– The M4 Bento Anime Head –

The long awaited M4 Bento anime head is here! and now you can be one of the cool kids are riding the bento craze wave.

– What is bento and why does it matter? –

For those of you who still dont really know what all this bento hype is about, Bento is a new set of bones that LL has recently implemented into the game, such as face bones, wing bones, tail bones, finger bones and some other bones. These bones are used to animate specific body parts such as the fingers on your hands or the expression of your face, and is what this head uses to animate its face.

The main advantage of using bento bones for anime heads is that there is no more need to have a bunch of invisible meshes for every face expression, using just one mesh to do every expression instead. This in turn greatly reduces the render weight of your avatar, on top of that, anyone can now make expressions and face animations, so you are no longer limited to what is in the HUD.

The disadvantage is that since the head is rigged, it can no longer be positioned and face expressions are sadly somewhat limited due to the way bento bones work, meaning some expressions are just not possible to make without looking really weird or deforming your face

– Features –

• Full mod – Edit it, link stuff to it, rip or replace its textures, go crazy with it but make backups before you do!
• In depth customization with lots of options – Customize your head, choose its eye styles, colors, skin color, ear and nose types, add custom textures and specular maps. 2 types of ears, noses and eye shapes to choose from.
• Full facial control – Eyebrows, eyelids, Eyes and mouth can be controlled separately, mixing and matching different positions to create your own expression.
• Smooth animations and built in AO – eyes blink, look around, the mouth moves when you type or talk on voice chat, emotes as well as 3 different face AO styles.
• And more!

The head is also compatible with existing M3 eye, eyelash and blush textures.

 

– known bugs and limitations –

Due to technical limitations, the kemono, avatar 2.0 and LL necks dont join right and you will occasionally see seams from some camera angles.
changing the head’s default attachment position will mess up the facelight, right click and choose add to attach the head.
No rikugou compatibility mode yet (will be implemented later)
No asymmetrical skin support yet (will be implemented later)

If you find any other problems not mentioned here, please report them to us.

For texture mod creators we already got appliers too.

Next is the M4 Chibi Head which if all goes right should be released this month, if not than the next one.

That is all.

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– M4 neck blending –

This tutorial will show you how to blend your body skin texture with your M4 head neck using Blender.

If you haven’t already, download the M4 Texture Developer Kit and find the “Neck Texture Bake.blend” file and open it in Blender.

For Avatar 2.0

First, make sure you are in blender render mode.

1. Select the “M4 UV sample AV2” object from the list
list
find its object layer and make it show by clicking on it
layers
go to the texture tab and load the head texture you want to blend the neck to.
texturetab 4. Click open

2. Select the “Av2 neck M4 UV” object from the list (its going to be in the same layer as the “M4 UV sample AV2” object) and go to edit mode by pressing tab on your keyboard, (if it isnt selected already, select the wireframe in the UV windows by pressing A) and than create a new 1024×512 texture
uvwindow
newtexture

3. Select the “M4 UV sample AV2”, hold shift and select the “Av2 neck M4 UV” then go to the render tab and scroll down to the bake menu. If it isnt setup already, choose bake mode as texture, mark the selected to active checkbox, set margin to 64px and click bake.
render tab

4. In the UV window, go to image and save your baked image, this will be the top part of the neck.

5. Select the “Av2 neck UV” object and go to the texture tab again and load the Avatar 2.0 body texture you want to blend the neck to.

6. Select the “Av2 neck M4 UV-B” object and go to its object layer
layers2
press tab to enter edit mode and select all by pressing A, go to image and create a new 1024×512 image for it.

7. Hold down shift and select the layer under the current layer you are in.
layers3

8. Select the “Av2 neck M4 UV-B” again, hold shift and select “Av2 neck UV” from the object list.

9. Go to the render tab, press bake again and save your baked image, this will be the bottom part of the neck.

10. Fire up your favorite image editor and paste both of your baked images into it, one on top of the other and than use a very soft eraser brush to blend them together.
imagelayers

 

For Kemono

Everything is pretty much the same here only the kemono parts are in the second object layer group and there is no “Kem neck M4 UV-B”, the “Kem neck M4 UV” is used in both bakes, you will need to hold shift and select both layers for “M4 UV sample Kem” and “Kem neck M4 UV”.

That is all.

– New update migration process for UTILIZATOR and ABC Apparel products –

Okay so to recap once more for those of you who have been out of the loop, our old update cards do not work anymore because hippo vend (our update service provider) pulled the rug under everyone and left SL.

