Blender 2.8 & IMVU

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For IMVU content creators Blender 2.8 represents a relatively significant change to product development process that might otherwise make upgrading not as meaningful as previous advantages over current established version, Blender 2.79 in particular.

Download the IMVU Blender 2.8 Starter Files.

The short answer to asking if Blender 2.8 be used to make content for IMVU is “no“. The slightly less short answer is “it depends“, largely on the additional steps needed to make the files functional in 2.8.

Design note: read “Blender 2.8 Basics” to learn more about the changes introduced with 2.8.

Missing Images

When opening old *.blend files into Blender 2.8 the most immediate issue is missing images (notwithstanding being in the correct ‘display mode). This is due entirely to Blender 2.8 no longer supporting ‘Multitexture‘ and ‘Blender Render‘ (Blender Internal), the default display systems used to display objects on screen.

Missing Material properties, obsolete and unsupported
Accessing Material Properies in Blender 2.8 reveals a lot of ‘missing’ properties previously available in Blender 2.79 and below, now considered obsolete, they are no longer supported.

The fix for this requires the conversion of old materials to the new node-based system, using the Node Editor (Shading Workspace), so that rather than having a separate Material, Texture and Image properties comprising a material, the setting and options normal selected during creation of old, are now ‘nodes‘ or blocks, linked together into a larger group, forming the Material, three for standard materials, five for basic transparency (image based alpha).

Design note: the use of nodes only applies to the display of materials/images in Blender, for IMVU, so long as the normal naming conventions are followed (material names being numerically appended [n] where ‘n’ represents an incremental number), meshes will import, and be assembled with, materials in Create Mode.

The most basic node-based Material for IMVU
A basic node-based Material with 'opacity'
The most basic node-based Material in Blender 2.8 requires three nodes that correspond to materials of old (image, top), whereas materials with transparency, at least to display in Blender 2.8, need two extra nodes to accommodate transparency (alpha/image based).

Cal3D obsolete

It may possible to utilise Cal3D for IMVU content export from Blender 2.8 but it’s unlikely to happen with the availability of FBX and the age of Cal3D essentially ensuring its general obsolescence. To export FBX files from Blender 2.8 for use in IMVU follow the FBX export/import guidelines here.

Design note: export will differ depending on the product type, see here for general details.

Cal3D is no longer supported as an export option for Blender 2.8
Cal3D is no longer supported as an export option for Blender 2.8 which instead favors FBX, exporting to which is the same as previously established – select the objects to be exported and choose FBX (.fbx) from File » Export.

Avatar Scale

Avatar and object scale has not changed with Blender 2.8 so the available Starter Files remain the default reference point for IMVU content. If meshes need to be loaded or transferred to Blender 2.8 Append can be used to bring necessary Objects into the newer version – with a starter file open, click File » Append, click Objects from the file opened and select the items to load.

Design note: assuming previous projects were created in Blender, anything subsequently brought in to Blender 2.8 will be correctly sized and scaled relative to IMVU. For more information about scale as it relates to IMVU see “How tall are IMVU Avatars?“.

Important: If objects are at a different scale to the Starter File avatars, before doing anything make sure the 3D Cursor is at 0,0,0 grid centre and check the Pivot Point is set to 3D Cursor – activating Scale (S) with this done will resize selections relative to the cursor rather than individual object Origins (especially important for files appended or imported into Blender from other applications). With this done a few options are available because the above establishes how big or small the files being brought into Blender are, making it possible to then compensate at export from, or import to, one or the other (another 3D application and/or Blender).

Avatar and object size hasn't change for IMVU
Avatar and object size and scale hasn’t changed for Blender 2.8 so using the available Starter Files, everything remains properly scaled as it should relative to IMVU.

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