Tag Archives: texture

Inventory Management: Getting Organized

The Plan

Your inventory is constantly changing. Items come in & go out, get attached & unattached, are changed, modified, updated, used, reused, & moved about. Looking in your inventory & seeing hundreds of items is not useful. Scanning overwhelming lists in search of items all the time is frustrating. So what is the best way to deal with all this? We need a way to keep track of all this without getting overwhelmed, as well as a way to store our items in a way that we can quickly locate each item as we need it.

I’ll cover creating a visually clear workspace & getting your inventory organized, making it easier to find new items you receive. You’ll also learn how to find & deal with duplicate items to lower you inventory count without giving up the items you love. For those of you who have so many items that sorting them is overwhelming, I’ll show you how to create folders to put clutter into until you can get it sorted out & put away. Next, I’ll cover more about getting things put away in an orderly fashion. If your inventory isn’t cluttered & you just want to set up a custom system to stay organized, go ahead & skip to ‘Deleting Duplicates’.

Clearing Clutter

To clear the clutter & prepare to get organized, create folders to temporarily hold items that need to be sorted & put away. These folders need to be where you can easily access them. To do this you can set up your inventory to sort alphabetically with System folders to the top. Go to your Gear icon in the inventory window & tick ‘Sort by Name’ & ‘Sort System Folders to Top’. We’ll also need to make sure you will be able to view empty folders. Go to your Gear Icon in your Inventory window & check ‘Show Filters’ to open the Filters window. Tick the ‘Always show folders’ box & close the filters window.

Character Ordering

Keeping in mind the sort order of keyboard characters, you can control where folders are sorted by using these characters to your advantage. When sorting alphabetically or ‘by name’, blank spaces are always sorted to the top but you cannot start an item or folder name with a blank space. The ! mark is sorted next after space. The ~ tilde is sorted to the bottom of the barrel – the very last character.

New Folder

Right click your top level folder, ‘Inventory’ & select ‘New Folder’. Name this folder something like: “! TO BE FILED”. You can name the folder something different that makes sense to you, if you prefer: ‘! IN BASKET’, ‘! TO BE SORTED’, ‘! OMG CAN I KILL IT?’, will all work fine too. Whatever works for you. Use all caps to make the folder more visible. The exclamation point & space will help assure that the folder always remains at or near the top of your list of folders, above any other folders.

TIP:There is a limit of how much you can put into a folder. To be safe, do not put more than 5000 items in a folder. That’s a lot & I wouldn’t recommend having that many items in a folder. Other folders don’t count in the 5000 item limit. Subfolders can also have 5000 items each.

Right click the new folder you created & choose ‘Copy’. Right click & paste a copy of the folder into each of your System folders:

  • Animations
  • Body Parts
  • Clothing
  • Gestures
  • Landmarks
  • Notecards
  • Objects
  • Photo Album
  • Scripts
  • Sounds
  • Textures

Move to TO BE FILED Folder

Select all folders & loose items directly under the top level Inventory folder except for the new folder you just created & your system folders. Select only about 20-40 folders at a time. If you have them also leave your ‘#Firestorm’, ‘#Phoenix’, ‘#InWorldz’ and/or ‘#RLV’ folders: they are special viewer & world specific folders. If you have any folders or items that you feel you must keep at this level then you can leave them unselected as well. When you have all your clutter selected, drag & drop it into the new ‘! TO BE FILED’ folder.

Muahahahahahaha! This is where everyone freaks out. Seriously, trust me here & don’t panic! You’ll get back to those items after you have your organization system setup & ready for sorting items. Meanwhile, you can see what you are doing more clearly as you work on sorting out that overwhelming mess!

Go to your ‘Received Items’ & ‘Lost & Found’ folders & move any items you have in those folders to your new ‘! TO BE FILED’ folder as well. Both the ‘Received Items’ & the ‘Lost & Found’ folders should be kept empty so you can quickly recognize when new things show up in them.

Decluttered Inventory Folder

Now stand back & look at your top level of folders. Much better visually! Of course, you just swept the mess under the carpet but we will get to that soon. Your system folders are all at the top, then the trash folder, & now the new ‘! TO BE FILED’ folder. Your ‘Received Items’ & ‘Lost & Found’ folders are empty. Now, when new items come into your ‘Inventory’, ‘Received Items’ or ‘Lost & Found’ folders you can easily spot them. When you create folders for getting organized, they will be easy to see & drag items too.

Deleting Duplicates

Open your ‘! TO BE FILED’ folder & look for duplicate items. Because you are sorting alphabetically, like named items will be together & you can investigate to see if they are unique items or duplicates. Double click to open files with the same file name to see if the contents are the same or different. Look through loose items below the folders for things with the same name & investigate those. Are they the same item or unique items with the same name?

TIP: Delete items you don’t want by pressing the ‘Delete’ key while they are selected.

When you find duplicates, check if they are copy. After the item name it will say, ‘(no modify)’, ‘(no transfer)’ &/or ‘(no copy)’ if any permissions are limited. You can also right click items & choose ‘Properties’ to see permissions. If any items are No Copy & they are something you may need more than one of then, by all means, keep the copies. Delete duplicates that you don’t need or want.

Now that you can see your top level Inventory folder contents better, take a look at your System folders at the next level. You can work on these folders using the same method. Repeat this process with each of your cluttered system folders. If you have any organizational folders already set up that are cluttered, do the same process with those as well.

Delete Delete Delete

Lego Dexter

Checking lists of items for duplicates when you move things around, with your sort order set to ‘Sort by Name’, is the most effective way of finding & deleting duplicates. As like items get sorted together in their custom categories, you will be able to spot them. Scan, find, investigate, & delete duplicates as you work.

Delete by Search Terms

Look for unwanted junk with search. Search terms to try: hover, floating, unpack, delete, give, gift, free, hunt, demo, rotat, read, info, shop, store, sale, tos, eula, bald, pose, posing, thank, thanx, welcome, resize, change. Not all of these will be unwanted but a good many will be unneeded items you received in folders from purchases & gifts.

TIP: When receiving new folders of items, always look inside & delete unneeded hover, giver, & other scripts that aren’t important.

Also search for instructions, how-to’s, & directions that you get from your HUD’s, toys, furniture, & gadgets. Many of these can be gotten again by clicking your items’ info or help buttons. If you don’t need to keep them in your inventory, delete them. Narrow down your search by setting filters to view notecards if the search return is too long.

