KatsBits Community

Game Editing => IMVU Creator Community => Topic started by: EdieMaye on July 29, 2018, 05:51:48 AM

Title: [IMVU] Composite Skins
Post by: EdieMaye on July 29, 2018, 05:51:48 AM
Hello, Kat.

I've been reading some tutorials, and practicing the techniques that IMVU education center offers, (Sadly Max-centric,) Read some forums, and even hit up a Blender group.

I haven't had any luck on my own, or finding exactly where my issue may lie through the text I read.

I've been using the Female Naked Top that your Female clothing starter file offers, but I can't seem to get anything for a skin other than the MCG skin with, "Skin Composite," selected in the IMVU creator.

I create a skin under the bracket [seven]
I also create what is supposed to be the actual skin template under bracket [zero]
Both using the Naked Top, but I alter the object, material, and texture names to differentiate slot 0 from 7. Join both and export. Uploading under Empty Female clothing and replacing the geometries for the avatar's top.

But, I just don't seem to be getting something here. Thoughts?

Thank you,
Title: Re: [IMVU] Composite Skins
Post by: EdieMaye on July 30, 2018, 05:19:10 AM

I actually went back and figured it out on my own. I needed to derive from the female top #167.
Title: Re: [IMVU] Composite Skins
Post by: kat on July 30, 2018, 07:48:20 AM
Although you figured this out can you add some images to your posts to help others understand how 'skin composite' items work when using Blender?. As you note there isn't much info out there on this particular topic so the more we can make available the better.
Title: Re: [IMVU] Composite Skins
Post by: EdieMaye on August 11, 2018, 11:19:59 PM
Here's a breakdown of my process:

I decided to make a simple top for my first attempt at a body mesh. Using the base avatar body is a great template, but be weary of the armpits, elbows, and shoulders when it comes to posing and clothing later. These may need to be edited if you demand better flexibility. I learned that the hard way. Also make sure the ends of the mesh meeting the head, hands, and pelvis remain unedited. Otherwise you can get gaps, and mismatching garments when you use your mesh with other products.

I replaced the skin material on the torso/arms mesh with a body 0 material. This will be what becomes your skin composite later.

Replace the skin texture with a new one. I simply made an image named Body to help reduce confusion on my part. Just un-check skin. Do not delete! Make sure your Dimensions match the skin's dimensions. (X=256 Y=512)

Double check your UV map. One should already be provided if you are using Kat's Clothing blender file.

This is an example of what all the pros on the forums mean when they say, "Map your mesh to the skin." (Sorry, but I mixed up the arms. They're actually opposite to what I have typed in this image.)

Once it all checks out and you are happy with your body's shape select the mesh first then hold shift and select the armature rig. Make sure you are in Object mode for both rig and mesh.

Export as usual. Make sure you check Selected objects under, "Main." Deselect Apply Modifiers under, "Geometries." Deselect Add Leaf Bones under, "Armatures." And, if you don't have any animations you desire just simply un-check the Baked Animation box under, "Animation."

I open IMVU and select Derive new product. I use the top mesh 167. The Yellow Baby Tee.

This Derivable Female top provides a skin template under the slot numbered seven which is what IMVU protocol utilizes when you make a skin composite.

Make sure when you import your mesh that you replace the torso of the avatar, "Mesh ID 2," with your own version. Also make sure your, "Apply Scale," setting is set to .01 otherwise you will have some massive proportion issues.

If you are replacing more parts than just the torso make sure to hide them using the configuration menu before you import anything to help reduce on complications during importation.

Once your preparations are finished import the mesh. It should look something like this on your avatar. The color matches whatever you had for your diffuse color within Blender for the mesh.

Lastly be sure to check the box for Skin Composite underneath the material tab matching your mesh's material number slot 0. It is extremely important you use the blackest of black opacities you can muster otherwise your diffuse color from blender will have a faint appearance over the skin composite.

If everything imported correctly your end result should look something like this.

This is only one method and I know there are more out there, but this should be a great way to get you started on your journey of Blender meets body meshing. To add clothing you will have to make each piece with a material slot in sequential order starting after 0, but DO NOT replace the skin material slot in 7. Also the Mesh IDs of the clothing when imported can not match any part of the body. (So use any number exceeding 15 or so to be safe.)
Title: Re: [IMVU] Composite Skins
Post by: kat on August 12, 2018, 12:18:34 AM
Oh wow, was not expecting that much info, excellent!

Questions: the difference between Skin Composites and normal clothing in a general is that the latter (clothing meshes) do not reveal the underlying avatar mesh unless it's included in the export from Blender (which then means the Users 'skin' doesn't work on those bits that are included)?

So if you wanted to create a foofy top that was transparent so the Users avatar could be seen underneath you'd mesh the top in Blender as normal, export, then once imported into IMVU, enable "Skin Composite" - with an appropriate grey-scale material mask image assigned to the mesh - to see the effect? In other words, Skin Composites are not just limited to skin-tight meshes?

Clothing starter file is available here (https://www.katsbits.com/smforum/index.php?topic=960.0).
Title: Re: [IMVU] Composite Skins
Post by: EdieMaye on August 12, 2018, 03:09:50 AM
Thank you for the compliment, Kat.

And, as far as Skin Composites go. They are not simply limited to just skin tight meshes. You can make anything a Skin Composite as long as you have something under material slot 7 (Body) or Material slot 2 (Head) as a skin template. I originally tested with a circular disk floating in front of my avatar's torso. Mapped it to the skin template. It helped me understand the concept, but it sure wasn't anything pretty. Proper mapping to the skin template is key here.

You can actually take any article of clothing on IMVU and switch anything other than the skin tight layer to Skin Composite, add a black opacity, and see how funny it looks. If there isn't anything for the create mode to detect within the slots 2, 0r 7. It'll just give you a white diffusion as I have seen in the past for accessories, and for clothing they just vanish.

And, to better answer your foofy top idea. You'd create the skin composite first under material slot 0, Mesh ID 2. Then once you have confirmed it works properly import your next mesh for the foofy top assigned a material slot other than 0, 7, or 2 (2 Only if you are using a head skin composite.) Assign it a Mesh ID exceeding all the ones used for the body itself, (0-9 I believe.) So let's say use slot 23 for it. Then use your gray opacity for said mesh, but instead of selecting Skin Composite for this mesh. You select Use Blending.

Using the method you suggested would only work for something skin tight. (Image: A black material diffusion with a gray opacity map causes the diffusion to overlap with the composite.)

Otherwise it will map the entire outfit in a gray wash of your skin. (Image: A white diffusion with the same gray opacity map applied to the clothing while selecting skin composite rather than Use Blending.)

I hope this helps clarify for you.
Title: Re: [IMVU] Composite Skins
Post by: kat on August 12, 2018, 01:03:16 PM
Thanks for that additional info. Not being a clothing mesher composites have always been rather confusing, heh!
Title: Re: [IMVU] Composite Skins
Post by: EdieMaye on August 12, 2018, 11:02:57 PM
Happy to help.