KatsBits Community

[IMVU] My first IMVU mesh, a simple pumpkin (transcript & translation)

kat · 1 · 12739

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline kat

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *
    • Posts: 2708
    • KatsBits

For detailed "How to..." instructions go to "Make IMVU Furniture using Nodes".
Project file/s - "furniture (nodes).blend"
Starter file/s - download Blender/FBX starter files for IMVU here.

Transcript (E&EO).

If you've not used Blender before here's a little project to get you started just in time for Halloween; a pumpkin. It'll be made from some simple elements and initially textured using what comes with Blender that can be later changed in IMVU Create Mode.

So, lets start.

First take a few moments to familiarise yourself with moving around using the MIDDLE mouse button. Click dragging the mouse with the cursor over the 3D View rotates the Scene and is the primary means of interacting with the view. Holding the SHIFT key down whilst doing this STRAFES, holding CTRL down ZOOMS or MAGNIFIES.

LEFT mouse click lets you interact with properties, options and settings. With RIGHT mouse letting you select objects and data that's been generated as you work.

To make the pumpkin and ensure its the right size for IMVU, from the "File" menu open the furniture starter file ("furniture (nodes).blend"). This contains all the basic elements needed as well as being a scale reference. Once open leave everything in place and "Add" a "Sphere" object; using the "Tool Shelf" left-click the "Create" tab then "Sphere"; using the Header menu left-click "Add » Mesh » UV Sphere".

A primitive shape will be placed in the 3D View at the cursors location, and some properties will appear in the lower section of the "Tool Shelf". These can be changed to alter the initial appearance of the sphere; left-click the "Segments:" input field and type "16"; left-click the "Rings" input field and type "6". Finally enable "Generate UVs" by left-clicking the checkbox. If the sphere isn't visible once its been added its likely inside the default cube. To expose it, right-click the cube and from the "Object" menu (left-click) select "Show/Hide » Hide Selected".

Before changing the shape of the object, right-click to select it then left-click the "Material" Properties button then left-click "+ New"; left-click the "ID" field ("Material data-block to define the appearance of geometric objects for rendering") to change the name of the new assignment, for example "pumpkin [0]". Change the Materials "Diffuse" colour left-clicking the colour-sample field, left-click in the colour wheel that appears, and then move the mouse away from the dialogue to confirm.

Next left-click the "Texture" Properties button and again left-click "+ New". Another set of options will appear. Here left-click the texture "ID" field ("Texture data-block used by materials, lamps, worlds and brushes") and rename; the numerical append not being necessary here this can simply be "pumpkin". Make sure "Type:" is set to "Image or Movie", then scroll down to the "Image" subsection and (left) click "+ New". In the pop-up that appears set a "Name:", "pumpkin"; change "Width:" and "Height:" to "256"; set "Generated Type:" to "UV Grid", and left-click "OK" to complete, creating a temporary image that can be assigned to the mesh.

To do this make sure the sphere is selected, right-click, and switch to "Edit Mode" using the "Interaction mode..." selector. From the "3D View" "Select" menu left-click "(De)select All", then once again to reselect everything. Swap the "3D View" for the "UV/Image Editor" left-clicking the editor selector ("Editor Type"), choosing "UV/Image Editor" from the list, the selection just made will be shown in the work-space.

Here left-click the "Browse Image to be linked" button and select the previously created image from the list (using the starter file, more than one image may be shown). This assigns the image to the objects selected UV's or faces. Switch back to the "3D View", left-click the editor selector ("Editor Type") and choose "3D View", and check the views display mode ("Viewport Shading") is set to "Texture" so the sphere appears textured with the assigned image.

With this done, the Material set up and image assigned, the mesh can now be edited and shaped.

If "Edit Mode" is not still active from assigning an image to the UV's, switch modes using the mode selector ("Set the object interaction mode"). Manipulate the Scene so the top of the sphere is accessible and right-click the vertex point where all the triangular faces meet. If the dot is not visible, check "Vertex" select mode is active left-clicking the "Vertex Select" button in the "3D View" Header. The 3D manipulator widget appears at the selection. Left-click and drag the blue handle down a short distance to create a divot or indentation. Release left-click to confirm.

With the top vertex still selected, hold SHIFT and right-click every-other vertex in the first loop down from the top and again left-click drag the blue handle down to create a wavy or saw-tooth pattern between the edited and unaltered vertices of the loop.