WARNING: Be sure to save one copy of important instructions you can’t get again.

Delete by Search Terms

Also search for anything called object, primitive, or prim0-mesh, depending on what your world’s default name is for primitives & mesh objects. Check those items out to see if they are anything you want to keep. If they are, give them a name other than ‘Object’, ‘Primitive’, or ‘prim0-mesh’.

Search for the word ‘New’ and investigate things named ‘New Notecard’, ‘New Socks’, to see if they are things you want to keep. If so, name them something sensible.

Try using your filters to see only landmarks. Slide those landmarks into your Landmarks ‘! TO BE FILED’ folder & delete, delete, delete those duplicates! All those spammy landmarks you receive when you acquire folders of items can pile up fast!

Other culprit duplicates to consider deleting:

Your favorite sellers’ duplicate landmarks, instructions, scripts, & other items included in boxes when you acquire new items.

Notecard notices you get for sales, store specials, & events.

Prim hair in colors you don’t wear.

Eyes, skin, shapes, avatars, non-prim hair you will never use. Seriously? Do we ever wear non prim hair after the first day inworld? Not even newbies appreciate non prim hair….so why you keeping those? Do keep the bald bases you do use, of course.

Clothes, accessories, & shoes you will never wear. If it’s a past trend or just plain ugly & you honestly can’t think of a single reason to put it on – delete it!

Those demos you tried out….those demos you’ll never bother with now that you’ve forgotten them so long…..

You can box up & make newbie packs of hair, clothes, & body parts that you don’t want but someone else can use. Give these to new people you meet! Be sure to refer them to this tutorial for when all those freebies get out of hand….

Taking Out The Trash

WARNING:[/highlight] Once you’ve emptied your ‘Trash’ folder the items in there are gone forever! It’s permanent-nada, zip, zilch, gone! Do make a habit to double check the trash contents before you empty it.

Restore Trash Items Phx

You can easily delete selected single or multiple folders & items by pressing the ‘Delete’ key or by selecting ‘Delete’ in the right click context menu. It’s easy to do by accident! If you do accidently delete content it will be sent to your ‘Trash’ folder. Items in your ‘Trash’ folder can be restored. Locate the item or folder, right click & select ‘Restore Item.’ It’s a good idea to empty your ‘Trash’ folder often.

WARNING: Another caution to watch for: If you right click your ‘Lost & Found’ folder & select ‘Empty Lost & Found’, all items in your ‘Lost & Found’ folder will be permanently deleted. They will NOT go to the trash folder!

Delete Confirmation Notice

You will get a popup warnings when you try to delete items, multiple items, or a system folder. You will also get warnings when you empty the Lost & Found & Trash folders. That is, unless you disabled the warnings. I suggest you enable them if they are disabled. Popups might be a nuisance but they do give you a chance to think twice before taking an action that can’t be undone.

WARNING: When deleting items in the contents of prims in the Build window, those items will also be permanently deleted. They will not go to the trash folder. Fortunately, you will always receive a confirmation beforehand because that notification cannot be disabled.

Confirm Notices in Preferences

To enable them again go to Preferences or Ctrl-P (PC) / Cmd-P (Mac): Notifications tab. Move ‘Are you sure you want to delete multiple items?’, ‘Confirm before I delete a system folder’ , ‘Confirm before I empty the Inventory Trash folder’, & ‘Confirm before I empty the Inventory Lost & Found folder’ from the ‘Never show’ to the ‘Always show’ box by highlighting them and clicking the up arrow button.

Also move ‘Confirm before deleting items’, if you don’t find it too annoying to get a popup notification everytime you hit the delete key….I prefer to leave that one in the ‘Never show’ box myself. When you get these alerts in the future do NOT tick the ‘Don’t show me this again’ box so you’ll always get these confirmations before accidentally deleting something important.

Setting Up A Custom Organization System

It’s time to create a custom system of folders & subfolders to get & keep all your items organized so you can find what you want when you want it. By the time you finish this part of your inventory clean-up, you will have accomplished a major decrease in the numbers of items you have & have a system that will save you time everyday.

First let me outline the system concept so that the steps you take along the way make sense. These are guidelines. You will need to make a custom system that works for you.

Top Level Organization

Create up to 10 special folders in your Inventory folder. Less is better. Limit this to a short list that is easy to scan & navigate. These need to be for your most frequent activities. Things you need to access daily & that you want to keep close at hand.

You can use these folders to hold everything you need for a particular activity. Clothes, tools, gadgets, records, landmarks, notes, contacts’ calling cards, schedules, supplies, animations, whatever you use in that activity. Sometimes you may only want to keep a copy or a shortcut link to an item such as calling cards.

Subfolder Organization

Create categories of subfolders in each system folder & the new category folders you created under the Inventory folder. They should make sense for you. My subfolder categories make sense to me. They work the way I think & the way I accomplish my tasks. Yours need to fit you & how you think & work.

Create a balance between the number of subfolders in each folder & the number of levels your folders go down. You don’t want long lists to have to scan when looking for what you want. But neither do you want to be clicking all day to get to the lower sub levels of your inventory.

Try to not have more than a dozen or so folders at a level. Half a dozen would be even better.

Try not to have subfolders go more than four or five levels deep. Two or three would be even better.

Try not to have more than about 20-40 items in a folder. The idea is to avoid a lot of scrolling & long lists of folders & items to scan.

Notice I keep saying ‘try’. You will not always be able to succeed at meeting these goals, especially for large collections.

Over time, you will need to add or subtract category subfolders to suit you needs. Keep in mind the goals of keeping the number of Special folders, category subfolders, & items in each folder to workable numbers. Are your items easy to navigate to? Can you remember where everything is? Are the folder titles descriptive enough?

Name these category subfolders with an exclamation point ! & a blank space so the folders sort to the top alphabetically. Capitalize the folder names so you can spot these folders easily.

Once you have your Custom folders & subfolders created you will need to go back thru the ‘! TO BE FILED’ folders that you made in the Clear Clutter class & start working on sorting thru those items. Decide which items are highest priority & start there, working your way thru each ‘! TO BE FILED’ folder. Start with the type of items you find yourself most often digging for.

When a subfolder gets too many items in it, create a new set of subfolders, being even more specific.

Have It Your Way

List your top activities inworld. No more than 10 if at all possible!

