Install

About this Document...

Content:

Download Avastar
Install Avastar
Initial Check of operability

 The Video:

The Video guides you through the process from downloading Blender up to verifying that you have installed the software.

What does Avastar provide?

Avastar basically supports the creation of animatable Models (Avatars&attachments) and the creation of animations. Therefore the tool adds various functions and user interface elements to Blender.

The full functionality of Avastar can be a bit overwhelming on first sight. You should be prepared to spend some time and patience to get it all working nicely for your projects.

What does this Document provide?

abstract: I show you how you can install Avastar on Blender 2.70 or newer. We provide a short video which shows the installation process step by step.

We expect that you have basic knowledge about Blender.

Prepare

  • Install Blender Ensure you install at least Blender 2.70, we recommend to always use the most recent Version of Blender
  • Purchase Avastar: If you already have purchased Avastar, you will find all released updates of the software in your Machinimatrix Download folder (see next step)

Note: Avastar-2 is in Release Candidate Phase! If you find oddities, please report in our Ticket System.

Q: What do i need to get started ?

Download

Download the Avastar zip file and place it anywhere on your local disk, and remember where you placed this file.

Important: Do not ever unpack the zip file!
Unpacking the zip file will result
in installation failures!
(See also below)

Q: Where is my download ?

During your purchase you have received a download link.

JASS Shop Purchase:

You received the Download link on the local Chat window.

Paypal purchase:

You received the download link via E-mail.

If you are a registered user …

then please login now. Then open the download link that you got from us. You will be automatically forwarded to your product download page and your new product will be listed there.

If you are not a registered user, …

then you still can open the given download link. You will then be redirected to a temporary download page from where you can download the software.

However, the download link will become invalid 8 days after purchase.

Q: Where does my software run?

The Avastar Add-on runs wherever Blender runs. You only have to ensure that Blender is installed properly. Then the Add-on will be working as well.

Q: Expand Add-on or keep the zip file?

Blender Add-ons are always installed in zip format. All attempts to install the unzipped files will fail. So to ensure that your computer does not unzip the file after download, please review your browser settings.

We suggest that you set your Browser to always ask you where to download, so you can specify where the zip file shall be placed. And then you also should set your Browser to never unzip your downloaded zip file after download.

For Mac Users:
If your Browser automatically expands the Zip file during download, then please do this:

  • Open the safari preferences
  • On the General tab:
  • Uncheck “Open safe files after downloading”

Q: Is there an Archive of older Releases?

Yes, we keep older releases available for the case where you find something broken in the newest product release. The older releases are collected in a the_archive sub folder within your Download Folder.

You can only see the_archive folder when you have registered an account on the Machinimatrix Blog and when you are logged in to your machinimatrix account!

Q: What does the Avastar Filename say?

we are often asked why the zip file is named as it is named. There is a reason. Here is the explanation:

avastar-M-m-rrrr_blender-B-bb.zip

  • avastar: the product name
  • M: The major product release
  • m: The minor product release
  • rrrr: The product revision number
  • B-bb: The earliest version of blender supported by this particular Add-on version

Usually you are safe to download the zip file with the highest available product revision number.

Only if you encounter a bug in Avastar you should consider to switch back to an older Avastar release by installing that over your current release. There is no need to uninstall first!

Install

We expect that you have successfully installed Blender and Blender works properly. Now start Blender and…

Disclaimer...

This guide describes the official installation process for Blender Add-ons. If you use any other installation strategy you are completely on your own behalf. And we can not support you when you end up with broken functionality!

If you fail to install as described here, first check with the SL Chat Group Blender Avastar and only if that does not help then please report back to us.

  • Navigate to File -> User Preferences:

Image002

  • Proceed to the “Add-Ons” Tab
  • At the Bottom of the Tab locate and click “Install from File…”

Image003

 

  • A file selector opens.
  • Navigate to where you have stored the avastar-m-vvv-rrr_blender-B-bb.zip file
  • Select the zip file
  • Finally click “Install from File…”

reference-041

  • Select the zip file and Press the “Install Add-On…” button
  • Back in the Add-Ons Tab type “avastar” into the search field.
    As you type you will see that the list of displayed Add-ons shrinks and quickly you can find the Avastar-module:

reference-042

Some details ...

