I haven’t been hearing much exciting or interesting news in the C&M user group. So, I haven’t been writing about it. But, there are couple of interesting things that came up this week. I consider Avatar 2.0 and the Mesh Deformer joined at the hip and there was some discussion about Avatar2.0.
The Pants Flare thing came up in the Content and Mesh meeting with Nyx Linden. This is the best meeting for getting content creation and mesh questions answered. Nyx is not a modeler, so asking “how to” questions is pointless. But, ‘why doesn’t this work’ questions Nyx can usually answer or dig into to figure out if the SL system is broken.
Seems some people have issues with how pants flare works. Who would have guessed?
Whirly Fizzle offered it up for discussion saying, “If we have no topics, we can discuss how broken pants flare is.”
Come to find out Nyx Linden was already working on that… saying, “It is indeed quite broken – often a combination of texture loading callbacks not getting hit, or the viewer thinking that the callbacks don’t need to fire. There are many moving pieces and any bit that drops the ball can result in non-loaded pants (or beard, or shirt) flare.” I had not noticed.
I suspect Nyx’s interest is a follow on to the SSA system and the code polishing that is going on.
Nyx explains, “It is actually about textures, at least partially. The area of the flare is part of the texture, so it needs to be applied once the texture is loaded. (That’s how the viewer knows how far down your leg the flare should go.)
So, the pants flare issues are being worked on. I have a few different bugs I’m looking at for reproductions, but if anyone has reasonably reliable failure modes, please do file them (more test cases is better!).”
If you have a pants flare that works poorly or has problems, get it to Nyx. He is looking for examples of failures. Any failure to load morph masks, or bad artifacts in the flare areas, whether in how you see yourself or how others see you are needed. That includes; pants flare, poofy shirts, beards, and etc.
Kennylex Luckless wants a tool that will allow him to build a fence or wall that follows the terrain. Good idea. That would be nice. Or the Lab could provide a terrain export option so that the fence/wall could be built in Blender and then imported.
It seems there are third party tools that allow export of terrain. Which brings up the question of whether copying someone else terrain is a copyright violation? It probably is.
This subject came up again. It does from time to time. This time the question had a bit of a twist asking if the Lab would make a duel avatar system. In other words put in a switch to use avatar 1.0 or 2.0. The idea being 1.0 is the current avatar and would continue to work with all the existing clothes, eyes, skins, and etc.
Nyx provided this answer, “The short answer is that yes, doing a second avatar option is one way to get a better avatar without breaking old content, however, it would be a huge project and would be potentially confusing to users, as all clothing, etc items would have to be clearly marked for if they worked with the new or old avatar.”
I’ve heard the ‘confusion’ point come up before. Some merchants and creative types don’t seem to think of this point as it is a more customer related issue. The creator of a product understands it and know what is made for and from, but often for gets to tell the customer. I am often puzzled by promotion pieces that leave me wondering if I would be buying a skin, shape, or both. That is not a rare occurrence. I think the Lindens are well justified to be concerned about buyer confusion.
I think I first heard this issue raised with the Mesh Deformer. Concern was that ‘buyers’ would have no way to know which base shape a mesh was designed to work with for best deformation.
All of the standard suggestions come out from the newer attendees. Make the UVMaps compatible, etc., etc.
I am pretty much of the opinion: If we make it legacy compatible, we then have a compromise. If we go through the pain of making a change, let’s go for the best possible and not a compromise.
However, others are willing to do some compromise to get legacy compatibility. I believe they simply do not realize how much such a compromise would hamstring an Avatar 2.0 project. Whatever the actual case for now it is all speculation. But, there is an ‘improved’ avatar that you can load into your viewer that allows you to see your avatar and others avatars looking noticeably better. The details and needed files are in STORM-1716. Update: The revised weight files for a better avatar are in STORM-1800.