Class: Rigging Clothes in Blender. Long post Fast Results

Thread Started By ZeroThe10th

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Okay So.. The goal of this class/Tutorial is give you a better understanding of Mesh in Second life and allow you to quickly Rig and even create Mesh for second life.

I'll be using a number of programs to get the desired effect, and I'm pretty sure most of what I'm doing can be done in just one program, but this is the only way I know how to do it and it seems to be working for me so far >_>.

If you're an advanced User/ you already know blender/ You want to be a mean face and not read all the hard work I typed out. Feel free to skip down to the bottom of the to the SPEEDCLASS
Section where all the steps are broken down into direct, non explained steps.

All of the programs I use will be included in this convenient package:

[To see links please register here]

Now some of these programs and plugins I use are out of date, but they're just being used to teach you the basics. if you wan to upgrade afterwards you're more than welcome to do so.

Okay! Now that we have everything established lets start from the beginning and install the programs.

These are the programs I'm going to be using during this tutorial and this is what they are used for. So you can choose which one you want to install. Although I would suggest installing all of them.

Blender-2.70 - Our general work environment
Avastar_1_1_1045- The secondlife rigging plugins that make life so much easier
Zbrush4R6- For easy topology changing
Marvelous Designer 2- Easy Clothes making in SL

Step-1: Working Blender

Congrats you installed blender and the Avastar plug-in properly!

Let's use them.
Open Blender and delete the default cube by clicking on it and pressing "X" and selecting delete or just press the delete key.

We now have a clean slate to work on.

We have two things that we can do from here. Use the default SL shape or your Custom shape.

Using the Default shape

Adding the default SL shape to the workspace is easy

1. Press SHIFT+A Which will bring up the ADD Menu
2. From the ADD menu select AVASTAR
if you don't see AVASTAR then you installed the plug-in wrong.
3. If you want a MALE shape,
A: Right click on the Avastar bones( The loops) anyone will do-
Go to the side tool panel and select the Object tab.
B: (The orange Cube icon inbetween the Globe icon and the chain icon)
C: Scan down until you see the box that says " MALE"
Check that box and your avastar will become Male.
[Image: nv16xj.png]

Adding your custom shape

Adding your Custom shape( Your shape) takes a little more work.
You'll need to export your Shape's XML from Second life and import it in to blender.
If you plan on doing custom items for yourself or a client this is a key skill to know SO REMEMBER IT!

So here is how you get your XML

Exporting your shape XML

V1 style viewers: Singularity is recommended

Press Ctrl+Alt+D to activate the Advance menu.

From the advance menu
Character>Character tests> Appearance to Xml

Save your XMl to your desktop for easy access.

You'll get an error but don't worry about it, your file extracted properly.

New viewers v2.x
Menu - Advanced - Enable Develop Menu
Menu - Develop - Avatar - Character Test - Appearance to XML
for Win7 - SL need to be Run as Admin

Get from the game SL folder [your path]/SecondLifeViewer2/character/new_archetype.xml
Rename new_archetype.xml


Importing your XML into Blender
Back into Blender select

File> Import>Shape as Avastar.

Navigate to the XMl you exported and select it.

And now your avatar is imported into blender.


Okay so we have a second life avatar imported into the workspace.
Now we can dig in and get our hands dirty with Rigging.

Step-2: Let's get Rigging!

Whichever path you took, we now have a Second life avatar in Blender.
There are Multiple ways of rigging mesh depending on what you're rigging.
For example the way you would rig a Mesh avatar in a Y pose and a mesh skirt is totally different.
Not only that but there are two types of Rigging. Classic rigging( Rigging with normal morphs)and Fitted Rigging.( Rigging with extended morphs)

So I'm gonna show you those methods.


Rigging Clothes

So I'm going to be using a woman shape for this but you can still apply it for the male shape.

Step 3- Importing your clothes

Any type of 3D mesh can be imported into Blender for Sl rigging as long as it is exported as Dae at the end.
The most popular formats used though are .DAE and .OBJ
So let's focus on those.

A- Creating Layers:
Okay before we import the clothes,we're going to need to create a new layer, although this isn't Required I recommend putting things on different layers for the sake of organizing and easy selection, you'll see what I mean later on.

[Image: 2wdotj4.png]

B- Understanding layers : At the bottom of the screen you'll see a bunch of little boxes. These boxes are LAYERS.
If the box is empty then there is nothing on that layer.
If the box has a dot then that layer has something on it. Orange dots are active layers, Holding shift allows you to select/Activate multiple layers at once.

