The Bento Project User Group has changed to the Bento Developers User Group. Discussion is about Bento problems being encountered.
I’m still a bit loopy recovering from pneumonia. I messed up the video of this meeting. Oops.
One of the problems is the BVH animation files. The SL viewer-server upload of BVH runs an animation optimization process. Movements smaller than a certain amount are removed. This is creating a problem for those animating the new facial bones. Small movements are needed for subtle facial expressions. The BVH process filters them out.
There are two work-arounds. One is to reduce the frame rate from 30 to 10 or 15 frames per second. Another is to export using the .anim format.
The viewer-server does not optimize the .anim files. So, subtle movement can be used. Plus, using .anim you can have 6 levels of priority.
Also, the animation file size has been increased (Limits). I see Dan Linden has updated the wiki today. Animation file size has changed from 120KB to 250KB.
On the Maya side Cathy Foil says we will probably see an .anim exporter released in the next 3 weeks or so.
AvaStar-Blender has .anim export. But, the version 2.0 with Bento capability is still in testing. Access to the version is limited. You can file a trouble ticket stating what you would like to test to get a copy of the current alpha/beta version.
So, for now Bento animation is not mainstream. Both AvaStar and MayaStar have onerous limits. For the majority of SL animators there is no easy way to animate for Bento. But, server people are doing it. I am working my way through the process now. Lots of trial and error.
I think as Bento advances Outfits are likely to become more important. So, there was quite a bit of discussion about the viewer’s Outfit panel and how it works. The Lindens are ‘thinking’ about possible changes.
I personally would like to see folders in Outfits. That is being considered.
Others want what I’ll call ‘outfit modules’. These would be a subfolder within an outfit that can be reused with other outfits. I’m not sure if I could make use of that. But, someone wants it.
Then there is the matter of gestures and outfits. Some of the new Bento characters need gestures to control their animations. Gestures can be a sort of shortcut replacement for HUD’s. The problem is resaving an outfit clears the gestures.
I didn’t even know gestures were saved with an outfit. I’m not sure they are. I may have misunderstood the whole conversation. Three more days of anti-biotics…