Two shortcuts to a career in virtual fashion

Is there a particular kind of virtual content you need, and can’t find — and are seriously considering making yourself?

For example, my time in virtual worlds is all spent working — mostly, attending business meetings, hosting shows, interviewing people. I like to wear skirts when I do this, but most skirts in OpenSim tend to be either too short or too fancy for business meetings.

All the Kitely Market offers in the “business skirt” category is a bunch of mesh mini-skirts. Regular system skirts are too ugly, prim skirts hang straight down when you sit — and my experiments with Blender proved that I won’t be making any rigged clothing for years.

I was willing to hire someone to make custom clothing for me, and posted a note to that effect on OpenSim Virtual. And I was pointed to resources I never knew about, discovered some other resources that I only vaguely knew about, and found a new source for old resources that are sometimes a pain to import.

Let’s start with the best one first

Ready-to-texture mesh clothing

It turns out that if you get a full-perm mesh, you can slap a texture onto it in-world, just like you do on a prim. You can make original rigged mesh clothing without ever having to download Blender.

Back in 2012, Second Life clothing Damien Fate put all his templates up on his website, for free download.

But you don’t have to spend the time and effort downloading everything and trying to figure out how to import it into OpenSim. Nara Malone of Nara’s Nook has already done it. Just hypergrid teleport over to world.narasnook.com:8900 and walk over to coordinates 72, 192, 23 — also known as the Crates & Barrels store.

Crates & Barrels store on Nara's Nook at world.narasnook.com:8900.

Crates & Barrels store on Nara’s Nook at world.narasnook.com:8900.

Then simply click to pick up copies of the male and female mesh models, alpha layers, and bake maps located just to the right of the entrance.

There’s also a barrel of public domain hair there, and a barrel of public domain male skins, and some other goodies. But the main thing is the mesh models.

Touch the gray hoodie for the male mesh models, and the long dress for the female mesh models.

Touch the gray hoodie for the male mesh models, and the long dress for the female mesh models.

Bring it home, unpack it, then put on one of the mesh items after copying it and renaming it.

Here’s a model avatar wearing the strapless short mesh dress.

Damien Fate's mesh dress_001

The dress isn’t a great fit — the legs and the belly show through, but undershirts and underpants will fix that, as would the provided alpha layers. Personally, I prefer to use under clothing were possible because it just looks creepy when parts of my body are missing.

While wearing the dress, right-click on it, select edit, open the texture tab, and select any texture you want. I happened to have some textures I recently created at hand.

So here’s the same dress after I applied a texture, applied the same texture to a pair of long underpants, and added a tube-top shaped alpha layer to cover the belly.

Damien Fate's mesh dress with texture_001

You can change the vertical and horizontal scale on the texture, as you can see on the dress below, worn with the mesh jacket, textured with a matching fabric.

Damien Fate's mesh dress with jacket_001

Writing up the description of how to do it, and taking pictures, took several times longer than the work itself.

Here’s another outfit, this time using the skirt instead of the dress, and a plain white tank undershirt.

Damien Fate's gray mesh skirtwith jacket_001

Now all I need to do is get these clothes into Kitely somehow and upload them to the Kitely Market.

The license terms are not bad, either. According to the creator, while you can’t resell the raw templates themselves, you can give them away, and you can also modify them, use them to create clothing, and sell the final products.

“I am happy for people to use them however they see fit as long as they’re not selling them as a template pack,” Dash told Hypergrid Business. “You can modify and sell the files as clothing in any virtual world without credit. I just don’t like the thought of someone charging people for the resources that I offer freely, that is my main concern.”

He admitted that his license terms are a bit out of date.

“I suppose I should update my terms since the virtual landscape has altered since I first released these files,” he said.

You can follow Damien Fate on Facebook or visit his Second Life Marketplace store here.

Ready-to-use sculpts and templates

Next, we all know and love Linda Kellie and the fact that all her content is CC0 licensed, for any use whatsoever. Her clothing and pre-made regions are just everywhere.

But she also has clothing templates and sculpty pieces that can be used to create prim clothing.

You can download it from Zaradoo, but the Sandbox region on the Great Canadian Grid has a nice setup where you can come, browse, and take what you need. Just teleport to login.greatcanadiangrid.ca:8002:sandbox.

Warning: The Great Canadian Grid has been changing around its export permissions lately, and you might not be able to bring that content to other grids with you. But there is also a Linda Kellie Building Supply region on the Kitely grid, located at grid.kitely.com:8002:LK’s Building Supply.

If anyone knows of any others, please say so in the comments!

Linda Kellie clothing templates on the Great Canadian Grid.

