Now we have alot of tools for SL developments. Here are some of the tools available. All plugins are RAR files, so you might need to install winrar or any software that allows you to open *.rar format.
Zbrush 3.5R and 4.0
A sophisticated powerful 3D avatars designer and customizer. I has all the morphing tools available and you don’t need to wait a minute to see the result of your modeling. More capabilities to make a full size avatar with the complete 3D program. version 4.0 has brand new introduced spotlight where you can use that tools apply textures with a texture pool. Its is very quick and easy to learn. There are more tutorials in shiny-life.
The most important tool set for your 3d sculpt imports.
2010 version has fixed up alot of bugs and knowing issues the past version. The newer version added sculpy UV scaling and positioning for all subtool objects. Also there is an UV map size initialization for any specific designs. This plugin has the newest mesh exporting function where you can use this plugins to create mesh and import them into secondlife.
ZSculpty Tools has been updated. The plugin will work with ZBrush 4 for PC and Mac OSX.
In this version:
*Prim initialization and Sculpty map export
*Collada DAE format export for mesh in SL
1. Remove any previous installation of ZSculpty Tools by deleting the ZSculptyTools02.ZSC file and ZSculptyToolsData folder from the ZBrush 4.0\ZStartup\ZPlugs folder.
2. Download and unzip the plugin file to your desktop. If the unzipping creates a folder open it to locate the ZSculptyTools09.ZSC file andZSculptyToolsData folder.
3. Move the ZSculptyTools09.ZSC file and ZSculptyToolsData folder to the ZBrush 4.0\ZStartup\ZPlugs folder.
4. Restart ZBrush. The ZSculpty Tools menu is in the ZPlugin palette.
To create a SL sculpty:
1. Select one of the ZBrush Primitives.
2. Press the ZSculpty Tools>Initialize Prim button. Select an option from the dialogue box. These options will set up the primitive so that the exported sculpty map can be uploaded to SL using lossless compression. It isn’t essential to use lossless compression but you will get best results, particularly with hard-surface or mechanical objects.
3. The Switch button can be used to switch the HDivide and VDivide values for the primitive. Use whichever gives the best results for your model.
4. Adjust the other values in the Tool>Initialize menu if desired.
5. Press the ZSculpty Tools>Make Polymesh button. This will create a polymesh (with adjusted UVs) which you can sculpt and polypaint.
6. When you have finished sculpting switch to the lowest subdivision level and press the Export Sculpty map button to export a map. Create any textures you want and export those separately. Your sculpty is then ready for uploading to SL. (In the SL image upload preview check ‘unconstrained’ to preserve the image proportions.)
* The Arrow3D primitive can be used for sculpties but the lossless compression options can’t be used. Simply set up the primitive how you want before folowing stages 4 – 6 above.
* Sculpty maps can be exported from higher subdivision levels. This will give bigger maps with more detail (if the limited sculpty map format allows) but mostly they will not be suitable for lossless compression upload.
* The Scale UVs button is for scaling UVs for any mesh so that they fit within the 0-1 range. It’s not necessary to use this button if you have used the ZSculpty Tools>Make Polymesh button.
To export a mesh:
1. Create your model. SL meshes should not have too many polygons.
2. Your model must have UVs assigned. UV Master is a good way of doing this.
3. If you want to use different subdivision levels for SL Levels Of Detail turn on the Create LOD switch.
4. The Smooth switch will create smoothed normals for your model. For a hard-surface object turn off the Smooth switch.
5. Press the Export SL Mesh button. Your model will be saved as a Collada DAE file which can be uploaded to SL using the Mesh Beta viewer. If there is a texture applied to your model this will be exported as a BMP file with the same name.
* If your model has Polygroups then these can be used as separate texture/material regions in SL. Up to 8 polygroups are allowed by SL.
Version 09b : corrections to prim initialization routines.
