MARVELOUS DESIGNER--ADDING ARRANGEMENT POINTS & BOUNDING VOLUMES FOR SECOND LIFE AVATARS


WORK IN PROGRESS

For those of you, who are new to or, thinking of using Marvelous Designer, we are going to be looking at a couple of ways of importing the standard SL avatar into Marvelous Designer and setting up the avatar, bounding volumes and attachment points. 

Hopefully, this information I  am sharing will help you get start on a smoother path than the one I have been traveling.  Marvelous Designer (MD) is fairly simple to start using; however, it is much more complex than first glance.  Remember, like any other piece of software, it takes time to learn it.

The first thing that will make your life easier if you plan on using MD3 for SL is importing a usable avatar mannequin equivalent to what is currently in use Second Life.  This guide should help you do that.

I use a Mac so most of the information given is via that system; however, it is easily adaptable to use with a PC. 

IMPORTING SL AVATAR INTO MD3  

Download the .zip file created by Doc Toyoko and posted on Gaia Clary's Machinimatrix blog (see Resources).  Unzip the file in a place, on your computer (I usually use my desktop and move later) where you can find it easily.

When you unzip the file, you should see the following files.  Most of these files are Marvelous Designer specific.
  1. secondlife_avatar-female.obj (exported avastar female default avatar as wavefront, T-Pose)
  2. secondlife_avatar_male.obj (exported avastar male default avatar as wavefront, T-Pose)
  3. secondlife_female.ZPrj (MD3 starter project with female avatar, arrangement points and arrangement bounding volumes )
  4. secondlife_female.png (preview picture female avatar and arrangement points)
  5. secondlife_female_ABV.pan (arrangement bounding volumes file for female avatar)
  6. secondlife_female_AP.arr (arrangement points file for female avatar)
  7. secondlife_male.ZPrj (MD3 starter project with male avatar, arrangement points and arrangement bounding volumes )
  8. secondlife_male.png (preview picture male avatar and arrangement points)
  9. secondlife_male_ABV.pan (arrangement bounding volumes file for male avatar)
  10. secondlife_male_AP.arr (arrangement points file for male avatar)

METHOD 1--Using Project File

The easiest and quickest way to being working is with the prepared PROJECT files, which in MD3 uses the extension of .ZPrj.  If you want a quick start use either #3 for the female avatar or, #5 for the male avatar from the above list.

1) Have MD3 open to the default workspace. 
Figure 1-Default MD3 Workspace

2) In the FILE menu, in the drop down menu, select OPEN.  This will provide you with another drop down menu.  Move your mouse over and select PROJECT.

File Menu > Open > Project  > Browse to your unzipped file folder.

3) Browse to the folder where you unzipped your files and chose one of the following to work with. 
  •  secondlife_female.ZPrj (MD3 starter project with female avatar, arrangement points and arrangement bounding volumes)
  • secondlife_male.ZPrj (MD3 starter project with male avatar, arrangement points and arrangement bounding volumes) 

The MD3 default work space will be replaced and should look something like Figure 2 WITHOUT the arrangement points (blue dots) or the bounding volume (green area) showing. We will get to those later.

Figure 2--Arrangement Points & Bounding Volume Turned On
To view these arrangement points and/or bounding volumes in the Avatar/Pattern Arrangement Area (left side of screen).  Hover your mouse over the 2nd icon (Show Avatar) down on the left side of that window.  This will give you 4 options... 
  • Hide/Show Avatar
  • Hide/Show Arrangement Points
  • Hide/Show Arrangement Bounding Volume
  • Hide/Show X-Ray Joints (cannot be seen with this particular file)
4)  Re-save this PROJECT file to keep the ORIGINAL intact for later uses.
  • File Menu > Save As > Project > Save to a desired place 
You are now ready to start working with pattern and mesh creation. 

While this is the simplest and easiest method thus far, you may want to consider adding the avatars, the attachment points, and bounding volume separately and saving them directly into Marvelous Designer as explained in Method 2.

METHOD 2--Adding to MD3 Library 

This method is a bit more time consuming, but well worth it if you plan on creating the 5 standard sizing avatar later on..  For this method, we will be importing several files to different areas within MD3.

IMPORT AVATAR
We need to clear the default workspace to start.

1) Have MD3 open showing the default workspace.

2)   FILE Menu > NEW GARMENT.   
  • This will clear the default garment. 
3) AVATAR Menu (top file menu of program) > CLEAR AVATAR
  • This will clear the default avatar.
4) FILE Menu > IMPORT > OBJ > Browse to your unzipped file folder to find the files.

5) Browse to the unzipped file folder and CHOSE of the following files.  Items #1 or, #2 from the above list.
  • secondlife_avatar-female.obj (exported avastar female default avatar as wavefront, T-Pose)
  • secondlife_avatar_male.obj (exported avastar male default avatar as wavefront, T-Pose)

Figure 3--Selecting Size

6)  A pop-up menu will appear with several choices.

Object Type > Load Avatar 
  • Should be checked by default. If not select it.

Scale > SELECT > M (Unit in File to Import)
  • M stands for meters and will change the percentage to 100,000%
  •  Marvelous Designer's default is millimeters and is much too small for our purpose in Second Life. 
  • If you are working with Blender and the Avastar add-on, this will become very valuable to you later on.
Auto Scale 
  • Should be unchecked by default.  If not, un-check it.
Axis Conversion
  • Each of the coordinate drop down coordinates should reflect those printed above by default.
  • Also, the invert coordinate check boxes by default should be unchecked.

7) Once you have your selections made, click OK.
  • Your screen should look something like Figure 2 without the blue dots or green bounding boxes.

