Chompers Imminent!

Wilds of Organica has the great privilege of being a part of Gacha Garden this May and as has been touched upon in a previous post, these adorable carnivorous plants will be available! Full details for use are available here (http://www.akimeta.com/organica/?page_id=3072) but here are some quick details:

Chompers Imminent!

In addition to the twelve main items you can win, the Gilt Fantasy colour is available *exclusively* as a Gacha Garden Seeds of Inspiration item, which means one will be dispensed every twenty plays, but also that this particular colour will be retired once the event has ended.

Chompers Imminent!

This AniMesh pet can be held or rezzed on the ground, is available in 12 colours, and operates independently of any other Chomper. Rez on the ground and click to turn on/off movement or to change its movement range. Wear to hold using a Bento-friendly animation!

Chompers Imminent!

This pet is *also* convertible to a full avatar (with an add-on pack, sold separately at the Wilds of Organica main store).

Gacha Garden opens May 1 and runs thru May 22 – Check out WoO’s Gacha Vendor here: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Gimme Gacha Productions/111/68/22

Wyverns now available at Wilds of Organica!

The TL;DR:

Wyverns now available at Wilds of Organica!

Eight wyverns are now available from Wilds of Organica. For now, available just in-world, so be sure to drop by and pick up a demo, here: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Organica/100/185/26 .

Full avatar details here!

For the moment, these are fully animated avatars with some Bento support + eye control. I’ll touch on plans as follows…

Wyverns now available at Wilds of Organica!

Delay

Some of you may recall the wyvern having made an appearance on the original Bento video put together by Linden Lab. By that point, the main model had been completed and rigged with a preliminary Bento rig. At the time, I chose to make use of both hind and wing bones to make this a mount, rather than a full avatar, but it also meant there needed to be a few compromises when it came to any treatment of a human avatar rider.

While I am not sure I couldn’t have made it work, there were a number of factors that spurred me to abandon the mount-as-part-of-existing-rig solution.

First, I was working on a number of projects at the time and various events called for projects that just made more sense to be released first.

Second, both the underlying Bento rig and development tools have changed since I started. We started off with no wings to some wings to potentially being able to ride rigged objects eventually.

Third, the final rig implementation as it stands best accommodates a fully opening and closing webbed wing structure by using most of the hand bones, which is a lot more difficult to do with just the Bento wings. 

The added difficulty of dealing with an especially thin webbed membrane and preventing as much clipping as possible has been a major bone of contention for me and I feel like the current setup strikes the best balance.

As it stands now, I hope to keep an eye on the avatar and how folks like it. As always, updates are free, and with the new vendor system, I look forward to being able to just push updates to you automatically.

I will be looking in to tangential implementation as Animesh and hope to, ultimately, also provide a means for use as an Animesh mount… but until then will be catching up on a few items for both shops along with packing up for a major life change coming up in the next month or so.

Moving

I don’t want to bore folks much about it, but I must say I will be moving at the end of October. While I’ve made good memories where I am now, I’m really looking forward to making the new place my home.

Now that the Wyvern is out of the way, I hope to delve a bit more in to upcoming Animesh releases as well as other things I’ve been meaning to work on for a while. 

Look for some freaky Halloweeny stuff coming up soon, along with some new household items as well.

I am also moving things around in the Organica shop and hoping to better feature everything that is on offer. Please let me know if you think things are going in a good direction or if you have any other feedback.


If you enjoy what I’m doing here or think someone else might also find it of use, please feel free to share this blog with them. If you’d like to keep up to date with posts, the RSS for this blog is here, I can also be found on Twitter and Plurk. The Discord server is here.

If you really like my stuff, perhaps consider donating to my Patreon? Your continued support helps to produce regular content (written, modelled, animated or otherwise) and helps to keep original content creation in Second Life!

Thanks for your support!

Corgi Week 1: Working with modifiers in Blender to help visualize advanced geometry efficiently

This week I figured I’d get started on some Wilds of Organica-related items, since the last couple weeks have been pretty landscaping and decor-heavy.

Linden Lab have taken the past few weeks off, as far as Content Creation user group meetings – they will resume tomorrow (Feb 15, 2018) at 1PM SLT, on Animesh 1 region (on ADITI grid).

It’s hard to gauge how much longer the testing period will take. When we last met, it seemed like development was ongoing, but felt like we were moving a bit closer toward final performance and animesh limits testing. There has been some push in terms of increasing the triangle limit, however I’m still of the opinion that 50K is far more than enough.


With that said, I’ve begun development on a new WoO product this week that would likely see use as either an avatar, animesh, or both. We’ll see how development goes moving forward – I’m excited to see just how well it can be implemented, given the positive experience I’ve had popping in animations and some basic scripts for existing content thus far.

When I’ve chosen a real-world subject, typically I’ll look up some basic reference material to get the proportions down. In this case, it’s mostly been looking up corgis on Google Image search. It’s easy to get caught up researching cute critters and your search results are likely to be the same as mine, so suffice it to say that I use such references as a touchstone to develop an idea of what age and proportion I want my avatar to be.

