Today it was time to do a little test rigging. I’ve learned from experience that it’s best to try rigging a copy of a piece of mesh clothing earlier in the process rather than later because once it’s on the armature and you can see it rigged against the avatar it can show up some significant problems.
Since last night I’ve had a first-draft mesh of the dress, so today it was time to get it into Blender and see how it moves. I use Blender for rigging and weight painting because I’ve never managed to export a rigged mesh from Lightwave that Second Life would accept.
This thing is going to be a pain to rig, I think. I’ve had a lot of problems with movement of the legs or trunk causing the apron to disappear through the dress. I’ve also learned that I need the apron to sit lower on the dress or it gets pulled out of shape badly by movements of the chest bone. It is good to learn these things early.
I’m having second thoughts about the neckline, too – the current one has a few issues with movements of the avatar’s head and I’m thinking that it’s not going to work too well if the wearer wants to wear a collar too. I suspect collar wearing won’t be uncommon for people who buy this dress. I like the high neck, though – gives the whole thing a more rubber-fetishy feel, I think. Decisions, decisions…maybe I’ll end up making two maid outfits – this one with the floofy skirt and ruffles and another one a tight-fitting, low-neckline affair.
So, for now, it’s back to Lightwave to shove the mesh around a bit. Hopefully this week I’ll be in a position to finish the mesh and maybe get the UV mapping done and dusted.