– Project Bento –
December 20, 2015 7 Comments
SO everyone and their mom been asking me if i heard and what i think about this project bento thing.
LL is currently working on adding additional sets of bones to the SL avatar.
11 extra limb bones for wings, which could also be used for additional arms, or extra legs.
6 tail bones.
30 bones in the hands.
30 bones for facial expressions.
2 other new bones in the head for animating ears or antennae.
13 new attachment points associated with the new bones.
While this is great news and a step in the right direction, this is not exactly what we wanted(we wanted the ability to create our own skeletons with custom bones), not to mention this was something they promised back in the beta of mesh and they are only doing it now after 4 or how many years? Either way LL is doing the bare minimum as always but its still a huge step forward for SL because it opens so many new possibilities for avatar creation.
Like imagine the M3 head having countless and REAL smooth face expressions, everyone can make expressions for it and it can all be one prim, instead of a bloated mess of 943857489 objects linked togeteher, using up precious script memory to make it all work and everything breaking apart on the slightest moment of lag. Or the kemono tail not being needing 3275938 copies of itself to be animated, not to mention countless hand positions. This is probably the best Christmas present LL could ever give us!
Or is it?
The bone translation dilemma.
While they are adding this, they want to remove the ability to rig to attachment points, witch is understandable because these new bones will be a far better way to do things now.
But for whatever dumb arbitrary reason, they have decided to also remove the ability to animate joint positions, meaning we will no longer be able to make deformers and all those wacky animations using joint positions. Their reasoning for this is that these new bones they are adding will somehow give us an alternative way to do it? They say we need to use mesh joint offsets instead, but those are buggy and unreliable and that’s why we need the fucking animation joint offsets to begin with. And not only that, you cant carry over the offsets from avatar to avatar, you cant activate and deactivate the deformation whenever you need it, mesh joint offsets dont work with fitted mesh either(or at least didnt work back when fitted mesh was still a new thing) and animation offsets are not just for deformers! theres countless other applications for it. Like for example, comedic animations like exaggerated walks that stretch out legs as they are being put forward, Or maybe a Robot avatar that changes its shape, making it’s legs, arms and torso longer, or extends his arm forward to grab something, or even transforming from a tank into a robot.
Furthermore, removing joint position animation would undermine the whole face bone thing, you cant animate the face with just rotations, you need to move the bones around to lets say make a big wide smile. They say they never added this ability to the game intentionally and the code for it somehow “doesnt work particularly well in the viewer”? It works pretty well for us, why not just leave it as it is? its working perfectly fine for what we are using it for and not like its crashing or causing any problems. Too lazy to improve it? Fine dont improve it, but dont remove it either just because you personally lack the imagination of how such a feature could be used it in content creation, leave that to us the creators.
Because if you do, you will not be removing a limitation from SL, you will be replacing one limitation with another limitation and for no good reason. Putting a new tool in our tool box and taking away an old tool who’s function the new tool cannot do.