Avastar-1-dev-500 (for Blender 2.60-2.63a):

NOTE: The Update is sheduled for June-4-2012

The next Avastar update will come with some major changes (Most changes in the program itself and some improvements in the GUI). We have tested mostly with Blender 2.63a and found it to work stable. However due to massive changes in the program we might have introduced new (unknown) bugs.

Please read the detailed descriptions in this article! Your workflow may be affected (no worries, it will become easier, read on).

Note: All work you made with Blender 2.59 or newer versions of Blender will also be working with the new Avastar!

If you think something is broken, then please send us an email together with a blend file that shows the particular problem and a short description ( mail to gaia.clary@machinimatrix.org )

 

Please take care to read the full article!

Here is the list of the most recent tutorials:

Changeset:

  • NEW: Export with Armature (with joints) now an option box.
  • NEW: Added Error dialog Box, now all errors should be caught and displayed nicely.
  • NEW: all single-name attachment points like Mouth and Spine can be used for Weighting.
  • IMP: Copy Weights now ignores unknown vertex groups.
  • IMP: Baking T pose now reports unknown weight groups
  • IMP: Baking T Pose with unweighted vertices reports error instead of silent fail
  • IMP: Fixes for compatibility down to 2.60
  • NEW: Native Collada exporter (specialised for SL exports)
  • NEW: fixed rotation of armature when importing joints
  • Added support for Collada Apply Modifiers
  • IMP: No longer need to apply rotation before collada export
  • IMP: Export collada also as menu
  • NEW: Check (and fix) for unnormalised vertices
  • NEW: Check (and fix) vertices with more than 4 weights in collada export
  • FIX: Export only the mesh without the armature works again as before.
  • FIX: Corrected a bug with weighted mesh that resulted in wrongly positioned or distorted meshes.
  • NEW: Save shape to xml for reuse in other projects.

Highlights:

  • Avastar Shapes can be stored as XML. So you can import a shape from SL or from a previous stored shape.
  • Option to Apply Modifiers (selected by default). The Modifiers are only applied to the export data. Your meshes in Blender are kept intact.
  • Option to include joint positions’ making usage more streamlined. Instead of knowing that you need to export the armature along with the mesh, you now just can tell Avastar, that you need the joint positions, and Avastar decides how to deal with that.
  • Avastar is again compatible down to Blender 2.60. However the support for Blender 2.59 has been removed.
  • The Collada Exporter is now also available at:
     File -> Export -> Collada(Avastar)
  • The Collada exporter is now 100% native (rewritten in Python):  You can now rotate your Avastar armature as you like in object mode, it doesn’t have to face in a particular way.

CAUTION, Workflow change: Do not apply Rotation to the armature (except you know exactly what you do)!

Limitations:

  • The Collada exporter currently does not export Material settings. This means your exported objects will have only one texture face. This limitation will be removed in a later update. For rigged objects there is no workaround.
    Workaround for static objects: Use Blender’s internal Collada exporter
  • The Collada exporter currently does not export exture images. Please upload your textures separately. We will remove this limitation in a later update.

More Questions ?

Ask Gaia Clary in Second Life, or send email to mailto:gaia.clary@machinimatrix.org

Have Fun

Gaia & Magus & Domino

 

Where is the Download ?

 

  • I lost my download link:
    Please check in the FAQ.
  • I already purchased Avastar-1:
    You find the new update in your Jass Download folder.
  • I want to buy Avastar-1:
    You can buy directly from Paypal (see left column of this page), or go to the Jass-Shop in Second Life and purchase from the Avastar-1 vendor.

Important notes:

  • We believe that we have fixed most issues with Avastar by now. However please continue reporting any issues. Every test case can help us to isolate new problems.

 

  • We have tested the new Avastar update on Blender 2.63a and made some brief tests on older releases too. Avastar should now run on all Blender 2.6 version. The support for Blender 2.5 has been dropped.

Update details

 

 

Collada Exporter rewritten

We have rewritten the Collada exporter from zero. The main reason for doing this was that we wanted to make export easy, and to fix a subtle bug in exported mesh. It is now possible to add the specific features that we need for Second Life into the exporter (mainly because the constraints imposed by linden labs could not be added to Blender’s general purpose exporter.)

The Avastar’s Collada Exporter takes care of following issues:

  • Ensure that all needed bone weight groups are supplied with the mesh. It generates empty weight groups if necessary.
  • Check’s that each vertex has no more than 4 weights assigned. If necessary it removes the smallest weights until only 4 weights remain and renormalises the weights.
  • An optional non destructive “Apply Modifiers” is implemented. The Exporter will apply all modifiers except the Armature Modifiers. The modifiers keep available in your model. You can enable (disable) this function in the properties panel of the File export selector (see lower left corner of the export panel)

The Goal

Our general goal was: If your weighting looks right in Blender for a given shape, your mesh should look right in Second Life for the same shape.

Note that how a mesh looks depends on the shape you are wearing both in Blender and SL and for the most accurate results you want them to be the same.

Please understand, that the Avastar Collada exporter is not a general replacement for the Blender Collada Exporter as it does not implement the full Collada specification. It has been created specifically so we could match exports to Second Life’s importer. We found the exported collada data needs to take into account the characters shape to be accurate.

 

 

  • WORKFLOW CHANGE: We have added a new option “Include joint positions” (see image on the right side). This is the counterpart of the similar checkbox in the SL Importer. So if you want to use joint positions, then you no longer need to select the armature, but you can hit this option and Avastar figures out the rest for you.
    NOTE: Technically Avastar just exports the Armature as before. So if you prefer, you can ignore this check box and simply add the armature to your selection as you have been used to do in the past.
    NOTE: Selecting the armature has no effect on the export. The only way to get your joints offsets into the export is by checking “Include joint positions”!
  • Rotations in Object mode are now correctly handled. So your Avastar may be rotated to an arbitrary rotation. There is no need to enforce that it is aligned along any axis in the global coordinate system. If you do rotate it though don’t apply the rotation (that will modify the armature)
 

Collada Export now also in Menu:

You still find the Collada export button in the tool shelf. But many users are so used to find the exporter in Blender’s default location, that we have added it there too (see image on the right side).

Avastar Shapes as XML

We have added the ability to export Avastar Shapes as XML data. So you can create your own library of shapes and load them as needed in your own projects. You find the export button in the Object properties section of the Avastar armature.

 

Weight Copy & Bake to T-Pose

Both tools where running into problems when unknown Vertex Groups have been included in the mesh. For Weight Copy we have fully fixed this issue.

For bake to T-Pose we now return the names and the number of offending vertex groups. We are positive to be able to provide an automatic handling of “unknown weight groups” with a future update.

 

Weighting of Attachment Points

We have been able to implement weighting for some but not all of the available attachment points. Currently we support weighting of all single-name attachment points like Spine, Mouth, and Skull. Attachment points with multiple names are exported with underscores (“_”) instead of spaces, and we are investigating if a simple viewer patch to the importer (changing the underscores back to spaces) will allow these points to be used also. More detailed information will be provided as soon as we are ready to go.