Do you enjoy building? Making textures? Sculpties? Or are you into role playing, clubbing, hanging out, or other activities? Do you have a job inworld? Do you bring a rl activity like writing or photography inworld?

Are you a bargain hunter or a shop owner? A teacher or mentor? Do you buy & sell property or rent to others? Are you into an inworld sport or enjoy contests or games? Do you make animations or gestures? Are you a scripter?

What do you do inworld the most? Write your top activities down. This will help you work out a system that you won’t end up having to reorder again & again. Get it all worked out on paper, thinking of your interests & needs.

Next, consider what each activity requires in the way of organization. What do you need for these activities?

Ask yourself:

A place to keep items you wear, use, or share when doing the activity?
A place to store things you create from the activity?
A way to keep track of special records, correspondence, notes, friends, or dates?
Are there special clothes, tools, textures, objects, or information you need to access for this activity?
Are there landmarks you use or friends you contact while doing these activities?
How do they naturally fall into possible subcategories? By type, color, style, date, creator, or theme?
The important thing is that the categories fit how you think about the items you need for each important activity.
What items do you find yourself most often looking for? What items need to be conveniently on hand?

Do some of your activities overlap & need only one folder? Like property rentals & rental property management might? Or more than one role playing scenario that shares some items such as clothing? I find that my journalism & my creative writing endeavors certainly need only one folder. They use similar tools & resources. They involve many of the same locations & people.

You need to set your system up your way! Decide how you work on your most frequent activities & how you might create folders for them that help you be more efficient. What do you access most often? What things do you usually use together or during a particular activity? It doesn’t have to be perfect. As you see things you need to change you can change them. But, the more you think this through now, the less work you will have to do in the future rearranging things to suit you better.

I find that my builds, my building supplies & tools, as well as my buildings, landscaping items, & furnishings all get used together. They all get one folder with subfolders to categorize the items. It helps to have these items all near each other so I don’t have to go from one area to another during a busy build.

On the other hand I don’t like to dig through that big folder when in the middle of a project so I keep current projects in a Current Builds folder right next to the Building folder. My current project folder holds temporary items I won’t be keeping once the build is completed like textures & building components. When I’m all done with a build, all my supplies I used are in one folder. I can box them up with a backup of my build & store it in my main building folder.

I collect a lot of how-to articles & notes. Instead of keeping my notes & how-to’s in a special folder I keep them in subfolders in my system folders. Script how-to’s in the Scripts folder, texture tutorials in Textures, & so on. This makes more sense to me because when I am working with a particular type of item is when I need to find information about working with that type of item. Same thing for tools. Tools specific to scripting, textures, & animations are all in subfolders under the appropriate system folder.

Some activities stand alone & need their own space. Are there some items you like easy access to that just don’t fit into a system folder or elsewhere? I made a ‘! GADGETS’ folder where I keep HUDs, AO’s, Security, Communication, Navigation, Media, & all sorts of gadgetry. Most of these items don’t really fit anywhere else. So, they have their own home in my ‘! GADGETS’ folder now.

A subfolder of the ‘! GADGETS’ folder is my ‘! TOYBOX’ folder where I have categories for everything from Toys, Vehicles, Weapons, Dance Accessories, Drinks, roses (so many rose bouquets!), & so forth. This is my avatars lil’ toybox & she likes to be able to locate her things when she’s ready to play!

Clothes: If you’re a clothes horse, I suggest that you think hard about how to organize your clothes folder. Mine is done like my rl closet and drawers: categorized by type of items, then by whether they are casual, costumes, formal, business, etc.

I’ve heard a dozen ways of organizing clothing including by complete outfits, by color, by avatar type, by activity they are used for, etc.

I suggest that you organize your Outfits folder just as it’s done automatically when saving outfits with the outfits editor with one exception:

Consider deleting the links to the items such as skin, shape, HUDs that you use everyday and making a ‘! BASICS’ or ‘! FOUNDATION’ folder for those.
That way, you will save a lot of links being used repeatedly and if you do decide to change your shape, skin, or HUDs, you only have to change one link…..

If I have something I’m not sure if I’ll use again, I keep it in a ‘! OLD’ folder. It I don’t use items in this folder within a month or so, out it goes!

Animations
     ! TO BE FILED
     ! ANIMATION HOW TO’s
     ! ANIMATIONS BOXED
Body Parts
     ! MY BODY
     ! TO BE FILED
     ! BODY PARTS BOXED
     ! FAV HAIR
     ! FAV SKINS
Calling Cards
     Friends
     ME
Clothing
     ! TO BE FILED
     ! POSING STANDS
     ! ACCESSORIES
          Belts
          Glasses
          Gloves
          Hats
          Hair Accessories
          Hand Held Items
               Balloons
               Books
               Drinks
               Food
               Other
               Toys
               Wands
          Hosiery
               Black
               Tan
               Colors
          Jewelry
               Bracelets
               Earrings
               Necklaces
               Other
               Rings
               Sets
          Other
          Scarves
     ! COSTUMES
     ! DRESSES
     ! JACKETS
     ! LINGERIE
     ! PANTS
     ! SHOES
     ! SKIRTS
     ! TATTOS
     ! TOPS
Current Outfit
Favorites
Gestures
     ! ACTIVE
     ! GESTURES BOXED
Landmarks
     ! TO BE FILED
     ! EXPLORE
     ! LANDMARK NOTECARDS
          (13 Landmark notecards)
Lost And Found
My Outfits
Notecards
     ! TO BE FILED
     ! HOW TO’s
     ! PRODUCT INFO
     ! READ ME
Objects
     ! CHECK ME OUT
          (objects I’m not sure about & want to look at)
     ! PURCHASES
          (stuff i bought & need to put away)
     ! TEMP
          (stuff I need temporarily – mega’s mostly)
Photo Album
     ! TO BE FILED
     ! BUILD PHOTOSHOOTS
     ! FRIENDS
     ! FUN FINDS & PLACES
     ! MISC
     ! MY PHOTOS
     ! PHOTO TOOLS
     ! VENDOR & SALES SHOTS
Scripts
     ! TO BE FILED
     ! SCRIPT HOW TOs
     ! SCRIPT FAVs
     ! SCRIPTS
          Animation Scripts
          Door Scripts
          Gadget Scripts
          HUD Scripts
          Misc
          Payment Scripts
          Prim Animation Script
          Rezzer Scripts
          Scanner Scripts
          Texture Scripts
          TipJar Scripts
          Vendor Scripts
     ! SCRIPT TOOLS
Sounds
     ! TO BE BOXED
     ! SOUND LESSONS
     ! SOUNDS BOXED
Textures
     ! TO BE FILED
     ! ORGANIZERS
     ! RoseCityDesign
     ! TOOLS
     ! TUTORIALS
     ! ALPHA
     ! AVATAR
     ! BUILDINGS
     ! LANDSCAPE
     ! METAL
     ! OTHER
     ! PHOTOS
     ! STONE
     ! TEXTILE
     ! WOOD
Trash
! BUILDING
     ! TO BE FILED
     ! MY BUILDS
     ! TOOLS
     ! FURNITURE
     ! BUILDINGS
     ! LANDSCAPE
     ! MEGA PRIMS
     ! MUTATED PRIMS
     ! NANO PRIMS
     ! SCULPTED PRIMS
     ! TORTURED PRIMS     
! CURRENT BUILDS
~ See the ‘Office’ section next to see what’s here ~
! ROLLER DERBY
     ! INFO
     ! HUD & SKATES
     ! TEAM
     ! UNIFORM
! TOYBOX
     ! MY HUDs
     ! TO BE FILED
     ! AOs
     ! GIVE AWAYS & GIFTS
     ! MULTIMEDIA
     ! NAVIGATION & CAM
     ! PETS
     ! SCANNERS
     ! SECURITY & LAND
     ! TOOLS
     ! TOYS
     ! TRANSLATORS
     ! VEHICLES
     ! WEAPONS & DEFENSE

