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It has been discussed in lenght and several times during the last year. The most recent information that i got about it was from a mesh meeting about half a year ago, where Lindens stated something like this:

 

  • There are no plans to change the current default avatar mesh, because it would break all content related to texture based clothes.
  • The comunity is free to develop one (or more) comunity standard(s) if that makes sense.

I myself tried to create a mesh based avatar with the exact same UV-mapping as the curretn default avatar. But after fiddling with that for a couple of days i finally gave up. Although my first results wheren't too bad, but not as good as they should be.

I also proposed to create a mesh based "default human avatar" unrelated to the default avatar (with its own perfect UV-unwrap) which should be made publicly available and free for commercial usage. But i could not get anybody into this boat. I am not even sure if it makes sense at all...

So i doubt that an avatar-2.0 will be available.

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I actually think that the current avatar not only is limited and very old lookig but also the modeling and uvmapping are quite incorrect and its a miracle people could take out of it nice avatars and shapes....

 

I think it is time to update the new avatar with possibly a public project driven by community where everyone can put in the opinions and efforts , the new avatar shoudl have decent and better uvmapping , as well as more space for texturing , asymetrical texturing plus more polygon density , morph targets for the sliders and emotional animations....

 

the new avatar should then be sidened as a new visibility feature in the viewers so people could chose what avatar to show as their alter ego old or new , everybody could then visualize the one they are using , the two avatars could be sidened together so to give time to the community either to convert all the old clothes to the new one or to make new clothes and skins for it .... one year time of sidening and a gradual retirement of the old one after that period coul dgive sufficent time for the transition I guess....

 

I could actually be even interested in the creation of the new avatar mesh but it woul dneed morph targets to be enabled for its creation because so far the avatar mesh replacements can only have rigging and follow so bone structure but not the sliders and emotional animations....

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I think that would be very difficult to make work. For one thing; How would you handle it when someone downgrade from a premium to a basic account? Should they automatically only get access to the original avata mesh? How about all the changes they have made to their avatar? What about everything they have bought for the avatar; should they have to buy it again?

- Luc -

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The Tinys community has a folded avatar that is freely available. The folds are basic poses, and anyone can then extend the poses with animations (some are quite good) and clothing that fits the typical prim-based avatar shape. This is not 'endorsed' by Linden Labs, but the Box Robot in the library is based upon the same folds, and the Raglan Shire community has many people developing content for the Tinys 'brand' avatars.

I believe if Avatar 2.0 is to exist, it will have to be done by some one person with a vision and competent towards creating a single standard that is a 'best of class' new avatar shape that is better than the default. I believe that this new Avatar 2.0 will have to be freely and openly licensed for commercial use by anyone, same as the Tinys brand, and I believe this Avatar 2.0 will have to be embraced by the mesh community at large into accepting it and using it to create new products for sale. It would have to be done in such a way that if Linden Labs does nothing, it will not matter. LL's participation will be unexected and unnecessary.

Then you'll have to get people to use this. LOTS of people. Given the current rate of acceptance of Viewer2, ANY mesh is going to have to push upstream without a paddle. From where I sit, finding anyone willing to turn out a very high quality (and EXPENSIVE to produce in time and skill) product and then give that product free without restriction is improbable. For this product to be adopted with little conflict within the community is again, unlikely. And for this product to be visible by the majority of browsers you can convince people to actually use is dismal given the burning, passionate hatred of Viewer2 and anything connected with Viewer2 currently.

That is not to say it could not happen, but I think the requirements and the timing put some rather steep odds on it. I do have questions:

 

  1. Is there a professional content artist in this forum who is willing to produce specifications in an Avatar 2.0 mesh on what it *has* to do better than the current avatar in order to be worth the bother?
  2. If such a specification were made, is there a professional content artist willing to put in several thousand or more dollars OF THEIR OWN TIME AND TECHNICAL SKILL into creating such an Avatar 2.0, and releasing several thousand dollars of personal investment with an open commercial license?
  3. If the first two miracles were to occur, is anyone in this community willing to put their desire for someone *ELSE* to do the work and investment into a fund to defer the cost and personal loss of income opportunity into a fund that would go towards the artist willing to make such a sacrifice?
  4. Presuming things got to this point, would anyone be willing to shove aside difference of opinion about this Avatar 2.0 to embrace and accept it as part of a new SL community standard and produce content for this community based Avatar 2.0 despite personal differences?
  5. Are you the reader personally willing to sign on to encouraging your friend and fellow SL community members to use Viewer2 and Viewer2 based clients able to view mesh in spite of the threat of being torched at the stake by your follow community members?

