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Project Bento Feedback Thread

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I didn't mean wearing them together on purpose.

Anyway, doesn't matter: This thread will be read almost exclusively by folks deeply committed to avatar stuff, so I've already alienated all those folks. I'm just pleading with them to either be satisfied with this, or write it off, whatever it is, so there's some hope of getting on with something else.

(And yeah, as much as I know I should be happy for those folks, I gotta say, after months of hints that "something big" was coming, it turning out to be yet another avatar tweak is something about which others will enthuse.)

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Myrylyn wrote:


Can anyone recommend a good animation tool that'll work well for Second Life?

 

I'm going to stare at this thread until I hear about where I can download the skeleton file-- though I supposed I could import the angle that someone kindly supplied as a DAE. I've already loaded that onto Aditi and I'm delighted with the flapping wings and wiggly tail animations you can upload as an .anim file.

I am positively giddy with delight! Even if it's not perfect, it's a huge step forward! Wheee!!!!

Blender is probably the best animation tool out there. Combine it with the addon Avastar, and you can't find something better to make SL content with, especially those things centered around the avatar.

 

As far as a DAE, it's here - http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Project_Bento_Testing#Test_Content

Look near the bottom of the page.

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I imported the DAE into DAZ studio (free) and then exported it as FBX to get the skeleton safely imported into Cheetah3D. I am sure you can go the same route to get it into other apps. 

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Gavin Hird wrote:

I imported the DAE into DAZ studio (free) and then exported it as FBX to get the skeleton safely imported into Cheetah3D. I am sure you can go the same route to get it into other apps. 

Of course I know Daz, as I have made tutorials using Dazstudio, but I'm not sure I'd recommend it. Cheetah3D is not something I've ever used tho.

What I recommend is to use Blender or Maya, as those 2 programs will fully support Bento. Gaia and the Machinimatrix crew already have most of Bento working for Avastar. Cathy Foil, the maker of Mayastar, was in the closed Alpha/Beta, and I would expect Mayastar to be compatible soon, for Maya.

 

 

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Medhue Simoni wrote:


Gavin Hird wrote:

I imported the DAE into DAZ studio (free) and then exported it as FBX to get the skeleton safely imported into Cheetah3D. I am sure you can go the same route to get it into other apps. 

Of course I know Daz, as I have made tutorials using Dazstudio, but I'm not sure I'd recommend it. Cheetah3D is not something I've ever used tho.

What I recommend is to use Blender or Maya, as those 2 programs will fully support Bento. Gaia and the Machinimatrix crew already have most of Bento working for Avastar. Cathy Foil, the maker of Mayastar, was in the closed Alpha/Beta, and I would expect Mayastar to be compatible soon, for Maya.

 

 

For most Maya is at the unreachable scale of their budget.

it might be that DAZ would work better for making animations now with more bones, but they will have to update the SL settings for the BVH exporter.

I only pulled the skeleton into Cheetah to look at the bone hierarchy and not to animate with it. You could also righ a mesh with the new skeleton in Cheetah. (which is a Mac application.)

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I have to agree on the 'boner bone' - I think it would be VERY handy for explicit animations where angle matters.  Not all males have control of "tilt" on their attachments and then you end up with anims where there is some seriously distracting poke through.  

I really hope that in project Sansar LL finally attacks this issue and makes male genitalia*standard issue* and makes attachments unnecessary.  Surely if they did it that way, they could figure out how to hide them in pg areas lol - an extra bonus.  Oh xcite could still make attachments - same way we have hands and feet already but slink makes attachments and makes them look better.  

 

LL if you are reading this, please grow up and quit pu$$yf00ting around and star making the men of second life (or project sansar, as the case may be) whole!

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To LL:

 

I'm excited as anyone for these new features. Heck, you pretty much gave me exactly what I was asking for, as seen here in 2013 - https://community.secondlife.com/t5/General-Discussion-Forum/Avatar-Changes-for-LL/m-p/2384281/highl...

