Purpose

Sometimes you may want to modify the Avastar meshes

  • to create slight modifications of the original SL character.
  • to use the original as starting point for your own Model.
  • to create static (posed but not rigged) versions of the Avastar meshes.

The workflows below help you to Quickly create a Mesh based clone of the SL Avatar.

Good to know in advance

Important: In some cases you may want to modify (edit) the Avastar character meshes. For example when you want to …

  • Create a tiny or a giant.
  • Add extra shape beyond what you can do with sliders.
  • Modify the Avastar Meshes into something totally different.
  • Join the character parts to have one single mesh body

Well, you actually can do this. But you must convert the Avastar Meshes into regular custom meshes ( see the Freeze option in the Avastar Tool Box).

If you do not prepare (freeze) the Avastar meshes, then you have a good chance to break Avastar and create wild results as shown below:

broken_avastar

Unexpected results after small edits in the Avastar meshes

The technical reason for this behavior

Avastar needs to translate the slider settings into the final shape as you can see in the Blender 3D View. However the shape calculation is based on a hidden reference shape. This reference shape is created once when the sliders are setup for the character. And Avastar relies on the reference shape having the same mesh topology (same number of verts, edges and faces) as the visible mesh.

But as soon as you edit the visible mesh you introduce a difference to the reference shape. Then it becomes likely that Avastar gets everything wrong. And things like in the image above can happen.

You can get over this by freezing the Avastar character. Basically you then remove all shape keys from the character. What this means will be explained later.

Workflow

This is the most basic process of creating a simple character mesh based on the SL Avatar mesh

Step 1: Create a new Avastar

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Step 2a (optional): Use Appearance Sliders

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Step 2b (optional): Change Gender

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Step 3: Freeze your Shape

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Step 4: Join Parts (Optional)

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Step 5: Export the Mesh

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