Workspaces are essentially predefined window layouts. It is often useful to quickly switch between different workspaces within the same file.
Blender's default startup shows the "Layout" workspace in the main area.
It also has several other workspaces added by default:
In "Layout" workspace we can see diferent Editors
Basic movement controllers
However since Blender is very hotkey based, in case you want to learn the default settings, we're going to post small guide of the basic movement controllers:
The editors are so usefull, they are divided by tags (General, Animation, Scripting and Data) the most important editors that we could use frecuently are:
These are tools similar to the Deform ones, however, they usually do not directly affect the geometry of the object, but some other data, such as vertex groups.
These are constructive/destructive tools that will affect the whole Topology of the mesh. They can change the general appearance of the object, or add new geometry to it…
Unlike Generate ones, these only change the shape of an object, without altering the topology.
Those represent physics simulations. They are automatically added to the modifiers stack whenever a Particle System or Physics simulation is enabled. Their only role is to define the position in the modifier stack from which is taken the base data for the simulation they represent. As such, they typically have no attributes, and are controlled by settings exposed in separate sections of the Properties.
RC → Object Content Settings
S → Scale
E → Extrude
K → Cut
F → Fill (Edge/vertex/face)
J → Connect vertex with edges
Sift + S → Origin settings
Tab → We can swap between Object Mode and Edit Mode.
1, 2, 3 → Change between Vertex, Edge or Face edition.
Numpad → Orthographic view (front, lateral, top) Nº 0 → Enter main camera
Ctrl + R → Cut and create an edge loop.
Ctrl y RC → Selection of several vertex, edges, or faces.
Sift + RC → Selection between the active vertex, edge or face, to last choose.
Sift → Manual selection of several objects
Sift + C → Set origin in center
CTRL + E, V o F → (bridge edge loops) Connect edges/vertex nodes.
Sift + A → Menu add
Sift + F → Enter camera mode
Sift + H → Hide everything except the object we selected, H → hide just the selected.
Alt + H → Show every element hidden previously.
Ctrl + B → Bevel
Ctrl + P → Set parent
Ctrl + J → Join selected objects in one.
Alt + C → Convert in mesh
Ctrl + X → Disolve vertex, edges or faces.
Ctrl + + → Seleccion of all surface that have contact with selected
S + Z + 0 → Set all vertices selected in the same position, we can change Z for X or Y.
Shift/Alt + D → Create a copy/creeate an instantiate of selected.
Ctrl + Alt + Q → Change of view and perspective
Ctrl + G → Save proyect
There is several add-ons that you can activate in Edit → Preferences → Add-ons, they could make you happy.
Installing the plugin
First thing first, we need to install the plugin. I will briefly explain how to do it so there is no problem at all.
It's pretty simple, download the lastest version of CATs plugin using this link to Github.
Now it's time to open Blender.
Select the edit button at the top left of the screen and click on "Preferences"
Requirements and setting up the bones
Right now, you should have your avatar rigged and ready. Remember that eye tracking is completely optional and you should have prepared your avatar for it before hand.
You can get creative with the uses, but for me, I separated the pupils for the actual eyes of the character. It gives a really good overall result.
As I said, do you have you avatar completely rigged? No? Then check out this guide to make the process easier.
How to Rig you Avatar for the Metaverse using Maya LT 3D
If you have everything ready, let's create a new set of bones for the eyes.
Now that you have it set up, mirror the new bones so you have them for both eyes.
Remember to name the bones correctly. Call them Eye_L and Eye_R, so there is no problem when we get to blender and CATS plugin.
Once this is done, now you only need to skin the new bones into the pupil, so it moves along.
Now everyhting is correctly set up. Export the avatar into an fbx and open Blender!
Using the plugin
Now in Blender, import the model we just exported. BUT do not use Blender's own import tool, use instead CATS own import feature.
If you character looks like a complete mess when you imported it, hit the Fix Model button and it should hopefully fix it.
You can use the Testing tab to try out for yourself how it looking so far with the Eye tracking.
Now you can simply export the character.
