Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Proud Girls Dev Kit

Hi !

As promised when I released the Proud Girls, here is the development kit that allows a mesh clothing creator to adapt their creations to these new mesh breasts, and to sell them. The purpose of this blog post is to explain how to use it, but please be aware that it will be technical and design-oriented, so if you do not understand what I'm talking about, then this dev kit is probably not for you.

First of all, I need to precise that in order to make mesh clothes or accessories for the Proud Girls, you need to own a Maitreya development kit in the first place. This is because the Proud Girls dev kit does not contain vertex groups, let alone vertex weights, so you would not be able to rig your mesh accessory to the avatar skeleton just by using this dev kit. The reason for this is double.

Firstly, I do not have the right to disclose the weights the Maitreya Lara mesh body uses, as the Proud Girls use the same weights (for the top layer they are slightly different, but still close enough).

Secondly, well, I have to protect my work. The dev kit contains very minimal information, not enough to let anyone make their own rigged mesh breasts out of this dev kit (hopefully), but enough to let you make or adapt your Maitreya mesh clothes to the Proud Girls with it (still hopefully).

Another thing that is missing from the dev kit is the UV maps, which have been reset. And the edge around the meshes, the one that is in contact with the mesh body. You don't need those vertices anyway, so don't be surprised if the meshes do not touch the surface of the Maitreya Lara mesh body in Blender, this is on purpose. Also I've subdivided then decimated the meshes so their topology has very little to do with the one of the Proud Girls. The surface is the same but the vertices are placed differently, and seemingly randomly (the decimation removed about 2/3rds of the vertices following its own algorithm).

Downloading the files

The Proud Girls Dev Kit is a zip file containing a text file, a blend file and a DAE file, the latter two being equivalent and containing the same data. If you use Blender you will want to use the blend file, otherwise you will want to import from the DAE file. The text file is a readme which sole purpose is to point to this blog post. The link to the dev kit is at the beginning of this post.


At the time of this writing, the Proud Girls Dev Kit contains :

- 1 mesh skin
- 1 mesh tattoo
- 1 mesh bra
- 1 mesh top

I will include the piercings later, for example for anyone who wants to create things to hang down from the rings or the chain, but for now I want to make sure those piercings are placed and rigged correctly. I've heard a couple times that the rings were too high, and the chain tends to deform in a way that could be perfected.

The "skin", "tattoo" and "bra" meshes are actually identical, the latter two being just displaced clones of the former (i.e. their shape is slightly inflated to make it cover the surface of the layers underneath). The "top" mesh, on the other hand, is a heavy modification of the skin, it does not have the three nipple surfaces, and has that bridge between the breasts. Also its weights are slightly different from Lara's top layer (I wanted the bridge to be tighter, straighter, making the fabric look like it is fighting against the breasts, they are not named "proud" for nothing !).

How to adapt your mesh to the Proud Girls

First of all, you need a file with a piece of mesh clothing, rigged to the SL avatar with the weights of the Maitreya Lara mesh body. It is easier to import the Proud Girls layer that you want either from the Blender file or from the DAE file, to your 3D design software of choice, which I will assume is Blender (simply because I designed the Proud Girls in Blender, but the workflow remains the same in other programs). Position the breasts in the way that makes the most sense if you have to, and you're ready to work.

As I said above, the Proud Girls are rigged exactly the same way as the Maitreya Lara mesh body. This means that normally, if you made a mesh top for Lara (for example a t-shirt), all you have to do is sculpt a copy of it until it is wrapped around the Proud Girls in Blender or Maya.

But there's a caveat.

On this picture, you can see that the bottom folds of the breasts of Lara and those of the Proud Girls are not exactly in the same place.


Proud girls, the equivalent vertices are lower

That is normal and expected since the Proud Girls are much bigger, so their fold is lower. However, the vertices making its shape are virtually equivalent, especially when it comes to the weights. In other words, the vertices on your own mesh accessory must be moved the same way, i.e. downwards instead of forward. Otherwise the vertices will be positioned in a place where their weights will be wrong, and you'll get some clipping.

One word about the "top" mesh. If you get annoying clipping due to the weights, especially between the breasts, you can blur your weights around that area because I blurred mine a lot to make sure the bridge would remain straight in all configurations.

Good luck with this dev kit, I hope it will be easy enough for you to use. It will probably change over time, if I can make it simpler or clearer. I will probably not modify the shape of the Proud Girls by anything more than a few tweaks here and there, because I am aware that now that the dev kit is out, people will use it to design their own clothes. If I modified the shape of the breasts significantly afterwards, this would force them to update their own creations, which is a huge amount of work. So rest assured that I will not do that.


Of course there are restrictions to what you are allowed to do with this dev kit. By downloading and using it, you formally agree to the following (footnotes are there for clarification) :

- The "development kit", "dev kit" and "kit" terms hereafter refer to the files contained in the archive offered to download in the link pointed by this post, as well as all the data these files contain, and any modification of it, including but not limited to, copies, exports, and any variation of the data contained in these files.

- You are allowed to create and/or modify creations of your own (i.e. data you own the intellectual property of), using this development kit as a guide. For example, you are allowed to deform your mesh objects to cover the surface of any of the objects contained in this kit.

- You are allowed to download and copy this dev kit for your own personal use. You are not allowed to share it or redistribute it with anyone in any way. (1)

- You are not allowed to upload any of the contents of this dev kit to any platform, or any modification of it, including but not limited to Second Life.

- Any use of this dev kit not explicitly allowed in this agreement is forbidden.

- No guarantees of safety, stability or accuracy are made. The author is not liable for any damage or data loss resulting in the use of this dev kit. (2)

- The dev kit is subject to change without prior notice. (3)

- The intellectual property of the dev kit is owned by Marine Kelley. All rights are reserved. (4)

(1) I know this dev kit is accessible publicly... at least at the time of this writing. I would still like to remain the one who can distribute it, please. It makes no sense to redistribute it yourself anyway, since I intend to keep the dev kit public, and at least the link I provide points to a file that is up to date.

(2) Of course the dev kit is not supposed to contain any virus or malware in any kind. If it contains anything else than what is described above, please message me (Marine Kelley) and I will do my best to clean it.

(3) As I said above, I will not change the files recklessly without thinking really hard first. I am aware that any change to it implies that most of the work created based on it must be updated too, and that is not something to take lightly. Ideally, the dev kit should be final and should not change at all.

(4) This means, for example, that if you ever upload any original part of the dev kit (which is forbidden), i.e. any of the meshes it contains, I will retain the intellectual property over your uploaded object, even if you paid for its upload, and I will have the right to ask Linden Lab to remove it from the grid, since the original mesh is my creation. Naturally, this does not apply to any mesh you have created yourself, even if you created it inside your own copy of the dev kit.

Have fun !