C- Using Layers: Now that you know what Layers are let use them. Select the second box, The Avastar will go away but don't panic it's still there, just not activated.

D- On this new layer we can import the clothing
If you have a .DAE select File>Import>Collada ( Default) (.dae) and select your mesh clothing.

If you have .OBJ then select File>Import>Wavefront(.obj) and select your mesh.

And there you go your Mesh clothing is imported into Blender.

Lets move on to rigging it.

E- I'm going to be rigging this Uniform style skirt. you can download it here to follow along:

[To see links please register here]

Okay, hold down shift and select the first layer the Avastar will come back

Select the skirt and and move it to the Avatar.
These are the controls
Select/deselect all= A
R- On Axis rotate
R twice (RR) Orbit/Free Rotate
Press R then X, Y, Or Z will rotate on the desired axis
It should look like this, if you have a hard time lining it up feel free to use the locations thingie in the green box.

[Image: 28svbf4.png]

F- Now that the skit is lined up we're going to rig it to the Avastar/Sl skeleton.
(Make sure you're in Object mode)
Right click on the skirt> Hold down the SHIFT key and select the Avastar bones( the loops)
The Avastar tab will open up so select it and scroll down until you see "SKINNNG"

Check the following boxes

Clear Weights
Shape Sliders

Then press the ASSIGN ARMATURE button

And that's it the skirt is rigged to the armature.
but look at how ugly the skirt is when you move the leg.

This is because of the weight painting of the skirt, and that is what We're going to dive into next.

Weight painting


So as you saw the skirt was really ugly when you moved leg around, this is because of the way the skirt is weight painted. What IS weight painting?
it;s what gives control to the bone. Technically it's bone heat, and what you are painting is the bone's control over the mesh.

Think of it as infrared painting the hotter ( red/ Closer to 1.000 weight) the bone is the more control it has over the mesh and the Colder the bone is ( Blue/ Closer to 0.000) the less control the bone has over the mesh.

[Image: 1zlwv2s.jpg]

So basically what you'll be doing in weight painting is using the weight brushes in the Tools panel to achieve the perfect balance of Hot and Cold until the mesh moves properly with the joints. Which is why people will often say " Weight painting is an art, that you need to practice"
BUT We don't really have time for that.

Once you know the basic I can show you a neat shortcut that'll save you a great deal of time, frustration, and hair.

Transfer Weights

Blender has a wonderful feature where you can transfer the weights from one object and put it into another!

So with that said we are going to take the mesh weighting from a skirt in the template folder and transfer it to our Uniform skirt.

Directions: Start in Object Mode
1. Go to a new layer, Let's use the 3rd layer.
2. Import the skirt template, We're going to use the "FemAvg_RegularSkirt_Relaxed" Template, so File>Import>Dae>FemAvg_RegularSkirt_Relaxed.dae
3.Now the file will import but it will be small. DON'T PANIC.
4. Press the A key and select all.
5. Press the S Key and scale the skirt and bones together until it becomes large enough for you to see.
6. Once the template is big enough for you to see, hold down the SHIFT key and select the first layer.( The layer with the avastar)
7. Press the S key again and scale the skirt and the bones to the avastar bones. try to get them to match as closely as you can.
8. When the bones and template are matched up with the Avastar bones, press the A Key ( maybe twice ) and deselect everything.
9. Right click on the Template(Always select the source first), hold down the SHIFT key then select the Uniform skirt.
10. With both items selected switch over to WEIGHT PAINT MODE
11. Look at the TOOLS tab of Weight paint mode, scroll down until you see the TRANSFER WEIGHTS
Button and click it.
12. Wait for the Transfer to complete.

There you go!
Your mesh is rigged with some of the best weights around,There may be some errors but, they shouldn't be too bad and if so just play with the heat until it looks right.

UV mapping/ Textures
Before we export the skirt out we're going to need to get a texture for it in world. So let's create a basic shade map that we can be used as a template or just to make things look pretty with it's shading and depth.
Since we're working with a skirt that is already Unwrapped lets focus on using items that are already unwrapped, if you downloaded clothes from the archives most cases they're already unwrapped.I'll show you how to unwrap in another tutorial.

