About system skins in Second Life
Cinnamon and Chai both use the Bakes on Mesh method for applying skins to the body. This is as simple as finding the skin you desire in your inventory, and wearing it. For creators this just means creating skins the old fashioned way, using system layers and placing textures into the head, upper and lower body slots on the skin object.
There are no appliers necessary for skin textures, unless you also want to include specular and normal textures with your skins. The applier scripts for these textures are included in your kit inworld, and instructions to setup your HUDs can be found here.
Because Cinnamon and Chai use different UV templates, skins will be different for them. It is super easy and fast to convert one to the other using the Skins and Alpha blender file. You do not need advanced knowledge of Blender or an avastar license, simply the latest version of Blender. Follow the steps below to start creating! Please consider making your skins available for both bodies. The process is very quick and simple, as I want to make it as low-cost as possible for skinmakers to get on board. You can always ask for help in the Slink/Cinnamon/Chai discord channel.
Converting SL template skins to Cinnamon and Chai
Cinnamon and Chai use different skin templates. Everything you need to quickly and easily convert and create skins and textures for both is included in the kit. You do not need advanced knowledge of Blender or to own an Avastar license to work with the skinmakers blender files. The tutorial will walk you step by step through creating and adapting skins to either or both bodies.
If you’re feeling saucy and have made new skins to Cinnamon’s template, you can use this file to convert them to Chai and to the SLUV!
I have designed this kit to be super easy to use. You don’t need any special plugin for Blender, or any special knowledge of Blender to work with these files. You need to download the latest version of Blender and install it on your computer.
You should not need to navigate the 3d scene but in case you do, here are a few basics
- Use Ctrl MMB or scroll MMB for zoom
- Use Shift MMB for pan
- Use Alt MMB for rotate around selection
Converting from pre-made SL-UV skins to Chai and Cinnamon
Adding your textures to the scene
I have created a helper version of Chai in the Cinnamon&Chai Skins Kit 2.93 so that you can just load up your skin textures without having to edit them first. It is named “aaChai for Skin Conversion Kit SLUV LOAD TEXTURES HERE”
Be aware that this will replicate any seams that exist on your skins over to Cinnamon and Chai, and you may need to do a little touch up here and there. This version does not exist inworld, only in this file to facilitate your skins conversion with as little time and effort as I can make it!
When you have installed Blender 2.9x:
- Open the file named Cinnamon Chai Skin Kit 2.93 with SLUV (NO UDIM).blend
- (file – open – navigate to the folder where you stored the .blend file – double click it to open)
- You will see a number of panels already setup for you. There is no need to re-organise anything in this scene, I have set it up for maximum efficiency and ease of use.
- The panels are:
- the 3d scene
- the shader editor
- the licence
- the texture edit panels
- the outliner
- the bake tab
- the materials tab
- You will be using the 3d scene, the texture edit panels, the outliner, bake tab and materials tab in this tutorial.
- Select the item named “aaChai for Skin Conversion Kit SLUV LOAD TEXTURES HERE” in the Outliner by left clicking it.
- Navigate to the Materials tab and select the aaHead1 material
- scroll down in the materials tab until you find the image texture selector.
- Navigate to where you store your skin textures and select a head texture. NOTE it is not necessary to bake the head texture, this step is here for completeness. Your SLUV compatible head textures can be used on new skins for Cinnamon or Chai in SL with no issues.
- Select the bbTorso1 material
- Open the torso texture from your skins folder
- Select the ccLegs1 Material
- If you want to see the textures without the shiny effect, go to the viewport shading settings and choose “flat”
Selecting up the file for first time bake
- In the Outliner, make the “Chai for Textures” visible by clicking the little eye image on the right side of the bar, and select it by left clicking on it. Leave “Cinnamon for Textures” alone for now.
- Navigate to the Materials tab again with “Chai for Textures” selected
- Select the aaHead material, go down to the “new” button and add a new texture. Call it ChaiHead, make it 2048 x 2048 and leave the other settings alone. Press OK
- Select the aaTorso material and repeat the above step to add a new texture called ChaiTorso
- Select the aaLegs material and repeat to create a new texture called ChaiLegs
- In the Outliner, make the “Cinnamon for Textures” model visible and select it with left click.
- Navigate to the Materials tab and select the aaHead material. Add a new 2048 texture as per the above steps called CinnamonHead
- Select the bbTrunk material and add a new texture called CinnamonTrunk
- Select the ccLimbs material and add a new texture called CinnamonLegs
- In the 6 texture panels, we want to display the new textures so we can save them out once they are baked.
- In the top left panel, click the button that looks like a little mountain and a sun, with a v symbol next to it. It says “Browse image to be linked” when you hover your mouse over it. Blender foundation for some unfathomable reason has used this icon twice in this UI section, so ensure you have the correct option.
