Maid Dress Progress 04

What with the problems that were dogging the Panel Dress things have run a bit behind schedule lately. Now things are moving again, so it’s time for another update on the Maid Dress!

As I predicted in a previous post the rigging for this dress has proven to be a challenge. Challenge is perhaps a bit of an understatement – frickin’ impossible might be closer to the truth. All those wavy in-and-out bits on the skirt? I should have thought about how tricky those were going to be to paint weights on a little earlier in the process.

Was I daunted? Was I halted? Well, yeah. For a while.

The solution I came up with was to make an approximate model combining bits of the avatar and dress with a much simplified skirt. This model I could weight much more easily.

Approximate as all hell

Approximate as all hell

Once this was weighted nicely I could use Blender 2.66a’s Transfer Weights function to copy the weighting from this approximate model to the real dress model. This got the rigging done close enough that it only took a little touching up to get a workable rig for the dress, pleats, folds and all.

The high poly model has also been in the texturing lab for a while and some nice and shiny looking textures are coming out, you’ll be glad to hear.

I’ve uploaded some models and I’m testing them in-world at the moment. So far everything’s looking good.

Posing the the maid dress in-world

Posing the the maid dress in-world

There’s lots of bits of the dress that are going to be separately texturable: The main part of the dress, the poofy sleeves, the ruffles, the apron belt, the main part of the apron and the apron ruffles. You’ll be able to go mad and create some seriously nauseating colour schemes!

I’m thinking of re-working the colour options on this product a bit. From the feedback I’ve been getting it looks like a lot of the colours I usually provide don’t get much use, and I don’t think dark brown is going to be a popular colour for a maid’s dress. I’m going to expand the variety of pinks and purples and drop some of the less popular colours.

If there’s demand I can always release the extra colours as a cheap texture pack.

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