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  4. Meshing Avatar Clothing 5b – Blender Prep and Export

Meshing Avatar Clothing 5b – Blender Prep and Export

In this tutorial, Creator in Residence @jazzKat shows you how to use Blender for exporting Marvelous Designer creations into IMVU.

Here is more information from jazzKat:

To get Marvelous Designer clothing designs into IMVU, we have to go through a third-party app like Blender.

Import from Marvelous Designer to Blender

What we first need to do is import an exported file from Marvelous Designer into Blender. From the file menu we just need to select import obj. In the browser we select the object file, the mesh that we’re bringing in, and then import.


It’s likely going to be too big relative to the scale that the IMVU toolkit uses, so we have to rescale. For that we just need to make sure that we have the mesh selected. If we can’t see it, select it in the outliner and then in object properties we just change the X Y Z scale values. In this example we can type .01 for each axes and this will rescale the mesh to make it more compatible with the toolkit.

Set up Materials

Once we’ve done that we need to set up the materials. The object will generally be exported from Marvelous Designer with a material, but if there are more than one material or section applied in Marvelous Designer, we need to add missing materials. This will depend on how your mesh has been set up in Marvelous Designer; whether it’s got a front back and sleeves for example.

Each one of those sections or segments may have or require a separate material. So we need to add a material, populate it, assign an image texture, and then assign an image to that image texture. That sets up the materials that then need to be assigned to the mesh. We can do that using UV Maps.

So we’re selecting UV islands, front back and sleeves, selecting our material in the material list, and then assigning those materials, or the selected material, to the highlighted section of the mesh. To make our UV selection, select the material in the material list and then click the Assign button to assign that to the corresponding section of the mesh.

Optimize the Mesh

Once the materials have been set up and assigned to the object we need to tidy up the mesh. Now this depends on how the clothing item was constructed in Marvelous Designer. What we need to do is remove a lot of redundant vertices that may have been introduced into the structure of the mesh.

This is essentially an optimization of the mesh and we can do this by using a dissolve in particular, or collapsing them together using the various merge options. Typically this is going to need to be done on all seams or joins between segments.

Tidy Up UV Maps

Once we’ve done this we may also then need to tidy up the UV Maps. Because we’ve removed vertices it will have broken the UV map apart, where those vertices have been deleted. So we need to collapse the vertexes together and close those gaps. We can do this in the UV editor. Just select and then merge at Center.

Once all this initial prep has been done the file can be saved. We’re saving the project locally in its own file and then we can bring this into a toolkit clothing project.

Bring Files into the Toolkit

We’ll want to start from a clean file – file, new, general – and we want to access the toolkit from the sidebar – view sidebar. That accesses the toolkit. We click the tab and then we expand the options for clothing. All we need to do is click on the append clothing tool button and that’ll drop in an avatar – the male avatar initially – so we can click the female if we’re making female clothing. Then we can import or append the mesh that we tidied up into this project – so file, append. This will open the browser. We browse to the location of our project that we’ve just saved. Double click Object Folder. It will find the mesh; select and import or append.

Link Clothing to Avatar Skeleton

Once the mesh has been brought in it won’t initially articulate with the skeleton. So if we switch to pose mode and manipulate the skeleton the mesh won’t move with it. This means we have to set it up, and we do that by selecting the mesh and clicking the Bind to Armature button. This will link the mesh to the Avatar skeleton, then allow it to articulate.

Adjust Weighting

In doing this, we may need to adjust some weight paint values. That’s adjusting the influence different bones of the skeleton have on the mesh. We can do that by clicking the Weight Paint button. We can paint different values to the mesh to change the influence of specific bones. We keep doing this until we are satisfied with the articulation of the mesh.

Prevent Torso Clipping

Now depending on how the design is made in Marvelous Designer this may not be enough. What we may have to do instead is remove sections of the Avatar that are to be omitted or should be omitted in order to prevent the Avatar’s torso from clipping through the design.

For this we need to duplicate the Avatar body part that’s going to be used and exported with the clothing item. Remove the sections of the mesh that are clipping through. We can then export the two together as a single unit to fbx by clicking the export button.

Updated on July 21, 2023

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