You may not know, but there is a 5m animation distance limit… Animations cannot move the avatar or parts of the avatar more than 5m from the position of the avatar ‘center’ (CoG/CG). Pathfinding would move the avatar center.
A question that quickly comes up is whether we can attach animated NARM objects to the avatar? We could theoretically have an avatar with 39 skeletons… 38 attachment skeletons plus the base skeleton. That sounds like a lag producer.
But, such a thing would be good for a pet. There is no decision on this yet. Vir is thinking they will probably get along in the develop then consider whether they can be used as attachments or whether they would prove to laggy. It boils down to Performance Impact…
However, it might be fun to animate hair and clothes with these new NARM objects we can animate.
Vir thinks fixes and changes to Pathfinding are outside this scope of this work. Once the project is completed, or at least in use, then I suspect it may be necessary to look at Pathfinding.
There likely won’t be any announcement in the SL Blog… yet. That is above Vir’s paygrade. Plus, this really early in the development process.
There is also a question about Animation Permissions. Who gets to animate what? Obviously if a script is in an object it should be able to animate the object it is in. But, what about linksets? A script animating multiple objects gets tricky.
The Lindens are deciding if the NARM’s will be a new object or a mesh prim with a flag to allow animation of the object… But, it is going to be in same family as current mesh objects.
Some want to be able to assign a skeleton and shape on fly… shape? Vir tells us the initial pass is not likely to offer handling of shapes for NARM’s. Nor will sliders work on them. I think this is why Vir is wanting to avoid referring to these as NPC’s.
We don’t know if the new NARM’s will have attachment points. Probably not.
Can sit on them? Probably. Whether it will look correct is another matter. Think cars, horses, etc.
These is thought of having an overall scale factor for NARM’s. Part of the idea is having the assigned skeleton scale to the size of the NARM object. So, we would need some way to size the thing. It would be awkward if we have to bring the object in at whatever set of sizes is needed. Rather then being in one and be able to resize copies.
This project may get named, Project Alive…
There will likely be a thread in forum for early comments. The Content Creators UG will be the group for people interested in the Animation Extensions.
As development proceeds we will likely have a project viewer that works in certain regions. I expect that to be over on ADITI.
Vir is unsure of the order of development. Supplementary Animations and NARM’s are related but separate projects. Until the details of the projects are better defined, we won’t know what we are likely see in RC/Beta first.
Will NARM’s have physics? TBD… But, there will be no morphing of physical shapes. Something like thrashing tentacles with a dynamic bounding box is what I think they were talking about. That would way lag the physics engine. So, I doubt it will happen.
There is an interesting idea of having eye animations in NARM’s work as they do for avatars. Vir doubts that will be supported but it makes sense to have them.
The rigged mesh clothes we have now should work with NARM’s. But, there will be no shape things applied to NARM’s. So, clothes that depend on shape to fit, are not going to fit. Without shapes and sliders fitting clothes may be awkward. It looks to me that things will have to be sized outside SL and then brought into SL.
This is exciting news. Expect it to take some time to develop. A year or three possibly. We haven’t even caught up with AML, Materials, and Bento. So, we have plenty to play with while the Lindens work.