Creating an Ambient Occlusion baked texture map

An Ao baked map is what we used to call back in the sculpty days as a baked Map or a shadow map. It's what gave sculpties those depth and shaded look that could be tinted or used to give textures that extra Omph. So we're going to use it on mesh as a easy blank texture.
Directions: Start in Object mode
1.Bring your mouse to the top right of the screen, when the pointer changes into a small "+" sign click and drag the + to the left opening a new window.
2. In the new Window, Mode drop menu( the small drop menu on the far right of the window) and switch to UV/image editor mode.
3. Go back to the 3d view window and click on the skirt.
4. Press the TAB Key this will switch over from OBJECT MODE to EDIT MODE
5. Press the A key and select all the verts of the Skirt.( the whole thing will glow Yellow and a wire frame of the unwrapped uv map will show up in the other window.
6. In the bottom of the UV window press the NEW button, A naming and dimensions window will pop up. Name the texture " Skirtbake" and the dimensions set them to 1024x1024. Hit enter and a new texture will be created. Time to set up the AO
7. Click on the small World icon on the Right panel, scroll down until you see
"Ambient Occlusion" and check the box next to it.
8. Scroll down some more and you'll see the Gather sample. By default it will be at 5 but with a Gather of 5 your bake map will have a grainy texture to it so change the number to 20.
9. Now switch over to render mode by pressing the little camera icon
10. Scroll down until you see BAKE, click on the triangle opening up the panel.
11. In the panel you'll see "Bake mode" Switch it to "Ambient Occlusion" and check the "Normalized box
12. Press the Bake Button and watch the texture bake.

-Side note--
There was en error with this skirt that caused it to bake twice so it came out really dark.
In most cases when you get a bake that comes out dark you can just add an additional lamp
(Pressing Shift+A> lamp> then pick which one you like) and that would be fine, but in this case it didn't work out like that so I just pressed the little X button next to the progress bar and stopped the bake once it finished the first round, and that gave me the texture you see here.

[To see links please register here]

Assigning a texture

1. Navigate over to the material tab (The small marble icon)
2.Press the NEW button and create a new Material and name it SKIRT
3. Click the Texture tab( The small checkerboard icon) and press the NEW button
4.The new texture options will open and you'll see TYPE and a drop menu with clouds selected as default. Click on it and change CLOUDS to IMAGE OR MOVIE
5.Click on the small picture icon next to NEW and select Skirt bake from the menu.
6. Scroll down until you see a drop menu that says Generated, change it to UV.
And that's pretty much it, Now if you wanna change the texture.. Lets say from this dark bake to the lighter texture I gave here is how you do that.

-Changing the texture-
1. In object mode click on the skirt again then switch over to EDIT mode
2.Press A and select all, again it should glow yellow and the wire frame of the Uv will show up again in the texture menu.
3.In the texture window you're going to select Image> Open Image> then select the brighter bake map I linked.
4. And just like the the new texture will replace the old,
You can go back to the Materials and texture tab and change the new texture for good measure, but for the most part you're done with textures.


Okay let's export the skirt and take it in world

Start in object mode

1. Right click on the uniform skirt
2. Click on Avastar tab and scroll down until you see Collada
3. In the Collada section you'll see a bunch of boxes check

-Apply Armature Scale
-Apply Rotation & Scale
-Weld Edge Normals
-Bone fix bug

4. Press the Collada(avastar) (.dae) Button and export the mesh to your desktop.

Uploading in world!

Okay we're almost done!, I can't stress this enough, when testing new mesh, BetaGrid Betagrid BETAGRID!
Test your stuff on the betagrid unless you're unless you know you're rich and don't care about saving money. Then in that case mind donating some Ls our way? XD Okay serious stuff now.

In order to upload mesh you need to take the Ip test and have payment info on file. There are two IP Tests you'll need to take one for the main grid and one for the betagrid.
Main Grid:

[To see links please register here]

Beta Grid:

[To see links please register here]

It's the same test and the answers can be found here:

[To see links please register here]

-Uploading Mesh in world-
1. Open up your viewer and sign into the betagrid, this is a pretty good Sandbox that's usually up ( the betagrid tends to crash every now and then) secondlife://secondlife_beta/secondlife/Mesh%20Sandbox%2022/227/67/23

2. Once logged in go to File> Upload mesh> and it'll bring up the Mesh importer then a file select. Select our uniform Skirt.

3. The skirt will load up in the preview window on the side.
and you'll see three panels
Level of Detail- Physics- Upload options.
For clothes we are going to skip the Physics window all together and focus on the LOD and Upload options tabs.

4. Shuffle over to the Upload options Tab and check
Include Skin Weight
Include Textures( Optional)

5. Now to the Level of Detail tab, Where it says Lowest and Low change the number( whatever it may be to 0
This will lower not only the impact of the mesh but the upload cost.