! MY OFFICE
     ! CORRESPONDENCE
     ! DATE BOOK
          Builders Brewery Class Schedule
          ! SUNDAY (Notecard)
          ! MONDAY (Notecard)
          ! TUESDAY (Notecard)
          ! WEDNESDAY (Notecard)
          ! THURSDAY (Notecard)
          ! FRIDAY (Notecard)
          ! SATURDAY (Notecard)
          Online Schedules (Notecard)
          Roller Derby Practice Rota 2011
     ! ROSE CITY DESIGN
          ! PRODUCTS
          ! SALES RECORDS
          ! VENDORS
     ! TEACHING
          ! BUILDERS BREWERY
          ! BUILDERS BREWERY ACADEMY
          ! INVENTORY MANAGEMENT
               ! CLASSES
               ! CORRESPONDENCE
               ! EVALUATIONS
               ! LANDMARKS
               ! RECORDS
               ! SCHEDULE NOTICES DESCRIPTIONS
               ! TIP NOTECARDS
               ! TOOLS
     ! WRITING
          ! CREATIVE WRITING
          ! IDEAS & SUGGESTIONS
          ! JOURNALISM
          ! REVIEWS
          ! TUTORIALS
          ! WEBSITE

Archiving

This is another whole tutorial itself but I’ll briefly touch on the subject here. Basically, you can use prims to box items that you don’t need to access often such as holiday items, building supplies like animations, sounds, etc that you don’t use frequently, old items, items you want to keep to give to newbies, etc.

Use organizers. In SL I use texture organizers but in InWorldz, where uploads are free, I keep most of my textures on my hard drive which is much easier to peruse & keep organized. In both worlds I use sculpty organizers because they allow me to see the shape of my sculpt inworld. You can get either type of organizer free. There’s also special systems for storing clothes and other items although they tend to be spendy.

You can also use notecards to store full permission landmarks, calling cards, animations, sounds, textures, snapshots, gestures, clothes, body parts, & objects. Putting scripts into prims for storage is, well, asking for trouble. Notecards are a great way to store them. Create & name notecards for each category of scripts you save & drag the scripts onto the cards.

Landmarks are a great item to store on notecards. I have a couple dozen notecards of them now. Everything from shops, freebies (good to give to newbies), builder resources, schools, clubs, to specialized builders’ supply sources. The only loose landmarks I keep are ones I use on a regular basis. When someone is asking about places to find particular items I can send them a whole notecard of suggestions. *Super Avatar: expanding clutter wherever she goes*

TIP: Did you know that you can put your calling card into a notecard? It’s a great way to sign your notes to others in a way that allows them to easily reply. Try using this technique on promotional, informational, & other business related notecards.

Daily Maintenance

Don’t burn yourself out. It took you how long to build up all this stuff? It will take you a while to work thru this stuff again & get it all sorted. I suggest you set a certain amount of time each day for working on getting your inventory in shape. When that time is up, pack it up & go have some fun & relax, knowing you’ve made progress toward your goal.

Getting organized is a step-by-step process & you don’t have to do it overnight. I suggest you spend a small amount of time each day you log in rather than trying to do it all in one day, one week, or even one month. That will just melt your mind & give you mush for brains! The idea of getting organized is to make your inworld experience better & more productive – not to burn you out & make things decidedly not fun.

Make a resolution to complete these tasks over a period of time, not in one big rush. Don’t overdo it & don’t procrastinate. The key to good organization is setting goals & keeping a balance. Work on it when you aren’t busy or have a little extra time. With a little effort each day, soon you’ll be sailing through the busiest of sims & the biggest builds with a smooth breeze at your back! And, by that, I don’t mean the lag breeze that can make your avatar sliiiiide around rather than walk!

When I log in, I move my ‘Received Items’ & any ‘Lost & Found’ items into my ‘Objects’ folder & work on getting them all put away pronto. Check your Recent tab to find more new items that need to be inspected & given a good home. Don’t let new items sit around until you forget what they are & don’t even let those babies pile up creating yet another clutter catastrophe. Before you log off again, be sure to take a few minutes to go thru your folders & your ‘! TO BE FILED’ folders & put your toys away! Naughty avatars who don’t keep up their daily maintenance will get lag in their stockings!

Staying Organized

If you go on hunts, shopping sprees, freebie foraging, etc. go thru your new items immediately. Delete what you don’t want. Delete unneeded notecards such as thank you notes, landmarks you already have or don’t want, & redundant posing stands. Put the items you are keeping in their new homes – in the folders where they belong permanently.

As soon as you complete a build, archive the build & the items you used for it & put it all away. Be sure to archive the textures used on the build if you, like me, keep your texture collection on your hard drive.