  • If the Avastar Add-on Panel is collapsed, then please expand it now to see the Add-on details. Please take a closer look! You find some important information here.
Note: You find a link to the Avastar Documentation and to the Bug tracker here. And you can set some Add-on preferences for your convenience.
Important: Please make use of the documentation! This will save you (and us) a lot of time!
  • To enable the Add-on you must check the checkmark at the top right corner of the panel
Note: If you use a Blender prior to 2.71 and if you can not enable Avastar at this stage, then please ensure that the path to your Blender application folder only contains ASCII characters (the US alphabet). This issue has been solved with Blender 2.71.
  • In the last step you Save User Settings as your new default settings
Note: If Blender sends out any error messages after you saved the user settings, then please restart Blender now. In most cases the error messages stop showing up then.

Verify

You can verify that Avastar has been successfully installed by navigating to the new Avastar menu entry in the Add section. Please ensure that you are in Object mode as that is the only mode from where you can add new Avastar characters:

reference-043
When you click on Avastar, a new Avastar mesh character will open up for you.

Welcome to Avastar

Congratulations! Now after you have successful installed Avastar, you may want to proceed with the First Steps Tutorial. But Please be patient with yourself.
Note: The whole world of rigging and animation is certainly one of the most complex tasks in 3D design. Please do not expect to get good meshes and perfect animations within 10 minutes. You have to get used to the tools first. Otherwise you will end up in a big mess!

First aid when things go wrong

Installing an Add-on should be a straight forward and easy task. But despite our attempt to make things easy, sometimes things go wrong. This Guide is a collection of Issues which have been reported by others. Ok, we have only one issue by now, but we add them as they get reported.
Don’t Panic. Your problem can be fixed.

DLL load failed: %1 is not a valid Win32 application

This happens on Windows when your Blender Application Data folder is corrupted. We never found a good reason for when this happens, but it does happen.

Note: This issue is also documented in the Blender manual

Fix

Clean up your Application Data. You find the data here:

C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Blender Foundation\Blender\<release>

Details

Sometimes another Add-on installation pollutes the Application data folder with scripts and libraries from older blender versions. This can easily make it impossible to install another Add-on. We ensure that our Add-ons never creates such sort of pollution. And here is how you can get out of this issue:

  1. Locate the Blender Application data folder (see above)
  2. within the folder locate the subfolder that is named like your Blender release, for example:
     Blender Foundation\blender\2.77
  3. rename this folder to something like
     Blender Foundation\blender\2.77_hide

    Note: The name is not important, use whatever is convenient for you. You even can delete the folder if you like, but see below!

  4. Now restart Blender

This will cleanup your application data folder. But take care! This resets blender to its Factory settings. Any other Add-on that you have installed is no longer visible and you need to install them again. However you can use the hidden subfolder ( 2.77_hide in my example) to recreate your installation. Although in most cases it seems easier to install all of your Add-ons again.

When the update fails

When you update an Add-on in Blender, then normally the following steps are performed:

  1. The installer disables the current version of the Add-on.
  2. The disabled Add-on is removed from the system (deleted from disk),
  3. The new Add-on version is installed.
  4. You now can enable the new version manually

However sometimes the first step (disabling the Add-on) does not disable all of the software. So it may happen that the old Add-on leaves some traces which may result in subsequent errors when the new version is enabled in step 4.

When the above situation happens to you, then please proceed as follows:

Step 0: Remove traces

  • Save User Setting at the bottom of the User Preferences Panel:
    remove_02
  • Then close Blender
    It is important that you really close blender.
    Opening a new scene or pressing F8 are not enough!
  • Open Blender and open the User preferences again
  • Type “Avastar” into the Add-on search field to locate your Add-on
  • Then Enable the Add-on

In most cases this is all that you need to do. The Add-on will enable without errors.

If the above procedure does not work for you, then you need to put blender into a clean state as follows:

Step 1: Remove Avastar

You find the Remove Button in the expanded Avastar Add-on Panel:

remove_01

Step 2: Save User Settings

You find the Save User settings Button at the bottom of the User Preferences Window:

remove_02

Step 3: Restart Blender and Install the new Avastar Add-on

Proceed by installing your Add-on:

Install