Project Bento User Group update 27 with audio

Bento: extending the avatar skeleton

Bento: extending the avatar skeleton

The following notes and audio were taken from the weekly Bento User Group meeting, held on Thursday, September 22nd at 13:00 SLT at the the Hippotropolis Campfire Circle. and chaired by Vir Linden. For details on the meeting agenda, 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, grouped together by subject matter were relevant / possible, whilst maintaining the overall context of the meeting.

RC Viewer

The Project Bento RC viewer updated to version on Thursday, September 22nd, 2016. This update contained no functional changes to Bento, but merged it with the current release viewer code (e.g. the addition of the visual Outfit Browser code).

The Lab’s focus on the viewer at the moment is seeing how more widespread testing goes (in general use terms, rather than Bento-specific, although this is still of interest), whether issues or regressions arise in the viewer as a whole and watching the crash rate.  The latter has been high, but it is hoped the merge with the current release viewer will reduce these. If not, it may be that there are some Bento-specific issues still requiring deeper investigation.

A further preview demonstration of the Catwa mesh head rigged for Bento

Sliders and Bones / Joints

Avatar Sliders Wiki Page

Matrice Laville has put together documentation on which bones in the avatar skeleton are affected by the various appearance sliders when editing your shape. This can be found on the Avatar Sliders wiki page. The tables list the affected bones per slider, and how they are affected (translate / scale / both).  The eyebrow slider is also included, although this is actually a part of the hair wearable.

The was a general discussion on sliders and joint positions, which I’ve attempted to break down by topic point for ease of reference.

Locking Scale with Sliders – Proof of Concept Viewer

At the start of September, Vir produced a proof of concept viewer adding the ability to override the scale as well as position for joints in uploaded mesh models. A joint with both position and scale overrides would be effectively “slider-proof” – no sliders that affect the joint would have any effect on the model. This might be useful for those wishing to produce (non-human?) avatars where it might be preferable to have certain parts of the body locked from slider-driven changes to prevent distortions / conflicts arising, without necessarily locking in the entire mesh against slider changes (e.g. the face could be “frozen” to prevent distortion, but body height or tail length, etc).

There’s been little feedback on the option to date,so anyone who is interested in the option or has views on how it works / should work, to try this version of the viewer and provide their feedback through the forum ASAP, otherwise the option won’t be included in the Bento RC.

Sliders and Custom Joint Positions

At one time it had been possible to use sliders with custom joint positions. This is not longer the case, due to inconsistencies in how avatars would appear to themselves and one another (and changes would revert following a re-log). As the option wasn’t an intended feature for Bento, and given it can lead to inconsistencies (some of which can be fixed using Reset Skeleton, although this doesn’t work in all cases), the decision has been made not to allow sliders to operate on custom joints.

Locking Sliders / “Partial Shapes”

The above discussions flowed into questions on whether it might be possible to just lock individual sliders at upload, rather than disabling their impact on a joint basis. This is viewed as not being possible, as it would require a more extensive overhaul of the avatar system and permission system.

Paralleling this idea was a question on “partial shapes” for Bento heads, raised by Elizabeth Jarvinen (polysail). The idea here is that many shape creators sell their shape as No Modify, but if such a shape is used with a Bento head, it defeats the idea that the Bento head can be modified via slider.

Again, there is no real means to achieve this without an extensive overhaul of the avatar system. There are also the points that if people are buying No modify shapes as they are unsure of using the sliders, they are unlikely to want to fiddle with the sliders with a Bento head, and those wishing to modify their body will likely use their own shape anyway, removing the problem of No Modify shapes (although re-creating a No Mod shape by approximation or XML export / import – via Develop > Avatar > Character tests > Appearance to xml – might be a hassle, with the latter requiring a suitable TPV for re-import). A further side to this is that a number of shape creators are already supplying body shapes intended for use with the various mesh bodies already on sale, as which are supplied Modify, which could be used with Bento heads.

