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If this is possible, this would be a huge help for many things, but especially for heads (faces) it would be even better if the same option were available for the mesh upload joint positions.

As it is, these sliders are posing a very significant problem not just for animation of faces, but also for skinning in general. To have any significant variation in a face, the bones will need to be relocated relative to the different facial features (especially if there's any interest in making facial animations work with more than one face), which would disable many various sliders right off the bat. This basically threatens to make all the work on sliders pointless. Even if you do manage to skin your head using purely default bone positions, unless you could make translations relative, any translation animations would snap a bone completely out of position for anything but the default shape — and translations will be essential for proper animation of the jaw and tongue (edited: tongue translations won't affect anything) in particular, but also the corners of the mouth (which are rooted to the skull, but should really be halfway between the jaw and skull as the jaw opens and closes.

It may be possible to fix this by moving the mouth corner bones further back into the head and across to the opposite side of the mouth (so that it still can be used to draw backward into a smile, but then you've gone and disabled most of the mouth sliders.

If the position modifications were additive, e.g.

  • original positon + mesh translation + slider translation + animation translation (using only one translation value from each category)

It's just as confusing as it was previously, but also far more versatile.

 

Regarding Jaw position:
Also, if you're trying to make the jaw animate reasonably without using any translations, it needs to go in a place that's neither the current position, nor the anatomically correct position (since the jaw doesn't actually pivot on that position but instead floats and dislocates almost immediately as you open your mouth), but instead behind the ear, because as you open your jaw more than just a little bit you'll immediately start to dislocate it from the joint.



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The issue happens with all meshes heads on grid when wearing alpha makeup on the mesh head. Not only mine. If it was only mine i would consider its something wrong im doing but it is not actually so i hope LL would look in that simple issue because it is very annoying.

Not only my avatar.

The issue comes and goes without any reasons.

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I'm talking about this issue

https://gyazo.com/c3acf018cb07b185c6f5887229677775

First time i got this issue when i got genises head before i start creating my heads. wearing alpha mask of full body and all. after a day the issue dissapeared. Before i put the rule for my costumers to put eyes depth to zero i had many of my friends and costumers reporting this issue to me knowing that they were wearing alpha mask and they were fine for sometime then suddenly they get this issue without any reasons. Then i decided to do a trick and ask them to put eyes depth to zero so the system eyes hides inside the mesh head all the time.

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This can be reproduced by showing transparency. If you are encountering the problem sporadically in addtion that perhaps try toggling show transparency a few times and see if it affects anything.

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Catwa, I believe this is the bug you are seeing.

BUG-4357 - Alpha masking is broken again on avatar clothing when ALM is enabled.

This affects the system eyelashes too, not just clothing.

There's a couple of images attached to that JIRA issue showing the "invisiprim" effect with the system eyelashes.

It's an ugly bug & I hope it gets fixed soon, though it's been broken since Nov 2013 :matte-motes-sour:

The only real workaround is to disable Advanced Lighting Model.

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Oh yes, yeah its not a bento thing but will be effecting bento heads after rigging to the eyes bones so i'm already started to panic thinking of a new solution to avoid that issue. lets hope it gets fixed or we get a new trick to avoid.

Well if the shape sliders were not working with bento head then we could put eyes depth zero to hide system lashes inside mesh heads but since now shape sliders will effect and pull the mesh with it so. I donno what i shall advice costumers to do when this issue appears to them.

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I'm a little uncertain about what shape settings the bone positions in the "maya human female" file correspond to. Is that supposed to match the shape you get when you create a "new shape", or is it something else? This does not seem to be the case.

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The default viewer also crashed.

 

Of all the viewers I have installed I have:

 

Project Oculus

Project Bento

Default viewer

Firestorm viewer

 

I use Firestorm frequently, and haven't used Oculus viewer in months but it never crashed like this. First time i tried the bento viewer after installing is when it crashed.

 

Here is the bug report with logs attached https://jira.secondlife.com/browse/BUG-20038

 

EDIT: I'm so freaking stupid. I realized that I hadn't cleared the cache in ages, I did that and the default viewer hasn't crashed... so I guess that could be why :P

 

So basically clearing cache fixed it for both the viewers... I feel stupid, sorry :(

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In the 6/16 meeting I discussed the need for changing some of the facial bone positions in order for facial animations to work properly. Mainly the problems are with the eye and the mouth. Moving these bones would be the most obvious answer to this, but we also discussed possibly introducing a way to change bone positions without disabling related slider functionality.

