Updated June 30th – please refer to note following a quoted comment from Matrice.
The following notes and audio were taken from the weekly Bento User Group meeting, held on Thursday, June 23rd at 13:00 SLT at the Bento User Group wiki page.. For details on the meeting agenda, please refer to the
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, grouped together by subject matter were relevant / possible, whilst maintaining the overall context of the meeting.
Apologies for the quality of Vir’s voice in the recording, this is my fault. I had to go afk just after starting the audio recording, and I hadn’t adjusted my local pick-up of Vir’s voice before doing so. As as consequence, Vir sounds a little distorted.
Facial Bones, Rotation / Translation / Slider Issues and Relative Translations
There has been further forum thread discussions on issues with the position of some of the new facial bones when they are used in combination with the head sliders. The core of this discussion commences here, and Mal Vanbeeck has offered a feature request for “shape slider friendly” facial bone positions. Some of this is also tied to issues relating to the range of movement of bones with the sliders or under animation.
Matrice Laville has been looking into some of the issues, and has come up with a proposal for making some amendments to the Bento skeleton to try to address some of the problems. However, any changes which are implemented will change the structure of the skeleton and how the sliders work, and will likely impact some initial content using the affected parts of the skeleton.
Because of this, it is likely the proposed amendments will be built into a test version of the Bento viewer, rather than the current project viewer, together with some test models to allow independent testing of the updates so it can be determined if they address the issues sufficiently and do not have unanticipated additional impact, so that a decision can be made on whether or not to fully implement them into the project viewer.
Specific changes in this test viewer, when available, are focused on issues raised around eyes and jaws, and so should comprise:
- Changing the eyelids to have the same centre position as the eyebrow
- Changes to the jaw and tongue positions
- Changing the lower teeth so that they are parented to the lower jaw bone
- Associated slider changes.
Adding to this in text, Matrice said:
All jaw related sliders do no longer translate the jaw except the jaw angle slider; the jaw bone has its default position now right below the faceRoot. The jaw angle slider still moves like crazy but I believe it is not an issue any longer. Actually, I propose to remove the [.LAD definitions for the Bento bones from the] jaw angle slider, because it only is needed for the jaw angle. I bet nobody will miss that slider.*
[NB June 30th: This comment has been updated, as some confusion followed the publication of this report, causing Matrice some embarrassment. The fault is mine, and is the result of copying a text comment verbatim, rather than seeming clarification from Matrice. My apologies to him and any anyone else for the confusion caused.]
As Vir acknowledged, this has been a major amount of work which should hopefully address many of the issues encountered with the complexity of the new face bones and attempting to hook them into a limited set of available sliders.
Vir also noted that when available, Bento avatars using this revised skeleton in the test viewer may look odd when seen on the Bento project viewer, and vice-versa, and that the work has been carried out with the aim of limiting any de-stabilising influences the changes may have if and when they are integrated into Bento as a whole, while at the same time avoiding being so conservative that Bento ends up going live still with issues like these which might impact its adoption and use.
A notification will be placed in the forum thread when the viewer is ready.
Project Viewer Status
There are some bug fixes that will be upcoming in the next Bento project update, which could be appearing sometime in week #26 (week commencing Monday, June 27th).
The Lab is working to get the viewer to Release Candidate status, with the work focused on identifying and prioritising the bugs which really need to be fixed before moving forward. There will also be the work to integrate the modifications to bone positions and sliders noted above, together with associated evaluation, plus the upcoming testing. However, the hope is the viewer will move to RC status in the not-too-distant future.
Tool Chain Issues
Some of the recent bugs Vir has been investigating with regards to specific content appear to be down to potential issues within the tools used to create the content introducing irregularities in the models and animations, rather than anything specific to how Bento itself is handling the uploaded models.
Obviously, in such circumstances, there is only so far the Lab can go in investigating these types of issues, as they have no knowledge of exactly how the models /animations were defined within the creator’s tools of choice, etc., and so content creators who have encountered these specific issues have been asked to take them back to the tools creators to make sure things are behaving correctly at that end of the process.