Gestures and Outfits

As I noted last week, gestures – such as for speech – can be stored as a part of an avatar’s outfit in the Outfits folder, allowing them to be automatically activated / de-activated. However, this has to be done by copying a link to the gesture into the required folder, as the Save Outfit function currently ignores gestures. Replacing outfits should then trigger gesture activation  of those being added, and de-activate those gestures associated with the outfit being removed.

This is not an optimal solution, but changes to have gestures made a part of the Save Outfit function are outside the scope of Bento, and Medhue Simoni has indicated he’ll raise a feature request on the idea for future consideration.

Other Items

Avastar Version Numbers

Those using the development versions of Avastar 2.0 may have noticed a recent change in version numbering. This is because people were getting confused between the technical release number and the public incremental “Alpha” version numbering.

Holly Kai Park makes a Second Life Editor’s Pick!

Holly Kai Park made it into the Destination Guide on Friday, September 23rd – and was selected as an Editor’s Pick (see above)!

The Park’s entry (shown at the foot of this article), can be found in the Nature and Parks section of the Destination guide, with the usual teleport links.

We’re pleased to have the park featured, as this weekend see the opening of our new Art at the Park Exhibition, which will run from Saturday 24th September through to Sunday 23rd October, 2016.  The artists featured in this exhibition are:

  • Anibrm Jung – award-winning photographer
  • John Brianna – physical world and virtual world photographer and artist
  • Giovanna Cerise – renowned physical world and virtual world artist
  • Wildstar Beaumont – popular and well-regarded Second Life photographer
  • Inara Pey – (who she?)

The exhibition opens at 2:00pm on Saturday, September 24th at our new hill-top art display area, with Erin68 Frog and Satin providing the music at our new art events area on by the art displays.

Holly Kai Park - now in the Destination Guide

Holly Kai Park – now in the Destination Guide

I’ll have more on the exhibition in a post here shortly – but you can get the low-down through the Holly Kai blog.

We hope you can join us for the opening – but if you can’t, do please drop into the park and have a wander around. It’s there for everyone to enjoy.


Project Espeon: Experience enabled sits in Second Life

Experience scripted force sits - a new project from the Lab (image courtesy of Linden Lab)

Experience scripted force sits – a new project from the Lab (image courtesy of Linden Lab)

Update: thanks to the efforts of one or more juveniles, the proposal – originally referred to as a Google document in this article – has been converted to PDF format, and this article has been updated to reflect that fact, and how those with a genuine interest in the proposed capabilities can forward ideas and suggestions to the Lab.

Since the introduction of Experience Keys into Second Life to allow more convenient granting of permissions for the system to act on an avatar’s behaviour when engaged on a specific activity – such as a game or a tour – a commonly requested item has been the ability to for scripted forced sits to be made a part of the Experience process.

On Thursday, September 22nd, during the Server Beta user group meeting, Rider Linden announced he is working on just this capability – and that test regions are available on Aditi for Experience creators to test the capability as it stands.

The new LSL functions for Experience-enabled scripted forced sits form Project Espeon (after the Pokémon character). Rider has produced a proposal document on the new functionality, which can be read  in PDF format, which he introduces as follows:

With the advent of Experiences Keys we would like to be able to allow scripts being run as part of an experience to force an avatar to sit in a particular location.  This feature will be useful in an adventure game scenario where an avatar is forced to sit in a trap so that it may sync its animations with the avatar, or in an amphitheatre or classroom situation where a presenter wishes for all the other participants to remain seated.

We will add at least one new LSL script function that will force an avatar to sit on a particular prim and make adjustments to the existing llUnSit() function to perform the counter action.  

Within the document, Rider outlines the current APIs and functions related to sitting (llLinkSitTarget()llSitTarget()llSetSitText()llAvatarOnLinkSitTarget()llAvatarOnSitTarget() and llUnSit() ) which by affected by the new capability, before proposing a new series of APIs and behaviour changes to make Experience scripted sitting possible. At the time of writing this article, these new capabilities comprise:

