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Project Bento Feedback Thread

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Hi GWKTM,

Thanks for the size control suggestion! We are probably not going to make any further changes to the skeleton or sliders for bento, but this is the sort of thing we might consider in a follow-up project.

We already have some logic in the viewer for animating parameter changes over a period of time, so they don't happen all at once. The animation happens over a fairly short time, though - are you looking for a more gradual process?

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Thanks for the responses.  In order:

 

  1. Thanks for the info about maintaining the hierarchy.  I figured I would have to, but it's good to know I can get rid of the wings and hind legs if I don't need them.  Kind of a shame I still need the extra spine bones considering how hard it is to pick out just the normal bones, but ah well.
  2. Constraining skeletons to skeletons sounds like such a pain.  >P
  3. Shame they still can't be used for animation uploading.  Missed opportunity there.
  4. I figured the head was considered the "true location" and the tail was used for the "rotation".

 

To answer the question about where I got my skeleton, I picked it up from http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Project_Bento_Testing.  Per polysail's comments, I actually didn't notice an option to fix bone chains and clicking that does import the bones all linked up properly.  If I also check "fix leaf bones" it'll also orient the end bones and stray bones (like in the face or finger tips) so they're pointed in the right direction.  If zeroing out the rotation of the bones isn't a valid fix though as Matrice Laville suggests, I guess I'll have to just import without fixing the bones and do the constraints.  >/

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We've had some discussion recently about what types of operations are supported for collision volumes, in particular, whether animations work for them. Animating collision volumes does work in the current Bento viewer and in previous viewers. Whether it is a good idea to animate collision volumes depends on what you are trying to use them for. The uses I'm aware of are:

  • Raycasting. If you need to figure out whether an object is under the mouse, the collision volumes are used to detect an avatar. You can see this in drag-and-drop - try dragging a folder of clothing onto yourself. The drag will succeed if the spot you drag to is occupied by a collision volume.
  • Animations with constraints. Animations can include constraint information that causes the animation to respond to the location of body parts - putting hands on hips, resting hands on legs when sitting, etc. The collision volumes are used to determine these constraint locations.
  • Fitted mesh. Suitably rigged meshes can use the collision volumes to scale with the avatar shape.

(Contrary to what you might expect from the name, collision volumes don't have anything to do with the physics of avatars. Physics calculations are done on the back-end and use a very simplified representation that does not include the avatar skeleton.)

So the intent is that the collision volumes should give a rough approximation of the avatar's shape (you can see the shape defined by the collision volumes if you enable develop->avatar->show collision skeleton). This is how the system avatars work, and it will give you the best results for custom meshes: it will support fitted mesh, will allow animations with constraints to be created, and will make drag-and-drop work in the expected way. The recommendation for collision volume animation would be to use the capability in a way that's consistent with these uses of collision volumes. If animating the position and rotation of the collision volumes helps to keep them lined up with the avatar shape, this is generally a good thing. On the other hand, if the collision volumes are treated as just generic bones that are used for skinning and get positioned arbitrarily, this won't produce as good a user experience for the intended applications of collision volumes.

Collision volumes are on the agenda for this week's Bento User Group meeting, so if you want to discuss the topic please join us tomorrow.

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I'm not having the same success. I'm still seeing largely the same deforms with alpha 8 that I saw with alpha 6. Could you walk me through your process? Perhaps I'm doing something wrong.

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Teager wrote:

I'm not having the same success. I'm still seeing largely the same deforms with alpha 8 that I saw with alpha 6. Could you walk me through your process? Perhaps I'm doing something wrong.

Alpha 8? Downloading now!

As I said in my original post, "after some messing around", I finally got it all to work. It's definitely not obvious.

I'll update to 8, test it, and maybe I'll do a video on it.

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After sending my file to Gaia, she's working on some additional changes to support the crazy things I'm asking Avastar to do.

 

Thank you again, Gaia - looking forward to seeing what you come up with. :)

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Kaoz Koba from Akeruka Creations has a Bento mesh head available for testing.  It's only L$99.

 

This is the default head shape that comes with the head.