Linda Kellie clothing templates on the Great Canadian Grid.

There are prim skirts of various sizes, collar and wrist pieces, and other miscellaneous parts.

While mesh clothing has some advantages over prim and system clothes, the latter are much easier to work with. You can play with them, change them, tweak them, and, of course, texture them in various ways.

Plus, system clothing is good for layering, even if you have mesh for the outer layer.

Start selling

You don’t need a full collection of content to get started. You can start with one item, tweak it, and add more later on.

You also don’t need to compete with the best fashions out there. If someone tries to put you down, ignore them — they’re just jealous that you’re taking a risk and getting out there while they just sit around and criticize.

No, you only have to be better than the worst that’s out there.

Plus, with time and practice, you’ll only get better.

Haters are gonna hate, but creators are gonna create.

Sell on Kitely Market. Plus, many grids offer free stores to creators to get them to come to their grids.

And don’t forget that the Tangle grid fashion expo starts today, and they might still have some booths available if you hurry. In fact, that’s why I started playing around with this — they dared me to start making my own clothes!

maria@hypergridbusiness.com'

Maria Korolov

Maria Korolov is editor and publisher of Hypergrid Business. She has been a journalist for more than twenty years and has worked for the Chicago Tribune, Reuters, and Computerworld and has reported from over a dozen countries, including Russia and China.

  • David Cunningham

    I went there to get these items, but found that when i got back to my home grid ,I could not rez them.
    So I found a interesting solution, I found that if I wore the items, put one box on my foot and one on my hand and so on and so on I would still have them when I TPed home LOL! my poor avie all loaded down and trying to walk with barrels and boxes attached everywhere 🙂

    • So funny!

      I had no problems bringing stuff home from Nara’s Nook, both with my Hyperica avatar and my Kitely Avatar.

      Or were you referring to the Linda Kellie items on the Great Canadian Grid?

      • David Cunningham

        Nara’s Nook,.. its no problem though,. I figured it out lol

    • This is a known issue on the current release of opensim where the transfer of items between servers running Windows and servers running mono seems to fail. A possible patch was provided by Diva yesterday, but most grids will not have implemented it yet. http://opensimulator.org/viewgit/?a=commit&p=opensim&h=877371411a9e997b0b11f45c410438ae2bb73f16

  • Wow! What a fantastic resource — I had no idea this was available!

    • I’d love to have an option to just pay with PayPal or by credit card, though. Converting money to L$ first is a bit of a pain…

  • Maria, please be careful to make recommendation to “Sell on Kitely” items that may have origins that are unknown or not licensed for it.

    I examined the male mesh items referred to above, and they looked suspiciously like I set I had acquired in SecondLife some years ago. On further examination they were identical, and they were released under the following license.

    —————————————–
    ——— License Agreement ————-
    —————————————–

    The .dae files contained within this .zip
    are for use as templates, bases with which
    you can build upon either in your chosen
    3D application, or custom textured for use
    in Second Life.

    These templates can be distributed freely,
    but credit must be given to the creator,
    “Damien Fate”.

    These files must not be charged for.
    http://www.damienfate.com

    There is also a video made when the were released http://blog.damienfate.com/?p=663

    • I was careful. Damien Fate did use to sell them in Second Life, and did release them to the public in 2012, and did specifically allow their use in OpenSim.

      • The license does not say that, and the website you linked to says:

        – These are NOT to be resold as mesh templates, really.
        – These CAN be modified and textured for use (and sale) in Second Life (or Cloud Party) as limited permission clothing only (again, NOT as templates)
        – You can redistribute the .zip files as long as they remain intact and credit the original creator “Damien Fate”.

        The post on the website is dated Sept 17 2012, and the license file in the zip is dated Sept 17 2012 10.38.

        In the Comment section below there is a question:

        “You said the Mesh Template Files can be used in SL and Cloud Party but can they be used in Opensim grids as well?”

        Which is answered:

        Damien Fate
        June 23, 2013 22;47
        Yes, they can 🙂

        So the problem with the upload to OpenSim is that the original license is not in the pack distributed in OpenSim and the items should at a minimum have the originators name in the description field. Anyone picking it up in OpenSim would have no idea where they originated.

        It also specifically says it cannot be distributed as is (template), only as modified and textured as limited permission. Here they are provided full perm untextured.

        • He specifically says they can’t be SOLD as a template, but that he welcomes mirror sites.

          I couldn’t see in the comments whether he addressed in-world redistribution, so I posted the question in the comments.

          It seems to be a standard CC-BY license — but he doesn’t make that clear anywhere. And he doesn’t mention in the instructions that you need to credit him if you sell items based on his templates (though, I myself, am planning to do so anyway).

