On Monday 5th December Linden Lab announced that Project Bento is now live on the main grid and it’s now part of the Second Life default viewer at long last. This is one of the biggest updates to the Second Life avatar has ever had on the main grid. Christmas has come early 🙂
It’s almost been a year since Linden Lab first introduced Project Bento back in mid December 2015 and so much has been improved during the past year. Interest in Bento has grown over the past year and that’s always a good thing to see.
Linden Lab is proud to announce that Project Bento is now part of the default Viewer! Bento is probably the single most extensive update to the avatar skeleton ever, and as a result of countless hours of testing, updating, reconfiguring, testing… you get the picture, we are now live!
Now everyone can enjoy the extra bones creators have taken advantage of to bring you true quadrupeds, winged avatars, fingers, facial expressions and more.
For those that don’t know already Project Bento adds over 30 bones to the avatar’s face, hands, joints and attachment points. Today Bento provides more realistic improved facial expressions, animations and a better range of avatar body types than ever before.
Firestorm has plans for Bento to be integrated into the viewer at some point in the near future (no ETA yet). Hopefully other third party viewer will integrate Bento very soon. There are many opportunities and possibilities using Bento in Second Life going forward.
On Tuesday 31st May, Linden Lab announced that Project Bento has now gone live on the Main Grid which is great news to hear. Since late 2015 the Lab have been testing Project Bento on the Aditi test grid with the help of content creators from across the grid.
This release pushes to a much wider audience than before. This is a new era for mesh avatars in Second Life and I would imagine soon there will be more realistic avatars with greater detail than ever before. Yay! 🙂
Project Bento is an extension to the existing avatar skeleton to include many new bones, joints, and attachment points. These new bones support rigging and animation to provide the opportunity for a much wider range of avatar body types, facial expressions, and animations than is currently possible in Second Life.
Read the full announcement here
Since late 2015 we have been testing a limited release for Project Bento on the Aditi test grid, working with content creators. Today we’re announcing the second wave of Bento skeleton improvements!
This release will be available on Agni, making it available to a much wider audience. However, this is still a limited release, until we’re confident enough that this could be a release candidate and ultimately be part of the release Viewer. Creators, recipients, and anyone wishing to view the new content must be running the latest Bento Project Viewer.
If you encounter Bento avatars and are not using the Bento Project Viewer, you may see some strangely behaving avatar animations and meshes. If you’re using a very old (i.e. no longer supported) viewer, encountering Bento content may even cause a crash; updating to the latest Bento Project Viewer will prevent this problem.
On Wednesday 16th December Linden Lab announced Project Bento, adding new bones and attachment points to the Second Life Avatar Skeleton. This is the biggest change to avatars in years and the good news is that it’s fully backward compatible with existing avatars.
This is excellent news for sure and this announcement sounds very exciting indeed. 🙂
We know how much work, value, personalization and emotional investment goes into a Second Life avatar, so we have always been careful when considering avatar changes. While we want to make improvements, we also want to maximize backward compatibility. Get ready for the biggest thing that’s happened to avatars in years …
Ever wish you could incorporate a tail, wings, or second set of arms into your avatar? How about having animations for facial expressions and finger movements? Yes, we know that there are some incredibly creative workarounds that give you some of these, but they can’t leverage skeletal animation, so they have been very complex, often fragile, and very expensive in performance and resources both in your Viewer and the Simulator.
We are introducing extensions to the standard Second Life Avatar Skeleton that give you dozens of new bones to support both rigging and animation, and accompanying new attachment points! This extended skeleton, which is fully backward compatible with existing avatars, rigging and animation, gives creators the power to build more sophisticated avatars than ever before.
This will give creators the power to build more sophisticated avatars than ever before. It will be interesting to see what kind of creations will be created with the new Project Bento.
We’ve developed all this in collaboration with many expert Resident content creators and with the developers of the most popular tools for creating avatars and animations, so there will quickly be versions of those tools you can use to help take advantage of these changes.
Linden Lab have been working on this project for the last few months or so and it’s still in a work in progress project. Apparently Linden Lab invited a small number of residents that had specialized knowledge for this new project.
The skeleton extensions include this…
11 extra limb bones for wings, additional arms, or extra legs.
6 tail bones
30 bones in the hands (all 10 fingers!)
30 bones for facial expressions
2 other new bones in the head for animating ears or antennae
13 new attachment points associated with the new bones
Log into the Aditi Beta Test Grid and visit the Mesh Sandbox regions 1, 2, 3 and 4.
To experience the changes, you’ll need to download the Project Viewer and upload any content using the new skeleton extensions to the Aditi Beta Test Grid (most regions on the Beta Test Grid will allow this; some may be in use for other testing and not yet have these updates). Once we have finalized the skeleton extensions, we will enable uploads using them to the main Second Life grid and the real fun can begin!
Project Bento Introduction Video
Cathy Foil who is a member of the Project Bento team uploaded this introduction video below showing Project Bento which runs for 52 minutes.