Avastar-2 now has full support for arbitrary rest poses. So you no longer have to work strictly in T-Pose. You can model your characters and attachments with a better suited Rest pose (like an A pose for example) to bind your meshes and tweak the weights.

Some words of warning

Do not use this feature when your rig has been edited by moving the Joints to different locations. This is almost certainly the case when you are working on a creature Avatar. This feature only works reliably when you rotate the bones in pose mode and then Apply as Restpose!

You must be aware that this feature only works reliably when your character rig has been derived from the SL Default Rig by only rotating bones. As soon as you have edited joints by moving them around (translation), then very special rules apply and bind to pose no longer works as expected! There are ways to get this to work again, but we do not recommend to use this for edited rigs!

About the origin of the demo file

The blend file used in this video is based on an older tutorial from blenderguru about rigging a complete character. The model was originally made by Lee Salvemini. The original of this file was downloaded from blendswap.com but it seems to no longer exist there.

We provide the shaolin blend as is and only for demo purposes. If you intend to reuse parts of this blend file for any other purpose than learning for yourself, then please ensure that you have the appropriate permissions to do so.

Preparations

I have chosen a male character that was modeled in A Pose. You can download the blend file from here:

Download

Click on image to download the blend file

Some of the tools that we need in this document will only be available in Expert mode. So please open the settings panel and make sure that Expert mode is enabled.

Now lets create a new Avastar character using:

Add -> Avastar -> Basic

However, we actually only need the character eyes.

  • Make sure the Armature is selected
  • Open the Object properties window (right side)
  • Locate the Avatar Shape IO panel
  • Delete Avastar Meshes

This will initially delete all Meshes. However, immediately after you clicked the Delete Avastar Meshes button, an Operator Redo Panel shows up in the tool shelf (see below)…

  • Open the tool shelf
  • Locate the Manage Avastar Meshes panel
  • Enable the eyes
Note: The Avastar Meshes Manager is new in Avastar 2.3

When adjusting a rig to a mesh it is easier to work in Stick display mode. And for adjusting the eyes to the mesh it is good to see the eye bones as well:

  • Open the Rig Display panel in the Tool Shelf
  • Disable the Shape Display
  • Enable the Extra bones
  • Open the Appearance sliders panel
  • Set the gender to male

Now we are prepared to adjust the Rig to the mesh.

Important: We will work in Pose mode all the time and we will only(!) rotate the bones and use the Appearance sliders to adjust the bone sizes.

The eyes

I adjust the eye height by reducing the Avatar height in the Body slider section. However, it is not possible to adjust the eyes exactly to the character’s face with the eye depth slider, because initially the Avastar eyes are located well in front of the character mesh. So i used a little trick here:

  • Body height: 18
  • I rotate the chest back by ~2.5°
  • Then i compensate the rotation by rotating the Neck forward by ~2.5°
  • Finally i set the eye depth slider to 23

Initial

After adjusting

If you get different results, then check that you have set the gender to Male in the Appearance sliders!

Fine adjustments

Thew eyes balls poke through the mesh. We have 2 ways to fix this:

  • Make the eye balls smaller (Eye size slider)
  • Edit the character mesh a bit

I have chosen to edit the mesh:

Note: Make sure that X Mirror is enabled. Of course this only makes sense when the Model also has X Mirror symmetry. otherwise the X Mirror option can not be used and you are forced to model both eyes manually.

Before editing

After editing

Hint: You can use the eye textures from the female Avastar materials. Make sure you have the Armature selected, then you find the Avatar Materials panel in the Armature Object properties panel:

The arms

Now we proceed with the arms. I used the arm appearance slider to adjust the arm length to 54. Furthermore i posed the arms just by rotating the bones in pose mode.

Note: I only pose one side of the armature. I show you later how to mirror copy the pose to the other side.

T Pose

Modified A Pose

The legs

For the legs we have to disable the rotation limits.

  • Open the “T” Panel on the right side of the 3D View
  • Locate the Rig Control panel
  • Select the knee bones
  • Disable rotation limits

Now you can pose the knee bones as necessary.

Note: I also rotated the PelvisInv bone a bit for a better positioning of the leg bones.

Before

After

 Mirror Copy

  • Select the left arm and the left leg.
  • Copy the pose to the Copy Buffer
  • Apply the mirrored pose to the rig

Tip: You can select an entire limb by hovering the cursor over one of the limb bones, then press “L”

 

 

Create Bind Pose

  • Make sure the rig is selected
  • Open the Posing Panel
  • Locate the Rig Modify Tools
  • Make sure that Convert Meshes and Also Avastar Meshes are both enabled
  • Convert to Bind Pose

Now we are almost ready to go.

Binding

  • Select the Mesh parts
  • Open the Tool Shelf
  • locate the Skinning Panel
  • Set Weights from Bones
  • Bind to Armature

Indicate Bind Pose

  • Open the Appearance panel
  • Enable Use Bind Pose

Now you can export the meshes as usual and import them into SL. SL even knows about the bind pose option so it is capable to upload your A Posed rig lossless without the need to import joint offsets!

Important: When you import your meshes then please disable the option with joint offsets