SL MESH CLOTHING CREATION TIDBITS--BLENDER SOLIDIFY
I think all of us, who try to create items, try to do the best job possible. Most, if not all of us, try to make our clothing projects look as close to real life as we can make them. When we start creating mesh clothing items, one of the first thing that really bothers many of us is the inside of our clothing item is usually invisible. This sort of makes us twitch and shudder causing us to feel like we need to add more faces or geometry to the interior of our mesh garments with a solidify modifier. Using this modifier causes all the interior faces to become solid and visible.
While adding geometry to the interior of a mesh garment will allow for texturing, it also means your upload fees and land impact will increase. Plus, it will also cause the infamous lag to our viewers since it takes longer for our graphics to load/rezz the garments into view.
So, how do we solve this issue? How do we keep lag to a minimum in rezzing our clothing yet, make it look more realistic?
One solution offered to me by Haven Ditko, who teaches Blender classes at Ditko University in Second Life, is rather than add a Solidify Modifier, which will add geometry to the entire garment, add Solidify, found via search, prudently to only those interior faces where needed. Some problem areas are around the neckline, the underarms in sleeveless garments, around the ankles and wrists. And, sometimes, at the hemline of skirts, tops, pants, and dresses.
Before you start, you may wish to make a BACK-UP copy of your Blender file in case you would have issues or crashes.
Assuming you use Blender to make your alpha textures, it is also a good idea to go ahead and make your alpha texture BEFORE you apply Blender's Solidify. Be aware, you may need to remake your alpha texture AFTER you have added Solidify in case it needs to be updated.
How do we add Solidify to our garment in Blender?
1) In EDIT mode, select only those inside faces you want to be solidify so they can be seen when the mesh garment is work and for you to texture.
2) Once finished selecting, press your space bar to bring up the search function.
3) Type in Solidify.
4) Once it brings it up in search, click on the word Solidify. Please note that once you click on Solidify it is applied immediately.
5) STOP...before you do anything else...read item 6!!!!
6) In the tool shelf (on the left), at the bottom, a one time operator's panel appears under a section labeled Solidify...underneath it is thickness. Set your thickness for the faces somewhere between 0.0010 and 0.0020. You may have to experiment with this number since I am currently unsure if SL has a tolerance on thickness for garments.*
7) Check your garment, you should be able to see the faces that were solidified.
8) MAKE SURE you have added materials to your solidified area if that area is DIFFERENT than your base material.
9) Check your alpha texture you previously made to see how well they work. If they don't, try making them again with Blender and/or fine tune your prior one in your graphics software.
1) Please note that while Solidify and the Solidify Modifier are
similar, they are NOT the same thing. Solidify, found through the
search function only gives you a single adjustment; whereas, the
Solidify Modifier has quite a number of adjustments.
A COUPLE OF INTERESTING NOTES
2) Solidify, via the search, looks something like extrude and creates new faces. However, if you try to use extrude, instead of solidify, it merely pulls the outer face into the garment.
3) Solidify Modifier, once added, looks like a single face or, it did on the test shirt I made. You cannot see any individual vertices, lines, or faces so want a different texture than your base texture, you may have a hit and miss time of precisely covering certain areas easily.
4) It appears both the Solidify and the Solidify Modifier, WILL effect your UV maps once applied. You may want to consider making a nice clean UV Map before you add Solidify or the Solidify Modifier. Then try making one after either have been applied.
Hope this tip is useful!
Happy Meshing Everyone
*I will do some checking to see if I can find out if there is a tolerance on SL mesh uploads. If so, I will update this blog post.