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Viva: Creator's Kit & Resources

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Viva Creator's Forum

I have set up a forum for Viva creators. Use it to ask questions and exchange information. Here's where to access it: Creator's Forum

Creator's Kit

A Creator's Kit is available for your use as long as you agree not export and distribute the Viva body itself. Otherwise, it's perfectly fine to use the model to make clothing and other accessories. You can make creations for your own personal use or sell them in the virtual world.

Note: Based on user input and suggestions for improvements, I'm in the process of re-doing some of the body weighting, and when that is finished, I'll provide a link to the latest creator's kit. You can keep track of progress by checking the Viva forums.

Blender. The Creator's Kit consists of a Blender file. Blender is a free program available from the Blender Foundation. If you are not familiar with Blender, there many on-line resources available to help you get started.

Avastar. You'll also need an add-on to Blender called Avastar. Avastar is an amazing program which helps bridge the gap between Second Life and Blender. Avastar does cost, but for what it does, the cost is incredibly inexpensive. It is possible to use Blender without Avastar, but it would take a high degree of familiarity with Blender, as well as devoting many extra hours of time of dealing with the intricacies of interfacing the two. With Avastar, however, all those details have been dealt with and you can concentrate solely on your creations.

Suggested Version. New versions of Blender are available, but currently the Creator's Kit was built on version 2.79. That's because Avastar has a very stable release that supports 2.79. Avastar is coming out with a new version but I always like to give new releases some time to stabilize before relying on them. The 2.79 release has everything that you could possibly need to produce beautiful creations. Thus, for the time being, you'll want to use Blender 2.79.

Showing Alphas What you'll find in the Creator's Kit. Besides the Viva model which you can use as a template to develope clothing, you will find several other aids:

• Alphas. When designing clothing, it is helpful to know where the scriptable alphas lie. These are the alphas that you turn off and on from the "Alpha Selections" component of the Master HUD. If you are designing a dress, for example, it can be advantageous to the user to align the hem of the dress just outside one of the alpha boundaries on the legs.

To see the alpha boundaries, make sure the "Properties" panel is showing (as shown to the right). That's activated by typing "N" or selecting View >> Properties from the menu. Open the "Grease Pencil" are and click the eye icon to show the Grease Pencil layer.


Creator's Kit: Dress

• Little Red Dress. The Little Red Dress is included in the Creator's Kit and is found on one of Blender's layers. Layers are turned on by clicking the little squares at the bottom of the screen when in the "Object" mode.

If you turn on Layer 6, you'll find the Little Red Dress. This is the same dress which is included in the Level 2 and 3 packages (shown to the right).

You can use it to test Avastar's export feature and move it from Blender to Second Life. It's weighted and ready to go and can serve as starter model for other dresses you might want to create.

Starter Pants

• Starter Pants. Blender layer 7 includes "Starter Pants." One of the difficult parts of creating pants is the inner seam near and below the crouch. The vertices are close and sometime overlap. That makes it difficult to manipulate them and even more difficult to weight.

However, that's all taken care of with the Starter Pants. You can use them as a starting point for your own creations, sculpting and restructuring them as needed.




Pose LibraryTesting Poses. I've also included several poses that you can use to test weighting. You'll probably want to add your own, but this gives you a good start. The testing poses are found in the Pose Library. To reach the Pose Library, select the rig and then click the little stick figure (shown to the right).

To show the poses:

Avastar -  PoseIn Blender, go into Pose Mode. Make sure all bones are selected.

In Avastar, make sure "Pose Position" is selected (shown to right).

Then select the pose you want and click on the magnifying lens.

For weighting purposes I find it handy to show poses and then tweak the weights while in each each pose. You'll never get weighting perfect, but the object of the task is to try to arrive at a weighting that looks reasonable for all of the poses.

I won't try to explain the process of making mesh clothing. You'll find a variety on-line video and tutorials, but I do want to elaborate a bit on the process of moving from a pose selected (from the Pose Library) to Blender's weighting mode. That's something that I haven't seen covered very well elsewhere and it's very useful for the weighting process . . .

Going from the Pose Library to Weighting. When you switch between the poses (in Pose Mode) and then move to weighting, you can end up losing the pose. I use a series of steps that work for me. I'm sure there are other ways to do this. I'll describe how I do it, but if you have alternative ways please post it in the Viva Creator's Forum.

1. Avastar Add-on: select "Pose & Animate" from "Workflow Presets."

2. Blender: select a Pose from the Library as described above.

3. Blender: Here's the trick that works for me to keep from losing your pose, use the "Outliner" panel that's available in Blender, and click on the name of the clothing item that you are working on (see illustration below).

4. Blender: Select "Weight Paint." Now you can click on the "Red" (Volume) bones and are able to work with the weighting while it remains in the selected pose. Remember that you are working with the Red bones - not the green bones.

Pose to Weighting

A couple of things to keep in mind:

First make sure you have "Pose Position" selected from Avastar.

Red BonesSecond if you try to click on the Red (volume) bone and nothing happens, you may have one of the "selection mode" buttons highlighted (shown to the right.) They need to be turned off before you can select a bone.

Edit ModeThird if you want to switch to Edit mode while you are weighting, you'll want to make sure that the display modifier buttons are turned on (shown to the right). That's found in "Add Modifier) in the Object Modifiers panel.





Going from the Weighting back to the Pose Library

Return to Pose LibraryThe above steps moves you from the Pose Library to Weighting, but you'll need to return to the Pose Library to select another pose. Here's how I do it. ( Once again, you may have a better technique. If so, please post it in the forum.)

1. To get back to the Pose Library, you need to change to the "Pose" mode. The way I do it, is to click on the rig in the outliner. By doing that you don't lose the configuration.

2. Now that you are in Pose mode, you click on the stick figure and access the Pose Library. Select another pose and continue the weighting process.




A Few Last Notes About the Creator's Kit

The body that you find in the Creator's Kit is is sized at the Underwear layer. Thus, the item you create will sit above that layer. That allows you or your customer to be able to wear both the Tattoo and Underwear layers under your creation.

The Feet and Hands are sized at the Sock layer (same as Tattoo), so any clothing item you create (such as gloves, shoes, etc.) will fit over that layer. That allows users, for example, to wear nylon hose under heels.

ALSO, the feet include the lower legs, and hands include the arms. You don't have the use these extended parts, but they can be helpful if you are making long gloves - or socks with a higher cuff.


Fingernail / Toenail UV Map for Designs

There is something of a learning curve to learn how to use Blender (or other 3d programs) to create mesh clothing, but creating your own fingernail or toenail designs is fairly easy. You'll need a graphics program. Gimp which is a free software program works just fine or you can use photoshop or other programs.

The other piece that you need is a UV Map. Below you'll find the UV maps. Right click and save them to your computer. Load them into your graphics program. Then lay out your designs so they fit within the boundaries shown the UV map. You can make your designs for each finger or toe all the same - or you can have different designs on different nails.

Save your design at a resolution no higher than 128 px. Import it into Second Life. Once in Second Life, drag the textures into the Multi Purpose (MP) Applier. You can have up to six fingernail (or toenail) textures in one MP Applier. Use the applier to transfer the textures to your nails. More information on the use of the MP Applier is found here.

UV Map for Fingernails

UV Map for Toenails



Links to Help Support | Viva Forum | Creator's Information | Comparison Chart of the 3 Levels


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