Setting it up in Unity
This last step is making sure everything works inside Unity! As far as setting up the Avatar inside VRChat, it's the same as always so you can use our guide:
Create and Upload a VRChat Avatar with Blend Shapes Visemes
The only thing we have to keep in mind is to set up the new eyes. Using the Eye Look menu, we can see down below a big sub-menu where we can select both eyes bones.
Once the bones are selected, you can play with each of the 5 different options to make them match their descriptions. Remember that the value you set it up to is the maximum value. That means that the eyes wont move more than that.
A little bit of History
Don't worry! This is going to be short, although the colour has been studied from the 15th century: how to obtain colours, involving physics, chemistry and even maths. But it's not until the year 1920, that the Bauhaus School developed different theories, about the transmission of the colours and how do we view them, especially the studies of Johannes Itten, a Swiss expressionist.
It's thanks to these studies that we could develop the modern colour theory.
Johannes Itten → Zweiklang 1964
Have you ever done an image in photoshop, but when you print it the colours look different? That's because we have different methods to produce colours, where the primary colours change.
These colours are used by screens, and anything that emits light. The wavelengs of the light create the different tones, and when more light is added, the tone is brighter.
In this palette we consider the primary colours the red, green and blue (RGB). Here, white is the combination of all, and black the absence of colours.
Used by anything that reflects light, like books or other print materials, unlike the additive system here, the pigment determines its colour to the human eye depending on the light reflected.
The primary colours here are: Cyan, Magenta and Yellow (CMY), white is the absence of colour while black is the combination of all colours.
It's important to remember that pigments we have at the moment don't absorb the light completely, because of that when we mix all the colours the closest to black will be a dark, dark brown. To fix that we add a four pigment, which we call Key, hence CMYK, this four pigment is essentially Black.
Primary, Secondary and a lot more
Once we have explained the different systems, it's time to start explaining the different things that compose a colour. Mixing all of this together is when we obtain any possible colour.
This marks the position on the colour wheel, usually on programs, like photoshop, is referred in degrees (because it's a wheel), for example perfect violet is on 270 degrees.
How bright a colour is, usually it goes from 0 to 100%, being 0% the black and the 100% the white.
This components tells us how rich a colour is. Less saturation means the colour becomes a shade of grey, and a perfect colour with the full saturation, the pinkest pink, if you will.
The colour as a chameleon
As you can see on the image; you may think that inside each square, there is a square of different colours but is there?
An important rule when you are painting, the colour changes depending on it's surroundings, this is a well-known optical illusion, the truth is that the colour in the small squares it's the same.
If you think carefully is not necessary to have a deep knowledge about the theory of colour to get beautiful compositions, but it is recommendable, especially on cases like the optical illusion, because one colour can ruin a whole composition. Now I'm going to give a few examples of how to combine the colours, the usual ones. All the Palettes created here are from Adobe Color.
A single hue extended, changing the brightness and saturation.
Colors that are directly oposed in the colour wheel, this example is a simple one but you can create a palette with a double complementary, that consist on the combination of two complementary colour pairs.
Three colours that are equidistant on the colour wheel.
A group of colours that is adyacent to each other.
This is just a small introduction about the theory of colours to create a pallete. You can use the method you like the most or create one in a intuitive way. In my case the ones Ilike the most are the ones created with complementary colours combined with the analogous palette.
I think it's ideal to accentuate a part and create a point of attention. If you want to further investigate how the colour can change depending on its surroundings, you can do the same as in the gif I made.
You can do it with photshop or mixing cartulines of different colours and it's a good exercise when you are starting painting or designing.
If you already have an advanced knowledge of decentraland maybe you want to skip this guide and go straight to the finished tutorial project on github.
We'll asume that you have some basic knowledge of making a basic game in typescript using decentraland components, if you need to know more about Decentraland components check the following docs:
Entities and components | Decentraland
It would be nice to if you check before starting the Decentraland docs about using P2P messaging, but won't be necesary as we'll cover this in the guide:
About multiplayer scenes | Decentraland
Prepare your component
If you already know everything about DCL components and input on entities you can skip this part.
