How Clothes Are Made in Second Life:Part III – UV MAPS
Another way to create fashion in SL is to download the UV maps and create garments directly on to the UV maps an upload them to SL and apply them on your avatar in APPEARANCE. Avatar UV Maps are 2D representations of a 3D virtual avatar. The markings on the UV map serve as guides to help with matching the seams of the virtual garments that are created that will then be virtually “mapped” on to the 3D avatar.
An excellent way to start is to follow Robin Wood’s T-Shirt Tutorial and create your very own T-shirt graphic for your avatar. Robin provides a link to download a ZIP file of the T-Shirt Template and there are links included to follow the step by step tutorial.
Here is a link to a video tutorial I made to demonstrate how you can use Robin’s T- Shirt Template to very quickly make a custom T-Shirt & upload it to Second Life. The next video in this mini-series will demonstrate to you how to create multiple garments that coordinate with the new T-Shirt you created and explains the file permissions on the new garments. It is titled Make Outfit in Appearance, Save it and Set Permissions. Once you created and saved your new outfit you need to wear it and go to the poseballs and take a snapshot to disk – here is a third video tutorial titled Pose With the Poseballs, Snapshot to Disk in Sl. The fourth video this mini-series will demonstrate for you how to make a mannequin for Second Life by extracting the background, making a transparency channel, using the Smudge Tool and uploading it to SL.
Once you get the idea how UV maps are used by using Robin’s T-shirt template you can download a full set of her UV templates from her site and move on to creating more UV mapped garments. Robin’s site is an excellent resource and there are additional links to how to make lace textures, how to add transparencies, adding patterns to cloth and so on.
Just like in the real world of fashion there are many different quality levels of fashions in Second Life. Some UV Mapped garments in particular can require an exceptionally high level of digital graphic illustration skills. There are many extremely talented and highly skilled digital virtual fashion design artists in Second Life. SL fashion design artists use their digital illustration skills on the UV Maps to create highly detailed garments from scratch and they often enhance their creations with prim attachments like flexi-skirts, hats, collars, shoes, belts, etc. UV Maps are also used to create a variety of custom avatar skins as well as tattoos.
There are many beginner SL fashion designers and amateurs that create and try to sell tons of rip-off or knock-offs of fashion items just like in the real world of fashion. Many of the freebie garments in Second Life are created by placing the front and back of a Web image on to the UV Map. Some of these images are then modified and others are just copied “as is” from the real world item. Also as there are technical “product quality” issues in the real world there are also digital quality issues such as “are the seams closed?” “are the seams matched?” What is the digital overall technical quality level of the UV Mapped garment in addition to creative originality of the virtual UV Mapped fashions?
The creation of TEXTURES correlate indirectly to the creation of surface print patterns for industry that fashion designers in the real world need to make but the skills needed for UV Mapped garments and PRIM building in Second Life are only remotely related to the skills that real world fashion students require. Real world fashion students need to know how to create fashion product sketches [flats or fashion croquees], technical product specification and costing sheets, a variety of client presentation boards as well as to gain flat pattern drafting and pattern-making skills to actually create the garment pattern and then acquire the skill to assemble the garment in the real world. The file organization skills that are required to create and sell fashion garments in SL are excellent organizational and basic business start-up skills for fashion students as well as learning to work in a 3D environment. [ex: store layout & design and fashion show production] The fashion industry is shifting over to multi-dimensional product development for use in design as well as merchandising so gaining 3D conceptional skills in a virtual application like Second Life is a valuable transitional skill for fashion students.
Here are three excellent links from Natalia Zelmanov’s Blog that explain the UV Maps and how to use them to create clothing in Photoshop. Natalia has a variety of highly detailed and well-illustrated step-by-step directions on how to build all sorts of fashion related items for Second Life. Robin Wood’s and Natalia Zelmanov’s blogs were a Godsend to me when I first “literally fell” into the virtual world of Second Life.
Clothing Texture Templates: A discussion of SL clothing templates (Robin Wood’s in particular) and how the flat template files map onto the avatar’s body
Creating Clothes Pt 1: Making clothes using the Second Life texture maps
Creating Clothes Pt 2: Making clothes using the Second Life texture maps
Here is another link from Natalia’s blog that will show you how to create clothes using the UV maps with GIMP (free program like Photoshop) and UV maps to create a garment. Day 181: Creating Clothes with GIMP
Next Post in this Series: How Clothes Are Made in Second Life:Part IV – PRIMS
Previous Posts in this Series:
- How Clothes Are Made in Second Life:Part I- THE BASICS
- How Clothes Are Made in Second Life:Part II - TEXTURES
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