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Project Bento has finally been announced. :D

There is a new Project Viewer that has new bones that have been added to the default avatar skeleton.
The Bento Viewer's skeleton has new Face Bones, Wing Bones, a Groin Bone, and Tail Bones.

I just thought I put up a few links for a couple of videos and to where you can download the Project Bento Viewer.
Right now you can only upload mesh rigged to the new bone on the Beta Test Grid Aditi.

Here is a link to where you can download the viewer:
http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Release_Notes/Second_Life_Project_Bento/5.0.0.309171

Here is a video I made going into detail about the new skeleton for Project Bento

 

Here is a wonderful video made using Avastar showing a rigged avatar animated using the new Bento Bones:

I am so glad I was allowed to be apart of Project Bento.
I think all the Bento members residents and moles and Lindens did a outstanding job. :D

I think Bento will be a huge sucess. :D

Cathy 

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Hi, Medhue;

What you see in this character's weight maps is just the result of a simple Automatic weight from bones which does not at all work for this sort of rig. In fact the automatic weight from bones only works properly for "limb like bones", you can see that on the character's fingers and tail which have also been auto weighted with no manual tweaks at all but work properly out of the box.

We shipped the "Bento Angel" with these not at all satisfying initial face weights to get something out as quickly as possible and we are working on enhancements already :)

Improvements ahead:

For the face we are about to test an idea which could possibly generate by far better suited initial weights for the face. We will get into this in the next few days.

The lips:

I also miss a bone at the center of the lips. Something like mFaceLipCenterUpper mFaceLipCenterLower would be awesome improvement here.

Rotation versus Translation:

The rig was constructed such that the issues with rotation get minimised: You see the joints are all placed deep inside the head. But of course you are right, the mesh still gets distorted in an odd way when you rotate too far.

I am not sure why bone translation is forbidden. Nobody could tell me so far the reasoning behind this decision. maybe it related to some issues with the appearance sliders...

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Gaia Clary wrote:

Hi, Medhue;

What you see in this character's weight maps is just the result of a simple Automatic weight from bones which does not at all work for this sort of rig. In fact the automatic weight from bones only works properly for "limb like bones", you can see that on the character's fingers and tail which have also been auto weighted with no manual tweaks at all but work properly out of the box.

We shipped the "Bento Angel" with these not at all satisfying initial face weights to get something out as quickly as possible and we are working on enhancements already
:)

Improvements ahead:

For the face we are about to test an idea which could possibly generate by far better suited initial weights for the face. We will get into this in the next few days.


I figured as much, which is why I tried not to make it a big deal, but still point out how it could be better.

 


Gaia Clary wrote:

The lips:

I also miss a bone at the center of the lips. Something like mFaceLipCenterUpper mFaceLipCenterLower would be awesome improvement here.


If LL wants to save on bones, maybe the 2 sets of bones on the top and bottom lips could be move to the center a bit more.

 


Gaia Clary wrote:

Rotation versus Translation:

The rig was constructed such that the issues with rotation get minimised: You see the joints are all placed deep inside the head. But of course you are right, the mesh still gets distorted in an odd way when you rotate too far.

I am not sure why bone translation is forbidden. Nobody could tell me so far the reasoning behind this decision. maybe it related to some issues with the appearance sliders...

If LL keeps things like this, may I suggest moving those facial bones even farther back, so that there is even less rotation in the movements.

Ultimately, LL really should consider supporting translating the bones. It's about how things look. No matter how LL does this rotation trick, it CAN'T be as good as translating the bones. A classic example is puckered lips, which actually move the lips away from the head. This CAN'T be done by rotating bones. IMHO, the bottom line is, does LL want our avatars to have good expressions, or just expressions. I vote for good expressions. I fear that LL thinks the gains are little, while I think the gains are huge.

