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Melissa Yeuxdoux

Deformation on custom avatars

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This is one of the topics that the JIRA mesh deformer entry explicitly says to bring up here insteaed of there, so... I'll bring it up.

There are some SL residents who want avatars of a sort the stock shape does not support. Let's start simple with humanoid avatars, such as those who wish to be virtual bodybuilders, those who dream of having figures like Mlle. Polaire, or those like me who wish to, shall we say, have an unusually high center of mass.

The canonical solution so far has been attachments, but that cuts one off from most of the vast cornucopia of SL fashion. (For the well-endowed ladies of Second Life, I am happy to say that for at least a couple of years, an ever-growing number of clothiers have catered to us, but the nature of attachments makes for issues with consistent textures and lighting where the attachments join the avatar shape.) Mesh avatars avoid the issues of the join of avatar shape to attachment by not using attachments, but so far they are still limited for available clothing.

Finally, mesh avatars have the same issue as mesh clothing--because they're the same darn thing, differing only in how much of the stock avatar you hide. Without the mesh deformer, clothiers have to either forget about mesh, replace the signs on their stores with something like "Procrustes Mesh Clothing", or suffer the combinatorial explosion that RL clothes makers can't avoid, i.e. making a bunch of different sizes of everything. With the mesh deformer, this isn't an issue--for those using the stock avatar shape.

Mesh avatars do get deformed by the mesh deformer, BUT--those deformations appear to be tied to the stock avatar shape. Try them on a mesh avatar and the results are, to say the least, weird. Unless something is done to make non-skeletal sliders do something that makes sense for the shapes defined by mesh avatars, mesh avatar makers are stuck with the combinatorial explosion--and if we don't like showing up at an event with the same dress someone else is wearing there, you can imagine what it's like to have the same whole body as someone else!) One can leave the stock avatar head and neck exposed so that at least can be customized, but that shouldn't be necessary.

So... what would be involved in letting one specify just what the non-skeletal slider settings do for a given mesh avatar? (And if one can do that, would that help make it possible to wear stock avatar clothing on mesh avatars?  Having an inventory full of clothing you might as well kiss goodbye if you adopt a mesh avatar is a serious discouragement for those thinking of trying a mesh avatar out.)

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I need to confirm this issue that basicly the mesh does only allow one texture layer, it will help a lot already if you allow 8 layered textures upon one face.  That way you can wear clothing upon the mesh body, without creating really wearable mesh clothing with an offset (fake it to be honest).  Also morphing, i can understand from a subtle cencorship point of view, that you dont allow this yet.  Though i would strongly suggest to allow morphs for meshes.  For now i make very well endowed female characters that are static, thus bypassing the morphing system for now.  Blender supports shape keys, why not let blender export those shapes to morphs inside secondlife.  Also furries will enjoy morphs upon the body, this allows them to rig their furry mouths to real gestures in the face, even you can make special ones for them then. (like one brow up the other down, morphing half the face for example).  My advice, allow morphs, make them work with the base shape system and allow custom morphs too.   So people can rig up huds to control morph targets on their body.  Thank you for listening.

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Bart Seymour wrote:

I need to confirm this issue that basicly the mesh does only allow one texture layer, it will help a lot already if you allow 8 layered textures upon one face.  That way you can wear clothing upon the mesh body, without creating really wearable mesh clothing with an offset (fake it to be honest).

A mesh avatar can have multiple clothing/tattoo/makeup layers if it's designed right (like mine is).  Otherwise it's a single layer.  A lot of texture layers along with a high polygon count can lead to lag, though.  Extending the skin/clothing baking system to attachments would help with that.

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My understanding is that the deformer will deform mesh avatars that allow it as well, but it is always based on the standard sliders. For instance, if the standard avatar breast size sliders range from AAA to DD then a large-busted mesh avatar might end up with a range from D to FFF. Any mesh clothing to fit a non-standard mesh avatar would need to be designed to fit a "base" version of that particular avatar that would correspond to the SLIDER POSITIONS of the default standard avatar, but then that clothing would automatically fit a user-customized version of that mesh avatar.  

