About mesh shoes for Cinnamon & Chai
Mesh shoes are 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 shoes, 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 body 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 and converting shoes
Cinnamon’s feet are animated which means we no longer carry around 8 invisible feet and the scripts to drive them. The creators mesh kit includes all 5 options for foot heights as they appear inworld, but with the appropriate bones already baked into the mesh so all you have to do is build your shoes, and transfer the weights from the corresponding kit mesh, and then place one of the provided scripts into your shoes inworld to automatically activate the animation in the body when your shoes are worn.
Please follow the instructions below to adapt or create shoes for Cinnamon and Chai:
Instructions for Flat Shoes – Cinnamon and Chai fit
- Open the Cinnamon and Chai Mesh Kit .blend file
- Ensure only the Flat Foot mesh is visible
- Save your newly opened kit file in it’s own project folder as explained in the clothing tutorial. This way you will not accidentally overwrite your fresh clean kit file.
- Build your shoes around the flat foot OR import or append your shoe mesh from another file.
- Fit the shoe to the foot using the Lattice modifier, sculpt mode, edit mode and proportional editing
- I recommend working on the left foot first, as it is easy to navigate around using 1 and 3 on the numberpad. There is no need to use the mirror modifier at this stage.
- UV unwrap and texture your shoe as you normally would (If your shoe is a previously completed item already inworld, skip this step).
- Once your UV and texture are complete, select the shoe in your blender scene, and the Cinnamon and Chai rig.
- Under the Avastar tab, in the skinning dropdown, set the Method to copy from meshes, the Target to the CinnamonChai Flat foot mesh and the Mapping to Nearest Face Interpolated.
- If you have appended a previously created item, Avastar will warn you in red text that there are rotated items selected. Select your shoe mesh and go to the Object Menu -> Apply -> All Transforms, and then select the rig and go to the next step.
- With the shoe, and the rig selected, under the Avastar Skinning tab – Press Bind to Mesh and let Blender do it’s thing.
- Once the bind is complete, check the rotation of the bones and that there is no clipping when you rotate the ankle and toe bones.
- Fix any clipping issues that you find.
- If the shoe goes up beyond the ankles as the ones in this example do, make sure you also check the leg muscle and body fat sliders to ensure your shoes will properly conform to different shapes.
- If the item was appended from another blender file, ensure you only have ONE armature modifier. Delete any armature modifier that isn’t the Cinnamon and Chai armature.
- Once you are happy with the weighting, in object mode, select the left shoe and duplicate it with SHIFT D.
- Select the duplicate shoe and go to the object menu.
- Select Mirror – X Global. This will flip the shoe to the right foot.
- Go to Object – Apply all transforms. This will make your duplicated shoe look like it’s inside out.
- Tab into edit mode, select all verts with the A key and then go to mesh – normals – flip. this will set your faces all facing outwards again.
- In object mode, navigate to the Data tab and find the vertex groups.
- Double click on each one and change where it says ‘Left’ to ‘Right’ and ‘L’ to ‘R’. Ensure you make the exact change as described or your bone groups will malfunction.
- Example – mAnkleLeft should be renamed to mAnkleRight.
- Check that the shoe moves correctly with the right foot bones when rotated.
- Select both shoes and go to the avastar panel, under “skinning” and check if your binding needs to be updated. If it appears as the image below, make sure all your sliders are absolutely default, and press [update binding]. TIP – Your sliders must be default before updating the binding or the body mesh shape may be damaged and you will need a fresh kit
- export the shoes as collada (.dae) and upload to second life.
- Flat shoes will move correctly when the foot poses are activated. There is no need for any script!
Instructions for Kitten, Mid High and Pointe Shoes – Cinnamon and Chai fit
Please watch the videos below, or skip past them to the step by step instructions for Blender and Avastar
Step by Step instructions
- Open the Cinnamon and Chai Mesh Kit .blend file
- Select the foot height you want to work with. The feet heights are similar to what you will find in the Slink body but Cinnamon’s feet are a little smaller and a different shape.
- Once you have your foot height, append your shoe mesh, or build a new shoe mesh around the foot height. I usually work around the left foot as it is easy to switch between front view and left view with 1 and 3 on the keyboard numberpad. You do not need to mirror the shoes at this stage.
- When your shoe is complete, UV Unwrap it. If you have appended a previously created shoe, skip this step. No need to repeat work!
- If this shoe was appended from another blender file, ensure you have deleted any armature modifier as having more than one will interfere with sliders and exporting.
- Select the shoe, go to the Object Menu -> Apply -> All Transforms
- Select the shoe, select the CinnamonChai avastar rig
- Under the avastar tab, find the skinning panel and set the method to copy from meshes, the target to the CinnamonChai foot height that you have visible, and Projected face interpolated.
- Press Bind to armature.
- Allow blender to finish it’s process.
- Once the bind is done, check the movement of the foot bone (mAnkle) bone by selecting the bone and pressing R to rotate. Your weights should look smooth and there should be no clipping. It doesn’t matter too much if you have minor clipping as the high heeled feet don’t move inworld. The weighting is to accomodate different height and leg length sliders.
- Check the LEG LENGTH and BODY HEIGHT sliders to ensure that there is no clipping.
- Duplicate your shoe mesh using SHIFT D. Go to the OBJECT menu, press Mirror – XGlobal. The shoe will flip to the other foot.
- Go to Object, Apply all transforms. The normals on the shoe will flip so the shoe looks inside out.
- Go into edit mode on the shoe, select all vertices with A, go to Mesh – Normals – Flip. this will make the mesh surface face the correct way again.
- Go back into object mode. Find the data tab (the triangle with the 3 little points at each corner)
- Under the list of vertex groups, rename any groups there that have a Left or L to Right or R. It is important that you get the case and format correct. Rename Left to Right – Rename L to R.
- Check that the shoe is moving properly when you rotate the right leg bones.
- Select your shoes together and export them as avastar.dae files. You MAY need to update the binding before you export the mesh, avastar will tell you if this is the case.
- Upload your shoes to Second Life.
- Rez them on the floor and find your Cinnamon&Chai Foot Setter scripts. Check that the permissions are set to Copy OR Transfer to match whatever your shoes are set at. Please do not give these scripts out with copy and transfer permissions.
- Insert the script that is required for the shoe height into the shoe contents. Kitten goes into Kitten shoes, Mid goes into Mid shoes, High goes into High shoes. Pointe goes into Pointe shoes. This step is not optional. If you do not place the script inside the shoes, the feet will not animate and your shoes will not work.
- (if you have made flat shoes, they do not need to be scripted)
- Pick up your shoes and wear them with your Cinnamon or Chai body.
- your shoes will look odd when you first wear them but after a second or 2, your feet will automatically conform to the shoe, and the Cinnamon or Chai HUD will reflect which foot pose is currently playing. These poses are static, high priority, and designed to restart if some scripted object stops them, so you don’t need to worry about other poses breaking your ankles or shoes.
- It takes a couple of seconds for the pose to activate, however once it is set, it will not change without some user interaction eg: changing the pose manually via HUD or chat command, changing shoes, removing their body mesh.
- Now you can go ahead and texture your shoes how you like.
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.