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Oh, but I really did love the simple IKs you included in the rig. It really does make animating it fun. I haven't seen the Avastar 2 version yet. Heck, I just realized there is an Avastar 2. I just cashed out, so my lindens are low and my pp acount is almost drained from the holidays, unless I finish this contract. But I'll be upgrading soon. I can't wait to see what the Machinimatrix team has done.

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Hi Medhue!  I loved your video. :) 
I think it is a pretty fair assessment of the situation with the face bones.
Remember you can move the face bones around and upload your DAE with Include Joint Position.
If you can find better joint positions please do and let us know their new locations.
LL wants feedback and if you can find significantly better positions I am sure LL will adopt them as the standard.

I agree translations of for the face bones would be wonderful.  I also think animating scales of the face bones would also be just as useful.  The reasons translations were not included were two fold.  One was a concern that if someone did upload their own mesh with different joint positions then the default animations with translations would not work.  Rotating just the joints only should work well over a larger variety of bone positions or at least that's the theory.  If you can show the same animation that use translations works well with two more head meshes who have significant different face bone positions I think LL would really consider making it so translations work with the face bones.  The second reason I believe is that their just wasn't enough time to modify the code to allow for all the face bones to be able to be animated with translations at least not for the initial release.

The nose bones are a lot closer to the surface of the skin than all the rest.  You might want to try moving them deeper into the head so you get less distortion.  Personally I wonder if we really need forehead bones.  I suggest you move those to bones and add one to the upper lip in the middle and one to the lower lip in the middle.

My hope is that the bones are not going to cause as much of a performance hit as our initial test has led us to believe.  I love to have two bones for each eyelid instead of one each.  In my test they made for way more expressive eyes.

I have also put forth that lower LODs could have fewer bones than the highest LOD.  Wings and tail certainly should be on all levels of LOD but I think we could do away with the face and hand bones on the low and lowest LODs perhaps even on the medium LOD as well.  This would certainly cut down on the performance hit.  LL wants to wait to see if there would really even be a need for this though before they commit resources to changing viewer code for this and I don't blame them.

Please Medhue keep assessing the bones and making videos.  They could certainly have a great impact on the decisions LL will be making. :)

Cathy

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Cathy Foil wrote:

If you can find better joint positions please do and let us know their new locations.

LL wants feedback and if you can find significantly better positions I am sure LL will adopt them as the standard.


If rotation is all we can do, then I would want all the facial bones moved back a bit more.

 


Cathy Foil wrote:

I agree translations of for the face bones would be wonderful.  I also think animating scales of the face bones would also be just as useful.  The reasons translations were not included were two fold.  One was a concern that if someone did upload their own mesh with different joint positions then the default animations with translations would
not
work.  Rotating just the joints only should work well over a larger variety of bone positions or at least that's the theory.  If you can show the same animation that use translations works well with two more head meshes who have significant different face bone positions I think LL would really consider making it so translations work with the face bones.  The second reason I believe is that their just wasn't enough time to modify the code to allow for all the face bones to be able to be animated with translations at least not for the initial release.


It seems to me that translation will work, as long as you are translating from the right point. If the starting position of a bone is changed, the translation of the bone animated after that is from that starting point. Vir talked about adding support for more collision bones, and I'm assuming he means for the face. The starting position for the actual facial bones need to match with the movements of these eventual collision bones. If they did, then anyone could use translation on for the facial bones and it should work. Now, imagine custom avatars that are animals using the fitted mesh system, so their animals could be customized by the user, just like the default avatar. We can now do this with this bone system. Yes, they would have unique facial bone positions, but with the system working like I explained, the animals with similar facial bones set ups could all still use the same animations, cause the collision bones will make sure the normal facial bones are starting from the right position.

Of course, this is all just theory in my head. I did start on rigging my new wolf to these bones, and the facial bones were very cool, placing them around the face.


Cathy Foil wrote:

 

My hope is that the bones are not going to cause as much of a performance hit as our initial test has led us to believe.  I love to have two bones for each eyelid instead of one each.  In my test they made for way more expressive eyes.