With a lot of help and persistence to make our life more easy from a friend that doesnt want to be named, We now have a better way for you to migrate your stuff to our new update system. This will save everyone a lot of trouble, no more jumping through hoops.

So all you need to do now is:

A. As before, if you made any purchases on the marketplace that dont fall into these dates (August 2014, January 2015, March 2015, April 2015 and May 2015) you can find your items in any casper redelivery terminal (my items have no preview images yet so look for blank squares in the list). I dont have a Casper redelivery terminal at my own store yet.

B. If you bought stuff in game or you cannot find your items in the casper redelivery terminal, follow these steps:

1. Go to may mainstore at AMH and find the update card terminal thingie.
2. Wear your old non working update card(s)
3. Click the UTILIZATOR or the ABC box to receive new card, For UTILIZATOR products, click the UTILIZATOR box, for ABC Apparel click the ABC box.

Thats all, happy updating and report any problems to me or ABC.

– Empty box marketplace scams –

scam

Everyone, i really appreciate you wanting to bring this to my attention, but im already aware of these fake matrketplace stores supposedly selling kemono and other popular marketplace objects. It would be a lot more helpful if you reported it for L$ fraud through the second life viewer’s report feature instead of telling me about it so that i wouldnt have to go through piles of IMs about this every time i log in.

Thank you.

– M4 Head news –

Alright so i have finished working on the HUD for the M4 heads and all that’s left to do now is scripting everything and finishing the remaining animations and a few more textures.

huddemo3

This project was really frustrating, i decided to not half ass it and go all out with this one, making it join seamlessly with Avatar 2.0 and kemono necks, as well as LL neck so you can use this with your overpriced normie bodies as well, i also had to blend the kemono and av2 skin textures for seamless blending to be possible, and made a bunch of LL UV skins for normie bodies. I will need to make a special skin blending kit for skin creators to get their skins blend with the head easier. I also made 2 different nose shapes that you can choose from, one of them is your standard pointy anime nose, the other one is slightly more realistic doll style nose so people dont need to draw noses on top of noses that look weird from every other angle than front lol. Theres also 2 different eye and ear shapes, but i think i already mentioned all this stuff before. So needless to say, there was a lot of complicated fuckery i had to do to get all this to work, and some stuff had to be sacrificed for it all to work, like the 2 different eye shapes cannot be too different or the blink will not work with one of them, or the dreaded 8 face limit combined with alpha sorting issues forced me to ditch some ideas like makeup layers.

– Delays –

Now due to the whole hippo update nonsense and a huge roadblock i ran in with avastar/bento work has been delayed and while im still hopeful that i can meet my personal deadline of releasing the M4 anime head by the beginning of summer, im not sure i can meet that same deadline for the M4 Chibi and M4 Man heads.

For the Chibi head, it shares all the textures and HUD with the M4 anime head so everything is pretty much done but theres a problem with mesh hair compatibility, half of the hairs clip at the sides so im afraid i will have to redo its shape a bit, so im not sure when thats going to be done either. For the male head, it will have skins of its own and some of the features will be different from the female heads so i will need to slightly redo the HUD for it too, so im not sure when thats going to happen eitehr but the base skin for it is already done so all i will need to do is just a few different skin tone versions.

So thats it for now.