Finally make another selection following the pattern of the indentation around the top by right-clicking a vertex from the waist or middle loop of vertices and add one above, and one below, holding down SHIFT to include them in the selection. This should result in several partial selections around the sphere. With the selection made and the mouse still over the "3D View", press the "S" key and move the mouse inwards evenly scaling a set of slight indentations. Left-click to confirm. Exit "Edit Mode" into "Object Mode" and with the sphere still selected left-click the "Smooth" button in the "Tools" panel of the "Tool Shelf" on the left. This changes the appearance of the object making it appear smooth ("Smooth") instead of facetted ("Flat").

Before continuing save the file. From the "File" menu, "Save As...", left-click the input field to rename the file, and save... ("Save As Blender FIle").

Next the stalk.

To add the stalk, in the "Create" panel of the "Tool Shelf", left-click the "Cube" button, or select "Cube" from "Add" under "Mesh". When the object appears, in the "Add Cube" properties left-click the "Generate UVs" checkbox. Once in place right-click to select it, then SHIFT +right-click the sphere. From the "3D View" "Object" menu left-click "Snap", then "Selection to Active". The cube will snap to the pumpkin. Rescale the cube down to a size that represents the stalk by right-clicking the cube, pressing the "S" key and moving the mouse towards the object reducing its size. Left-click to confirm.

If the cube disappears inside the pumpkin, complete the action then left-click drag the widgets blue handle upwards to reveal the cube and set its position at the based of the indentation atop the sphere. Press "S" and make any adjustments now the stalk is visible, left-click confirm any changes.

With the cube still selected, switch to "Edit Mode" using the mode selector ("Sets the object interaction mode") and right-click the top face of the mesh. Switch to the "Rotate" manipulator left-clicking the manipulator button in the "3D View" Header, and using the coloured loops, left-click drag them selectively to tilt the face. Release left-mouse button to confirm each manipulation and switch and switch back to the "Translate" widget. Exit "Edit Mode" into "Object Mode" using the mode selector, then left-click the "Material" properties button.

As with the pumpkin, left-click the "+ New" button then the Material "ID" field once the panel populates to rename the new Material, e.g. "stalk" (or "stalk [1]"). Press "Enter" to confirm. Left-click the colour sample area and set a colour for the Material. Move the mouse to one side to confirm then left-click the "Texture" Properties button; left-click "+ New" to populate the panel, make sure the "Texture Type:" is set to "Image or Movie", then left-click the "ID" field ("Texture data-block used by materials, lamps, worlds and brushes") to rename, e.g. "stalk". Press "Enter" to confirm.

Scroll down to the "Image" subsection and here (left) click "+ New". In the ("New Image") pop-up that appears left-click each input field, set a "Name:", e.g. "stalk", both "Width:" and "Height:" to "128"; "Generated Type:" to "UV Grid" then left-click "OK" to complete placing an image within the Material that can now be assigned to the mesh.

To do this make sure the stalk is selected, right-click, then switch to "Edit Mode" using the mode selector. From the "Select" menu deselect and active selections ("(De)select All") then again to select all. Using the "Editor Type" selector swap the "3D View" for the "UV/Image Editor" left-clicking that option from the list. The mesh selected UV's will be shown in the work-space. Here left-click the "Browse Image to be linked" button and left-click the stalk image just created. It will appear under the UV's. Use the "Editor Type" list to switch back to the "3D View" where the stalk will now appear with image assigned.

Exit "Edit Mode", create a restore point saving the file; left-click "File » Save As...". In the "File Browser" left-click the file name, add an incremental reference to the current name, then left-click "Save as..." to complete.

Before preparing for IMVU use and export to FBX, the image assigned to the pumpkin and stalk materials need to be saved and converted into usable images. This is done in the "UV/Image Editor".

As the stalk is already selected, switch to "Edit Mode" and right-click a face. Whilst still in this mode select the "UV/Image Editor" from the "Editor Type" list, the selected face and associated image will be displayed in the work-space. Here left-click the "Image*" menu then "Save As Image". In the Browser left-click the file-name field and type "stalk" or similar. Then in "Save As..." properties lower-left, set an image 'type' ("File format to save the rendered images as:"), preferably "BMP", "TGA" of other 'loss-less' format, then left-click "Save As Image" top-right completing the process.

Switch back to the "3D View" and repeat for the pumpkin; exit "Edit Mode" for the stalk then right-click and enter "Edit Mode" for the pumpkin. Right-click any face to highlight then swap the "3D View" for the "UV/Image Editor" selecting that option from the "Editor Type" list. The image associated with the selected face will be shown, Left-click the "Image*" menu option and select "Save As Image". In the Browser that appears left-click and type a file name as needed, then set the image format left-click selecting "BMP", "TGA", etcetera from the format list. Finally left-click "Save As Image" top-right. Once that's done left-click the "Editor Type" button and return back to the "3D View" selecting that option from the list. Then left-click the mode selector and exit "Edit Mode" ready for the next step.