I would think, that these new bones will eliminate the need to do things in SL that are many times more laggy than bones. Yeah, if you are in a room, full of custom avatars, these bones are going to cause some lag, just because of how many there are, times the amount of avatars. This makes me wonder if it would help to only export bones that are needed versus all the bones in every upload. I have no idea how all that works tho.

 


Cathy Foil wrote:

 

Please Medhue keep assessing the bones and making videos.  They could certainly have a great impact on the decisions LL will be making.
:)

Cathy

I did start on rigging my new Unity wolf to this rig. My Unity wolves use blend shapes for all their expressions, but it will be really interesting to see how these bones work out. I don't have much time right now tho. Well, lately, I never have much time. Then again, I do tend to stop everything to play with new stuff. Right now, I have 12 old buddhist masters I have to make for a client, who will be ghosts in the game. When I'm done with these, which are due by new years, I'll have more time to play with the new rig.

 

Overall, I'm pretty excited and I think the team did a really good job.

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No new feet bones? 

I was hoping to get rid of all the different feet that load with mesh bodies, and the seam.  It would be nice if we could pose the feet.  I don't think feet need as many bones as hands, but it would be nice to have the feet be able to flat or high-heeled without separate meshes.

Currently, mesh body makers load all the different feet types and make them all transparent, except the one you are using.  I was hoping to get rid of that laggyness.

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Cathy Foil wrote:.

I agree translations of for the face bones would be wonderful.  I also think animating scales of the face bones would also be just as useful.  The reasons translations were not included were two fold.  One was a concern that if someone did upload their own mesh with different joint positions then the default animations with translations would
not
work.  Rotating just the joints only should work well over a larger variety of bone positions or at least that's the theory.  If you can show the same animation that use translations works well with two more head meshes who have significant different face bone positions I think LL would really consider making it so translations work with the face bones.  The second reason I believe is that their just wasn't enough time to modify the code to allow for all the face bones to be able to be animated with translations at least not for the initial release.

 

After playing around a bit, I realise that translation was disabled, at least for those face bones. So, I can't really show them how it will work. To me tho, the reasoning somewhat fails from the start, as every single avatar created with these bones will need to have their own facial animations. Now, a creator could think, why not just never move the initial set up of the face bone, and use that as a standard, voluntarily, to ensure that their animations work across all their avatars. In this case, bone translation is not a problem, because every avatar using animations have the same start position. So, whether bone translation is used, or not, compatibility could still happen, with a simple basic rule for creating compatible avatars. LL doesn't need to force anyone to do anything to have compatibility.

With all other avatars, whether you use bone translation or not, it's irrelevant. Every single custom avatar will have their own facial expressions. Now, in the future, when LL adds collision bone support, then moving a nose around with sliders would need to move those nose bones too, and not mess with the translations. It sounds complex, but really just about interpreting the animation correctly, from whatever point you are starting from.

Like I said tho, It's not possible to show LL how this could work in SL, as the ability to translate those face bone is not there.

 

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thank you Cathy. Im still learning and fudtzing with which program is best for me so maybe by the time I wrap my head around the right tool they will be able to go past beta. Im content to be able to check things out on beta. thanks so much for letting me know though. 


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Actually the feet do already have two bones that can be animated but that for some reason the vast majority of animator and mesh designers ignore.

Most animators only animate the mAnkle bones for walking animations.  There are two other bones to animate the feet mFoot and mToe bones.  The mFoot is for animating the ball of the foot and the mToe bones can be used to animate the toes.  While all the toes would have to move together the mToe bones are more than adequate.

There really is no reason why mesh body creators couldn't make just one pair of feet and use animation overrides to position the feet so that the same mesh foot could be used for both flats and high-heeled shoes.

I know overall it is easier to just make multiple sets of mesh feet so they work with basically all walk animations than it would be to make one pair of mesh feet and rig it to all bones in the feet.

Hope that helps. :)
Cathy

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