UV Mapping

Does your virtual world need a bit more high fashion? Ask for help or give advice here.
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Taylor
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Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2016 10:24 am

UV Mapping

Post by Taylor » Tue Aug 09, 2016 10:28 am

Hello :)

First of all I am really glad I have found this forum, exactly what I have been looking for for ages.

Anyone, I am new to all this and learning like mad right now with blender and would like to know how people actually make their textures. Some textures are really in-depth, where you see every stitch, every letter on a jeans button, etc. I would like to texture like that but can't figure out how they are doing it.

Do people take real clothes, cut them out and lay on UV Map or do people make those textures on their own. Also, where can I find how to texture UV Maps with an example of jeans or something really high quality? Do I need Avastar for clothes only, isen't it more a tool people use for animations, etc.... or is it because it is already rigged? I am really lost in this jungle, also as to getting the development kits for the mesh bodies at SL ... any help is highly appreciated :)

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LoriGriffiths
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Re: UV Mapping

Post by LoriGriffiths » Fri Aug 12, 2016 10:44 pm

Hi Taylor,
Welcome to our forum. I'm glad you found it, too. I'm not a Second Life person, but from what I've seen SL is very low resolution. The level of detail you are talking about would probably be very high resolution. I don't think it would work in SL.

You can achieve photorealistic details using Blender. You can use nodes in Cycles with UV mapped materials. To get the level of quality you're talking about, you'd need fairly complex node networks. There aren't a lot of people that teach this and probably not for free.

Good luck.

MorgaineChristensen
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Re: UV Mapping

Post by MorgaineChristensen » Sat Aug 13, 2016 1:15 am

Taylor wrote:Hello :)

First of all I am really glad I have found this forum, exactly what I have been looking for for ages.

Anyone, I am new to all this and learning like mad right now with blender and would like to know how people actually make their textures. Some textures are really in-depth, where you see every stitch, every letter on a jeans button, etc. I would like to texture like that but can't figure out how they are doing it.

Do people take real clothes, cut them out and lay on UV Map or do people make those textures on their own. Also, where can I find how to texture UV Maps with an example of jeans or something really high quality? Do I need Avastar for clothes only, isen't it more a tool people use for animations, etc.... or is it because it is already rigged? I am really lost in this jungle, also as to getting the development kits for the mesh bodies at SL ... any help is highly appreciated :)
Welcome, Taylor!

When you make clothing in Blender, you will need to unwrap the clothing object and export a UV Map of that clothing object. You should also make an Ambient Occlusion (AO) map in Blender to use for shadows on your clothing. Usually, you open the UV texture map in a graphics software program and create a texture to fit that map and can include seams, stitching, buttons, shadows & wrinkles, etc. You add the AO map in your texture layers in say GIMP or Photoshop and blend it with your other layers for a final texture. You then upload your texture to add to the mesh clothing object in SL. Often, buttons, belts, belt loops, ties, bows, are modeled into the mesh and may be textured separately.

While you can use real clothing images and lay them out on the UV Map, they may or may not look well in SL. It will depend on your graphics software skill level. Also, depending on the number of materials you add to the mesh clothing object, you can often bypass creating textures and use those purchased in world and add to the mesh clothing.

If you are creating your own mesh clothing for upload to SL, one of things you will need to do is rig the clothing to move with the avatar. Avastar (for Blender) or Mayastar (for Maya) are add on programs for Blender or Maystar that can make rigging and weighting the clothing to move easier. Or, you can download the bone file from Second Life's clothing wiki and do it all by hand.

Making clothing for SL can be a daunting task! A lot of work goes into the process to make a great piece of mesh clothing. And, don't be fooled by the age of some videos or text documents out there on the web when you look for more information. A lot of the older items are still viable and helpful!

Taylor
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Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2016 10:24 am

Re: UV Mapping

Post by Taylor » Sat Aug 13, 2016 9:54 am

Thank you very much for the help and your responses. Maybe I am asking the wrong people in SL but then if I cannot ask in the specific group and get an answer, who do I ask ... lol. ON another note, can I export the mesh to like ZBRush and "paint" the texture on, is that an option?

As you say this is daunting. I agree and on top of all of that is learning the SL language and trying to get everything together one needs for such an undertaking. It's a bit frustrating really and no one wants to "share" their secrets. A shame really ... Anyway, I will give it a try and then make a decision. Thanks again :)

MorgaineChristensen
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Re: UV Mapping

Post by MorgaineChristensen » Sat Aug 13, 2016 1:35 pm

There are numerous groups in SL, such as Blender for Beginners, Builders Brewery, Avastar, Marvelous Designer, etc. and most in the group are learning like you and I. Some are a bit more advanced some are just beginning. As with most groups in SL, I think people participate and share what they feel confident sharing when they can. Yes, you will have some that never share but, for the most part, many often do try to answer questions they can help with. It will all depend how confident they feel. Too often, I have seen those that try to answer questions ridiculed for those answers in group chat, which is another reason many will not answer so they can avoid that ridicule.

