Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Tura is putting off learning to make mesh.

Picture from

I want to make one of these for the cloudhopper balloon. The obvious way is as mesh. That will make it deform appropriately as the avatar moves. The only other way to achieve that would be to make it as system clothing, a mere texture painted onto the avatar. But that wouldn't blend well into the straps the wearer hangs from.

For mesh, though, I'd have to learn Blender or 3DSMax. I already know about mesh and rigging and UV mapping in theory, but done very little of it in practice. And then there's the shortcomings of mesh clothing as it exists in Second Life. It doesn't automatically fit to the avatar shape, and isn't resizeable by the end user, so if I want to sell this rather than just make one for myself, I would have to offer it in many shapes and sizes.

The place where deformation with body posture is really needed is the connection of the harness to the leg straps. From the waist upwards it could be made completely rigid without much problem. So at the moment I'm putting off diving into the tarpit of mesh by drafting an upper-body sculpt, fitted to about twenty measurements taken from my own body.

This is a mockup in Matlab, passing a spline through the red control points and extruding a strap cross-section along it. The junctions with the belt need more work.

I can see I might end up writing Matlab code to generate Collada format mesh directly, bypassing Blender.

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