Thursday, April 15, 2010

Texture on Avatar Mesh in Blender

How to apply a texture to an avatar Mesh in Blender.

1. Download the avatar mesh! There were 2 places I found Second Life avatar meshes from:
The latter seems to have more accurate meshes, so I would download from there. Get the first 2 downloads where it says "true female/true male". Ignore the .mtl files, what you need are the .obj's.

2. Import the .obj file(s) into Blender.
Go to File->Import->Wavefront (.obj)
After you choose the .obj model a dialogue box will come up. All you need to have selected there are "Keep Vert Order". The rest should be unselected.

3. Separate the parts of the model. If you downloaded the avatar mesh from Cybernetics your model will look like the one on the left, the other is from the SL website. Either way, you still have to separate the parts of the model to make it easier to apply and load your textures on it.
So to do this:
a. Select the model and go into edit mode[tab].
b. Hover your mouse cursor over a part of the mesh, say the skirt to start off with, and hit the L key. If you did it correctly you'll notice that only the skirt got selected. The reason this happened is because the vertices on the skirt are not welded to the rest of the mesh(as with the other parts we'll separate).

c. Hit P and choose Selected. Now the skirt is it's own object!
D. Let's move the skirt onto another layer so it's easier to see the rest of the mesh, and the skirt will still be lined up in place if you ever need it. Select the skirt in OBJECT mode(not edit mode!), hit M then click on any of the blocks that come up(those represent layers in blender). Choose ok and it will dissapear from view-but don't worry it's still on the layer you put it on which you can get back on the header of the 3D viewport.(*note you can view multiple layers at a time by holding down the Shift key while selecting layers).
E. Ok now do the same things for the rest of the parts of the model. Select the model again, go into edit mode, hover the cursor over the legs, torso, head(also head and eyes if you got the cybernetics model) hit L, etc... there's obviously no need to move the torso/legs/head parts to different layers, since they just all line up with each other, but if you want to you can :)

4. Apply your texture to the 3d model.
a. Alongside of your 3d view, open the UV editor. Here's a beginner's tutorial on Blender's User Interface that will explain how to configure your screen in order to do that:
b. Select the part of the model you want to apply the texture to(head, torso, or legs), then go into Edit mode. Hit the A key to select all vertices. You should see something like this:

c. In the UV editor, go to Image->Open, and pick your texture.
d. In the 3d view, on the header bar, choose Draw Type: Textured, and your texture should now appear on your model. Do that for each part of the model and you should have a fully textured model in blender which you can rotate around to view your textures on! :)

5. How to quickly see changes from 2D->Blender.
While working in your 2D program you can very quickly see the changes on the 3d model by going in the UV editor and choosing Image->Reload, or even faster just press Alt+R! Of course make sure you save your image in the 2d program first.


  1. Hello thanks for the tutorial.. I was wondering if Blender can be used in place of Av painter.. you know see the seams and correct them direct on the model?

  2. Hi,
    I never used Av painter but yes you can paint directly on the model in Blender-that is exactly how I fix seams. There are plenty of tutorials on the subject, here is one on the official site:

  3. Oh thank you so much :).. I will check it out!I was wondering about making shoes.. can u give any tips ? Hope I am asking too much..

  4. Ok sorry to disturb again.. But I put a skin on the model. After that how do I make the top appear above the skin and not replace it?

  5. Ok.. I know..this is really irritating.. But I need your help!lol.. To fix the seams. I need to erase a tiny part of the top texture I made in Gimp .. how do u erase in Blender? can you please make a tutorial on fixing seams? So we will have more understanding about it.

  6. Making shoes is the same as making anything, you just gotta get good reference pictures and then know how to move around the verticies, which you learn over time by using Blender a lot(read lots of tutorials!).

    I put the skin on a layer below the shirt so that's how it's showing on the model in my pictures.

    You can't "erase" in blender, what you do is pick another color to act as your eraser color. I'll see about making a tutorial on how to fix seams when I get some time :)

  7. That was supposed to be I hope I am not asking too much.. lol.. typo. Ok I am following the tuts but at times lose patience ... I guess I need to check into layers..

    After commenting here I found that if I change to erase Alpha mix mode and colour on the uv map that becomes invisible.. is that what you meant? if you have an alternative method i would love to see it too :) Thanks a ton! Looking forward to your next tut.. :)

  8. No I just mean I pick another color to act as my eraser color. You can't have 2D layers when you paint textures in Blender, so it doesn't matter really about erasing in Blender. Just use white or whatever color works for erasing. Usually I paint guidelines or a base laer, or if I don't mind having the whole imagine flattened(no layers) I'll paint as much as needed or I can in Blender.

  9. This is not easy. I am unable to select the skirt, and I have a square on top of the avatar. Terrible.

  10. Try Right clicking to select the object because by default Blender uses Right click(I changed my interface to use Left click for selecting).

  11. Very nice! :-) But what about the "true male" figure? There is only female in the downloaded pack...

  12. Oh, sorry, I have just found out there are a few more packs... Sorry for spamming and thanks, again...