 

After some slider tweaking to change this into a sad looking doll face  :D

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Has anyone else had issues with parsing error on trying to upload a mesh head with bento?  It's been a while since I have been focusing on the mesh head since there had been issues with the skeleton for a while, and now that I am, I have been getting errors over and over. I am working on a mesh head, rigged to the bento skeleton, and here are my results...

Unrigged Head = upload
Rigged head without custom weights = upload
Rigged Mesh head with custom weights = parsing error
Default SL head with the same weights = upload

So, the model will upload fine both rigged and unrigged, but I get a parsing error when uploading with weights I painted that I copy to it. So it must be an issue with the skin weights, right? Well, if I copy those same weights to a different model, like the default SL head, that will upload as well.

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Remember there is a bone limit.  I think the max number of bones a single mesh can be rigged to is 110.

Also check to see what bones are in your skin cluster for the mesh.

I know you are using MayaStar so select your mesh in Maya in object mode.

Then click on the MayaStar menu in Maya and then click "For Earlier Versions of Maya" and then click "SkinCluster Bone Names".

Next open the Script Editor and in the top history window you should see a long list of bone names.
Each name will be on its own line.

Go through the list and make sure all the names are correct or that something isn't there that should be.

I hope that helps. :)
Cathy

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Usually if a model loads but does not show the option to include skin weights, the problem is too many joints per mesh, or references to unrecognized joints. If the model isn't  loading at all then it's something else.

Note that the 110-joint limit is per mesh, not per file - if your model consists of multiple pieces, each one can be skinned to up to 110 joints, but the total for the whole file can be higher.

The SecondLife.log file often gives additional information about errors encountered during mesh upload - sometimes more than you can see from the upload dialog itself.

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We have had some discussions in the past about possibly adding the ability to override the scale as well as position for joints in uploaded mesh models. A joint with both position and scale overrides would be effectively "slider-proof" - no sliders that affect the joint would have any effect on the model. This may be useful for content creators who want to control their avatar mesh shape exactly, without being affected by the standard customization options. A proof of concept build for this can be found here: http://automated-builds-secondlife-com.s3.amazonaws.com/hg/repo/bento-box-scale-override-proof-of-concept/rev/319431/index.html

When you upload a model using this test viewer, under the standard "Include skin weight" and "Include joint positions" check boxes, this build provides an additional check box for "Lock scale if joint position defined". If you check this box, then any joint that has a position defined will also have its scale locked. Scale locking will be enforced whenever a joint would normally be scaled by a slider.

To make a bone truly slider-proof, you will have to pay attention to the joint hierarchy. Any change to the scale of a parent bone will also cause the child bone to move, so you will have to make sure the bone's ancestors also have joint positions defined. A joint position will be ignored unless it differs from the bone's default location by at least 0.1 mm (ie, 0.0001 m in the units used by the skeleton definition file). If you want to lock a joint without changing its position, use a very small offset that will not be large enough to have a visual effect (some fraction of a mm).

If you get a chance to try this out, please let us know what you think! Any feedback about the design of feature or bugs encountered would be very helpful.

Note that this is just a test build to help with discussion of the feature. It may or may not make it into Bento in this form, or any other form. 

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Thanks Cathy, though I am actually sure the bones are all right as I can export with the skeleton with different weights on the model or the same weights on a different model.  I am also not going over the bone limit as I am removing the legs, arms, hind limbs, wings, etc and just including the head bones and also trying them parented through the neck and chest to the pelvis, though that does not seem necessary. 

The probelm is a parsing error, not just no option to include skin weights.   Typically, I woudl think parsing error would indicate a problem with the geometry, but seems to only occur when there is a combination of it being rigged and painting the skin weights as opposed to simply binding it to the skeleton and exporting before adjusting the weights. 

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The wiki is locked but if you leave Vir Linden a message in world with a link to the files you wish attached to the Wiki, I've found they appear there in fairly short order.

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There's an error in the spine bone hierarchy of the male and female FBX files on the Project Bento wiki under "Current Test Content."

In the FBX files, mSpine4 does not seem to be linked in sequence between mSpine3 and mChest.  



 

The uploads of the 3DS max versions are correct.



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Leviathan Flux wrote:

Thanks Cathy, though I am actually sure the bones are all right as I can export with the skeleton with different weights on the model or the same weights on a different model.  I am also not going over the bone limit as I am removing the legs, arms, hind limbs, wings, etc and just including the head bones and also trying them parented through the neck and chest to the pelvis, though that does not seem necessary. 