Do remember, SL is generally entertainment for many so their time may be limited and prefer to spend it doing what they love and that is creating their items. Also, many are dependent for their real life income for items they sell in SL and there is lots of cheap competition these days in-world for selling products to a limited world population. It wasn't quite so bad 5-6 years ago but when you have a virtual economy that provides real life funds people are going to protect themselves and their knowledge rather like the real world fashion or business industries.

Also, I think part of the current aversion to sharing information, besides another competitor to their creations, is I have seen it time and time again there are many lazy cheap people in SL. They do not wish to work for nor invest in learning their skills, they want it all given to them, refuse to share back in return, and they want it all for FREE. They feel like they are OWED that information and it should be freely given by those who have spent countless hours and real world money learning the same skills. Learning 3D modeling is not a skill set you acquire in a day or even a year...the work flow for making mesh clothing specifically for SL is very intense and requires a multiple skill set and usually varying software. I can truly understand why some do not wish to share knowledge with those type of people and how easily it is to become jaded. It makes those of us that really wish to learn, do put in the time and effort, and are appreciative hard pressed to learn anything!

I know of a several people who put hundreds and thousands of personal hours into educating themselves the necessary skill set, creating lessons, then teaching others on a donation basis. These people were lucky if 1 out of 5 people paid 50L (.20 cents USD...not dollars but cents) to those who were teaching...the cost vs gain of teaching didn't allow the teachers to even break even most of the time. Few students even said a "Thank you", but complained or constantly were IMing these teachers to answer questions all the time these folks were online allowing the teachers to not enjoy their time online. You can only do a labor of love so long before it becomes a chore in that particular atmosphere. So, most have quit teaching, which is extremely sad because they had lots of wonderful information to share.

I would challenge you to be a part of the solution and document your journey and blog it! You can document your search on UV Maps and texturing...there is little out there I think and an excellent way to be part of the solution. Share what you have/are learning for others out there looking for information as well. It is what I have done in my paltry attempt to change the general SL attitude regarding creation and sharing.

The good news is there ARE resources out there, although some may be dated but still provide a firm foundation. You just have to research and keep researching deeply to find what you need. And, sometimes, you just have to experiment yourself and do the best you can. YouTube has some good videos...Lori's videos regarding MD on YouTube or FearlessMaker are some of the best out there. I list a few things on my blog and a few resources as they relate to Blender, MD, or SL...they are older now because I have limited time like most, who do this for a hobby. It doesn't mean I don't want to or won't share it simply means I don't have the time, am involved in learning to add to my skill set, or busy working in RL to support my SL hobbies not to mention caring for an elderly mother. Time is very precious to me as I am sure it is to others in SL.

If you trying to learn Blender and are having trouble with it, I suggest you invest in a 3D modeling course. Udemy has an excellent one for beginners Learn 3D Modelling - The Complete Blender Creator Course and takes you through projects, albeit they are on modeling not mesh clothing or SL specific but, will help you know more about Blender. I know I am really enjoying the course and have really advanced my knowledge...the best $47.00 USD I have ever spent! But, it sounds like you may know ZBrush, so l do know that on YouTube, there use to be some tutorial by EZ Hexagon on MD and ZBrush, although they are not SL specific and I don't believe you can rig in Zbrush...for that you will need Blender or Maya. Also, the SL Creation Wiki has some great resources that might be of use to you. The SL Forums can also be useful in asking and answering questions.

Sure, you can export your models and use ZBrush to create your textures if you wish. I believe you may have to export new UV maps from ZBrush, but I am not a ZBrush user. While I am not sure, you will have to find someone with more expertise on that front, you probably will still need to upload the texture separately and add it to your creation in-world. I do know that adding colors for your materials on different areas of the mesh will upload with those colors applied to the mesh. You can probably do the same with a texture although I have never experimented or tried this method. I am more about using in-world textures than strictly using UV map textures but that depends on how you set up your mesh clothing. I suggest you experiment with something simple with ZBrush and try up loading it on the SL Beta grid, where there is no cost for temporary uploads.

Sorry for the Saturday morning vent! I know both sides of the SL creation "sharing" issue quite well and it irritates me to no end. But, then again, it is an issue these days in RL as well.

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