To turn the pumpkin into a furniture item right-click the stalk, then holding down the SHIFT key right-click the pumpkin to include it in the same group selection. Left-click the "Object" menu in the "3D View" and select "Join" connecting the two meshes together into a single unit. Next left-click the "Object Data" properties button and in the "Vertex Groups" subsection left-click the "+" (plus) button to the right of the preview aperture. "Group" will appear. Double-left-click this to highlight for editing, type "Root", uppercase "R", then press enter to confirm.

Read more about adding seats (poses) to furniture.

In the "3D View" switch to "Edit Mode" left-clicking the mode selector ("Editor Type"), then from the "Select" menu left-click "(De)select All", once to clear current selections then once again to select everything. With this done, in the "Vertex Groups" section left-click the "Assign" button to apply the group to the mesh selection. Check assignment left-clicking the "Select" and "Deselect" buttons. Exit "Edit Mode" into "Object Mode".

To turn the pumpkin into a functional item for IMVU it now needs to be linked to a Root node before export.

Manipulate the Scene so the mesh and wireframe cube (Root node) can be seen then right-click the pumpkin, hold down the SHIFT then right-click the wireframe cube to include it in the group selection. Left-click the "Object" menu and left-click the following options; "Parent » Object", then "Object (Keep Transform)" in the pop-up menu that appears. This associates the mesh with the node, which now means they can both be exported.

Before doing so, to add a seat node, right-click the pumpkin and adjust its size so the avatar sits on it properly, and its aligned to the ground plain. Right-click the mesh then left-click the "Scale", "Rotate" and "Translate" widgets in turn to scale, rotate and move the mesh by left-click dragging their respective coloured (control) loops or (axes) indicators, releasing left-click to confirm after each action.

Once the pumpkin has been positioned right-click the large 'seat' node ("seat01.Sitting") directly under the seated dummy and left-click dragging the direction handles or the "Translate" widget position the seat group (several elements are linked together into a larger group) relative to the mesh. Make adjustments to the pumpkin if needed using "Scale", "Rotate" and "Translate" to finalise its size and position, then right-click in turn each node of the seat group and SHIFT +right-click the Root node before left-clicking the "Object" menu and selecting "Parent » Object", "Object (Keep Transform)" in the "Parent..." menu pop-up. So that's; right-click 'Catcher01' ("Catcher01.Sitting"), SHIFT +right-click Root then Parent; right-click 'Pitcher01' ("Pitcher01.Sitting"), Shift +right-click Root and Parent; right-click 'seat01' ("seat01.Sitting"), Shift +right-click Root, Parent; and right-click "Handle01", Shift +right-click Root and Parent. Linking the nodes in this way so the Root node sits at the top of the furniture hierarchy ensure the item can be used properly in rooms.

Once the objects are all linked up they can be exported to FBX. So, right-click the mesh then hold down SHIFT to right-click and add Catcher01, Pitcher01, seat01, Handle01 and 'Root' to the group selection. Left-click the "File" menu and left-click "Export", then "FBX (.fbx)". In the "File Browser" that appears left-click to highlight and type a file name where needed, then in fbx export ("Export FBX") properties lower-left, left-click "Selected Objects" under "Main"; left-click "Geometries" and leave "Apply Modifiers" enabled; click "Armatures", deselect "Add Leaf Bones"; leave "Animations" untouched, then left-click the "Export FBX" button top-right.

With an FBX file now available it can be imported into IMVU.

Log into the desktop client and activate "Create Mode". Click "Derive New Product" and select a standard furniture item from the defaults. Click "GO". In the editor that opens ("Editor[n]") click the "fbx import" tab, then the "Load fbx" button. In the file browser, select the FBX just exported then click the "Open" button to load the file into the importer. Here highlight "Apply scale:" and type "0.01" in the text box; change the "Mesh ID" typing "0" (zero) into that text field then click "Import". Click the "Import Changes" button in "Import Status", then click "Apply Changes" updating the project and completing the import process.

Read more about importing FBX into IMVU.

If textures need to be changed click the "meshes" tab then for each image that needs to be replaced, click the "Edit" button associated with that material. Browser to, select and open into the slot, then click "Apply Changes" to update. Once done click "Save" to save the file, or the black arrow to manually "Save as..."; type a file name in the dialogue box and save. Then once done click the "Upload" button to start the submission process. In the "Product Submission" dialogue that appears provide the product information; a name; a rating; a price; product icon, a 100 x 80 pixel image; whether the item is derivable, is for display, or invisible. Then click 'submit' ("Submit to Shop"). This opens a product page where the item needs to be published to complete the submission process, after which the product will be available for sale, purchase and use.

Congratulations, you've made your first mesh.