Second Life Design

Second Life Design
See my Meshed Up Second Life

Friday, November 29, 2013

Intro to Using Blender to design second life mesh that is rigged and skinned to animate with your Second Life Avatar !

Long Title and well this first post of this series  I will keep short and sweet about the use of blender for mesh design in second life but I need to stress more the avatar development plugin called Avastar. First off I will tell you that there are  other programs that I have always preferred over blender .... But you may ask for what reason would you like these other programs more when blender is open source and free. Well the main reason is that 3d modeling, rendering and animation is taught and pushed by companies such as Zbrush Pixologic and Autodesk as well the Adobe creative suite. So if you want to work in that industry you have to work in the creative tools and pipelines that they have created for both movies and video games.  But even with that being said yes these others have great tools , but so does blender and now that I have spent a few days in blender again just doing refreshers ... well honestly even if not my first choice Blender is a great tool that is just as good as Autodesk or Maxon tools for the most part. Plus there is another plugin I have already mentioned that is critical to being a designer that uses Blender for second life clothing and animation  and that is Avastar ....  the link is in the previous post and its also listed on google. Avastar is a paid plugin that is simple to install and as well you could do some things without it when it comes to design and animation but what you cannot do without it is the bigger issue here. For example you can upload your male or female avatar shape right into the blend file ... Thus the clothes you create are basically now custom to your avatar ... as well you can now create multiple versions of the clothes for your shops etc .... with just the addition of a few extra steps instead of per say a few hours of time and steps.  Here is a screen shot of and avatar shape from Badabong Bigbear that I saved as and xml file from export out of the Phoenix viewer.

Here and above you can see the avatar is now a shape of a male and I can alter his shape using any of the sliders that I have circled in red and when I do so just like Second Life the shape of my avatar will change here in this .blend file ...   when I save and attachment and prepare to move it into Second life though ... It will be exported using the avastar plugin to a collada file and will include all the weights needed , and be rigged if I choose it to be. But the great thing here is that I do not have to depend on blender for this or use a work around or even rely on having to learn how to set up a rig on my own ... Yes I do know how to do this as well in Maya and in 3ds Max and Blender ...  but that is besides the point and as well yes there is a bit of work to it if you are new to 3d.  The whole point here is that our custom consoles and plugin is very easy to work with has all the add on bells and whistles and for the most part is all the extra you need for basic design and manipulations from animations to clothing and attachments. I have the Package adjustment circled because well it cracks me up ... I mean come on there genitals that are located there ... In art people that cannot get over this normally can end up ... aww never mind get your minds out of the gutter. 


Here above you see how easy it is to actually pose and avatar in Avastar and Blender and this will be correct to the right height and as well at zero point as in relation to you in your viewer. laoding the avatars exact size and then posing took less then 5 minutes they could be exported and uploaded to second life just as fast .....  So all in all this is a extreme power tool for mesh, and blender with ongoing development it makes the Avastar plugin well worth the 7000 lindens to purchase it. Yes second life mesh is a whole new breed of animal but with it the grid can evolve and be even more intense and fun to experience and explore. I will continue writing about it and showing more uses in the next post this week showing you the weight mapping features, as well how Avastar can be used with second life and blender for clothing animation and rigging, Also I will work on a work flow tutorial and maybe even include the workflow as if it is a video game pipeline including zbrush as well other game building apps that first off can and will aid us in mesh development and second off aid in alternate work flows to the process of designing mesh clothes for second life with more detail, great textures and ease of use for the digital art pipeline for second life.