Marvelous Designer--Avatar Attachment Points

I have been a little lax in posting to the blog lately and haven't been very creative lately.  I have had to change RL jobs, although I am not over happy about it. But, we must do what we must do in order to make a living and care for those we love. 

Anyway,  in fits and starts, I am finally getting around to playing with the "Basic License" Marvelous Designer (MD) and made a couple of items using the software. While it SEEMS to be an easy way to make mesh clothing in some respects; it does require some hours spent learning the intricacies of the program.  Think of it as similar to sewing or tailoring in RL. 

I am at the very beginning stages of this journey, but am excited. 
So, I am gonna slap this article out so it can be posted and share what I have found with you.  It also means there could be errors in this article.  I really don't know that much about it but am flailing along.  So please, if you find any errors, please IM me in-world and let me know what they are so I can make the necessary revisions.

SOME PROS AND CONS

Also, there are DRAWBACKS for new mesh creators and hobbyists.   One drawback, is the price.   While it does say you can purchases for $19.00 a month, it actually means you will pay an upfront price of $240.00 for a year's license at the time of purchase.  There is a monthly option of about $39.99 per month.  I chose the "Basic" version since I did not feel the need to have the animation portion included in the "Advanced" version, which is also more expensive.
 
MARVELOUS DESIGNER AD

Another drawback, at least for me, is MD currently is not capable of producing "quad mesh", which in my opinion is much easier to work with.  It can be rather tedious to tweak the "tris" in Blender, but if you are a good hand and experienced at 3D modeling, you should have few issues.  Me, I prefer to work with "quads"  It makes editing much easier for me in Blender, but I am new at all 3D modeling and a hobbyist with little financial resources to invest in lots of software.

Something else you should consider is, you cannot directly import your completed mesh to SL from Marvelous Designer.  MD only allows the importation of collada, .obj, and .stl files AND only allows .obj exports.  You will have to import your mesh into another program, such as Blender, then re-export as collada file if you wish to upload to SL.

If you do decide to use Marvelous Designer, you will need to remember, that the mesh is pretty high in polygons due to the "tris".  While you can set the particle distance in MD to help reduce this issue, it does come at a cost in draping and detail.  

To my knowledge, there is no easy touch of a button in Blender that will fix this issue.  You can manually do some correcting and decimate the mesh somewhat to help out, although I hear that ZBrush's remesher does a good job of converting to "quads".  ZBrush is rather pricy for me and my budget, and I just don't have the time really to learn another piece of software.  

MD does have on their road map looking into the conversion issue in the first quarter of 2014; however, I believe this issue has been on the board for quite a long time. 

SOME HELPERS

Also, while you can texture your garment in MD (and I think you can export UVs as well, but will need to do more research), I don't believe you can rig it for SL in Marvelous Designer.  Again, to rig and weight paint your mesh, you will need to import it into Blender or another modeling software that allows you to rig mesh for SL. Personally, I use the Avastar Blender Add-On created by Gaia Clary to rig and weight paint in Blender.

You CAN import your own models into Marvelous Designer. It does require some forethought and you need to remember MD works in millimeters requiring you to adjust the size of your models on import. 

If you are using Blender, the fabulous and generous, Gaia Clary has prepared a model you can download and use in Blender and import to Marvelous Designer. Gaia provides you with some information and steps how this can be accomplished.

Gaia Clary's MD Model
You can find Gaia's model and information at the following link.
http://blog.machinimatrix.org/3d-creation/blender-meshes-trail/sl-default-avatar-for-marvelous-designer/ 
  
Please note, the model is NOT rigged nor, does it have some of the many features that Avastar possesses.  If you are interested in Avastar, search around in the Machinimatrix blow for more information and some very useful and informative videos she has made.  

DOC TOYOKO

Something I am really excited about is the generosity of another MD/Blender/SL user named Doc Toyoko, according to his posted comments, although I couldn't find that name in SL to thank him for his generosity.  If you will visit the above link and scroll down into the comments section of that page, Doc speaks about Marvelous Designer, Blender and Avastar.  

While you can create your own Avatars in Blender (See Part 1 & Part 2 of the Marvelous Designer Series in this blog...still working on part 3), Doc has taken the guess work our of the standard SL shape and made it very easy to get started in MD.

Through his generosity (I am assuming Doc is male), he has provided some downloadable files, which are very useful for the SL Marvelous Designer user.  He has taken the standard SL female and male shapes (not the 5 standard size shapes), and added the MD attachment points and bounding volumes to the Avatar.  This is very important and handy when it comes to working with the pattern pieces in MD. 


Doc Toyoko's Marvelous Designer Avatar Based on SL Avatar 

I am hoping that Doc may do something similar to the 5 Standard Sizing shapes. Boy, that would be a huge boon for all of us new folks. But as it is, he provides us with an .obj file for easy import into Blender and a nice "Projects" file for quickly getting started in Marvelous Designer.   

Thank you, thank you, thank you, Doc Toyoko wherever you are!!!!

RESOURCES

The MD forums does have some useful information on it.  If you have an account set-up, you can post questions.  But, there doesn't seem to be a lot of SL folks their answering. 

You can also try the SL Forums with questions as well.

If you are interested in Marvelous Designer, check out this link for a 15 day trial.  The software is available for Windows and Mac.
http://www.marvelousdesigner.com/marvelousdesigner/pricing/

If you are interested in adding attachment points and bounding volumes to a customized character in MD, check out this video.  (Is a bit more technical that I have skills for at this point)
http://www.wtv3d.org/t15403-marvelous-designer-3d-clothing-applying-arrangement-points-on-the-other-avatar-by-marvelousdesigner

While this manual was created for the CLO version for real life fashion designers, the interface for the MD version is similar.  This manual has valuable information including how to add the attachment points and bounding volumes if you decide to journey on this adventure. 

http://manualen.clo3d.com:1975/02fa9d1951420761#a1080381c694d9f7

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