A world without halo’s

January 6, 2010

I had previously asked for help in voting on some of my bug reports that haddn’t been addressed by the Lindens – some for a few years. One of the bugs was specific to a problem that I was having with PNG textures having white edges, when I expected a black edge to fade into a transparent background.

Through a bit of dialog on the bug report today, I was able to find a way to get rid of this halo effect. The answer was to create a layer that is completely black behind everything. Then, I created a mask for it and painted it with RGB values of 1, 1, 1. This resulted in an almost completely transparent background, but was enough to flip the color information to black instead of white for the transparent pixels.

Peter Stindberg had suggested a plugin from Flaming Pear (Solidify?), and Adeon Writer was also mentioning a plugin (later found out to be liquify). I tried to use both plug-ins, but continued to get some white outlining on some of my black edges around the text before I found a solution with layer masks.

I’m happy that I found a solution after talking with these folks. I understood before hand about the white pixels, but I thought that Adobe Photoshop would handle that on it’s own. I may have to get a copy of GIMP to save PNG images properly. I’m still bothered that there is a semi- transparent black background on my images (although hard to see with the naked eye). At least my products will be looking a bit more crisp and clean.

posted by Dedric Mauriac on Nowhereville using a blogHUD : [blogHUD permalink]


How to create a conspiracy

January 10, 2009


I’ve been really getting creating with the different skins for my UFO’s. I’ve started using a combination of ArtRage, Adobe Photoshop, and AvPainter. This is really getting to be a lot of fun. Each UFO is a blank canvas to doodle and draw on. It really helps that I have a tablet as well. I would never be able to do this stuff with a mouse. I’ve worked a bit more on the idea of how my game will work, and I believe I think I’ve made it much easier to hash-out and get going. I’m still designing stuff and thinking along the way. It’s going to involve a lot of things that all need power. What better way then to get it from renewable energy sources? Well, back to work!
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Funky UFO via AvPainter

January 9, 2009


The creator of AvPainter had addressed a few bugs that I found with the new sculpty support and added in a few feature requests as well. I must say, the ability to paint sculpties in 3D is perfect for this tool. Rather than having to go through a few steps to convert a sculpty to an OBJ file, AvPainter now reads images directly. I spent a good deal of time just playing around to paint up a funky looking UFO. Afterwards, I brought it into Adobe Photoshop and applied a few filters to give it some detail.

 

 

Painting my Funky UFO with AvPainter

Painting my Funky UFO with AvPainter

 

 
posted by Dedric Mauriac on Edloe using a blogHUD : [blogHUD permalink]


AvPainter and Mapping Photorealistic Textures

December 25, 2008

I’m starting to look into making clothing as a possible stream of new income in Second Life. The benefits are that people do not need to own land in order to use the product. My other products (gadgets) often require land with available prim space in order to work.

I started searching for swim suite/club models to work with photorealistic textures. I wanted to find something tight-fitting that would not need additional prims to look good (such as a dress, boots, frilly shirts, etc.). I found a One Piece Rio Swim Suit at Liquid Vinyl Clothing that may do the trick. I choose it because it had additional holes that allowed me to see visual markers to help with the mapping to a model.

The original templates provided by Linden Lab for creating clothing and skins were horrible. Today, they offer better templates provided by Chip Midnight. I hadn’t realized that they updated their templates and went with the Avatar UV templates by Robin Wood. I had used the templates a few times in the past and was comfortable with how much detail and help they offered along with many other Second Life Tutorials by Robin Wood. I was familiar with Robin Woods artwork outside of Second Life. I often use one of my favorite tarot card decks, the Robin Wood Tarot.

Using Adobe Photoshop CS3 Extended, I was able to start morphing the swim suite model to cover different points of the UV maps. Once a texture is mapped, designers often had to attempt an upload in the past to see a preview to determine if the clothing appeared correct. There were rumors that you could use Poser to load up an avatar mesh and preview the textures. I purchased the program, but was a bit confused with the setup to even attempt to load my own mesh and map textures. Other folks who design software have created tools to help speed up this preview/creation process without the use of Second Life until the final texture is ready. The first that I had found in the past was the freely available SL Clothes Previewer. I wasn’t able to find the software at the original site or on my network storage device, so I started looking at more options. (Update: Found a link to the original files on TATS blog on the post, SL Clolthes Previewer).

 

Desktop of AvPainter and Photoshop to create swimwear for Second Life

Desktop of AvPainter and Photoshop to create swimwear for Second Life

The next item to help out designers is AvPainter. The AvPainter software lets you not only preview textures, but also allows you to paint directly onto the model. Their is a free demo version that prevents you from saving – but it’s enough to give the same functionality (if not more) as the SL Clothes Previewer. Drawing directly on the model was very helpful with being able to not only see where I went wrong, but to start making corrections.

 

The software also lets you use layering for each part of the clothing. I had a skin layer, a UV map layer, and then the actual swimsuite layer. I was able to draw on the swimsuite without affecting the other layers. A tablet is a must-have for this software. I personally find the pen to be much better when working in 3D. The addition of pen sensitivity in the image also gives an added benefit.

AvPainter comes with a default UV Mesh as the base. It’s great for seeing the mapped parts, but horrible for getting an idea of what body parts are where. I started hunting for skin to go under the swim suite. I found a post by Vint Falken about free full perm female skin textures by Eloh Eliot . Eloh Eliot posted many different skins as PSD files with many layers showing how the skins are built up. I found that loading up the PSD in AvPainter with all the layers started having an effect on memory. I flattened all of the skin layers so that the PSD eventually only had 3 layers. Skin, UV Map (15% opacity) and Swimwear. It worked perfectly. I could visually see how the clothing would appear on a fully skinned model with a hint of UV mapping.

 

Although you can smudge the image in AvPainter, it leaves much to be desired in the realm of moving the mesh to prevent smudging. I had to keep going back to photoshop to stretch/distort/warp/liquify the image a little each time and then come back to the AvPainter. I may even have to go back and work with the Morpheus Photo Warper a bit to help with the morphing as well. However, I’ve had trouble in the past with it since it is not originally meant to morph images in this way. It is often used to morph one image into another; not to morph the mesh of an existing image.

At first glance, I showed my wife and she was amazed at what I had done in a couple of hours. Then the critic in me started pointing out the problems to her. Shapes did not appear correct. Holes that appeared as ovals on the original model started to look egg shaped or too circular in my version. The back of the model was not showing enough detail for me to map. The left side didn’t map well either and I had to duplicate and flip the right side of her, giving an odd mirroring effect. Clasps sat against the skin which would eventually require prims on models with large chests.

I suppose it is a good first start, but it leaves much to be desired. The optimal model would offer a front, side, and back view strait on with hands stretched out to the side. It would be easier to map the photos to the UV templates. However, I have never seen any models like this in photographs. They are often at an angle, and only sometimes show the back. The lighting often changes for the back because the camera man is usually in the same area where the model simply turned around. Even better would be if the model was wearing a catsuit of an avatar mesh under the clothing. I can’t have everything.


Back on the grid

April 15, 2008


I have been having problems with my computer in general outside of second life. This past weekend, I spent a lot of time freeing up space and then backing up images of the hard disks. I’ve just gotten the system restored and running second life. There are more things that I need to do, but it is nice to see my life as it were, piece itself back together. I still have to find my registration keys and reinstall MS Office, Adobe Photoshop, VS.Net 2008, and java beans for school. Ah, so nice to be back, fast, and clean.
posted by Dedric Mauriac on Heartbeat Island using a blogHUD : [blogHUD permalink]


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