About mesh clothing for Cinnamon & Chai
Mesh clothing is made for Cinnamon and Chai. Both bodies are identical in shape and weighting. Mesh creators are provided with a kit that includes a body shape for each foot height. We encourage you to use the FLAT FOOT height for building your mesh clothing, unless you are specifically making high heeled shoes. The Kitten, Mid, High and Pointe bodies have bone weighting adjusted to work with the feet animations in SL so they are only recommended for heeled shoes.
In the kit you will find 2 .blend files, 5 .dae files (one for each foot type to be imported into Maya or the Avastar devkit manager) and an avatar for Marvelous Designer.
I have provided kits for both Blender 2.79 and Blender 2.93, however it is highly recommended that you use Blender 2.9x and Avastar 2.9x as this is the most mature version of these tools and this kit. Cinnamon was built in Blender and is best supported in Blender. You can use the files in other programs but I cannot guarantee success or support for them. There is no Blender “vanilla” version of this dev kit – if you are using Blender, you need to also be using Avastar.
Creating or adapting clothing
Please follow the instructions below to adapt or create clothing for Cinnamon and Chai:
- Create a copy of the kit file you want to use OR open Blender and use your Devkit Manager to create a new scene with the CinnamonChai body mesh
- Save your new .blend scene into the appropriate folder. TIP – I create a new folder for each item or outfit where I save everything related to that item so I can find it again when I need it.
- Once saved, start on your new item:
- Create a new clothing item from scratch in Blender
- -or- Import an obj file from Marvelous designer or other software
- -or- Append an object from a previous blender file if you are converting something you already created for another body (in this tutorial I will adapt the Slink Skylar set to Cinnamon and Chai, based on the Original fit garment)
- Once your garment is complete and fitting properly to the body mesh, UV Unwrap it (if it isn’t already unwrapped – no need to repeat this if the garment is an imported finished piece from another body. Save yourself some time and headache)
- You can texture your item now -or- after you have finished fitting it. If you have previously created UV and textures for this item in another body kit, do not repeat this work.
- If you have appended the clothing mesh from another developers kit, make sure you have deleted all armature modifiers, and all vertex groups before the next step
- Select your garment and then select the CinnamonChai Avastar rig.
- Navigate to the avastar panel in the menu (press N to bring up the menu, find the avastar panel)
- Navigate to the Skinning section of the avastar panel.
- Your skinning panel may warn you in a red bar of “rotated items”. If this is the case, you must select your garment and go to Object – Apply – All Transforms. This will reset the location, rotation and scale of your item back to 0 and you will be able to proceed with the bind.
- In the skinning panel change the Method to “Copy from Meshes” which will make some more options appear.
- Make sure the Mapping is set to “Nearest Face Interpolated” – I find this option produces the best, most accurate and smoothest results.
- Under Copy weight from select the Cinnamon Chai Flat Foot Mesh. TIP – When working on items other than shoes, you should always build and weight around the flat foot mesh as it has the most accurate weighting compared to the body in SL. The other foot mesh bodies are adapted for building shoes that work with the animations inworld and should only be used for high heeled shoe type items. See the shoe creators tutorial for details
- Leave all the other menu options as they are default
- Press the “bind to armature” button and let avastar do it’s thing. Depending on the complexity of the garment this could be a few seconds to a minute. When the bind is complete, the garment will have moved in the outliner to appear below the rig.
- Check that the bind has worked by picking a bone in Pose Mode and rotating it, making sure your item rotates with it.
- Check the fit of your clothing by moving some of the sliders up and down. TIP – I check the breast, butt, belly, saddle and muscle sliders.
- Tweak your weights as needed for smooth movement and slider response.
- Put the garment into Weight Paint Mode, set it to Vertex Select mode using V
- Select all the vertices using A so they appear yellow as selected
- Under the Weight menu, select Smooth.
- In the context menu that pops up, change the Subset from Active Group to All Groups
- Select Weight – Limit total.
- Leave the defaults alone in the context menu.
- Repeat the above steps a couple more times and check your sliders again. This is usually sufficient editing to make the clothing look nice and move smoothly inworld.
- Check sliders and movement, tweak weights and export your garment as an avastar.dae format.
- Note – If you have edited your mesh clothing AFTER binding it to the rig, Avastar will require you to update the bind before you can export it. This will show as a red bar over the Update Binding button in the avastar skinning panel when you have the mesh selected. Make sure ALL your sliders are set to default, and then press Update Binding
- Upload it to Second Life and check it against the Cinnamon body inworld. Try a few poses and shapes and make sure any clipping with the skin is minimal and within the borders of the garment. Some clipping is quite acceptable because the next step is CREATING AN ALPHA LAYER. See the next set of instructions below.
About Your Branding
In order for your customers to know whether you are creating for Cinnamon and Chai, you should include certain wording in your vendors, and in your product names. Please feel free to use the examples below to create names for your products that will make sense to our customers!
Product names in folders
♥ For mesh Creations –
[yourbrand] name and colour of product [CinnChai] OR [yourbrand] name and colour of product [Cinnamon&Chai]
♥ For skins and other textures you need to differentiate between Cinnamon and Chai or your customers will look all kinds of weird!
[yourbrand] name and colour of product [Cinnamon] OR [yourbrand] name and colour of product [Chai]
System layers can not be [Cinnamon & Chai], the UV templates are incompatible.
On your vendor you should either include the pink Cinnamon&Chai logo which you can find in your kit, or you should include the words Cinnamon&Chai on your list of supported body parts.
It is recommended to use both names so that customers wearing either will know what is supported.