- In the top left texture panel, set the texture to ChaiHead from the dropdown list
- In the middle left texture panel, set the texture to ChaiTorso
- In the lower left texture panel, set the texture to ChaiLegs
- In the right column, do the same for Cinnamon textures.
- Set the top right to CinnamonHead
- Set the middle right to CinnamonTrunk
- Set the bottom right to CinnamonLimbs
- IMPORTANT STEP – Save each image in the same folder as your skins blender file is stored before baking, or Blender will not bake properly.
- On each texture panel go to Image – Save As
- Navigate to the folder where your Skin Kit 2.93 blender file is saved
- Save each file with the suggested name. This will be the same as the textures you created ie: CinnHead, CinnTorso, CinnLegs etc
- Important – SAVE your Blender file before baking. If blender crashes or something goes wrong, you won’t have to repeat work.
- In the Outliner panel, select “aaChai for skin conversions” and then hold down CTRL and select “Chai for Textures”
- Navigate to the Bake tab (middle panel on the right side of the UI between the Outliner and the Materials tab)
- Find the button called “Bake” and press it. Do not change ANY of the settings. They are finetuned and setup to give you a perfect transfer with no post processing required.
- You may get an error about circular dependancy but you can ignore this. A Texture Bake progress bar will appear in the bottom of your blender window and it will work through 3 times – one for each texture.
- Once your progress bars are complete, the 3 textures in the Chai column will update!
- Go to the panel that shows the legs and foot texture. This is the ONLY texture you need to save out for Chai. Go to Image, Save as, and save it as a new texture in the folder where you store your skins. Name it according to your own naming scheme eg: “Sandie Skin-Tone 3-Legs – Chai” or Skinname-skintone-texture zone – Chai
- Save your Blender file again to be on the safe side!
- In the Outliner panel, select “aaChai for skin conversions” and then hold down CTRL and select “Cinnamon for Textures”
- Under the bake panel once again, press the Bake button. Again, don’t change any of the settings in the bake tab.
- Wait for the 3 texture bake progress bars to finish.
- Once the 3 progress bars are complete, you should see the 3 Cinnamon textures update in your texture panels.
- If any of your texture panels flip to a different texture, you can just re-select the right texture from the dropdown box. Blender likes to do this sometimes, I don’t know why!
- On the TRUNK and LIMBS panels on the Cinnamon column, select Image – Save As and save both images to your skins folder.
- name them according to your texture naming convention eg: “Skinname-Skintone-Trunk-Cinnamon”
- Upload your 3 new textures to Second Life. You only need to upload the 3 edited textures – Chai Legs, Cinnamon Trunk and Cinnamon Limbs
- Find the original SLUV skin for the tone you just converted and make 2 copies of it
- Rename them and append – Chai and – Cinnamon to each one
- wear the – Chai skin and right click to edit it.
- Drag the new “Chai Legs” texture into the Lower Body slot of the skin edit box
- Save the new skin
- Note – If you are wearing CINNAMON, your body will look strange. This is perfectly normal and expected! You simply need to switch to the Chai body to view your new Chai skin.
- Wear the Cinnamon body
- Wear the new skin copy you created a couple of steps ago and named – Cinnamon
- Edit the new Cinnamon skin
- Drag the TRUNK texture into the Upper Body slot on the edit box
- Drag the LIMBS texture into the Lower Body slot on the edit box.
- Save your skin and exit the skin editor. Wait for the bake to refresh!
You are now DONE with the conversion of this skin!
For future conversions you don’t need to all the blender setup again.
- Save the blender file where you will be able to find it easily again
- replace the head, torso and legs textures on the “aaChai for Skin Conversion Kit SLUV LOAD TEXTURES HERE” materials with the new textures you want to bake
- select the bodies in turn as per the above steps under the Baking Chai and Baking Cinnamon headers, and bake them out.
Once you get the hang of it, it should only take a couple of minutes per texture set to bake out perfectly formatted skin textures for both Chai and Cinnamon!
The above is the simplest and fastest method of converting SL UV textures to Chai and Cinnamon UV’s.
Alternatives processes for texture conversion can be found below, but these are optional!
Converting skins using the foot conversions textures.
The Foot Convesion Texture file contains a number of foot and ankle textures created especually for Chai’s UV, seamless and blended into the lower leg.
- Open the Chai Foot Conversions .psd file in Photoshop or Gimp or your texture editor of choice.
- Insert your lower body skin textures to be converted into the .PSD file underneath the group of foot textures I have provided for this conversion.
- Have a look through the textures I have provided and choose one that is similar to your skintone. Lighter is better
- Once you have a close match, add a new Hue Sat Lum adjustment layer above the ankle layer you chose. Set the new adjustment layer to have a clipping mask so it only affects the one ankle layer.
- Adjust the Hue Sat and Lightness sliders until the ankle texture disappears into your base skin layer. It should fade into the lower legs when it’s correctly tinted.
