Most animators attending the Bento UG meeting have been working with animating mesh heads and wings. But, the bones in the hands finalized some time ago. So, it is a little odd that we haven’t seen anyone do something with the hands. Now we have:
Vista Animations has a demo of what they have done with the hands.
They say they are going to release a beta version of the hand-animations ‘soon’. Well, that was a week ago. It’s out now. Link below.
It is then we will see the complications of keeping classic, mesh, pre-Bento, and post-Bento animations straight.
A Bento animation is not going to animate the classic fingers we have now. The Linens will have to change the viewer to change the classic avatar. I am pretty sure they haven’t done that. While it would be a little difficult to do and not break ‘legacy and stuff’, i.e., prim and sculpt nails for classic hands, I think it could be done. I suspect it is a matter of budget and priorities. I won’t hold my breath. But, I forget the last time I wasn’t wearing my Slink hands.
You’ll probably notice the hand animations actually move the fingers from one position to another. All previous mesh hand animation the hand snapped from one pose to the next without transition. So, this is more lifelike and nicer.
So, will these animations work with my Slink hands? No… not yet. The same is true for other brands too. But, I expect all major brands will update. The only question is whether it will be free, which I don’t expect. It is going to take some work to weight the hands to the new Bento Bones.
Who’s That Girl?, a blog, has reviewed the animated hands. (It’s in Spanish – in Chrome right-click to have the page translated.) That Girl explains some of the limits.
There is also the question of what do the new hands do when a classic animation plays or sets a classic hand pose? We won’t see the mesh hand respond. The movement systems for classic hands and mesh hands are radically different. Classic animations only affect the classic hands. It will be just as it is now. Wear a Relaxed Hand and it never changes no matter which animation you play.
The Beta version of these animated hands are available in the SL marketplace now. VISTA BENTO PROHANDS FEM-V.1BETA. If I understand correctly, buy now, help with Beta (or not), and later get free update to final version. Cost: L$999.
Remember, These only work with the Bento RC viewer. If you don’t know that version updated Friday (10/7).
The Vista people explain that these hands were developed so they could start figuring out how to animate Bento hands. I think my mesh hands look better but, mine don’t move.
We can expect Slink, Belleza, Maitreya, and others to update their hands. I plan to wait for Slink to update. But, I can’t wait too long. These look fun to play with.
I also I recommend not being in too big a hurry to get Bento hands. They have lots of things to work out. SL is complicated and Bento is adding to the complication. So, which animations will have which priority and which animate which bone when and on and one. We see some of that now. For instance, I have some stands in my AO that override the dance animation I am using and I have to turn off my AO. That is a priority issue.
There is also the problem of how new animations will be designated. Like clothes, animations will have to denote whether they run with Belleza, Maitreya, Slink, and/or whatever. Can people make animations that work well with all brands of hands? If designers would standardize, yes. Will they? I think the good one’s will. But, there is a lot of people designing and a lot of things to match up. I expect some will do well and others not so well.
So, I plan to sit on the side and watch the fashionistas figure out who is doing what well.