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Old 03-18-2012, 12:00 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Blender Workflow for Making Mesh Clothing

Hi all...I was wondering if there were any clothing designers here who might be able to give me some input about their workflow in Blender? More specifically, I'd like to know the order of operations you perform to make a clothing item.

I have been fiddling with Blender for awhile trying to get the hang of the tools, modifiers, the process of rigging an item, etc. and while I have practiced these things to see how they are done, I am not really sure of the order steps should go in to complete a rigged item successfully with few issues (especially using the cloth modifier).

I am a noob to modeling and I am so eager to learn (and I often try doing things that are too advanced for me)...I just feel as if I have many of the pieces of information I need, but not the info as to how the pieces fit together from beginning to end. I wish there was a Blender Clothing Design guide that pertains only to making clothing for SL. Then maybe I could get my brain to wrap around the process.

What adds to my frustration is due to my mobility or lack of, I have to use Windows Sticky-Keys since I have a hard time holding two or more keys down at once and manipulating the mouse. There is some bug with this I found in 2.5 and it was supposed to be fixed in 2.6. When I tap shift, alt, or ctrl it is supposed to act like the key is being held until I type a letter or click...well, the keys act stuck and I need to hit shift 3 times to get it to release. I have gotten the hang of it being like this, but it doesn't help my patience level...but I digress.... lol

I know everyone's workflow is different...but any help would be appreciated. I have the Standard Sizing .blend file and have been using it to experiment with.

Thank you!
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Old 03-18-2012, 06:44 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I've found this tutorial series to be quite interesting: Second Life Rigged Clothing Tutorial Series (Blend... - Second Life it explains making a rigged shirt from scratch. The videos are for Blender 2.49, so the interface will be different, but the principles of the workflow should stay the same.

As for workflow details, I don't use Blender except for rigging, but I've found the "bone weight copy" script very helpful - it copies weights from one mesh to another, even geometrically different meshes. Which means that I can rig my item when I've got a decent version that I want to see in-world, but then go back and change stuff on the mesh without having to re-do the weight painting from scratch. Also, making the different sizes is the very last step I do, because if I change my mind on the mesh and change some stuff, I would have to redo all the six sizes and that's annoying.
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Old 03-18-2012, 10:17 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Short and sweet here's a complete blender workflow:

1.make it - subd or extrusion modelling techniques, sculpt techniques (get latest blender 2.62 + with SL residents contributed collada code)
2.parent-modifier/apply it to one of the armature from the various tuts, skin weight it (check eye and head bone problems)
3.unwrap it
4.add a material or more, assign material groups
5.bake an ambient occlusion image (optional)
6.do a test .dae export/import to the beta grid fix it if needed
7.texture paint, bake or photoshop surface graphic
8.back to the beta grid, (repeat * alot)
9.Import to SL
10.Done!

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Old 03-18-2012, 02:42 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thank you both for your responses!

@Jackal - I have watched those tutorials a few times and love them! It really helped me understand how to rig an item, and the process isn't as complex as I had originally thought. I wish she would make more tutorials...like how to make a simple shirt or pant from a cube or whatever method works, just so visual learners might catch on to the entire process from start to finish.

@whyroc - This is exactly the response I was hoping to get. Thanks for breaking it down for me. I just have a couple questions:

Do you parent to the armature before applying modifiers, or apply then parent? Or does it not matter which is first?

Also, I had heard from someone that if using a cloth modifier for wrinkles and such, you'd want to unwrap the mesh before applying the cloth mod. Can you unwrap after applying it?

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Old 03-18-2012, 06:33 PM   #5 (permalink)
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You can use a game controller to avoid sticky keys.
I got mine (logitec rumblepad) mapped to multiple keys like Shift + Middle-mouse and most of the main keys. The sticks move the camera, I can use the controller and the mouse together. Actually makes it easier cause I can feel the controllers buttons and don't have to look at it unlike the keyboard. Combined with a graphics pad = awesome.
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Old 03-19-2012, 02:05 AM   #6 (permalink)
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A few things to keep in mind.. unwrap BEFORE making sizes. this means all sizes can use the same texture.