I will state for the record that if a fund I can trust (Like an X prize thing) becomes available towards Avatar 2.0, I will contribute $L 5000 towards that fund. I have to trust the management of it, but I will put my personal money where my good intentions are. AND I'll have to pay in chunks. But I'm willing to bet if a trusted community member or small team were to set up an 'Avatar 2.0 x-prize', we may be able to get a decent chunk of cash to put towards an Avatar 2.0 prize for the first artist to produce the content that meets an acceptable specification. There are community members I trust to manage this, I just don't see such a contest in the works yet.

http://marianne.secondlifekid.com/ Marianne McCann is one community member I trust. So is http://raglanshire.com/rsforums/index.php?action=profile;u=6 Zayn Till. http://www.robinwood.com/ Robin (Sojourner) Wood. I'm thinking I can spend 20 minutes looking up people I trust to manage such a thing, they would be people I know and I'm sorry to leave you out if you happen to come across this. This isn't about me and my list. This is about the community and people who know they are trusted by the community, and they are willing to stand up and risk being targets to say what THEY are willing to do to see Avatar 2.0 exist, even if they can not create the product themselves.

We need people the SL community can recogze and trust. We need that small group of trustworthy people to create a working standard to evaluate Avatar 2.0 submissions. It needs a prize worthy of artists to make the attempt at meeting the standard.

Avatar 2.0 needs *YOU* who are reading this to publicly state what *YOU* will do if you really want this thing so badly as you claim you do.

I will put L$5000 (in a series of payments over the course of two months) towards an "Avatar 2.0 community prize" once a small group of community members I trust set up the fund. Is anyone with me on this? Or are we just here to make a big stink about what we'd wish somebody *ELSE* would do so we don't have to do anything else but be smelly about it in a forum?

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As said I was interested in this project but the problem is not of much the avatar building but the features lacking ... and LL woul dneed to allow a special feature use and implementation of morph targets and mimical animations for the expression and the morphs of sliders in order to change the avatar ....

 

Also to make the avatar better is not just a matter of making it more polygonal or better shaped , but has to have mopre options of cusomization ... and more bones possibly like for fingers , meaning even finger stretching if possible ( you may never know what weird creatures ppl want to make ) , then morphable areas for inflating or deflating portions of the mesh , and a lot of deformations for the face in order to have much more different avatars than the same ....

 

Nowday its common to find nice skins and nice avatars , but now don't you have all the feeling that they all look the same in some ways?

 

if the features could be supported by LL then the Avatar 2 could be easily made by the community .....so to create a standard to be used by everyone tough this would also imply that shoudl be forbidden to allow the support for morphs and mimical features to other mesh avatar replacement as this would lead soon to an incredible mess of avatar versions and shapes that woudl virtually make skins and shapes compatible with only selected meshes and so mess up the whole market...

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I'd love to support a community effort for an Avatar 2.0. But, my question is ... will people use the avatar if it can't have morphs? The developers have been very clear that they don't plan on inplementing morphs or mesh UUID swapping.

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of course not , not for the humanlike ones at least , but it's perfectly fine that they do not implement morph targets for cutom avatars and perfectly understandable , but they could or should if there is a community work to make a standard new avatar as this woudl be the default new avatar 2.0 and only with the LL support could be done ....

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I agree support for better features on an Avatar 2.0 would help a great deal.

Unfortunately, I find Linden Lab's ability to communicate a coherent policy on their product development ... lacking.

If we have to depend upon Linden Lab for features required for Avatar 2.0, we have at least two problems.

Add 'any mesh support at all before year's end' and 'common adoption of a viewer capable of displaying mesh' onto the stack of seemingly intractable problems, and THOSE two we seem dependant entirely upon Linden Labs.

You know how that's going so far.

Depend on LL for anything to do with Avatar 2.0? From where I sit, I don't see it. I'd dearly love to be proven wrong. I need those very same non-existant features for the development of my Open MeshTiny quad ferret.

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One project at a time.

We're not going to hold off a mesh release until we can update the in-world avatar, so we're focusing on getting mesh out the door first. Future work to extend or replace the standard avatar model / rig / uv-map / etc would be just that...for the future.