– Ready Player One and how LL could improve SL –

So i just watched Ready Player one and it was a pretty fun movie, Its about this huge virtual reality MMO game like SL mixed with SAO and this generic main protagonist looking dude and his wacky friends trying to solve puzzles and get 3 keys to unlock some shit and win the ownership of the game world itself. While the evil EA corporation is throwing money into focus groups trying to solve the puzzle themselves to gain control of the game and shit it up with their loot boxes and micro transactions.
I dont get why nerds hate this movie so much because this movie is like every nerd’s wet dream, like i understand there were some really cringy geek out moments that felt really forced like that part where they were talking about golden eye on nintendo64. But its still a very enjoyable and surprisingly solid movie.
What kinda disappointed was that there were a bunch of big missed opportunity moments, like they could have made the main chick turn out to be a dude IRL, you know just like girl avatars are in real videogames. I think they kinda sort of wanted to do that but it would have offended all the good god loving christian folks in american and their dumb sensibilities, because in american folklore, the hero has to get the girl and all that cheesy shit and if there is no girl to get or the hero gets the guy, you will have a bunch of pissed off old people going all HURR MUH FAMILY VALUES HAVE BEEN SHATTERED BY THIS MOVIE!!!, so instead *spoilers* they made that big cyborg dude turn out to be an ugly fat chick IRL because that wont offend anyone.*spoilers*
As for the main girl, when she said “you wont like me irl, im ugly” i expected her to be, i dunno, at least chubby or something, but no she looks just as hot irl as her avatar, its really lame how safe they are trying to play even in places where they dont need to, no one would have minded her actually turning out not looking like a supermodel IRL.
Now for avatars themselves, it didnt lack variety in that department, there were all kinds of avatars, robots, elfs, orcs, pizza wizards and even fucking furriers, but not a single anime girl anywhere, have they not heard about VR chat? You can literally be anything you want in that game, but anime is off the table, so fuck you. Which is even more strange considering they had a gundam and the bike from akira and all that anime stuff in it.
Another missed opportunity is by nintendo itself for not licensing their characters to the movie, there was no iconic nintendo characters like mario with his blue and red overalls, red hat and mustache or metroid in his yellow armor with big round shoulders and green arm cannon or zelda with his pointy ears and green hat and sword or a single pokemen reference. Nintendo, if you want to still be relevant in the future, you should jump on opportunities like this nerd wankfest of a movie, you are a huge part of nerd culture and you have probably shaped the history of gaming more than anything else they showed in it, yet other than that cringy goldeneye reference, its like you never even existed, they could at least made the main hero wear the powerglove or something, but well i guess its true what they say, genesis does what nintendont. It was also strange to not see any storm troopers or darth vaders, although they did throw in a shit ton of verbal references to star trek like the millennium falcon and captain spock’s famous phrase “may the force be with you”  so i guess thats ok.

Its kind of ironic how all thsoe copyrighted characters in the movie mirror all the copyright infringment and game model rips on second life.
Oh yeah there were also some inconsistency with the time line by like 20 years, when JD Halliday played atari as a kid, we already had playstations by then.

Anyway, this movie is like second life and sword art online had a baby, It was a very fun and filled with fun pop corn munching action and, pop cullture references and tracer’s ass. I recomend seeing it, just dont watch it in 3D cuz it just makes it as hard to watch and recognize all the characters as a crappy low quality cam rip on the web

– Mesh bakes, reduced sim costs and my idea for SL –

Now speaking of swords art online and second life having a baby, you probably already heard the news but Linden labs are rolling out a bunch of new changes to SL. One of them is a new mesh feature that will allow loading LL avatar textures onto mesh objects, this is a big thing because now you will no longer need deal with tons of confusing applier systems just to load your skins or clothing layers onto your normie mesh bodies, you will be able to wear your LL skins, tattoos, alphas, on your mesh bodies straight from your inventory. How exactly it will work i do not yet know but if you are wondering if im going to implement that into any of my stuff, the answer is very yes!.

Another somewhat great news is that they are lowering the sim costs on mainalnd and moving the grid into a cloud based network, witch i think is a step in to the right direction that they should have taken ages ago. I say somehwat because lets face it, the 10% cost reduction is meaningless when sims still cost hundreads of dollars a month, no ones going to flock to mainland because its still way out of reach financially for most normal people, especially when you compare it to the monthly cost of running a game server witch is 40$. But i do hope that moving to the cloud will help them cut the costs enough for them to be able to lower the sim prices even more.

But if was LL, heres what i would have done in the first place:
Instead of throwing all my money and resources into dead end projects like desura, patterns and sansar, i would instead direct those resources into making SL a streamlined MMO game platform. Redo systems like character movement, vehicle system, combat, IK, pathfinding and AI, make it all work like in a real videogame.
Next step would be redoing the sim software to allow sim scalability so that you wouldnt be confined to 250×250 cube ion the middle of the sea, and price land based on scale.
Lets say a small island sized as 1/4 of our current sim sizes would cost you 15$ or whatever subscription fee premium users pay in MMO games.
Bigger plot of land for commercial purposes like shopping malls or small indie game projects would go from 40$ to 100$
And than we would have huge plots of land for big game companies to create their own MMO titles with a huge open worlds the size of games like skyrim or farcry, building their MMO experiences on top of the infrastructure provided by LL, it would go from 300$ to 1000$ or even more if the game is as massive as WOW.

So yeah that’s all.