Also parent and weight before unwrapping so you can add additional verts if needed before unwrapping.

Duplicate and flip normals for the lining is always the LAST thing you do (unless you want a different texture on the outside then in, then you do it before unwraqpping but resizing is more difficult)
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Old 03-19-2012, 09:22 PM   #7 (permalink)
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@Rage That's a great idea! It still sounds a bit difficult for my abilities, but I will look into it, thank you!

@Eclectic Awesome tips, thanks so much! Can I ask you how you make sizes easily (or maybe it's not easy...lol)? Is there an efficient way to do this?

I am feeling more confident now that I have had some feedback here. I can tackle Blender, it just might take me awhile.
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Old 03-20-2012, 07:11 AM   #8 (permalink)
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There's a couple ways of attaching the armature, parenting an object to the armature and applying it gives you the option to 'use bone heat' which can work pretty well for a first go at skinning, otherwise if you add an armature modifier to the object than type the rig name it has mostly the same result minus the auto-bone heat weights.

The newer versions of Blender are much nicer in terms of UI, keep at it !! patience is golden for blender learning

-W
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Old 03-20-2012, 07:23 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jackal Ennui View Post
I've found this tutorial series to be quite interesting: Second Life Rigged Clothing Tutorial Series (Blend... - Second Life it explains making a rigged shirt from scratch. The videos are for Blender 2.49, so the interface will be different, but the principles of the workflow should stay the same.

As for workflow details, I don't use Blender except for rigging, but I've found the "bone weight copy" script very helpful - it copies weights from one mesh to another, even geometrically different meshes. Which means that I can rig my item when I've got a decent version that I want to see in-world, but then go back and change stuff on the mesh without having to re-do the weight painting from scratch. Also, making the different sizes is the very last step I do, because if I change my mind on the mesh and change some stuff, I would have to redo all the six sizes and that's annoying.
Has anyone made/released a collection of reference avatar body models for building to the standard? If so, are they subject to critique, suggestion, and revision? (o.o)
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Old 03-20-2012, 08:38 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Imnotgoing Sideways View Post
Has anyone made/released a collection of reference avatar body models for building to the standard? If so, are they subject to critique, suggestion, and revision? (o.o)
The models

The avatar shapes

As to open to revision...i doubt it...most creators that feel the options provided are too limiting will add a custom size or two. It never hurts to offer polite and well documented feedback, but I dont see them making changes to the existing sizes at this late date.
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Old 03-20-2012, 08:51 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Another trick you can do is this - let's say you want to make a shirt with buttons [or anything else where you need several of the same thing]. Map the first button, then duplicate it down - it should keep the mapping and you don't have to do it multiple times.

I learned this trick when I was making meshes for the Sims.
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Old 03-20-2012, 09:37 AM   #12 (permalink)
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The models

The avatar shapes

As to open to revision...i doubt it...most creators that feel the options provided are too limiting will add a custom size or two. It never hurts to offer polite and well documented feedback, but I dont see them making changes to the existing sizes at this late date.
Wicked! Thanks! =^-^=

My reasoning for asking about revision is that most of the 'standard sized' stuff I've found requires a considerably gigantic butt. I'm not sure who decided on that, but, a medium and/or large with a bit less rear would be desirable for the proportional crowd. (^_^)y
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Old 03-25-2012, 06:38 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Thank you again all for the advice...I have been trying to practice this week. I haven't quite gotten it sculpted the way I want, so I haven't yet gotten to the unwrap part.

The skirt isn't quite as smooth around the hips and butt as I would like. I have added loops, set smooth, subdivided...the surface is smooth but not smoothly form fitting if this makes sense. Are there any tricks to helping a mesh be better fitting the form?

Another question is, how do you get the cloth modifier to stop making little bumps in the garment, and making the waist look like it is trying to fold over itself in some places? I have created a vertex group and set pinning for the top half of the skirt that I do not want to move, however it is like wind blows up thhe skirt and disrupts the pinned area to a degree anyway. Am I doing something wrong with this?

And one more thing...do I unwrap the item before applying the cloth modifier?
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Old 03-27-2012, 09:26 PM   #14 (permalink)
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The cloth simulator can be tricky. I'm not an expert but I can tell you what worked for me in the past.