          Meanwhile, the ZIP files also don’t have any license terms included, and if you were to upload them yourself, Damien Fate’s name wouldn’t be anywhere. So in that sense, there’s no practical difference between uploading them yourself and picking them up at Nara’s Nook.

          The one reason that creators might want people to only get the freebies from their site is they were using those freebies to market other products. But since Damien says he’s fine with mirror sites, that doesn’t seem to be the case here.

          • The web page you linked to in the article above (http://blog.damienfate.com/?p=956) has both for the Female Mesh Template Files and Male Mesh Template Files links that are marked Original

            The zip files from both of these links have a file named Agreement.txt which contains the following text:

            —————————————–
            ——— License Agreement ————-
            —————————————–

            The .dae files contained within this .zip
            are for use as templates, bases with which
            you can build upon either in your chosen
            3D application, or custom textured for use
            in Second Life.

            These templates can be distributed freely,
            but credit must be given to the creator,
            “Damien Fate”.

            These files must not be charged for.
            http://www.damienfate.com

            His posting on the page actually narrows the use and condition a bit over the license in the zip, while including use in OpenSim.

            Usually one would go by the license in the archive, as clarifications in a comment posting does not necessarily carry.

          • You’re right — I just found the file in my ZIP download.

            But I read it as a widening of the terms and conditions : “These templates can be distributed freely,but credit must be given to the creator, “Damien Fate”.”

            Since we seem to be reading this two different ways, any clarification in the comments should be welcomed.

            In any case, he seems to be making it very clear that he’s not opposed to people using his creations to make things for sale in OpenSim.

          • They way I understand it is this:

            The zip files containing the agreement and DAE files (the female version also have UV maps and alpha masks) can freely be distributes intact as long as they are credited to the creator.

            The files in the archive can be used for derivative works in that they can be reworked in a 3D program and/or have textures developed for them.

            The resulting product can only be uploaded to Secondlife and other places as a permission limited product that must be credited to the originator of the templates in the zip files. This permission limited product can be sold or given away.

            An upload of the content in the zip file (as-is) to Secondlife and other places for full perm distribution is not permitted.

          • Okay, I don’t see any of that anywhere. The license agreement included in the ZIP files is EXTREMELY loose, and says nothing about permissions or credit in the final retail product.

            On the website, he says “limited permission clothing” in the blog post, but if you go by that, you also have to go by his own words in the comments, allowing the use of the meshes in OpenSim.

            I just emailed him — I’ll get back with an update.

          • The license clearly says

            “are for use as templates, bases with which you can build upon either in your chosen
            3D application, or custom textured for use in Second Life.”

            The formulation is loose, but since the context stated in the license file is SecondLife, it is quite clear that it is a customized version you can upload and use, and not the template which is the base of your creation. He has further clarified this in the web page posting. The way they have been rigged with the SecondLife avatar skeleton also defines the use case.

            While the dae file could be used for other purposes, the rig would have to be removed, and the resulting geometry is triangulated low poly that is very hard to use elsewhere.

            So the issue here is not that these templates are used for permission limited products even for sale in OpenSim, but they way they have been uploaded full perm with the creator and license information removed. For the casual person picking up these items in OpenSim, they look like they are the work of the uploader.

            While we need all the products and creations we can get in OpenSim, we don’t need items that cannot be attributed to the original creator – particularly if the item has a commercial aspect (sale for currency – even zero, or for marketing.)

          • I just heard back from the creator — I added his quotes to the story above. He agreed that his license terms are out of date, and he said that people can do anything they want with his templates — no attribution necessary — as long as they don’t sell them as a template pack.

            “I just don’t like the thought of someone charging people for the resources that I offer freely, that is my main concern,” he said.

            He also added: “Thanks for sharing these files, I hope that it helps users learn more about creating mesh.”

  • Here is how to upload the Damien Fate meshes directly:

    (These instructions are for the Firestorm viewer).
    1. Download and unzip the Damien Mesh files
    2. Build>Upload>Mesh Model
    3. Choose a template to upload — it should have the .dae extention
    4. This model represents — Choose “Avatar attachment”
    5. Physics tab>Level of detail: Low
    6. Upload options>For avatar models only>Check “Include skin weight”, “Include joint positions”
    7. Click on “Calculate weights & fee”
    8. Click on “Upload”

    The uploaded mesh will now be in your inventory. Double click to wear it. Right-click and edit to apply texture.
    Or upload corresponding “bake” texture file and apply it.

    • Don’t bother with #5 as the only method for physics in OpenSim is upload a physics model file. Otherwise all good!