Starting my first dress & Viewing Avatar Workbench Layers

I’m about 26 videos in to BornCG‘s evolving series, and I have to say, I’m learning a lot! As I started taking in more and more information, it became clear that not only was it essential for me to be following along in blender, but I had to start working on my own projects where these techniques don’t apply as clearly.

Mainly, I realized that I was taking in information for the sole purpose of understanding that each of the things that he was talking about was possible within blender. When I went to go begin my first dress, i knew for instance that I could subdivide. I may not have remembered off the bat what the keyboard shortcut was, but learning the capabilities and tricks i am able to use has helped a lot.

And yes, you heard me right! I started my first dress. Don’t get too excited. All I’ve got so far is a bunch of contorted squares.

First, as we discussed before, I downloaded and opened Avatar Workbench.

For some reason, when I first started, I thought it was a good idea to make a dress like this: (THIS IS THE WRONG WAY)

  • make a long plane the length of the avatar in front of her
  • use the knife tool to cut out the shape of the waist, sleeves, curves
  • copy and paste it behind the avatar and connect the two
  • subdivide and.. move vertexes around?

No! It was just a glorified box.

Then i tried to: (ANOTHER WRONG WAY)

  • make a cylinder the length of the avatar that she fit inside
  • subdivide and resize the loops to make a better shape

To be honest with you, I can’t tell you for certain that either of these ways are wrong, but I knew I wasn’t getting any results and I was missing something.

Another search for ‘Blender Dress’ brought me this video: The Wedding Dress.

Now, its kind of hard to get through. Its i think a three or four video series and its long, and the video itself isn’t great quality and moves slow. BUT – i learned some things that I haven’t seen yet in BornCG’s videos, mainly the Shrinkwrap Modifier. I haven’t by any means mastered it, I’m actually not getting anywhere near the results he has. But I’m working on it!

My cylinder hunch was right, at least for the skirt area. So I’m trying to figure it all out now. Who knows, maybe I’ll even record a video when I figure out how to get a good result. But for now there was one thing I was confused about that I think I should address. It was hard for me to figure out where this ‘skirt’ piece was that was clearly appearing in the top right hand list of layers but nowhere in sight.

dresslayer

There it is, those little dots at the bottom (I figured that out myself!). You’ll also find another woman avatar, a male avatar, and their bones below it.

Want to show the avatar wearing the skirt and hair? Good ol’ shift click will do it for you.

I’m going to keep playing around and faithfully watch at least two video’s a day until I get all caught up. When I hit a breakthrough, you better bet it will be here.

Repeat after me: You must learn a program before you master the skill it is made for!

Just a quick update here to remind myself in the future, and anyone else ready to hop into working with blender for second life – learning the program is mandatory! I’m intensely glad I didn’t just hop into Blender and set off to make my first item of clothing for second life. I’m sure something would have been made but a) I’m sure it would have been countless frustrated hours doing things I could have done in 2 minutes and b) the items would have just been plain bad.

I’m 10 lessons into BornCG’s video’s on YouTube. This man is amazing! The videos move quickly and I’ve learned so much in these past four days I can’t even imagine what I was thinking before. I even made a bunny!

Right now there are 49 lessons in the series, and he keeps them coming! The last one was uploaded 2 weeks ago. I am beyond thrilled to basically have an ongoing class to keep up my skill.

Many of these lessons don’t directly apply to what I’m trying to do. Adding fonts to the scene right now are not really that important. But I may need them someday (hopefully for a virtual storefront!) and learning more about the program as a whole is helping a ton. Imagine a world where we know what all of the buttons in blender do! eeee.

I’m very tempted, with all of my new knowledge, to just put it to the test. But I see lessons 35+ are about rigging and bones, which I know is going to be important to what I want to do. Those videos are based around minecraft, but I hope they’ll be useful for second life – we shall see!

I’m going to keep plugging away and maybe make some noob items to fill my little world before I head mouse first into clothing.

The fire is lit! Now I just have to keep it going long enough to complete the first item I’m proud of.

Here’s a link again to the videos! 

The Haitus Ends

No matter what, it always happens. I’m really into something and then it just drops unexpectedly and I don’t come back for months. But I come back! And I’m grateful to have recorded the very small but important gains I made months ago so that I can start again right where I left off.

Second Life is tricky. Its the friendships that keep it worth signing in. Ya lose that, then the game is over.

Luckily I’ve found a new nest for myself, and I hope to give this project the attention that both it and I need.

Time to re-watch those videos and get back on track!