My preference, from a stylistic point of view, is to avoid being photorealistic in my translation of a real dog to SL dog. I don’t really enjoy the uncanny-valley look that often comes from taking references completely from photograph to projected final texture, so usually these references become proportional and very general references later on when I paint my fur textures manually.

In this case, I was going for non-puppy, but still on the young side, just to get a nice balance between lovable huge ears and adorable elongated & lowered carriage. I’ve also elected to go the non-docked route, although a bobtail option might be in the cards at some point.

The early hours of my avatar making process usually start with something very simple – like a box with some very simple extruded faces, to block out limbs, head, etc. Once I feel i have the main proportions down, I will usually toss on a few modifiers to help me get a clear idea of what the final product will look like, even if i might not apply all of these modifiers by the end of the project.Corgi Week 1: Working with modifiers in Blender to help visualize advanced geometry efficiently

 

By using a SubSurf modifier, I can non-destructively visualize how my geometry might look if i were to subdivide and smooth. I don’t typically ever apply this modifier permanently because it’s too easy to just apply it and call it a day, without addressing some of the geometry problems that it introduces.

Corgi Week 1: Working with modifiers in Blender to help visualize advanced geometry efficiently

In particular, SubSurf tends to cause geometry to form vertices which either branch off in three or five directions, which is not ideal from an edge-flow perspective.  Also, it’s typically a lot more efficient to add edge loops and rings in areas where necessary, as opposed to allowing a modifier to add them all over your model.

I tend to add some edge loops and rings to some degree at this stage, to get the basic silhouette established, but do tend to add more later on, during the rigging stage, for added flexibility and attention to specific bone weights. One might conceivably use the ‘simple’ subdivision method rather than Catmull-Clark, however that subdivision method will not apply any vertex to vertex smoothing calculation and, at least for this use case, does little to add to this workflow.

I will typically mix the SubSurf modifier along with a Mirror and EdgeSplit modifier.

The Mirror modifier allows me to model on one side-only and have those changes propagate symmetrically.

I usually add an EdgeSplit modifier to help visualize the edge-flow of my model – in this case to help define key features in the surface as well as to give some definition to the fur.

I usually turn off angle calculations for this modifier, opting instead to define my sharp edges manually by right-clicking a sequence of edges, hitting Control E, then selecting ‘Mark Sharp’. Basically I want to adjust the geometry based on shapes I want to add to it, rather than adjusting the geometry based on what I have so far.

This helps to give the mesh a more distinct silhouette and to give me a better idea of how the geometry will need to be broken down later from the standpoint of someone who needs to rig and animate. As with the SubSurf modifier, unless I actually need a very sharp edge in my final model, I usually don’t permanently apply this modifier permanently either, since the resulting edge-splits will cause duplicate vertices that are not always necessary.

Below, you can see the difference between my Mirrored model (with no other modifiers added, but faces rendered as smooth), my mirrored model with edge-split, and finally with SubSurface divisions.

Corgi Week 1: Working with modifiers in Blender to help visualize advanced geometry efficiently

Corgi Week 1: Working with modifiers in Blender to help visualize advanced geometry efficiently

Corgi Week 1: Working with modifiers in Blender to help visualize advanced geometry efficiently

Once I am happy with this edgeflow and overall shape, I will usually begin modifying the Avastar Extended Bento skeleton to fit the avatar.

We’ll cover this, along with rigging our corgi, next week.


If you like what you see but don’t think it’s quite right for you, perhaps consider donating to my Patreon? Your continued support helps to produce weekly content (written, modelled, animated or otherwise) and helps to keep original content creation in Second Life!

Kitten Avatar Update + New Coat Announcement!

Today, I’m glad to announce that the Kitten avatars are undergoing a long-awaited update, which includes additional Bento functionality plus a brand new animation override. This updated avatar is now available in shop, along with one completely new line – the Bicolour coat pattern!

If you already have one (or more) of either the Tabby or Cheshire avatars and purchased it off the Marketplace, you can expect an automatic delivery for each within the next twenty-four hours. A limited number of recent in-store purchases will also receive this automatic update. If you do not receive your update by Jan 17 2018 (EDT), please see below before contacting me by IM:

If you purchased in-store prior to Christmas and do not recieve an update automatically, please come to the main shop and rez your update token (found in your original Kitten package). There may be a delay but you should still get your update that way. If it times out, please contact me (Aki Shichiroji) directly by IM.

Kitten Avatar Update + New Coat Announcement!

This new bicolour pattern is very much intended to reference the ‘tuxedo’ look that many bi-colour cats have. Five colours are available in this line and these new kittens will include Bento functionality, just like the updated originals!

Changes (2018/01/15):

– Facial and tail Bento support
– New Animation Overrider HUD featuring advanced facial animations specifically for this avatar
– Update system now also uses the blue circle exchanger system (Read the included notecard for full details).

Known issue: RFL Purple Cheshire has not been addressed in this update but will be within the week. Please stay tuned for further info.

Relevant inquiries:
Will the applier system used for several other recent releases also be used for the kitten avatar?
– While the possibility is not closed to this, the logistics are non-trivial. The Applier system will not be applied to the kitten avatars at this time.