Your end goal is to eventually have all the items in your ‘! TO BE FILED’ folders put away in permanent homes, & to make it a habit to keep incoming items put away daily. Once you achieve these goals you can graduate to the next level & delete those ‘! TO BE FILED’ folders because you won’t have anything to put in them anymore – will you?

Woo hoo! Time for an organization graduation party I say!

Glossary

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Getting Started With Blender For Virtual Worlds Book Cover

Glossary

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Terms and Concepts used in 3D Graphics
Note: The first video on the page contains a short introduction to 3D graphics terms. However, the other video tutorials are outdated, using a version of Blender that is no longer applicable to the current Blender interface.

About.com: 3D Defined – What is 3D?
About.com: Anatomy of a 3D Model

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Questions?

Post your questions in the comment section below & I’ll answer it as soon as possible. Please try to be as specific as possible so I can figure out what it is you are asking.

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Remona Stormborn Avatar

Author

Remona Stormborn
A member of Stormborn Creative Collective
Wolf Creek, InWorldz

   
 
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View, Navigate & Select

Getting Started With Blender For Virtual Worlds Book Cover

View, Navigate & Select

A tutorial on using Blender for new users, focused on creating well made, low-poly mesh objects, rigged clothes, avatar animations, & more for virtual worlds.

There are different ways to view your objects, navigate around in the 3D Viewport, & select your objects & their geometry in Blender. Play around & practice with these methods until you become more familiar with them. Just like in your virtual world, you will soon be zooming & orbiting around without a single thought about it.


Perspective

You can view objects in the 3D Viewport from different perspectives. The top left corner of the viewport tells you which perspective you are in. Number 5 on the number pad toggles between the two perspective types.

  • Toggle Perspectives: Number-pad-5

Perspective & Orthographic

Perspective view (Persp) is more realistic. It has a vanishing point so, things that are farther from you appear smaller. Despite being more realistic, it’s more difficult to work in.

Orthographic view (Ortho) is easier to work in although not as realistic. There’s no vanishing point so things farther from you do not grow smaller. In this view, if you look at a cube straight on, the parts on the backside will appear the same size as those on the front face.


Mesh Geometry

Mesh is made up of geometry, various parts used to create the shapes of your objects. Understanding these geometry parts is crucial. Each axis has color coded tools like the 3D navigator, the grid axis lines, & the 3D widget, to help you keep track of where you are in 3D space.


Mini Axis

Axis: The three dimensions that make up 3D space.

X Axis: In Blender & in virtual worlds the X axis is the depth or the front to back dimension or, inworld, North to South. The X axis is represented by red.

Y Axis: The Y axis is the width or the side to side dimension or, inworld, East to West. The Y axis is represented by green.

Z Axis: The Z axis is the height or top to bottom dimension. The Z axis is represented by blue.


Vertice

Vertice: A point in space whose location is noted on the X, Y, & Z axis.


Edge

Edge: A line, stretching between two vertices.


Face

Face: A plane, stretching between edges & vertices.


Normal

Normal: The front or visible side of a face. The backside of faces in Blender are invisible.


Tri

Tri: A triangular face with three edges.


Quad

Quad: A face with four edges.


Ngon

Polygon: A face with 3 or more edges.

Ngon: A face with more than four edges.


Origin Point

Origin Point: The point representing the center or median point of your mesh object’s geometry. It’s represented by an orange dot in the Blender 3D Viewport.

It’s used for many actions including rotating & orbiting objects & various processes used by Blender. Don’t worry about it too much. When it’s important, I’ll let you know.

Inworld, the origin point is the center of primitives. It’s the point on which objects rotate & is important when using scripts to rotate objects.

On upload, all mesh origin points are reset to the center of your object’s geometry, regardless of where it was when you exported your objects from Blender.


Understanding Geometry

Here’s a good video by BlenderForNoobs on YouTube. Go ahead and watch it to get a good overview before we go on farther.

BlenderForNoobs Geometry Understanding 3D Geometry

https://youtube.com/watch?v=s54QWMTQ_Qs%3Flist%3DPLgg_IAVh6t8hV_Cd_6CNke7GPZ49NZado


Selection Options

Blender uses an unusual selection method. Instead of left clicking objects & geometry to select them, you right click to select. This is confusing & takes some getting used to at first but, it’s purpose is to prevent accidentally selecting &, thus, potentially borking things. If you just can’t handle right click selection, you can change the behavior in the User Preferences (Control-Alt-U) Input tab.


Vertice Edge Face Selector

Selection in Object mode selects whole objects.

Selection in Edit mode selects faces, edges, &/or vertices depending on your current selection in the Geometry Selection Widget in the header. Hold Shift to add to the selection in the Geometry Selection Widget.


Visibility Selector

Unseen geometry hidden on the backside of objects will only be selected if selection visibility is enabled in the Visibility Widget. This widget is only in Edit Mode, not in Object Mode.

In the default theme, the Visibility Widget will be dark gray if geometry in back cannot be selected. It will be light gray if geometry in back can be selected.


Basic Selection

  • Un/Select All Toggle: A
  • Select: Right-mouse-click objects in Object Mode, geometry in Edit Mode
  • Deselect: Shift-Right-mouse-click objects in Object Mode, Geometry in Edit Mode
  • Add to Selection: Shift-Right-mouse-click objects in Object Mode, geometry in Edit Mode

Lasso Select

Lasso Select

  • Lasso Select: Control-Left-mouse-drag to draw freely over selected geometry in Edit Mode or object origins in Object Mode to select
  • Lasso Deselect: Control-Shift-Left-mouse-drag to draw freely over selected geometry in Edit Mode or object origins in Object Mode to deselect

Surround Select

  • Surround Select: B, Left-mouse-drag square outline over geometry in Edit Mode or objects in Object Mode to select
  • Surround Deselect: B, Shift-Left-mouse-drag square outline over geometry in Edit Mode or objects in Object Mode to deselect

Brush Select

  • Brush Select: C, Left-mouse-drag over geometry in Edit Mode or objects in Object Mode to select, MouseScrollWheel to resize circular brush, Right-mouse-click or Esc to finalize/end selecting
  • Brush Deselect: C, Shift-Left-mouse-drag over geometry in Edit Mode or objects in Object Mode to select, MouseScrollWheel to resize circular brush, Right-mouse-click or Esc to finalize/end selecting
  • Brush Deselect: C, Middle-mouse-drag or Click geometry in Edit Mode or objects in Object Mode to deselect, Mouse-scroll-wheel to resize circular brush, Right-mouse-click or Esc to finalize command (end selecting)

More Selection Options

  • Invert Selection: Control-I to reverse selection (deselect selected & select unselected)
  • Menu Select From Multiple Objects Under Mouse: Alt-Right-mouse-click, Select Object in Menu
  • Menu Deselect From Multiple Selected Objects Under Mouse: Alt-Shift-Right-mouse-click, Select Object in Menu

Perfect Views

Perfect views are centering your view directly from the selected angle: front, back, top, bottom, or either side. You can also use the camera to position a custom angle & center your view from the camera’s angle.