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"One project at a time"

That's fine, even commendable. That *still* means Avatar 2.0 done without pretense of Linden direct participation. I'm still in favor of an X-Prize like bounty on a clear set of specifications that have to be met, and a license that allows the work that claims the prize to be published open for commercial use.

If and when Linden allows for superior deformations to an avatar mesh, we can see Avatar to 3.0 built upon what we've learned on a community effort at Avatar 2.0

Or we can wait until enough people simply give up that if Avatar 2.0 with mesh deformation plug-ins actually shipped, nobody would really notice or care.

We do have options. Leaning on Linden Lab to produce something they clearly state is not on their radar would appear to be a poor choice among options.

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I understand the one project at time , but the meshes are nearly out , and many mesh clothes will come for the old avatar , it woudln't cost much to LL to create a special subdivision of volunteers paired with a couple of LL for techynical advices and solution " ....

 

The main important thing for the new avatar is :

 

1 MUST be available for everyone and be the new Standard for the avatar so all people can work on it.

 

2 there shouldn't be the possibility to create other custom avatar replacement coded as alternative to the main form ...

 ( I do not mean no new avatar mesh like puppets , animals etc , but that there shoudl only one standard able to be morphed in thesliders with proper morphs etc ...and be chosen by the customer ...)

 

3 Needs to have moprh targets for animation and customizaion of the avatar ( this requires LL help and support for )

 

4 The new avatar can be made by one or more volunteers , ( I can include myself ) that work on it ..

 

5 UVMaps have to be more coherent and even , matching perfectly upper and lower body with same resolution

 

6 larger texture size updated to 1024 per texture , the 512 is too low for now ...

 

7 ( eventually if possible , possibility to add a bit alpha for hairs add ons )

 

8 ( eventually if possible to add materials for clothes )

 

9 the overall shape and mesh polycount for the new avatar should be shurely more detailed and more up to the level of the other modern games around , with decent feets , decent edgeloops , decent hands and so on ....

 

10 Also lod levels woudl be welcomed ....

 

11 A new skeleton to make work extra parts like fingers and add some new attachment points would be also desiderable together with new morph sliders especially on the face to allow more direct customization and variation for the faces....

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"Will people use it if it doesn't have morph targets?"

One serious question I have is: "Will people use *ANY* mesh if the mesh viewer adoption rate is in the toilet?" In that light, morph target adoption would appear really beside the point. Besides, if LL has clearly stated, "No can do this cycle" we would appear to be stuck in, "Field the product without LL's involvement or do without."

Perhaps the 'do without Avatar 2.0' is the better way to go. *MY* target goal isnt' human at all, my plans call for doing entirely without LL support, and if nobody ends up making clothing or being able to use existing clothing for my ferret, I scamper about nekkid anyways.

I just fail to see how we are going to get a better more-or-less standardized human avatar mesh so long as the community is stuck in, "Gee, I wish someone ELSE would do something to make the world a better place!"

BTW, I can't seem to find any reliable data on adoption rate other than, "When I go inworld using my NON-SL viewer, V2 compatible viewers are a rare bird." I'm quit open to source of data other than licking my paw and shoving it into the wind to see which way the wind is blowing.

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I actually didn't understand much your post ... or the meaning of it.... What I stated is that the new Avatar 2 will be different from normal mesh works avatar replacement , it should have LL support in the way to adopt and be able to make morph targets and new skeleton and of course new model and uvmap with larger texture , this will put the actual avatar on a second level compared to the new , both will coesist and the people will be able to choose 2 avatars the main one 2.0 or the main one 1.0 that's all , it has nothing to do with normal other people works on meshes ... and woudl have features that usually won't be available for normal mesh avatar replacements ... and for this Only LL can give support to the community of volunteers that want to make this new avatar standard for free...

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Certainly not hopeless as its a project that's near and dear to me personally!

Just not now. We have too many things on our plate, and doing such a project correctly, even if the models & UVs are being community-generated, would take a significant resource commitment on our part to organize the project, choose the best option, integrate the model into the viewer, add support to the appearance editor for a second set of modifyable parameters, etc. It would also certainly help to have some basic materials and a more detailed skeleton.

When we get to a point where we're able to commit resources to updating the standard avatar, taking community contributions to the modeling and texure mapping bits would certainly be an attractive option to consider. But there is a lot more work around integrating a new avatar that we don't have the cycles to do before mesh is released.

If the community starts settling on a standard mesh and/or UV map after we release mesh, that would certainly be good incentive to push forward on this kind of project sooner, to help solidify the standard.