– Updates for ABC things –

>>>HOLY SHIT WTF i didnt think i need to say this but dont contact ABC for UTILIZATOR product updates, this guide is only for ABC Apparel stuff! For UTILIZATOR product updates click this <<<

ABC has migrated her stuff to a new update system, if you want to get the latest update card for your ABC stuff, do the following:

For marketplace users:

1. Go to the marketplace web page.
2. Click My marketplace.
3. Click My account.
4. Click order history and look for the item you need.

Once you find it, copy its order number (NOT the item ID!) it will be a 10 digit code on the left size under the purchase date, for example Order#1469386064. Make a new notecard, write the name of the item(s) you want redelivered and paste the order number(s) and send it to ABC.

Alternatively, if you have too much history to dig through, you can also find it in your mail if you keep your MP purchase confirmation emails, it should be called Invoice# but it will be the same 10 digit order number.

If you cant even find it there or you are not even sure if you even got it through the marketplace or if it was gifted to you, use the method bellow.

For ingame store users:

If you have bought the item in the ingame store locations.

1. Wear the item in question.(NOT the update card or the box, but the product itself)
2. Open its folder in your inventory.
3. Right click and edit the item to bring up the build menu.
4. Click on the general tab where it shows you as the owner and ABC as the creator of the item you are wearing.
5. Make sure your name tag is showing above your head.
6. Take a screenshot of everything, DO NOT save it to your SL inventory as a tiny ass unreadable snapshot, save it to your desktop and DO NOT upload it to SL, upload it to an image hosting website like www.imgur.com (please dont use websites that arent streamlined for image hosting, like drop box, they are a pain in the ass to view) and paste the link to ABC.
IF you have multiple images, upload them all to the same gallery you create.
Dont send pictures of boxes or update cards.

Due to the volume of update/redelivery requests, messages with incomplete information will be ignored. For example, just a messages such as “hello, i need update for the abc!” with no order number or other proof of ownership included, or tiny blurred sl snapshots or numbers that you copied from hell knows where that arent order numbers, so include that information up front. Also, DONTuse ABC’s or other people’s notecards, create one your self by right clicking anywhere in your inventory and choosing new notecard, it needs to have your name as the creator or ABC will not know who to send the update to.

>>>Send your ABC Apparel update request notecards and mesages to “o0ABC0o resident”!<<<

>>>For UTILIZATOR update request instructions, read the post bellow this one!<<<

 

– A new update system and how to get your update –

So To recap what happened, our update system died because hippo vend (our update service provider) pulled the rug under everyone and left SL.

For the past 2 weeks i have been working on migrating my products to a new update system, it was a huge pain in the ass, mostly due to LL’s inadequate web services when it came to retrieving marketplace sales data, and some data was lost, but most of it i manage to salvage.

So anyways, all the work is done, new update system with new update cards are in place and heres what you need to do to get your hands on those new update cards:

For marketplace users:

>>>Simply go to any casper vend redelivery termial and find the latest version of your item along with the new update card and request a redelivery.<<< I dont have one at my store yet but other stores around me should have one or two, also my items have no preview images yet.

I could not retrieve sales data for August 2014, January 2015, March 2015, April 2015 and May 2015, If you are one of the unlucky people that bought something during these months, heres what you need to do:

1. Go to the marketplace web page.
2. Click My marketplace.
3. Click My account.
4. Click order history and look for the item you need.

Once you find it, copy its order number (NOT the item ID!) it will be a 10 digit code on the left size under the purchase date, for example Order#1469386064. Make a new notecard, write the name of the item(s) you want redelivered and paste the order number(s) and send it to me. Do not include order numbers for things that are unaffected by these missing sales dates. scroll back up and read the part about the casper redelivery terminal.

Alternatively, if you have too much history to dig through, you can also find it in your mail if you keep your MP purchase confirmation emails, it should be called Invoice# but it will be the same 10 digit order number.

If you are really shit out of luck and cant even find it there or you are not even sure if you even got it through the marketplace, use the method bellow.

For ingame store users:

If you have bought the item in one of my ingame store locations, you are not completely fucked either, heres what you need to do:

1. Wear the item in question.(NOT the update card or the box, i need to see the product itself)
2. Open its folder in your inventory.
3. Right click and edit the item to bring up the build menu.
4. Click on the general tab where it shows you as the owner and me as the creator of the item you are wearing.
5. Make sure your name tag is showing above your head.
6. Take a screenshot of everything, DO NOT save it to your SL inventory as a tiny ass unreadable snapshot, save it to your desktop and DO NOT upload it to SL, upload it to an image hosting website like www.imgur.com (please dont use websites that arent streamlined for image hosting, like drop box, they are a pain in the ass to view) and paste me the link.
IF you have multiple images, upload them all to the same gallery you create.
Dont send me pictures of boxes or update cards.