 

Really, there are only 2 things that I do not like about how this works, or how it was done. We've already talked about bone positioning animation, so I won't go further into that. The development side is the 1 I really do not get. What was the point of making this a CLOSED beta? Why did you make people sign NDAs for this? Why would you threaten people with legal action for talking, over adding bones to an avatar? It's nonsensical. Serioiusly, kick the legal department out of the meeting and just start talking directly to us, your customers.

 

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One of the reasons I've heard they don't talk about some of their projects is because they don't want people to think they are getting something until they know they can do it.  There have been a lot of cool projects they started, but canceled because the scope became to big.

I personally think that its not that big of a deal if they talked about what they were working on as long as it was clear that its not a promissed project and the reasons it was canceled were clear.

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To clarify, what is different on aditi is that animations that change joint positions cannot be uploaded. Joint positions can still be overriden within an uploaded mesh, so you should be able to define any starting shape for your avatar that you like.

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Unless Linden Lab has specifically tackled the problem of the viewer failing to load joint positions on an uploaded mesh, this is false. Because I am around animal avatars all the time, which have drastic differences in shape compared to the default human, I can very clearly see exactly how often joint positions fail. Moreover, joint positions will fail by viewer, so one person might see you deformed while you see yourself perfectly fine. Playing a backup deform animation which forces the bones to move into the position they should have ALREADY moved into based on the mesh's joint offsets completely fixes this problem, and should be allowed to continue as a backup measure.

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Can you clarify why animating bone positions is a problem? Besides the facial bones, which rotating them would create very unnatural expressions, as rotating them also rotates the mesh, there are other reason's to animate bone positions.

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Ok I have a very important question for you.
It have been said already how important bone translation is at time to do facial expressions but I think that guys didnt really took something into account at time to remove them...

Lets say someone makes a new mesh head for SL (it will surely happen). Its a fact, and everyone involved a bit in 3D knows, that rotations on bones are useless at time to animate facial expressions. You cant rotate lips to make expressions, that would be totally messed up but, ok... lets say we move the bones back enough to the head where those rotations would be translated similar to translations. We would need to upload the said head with custom joints which wouldnt be a big issue unless you want everyone to have the same heigh all over SL. Right now, joints offset overlaps one to each other at time of wearing meshes with them. Since SL only allows using one, it would mean that wearing this head would shrink your back to the default bone position on the whole body, not just the head, making it impossible to wear a mesh head with joints offset. I have yet to test how well positioned those bones are in relation with the head at time to make human heads in non custom avatars but I think we could really end all this debate and future problems if you guys simply implement bone translation animations within the common BVH files. Lets drop anim files. Yeah they are cool and stuff but Im tired of having to use "hacks" and workarounds for something that should be there. Not to mention that there is no official support for anim files. All we have is blender in which case you force users to buy avastar tool to be able to export that format. Wouldnt it be easier to simply implement translations on bones through BVH and do the conversion on SL servers as we have been doing the whole time? Why to complicate something that should be simple from the begining? I am really glad with this feature but we have to get it totally done or not, we cant have it half finished.

There is something else that everyone is missing already. I do all the rigs for Blueberry mainstore. Im sure you all know this store. I can safely tell, that rigging for SL actually its quite painful with the 4 bones per vertex limit. It was ok before, but once collision bones were introduced, we have to deal with areas that goes up to 6 bones. Now include to that the possibility of adding the new bones. I cant really imagine how to animate facial expressions with only 4 bones per vertex having a total of 30 bones there. This would make the skinning process and the animation one really hard and ugly. The animation would be quite sketchy and weird. Couldnt we really get that limit increased to 8 like most actual game engines? I dont think it would do any bad right now or any noticiable performance impact (if we take into account how many high poly meshes people wear till everyone lags, we can surely agree that its really late for optimizations within SL). So thats it, too much bones and too litle of them per vertex isnt a good combination. We really need the limit raise to 8 as well as translations capabilities at time of animating them. Otherwise we may run into a lot of useless features that only people will be able on furries and moving **bleep** as seeing how priority people have on a bone for that zone.

