October Update

Creating comes in ebbs and flows for me. My life has changed a lot in the last few months, and my creative juices have changed right along with it.

I never did finish that dress. I started a few more, I started some other things, no finished clothing items to report. I seem to be getting hung up on rigging, which i know is going to be an intricate and complicated process to learn considering everything I have tried so far doesn’t come close to working correctly – would help to have a mentor! But I think I’ll be saving this specific task for a time when I have a few days to really sit down and think it through.

Undoubtably Avastar has helped a TON, but the dresses still get messy when you walk (the split of the legs) and when you sit in the torso.

However, I did finish making a wooden chest with a quilt flowing from it – my Torvie Chest.

My big victory with that project was simply the texturing. The meshing was easy enough, but finally being satisfied with a texture was a great step.

I put meshing on the back burner to start creating Zooby Baby Clothing.I found it quite interesting, the massive building kit they give you for texturing and scripting the clothing. The only thing I’m a bit disgruntled about is that each item sold needs its own script, which you must purchase and resell – so you cannot leave your clothing unattended to sell indefinitely.

But alas I’ve yet to finish a product for Zooby yet either. Perhaps when I do I’ll write up a comprehensive tutorial, as its been hard to find one and its not so bad once you get some questions answered that aren’t in the builders kit. I was lucky enough to find a mentor for this specific creation type. Photoshop isn’t my strong suit, which is really the only tool Zooby clothes relies on, so I’m sharpening my skills there. Will help in any project, really.

So as it seems I’m in a bit of a creative rut. Not only are my projects being dragged along behind me, but so has my role play. I think it would do me well to begin writing on here to get the juices flowing again and dream up some conflicts and adventures that I can set off on my own.

I struggle with my blog being a bit bipolar. Creating, writing, ranting.. maybe some other twists eventually. But isn’t that what blogs are for? This is my Second Life, so I’m just going to record it like a little scribe and enjoy it all the same.


A Breakthrough! Importing the dress.

I have spent weeks now toying with learning blender and creating my mesh. This has gotten incredibly easier. Its true that you just need to throw yourself into the fire. Every time I couldn’t figure something out, or suspected I could be doing something easier, I looked it up. Searching and applying for information made things stick, and made things easier each day.

I got to a place where I thought “This is passable. Lets move on.” I am skipping texturing for now because that hands down seems like the hardest part to me – and will make or break my dress.

I skipped to rigging just so that i could quickly import it into second life and see if there were things i needed to change as far as the shape goes. Avastar makes it really easy to apply weights.

This is the video I watched before I tried. I didn’t do all of the painting, I simply applied the weights just as they were and then exported since I knew this was a test. I’ll have to go back and paint the weights more appropriately soon:

I suppose I should explain that I’m making a maternity dress. Probably a more advanced shape to tackle as my first project – but its something I’ve always wanted to do. I’m involved in Gorean role play ( Hamrar Village if you want to come play 😉 ), and it can be hard to find clothing to match the story. Especially maternity that is modest and time period appropriate.

This dress will eventually be packaged as three different dresses for three different sizes of belly growth. First, I wanted to make the largest size since it is the easiest to visualize.

I can’t even describe the feeling when I imported and this MOVING, TWISTING, FITTED dress appeared.


Look at the way it moves when she kicks her legs back! Its far from perfect. The belly still needs some shaping and so do the breasts. The belly collapses strangely when she sits, but for the most part… this is NEARLY COMPLETE.

This was a very special moment for me. About 5,6 years ago I ordered a book on Blender and knew I wanted to do this. Its been a long time coming. I’ve been through art school and then lost the part of me that cared about art. I feel like I’ve got that back in this 3D work.

The other day I just sat on Bryn Oh’s blog admiring her work. If you don’t know who she is or are familiar with her work – PLEASE go in world to her exhibits. It is the most beautiful and immersive story telling experience. It will take you on one heck of a ride. Right now, ‘Obedience’ is open – here is the SLURL.

Anyway, its great to see people who approach this as a real world art. Its awesome to think of it yourself as an art while you do it. Art has always been a meditative and enlightening experience for me. I think this small little breakthrough has let that resurface for me.

So excited to keep things moving, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel for this dress!

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.


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.