Monday, July 7, 2008

So You Wanna Be...A Fashion Designer

Over a year ago, when I was a sweet innocent new resident (oh quit it with the laughter!) I took a class and made my first outfit ever (below) using the system sliders...I went from that to more sophisticated pieces in Photoshop with my own textures I created like this one...And this!My li'l sis Baube wants to create. Specifically, she wants to learn about building and fashion design. You wouldn't think the two are related, but once you start getting into making prim pieces like flexi skirts or sculpted sleeves/cuffs, yes! I build just as much as a designer as I do as a structure builder! Anyone who has seen or worn one of my Victorian bustle dresses can attest to that fact!

Of course, I'm going to be a good big sis and teach her, but for those of you out there who'd like to learn more about fashion design too, here are some really great tutorials I've found out there...

A lot of designers, like me, make their items mod/copy/no trans so that you can tweak the slider to adjust your clothes better. That especially goes for the prim pieces too! Take the time to adjust your pants for boots, or increase/decrease a prim part to fit you better.

It all starts with a template. Templates allow you to see the planes of the avatar and where the match points are, which are important. Here's an interesting tidbit: doesn't matter if you're male, female, furry or kid-sized...the templates are the same, so clothing will more or less resize to your body for you.

Robin Wood's clothing templates:

Here I am dressed in the upper and skirt ones:

Chip Midnight's clothing templates:
Some folks like using Robin's templates. Some like using Chip's. Both are fantastic.

So, how do you use them? Visit the following site and find out because Natalia Zelmanov explains the process very, very well! I can't rave enough about how helpful her blog is. She covers all aspects of creating inworld and her clothing tutorials are particularly good!

Clothes don't have to be hyper-realistic in SL, but quality touches like fine primwork, shading and texturing do count to your customers!

When you're done and you have saved your file (as a png or tga), it'd be nice to see it right? I once had it suggested to me to go to the Beta grid so I can upload pieces and see them before paying uploading fees for my pieces. Um, no. I love and use this little (free!) program that allows you to see the clothing on an "avatar" mannequin before uploading. SL doesn't even need to be open, which allows you to tweak it as much as needed beforehand: The SL Clothing Previewer by Johan Durant:

Uploads cost $10L/upload and voila! You've successfully gotten your clothing file inworld! Go to Edit > Appearance. Choose the clothing piece you want (ex. "Shirt"), choose your new file for the texture and ta-da! Play with the sliders to make sure it's what you want and save it. You just made a new outfit!

While inworld, check the search or schedules for New Citizens Inc. (NCI) for Basic Clothing classes. They're open to oldbies like us attending too! Everyone's new when they're learning something for the first time! I use Photoshop CS2 myself, although you can use other programs like Gimp for clothing creation. Be inspired, play around and have fun. Most of all, practice! You'll be cranking outfits out in no time! Good luck!

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