I hope we can all reach some goals at time to balance the requested features right now before its late and we realize that we need them. Remember that the community involved here right now is that one with more interest and knowledge on them and you should really hear what people is asking for unless this forum post is only to give people the false illusion that we can ask everything we want even tho wont be changed or implemented. 

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Teager wrote:

Unless Linden Lab has specifically tackled the problem of the viewer failing to load joint positions on an uploaded mesh, this is false. Because I am around animal avatars all the time, which have drastic differences in shape compared to the default human, I can very clearly see exactly how often joint positions fail. Moreover, joint positions will fail by viewer, so one person might see you deformed while you see yourself perfectly fine. Playing a backup deform animation which forces the bones to move into the position they should have ALREADY moved into based on the mesh's joint offsets completely fixes this problem, and should be allowed to continue as a backup measure.

I'm pretty sure Vir is saying that this will be allowed. He is saying that you can't move the bone within the timeline of the animation. You can still alter the initial position of the bone tho.

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https://gyazo.com/3b06ca6a0ac4ad4cf539e988931ad313

 

Here's an example of failed deformations, easily achieved by switching between a few mesh avatars that each have their own joint offsets. You're arguing against animating bone position presumably because it can be used to leave a user badly deformed... but the viewer does this all by itself. No animation was used to achieve this deformation. In fact, animations are used to FIX it. This feature should not be blocked.

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If that is what Vir is saying that's a large improvement. But being "overridden within an uploaded mesh" speaks to me of just straight up joint offsets in an uploaded mesh, not assisted by animation at all. And the viewer's built in joint offsets simply don't work reliably enough to use.

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Kitsune Shan wrote:

 

There is something else that everyone is missing already. I do all the rigs for Blueberry mainstore. Im sure you all know this store. I can safely tell, that rigging for SL actually its quite painful with the 4 bones per vertex limit. It was ok before, but once collision bones were introduced, we have to deal with areas that goes up to 6 bones. Now include to that the possibility of adding the new bones. I cant really imagine how to animate facial expressions with only 4 bones per vertex having a total of 30 bones there. This would make the skinning process and the animation one really hard and ugly. The animation would be quite sketchy and weird. Couldnt we really get that limit increased to 8 like most actual game engines? I dont think it would do any bad right now or any noticiable performance impact (if we take into account how many high poly meshes people wear till everyone lags, we can surely agree that its really late for optimizations within SL). So thats it, too much bones and too litle of them per vertex isnt a good combination. We really need the limit raise to 8 as well as translations capabilities at time of animating them. Otherwise we may run into a lot of useless features that only people will be able on furries and moving **bleep** as seeing how priority people have on a bone for that zone.

 

 

 

As someone that rigs clothing for a number of clothing designers, and I sell a set of bodysuits to easily transfer my weights from, I have to totally agree with Kitsune here. As far as rigging goes, Fitted Mesh is a nightmare. Combine that with all these different bodies with their own fitted mesh weights, and we have a perfect storm of crazyness for riggers. Of course, I complained about this when fitted mesh was released, but here LL seems to be open for hearing problems/solutions, unlike the fitted mesh project. It's pretty dang crazy to only use 4 bones per vert with fitted mesh.

 

Also, take note that increasing the amount of bones that can influence a vert would not break any existing content in SL.

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Nothing is final until we go to the main grid. The purpose of the testing period on Aditi is to identify and if possible fix any issues with the proposed skeleton. It's possible we will add, remove or change bones as a result of feedback from the project viewer - so bone suggestions or bug reports are both very much fair game.

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Kitsune Shan wrote:

...

Right now, joints offset overlaps one to each other at time of wearing meshes with them. Since SL only allows using one, it would mean that wearing this head would shrink your back to the default bone position on the whole body, not just the head, making it impossible to wear a mesh head with joints offset. I have yet to test how well positioned those bones are in relation with the head at time to make human heads in non custom avatars but I think we could really end all this debate and future problems if you guys simply implement bone translation animations within the common BVH files.

...

