The following notes and audio were taken from the weekly Bento User Group meeting, held on Thursday, March 24th at 13:00 SLT on Aditi. For details on each meeting and the location, please refer to the Bento User Group wiki page.
Note that this update is not intended to offer a full transcript of the meeting, nor does it present the discussion points in chronological order. rather, it represents the core points of discussion to Project Bento, grouped together by subject matter were relevant / possible, together with any additional discussion on potential future projects the Lab might be willing to examine for possible adoption in the future.
Bento Skeleton and Appearance Sliders
Recent efforts within the Bento project have been on trying to hook the appearance sliders up to the new skeleton so that they might be used to adjust various Bento bones. This involves a fair amount of work, as the sliders apply morphs to the basic avatar form, and for Bento enabled meshes they need to be able to operate with bone positions / rotations.
Gaia Clary and Matrice Laville have been working on this, and have identified a slider parameter which can be used to achieve just this, and have been specifically looking at using the facial sliders (given the face / head is one of the largest collections of new bones), as shown in the video below.
Skeleton and Viewer Status
The “downside” of this is that this requires further work on the Bento skeleton, includes the possible addition of further bones, which are currently under consideration. This means that there will at least one further update to the viewer, which will contain the updated slider capabilities and some updates / fixes for the skeleton.
It is hoped that this will surface in week #13 (week commencing Monday, March 28th); however, this is dependent upon final updates and getting the viewer through the Lab’s QA. Once it has been issued, the Lab is particularly keen to see the spine bones exercised within this viewer once released, as these have been causing some problems (see my last Bento update).
One potential addition to the skeleton is a set of teeth bones, as described by Cathy Foil in the meeting. Again, it’s not certain these will make the final selection, but the potential with them is interesting.
Obtaining the Latest Version of the Skeleton
Currently, the most direct way to obtain the latest version of the Bento Skeleton is via the latest version of the Bento viewer installed on your computer (e.g. C:\Program Files (x86)\SecondLife\character) and using the Avatar_skeleton.XML and Avatar_lad.XML files – the latter of which contains the shape slider capabilities. The major reason the skeleton files haven’t been updated on the wiki is because the skeleton has been going through updates and changes, and Vir has been concerned about any version put on the wiki becoming out-of-date.
Shipping Bento to the Main (Agni) Grid
Troy Linden, the product lead for Bento indicated that current thinking among the product team at the Lab is that Bento will likely move to the main (Agni) grid some time in the second quarter of 2016. This doesn’t mean the project will necessarily be declared complete by then, but it does mean that the Lab expect to have all major skeleton and viewer work wrapped up, with the emphasis firmly shifting to more widespread testing, together with any required bug fixing.
Vir did caveat this with the point that there could be reasons – significant bugs, other work requiring release, etc., – which might cause this to slip, but the focus would appear to be firmly on moving Bento to Agni some time between April and June 2016.
Incorrect Display of Legacy Rigged Content
It is unclear how widespread this issue is, or what the precise cause is. Currently it has only been noted with GOS shoes / feet, and manifests in the Bento viewer in the left foot / shoe appearing incorrectly aligned to the left leg when worn, as shown in the image on the right – note the left shoe / foot appears partially rendered because it has “sunk” into the terrain. Details of the issue can be found in BUG-11617.
One suggestion put forward is that the issue is down to the very high poly count used in these shoes / feet; another that it might be due to the shoes feet being uploaded as individual mesh models, which might be creating issues.
However, why either of these cases should be so is unclear: the feet / shoes render correctly in non-Bento viewers, and there have been no intentional changes made to the rendering pipeline for Bento. A further suggestion is that it might be a result of attempting to rig to and animate an attachment point; it may even be related to an old issue of float issues in the LLVolumeOctree (BUG-2058 – see FIRE-8266 for a public version).
The issue has been accepted by the Lab as a bug, and will undergo further investigation on a number of fronts, including obtaining versions of the items seen to be exhibiting problems, testing the effect using other high poly count objects, etc.
Wing Mesh Upload Issues
There is also a possible issue with the mesh uploader failing to recognise the revised Bento wing bones as bones. This apparently manifests itself by a refusal to upload rigged wings weighted to the wing bones.
The next Bento meeting will take place on Thursday, March 31st at 13:00 SLT. The meeting following that should be on Thursday, April 7th, but the time is TBC, so as to avoid it clashing with a Lab internal meeting.