3D Viewport View Menu Perfect Views

View From Top: Number-Pad-7
 
View From Bottom: Control-Number-Pad-7
 
View From Front: Number-Pad-1
 
View From Back: Control-Number-Pad-1
 
View From Right: Number-Pad-3
 
View From Left: Control-Number-Pad-3
 
Toggle View From Camera: Number-Pad-0


Zoom

3D Viewport View Navigation Menu Zoom

Zoom Freely: Control-Middle-mouse-drag
 
Zoom In: Number-Pad-+ (plus)
 
Zoom Out: Number-Pad– (dash)
 
Zoom Border: Shift-B
 
Zoom In/Out: Mouse-scroll-wheel
 
Zoom in on a Custom Area: Shift-B, Left-mouse-drag over area to center on


Orbit

3D Viewport View Navigation Menu Orbit Pan

Orbit Freely: Middle-mouse-drag
 
Orbit Up & Over: Number-Pad-8
 
Orbit Down & Under: Number-Pad-2
 
Orbit Left on Z axis: Number-Pad-4
 
Orbit Right on Z axis: Number-Pad-6


Pan

3D Viewport View Navigation Menu Orbit Pan

Pan Freely: Shft-MMD or Shft-Alt-LMD
 
Pan Up & Over: Control-Number-Pad-8
 
Pan Down & Under: Control-Number-Pad-2
 
Pan Left on Z axis: Control-Number-Pad-4
 
Pan Right on Z axis: Control-Number-Pad-6
 
Pan Left & Right: Control-Middle-mouse-scroll


Center

3D Viewport View Navigation Menu Other Views

Center on selected object(s): Number-Pad-. (period)
 
Center on all Objects: Home
 
Center on Cursor Position: Alt-Home


Align View

3D Viewport View Navigation Menu Align

Center Cursor & View All: Shift-C
 
Center View to Cursor: Alt-Home
 
View Lock to Active: Shift-. (period)
 
View Lock Clear: Alt-. (period)

Align View to Active Top: Shift-Number-Pad-7
 
Align View to Active Bottom: Shift-Control-Number-Pad-7
 
Align View to Active Front: Shift-Number-Pad-1
 
Align View to Active Back: Shift-Control-Number-Pad-1
 
Align View to Active Right: Shift-Number-Pad-3
 
Align View to Active Left: Shift-Control-Number-Pad-3


TIP: The ‘Active’ object is the last object selected. It will be highlighted in a slightly lighter color yellow-orange in the default theme.

Vertice Edge Face Selector

Layers

Layers help you work with multiple objects. They are particularly useful on big projects. You can move objects to other layers & work on just the one(s) you want at any time. The objects remain in the same location on the X, Y, & Z axis. It’s sort of like parallel worlds…..

They allow you to minimize the clutter around the object(s) you are working on, or to move things such as cameras & lights out of your way as you work. By default all objects are assigned to the first layer.

Layers- Move

Blender allows you to move objects to any of up to 20 layers, similarly to layers in 2D graphics programs. The layer selector is where you select what layer(s) you want visible. More on that soon… The Layers Selector is found in the 3D Viewport in Object Mode. Left click any of the the 20 boxes to make a layer visible. Hold the Shift key to make additional layers visible.


Layers

Any layer containing at least 1 object will have a dot in the box for that layer. The layer containing the most recently selected object will be orange, all others will be gray.


  • Select Layer: Left-click layer square in Layer Selector Widget
  • Add to layer selection: Shift-left-click additional layer square(s) in Layer Selector Widget
  • Show all Layers toggle: ~/` (approximate/accent mark)

Layers Shortcut Keys

LayersShortcutKeys

Quickly move from layer to layer with the number keys at the top of the alphabet keys (not the number pad numbers). The top 10 layer boxes, across the Layer Selection Widget are selected with 1 thru 0 & the lower 10 boxes are selected with Alt-1 thru 0 (see pic above).

To add or unselect layers from currently selected layers, press Shift & the shortcut key for the layer you want to add or deselect.

The ~/` key toggles between select all layers & the previously selected layers.


TIP: The layer selection shortcut keys don’t work if you have set the preferences to emulate the number pad.

For keyboards other than US Qwerty keyboards, use these shortcut keys instead of ~/`:

  • UK keyboards: ¬’
  • German, Swedish, Finnish & Hungarian keyboards: ö
  • Danish keyboards: æ
  • AZERTY keyboards: ù
  • Norwegian keyboards: ø
  • Spanish keyboards: Ñ
  • Brazilian Portuguese keyboards: “
  • Italian keyboards: ò
  • Russian keyboards: ?

Hide & Unhide

Temporarily hiding selected objects in Object Mode or geometry in Edit Mode can help you work on specific parts of your creation without visual blocking by other objects or geometry.

  • Hide selected: H
  • Hide all except selected: Shift-H
  • Unhide all: Alt-H
  • Hide unselected & focus on selected: Number-Pad-/ (slash)

Selection With the Outliner

In Object Mode, you can select objects with the Outliner editor. This is particularly useful when you are working on a complex creation with a lot of objects.

Outliner

Left click an object name in the Outliner to select it in the 3D Viewport (blue). Selected objects will have a yellow glow around the triangular item icon. Hold shift to add to the selection.

You can also hide objects in the Outliner by ticking the eye icon in the first column after the item name (red). In subdirectories of each item you will see listed any materials or textures applied to an object (green).

Double click item names to rename them (yellow). I highly recommend that you give your objects names that help you keep track of what they are.


Outliner Search

Use the search box at the top of the Outliner to locate objects.


Outliner Filter

Narrow your search or locate specific types of objects with the drop down filter at the top of the Outliner.



Questions?

Post your questions in the comment section below & I’ll answer it as soon as possible. Please try to be as specific as possible so I can figure out what it is you are asking.