For this post, I'll focus on what I think would be the most important improvements to the bone positions.





The current upper eyelid position works decently with some verticies, but the further up you go on the eyelid the more of a problem you have with verts not tracking the curvature of the eye.



This change could be made by simply changing the names of the bones, or weighting it without regard to what side is intended, but unfortunately the sliders are set up based on the assumption that the bone on the right side will control the right side of the mouth.



The current position of the jaw joint works fine for opening the mouth a tiny bit, but for any major jaw movement it quickly turns into a disaster. This is probably the most important bone position change of all of them.

Just quickly, this is what is needed for there to be any reasonable chance for a human face to be rigged in a way that can use simple rotation-based animations and still be able to use the head sliders to modify its shape, but realistically head designers will still be severely limited in how they can use this if it isn't possible to move any bones without disabling sliders. Male heads have a somewhat different optimal bone positioning, for example, so it would be a massive help if there were a way to simply make minor adjustments to bone positions without suddenly making major compatibility issues with shapes and animations.

 

On a slightly separate issue, I don't know if Blender users are experiencing the same thing, but using the Maya skeleton posted in the wiki to upload our head and then wearing it in-world results in a different head shape compared to the non-bento version when wearing the "New Shape". I understand that this shape should be the starting point for all sliders, and that wearing this shape in the T Pose should make the model appear exactly the same in-world as you see it in your 3D program, but the differences are increasingly substantial depending on how much weight you put on various facial bones.



This means that either the sliders are not neutral at the "New Shape" bone positions, or that the Maya skeleton in the wiki doesn't actually have the "New Shape" bone positions/scales, or perhaps something else?

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I agree with Mel. The eyelid bones should both pivot from the centre of the eyeball. The way it is now doesn't make sense. I'm not sure why the bones are pointing forwards at all, really - they weren't in the prototype rig I created for this reason. The jawbone I already raised earlier so obviously I agree with that. The root of the jawbone should not move. The end of the jawbone can move with sliders. I didn't mention the mouth corners because I didn't want to push my luck but again, their current position and the fact that the point almost forward doesn't make any sense. Smiling this way is more like a terrified grimace. When I get time later, I will make a few screenshots showing the difference with basic rotational expressions and the bones in the correct place, and in the current places. If we use rotational animations, the rotations need to pivot around a point that works with the natural curvature of the face. People who create non-human avatars will most likely move these bones, but as long as we cannot move the bones AND retain integrity of the facial sliders, the bone roots need to make sense. It's important to get this right now, before the project is in it's final stages, otherwise it can't be changed without breaking content.

I concur that we should be able to move the bone positions and not lose access to the sliders.

I uploaded a head with Bento, and a head with the normal fitted mesh skeleton and didn't notice the difference that Mel did with his example. There are some differences, but none on the face that are obvious.

https://i.gyazo.com/759751f98d8318b80bae5566309d5b95.gif

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Siddean Munro wrote:

I'm not sure why the bones are pointing forwards at all, really - they weren't in the prototype rig I created for this reason.

The direction to where the leaf bones (bones without connected children) point is completely irrelevant for the animations in SL. Technically it is only important to have the joints located at the correct positions. The bone end points can be placed anywhere.

We (bento team) have decided to move the bone end points to be close to the system character's shape.


Siddean Munro wrote:

The jawbone I already raised earlier so obviously I agree with that. The root of the jawbone should not move.

We first used the Jaw bone to simulate the chin depth and jaw angle. Later the Chin bone was added (in fact this was the most recent bone addition that was accepted). At that time the sliders had already been defined. And the goal was to not add more changes in the lad as this is a bit like juggling with 42 balls at the same time.


Siddean Munro wrote:

If we use rotational animations, the rotations need to pivot around a point that works with the natural curvature of the face.

When we(mostly Cathy, Gaia and myself) started to design the slider system for the face we had close to no experience with how the entire face will react and how this is all working together with transitional animation. We only have been aware that it was a complicated inter dependency without knowing a lot about how to deal with that.

