Part 3--Marvelous Designer And Second Life--Manipulate and Export SL Shape

In Parts 1 & 2, we exported our Second Life Avatar from SL as an .xml file.  We opened Blender, added the Avastar model and then loaded the .xml file to the shape.   Today, we are going to finish manipulating the model and export it as an .obj file and import it into Marvelous Designer.

Please note, the pictures in this part of the series were taken in Blender 2.70.  The instructions work the same; however, the menu items may be labeled differently and in a different placement. 


Pretty easy so far, right?

Once you have your Avastar loaded in Blender and added your shape, you need to look it over carefully to make sure the results are as expected. 
If you look at Figure 1 above, there are a couple of things wrong with this shape I exported from Second Life.  This was not intentional on my part, I exported this shape a few months ago and did nothing with it at the time.

  • There are no breasts on this model.  I must have been working on a project my Lola Tango breasts on, which has a flat chested AV shape underneath.
  • Also, notice the pointy heel and toes of the feet.  I apparently had shoes and a shoe base on as well.

These examples are the reason why you should have some privacy and strip your avatar of all attachments and clothing in SL BEFORE you create the .xml file for export. 

We can fix these issues a couple of ways:

  • You can go back into SL, assume the correct shape, take off all attachments and clothing, then export a  new .xml file.
  • Or, if you know the numeric values, you can type it in or use the sliders in Blender like you see in Figure 2.


Go to the Properties Panel (far right) >  Object: Object (small yellow cube) > Scroll down till you see Sections.  By default this is set to Body. 

Using the drop down arrows, change from BODY, In the case of breasts, you use the TORSO portion....the feet, the SHOES portion...  It should give you a new list of options.  You can either type in the desired number or move the slider to where you wish it. 

Adjusting the Heel Height moved the model below the grid floor. I moved both model and rig back to 0, 0, 0 so it was centered.  You may have to experiment with this.  I doubt there will be a problem but, like anything test to be sure. I found it just as easy to export a new .xml file. 

When you are satisfied with your model, the next step is to remove the rigging.  Marvelous Designer doesn't allow you to rig clothing in their software so it is best to remove it before export.

While in OBJECT mode, make sure everything is deselected before you start. Then, right click and select the RIGGING only

Now, hit X on your keyboard and select DELETE. Your model is ready to export for Marvelous Designer. 

On Blender's File menu (very top), select it and mouse down to EXPORT.  Chose Wavefront (.obj).  

When the new screen opens, you need to scroll down (left side of the window) to the Export Box and check the Selection Only box. 

With Marvelous Designer open, Clear the model in the current scene.  On the File menu, scroll down to IMPORT (NOT import (add)) and select OBJ.  


A new menu will pop up like the one in Figure 3 above. 

1) Leave Load as Avatar as it is.
2) Change Unit in file to import from mm to m (meters)
3) Leave everything else as is and click OK.
Your custom Avatar should now be loaded and ready to use.  If you want to keep the model for later use, you should either save your file as a project file.  Or, move the .obj file in to Marvelous Designers Resources files housed somewhere on your computer.

NOTE: The model you import will NOT have an bounding volumes

While this ends the series on Exporting/Importing your custom avatars to Blender and Marvelous Designer, there is so much more out there to learn about both products.  I encourage you to Google lots of different things and add to your skill set. 

Marvelous Designer (NOT FREE)
Blender (FREE)
Firestorm Second Life Viewer (FREE)

Blender--Avastar (NOT FREE)
Mesh Standard Sizes (Male & Female) (FREE) 

Educational Resources

Ditko University
Builders Brewery

Honestly,  I can't tout all the great things about Gaia Clary and what she has done for Second Life Residents when it comes to Residents being able to learn and use Blender.  While there is a cost for her addons, they are in line pricing wise as other Blender addons I have seen.  I seriously doubt she makes a fortune off what she does since in return she spends many hours supporting, updating and providing lots of useful videos on Machinimatrix and on Youtube.  Her website is filled with tons of information, videos, tutorials, and links for making sculpts, mesh, animations and clothing using Blender. While you do not have to use her Blender add-ons, they make life so much simpler if you do. 


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