Second Life Design

Second Life Design
See my Meshed Up Second Life

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Blender and Avastar for Second Life to Create and Rig Clothes, Mesh and Animate

Well I have mentioned many tools for use in second life and I have also been exploring many tools created for mesh creation and and editing as well as mesh skinning and rigging for second life. Well I came across a gem of a plugin created for use with Second Life and Blender and this program is called Avastar. Using Avastar for second life you can do many things to help you with mesh creation from helping to rig and skin a clothing item to help you build and animation file specifically for your avatar to be imported in to second life. Building mesh for second life can be very daunting especially if you are going to animate it but with Avastar and Blender it is rather quick and easy to create a simple piece of clothes or and attachment that is animated with your avatar that is easily imported in to second life. WHY IS THIS A GREAT GEM OF A FIND ?  WHERE DO YOU GET THE PROGRAMS AND PLUGINS ?   So you will need to download Blender from Blender.org and at the time of this article the Avastar Plugin required Blenders 2.68 or later so you will need to get that version from the website at Blender.org to  find the correct version of Blender for use with editing mesh in Second Life. But the great people that created Avastar -1 are hard at work and release updates on a regular basis and as well so check there documentation also as Avastar can be used for avatars and mesh in many other virtual worlds as well. If you have a minor grasp of mesh and 3d building using a professional grade set of software's and plugins, furthermore this may be your saving grace, the saving grace yes that saves you and furthermore educates you in the arts of custom shaped characters and rigging, character based animated attachments, clothing, weapons, fashion accessories and more. As well helps you to understand weights and weight painting of animation skinning also you can see how to create and add  textures on your mesh second life models, while also providing you with and easy and extremely comprehensive interface inside of blender that makes even creating a more complex custom avatar base or avatar mesh clothing for second life and other open sims and virtual worlds ... So as well you do not only need to take my word on this though I am extremely knowledgeable about 3 d programs  there are other companies that will recomed it as well like  Medhue Animations in second life that have discovered Avastar as well in the aiding of custom character poses, creating mesh shapes attachments and quick animation adjustments, and you can see a video that they created of the uses they have found for use of Avastar for Second life avatar rigging, animations and attachments, located on Medhue's youtube.com feed. I will go through and do a video tutorial in the upcoming weeks that shows you how to use the Avastar Plugin for many different purposes in the creation of mesh for second life. I also am working on a way to get the Go B Plugin so we can use it to texture the clothes and other items created for second life in Blender. 

    I want to mention I am not being compensated for this review in any way, so I am not a person looking to sell you on a product. I am reviewing this product and I purchased it after reading a few different articles and then after reading the site decided that there is no better 3d package to Second Life import and export of rigged and animated mesh. After reading a few of the note cards at the in world store I clicked pay on a vender and received my download link ... I made sure to install the latest compatible version of blender and followed the rest of installation info. Be sure that you also sign up for the blog as the best tutorial videos are only available after you are free member of the site or you can request advanced support and videos for and additional $10 USD  ...  but the basic free membership gives you the tutorials needed to get going quick and right out of the box.

Avastar-1 itself  costs $27.00 USD and is available either via paying lindens in world and or also via the website using pay pal for your purchase. This program does not do all the work for you but it gives you and incredibly powerful set of tools that will aid and assist you in your mesh creation process, also blender is a terrific program that is also compatible with many other great mesh creation apps and programs. If you are a Mesh and building dabbler in second life then this may be a lot to learn as again the learning curve here is very steep, and the Avastar plugin as well Blender will require you 1. watch all of the tutorial videos. 2. Watch some you tube tutorials about getting started with blender ... There are some great online tutorials and a huge community with some great sites such as Blender Cookie, Blender Network, and as well many groups and community's and pages such as on Facebook or G Plus for example
https://www.facebook.com/blendercookie  or this one for blender on G+
https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/115632807910317842467
 
    So anyway I have not went into the details of the uses in some of these programs yet but I am listing and writing here in the order of use and useability as well what people can afford in the creation of content in relation to in world. So far I have put out to you that Blender and Avastar are extremely important as is also the other program I have not mentioned as much in this post ... and that is Zbrush. There are a few plugins that may help with other 3 d packages like Maya or C4D or even 3ds Max, but these programs will never really develop much of a rigging, modeling or animation  plugin of any other type specifically for Second Life mesh animation and creation because most people can and would not be able to use these high end pro programs. Just a little secret here .... Blender is about as good or better of a 3d mesh tool at most tasks then any of the others are. The other programs are great but Blender is Open Source ( FREE), has grown and surpassed and excelled at different tasks these other 3 d packages also are great at ... but Blender is open source and even though Autodesk rakes in there share of the 3d and digital art industry's millions ... Blender being open source with hundreds of artists and programmers giving attention to the code and scripting just gets better and better. Again I will mention that I am not ever trying to discourage anyone when I say the learning curve is steep ... I am forewarning that this is a very complex based group of programs, that also require a graphics intense computer, I have a Dell Precision T3500 Workstation with over 8 gigs of ram, a Nvidia scientific based video card .... This means it is faster , better and more equipped for the creation of 3d graphics then a gaming card ... there is no  comparison but to just make sure it can do what I need it to and to get great render times ....   its a Pentium chip quad core.



Well here is and example of carachter development using programs such as Zbrush and Blender from another blog that I started last year ... from a digital sculpting, 3d modeling and design for second life so stay tuned for more ...  ohhh and before I forget here is a link that tells you more about our graphics machines my background etc ... From my computers to more about software for second life builders and mesh creations called

What I did This Week Online ~ Second Life, Mesh Creation and Animation 

I also began one last new blog that may be of interest to you also and I must say its a really odd view but it is a very real phenomenon ... It is a fashion blog through the eyes of a female avatar run by a male for my online and second life stores. I built her so I did not have to dress my male avatars up like women to test clothing items and creations I make for women. I am writing this from a female avatars point of view with building and designing abilities as well as ideas for female meshes. The name of the blog is

Elliana Inkpen Second Life Blogger ~ Dude Looks Like a Lady ! 


Please if you look at these and they interest you then please be sure to comment and ask questions etc .... I view these blogs a few times each week to say the least. Though the more in depth blogs such as this one regarding mesh creation in second life and other virtual worlds I often check them twice a day, please join our group in second life
Bigbear Design and as well you may contact me in second life via Badabong Bigbear or via Elliana Inkpen doing so with a notecard named :   Attention Bigbear Design.  I also will be adding a mailbox in world soon at our store in Second Life just click on the following link to visit our store Bigbear Mesh Design In Second Life. Also please take a look at our Bigbear Mesh Design Facebook Page and give us a like we promise we do not send or solicit you with unwanted emails and messages.