We also started from a bone layout that was set up before any slider was implemented. So we tried to adjust the lad to support the bone layout. But it slowly turned out that the bone layout was not optimal (for human faces). However there was a freeze on the avatar skeleton, so we could not port back our discoveries to the bones. So we bended the lad to work with the bones.

I meanwhile believe that we made 3 major mistakes:

 

  1. We avoided to optimize the skeleton to work better with the slider system (mainly because of time constraints)
  2. We have created many slider drivers which combine too many bones to achieve one specific slider behavior. This results in complex dependencies when the sliders are used in combination.
  3. We used a lot of transitional changes (offsets) in the sliders. It may be better to make more use of the scale attribute instead of the offset attribute. This makes dependencies between transitional animation and slider changes (face shape changes) less complicated.

Siddean Munro wrote:

It's important to get this right now, before the project is in it's final stages, otherwise it can't be changed without breaking content.

Fully agree! I also propose for setting up a facial bone layout and a slider system that can work with human mesh heads in general rather than being optimized to mimic the behavior of the system character!

 

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There is one other thing that I wound up not bringing up because I thought the fact that related animations are just about guaranteed to be transation animations it may not matter, but due to the resting position being so far off I think it's worthwhile to do this:



Obviously the positioning of the bones in that diagram is not precise, and I can understand that the intent was to make it possible to animate the tongue without use of translations, but I think this is just not realistic for the tongue. Fortunately this is actually one case where use of translation animations would probably have no ill effects on sliders or the like.

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I'm going to start working on a JIRA concerning the need for modifiable bone positions that don't disable slider functionality, but just to introduce the subject here I want to make the point that by making the act of moving bones something that reduces functionality it has a sort of dampening effect on the creativity of head designers. These examples are from various films, but even when you're talking about making photoreal heads there is substantial variation in the position of the underlying bones and muscles that need to be represented by the rig.



When you're trying to build your face around an existing bone positioning, you'll probably wind up making basically the same face over and over rather than really flexing your creativity.



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I am currently running Norton Internet Security. Since I log into my company network from home I am required to use this, sorry! :-)  Bento keeps coming up as bad/potentially harmful. Is anyone else experiencing this? It is the only file that comes up this way. Thank you!

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KyleKC wrote:

I am currently running Norton Internet Security. Since I log into my company network from home I am required to use this, sorry! :-)  Bento keeps coming up as bad/potentially harmful. Is anyone else experiencing this? It is the only file that comes up this way. Thank you!

That's not unusual, especially when using a viewer that hasn't been widely used & Norton doesn't recognise it.

Norton often flags SL viewers as WS.Reputation.1, which basically means the program doesn't have a high enough reputation or Norton doesn't recognize it - http://community.norton.com/forums/clarification-wsreputation1-detection

This happens often with all viewers.  We are constantly having this problem with new Firestorm releases, especially with Norton.

You need to report it to Norton as a false positive.

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Mel Vanbeeck wrote:

I'm going to start working on a JIRA concerning the need for modifiable bone positions that don't disable slider functionality, but just to introduce the subject here I want to make the point that by making the act of moving bones something that reduces functionality it has a sort of dampening effect on the creativity of head designers. These examples are from various films, but even when you're talking about making photoreal heads there is substantial variation in the position of the underlying bones and muscles that need to be represented by the rig.

When you're trying to build your face around an existing bone positioning, you'll probably wind up making basically the same face over and over rather than really flexing your creativity.

 

 I'll just point out that the point of the sliders is for the user to make the range you are speaking of, not the creator. Now, 1 could make the argument that we need more slider support, or that the sliders could be more extreme. These have almost nothing to do with where you start from tho. Many designers have been asking me for advice, and the advice I'm giving is to create their mesh heads from the default positions.

Bone positions - Eyelid bone positions, yes, in theory, they should pivot from the same point the eye does. That said, it's not likely going to be perfect, and some translation will be needed. The Jaw, I'd say average everyone's guesses, and that should be about right. The tongue, IMHO should not be directly connected to the jaw bone.

As far as slider support, I'd say that we should only include bones connected to sliders if they utilize scale. If they do not, yes, they do seem a bit useless.

 

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Not sure what you mean by the user making a range. If you want a slider system that can take one mesh from Mr. Incredible there and turn him into Alfredo Linguini, I think you're expecting a bit too much from the shape sliders. Yes, it is good if the sliders can make substantial changes to a head, but when you're designing a head for SL the mesh you create isn't just going to be something generic that you can turn into anything, nor should it be.