Next: Basic Modeling
Back To: Blender for Virtual Worlds Table of Contents

Abbreviations

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Getting Started With Blender For Virtual Worlds Book Cover

Abbreviations

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Mouse

      LMC : Left Mouse Click
      LMD : Left Mouse Drag
      LMDD : Left Mouse Drag & Drop
      MMC : Middle Mouse Click
      MMD : Middle Mouse Drag
      MMDD : Middle Mouse Drag & Drop
      RMC : Right Mouse Click
      RMD : Right Mouse Drag
      RMDD : Right Mouse Drag & Drop
      DROP : Release Mouse Button
      SCRL : Scroll Middle Mouse Button

Keyboard

      CTRL : Control or Command Key
      SHFT : Shift Key
      ALT : Alt or Opt Key
      ENT : Enter Key
      ESC : Escape Key
      ~ : ` Accent/~ Approximate Mark Key

Navigation Keys

    PGUP : Page Up Key
    PGDN : Page Down Key
    HOME : Home Key
    END : End Key
    DEL : Delete Key
    UPARW : Up Arrow Key
    DWNARW : Down Arrow Key
    LFTARW : Left Arrow Key
    RTARW : Right Arrow Key

Number Pad

      NP/ : Number Pad /
      NP. : Number Pad . (period)
      NP0 : Number Pad 0
      NP1 : Number Pad 1
      NP2 : Number Pad 2
      NP3 : Number Pad 3
      NP4 : Number Pad 4
      NP5 : Number Pad 5
      NP6 : Number Pad 6
      NP7 : Number Pad 7
      NP8 : Number Pad 8
      NP9 : Number Pad 9

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Author

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Wolf Creek, InWorldz

   
 
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Inventory Power Tools

Multiple Windows

Multiple Windows FS Screen Shot

Moving items around in your inventory is done mostly with drag & drop.

Open Windows Shortcut

In the InWorldz viewer you can open a second (or more) inventory windows to make dragging & dropping easier. To open a second inventory window, locate the gear icon in your inventory window, click it & select ‘New Inventory Window’ or press Ctrl-Shift-I (PC) / Cmd-Shft-I (Mac). Ctrl-I toggles open & closed the first Inventory window. Ctrl-Shift-I (PC) / Cmd-Shift-I (Mac) will toggle the second inventory window. You can open more than two Inventory windows via the Gear icon.

Close Windows Shortcut

TIP: If your system has limited RAM memory, try to not open more than one or two Inventory Windows. Each time you open a window, another instance of your inventory information is loaded onto your RAM memory.

To close all windows you have open use Ctrl-Shift-W (PC) / Cmd-Shift-W (Mac). This will close, not only your inventory windows but, all windows you have open in your viewer.

Selecting

Item Editors

Open your inventory window. To select an individual item or folder click on it. A double-click will open items. Clothes & objects will attach to your avatar or screen, & other items will open in their respective viewer or editor.

Sselect Multiple Items

To select additional individual items or folders, hold the Ctrl (PC) or Cmd (Mac) key while clicking on items.

To select items grouped together, select the first item then hold the Shift (PC) or Opt (Mac) key while selecting the last item to select them & all the items in between them. You can also select groups of folders this way.

To add another group of items to your selection by holding Ctrl (PC) or Cmd (Mac) key while selecting the first item & the Shift (PC) or Opt (Mac) key on the last item.

Clicking a selected item while holding the Ctrl (PC) or Cmd (Mac) key will deselect that item.

Drag & Drop

While you have items or folders selected you can drag & drop them in another location in the same window, to another tab, or to another window.

While dragging items or folders, you can hover over a scroll bar arrow in the inventory window to scroll your inventory to the location where you want to drop the items.

Home & End Keys

You can also use the ‘Home’ & ‘End’ keys to scroll to the top or bottom of the inventory window.

Mouse - Scroll Wheel

The middle mouse scroll wheel will scroll your window up & down as well.

Page Up & Down Keys

Use the ‘Page Up’ & ‘Page Down’ keys to scroll up & down one a section at a time.

Up & Down Arrow Keys

Using the up or down arrow keys with an item selected will change your selection to the next or previous item.

Left Arrow Key

When you use the left arrow key while on a selected item, it changes your selection to the folder the item is in. If on an open folder, it closes the folder, & if on a closed folder it changes your selection to the next folder up.

Right Arrow Key

Using the right arrow key while selected on an item or open folder does nothing but, if selected on a closed folder it opens the folder.

Context Menus & Shortcuts

Context Menus FS Screen Shot

Another way to work with items is with keyboard shortcuts & right click context menus. You can right click folders or items to get a context menu of operations that can be performed. The context menus will change accordingly, depending on what type of item you have selected.

Cut Copy Paste

You can copy Ctrl-C (PC) / Cmd-C (Mac) or cut Ctrl-X (PC) / Cmd-X (Mac) & paste Ctrl-V (PC) / Cmd-V (Mac) items or folders. You cannot copy items whose permissions are set to ‘No Copy’.

Links

Link Icons

Links were created to allow you the ability to use ‘No Copy’ items in as many outfits as you need. They are pointers to your items & act just like the items themselves.

The Outfits folder uses links to items, rather than the actual items themselves, allowing you to create multiple outfits using the same items again even if those items are ‘No Copy’. You’ll recognize links by the small arrow in the lower left corner of the item’s icon. Links are not the actual items but will respond as if they are.

Find Original

Right clicking links will give you a ‘Find Original’ option that will take you to the location of the original item.

Paste As Link

You can copy & paste ‘No Copy’ items as links anywhere in your inventory, not just the outfits folder.

TIP: Although links can’t be pasted into special system folders in the Outfits folder, they can be dragged & dropped into them. *wink wink*

Some locations may not allow pasting of the special system folders created in the outfits folder when you save outfits with the appearance menu. You can create a regular folder in the Outfits folder & paste into it. You can right click any folder, regular or special system folder, in the Outfits folder to get a menu that will allow you to wear the outfit.

Show Links Options

In the inventory options (Gear icon), you’ll find settings to show, hide, or show only links. They work similar to filters allowing you to search for links more effectively.

Deleting Item With Links

If you delete items that have links pointing to them, you will get a popup message warning you.

Broken Link

Broken links pointing to items you no longer have will show ‘(broken link)’ after the item name.

