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GranddadGotMojo

How to do Scripted Agents, Bots, Puppets

Question

I have gotten back into Second Life after nearly a ten year absence.  I am interested in doing Machinima of my music I have recorded and would like to have a number of Non Player Characters that I control with animations like dancing in the videos.  I am left somewhat confused about how to go about this after having read some things on the internet about SL:bots, Scripted Agents, etc.  Is there a good resource describing in detail how to do this?  I need to understand the steps to be able to do this.  Something like this:

  • Create an Account
  • Mark the Account as Scripted Agent
  • Start a Client to Control the Scripted Agent
  • Animate the Characters

I have logged in with two clients controlling two characters before but that seems like a lot of wasted PC resources since I am only playing my main character.  The main questions I have are:

  • Can I run a scripted agent avatar without having a running SL Viewer on my desktop for each NPC I set up?
    • Is there a lightweight client that could launch them instead of the Viewer
    • Do I need to run a client at all?
    • I have read about smartbots and the services, but, since I am just using these NPCs for shooting the videos and not as chat bots or greeters it seems an overkill
      • Also I have a pretty powerful PC and a lot of bandwidth so paying for this type of service seems like just spending money
  • Is there any software I can buy or get for free that will do what I want to do?

Thanks for reading this.

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I would suggest instead of using a bot, get a text viewer like Radegast. Having 10  or more bots is going to cost you a small fortune a week, a text viewer is free. With Radegast you can have each avatar accept animation requests. Radegast even has has a low res 3d renderer so you can see where to walk and position your the avatar where you need it. 

 

Alternatively if you really want to go the bot route then try Corrade as their bot services are free because it runs on your own computer and you can set the client as a Windows service to run in the background, and acceptance of animation requests will be automatic with a script. ,

http://grimore.org/secondlife/scripted_agents/corrade

https://marketplace.secondlife.com/p/WaS-Corrade-Accept-Animation-From-Agent/8327400   

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For future prospects, LL has just begun working on animated mesh which will allow you to assign a secondlife avatar skeleton to a rezzed object and any links with rigged properties will conform to the skeleton. You will be allowed to play animations on that object effectively making them look like avatars. The project has just begun so there is no word on how long it will take to fully implement, but it is definitely something to look forward to.

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A bot (or, in LL's terms, a "scripted agent") is nothing more than an avatar account that is being controlled by a computer program, rather than a live person.  However, to be in world, an avatar must be logged in via a viewer, no matter what's controlling it.

It may be simpler, rather than using a bot, to just create several alts and log them in (use more than one PC if you must...but a single PC, if it's fairly powerful, should be able to handle at least four instances of the viewer...especially if the graphics preferences are kept low.)  Just set each of them doing whatever dance animation you want, then start filming away with your POV avatar.  You would not even need to register the alts as scripted agents, since they're not being controlled by a bot program.

Or you could invite several friends to join you in producing your machinima!

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I have run the multiple viewers before, but, was hoping for a solution that could easily handle ten or more Avis.  That why I was wondering if somehow I could use a lighter client than the SL viewer.  I will also look through the documentation Rolig.  Thanks. 

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52 minutes ago, GranddadGotMojo said:

I have run the multiple viewers before, but, was hoping for a solution that could easily handle ten or more Avis.  That why I was wondering if somehow I could use a lighter client than the SL viewer.  I will also look through the documentation Rolig.  Thanks. 

Yeah, I skipped over that part of your question.  You do need to be logged in for your bot to exist, and your connection has to be robust enough to handle the traffic of several clients. It doesn't make any difference HOW you are logged it, so you could use Radegast or Singularity, or another of the light-weight viewer if you want.   After all, a scripted agent is just another agent ... like you or your other alts.

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The dance groups that present dances use multiple avatars. People practices together...

See:

You can ask the producers how they handle the problem.

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19 hours ago, Gayngel said:

I would suggest instead of using a bot, get a text viewer like Radegast.

I agree with this completely. If the old "SLMultiverse" text-only app still worked (for iOS), you could have one character logged into each iOS device (tablet, phone, whatever) that was running the app. No need for PC's even.

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I would look at either Corrade or MetaBOLT.

MetaBOLT is no longer supported by it's creator, so recent changes in SL have broken a few features (like scripting costume changes) but it has two features that make it easy for operating NPCs.  It still interfaces nicely with LSL (with the LSL-API) for the commands/functions that still work (that is if you can still find documentation on the commands available in LSL-API-- I suggest using the Wayback Machine for that information.).  However, if you're not an LSL scripter looking for a machinima client, you can use the METAnomy feature to easily set up your scenes.  MetaBOLT was originally designed as a text viewer, but as more users asked for NPC/group bot functions, it became very flexible bot client with training wheels: you still have text-based feedback, and a few interesting features available, that easily allow you to monitor your bot's environment.  MetaBOLT is a lot lighter (CPU/RAM) to use than any of the graphics viewers.  

However, if you're looking for light, and need more than just a few NPCs/actors....

Corrade is incredibly lighter and far more flexible than MetaBOLT or Radegast.  It's list of commands are overwhelming (NPCs can be scripted to "MARRY" and "DIVORCE", so if you're looking to generate some controversial buzz over your machinima project, Corrade gives you some options).  If you're simply looking to animate NPCs you'll only need to be familiar with commands like "SIT", "STAND", "TYPING" (which is useful for handheld props that replace the default typing animations), "WEAR" and "UNWEAR" (for costume changes), TOUCH (for avatar/object interactions), ANIMATION, AUTOPILOT, TURN, and TURNTO (coupled with a good AO).  Even though the MP has a few items released by the Corrade team to help you get started, you'll need to really brush up on your LSL skills to get your actors to perform.

 

If you're not a strong scripter, and need NPCs for a short term project, I suggest using MetaBOLT.  https://wiki.casperdns.com/index.php/METAbolt#Introduction   https://bitbucket.org/METAbolt/metabolt.bitbucket.org/overview   and you'll want to download the METAnomy plug-in (which is fairly intuitive and easier to use for simple projects than LSL-API)  If you need the LSL-API documentation, use "metabolt.net/METAwiki/lslcommands.ashx" in your search at the Wayback Machine.  A quick note: all costume changes will have to be done in a graphics based viewer before using your NPCs in MetaBOLT.  If you're planning on creating regular features, take a look at Corrade  http://grimore.org/secondlife/scripted_agents/corrade

I'd suggest MetaBOLT over Radegast unless you're familiar with RLV programming.

Edited by Evie Moriguchi
clarification
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