For the sake of this guide we'll use a very simple component to change the color of a BoxShape entity, and the spawn cube function provided by the init example DCL project. Of course you can adapt this guide to use it with your own project and components.
To our new ColorComponent we'll add some functions that will be usefull to manage the component via player input or P2P message
To get everything ready for start coding our P2P messages, we'll finish first the update from our local player input, if you don't know how to do that I recomend to check the Decentraland docs for input in entities
One last thing, lest make an array of 3 cubes to manage instead of only one.
Now we have 3 cubes that chage color, ready in a local only scene
To simulate multiple players in your local scene, open the decentraland preview in two different browser windows
First we need to define the structure of our messages with the data we want to transmite, in this tutorial this structure is simple, but in your game be careful with this part, the more information you need to transmit the slower will be te updates. Always try design your game to reduce the amount of data transmited.
Make a function to update the entities with a recived CubeState
Before making any messages we need to have an unique player ID, you can make your own system, but since the decentraland player names are unique we'll use them in this tutorial
Messages that are sent by a player are also picked up by that same player. The .on method can’t distinguish between a message that was emitted by that same player from a message emitted from other players.
Now we can start with the P2P code, make a function to capture emmited messages
And in the ColorComponent, when the local player change the color, send a message with the new color index.
The game is ready now, open the preview in two browser and check the cubes change colors in both windows.
What's a Style? It's edible?
If we look the definition in the dictionary, a style is a list of peculiar characteristics that identify an artist, work or a period in art history. When we talk about videogames, we could choose the most obvious ones, like stylized, abstract or realistic.
Abstract Videogames: Geometric Wars, Monument Valley
Stylized Videogames: Overwatch, Zelda breath of the wild
Realistic games: Assassin's creed Odissey, Uncharted
I know it's kind of an easy to see with examples proposed, you can easily identify each one of them looking at them. But it is a good exercise to look at your preferred medium and try to identify their defining characteristics.
How to take on a Style
As we said before, a style is a series of characteristics that makes someone or something easily identifiable. In Polygonal Mind, for example, we do a low poly and stylized look, while maintaining an unique edge in each project. When taking on something as complicated as this, I like to view it from examples that are close to home. So let's see what I mean looking into one of the projects of Polygonal mind, the museum for decentraland. Taking a look back, the museum is a virtual building for Decentraland. It had to be cyberpunk and similar to the style of Blade Runner, if you want more information on that you can check the article here:
Developing an Style 101
Sometimes developing can seem to be really easy, but truth be told, it's not child's play.
A Style is something that can take years to evolve until it becomes yours truly
So take this as a series of tips to start creating your own way of doing things.For that reason I'm going to try to exemplify it using the props for the museum on Decentraland.
Photo of the museum
When I want to develop props for a project, I like to write a list of the
That made the scene feel different. In this case we can say that:
Another thing to take into account, is the palette of colours, if there is a series of colors that are already selected, then you can work with the same colours, select complementary colours (colours on the opposite side of the colour wheel) or on the same hue but with different saturation (the intensity of a colour, expressed as the degree to which it differs from white).
For instance, green hues don't match in this scheme of colours, since the pink and blue are the commanding tones on the scene. However, as you can see on the screen that surround the tree, yellow tones work really well, because they are complementary with the palette. Nevertheless, in this project I preferred to use the same colours as the building.
Once we have the characteristics and the list of models, I search for references in Pinterest and Google Images. Here are some examples of some sketches for the props.
Sketches of props
As you can see in the sketches I tried to make it as similar as possible to the list of attributes I wrote before, that way they can blend with the scene perfectly.
Into the modeling
At this point, the process we follow is very similar to the one described in the last article I wrote, so if you want a more developed description you can check it at the link I provided before. But as I said before...
Nevertheless, never forget the musts. Reference, Blockout and Detail.
Moreover, in case of 3D, don't forget that you can view the prop, object or character from different angles, so it is important to think in all the angles the model can be viewed, see the expositor below.
As I said, this is more a series of tips rather than through guide, but I hope that it's useful. Sometimes it can be complicated, but with a little bit of attention to details and dedication, you can get a unique design.