Broken Link Search

Links count as items so it’s good to delete unneeded broken links. You can find broken links to delete them by searching for ‘(Broken_link’

Search

There are three ways of controlling what items are displayed in your inventory & how they are displayed: searching, sorting, & filtering.

Search Box

Search is done with the searchbox at the top of the inventory window.

As you type, items in your inventory containing any of the characters you type, in the exact order that you type them, will be returned. Searches are not case sensitive. By default only the file names of the items are searched.

Multiple words will be searched as a phrase rather than as separate search terms & only items containing the complete phrase will be returned. =\

In some viewers (Firestorm & InWorldz) you may use the + symbol before a word to create a boolean search, allowing you to search for anything containing any of the words you add a + to rather than searching for the exact phrase.

Type “necklace +gold” into the search box & it will return anything with both the words ‘necklace’ & ‘gold’, regardless of the order in which the words are used.

Search Box X

When you’re done searching clear the search box by clicking the ‘X’ to the right of the box. The ‘X’ disappears when the search box is cleared.

TIP: When not getting the expected results in your inventory window, double check that the search box is cleared by looking to see if the X is at the end of the search box. If it is, click it to empty the search box.

Search By FS Options

You can change what is searched for ‘Name’, ‘Creator’, ‘Description’, ‘UUID’, or ‘ALL’. Locate the Gear icon in your Inventory window & click ‘Search By…’ to get the sub menu & check the search option you want to use. All will give you the most thorough search but may give you too many results, in which case you might try a more focused search by name, creator, or UUID.

TIP: When using an alternative search method, be sure to change this option back to the default ‘Name’ when you are done. If not getting the results you expect when searching, do double check which option is selected.

By default, search terms apply to all tabs. If you change tabs in your inventory, the search term you are using will travel with you.

You can change this behavior by going to Preferences or Ctrl-P (PC) / Cmd-P (Mac): Advanced: General tab & check ‘Allow separate search terms on each tab in inventory’.

You can also, while you are there, choose to hide empty system folders from inventory by checking ‘Hide empty system folders from inventory’ if you prefer that empty folders not show. Personally, I want them to show so I can drag & drop items into them.

Sort Order

Sort Order Options

You can choose the order your items are displayed inside each folder by changing the sort order to be either in alphabetical order or by acquisition date. To change sort order, locate the ‘Gear’ icon in your Inventory window & choose ‘Sort By Name’ or ‘Sort By Most Recent’.

Sort Folders Options

You can also customize the order in which folders are displayed.

Untick ‘Sort Folders Always by Name’ to display folders by the same order you have chosen for sorting your items. To make the folder sort order always alphabetical check ‘Sort Folders Always By Name’. To keep system folders & personal folders sorted separately, with system folders at top, also check ‘Sort System Folders To Top’. If left unchecked System & personal folders will be intermixed.

Custom sort order settings are persistent. They will remain on the setting you choose even if you log off & on again.

Filters

While sorting determines the order items are displayed in, filters determine what type of items are displayed & what type are ignored.

Show Filters

Open a filter window: Locate & click the Gear icon in your Inventory window & select ‘Show Filters’.

Filter Selections

Take a look at the filter window & you will see that you can tick or untick boxes for any type of item in your inventory. You can select as many or as few item types as you want. You can also select ‘All’ or clear the ticks by selecting ‘None’.

Filters Always Show Folders

At the bottom of the filter window you can set the filters by time. This will display items you acquired from the current time going back by the amount of time you select. Or, if you check the ‘Since Logoff’ box, since the last time you logged off.

You can tick the box ‘Always show folders’ to show all folders even if they do not contain items in your filtered search results. This is handy when you want to move items into other folders.

WARNING: Folders without requested items will be displayed like empty folders. Just keep in mind that the folders are not necessarily empty!

The ‘Inventory’ tab is, by default, not filtered & displays all your items in the sort order you have choosen.

The ‘Recent’ tab, by default, displays the items you have acquired since you last logged off & sorts them by acquistion date.

The ‘Worn’ tab shows items that you are wearing or that are attached to your viewer screen. Items here are sorted in the order you have selected & not filtered by default.

TIP: To use a recent tab like a regular tab for organizing tasks, try setting the time to longer than your avatar’s age or, the max, 10000.000 days. This is a great way to get a ‘second inventory window’ without actually opening a new window to save on RAM usage or if you want to save screen space while working in your inventory.

Custom filter settings can be set individually for each tab. You can set custom filters for multiple inventory windows separately as well. Custom filter settings will remain until you either reset them, change them or you log off. When you log off they will return to their defaults.

Filters Shortcut

Most viewers also have a shortcut to filters at the end of the search box or other convenient location. You can select one type of item to display, call up the custom filter window, or reset the filters to ‘All Types’ in the drop down menu.

Reset Filters

To reset filter settings back to their defaults in all tabs at once, go to the Gear Icon in the lower left corner of your inventory window & click ‘Reset Filters’.

TIP: When you can’t find something or your inventory seems out of wack, try resetting your filters & clearing the search box to clear any custom settings.

Collapse Expand

Close All Folders

You can also collapse or expand all your folders. Collapsing your folders clears your search field, resets your filters, & applies to only the tab you are currently in. It does not affect your sort order.

Filters can be very useful when working with a lot of items of the same type by letting you focus on only the item types you want to work with or to look at only items you acquired in a certain length of time. When looking for duplicate items, filters can help by shortening search return lists. They lessen visual clutter & make scrolling & navigating easier. Use filters to get more specific.

Next: Get Organized

Textures

Getting Started With Blender For Virtual Worlds Book Cover

Textures

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Virtual World Requirements

Coming Soon!

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Unwrapping

Blender 2.7 UV Mapping 1 of 4
Darrin Lile

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Assigning Materials

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Ambient Occlusion

Applying Ambient Occlusions to textures
abeldreamscape

Baking an Ambient Occlusion Map in Blender
Rocz3D

Blender Ambient Occlusion
Haven Ditko

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Texture Painting

New easier and improved Multi-Texture painting system in Blender – A VERY SLOW Blender Tutorial
Som C

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SECTION TITLE

CONTENT

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Any Questions? Just post your questions in the comment section below & I’ll answer it as soon as possible. Please be specific so I can figure out what it is you are asking.

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Remona Stormborn Avatar Happy Creating,
Remona Stormborn
A member of Stormborn Creative
Wolf Creek, InWorldz
   
 
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