Quote:
Originally Posted by india_nadeau View Post
The skirt isn't quite as smooth around the hips and butt as I would like. I have added loops, set smooth, subdivided...the surface is smooth but not smoothly form fitting if this makes sense. Are there any tricks to helping a mesh be better fitting the form?
Not quite sure what you mean here. Maybe you can post a screen shot?

Quote:
Originally Posted by india_nadeau View Post
Another question is, how do you get the cloth modifier to stop making little bumps in the garment, and making the waist look like it is trying to fold over itself in some places? I have created a vertex group and set pinning for the top half of the skirt that I do not want to move, however it is like wind blows up thhe skirt and disrupts the pinned area to a degree anyway. Am I doing something wrong with this?
I don't think the vertex group is the problem. I had something similar happen to me before. I solved it by scaling my model to be bigger.

If you import anything from SL, like an avatar shape. You will see that it's actually rather small in blender units. What I do is duplicate my model, scale it up and experiment. I did a little test just now and started by making my avatar two blender units high. But my cloth simulation didn't start looking decent until it was about five units high. I don't know what that translates to (meters?).

When I am happy with how it looks I just go to Object > Clear > Scale. And the model should be back to its original size. There must be a better way to do this, but I'm not sure how. Changing the size of the blender units maybe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by india_nadeau View Post
And one more thing...do I unwrap the item before applying the cloth modifier?
I would say yes, it would be easier to get an even texture onto your skirt that way.

I hope that helps.

Edit: It looks like you can change the blender units to anything that you want. http://www.katsbits.com/tutorials/bl...rial-units.php I should know what I'm talking about before giving advice. :S

Last edited by Seven Paragorn; 03-27-2012 at 09:34 PM.
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Old 03-30-2012, 11:40 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Thanks for the tips Seven. I have not yet been able to try this as I had a new issue arise during my uv unwrap step.

I swear this program will be the death of me!

When I try to export the uv, I name the uv and hit the button to export as a png, and I get this string of error messages. I am trying to figure out a fix for this and can't find an answer. I read a post in another forum, I guess someone else has had this issue in 2.62 but there was no solution offered. I posted there hoping to get an answer and will probably do another install this weekend to see if it works then...

Once I get over that roadblock, maybe I can continue progressing in the process. Blender is seriously trying to defeat me here.
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Old 03-31-2012, 01:38 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by india_nadeau View Post
Thank you both for your responses!

@Jackal - I have watched those tutorials a few times and love them! It really helped me understand how to rig an item, and the process isn't as complex as I had originally thought. I wish she would make more tutorials...like how to make a simple shirt or pant from a cube or whatever method works, just so visual learners might catch on to the entire process from start to finish.
)
I'm glad that you liked the tutorials India. I'm working on updating that rigging series for Blender 2.62. This time around I will add a video on making the shirt since so many people felt that part needed to be shown in the old series.

PM me, and I'll give you a copy of the shirt to play with if you like.

Good luck with your experiments. ^^
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Old 03-31-2012, 11:58 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AshaSekayi Ra View Post
I'm glad that you liked the tutorials India. I'm working on updating that rigging series for Blender 2.62. This time around I will add a video on making the shirt since so many people felt that part needed to be shown in the old series.

PM me, and I'll give you a copy of the shirt to play with if you like.

Good luck with your experiments. ^^
That is awesome! Definitely excited to see the updated tutorials. I know doing them has to be very time consuming, but they are such a great help. Thanks for the time and effort! I am looking forward to seeing the shirt tutorial too in the future. I will PM you also!
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Old 05-26-2013, 11:15 AM   #18 (permalink)
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This thread is a bit old. But, it gets a good ranking in the Google search results. For that reason I want to point out the problem OBJ and XML exporting/importing of avatar shapes. So, far only Avastar correctly sizes the 3D model in blender. All the other importers incorrectly size the avatar. As long as your custom avatar shape is nearly the same size/height as the default shape avatar, that is not a problem.

But, as custom shapes depart from near the default shape it becomes more of a problem. See Second Life Shape Export for a free work-around that can be used in any modeling program.
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