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Getting Started Creating Clothes PDF Print E-mail
Second Life - Chat
Written by Skidz Tweak   
Monday, 27 April 2009 16:08
So, this weekend I took a break from my scripting and decided to try something new: clothes. I've been in since April of 2006 and I waited way too long to try it. I thought I would share some of the lessons I learned. Some of the stuff I thought would be hard, was easy, and vice versa. 

Templates... you have to have templates to work with clothes in Second Life. I would recommend these. You don't want to use the ones from Linden Labs, because they are only 512. Second Life now supports 1024 textures, and the higher the resolution, the more details we can add. There are four sections to an avatar, and four templates to correspond including head, upper body, lower body, and skirt. Each template can have several sections in them. For example the back of a shirt, front of a shirt, and the sleeves. Using one or two of these templates combined makes the clothes in SL. For example, a jacket is made up of two of the templates: upper body, and lower body. Having different sections in each template and combining different templates to make one article of clothing makes it very difficult to align designs and such. For example the jacket I made had a long hose from a gas pump that went from the front to the back of the upper body, then down to the lower body and back up to the front of the upper body. How did I do it? Read on young Padawan. 

Besides templates you're going to need a good image editor like Photoshop or GIMP. I use Photoshop. It's expensive, but I do a lot of texture and photo work in SL, so it was worth the money for me. I also bought the application AV Painter. This is hands-down the best Second Life clothing editor out there. It works with all four templates at one time, uses layers, can handle my tablet, and I love the fact that I can test my clothes before I uploaded them into SL (still didn't stop me from uploading like 20 textures though lol). If you want to test your textures out on the cheap, without AV Painter, I recommend you use the beta grid (Preview grid viewer). It's perfect for such things. It does cost you lindens, but since it's a totally different grid. When you log into the normal grid, you will notice all your lindens still there, and the lindens in the beta grid will be replenished when they refresh the grids data. This is also great for sculpty testing.  

So to get started I opened up the template in Photoshop, drew up my base colors, wrinkles, and shadows. I then exported that out and loaded it into AV Painter. I used the decal tool to place an image I had drawn up prior on the front of the shirt. This is actually harder than it sounds, with no fault to AV Painter. Applying a 2D image onto a 3D body does not work well, especially over the breast area. For the female avatar it's actually easier because the area is stretched out more, but for a male the same amount of texture room is squished down and distorted even more. With AV Painter though you're able to move the decal around and see the result instantly to get the best position. After you're finished you can save down a section of the avatar (upper body) to an image file and upload it to Second Life. 

Like I mentioned before, the jacket I created had a hose from the gas pump that traveled between several sections and two different templates. To help me line stuff up, I placed my initial decal on the front of the shirt in AV Painter. I could then see where the hose should enter on the other sections and templates (see picture). What I did then was use the brush to roughly draw in the hose. I then would save the texture for each section of the avatar and load that into Photoshop. Then I manually added a hose to correspond to the hose I just roughed in. I saved that down and reopened it into AV Painter again to test. This takes some time and is a pain in the butt, but it works and got the job done really well. 

For a small repeating decal like small circles, you can get them to align between the different sections on a single template much easier in AV Painter than you can in Photoshop. I placed my mouse over one front part of the upper body section right on the edge so I only saw half and placed a decal there. I then moved my mouse over to the other section which is only one pixel a way, and place a decal there as well. This gave me a fluent look from one section of a template to another. But this trick would not be good for going from upper to lower body because of the size differences between the two. The lower body decal would be much bigger than the top.

Mistakes I Made
This whole project was great learning process, and the best way to learn is from our mistakes, so I thought I would share those as well. 

I started off by making a jacket, but i would not recommend this for the first project. I would start off with just a shirt. You only have to deal with one texture, unlike a jacket which uses both upper and lower body textures. Sure you don't have to do a lower body texture with a jacket, but most jackets would require it.

At first when I started making the jacket, I thought I would try the Filter/Render/Fibers in Photoshop. I mean, its sounds like a great idea.. clothes... fibers... yeah. Well the problem like above is getting those fibers to line up between the two templates like lower and upper body for the jacket. There really is no correlation at all between the two templates. For example, if I made a line in the upper template, and the same size line in the bottom template, the bottom one would be about 2/3 longer than the top. The center of the bottom template is not the center of your pelvis either. Instead it's to the left. Yeah, they don't make it easy at all.

While I was able to pull off the large gas pump decal on my jacket, I would not recommend a large decal. There is very little room on the upper body that is not distorted in some way. 

Well, I hope you find some of this useful. It was a lot of fun to do, and would recommend everyone try it once or twice. 

Here is a list of other useful links for clothing creation:
Robin's Sojourner's t-shirt tutorial
Robin's Photoshop Tricks and Tips
Jinny Fonzarelli's Clothing Templates Sampler Thread
Amber Stonecutter's Tatoo Tuturial
Nicolae Escher's PDF Clothing Tutorial
Jennifer McLuhan's SL Polo Shirt Tutorial
Tod69 Talamasca's Simple GIMP tutorial for SL clothing thread
Natalias Zelmanov's blog with clothing tutorials throughout...
Chosen Few's Definitive Guide on Alpha Channels and Transparencies
Chosen Few's In-depth explanation of Image File Formats as they relate to Second Life.
Robin's steps to using Daz Studio or Poser to check SL clothing
Making Attachments (like Hair)
Blu Laszlo's Tutorial on Prim Clothing Attachments
Jennifer McLuhan's Mini Shoe
Thread on making hair (scroll down for the tips)
How to Deal with those ugly White Borders that shouldn't be seen on your clothes!
Namssor Daguerre's Free Makeup Kit! for skins
Foresti Svarog's Tutorial on Prim texturing
Namssor Daguerre's seamless texture creation tutorial
Barnesworth Anubis' tutorial on Making tileable wall paper by hand
Whisper Lily's sample alpha channel for underwear thread
Links to Image Sites Thread (some images are free to use, read the copyright rules on each site.
Twiddler Theireain's Taunt.com with various video tutorials related to textures.
Starley Thereian's tutorial on creating wrinkles in Second Style Magazine - pg. 10
Robin Sojourner's overview of using Bodypaint for Second Life textures (second post down).
Chip's Templates Thread
You'll find a great explanation of using the templates by Chip in this thread
Robin's Templates Thread
Thread on using the 3d Previewer included with Photoshop CS3 Extended
Johan Durant's stand alone program for viewing SL clothing textures.

Last Updated on Monday, 27 April 2009 20:21
 

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