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Thank you, Nyx Linden, for understanding it is not a personal issue I would have with you. Much of what I'm posting here is parallel to the IP content protection thread 'nearby'. The whole discussion with respect to Linden Labs, either in Avatar 2.0 or in IP protection is a set of twins:

First, Linden Labs has a messy record in handling same or related things such as IP protection and knowing what content people want before they produce it themselves anyway (i.e. tinys and folded and deformed avatars exist apart from Linden Labs effort, at times counter to LL's expressed intent). SLRR was a community project that has, at times, had counter, perhaps perceived as 'hostile' reaction to community effort to produce what the community wishes to enjoy on SL.

Second, even with the best of intentions LL simply CAN NOT devote the creative energy, time and resources on any given thing 'the community desires' better than the community can bring about for itself. LL simply can't pay enough, hire enough people to work on it, and should NOT. An attempt to do so would simply bankrupt LL and could never keep up with the pace anyway.

LL's role is community enablement: Put things in place that provide reasonable protection from malice we may express towards one another while getting the hell out of our way so we can do cool things within the community. LL has something of a spotty record with various communities on SL. Naturally, I'm strongly in favor of what community effort can be made to resolve problems like Avatar 2.0 and IP Content Protection over what involvement LL might have. Even in the best of situations, the community has more long-term impact. And LL's history, even recently, would not qualify as 'best of situations' with respect to the community.

There is room for dialog and change to make the situation better. I'll try to keep that in mind, and I would be quite pleased to see consistant, constructive efforts at healing the breach of trust between communities 'one foot on the banana peel towards leaving SL' and Linden Labs.

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Why not just considering addressing the problem to a group of volunteers that can screen all the problems and needs that the project would require in meanwhile ? Me and a few others coould work on making up a prototype and scan for the needed features and possible problem fixes so it could be easier to work on the direct implementation of this by one or two ll coders I guess?

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That sounds like a plan. I know nothing of the code or requirements. Who from this forum would you suggest to volunteer their time if they have it available? Would you have a rough draft of specific targets?

http://marianne.secondlifekid.com/ Marianne McCann has an interest in child avatars. A child's size and shape, and critical issues of having a good shape would be something she is familiar with. She has years of experience within SL and an established reputation. As I recall, she is watching mesh issues very closely though I do not recall seeing her posting anything specific in this forum. But she may be willing to be part of a working group that is actually moving forward on the problems associated with Avatar 1.0 and what could be done to fix it.

http://www.robinwood.com/ Robin (Sojourner) Wood's templates at http://www.robinwood.com/Catalog/Technical/SL-Tuts/SLPages/AVUVTemplates.html are a critical part of creating clothing and skins. She would be an excellent person to 'volunteer' for participation if she has time and you can persuade her to join.

I would like to see two documents with at least those two names attached. The first document is 'these are the problems Avatar 2.0 could solve in mesh without further involvement from Linden Labs'. The second document is 'these are issues Avatar 3.0 could resolve with critical yet hopefully minimal coding by Linden Labs, and here are the specifics of an approach to resolving those problems.'

There are other specific people who should be attached to that project that are well known, well established by many in the SL community. http://blog.machinimatrix.org/ should be involved. There are others. Perhaps there should be a thread in this forum of who should be 'nominated to volunteer' and why, like the above list. Also that thread should have the list of those 'nominated to volunteer, yet declined.' Get a group willing to work on it and publish the specs. Someone on that group should be trusted to accept donations towards a prize awarded to the first who actually EXECUTES an Avatar 2.0 mesh 'to the published spec', and under an open commercial license. If someone actually does the work, they have a right to money. A *FAIR* chunk of money. Someone involved in this should be recognized as trustworthy to handle the funds for a bounty on this thing. I would not even complain if they were to receive a fair fraction of the fund for a handling fee.

Is anyone else willing to scare up with volunteers to nominate? I'm willing to beg & grovel to the two names I mentioned if we can get some other nominations. Naiman, are you willing to be on an Avatar 2.0 committee to put together some specs? I could be wrong, but I really thing that one spec (Avatar 2.0) would need to be for a mesh that has ZERO Linden action involved, and a second spec (Avatar 3.0) would be what can be accomplished with specific Linden Lab coding effort.

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As I said I can model texture uvmap and rig , but I cant do all alone as I don't have all that free time actually ... but mostly if sincere support from LL about implementation of morphing and facial animation isn't provided the whole project has no point to start....

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