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Mesh human avatars will always have the issues you point out. It is not possible to have any of the SL clothing layers work. Not at all. The default SL avatar also has morphs. Some of these morphs are facial or hands, and are played with animations. Some morphs are for your chest and other areas. Unless mesh avatar creators can replot those morphs, the deformer will be useless to avatar makers. Now, if creators could replot the morphs, then every mesh avatar would be as versatile as the default, but SL clothing will still not work with them.

 

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For now it looks like the Lindens are moving on to upgrading other parts of the system. The avatar and mesh is pretty much going to stay as it is until the current round of fixes and additions are completed.

Direct Delivery, Pathfinding, Experience Tools, and additional things they are not talking about are in the works. While a better avatar, better morph/deformation, better materials (think bump), and other features are desired by many Lindens they are not on the near term list of things to do... While we can't get hard answers on any of these items, the leaks and dropped hints here and there suggest this is the case.

You could find or create a JIRA for the features you want. When a JIRA feature request with an excellent user case starts to draw attention, it can sometimes change the Lab's priorities. If you can get enough supporters, you may get the Lab to consider adding your features.

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Nalates Urriah wrote:

For now it looks like the Lindens are moving on to upgrading other parts of the system. The avatar and mesh is pretty much going to stay as it is until the current round of fixes and additions are completed.

Not true... we not only have STORM-1716 (the deformer) in progress, we also have other avatar improvements under review in STORM-1800

 

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Oz Linden wrote:


Nalates Urriah wrote:

For now it looks like the Lindens are moving on to upgrading other parts of the system. The avatar and mesh is pretty much going to stay as it is until the current round of fixes and additions are completed.

Not true... we not only have STORM-1716 (the deformer) in progress, we also have other avatar improvements under review in STORM-1800

 

Thanks for that news Oz ^^

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Yes, it should make a decent improvement to the overall avatar weights. I do wish they would look to play with those weights a bit more, especially between the chest, abdomen, and hips.

When you combine this jira with the deformer jira, that should be a very noticable improvement on how smooth the end result is. Of course, this is all just in theory, lol.

And, the last side affect may be that SL clothing will look a little less weird when your avatar moves.

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That is insteresting information, Oz. But...

I think the key words here are "in progress." Lindens seem to have a different sense of some words; in-progress, and soon are a couple. To residents that 'sit around and watch the pot boil' not much is happening and time runs at a different pace. You on the other hand seem to be doing a remarkable job of juggling burning cats. I suspect time passes at a different rate for you. Sort of a Einstein-Schrödinger's cat thing...

Not to give you a hard time Oz, but what does in progress mean in the case of STORM-1716 and STORM-1800, considering our different frames of time? 

Qarl released the Deformer Feb 16. So, far it hasn't made it to an LL project viewer, or if it has, I've missed it. I saw the Project viewer with Deformer 0.1. A couple of months have passed without any word or visible action on the Deformer. The repo doesn't show any action since Jan 5.

I can understand people working on something and not talking about it. But, as things look it certainly leaves the impression one is busy with other tasks. A month ago you were too busy to get it merged into the current builds for a project release. So, thinking you're on to other stuff and have things ahead of the Deformer and Avatar 2.0 seems a true statement to me.

In STORM-1800 I see a change set merged into the repo system, Jan 19. It is listed as "Experimental changes to avatar vertex weights." But, it is an 'archived' branch. I don't read repo well so I could be confused. Or your part of the repo may be used in ways I don't know about. But, it looks like it is there only for people to experiement/play with rather than something going into the LL viewer now. Alison is busy doing things with it.

Since the last work on STORM-1716 and STORM-1800 it seems most of the Lindens are working on other projects. May be you mean TPV Dev's and other outside dev's are working on it... So, I'm curious what in progress means in the scenarios for STORM-1716 and STORM-1800. Because right now it looks to me like these avatar changes discussed in this thread are things we won't see in use until the end of the year or next year.

 

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