6. Press the Calculate Weights& Fees button and wait for it to finish generating.
7. Once it's finished Generating the fee press the upload button and wait for it to upload.

8. HUZZZAh You did it the mesh is now uploaded in world, but don't get excited you still have to wear it!

9. Wear the mesh and wait for it to snap into the proper position.
When it does open up a walk animation or and see if any errors show up, If so select the area and mess with the weight painting until the error is cleared up. If it's something minor like skin popping out you can just cover that up with an Alpha map.

10. If the skirt meets your stands of paint, add the texture and enjoy.



So What'cha think? pretty easy huh?
You learned the basics of classic Rigging and Weight painting. Not just that but Texture Assigning, AO baking in a few minutes. I'm so proud, but this just the beginning! We still have to go over Fitted Rigging and Rigging Mesh Avatars and whatever junk I remember during these classes.
So you don't want to read through the whole class and just want the straight bones of the tutorial then this speed class is for you, It's the bare basic and doesn't explain anything, so use only if you already know Blender and some of the blender slang XD.

-Speed Class- [Image: 19.gif~c200]
1. Delete the starting cube
2. Press Shift+A, then select Add AVASTAR/ Or File>Import>Shape as Avastar(Xml)
3.Create new layer/ move to layer 2
4. Import Tutorial Skirt-!BIkjWBoB!dIYmMQ3v9bbp53YYraWzLSxJrnf_XCUVw63BY9EF8pU
5. Hold shift and select the First layer
6. Adjust the skirt to the Avastar
7. In Object mode click on the skirt, then hold shift then click on the Avastar bones.
8. Go over to the Avastar tab scroll down to skinning and check the Clear Weights, Interpolate, Shape Sliders boxes then press Assign Armature.
9. Create a new Layer/ Move to Layer 3
10. Import the template skirt FemAvg_RegularSkirt_Relaxed.dae
11. Press S and scale the skirt and bones up to a manageable size.
12. Hold shift and activate the First layer and Third layer.
13. Press S again and Scale the template bones to the Avastar bones. Move and scale the template as close as you can to the avastar bones.
14. Hold shift and activate the second layer( the uniform skirt)
15. Click on the Template skirt, hold shift then click on the uniform skirt.
16. Switch over to weight paint mode and in the weight paint tools Select TRANSFER WEIGHTS.
17. Deactivate the 3rd layer
18. Create a new window and turn that window into a UV/image editor window.
19. Click on the skirt.
20. Enter Edit mode and press A
21. Press the New button in the Uv window
20. Go to the World Tab and select Ambiant occlusion and turn Sampling to 20
21. Go to the Rendering tab and open the bake options
22. Change Full Render to Ambient Occlusion and check the Normalized Box.
23. Press the BAKE button
24. Go to the Material tab and press the New button
25.go to the Texture Tab and press New
26. Change Clouds to Image or movie
27. scroll down to Image and select the new texture we just baked.
28. Leave edit mode and go into Object mode, Click on the Skirt mesh.
29. Go to the Avastar panel scroll down to the advanced section and check
Apply armature scale
Apply Rotation &scale
Weld edge Normals
Bone bug fix
30. Press The Collada(Avastar) (.dae) button and export.
31. Import the skirt in world
32. In the LOD tab set lowest and Low to 0
33. In the upload options Check the Skin weight box
34. Press the calculate fees button then upload.
Bonus video-

And that's pretty much it until the next class hope to see ya there ^_^

Page 7 (The above is first post of this thread)
thanx.................................................. :ThumbsUp:

I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer, so this is exactly the kind of detail I need! Thanks so much.

Hi I've download the course file but for the male rigs in the folder are not working  Cool

I want to learn this stuff well and I'm not a mean face. :)

(01-06-2015, 07:59 AM)ZeroThe10th Wrote:

[To see links please register here]

FemAvg_RegularSkirt_Relaxed" Template, so

yay lets see the links, we will then read the tutorial

(01-06-2015, 07:59 AM)ZeroThe10th Wrote:

[To see links please register here]

said we are going to take the mesh weighting from a skirt in the template folder
great tutorial looking forward to trying this on my own!

I like this tutorial very much! It helps me a lot to understand the things.

What do I have to do to change the rigged mesh in fitted mesh?

Thanks for the tut. I am saving that speed portion as it will make a nice cheat sheet.

Can you PLIIIIIIESE update an tutorial with the avastar 2.0.23 ?
hugss !

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