Due to the volume of update/redelivery request messages i am getting, messages with incomplete information will be ignored. For example, just a messages such as “hello, i need update for kemono” with no order number or other proof of ownership included, with the intention of waiting for me to get back at you and ask you for that information, i have no time for these turn based games, so give me that information up front so that i could get back at you with an update ready. Or messages with tiny blurry screenshots of stuff, or random numbers you copied from fuck knows where that arent order numbers.

Do not include irrelevant items! Old products like the M2 anime heads that have no updates and never will, stuff that never came with a update card such as rikugou hairs and head gear and single color avatar 2.0 clothing items (unless you bought the fat pack that contains all the colors), these items dont have updates for them and are unrelated to this update system change, pretty much everything that does not originally come with an update card, is irrelevant.

OH and another thing, DONTuse my own or other people’s notecards, create one your self by right clicking anywhere in your inventory and choosing new notecard, it needs to have your name as the creator or i will not know who it came from and wont be able to get back at you.

 

– WIP M4 anime heads and whats up with the update server? –

Okay so first of all, whats the deal with the update server?, as some of you noticed by now, the update cards do nothing, this is because the update service we use has collapsed and not much is clear with wtf is even going on https://hippo-technologies.info/2018/02/14/rackspace-service-issue/, there’s lots of speculations that the company “hippo technologies” is loosing money and bailing out on their web based services and making up lies about their web host “rackspace” having a catastropic server failure (that they do not mention themselves anywhere) as this predatory blog post from their main competitor “casper tech” mentions. https://blog.caspertech.co.uk/the-fall-of-an-empire/
All these assumptions come from a follow up post from Hippo tech https://hippo-technologies.info/2018/02/16/rackspace-cloud-infrastructure-failure/ 
This post gave me more questions than answers, not much meaningful information was given and they arent being very clear with things. Rackspace is working on rebuilding the database so they arent taking any action yet, so they will later when work is done? but than they are going to step away from those legacy services, so are they going to migrate all the data to their new services or whatever they are doing now? and what the fuck even are those legacy web services? are all their current services like vend and updates and all that shit considered legacy? if so what else does hippo tech even do now that is current and not legacy? do they still have any other web services that they could merge our data with, or will they at least let us migrate to another server before they step away?

So yeah these are the questions, so im going to wait around a little to see if any more information will come out of them, but im not keeping my fingers crossed and will look into better update service alternatives, I will come up with a way and post instructions on how to migrate to a new update service when i have that worked out.

– And now, for the anime heads –

So where am i now with this, i had a few bumps in the road and had to redo the main anime head 2 times but its pretty much final now. Both the Anime and Chibi heads are rigged and unwrapped, i just finished making a bunch of skin and other textures and created a bunch of necks and special textures for those necks to make the heads fit the kemono, av2 and the LL/normie bodies seamlessly, i will make a dev kit for custom skin creators to be able to blend their body skins with the head skin by using a method called baking in blender. The UV maps for both female heads will accept same textures, so there wont be any more confusion like when people used to buy an M3 anime head skin and wonder why it doesnt work on their M3 Venus head, or the other way around, one skin will fit both. Eye textures are still the same as M3 heads, so all the eyes you already have should work right away, Eyelashes will work for the most part too, some might look kinda funky on eye shape B though, but other than that, the texture is the same, and also the blush texture, if anyone ever bothered making mods for that.

The male head still needs textures but the base skin texture is finished, Also gonna make a neck that makes it work with the kuro body.

I ran into a dilemma with the Chibi head, will probably need to redo its shape a little, but the problem is that it doesnt work with half of my hairs, they clip at the sides, also its ear position makes hairs with very specific ear locations look weird, so some kind of a compromise will need to be made. Other than that, everything is pretty much done, now i just need to create a new HUD and all the face animations and hand it all over to Kourtnee for scripting.

Heres a bunch of random work in progress images.

nose2faceshapeschibi wipskinguyheadtest

That is all.

 

– M3 Head Dummies –

This was a little something requested for a very long time, so i thought id finally get off my lazy ass and do it, so here you go, the M3 head dummies.

m3heads

Oh yeah and each head is in a separate object layer, the Venus head is the non slim shape, also im not sure if this is the right version of the Venus head because i remember changing something at the back of the head.