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I would like to create a listing of Bento Mesh heads and the priority of their facial expressions, mainly to compose a list of mesh heads that are compatible to products that need to animate the head / face as well.

I came across this topic as it seems various head makers use various policies about priorities for facial expressions. Some even seem to use priority 6 for simple background animations, thus making it impossible to override anything by 3rd party.

 

Background Info:

I am Mo Noel from MoDesign. Some of my product (as many products from other creators) use facial expressions to give a proper visual picture of the product in use. For example if you put a gag in ones mouth, the mouth eventually should stay open.

Before the mesh heads era, this could be achieved by standard SL expressions, like „express_open_mouth“. The options where limited, but they worked reliable.

Most mesh head brands do not support these standard expressions. Actually there is no brand I know that does scan the avatar animations for standard SL facial expressions and transform them to the corresponding mesh head expression. This renders the head incompatible to many products that animate the standard face.

 

For basic animations, there is a reference about what priorities should be used for what kind of animations. 

It goes about like this:

Priority 0

  • Used for many of the internal animations which are intended to be overridden with an AO.

 

Priority 1

  • Used for internal emotes.

 

Priority 2

  • Priority 2 is a good choice for stands in AOs.

 

Priority 3

  • poses while moving (e.g. a walk) or that should override regular standing poses (like kneeling, a hug or standing with a handbag), but usually walks, dances, sits and most other animations that want to override standing poses

 

Priority 4

  • enforced 1 (lower body)
  • restricted walks, to overpower restricted stands 
  • this could be a walk in leg cuffs or humple walk when loosing a shoe

 

Priority 5

  • enforced 2 (upper body)
  • this could be enforced poses that need to override enforced walks
  • like handcuffs, that should override the upper body even while walking in leg irons, as a leg iron walk also would animate the arms.
  • Also a neck corset should be priority 5.

 

Priority 6

  • anything that is even more restricting then priority 5 and we forgot to think about
  • this could be special furniture things, for example, where a body might be folded as tiny as possible to hide it, e.g. to simulate a magic trick

 

(Yes, some AO makers violate these rules, with the effect that A others do as well or B items don't work as expected)

 

Example: Handcuffs and leg irons:

1. Avatar is standing:

  • Prio 0: SL standing animation
  • Prio 1: - 
  • Prio 2: standing animation of the AO
  • Prio 3: -
  • Prio 4: standing with restricted legs
  • Prio 5: standing with restricted arms

 

2. Avatar is walking - same animations but * animations added

  • Prio 0: SL standing animation
  • Prio 1: - 
  • Prio 2: standing animation of the AO
  • Prio 3: * walking animation of the AO -> overriding any stands
  • Prio 4: standing with restricted legs
  • Prio 4: *walking with restricted legs overriding the previously active prio 4 stand
  • Prio 5: standing with restricted arms -> still overriding the arms of the restricted walk

 

1. Avatar is standing again - same animations, but the * animations from above stop:

  • Prio 0: SL standing animation
  • Prio 1: - 
  • Prio 2: standing animation of the AO -> takes over from the prio 3 walk 
  • Prio 3: -
  • Prio 4: standing with restricted legs -> takes over from the prio 4 walk, still overrides Priority 2 stand
  • Prio 5: standing with restricted arms -> still overrides loose arms of Prio 4 stand

 

 

For a head, we need something similar. As there is no SL preset overriding face expressions by Bento animations, we could use the full range of the 6 priority levels.

 

As a first sketch, the following "Mo-Rule" could be an idea to discuss: 

 

Priority 0

  • used for minor 3rd party animations
  • or things that really don't matter and should be overpowered by standard face animation

 

 

Priority 1

  • used for standard animations/emotes to keep the head alive while no one else is doing something

 

 

Priority 2

  • Animations that override standard emotings, this could be
  • smiles
  • talking head
  • whistle
  • smoking
  • etc.

 

 

Priority 3

  • same as Priority 2, but for 3rd party items

 

 

Priority 4

  • enforced 1 
  • special effect animations
  • e.g. avatar gets electroshocked

 

 

Priority 5

  • enforced 2 
  • real physical enforcements
  • open mouth by a gag
  • closed eyes by glue, death or something (e.g. a zombie avatar or a ghost)
  • open eyes, hold open by matches
  • etc.

 

 

Priority 6

  • anything that is even more restricting then priority 5 and we forgot to think about

 

(yes, some really may say this comes a tad late, but better late, then never.)
(and yes, similar set of rules would be great for hands and feet and tails and ears …)

 

Edited by Mo Noel

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Good luck trying to get any standarde for pose priority usage, a short time ago, somebody asked how she could get or make a pri-6 'holding a handbag pose, and practically had fits when it was suggested she could use a pri-3 or pri-4 just as well.

If you're really intewrested in making gag poses work on mesh heads, perhaps check out one of your competitors, Marine's RR gags, which are bento head compatible, and see how shes managing it.
 

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3 hours ago, Klytyna said:

perhaps check out one of your competitors, Marine's RR gags, which are bento head compatible, and see how shes managing it.
 

What you always can do is what was always done to overpower bad priority design:

  • use priority 6
  • use a real short loop
  • stop and restart and stop and restart your animation again and again in shortest time
  • hope that your AO will manage to be faster then all others trying the same 

This thread is not about how to do that. This thread is about how to do it with a sense for needs, resources and reliability.

This thread is not about competition, but about cooperation.

PS: I do offer a Bento gag AO, and its designed to be extreme low on lag & resources, like memory, while being reliable. I do know, how things can be done.

Edited by Mo Noel

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I pretty much agree with your lists, but I will talk a little about bento bones and animation for those. The standard skeleton has underlying animation that is always playing, but can be changed. Bento bones have no underlying animation that is always playing, hence it needs to be created. Why? Well, in SL, animations can blend into each other. So, if you were to play a smile, you can make it so that the smile gradually takes over the face. In order to do this tho, there needs to be an animation currently playing. Now, because bento bones have no underlying animations playing, when you make your own, you can make them whatever priority you like. So, starting at 0 or 1 is possible. 

Bento also introduces eye animation and blinking, which require some unique priorities. For example, blinks should be a high priority, but also not so high that you can't close your eyes without the blink interfering.

All is really not lost with matching systems with bento facial expressions. There may be a way. I'm going to ask more questions again at the meeting this week.

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