- If you like, you can do a very quick blur over the ankle layer (Filter – Blur) – the skins provided in this kit may be a little more textured than others
- Save your lower body file out named for Chai as a 24 bit .tga file.
- repeat for your other lower body files.
- This is all you need to do to convert skins to Chai. Create new skins in Second Life, add your head, torso and converted legs textures and your skins will work on Chai.
Baking the converted Chai skin to Cinnamon
Install the latest version of Blender if you do not have it already. This tutorial assumes you are using Blender 2.9 or above. You do not need Avastar or advanced blender knowledge to do this process – I will guide you step by step through the process below.
- Once you have the latest Blender installed, open it and then go to file, open.
- Navigate to the folder where you extracted the Cinnamon&Chai Skins and Alphas Kit (No UDIM Files).blend file
- Double click to open it. I have already laid out the UI for you to use for maximum efficiency and simplicity.
- In the blend file you will see 2 body files called Chai and Cinnamon, and 6 Texture panels that should be empty at this point, as well as the shader editor, a text box with the disclaimer for this file, and 3 panels at the far right. From top to bottom these are the OUTLINER, the RENDER PROPERTIES (bake tab) and the MATERIAL PROPERTIES (materials tab).
- in the outliner panel select the Chai body. (left click on it to select)
- Under the Materials tab, select the TORSO material group. Open the little folder down near where it says Image texture, and navigate to your skins folder
- Select your TORSO texture.
- Selct the LEGS material group. Repeat the above steps to open the newly created LEGS texture.
- It is not necessary to add a head texture here. The head textures for the SL UV will work if you have already uploaded them to SL.
- Check that your textures sit correctly on the Chai body and that the ankle looks good.
- If you want to see how your textures look without the blender studio lighting, go to the scene shading settings panel and select “Flat”
- Once you have your textures loaded up on Chai, make Cinnamon visible and select her.
- Go to the Materials tab, select the TRUNK material and create a new 2048 texture. Colour doesn’t matter. Name it CinnTrunk
- Go to the Limbs material and create a new 2048 texture. Name it CinnLimbs.
- in the image editing 2d panels, set a couple of them to display the Chai textures and a couple to display the new Cinnamon textures.
- SAVE your file at this point, If you don’t, blender will sometimes not update the baked files and you will have to restart the file to see them
- Once you have saved, select Chai and then using CTRL select Cinnamon. Cinnamon should be the highlighted mesh
- Alternatively if you use Shift to select the meshes, select Cinnamon first and then SHIFT select Chai, This will still leave Cinnamon as the active file.
- Go to the bake panel that I have setup for you
- Don’t change ANY of the default settings. It is setup to perfectly bake from one body to the other without artifacts.
- Press the BAKE button and take a break for a few minutes while Blender does it’s thing. You may get a circular dependency error – this doesn’t matter. Just let blender complete the bake process.
- Sometimes the UV texture displays can switch to another file. Simply open the dropdown and select your Cinnamon skin bake texture again.
- When you can see that the textures have updated to the Cinnamon UV, save them both out of Blender as new images.
- Repeat for your other skin textures.
- upload your converted skins to SL – You will need to upload your Chai legs texture, as well as your new Cinnamon TRUNK and LIMBS textures.
- When creating a new skin layer for Chai, it is exactly the same as creating a new skin for any other SL body. The HEAD texture goes into the head slot, the TORSO texture goes into the Upper body slot, the LEGS texture goes into the lower body slot.
- When creating a new skin for Cinnamon, the TRUNK texture goes into the Upper Body Slot, the LIMBS texture goes into the Lower body Slot
When naming your skins for Cinnamon and Chai please keep in mind that though the meshes are identical, the UV template isn’t. Therefore skins need to be named appropriately so your customers know what works with the body they are wearing.
you can also do ankle blender tattoo layers once you have converted your lower body skins to Chai by using the Black and white template in the .psd file as an alpha channel.
Creating new skins for Cinnamon and Chai
I recommend when creating new skins that you work on the Cinnamon mesh/UV, as this one has the fewest seams and minimal areas of stretching. It is very easy to convert your skins to Chai after you have finished working with the Cinnamon textures using the above process and baking from Cinnamon to Chai.
I have provided in the kit blender files that you can use for painting and baking if you are familiar with the process in Blender. If you like. I have also provided .obj files that can be loaded into Zbrush, or photoshop if you prefer either of those programs (personally I paint the base colour map and sculpt skin details in Zbrush and then do the baking in either Blender or Substance Painter)
Once you have created your new skin for one of the templates, use the process above to bake it to the other template! If you paint on Cinnamon, load your textures into the Cinnamon material zones instead of the Chai material zones, select Cinnamon and CTRL select Chai so she is the active version, hit bake! The blender fill will automatically convert your Cinnamon skins to Chai with no fuss at all.
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 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.