Other power tools and helpers
Photoshops CS5 extended
This the tool you will be using daily to make all your avatars and build more cool things for your business to grow. Extended version in CS5 has the 3D painting mode where you can do all the painting and instantly available for professional edits on 2D mode. You can also switching between back and forth to finalize your paints for your avatar clothings. The best tool for your daily use.
HKM Photoshop Workflows Scripts
With this tool you can instantly enhance your production by 100%. You have all shortcut in your finger tips and all you will need to do is just to make the right decision and one click. It really saved you alot of time and effort. Now you can make a professional avatar costumes within 3 hours instead of 3 days.
My own designed tool for editing UUIDs. With this tool you can copy lines, paste lines, remove all duplicated lines, sort all lines to be unique.
If you have an xml file and you want to dig out all the UUIDs without importing your xml files into the viewer. The code is written in ajax, and also support by HTML5 where you can have the function to drag and drop the files into the page. This will your best tool. ★Quick user guide: you need to save all the xml files into the specific folder in order to extract the uuids in the xml file.
I got a little bit frustrated after I had a crash and didn’t save for a while, and I lost an entire evening’s worth of work; so I wrote a little ZTool autosaver.
I got some good results on my home and work machine, so I thought I’d share it at ZBC.
For installation, follow the general instructions here:
Note that this is simply a first pass and there will no doubt be issues and some things may not work as expected. It does not work with the Timeline.
The plugin works in the same way as before except for some new switches for BPR.
* Turn on the Turntable Plus>Best Preview Render switch to use BPR
* You then need to set the little switches to export the different maps
* After pressing the Render Movie button you’ll get the options dialog. Note that if you are using BPR then the HDGeometry, Image, Alpha & Depth options will be ignored – you need to set these options either through the Img, Dep & Msk switches in the Turntable Plus menu or in the case of HDGeometry, the option in the Render palette.
* After the options dialog you’ll be asked to save the first file for each of the different image exports. Note that what Turntable Plus calls an ‘Alpha’ is the BPR ‘Mask’.
* For other BPR Render options, set the options in the Render palette.
You can’t do it directly but this little plugin will solve the problem. Simply put the ZSC file in your ZStartup\ZPlugs folder and restart ZBrush. There will be two new buttons – LeftPanel & RightPanel – in the ZPlugin>Misc Utilities submenu. Assign hotkeys to these.
The code is included in the zip for anyone that’s interested.
Material Baker is a ZScript to bake in material shading and textures into a new texture. It will do this in a way that is similar to dropping and picking up shading with projection master, but without the overlapping issues. It will also rotate the lights with the model so that the lighting remains consistent across the baked texture. ZBrush currently lacks a surface baking tool that will bake the entire model for you automatically, and using drop and pick with projection master will end up overbaking your model in areas that overlap. This script is not a total solution, but it can alleviate the problem and ease the process of transferring ZBrush materials and shading information into a 2D texture.
The script is available in text format so that you can view the source code. I did not take the time to properly document the source since it’s such a tiny script of only a few hundred lines of code. Since it’s my first script and such a simple one at that, I didn’t think anyone would be too interested but I included it anyway. The script has only been tested with ZBrush 2. I’m not sure if it works with earlier versions. To run it, simply load material_baker.txt from the ZScript panel.
Why is baking the material and shading of a model handy? For starters, it can provide you with a template that is easier to paint than a wireframe. By baking in the shading of the high-res ZBrush version of your model, it can put landmarks in your texture that are easy to identify when painting over them in your preferred paint program. For realtime environments, artists will often paint image maps that contain shadows and highlights in them to compensate for the engine’s lack of sophisticated lighting and materials. For this, baking in the shading can give you a good template to start with to indicate where highlights and shadows should go. In some cases, you may even want to use the baked texture by itself with little or no post-processing. The baked texture itself can look very nice on a low poly model. For quality renders, using a low contrast version of the baked texture can help give a little boost when combined with displacement.