  • llSitOnLink( )  – Function: integer llSitOnLink( key agent_id, integer link ); – mimic the behaviour of the rightclick “Sit Here” menu item.  The avatar specified by agent_id is forced to sit on the sit target of the prim indicated by the link parameter. If the specified link is already occupied the simulator will search down the chain of prims in the linkset looking for an available sit target, as per the diagram at the top of this article.
  • PRIM_ALLOW_UNSIT – to be added to llSetPrimitiveParams( ) – When set on a prim that is running a script as part of an experience an avatar that is seated on the sit target and has agreed to participate in the experience will be unable to stand, select another prim to sit on or teleport to another location in the same region (inter-regional teleports will act as normal).
  • PRIM_SCRIPTED_SITS_ONLY – to be added to llSetPrimitiveParams( ) – Agents may only be seated on this prim using llSitOnLink().  Attempts to do a manual sit will fail.  This flag applies even outside of an experience enabled region.
  • PRIM_SIT_TARGET – to be added to llSetPrimitiveParams( ) – The sit target if any defined for this prim.  If the active value is 0 the sit target is deactivated, if it is nonzero the prims sit target is set to the indicated offset and rotation. As with llLinkSitTarget(), these values relative to the prim, however unlike llLinkSitTarget() an offset of <0.0, 0.0, 0.0> may be explicitly set.

Note that the above is in summary only, please refer to the Google document for the complete specifics.

Test regions have been set-up on ADITI, the beta grid, and those interested in testing the capabilities should join the Second Life Beta group on Aditi for access. The test regions are: Leafeon or Umbreon or Sylveon, with test content is available on Leafeon. If you wish to have your own Experience added to the regions for testing, contact Rider via IM. Similarly, if you have any suggestions or ideas for improving the proposal document or the functions, should raise a JIRA.

With thanks to Whirly Fizzle.

Holly Kai Park: ready for a new season in Second Life

Holly Kai Park: the artists are preparing for the next exhibition

Holly Kai Park: the artists are preparing for the next exhibition

We’re ramping up for a new season of events at Holly Kai Park – there will be an announcement on the next Art at the Park exhibition, opening on the weekend of the 24th / 25th Sept, via the Hollykai blog very shortly – and there will be new events to follow it. In preparation, the last few days have been spent in making some final adjustments to the park’s layout, to ready it for everything we hope to be supporting.

Most notably for regulars to the USS regions by boat, and who may sail past Holly Kai, the Pavilion, our live events venue, has been relocated to the west side of the region, replacing the under-used beach front there. It now has dedicated moorings for boats, which include a 2-hour loiter time, and re-rezzing spots for boats if people sty longer.

Holly Kai Park: The Pavilion - relocated and ready for live events

Holly Kai Park: The Pavilion – relocated and ready for live events

Remember, the Pavilion is available for live music, charity and private events. We do not charge for using it, but simply request a donation to our adopted charity, Stand Up to Cancer. For information on booking, please see the Hollykai website, and the Pavilion booking form.

Moving the Pavilion has allowed us to introduce a new area to the Park: the Storyteller’s Circle. Located in the south-eat corner of the Park, Storyteller’s circle offers a circular path beneath fir trees, with places to sit and  a place to picnic. It is also a place which will offer special events in voice – story telling, workshops and more, when the central grassy circle will be converted for presentations and activities. We hope to kick things off at the circle with a special Halloween event!

Holly Kai Park: Storyteller's Circle

Holly Kai Park: Storyteller’s Circle

As a part of the changes, the rocky area and waterfalls have been removed so that there is even move of a natural flow across the park from one side to the other. New trails and tracks have been added, together with a few more secluded cuddle spots🙂 .

If you’ve not visited Holly Kai Park recently (or at all) I hope that you’ll find time to do so. We’ve had a lot of fun revising things, and in adding bits here and there, and we’re looking forward to kicking-off an expanded series of events, with the weekly music at Caitinara Bar, the monthly Art at the Park events, complete with Stories at the Park, and the upcoming Voice events at the Storyteller’s circle!

SLurls to the major locations are below. Do please say hello if you happen to see one of us there when visiting – and please consider making a donation to Stand Up To Cancer via the donation boards located at key points in the Park.

Holly Kai Park: new trails

Holly Kai Park: new trails

Holly Kai Park SLurls

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