The probelm is a parsing error, not just no option to include skin weights.   Typically, I woudl think parsing error would indicate a problem with the geometry, but seems to only occur when there is a combination of it being rigged and painting the skin weights as opposed to simply binding it to the skeleton and exporting before adjusting the weights. 

Hi Leviathan,

Try this, export your weights out using a 3rd party plugin like Dora Skinweights.  I say use a 3rd party plugin because Maya's build in weight exporter stinks.  Then select your mesh in object mode and export it out as an OBJ.  Don't export out as an FBX you want OBJ because OBJs don't have skeletons or weights.

Now open a brand new file that just has the Bento Skeleton so you can start with a clean slate just in case there was some sort of corruption in the original file.  Import your OBJ and do a quick Smooth Bind to the new skeleton don't adjust the weights.

Now export the mesh out as a DAE and see if you can upload it to SL with the weights.  If you can go back to Maya and import the weights you exported out earlier.  Export the mesh as a DAE and see if you can now upload it to SL with weights.

If this works that means there was something messed up with your original mesh.  From time to time Maya creates garbage nodes for a mesh that makes it impossible to upload it to SL especially rigged mesh.  By exporting it out as an OBJ it gets rid of these garbage nodes.  By using a fresh new skeleton you are making sure that the garbage nodes are not in the skeleton itself.

Deleting history or doing "Cleanup" or "Optimize Scene Size" doesn't always get rid of garbage nodes so the OBJ and new skeleton is a good way to go.

Hope that helps. :)

Cathy

 

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With Avastar Alpha-9 (just released) you can update the Coyote as follows:

 

  1. Open the Coyote Blend file
  2. Select the Coyote Rig
  3. Open the Avastar Tool Shelf
  4. Locate the Rig Transfer Tool
  5. Set Rig Type to Extended
  6. Checkmark "Rebuild Offsets" to allow usage of Sliders in Avastar
  7. Uncheck Rebuild missing bones
  8. Call the "Update Rig" function (press the button)

If you look closer, then you notice that the Set Bind Pose settings are no longer needed for anything here so the setting has been removed. If you want to test the Sliders:

 

  1. Locate the Skinning Panel in the Avastar Tool Shelf
  2. Set the Appearance Control to "SL Appearance"

Now you can use the Appearance sliders in Avastar to test the behavior of the Coyote Mesh.

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Worked well for me Gaia!

 

The ELEPHANT lives again!

I just started recreating the elephant's rig. So far so good.

Here's some images.

The color bones are the control rig, controlling only the trunk, mouth, and ears.

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Thanks a lot, Cathy, for the suggestions.  I ended up trying to delete some of the nodes that had been attached and managed to get it to upload, though I was having trouble again with the weights in SL not working properly.  For that I ended up starting fresh with your skeleton from the wiki again, and I just got it working right again.  Would just be great if I could pin down exactly where it's going wrong to avoid it in the future. 

I will check out those 3rd party plugins though cause I am sure this will probably happen again. 

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I've looked at some of the rig examples, most recently the max 2012 bone rig, which while very nice, has the same problem as all the other rigs I tried to get into max. Its /tiny/.

Could someone please help me out by letting me know how I can achieve a bigger working model, so I don't constantly run into the near clip plane hiding parts of the model, while still achieving a proper export? Or is the only way to get a correct export to work on the tiny tiny scale and subsequently export that way? Since whenever I try to upscale the rig, I just end up with a stickman body mesh.

Once again, thanks very much in advance.

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Psistorm Ikura wrote:

I've looked at some of the rig examples, most recently the max 2012 bone rig, which while very nice, has the same problem as all the other rigs I tried to get into max. Its /tiny/.

Could someone please help me out by letting me know how I can achieve a bigger working model, so I don't constantly run into the near clip plane hiding parts of the model, while still achieving a proper export? Or is the only way to get a correct export to work on the tiny tiny scale and subsequently export that way? Since whenever I try to upscale the rig, I just end up with a stickman body mesh.

Once again, thanks very much in advance.

Polysail, I think is making a 3DS Max compatible version.

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