Main Parts of the Wearables
A wearable is an item of clothing, accesory or body feature, that are used to customized your avatar inside the world of Decentraland. Although there are some wearables that you can use already once you create your account. Now you can create your own custom wearables.
However before you proceed in creating your own clothes, you need to know several things. First things first, each wearable is organized in different categories such as:
This divides the wearables in different categories, that determines which body part of the avatar will be applied to, some wearables will have to replace others completely to work. The categories that appear in the builder are these:
And last but not for that less important, we have to talk about the limitations for the 3d models and those are:
Starting to build
Once you have clear the division between the parts of the wearables, you can start modeling. In this guide I'm going to do the basic wereables, such as feet, lower body and upper body. So you can know it as a reference, however you can follow this same progress to create all the wearables following the limitations I wrote before.
Before start I recommend to download the basic avatar male and female from the link below, so you have a reference of where to start. Inside you will also find a Blender file with the armature, that we will use later on to rig the models, as well as some references of other wearables.
Wearable Reference Models - Google Drive
Inside the Drive folder and where to find the basic resources
In my case I'm going to download the fbx model of male and female avatar to load them in my maya scene to start modeling, but you can use your prefered 3D software.
Modeling & Texturing
In this section on the article I'm going to comment on three ways in which I take on making the wearables together.
First one, is taking one part of the model duplicate it, and modify the vertex and faces to create the new model. making sure that connects correctly with the other parts. In this case since I'm making the feet this model can be for male and female, so I only need to make this wearable once.
Making the feet from the base feet of the model.
The second one, is to create the model from zero from a basic shape and model the vertex to create it. In this case the skirt, while I use the female legs as the base the skirt is created from a cylinder, and increase the triangles conforming I'm modeling. Also in this case I create a variant for male avatar, that are pants, following the first method.
Skirt for female avatars
The third one, consist in model the wearable without taking into account the number of tris and when we have the final shape, make a new retopology that fits on the criteria. In my case, I use Zbrush to create the shape of the model and then I make the low poly in Maya. The model of the upper body is the same, but it changes the body shape, so I duplicate the model and change the shape a little to create the variation.
Creating the Upper body jacket
For the textures, since is such a small resolution texture I recommend to made UVs symmetrical so that the UVs can be a lot of bigger. I don't touch any part of the AvatarSkin material UVs because I can break the texture when loading in Decentraland.
For my models I paint them in Substance Painter, and I can only put two textures in the model so I only paint on the Base color channel. Don't forget to change it also in the viewport in Substance to see the final result. Also when you create a new project remember to put the resolution in 512 px.
Painting all the models
Rigging & Exporting
Once we have all the models, materials and textures done, is time to rig them and export them in GLB. For that purpose you need to have Blender 2.8 or superior, you can rig the models in other softwares however when exported, the models tend not to work correctly.
First we have to import our model into the scene, armature.blend in the drive folder, if you have modeled it using the original models as a reference you will have not problems in the placement of the model, nevertheless I recommend to apply the transformations on the move and scale.
When I have the transformations applied I rig it selecting the armature and the model, pressing P with automatic weights, check the weights and if necessary correct them.
Finally, it's time to export it. I select the models just in case, click File → Export → GLB. Check apply modifiers, and skinning in the extra options in the exporter.
Then repeat this steps with the rest of the models.
Rigging the model and exportin it from blender
From there you are ready to add your items, press add items and drag or select the models, in the new panel that appears we can select the basic options for our wearables. You can select the body shape and select the male or female options and then add the counterpart. Change the name, the rarity which determnines the number of wearables that will be created, and the category that configures which part will replace.
If you press EDIT, you will enter a menu where you can view the wearable in the avatar, and complete the rest of the options.
Once we have all the wearables, we can return to the main menu in the collection. Click on set a price, where we can put a price or make it free, put our address and finally submit it to the curation commite.
Here is a general guide that can help you create your own wearables. In the decentraland guides you can find more information about the curation process, and the textures of the skin and the standard texture, if you need them.
I believe the builder is a great tool to check this wearables, and test them pretty fast. With this models I think it is time to say; have fun and can't wait to see what you make.