Sansar Product Meetings week #11: R31 and avatars

Sansar Studios: Colossus Rising

The following notes were taken from my recording of the Sansar Product Meeting held on Thursday, March 14tth. The full official video of the meeting is available here. The topic of the meeting was that of the upcoming R31 release due at the end of March, and the Sansar avatar. In attendance from the Lab were community manager Galileo, with Landon MacDowell, the Lab’s CPO, and Sansar project manager Cara, together with Nibz, Nyx, SeanT, Harley, Lacie, Stretch, EagleCat and Stanley.

R31 Release

Avatar Updates

Skin, clothing and Custom Avatars
  • The next release should see the default Sansar avatar have skin tinting enabled. If I was understanding this correctly, the skin will have six basic swatches of colour, which can then be adjusted to allow users to generate a wide range of skin tones.
  • It will be possible to dress custom avatars (until now, these have had to be supplied with clothing that cannot be removed or altered or added to).
    • This option is regarded as a beta release.
    • It will allow custom avatars to be dressed, use hair and accessories and wear clothing developed in Marvelous Designer (MD).
    • The adjust clothing option for MD clothing within the Look Book should work with custom avatars, and the Lab is working to make this capability easier to use in Desktop mode.
    • Dressing custom avatars will probably not work well with items rigged to fit the default avatars, and the Lab would appreciate feedback on this, and to how to improve the system, what problems are encountered. etc.
    • Obviously, the closer a custom avatar is to the default avatar, the better things are likely to work.
  • Future updates to follow this initial release will include:
    • Adjusting rigged accessories to correctly fit custom avatars will be a future iteration for the system.
    • Attachment points (e.g. select a right hand to add a watch).
    • Allow MD clothing to be moved, rotated, uniformly scaled, etc.
Avatar Editor Changes
  • The Save and “return to world” functions are being separated into their own buttons.
  • The Save function will allow users to save their changes to the current avatar or as a new avatar look in the Look Book.
  • A reset button will be added to the adjust clothing capability for MD clothing, to overcome issues of things being “dropped”.
  • There are a number of cosmetic updates to the avatar editor UI.

New User Flow

  • The new user on-boarding flow will be extended to include a selection of custom avatars as well as the existing default avatar set.
  • It will also be possible for users with the Grey avatar to be able to dress them until they decide on an avatar.

Animation Updates and Improvements

  • Jumping is almost ready for release.
  • Different heights of jump can be achieved when using the jump button / key, and jumping will be gravity sensitive  (the lower the gravity in an experience, the further / higher the jump).
  • It is hoped jumping will open up the opportunity for platform style game experiences.
  • Future updates to this might include:
    • Scripted control of jumps (e.g. gain a “power up” in a game to jump higher / further).
    • Adding an animation override for custom jump animations.
  • A “falling” animation will also be released with jumping (so if you step off a wall or cliff, the avatar will fall, for example).
Walking / Running
  • The default walking and running speeds are to be increased.
  • The animation graphs supporting these may also be opened to scripted adjustment in the future, depending on feedback.
VR Animation Improvements
  • Work is being done to improve the sensation of being “grounded” (more connected to the virtual ground) when moving around in VR.
  • Work is also being carried out to better handle arm and hand positioning when in VR (e.g. so removing a headset in VR doesn’t result in the avatar’s hand being weirdly positioned or its arms going through its body).

General R31 Updates

  • Users will be able to see their bodies when in Desktop first-person view (this won’t include seeing weapons correctly held in the first pass, so carry on shooting yourself in the foot for now in Desktop mode 🙂 ).
  • Save current location: when you go to Look Book within an experience, you will be returned to the last “safe” location you occupied in the experience, rather than being forced back to a spawn point (“safe” as in not being spawned in mid-air if you were travelling on a moving surface when you entered Look Book, for example).
  • Teleport to friend will be updated so:
    • If you are in a different experience on teleporting, you will teleport to them in the scene they are in, and not to the experience spawn point.
    • If you are in the same experience when using teleport to a friend, the experience load screen will not longer be displayed.
    • “Safe” locations for teleporting will apply in both cases.
    • Creators of game-type experiences or similar that require a specific spawn point, and who do not want people randomly popping-up in their experiences will be able to set a flag to override this and divert teleports to their assigned spawn point.
  • Grabbing objects in VR should not longer display the blue beams, but allow users to naturally reach and take objects.
    • The object’s outline will still be highlighted.
    • A grabbed object should stick in the hand a lot better.

Beyond R31

Other work in progress for future releases includes:

  • Uniform scaling of avatars: users will be able to uniformly scale avatars up / down (precise range still to be decided), and will include automatic scaling of clothing and attachments.
    • Also TBD with this is whether or not the avatar capsule should scale as well, whether or not walk / run speeds should scale, etc.
    • Scaling will see foot placement and grounding in VR mode correctly adjusted as well.
  • More parity between Desktop and VR when grabbing / throwing objects.
    • These updates will include a “throwing beam” for desktop users so they can see the trajectory of an object were they to throw it, and then adjust it.
  • Work is continuing to the default avatar 2.0 (greater customisation, etc.).
  • Full body tracking in VR is being investigated (e.g. using the additional trackers for the HTC Vive). This could open Sansar for a lot of performance related activities.
  • Windows Mixed Reality (WMR) gear, etc., should work better with the next release. However, this is a user-generated fix, and it shouldn’t be taken to mean Linden Lab are supporting WMR, etc.).

3 thoughts on “Sansar Product Meetings week #11: R31 and avatars

  1. As long as the avatars offered in Sansar remain human-only, I doubt there will be any great interest in the platform. Second Life offers both human and non-human avatars and people use them intentionally for a number of reasons, even to the point of not being “anthro” at all (wolves, foxes, horses, etc.). There is a reason people choose non-human avatars and Linden needs to realize the fact if Sansar is going to be anything other than an occasional experience for Residents.
    Linden might also consider that people want last names for their primary identity and using the old “Safe” lists of names will work just fine.


    1. There are non-human custom avatars already available, although current capabilities limit them (they are somewhat anthropomorphic in nature. Raccoons are popular, as are sharks and one of the Lindens at this meeting was a frog / toad.


  2. I wonder what this us all about???
    ‘´Windows Mixed Reality (WMR), Gear VR, etc., should work better with the next release. ´´
    Gear VR??? Samsung GearVR? That is using an android phone!!! Does sansar work on android now? Or will it??
    Have I missed something? I thought LL had taken mobile deployment of the roadmap??


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