Animesh project viewer arrives in Second Life

On Wednesday, October 18th, Linden Lab announced the release of their much-anticipated Animesh project viewer had been made available, marking the start of public testing for the Animesh project.

For those who have not been following my Content Creation User Group meeting updates, “Animesh” is an amalgam of “ANImated MESH”. The overall goal of the project is to provide a means of animating rigged mesh objects using the avatar skeleton, in whole or in part, to provide things like independently moveable pets / creatures, trees with animated branches, etc.

In short, an Animesh object:

  • Can be any rigged / skinned mesh which and contains the necessary animations and controlling scripts in its own inventory  (Contents tab of the Build floater) required for it to animate itself.
  • Can be a single mesh object or a linkset of objects.
  • Has been flagged as and Animesh object in the project viewer, and so has an avatar skeleton associated with it.
  • Uses three new LSL methods to run or stop animations, or check which animations are currently running:
Animesh allows you to take rigged mesh objects, add animations and controlling scripts to them, associate them with an avatar skeleton, and have them run in-world without the need for any supervising viewer / client

The Animesh project has been in development for the last several months, and has involved ongoing discussions and input from content creators at the Content Creation User Group meetings, which are held in-world at the Hippotropolis Camp Fire Circle most Thursdays at 13:00 SLT. As such, the arrival of the project viewer does not mark any kind of official release of the project. Rather, and as noted, it marks the commencement of public testing for what will hopefully become the first release of Animesh functionality.

Currently, testing can only take place on Aditi, the beta grid, where five regions are available with Animesh support enabled. These are: Animesh1, Animesh2, Animesh3, Animesh4, all rated Moderate, and Animesh Adult. Again, please note that Animesh functionality in the project viewer will not work on the Main grid at this time.

Animesh objects are created in-world, not uploaded as such. They must contain the animation(s) they are to run and a controlling script (l), and are enabled via Animated Mesh object in the Build Floater’s Features tab (centre). Note that if you select an unrigged / non-mesh object (or a No modify rigged object), the option will be greyed out and unavailable (right)

An Animesh User Guide is available to help people get started with Animesh, and a forum thread has been set-up for feedback and discussion, while specific bugs or feature request suggestions for the project should be reported via the Second Life JIRA.

Test content is also available to help people get started, if they don’t have suitable content of their own they wish to convert to Animesh objects. The test content can be found here.

In addition, those who test the viewer and Animesh are invited to attend the Content Creation User Group meetings and join discussion on Animesh (and other content related projects), and  / or are welcome to follow my Content Creation User Group meeting updates.

One of the aims in testing Animesh will be to see how many Animesh objects a region and the viewer can comfortably handle without impacting the performance of either

Eventually, Animesh will hopefully support fully fledged non-player character (NPC) creations which can, if required have things like an avatar shape associated with them, use a dedicated, avatar-like inventory, and utilise both the server-side locomotion graph for walking, sitting, etc., and the avatar baking service. However, these capabilities do not form part of the current Animesh project, but will be added as a future project, once other elements which can also help better support NPCs have been put in place (such as an update to the baking service, which forms another project within the Lab).

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14 thoughts on “Animesh project viewer arrives in Second Life

    1. The crucial difference between “Animesh” and “traditional” animated mesh of the type I believe you are describing, is that the SL Animesh project associates an avatar skeleton with an in-world mesh object, allowing it to be animated in a avatar-like way, but without a viewer controlling it.


      1. NPC in opensim are non player characters, I’m not talking about bots (available in SL and OS too). Basically, you can have a NPC with the appearance you choose doing whatever you wish with a single script.


        1. Again, you seem to be talking at cross-purposes here.

          No-one is disputing the use of NPCs in OpenSim. They’ve been available in SL for a number of years – although not necessarily easy to create and use.

          Animesh is about associating an in-world object with the viewer-side avatar skeleton in order to help manipulate it, whether it is an avatar-like object or something. IF OpenSim has the ability to do this, and without a controlling viewer to handle the associated avatar skeleton, then it may well have “Animesh”. If not, then any discussion of OpenSim NPCs misses the point.


          1. No, in SL it’s bots, not NPC 🙂

            BOTS represent instances where, instead of a user controlling an agent represented as an avatar in-world, a program controls the agent. This facility allows one to program humanoid figures for a variety of tasks. There are two ways that bots can be coded: on a client or on the server where opensim is running.

            NPC is generated by a script contained in a prim, with an appearance notecard.
            For example, you can transmogrify an avatar into a demon and back to human with just a few simple commands. You can easily interact with a NPC, and have the NPC interact with you, with extremely simple scripts and notecards.

            Both can have similar commands, walking, sitting, saying in chat etc, the big difference is that bots need a client, NPC are generated by scripts, so you don’t need a client to run them.

            So, the term animated mesh is a bit confusing, in fact, it’s only a generated non player avatar wearing rigged mesh (or anything esle I hope!), rigged mesh isn’t animated mesh in modelling language, we are far from it here.

            Sorry if I was misunderstood, I should develop a bit more.


            1. I’m aware of what an NPC is in comparison to a bot.

              What you were not making clear in your earlier posts wass whether or not NPCs in OpenSim utilise the avatar skeleton to directly manipulate the mesh or not. If they do, as you seem to imply here (but do not make totally clear) then they can be considered “Animesh”. If not, then referencing them is largely irrelevant in terms of the Animesh capability – which has broader potential use-cases than just NPCs (which have been – if basic and limited in function / scope, and therefore largely ignored – theoretically possible in SL since the arrival of Pathfinding).


              1. As an avatar has a skeleton, when you clone your appearance to generate a NPC, the NPC has a skeleton too. You code the avatar NPC to play an animation, the skeleton is animated.
                That’s semantic stuff.
                Well, if “Animated”Mesh had wider possiblities than NPC, that would be interesting to see and explore!


                1. “As an avatar has a skeleton, when you clone your appearance to generate a NPC, the NPC has a skeleton too. ”

                  Which a) is the point you hadn’t been clear on until now; b) is still somewhat different to the Animesh methodology. Animesh doesn’t utilise “cloning” an existing avatar to create an NPC. It allows any rigged mesh which can be rezzed in-world (and has the relevant permissions against it) to be flagged as “animated mesh” and have its own, unique avatar skeleton *associated* with it. So, the rigged mesh could be a rigged mesh animal or it could be a rigged mesh coat. It could (in theory) even be the wheel and axle on a car, and so on.


  1. Oooooh, is that, like, flexiprims? Can we finally wear nice and sexy flowy gowns again?
    Kool, very kool. =^.^=


    1. Animated mesh is very different to flexiprims.

      Providing the bones are selected with care, Bento can actually be used to created gowns which could move “naturally” without the use of Animesh, which would be far better employed in the creation of animals, creatures, naturally-moving plants, robots, androids, (potentially) machines with moving parts, etc.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. I miss flexiprims in hair. I used to like the way your hair moved in the wind or with movement. Whilst mesh hair is so much nicer, of course, it does sometimes feel like it is made from rubber.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. As a short haired girl moving hair was never a topic for me. I guess I’ve tried it once and it was very irritating to see all that movement on my screen right in front of my eyes. Same reason I don’t use avatar physics. My boobs are a) strong like a concrete foundation and b) much too small to move in any believable way. 🙂


        1. But, yes, mesh hair often reminds me of a lump of clay. Particularly the first batches of mesh hair. I love mesh for various reasons and usage scenarios, love it in buildings and vehicles, but I guess mesh is totally wrong for clothing and makes life much too complicated for the poor user.


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