 It was ok before, but once collision bones were introduced, we have to deal with areas that goes up to 6 bones. Now include to that the possibility of adding the new bones. I cant really imagine how to animate facial expressions with only 4 bones per vertex having a total of 30 bones there. This would make the skinning process and the animation one really hard and ugly. The animation would be quite sketchy and weird. Couldnt we really get that limit increased to 8 like most actual game engines?

...

QFT

I totally agree with both these points. I really hope that LL reconsiders the bone translation issue and increases the bones per vertex limit.

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Alternative suggestion:

 

IF for whatever reason adding an additional small neck bone (which is just made to not rotate when not specifically animated) isn't a possibility - 

 

I suggest adding an additional bone at the top of the head chain which all of the facial bones are parented to OR parenting the facial bones to mSkull.

 

Why? There just needs to be more options for bones above the arms. There are 3 bones, or as many as 6 bones now, to work with beneath where the shoulders begin. Above the shoulder, there is only ONE neck bone and ONE head bone. If you want to make use of these new facial bones, you can't have any more than basic human movement on the neck and head. No dragons, no horses, no giraffes.

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How many chances are that we can see translations animations on bones officially supported by BVH files and not just by hacks and weird workaround with anim files (which isnt even a common animation format)? Because if there is none, you guys could start already by removing all facial bones. I have the file right now opened in 3D Max and its literally impossible to do any facial expression or animation asides of the jaw. I'll do special emphasys on making them available through BVH files at least (would be better if we could upload animation simply through FBX files or DAE just uploading the animated skeleton but ok, lets stick with BVH) because Im really tired of having to rely on software and extra plugins/scripts to do a task that should be easy and simple. Plus the viewer at time to upload could do the conversion to anim files like always have been doing.

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Teager wrote:

Alternative suggestion:

 

IF for whatever reason adding an additional small neck bone (which is just made to not rotate when not specifically animated) isn't a possibility - 

 

Why? There just needs to be more options for bones above the arms. There are 3 bones, or as many as 6 bones now, to work with beneath where the shoulders begin. Above the shoulder, there is only ONE neck bone and ONE head bone. If you want to make use of these new facial bones, you can't have any more than basic human movement on the neck and head. No dragons, no horses, no giraffes.

I do understand what you are saying, but.............

 

This would break all content related to the avatar. See, the point of this Bento project was just to add to the skeleton, not change it, as changing it would break things. I've done a number of characters and animals where having a longer, or more bones in the neck would seriously help. At the same time tho, I know it can't be done without breaking stuff. See, the avatar has a hierarchy, and it can't be altered without breaking stuff. All these bones LL added only add to the hierarchy, not change it.

 


Teager wrote:

 

I suggest adding an additional bone at the top of the head chain which all of the facial bones are parented to OR parenting the facial bones to mSkull.

 

Parenting the facial bones to mskull could give the affect that you want tho.

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You don't need to disable animation of bones positions! This will bring so many problems with existing stuff and also for  updates for it. And what about body proportions? And what about fixing mesh like on the picture Teager posted? I'm glad about new bones, they give huge opportunities to future HUMAN avatars, but so dissapointed that you plan to stop bones positioning... and more dissapointed that will be forced to happen in few weeks. This means that me and other creators working on their avatars' updates will need not to sleep and upload, upload, upload before it's closed. I'm for example working on different sizes update for my parrot avatar, which has some bones offsets, whithout which it looks broken, only animations give it a normal look. And each avatar's size i'm working on needs different offsets. And I work a lot in real life and have hours for SL per week. I will need to stop all functions of my body and stop sleeping until i'll upload hundreds of offseted animations and all possible attachment point rigged meshes for future updates needs. I'm sure i'm not alone, and i feel really sad if you guys really stop animation of bones positions, i feel like months of work will be lost without choice to continue.

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The thing is that they arent really stoping it, they just never had official support for them. It was through hacks and they simply allowed it adding changes to the uploader. What we really need is a solid official support through real animation files like BVH, FBX or DAE files. Then we could start talking about having bone translations. And, just to clarify, Im totally with you but I dont want a simple "lets allow it". I want good support of a must have feature otherwise it wouldnt have too much sense.

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