8) We need to save our imported avatar into a reusable MD3 compatible avatar.
  • Create a file folder on your Desktop separate from the file you unzipped.
  • Rename the file folder to something like SL Standard AV.
  • Go to MD3 File Menu > Save As > Avatar > Give it a name like SL Standard Female > Save to the folder you just created.
  9) Keep MD3 open and continue to next Section.


Figure 4--Opened Library, Object Broswer, & Proper Editor Panels

 IMPORT ARRANGEMENT POINTS
Next we we are going to be adding our bounding volumes (green covering) and arrangement points (blue dots). For this we need to open up some additional panels.
10) On the far right of the Avatar Workspace you should find Object Browser and Properties Editor.   

On the far left of the simulation window (where the avatar is) is Library.  All three of these may be closed.  When open they should looks similar to Figure 4. 

If these are closed, find the text (is gray and can be hard to see...I really an not fond of MD3's color scheme) running along the side of the each of the windows, click the text to open the windows.

To close the panels, there are some very tiny arrows on the left or right of the Text at the top of the panels, click to close.  

DO NOT click the tiny X, which will remove these panels from further view.  They can be restored under Window on the File Menu.  Just check each you wish to turn on.

11) Once you have the panels open go to...

Object Browser > Click on A-Point Tab > Click DEL
  • This will delete any arrangement points showing in the window
  • These arrangement points are default and are NOT currently associated with our imported AV and not needed for this project.
12) To add our arrangement points...

Object Browser > Click on A-Point Tab > Click OPEN
  • This will open a new browser window 

13) Browse to the file we downloaded and unzipped earlier and chose one of the following files.
  •  secondlife_female_AP.arr (arrangement points file for female avatar) 
  • secondlife_male_AP.arr (arrangement points file for male avatar) 
14) Object Browser > Click on A-Point Tab > Click SAVE 

15) A window with open, give your arrangement points a new name and SAVE in the folder you created on your desk top in Step 8.  It should now contain your SL Avatar .avt file and your arrangement point .arr file.

You have just added arrangement points.  Now, let's add our bounding volumes via a similar procedure

  IMPORT BOUNDING VOLUMES
16)  Object Browser > Click on A-BV Tab > Click DEL
  • This will delete any default bounding volumes; however, if you followed the above steps, it should be empty. 

17) To add our bounding volumes
  
In the Object Browser > A-BV > Click OPEN
  • This will open a new browser window 

18) Browse to the file we downloaded and unzipped earlier and chose one of the following files.

  • secondlife_female_ABV.pan (arrangement bounding volumes file for female avatar)
  • secondlife_male_ABV.pan (arrangement bounding volumes file for male avatar)
19) Object Browser > Click on A-BV Tab > Click SAVE
 
20) A new browser window will open, give your bounding volumes a new name and SAVE in the folder you created on your desk top in Step 8.  

It should now contain your SL Avatar .avt file, your arrangement point .arr file and your bounding volumes .pan files you created. 


Okay, the first steps in our process are complete!  Just a few more!

FINAL STEPS

Now, we want to move the file folder we created on our desktop to MD3 Resources folder on our hard drive.  This will make it easily accessible later on.

On a Mac, this main folder is called md3 and is extracted, at the time of installation, into the Documents folder.  

If you are running a PC, you may need to do a search of your hard drive to find where the md3 folder resides on your computer.  

Open the md3 folder and you will find a sub-folder called Resources. Drag the file folder you created into the Resources folder. Close the folders and go back into MD.

Our Library panel should still be open from earlier. 
  • This is a favorites areas we can add our most used items to.  
  • It seems to only to work with folders not individual items.  
  • This is a very good place to set-up a place for your most used patterns and textures as well.

Click on the tiny + plus button in the upper right hand corner of the window. This will open up a browsing window.  

Navigate to the md3 > Resources > File Folder we created > Click it > Then Click Choose.  

Our SL AV with attachment points and bounding volumes are now happily available in our Library in the folder you created.

 

 HOW TO USE...

How do we use our newly created SL Avatar in MD3? 

Open MD.  

From the File menu, clear the default avatar and garmet (See Steps 1-3; Method 2 above). 

From the Library panel, click on the SL AV file folder drug into the

Left click on the AV picture hold down your left mouse button and drag the AV picture to the Avatar window. 

If you click on the Show Avatar icon in the Avatar window, you can now turn on both the attachment points and bounding volumes, on and off.   See Figure 2. 


You are done and ready to start making clothing!

 

NOTES

Just a few notes for you.  There may easier and different ways to accomplish what we did in Method 2, I am still new toMarvelous Designer andlearning.  
  • Bounding Volumes is similar to mesh or sculpt bounding boxes in Second Life (SL)
  • MD3 does not allow for rigging your clothing.  You will need to do this in another program using the SL Bones/Skeleton parameters.
  • Importing this Avatar file .obj file into Blender will not give you the benefits of the Avastar Add-on.  This is only a model
  • You need to import the .obj file FIRST before importing the arrangement points or bounding volumes so they have something to attach to. 
  • Work with one gender at a time to avoid confusion.
  • If you new and using Blender, I would suggest you purchase the Avastar Add-on for use in rigging and weight panting your creations.  It makes like much easier.

 

RESOURCES


APPLYING ATTACHMENT POINTS
This is a video you can follow to create your own attachment points and bounding volume for custom created models. However, be aware the video was made for the CLO3D software so screens may look different but the process should work the same. 

TheEZHexagon Arrangement Points
Another video you can watch for working with attachment points and bounding volumes by a User of MD and ZBrush. This is an older video using an older version of MD, but the principles are the same.

DOC TOYOKO'S WORK 
You can find his work in the comments section of the Gaia's blog posted October 15, 2013.

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