suitable for creating meshes. There are a couple of things to consider though:

Not in the last place the fact as far as I know there are no reasily available SL skeletons for max around. I don't rig my meshes, so I'm not sure.

Are you familiair with max and not with blender? That could be a good reason to use max, since a 3d program isn't easily mastered. Then again, if you know how  "a" 3d program works, it's easier to learn the next. (but some things will be really confusing probably)

The program that's used by most SL builders is Blender, since it's free and does about everything the commercial programs do. You are probably going to get help a lot easier, from more sources if you use Blender.

"The superior man understands what is right; the inferior man understands what will sell."

Honored Resident
Posts: 2
0 Kudos

Re: mesh clothing tutorials

Reply to Kwakkelde Kwak - view message

ty for the reply I am familiar with max and create more accesories than bones etc I found solution bu adding a fbx exporter which converts later the files into dae format.

Sadly I dont know anything about blender so I will remain loyal to max.

Thanks again for the answer 

Posts: 4,087
Kudos: 754
Registered: ‎03-26-2009
0 Kudos

Re: mesh clothing tutorials - Gotchas

Reply to Emily1313 - view message

Last yesr I wrote a tutorial AFTER having run into what I thought were most of the gotchas in making SL clothes. Then I bought Avastar and revealed some more problems I had not figured out yet.

So, I recommend my Second Life Mesh Clothes Blender 2.6 Setup 2012 Tutorial, which will get rewritten sometime this year. It will help you understand the diffent files and most of developements on SL clothes making.

Then also read Second Life Shape Export. This article covers the biggest gotcha I've run into: avatar size in shape exports.