Fashion Designers who wish to move beyond system clothes with Flex and Sculpt attachments, but who do not know how to create their own mesh can purchase Full Perm Mesh Templates from creators such as Meli Imako. Many of these Templates come with textures for the garments, but the real fun lies in adding your own ‘fabrics’ and perhaps design details to create your own style. This tutorial will help you do that.
(Be aware of Terms of Service from the designers. Some have special rules if you sell the garment with their textures.)
For this tutorial, I will be using the MI Rigged Mesh Women’s Liqui Suit from Meli Imako, who has graciously given permission to use her images.
TEXTURES FROM THE TEMPLATE PACKAGE
Full Perm Mesh templates should come with a UV Map and an AO Map. These are 2 of the textures that came with this template:
SM_MI_Womens Liqui Liqui Suit (AO Map/Shadow Map)
UV_MI_Womens Liqui Liqui Suit.
SAVE THE TEXTURES TO YOUR HARD DRIVE
Open the maps and any other textures from the set in SL by double clicking, then save to your hard drive. For detailed instructions for downloading the textures, click here.
Save the PSD file.
CREATE SOME WORKING LAYERS BY DUPLICATING THE BACKGROUND
Duplicate the background layer again, and name it Fabric. (You’ll have 3 layers with the AO Map image on them.)
MOVE THE AO MAP TO THE TOP OF THE STACK OF LAYERS.
Drag the AO Map layer (the first copy you made) to the top of your layers, just below the UV Map. This layer is going to provide the shadows to give your garment depth. To be able to see the fabric when you apply it, and still see the shadows, change the Type of the AO Map layer from Normal to Multiply. Later, we can adjust the Opacity of this layer depending on our needs for the fabric and color we choose. (Lighter fabrics might need a less opaque AO Map.) (Be sure the UV Map is invisible. It’s there in case you need it later, but we won’t use it for this project.)
Click the Fabric Layer to make it active. Watch for the highlighting on the Layers panel so you know which layer you are working on.
PREPARE THE FABRIC LAYER
Use the Magic Wand Tool, to select the black background. Set the Tolerance so you get all of the black, and none of the garment.
Press Delete to delete the black pixels.
Hide the Background and other layers so you can see that you have, in fact deleted the black area.
USE A LAYER STYLE, PATTERN OVERLAY TO APPLY FABRIC TEXTURES
Click on the down arrow next to the Pattern View Window, and select your pattern. I have chosen Cerise Linen from Trendy Templates. While still in this window, adjust the scale, and if you need to align a print, click on the garment itself and drag. Click OK to save this Pattern and close the menu. Your garment will show the new texture.
VIEW THE SHADING
For many garments, this is all you’ll need to do. There is more that I want to do with this one, but before we go further, let’s see how this looks in Second Life. Save the Photoshop file, then Save As and select TGA.
VIEW THE RESULTS IN SECOND LIFE
Wear the garment, or rez it. Upload the texture, or use Local Textures, to apply your current texture to the garment.
In general, I like the way this looks. The texture of the fabric is a bit coarse, so I’m going to go back and change the scale. I think I’d like to have metal buttons, and maybe a black skirt, so we’ll do that, too.
CHANGING SCALE OF PATTERN
Double Click on the TEXT for Pattern Overlay for the Jacket. It opens the box where you defined the pattern. Adjust the scale. I reduced scale first to 90%, then 80%. I finally selected 75% scale. (I save as TGA each time, and used my Local Textures link to see what it looked like.)
Let’s add the buttons. I chose a button from Trendy Templates set of 10 Copper & Brass Buttons.
Save the button texture to your hard drive. Open it in Photoshop
Copy the button to our suit the same way as the map layers. Select the entire layer (CTRL A) then copy (CTRL C). In the suit file, paste the button layer (CTRL V).
CHANGE THE SKIRT
The skirt is currently on the same layer as the Jacket, and we can’t change the pattern on one without changing the other. We need to get them on separate layers.
Duplicate the Fabric Layer, and name it Skirt Layer. We will isolate the skirt on this layer. To better illustrate, I’ve hidden the AO layer, and the other Fabric layer.
Using the Polygonal Lasso Tool Select everything but the skirt.
That should leave only the skirt on that layer. The buttons are still displayed in this image. But they are on a different layer so it doesn’t matter.
CHANGE THE PATTERN OVERLAY
Double click on the Pattern Overlay (right on that text) and open that window. Select the Black Linen, or other fabric. Scale, or adjust as needed. OK to close.
Turn the AO Map and the Fabric layers back on, and you’ll see everything layered the way we want it for our final texture. Save as TGA, and hop back to SL.
If you used Local Textures, you’ll see the changes.
If you’re satisfied with your textures, you can upload them. You can do that right from the Local Textures tab. Apply the uploaded texture to the garment(s). It’s really easy to forget to do that!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial, and that it opens a whole new realm of creativity for you. Happy Second Life.
Today’s model is wearing the Lara mesh avatar by Maitreya, the Alexia Creame skin by Pulse, and Maitreya Uma Ultra Blond hair.