(Sasy Scarborough interjected here: the expectations of customers always surpass the limitations of the medium.)

Aside from that, using the corners of the mouth as an example, Alfredo Linguini's corners of the mouth would require bones positioned in such a way that they can be drawn backwards along his teeth as he smiles, while Mr. Incredible's flat face would require bones that could draw the corners of the mouth more sideways to make his smile work with the overall head shape. That was the point I was trying to make regarding that variety of face shapes.

As I see it now, you have two options when creating a head for SL (although for the moment Maya users only have one until we have sliders functioning in Maya).

  1. You model your head with all the features located according to the default bone positions, then skin it and let customers turn that head into whatever the sliders will allow.
  2. You model your head according to your own unique vision, then attempt to use the sliders in Avastar or Mayastar to position the bones appropriately for your head before skinning, write down all the slider settings, then revert the sliders to the standard shape before exporting to enable sliders. Once in SL, you create a shape that reproduces the slider settings you built the head on, and include that with the model.

Situation 1 means that you're limited to relatively minor variations in the basic appearance of your head. Situation 2 means that you've got to cross your fingers that you can get the sliders to put the bones where you feel they belong, then hope that the head doesn't turn into a prune when you revert the sliders to export. In the case of Mr. Incredible, though, you're going to be stuck if the mouth corners are on the opposite sides and you need them in the middle instead, or anything like that.

Agreed, eyelids won't be perfect since you really need blend shapes for eyelids, but they will be pretty good and at least in most cases you won't have the bones pushing your eyelid straight into your eyeball.

For the moment I really have no idea which bones are using scales or translations or both with the sliders since I don't have access to facial sliders in Maya yet. Perhaps by sheer luck the bones that are most likely to be moved function purely on scale changes, but I'd be amazed if we were so lucky.

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Mel Vanbeeck wrote:

 
  1. You model your head with all the features located according to the default bone positions, then skin it and let customers turn that head into whatever the sliders will allow.
  2. You model your head according to your own unique vision, then attempt to use the sliders in Avastar or Mayastar to position the bones appropriately for your head before skinning, write down all the slider settings, then revert the sliders to the standard shape before exporting to enable sliders. Once in SL, you create a shape that reproduces the slider settings you built the head on, and include that with the model.

 

I'll just point out that, in both of these situations, they are way more than what we had.

In the case of Mr. Incredible, you could easily make him with the current default bone positions. Yes, then you'd just have Mr Incredible with some variation, but isn't that good? No, at the default, it might not look exactly like him, but is that the point, for it to look exactly like him, or is the point to have variations? Don't get me wrong here. I want everyone to be happy, and the more posibilities, the better it is for all of us. I'm just saying that we have a heck of alot more than we had.

 

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Mel Vanbeeck wrote: Situation 2 means that you've got to cross your fingers that you can get the sliders to put the bones where you feel they belong, then hope that the head doesn't turn into a prune when you revert the sliders to export.

You can tell the Collada exporter to export the mesh using the "current shape" and make this compatible to SL by fixing the Inverted Bind shape matrix. I do not want to go into the details about how this fixing is done, but i can tell you that it works also on the head bones :matte-motes-nerdy:

Here is an image of our demo dwarf (note we didn't edit the joint positions for this) :

 



Middle: Export using default Inverted Bind Shape matrices

Right: Export using fixed Inverted Bind Shape matrices

So you can do something like this (provided your 3D tool supports it of course)

 

  1. Use the sliders to arrange the skeleton (face bones) as needed
  2. Do your animation work
  3. Store the sliders values into a shape file
  4. Export your Mesh with the fixed inverted Bind Shape Matrix
  5. Import your mesh (as usual, you do NOT need to import with joints!)
  6. Import your shape (The Firestorm viewer can do that)
  7. wear the Mesh and the imported shape

And do the happy dance :)

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Are we going to see more sliders coming in?

I know that LL asked about it in a previous stage of the Bento project and there was not much interest about it, but the mesh head creators were not involved at that time and the animators, well, they didn't care.

Has this changed maybe? It would be pity to lose this oportunity now that the whole head thing is getting a new turn.

Would be nice if we could see some new sliders for the body also.

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