Will dev-kits and/or clothing be made available for these avatars?
– Both are being taken in to consideration at this time and both are very likely. Again, the logistics of packaging and managing a growing number of coats for this avatar are something that I need to become accustomed to before I will have time to address either. Please IM me to let me know of your interest!

Will animesh support be provided with this avatar?
– It’s a bit early to comment, but animesh for this avatar is quite likely. In all likelihood, Animesh support will involve a customized kit that can be dropped in, but given that these details are rather abstract, the final execution may be somewhat different. There are also some non-mesh and non-rigged components which would need to be converted for use with Animesh should a conversion occur, so I would need to account for the additional time cost for this work.

Stay tuned to the Subscriber Kiosk or the in-world group notices for further news about this or other releases from Wilds of Organica! Join the Subscriber kiosk ( here ) or the in-world group ( here )!

Thank you for your ongoing support!


If you like what you see but don’t think it’s quite right for you, perhaps consider donating to my Patreon? Your continued support helps to produce weekly content (written, modelled, animated or otherwise) and helps to keep original content creation in Second Life!

Work in Progress: Drider Week 1

While away on vacation last week, I started thinking about ways in which the new Bento skeleton could be used to make a Drider – human/elf/spider hybrid – possible. As I’ve covered in the past, the Bento skeleton offers a great number of new possibilities, but has some limitations as well when it comes to repurposing some bone chains to be used elsewhere.

Work in Progress: Drider Week 1

After sketching for a bit, I eventually came to a reasonable compromise that might test well and brought that in to Blender & rigged with Blender Avastar.

Work in Progress: Drider Week 1

Next, I modelled something a bit more accurate, starting low-poly on just half, mirroring with a modifier (which was kept mostly unapplied until I needed to rig parts that were not standard to the existing Bento skeleton configuration).

Work in Progress: Drider Week 1

Rig setup:

I elected to use both the wings and hind legs to articulate pairs of legs here, but also chose to split up the tail (6 bones >> 3 bones per leg) to rig the last pair of legs. This means one less joint articulated in that pair, but beggars can’t be choosers.

Work in Progress: Drider Week 1

Of note: While it’s true you can’t ‘unparent’ bones within the SL skeleton to avoid animation issues involving bone hierarchy, you can to some degree modify Avastar’s control rig – you can turn off constraints, you can parent them to other control bones, you can even direct certain limbs to target newly introduced IK target bones. Avastar is even now sufficiently tolerant to take these non-standard target bones in to account when it comes time to export animations for use in Second Life.

In my case, Tail 4 thru 6 are no longer connected or inherit rotations from Tail 3. I also added two new pairs of IK targets to direct movement for leg pairs 2 & 4.

After a lot of jiggerypokery concerning knee IK targets (which I decided to do away with ultimately), I was able to get a mostly usable rig going. Work in Progress: Drider Week 1

A few notes on animations: I had to tinker with frame speed a bit to make the walk work well without ‘sliding’. Tapple Gao makes an excellent (and free) ‘Test Treadmill’ that helps to diagnose speed issues such as these. Also, more often than not, with avatars that use wonky rigs, you will need to export with bone translations. Under other circumstances it’s ideal not to, particularly if the intent is for the animation to have reuse with some other similar avatar; unfortunately when tinkering with rigs where bones have been parented in non-traditional ways, you MUST tell the SL rig to move those bones to (X) location, since they would otherwise just inherit their parents’ transformations.

Work in Progress: Drider Week 1

As of this week, I have a basic walk, stand, fly & jump complete and look forward to getting more done soon. I’ve also been able to unwrap the mesh to create my  UV layout, which is spread out across two layouts. This has allowed me to create additional textural details across diffuse, normal and specular maps that really create a greater sense of detail without adding significantly to the cost in geometry.

Further down the road, I hope to add some geometry to add the option for hair textures on the legs and body. I’ll also need to work on LOD optimization, additional animations and documentation overall.


Do you enjoy keeping up with my posts but find that my products are not quite for you? You can support my content creation in SL and other virtual worlds by becoming a patron on Patreon. Along with keeping up with new releases, you can keep up with personal and work project writeups, see sneak-peeks of upcoming content,  be informed once new videos are up, access to Patreon-exclusive content, giveaways and more! Check out my Patreon page, here: (link)

New Yeti Avatars this December at The Arcade!

Greetings Readers!

It’s nearly December again, and that means we’re set for another round of The Arcade!

This time around, Wilds of Organica will be offering a Yeti avatar:

yeti-legend-1024

This av stands 1.8m tall and comes in 12 different coats! It’s a bipedal avatar that comes with eye control & animation override – It also comes with the option to exchange for *either* a Bento-enabled transferrable version *OR* a package containing both non-Bento and Bento-enabled mod/copy avatars! Pick up this avatar at The Arcade from Dec 1 thru 31st!

What is Bento?

Bento is an extension to the standard Second Life Avatar Skeleton that adds many new bones and attachment points that has been in the works over the past year; while it is not officially released, the project is in the Release Candidate stage and viewers for the project are available from the Second Life alternative viewers website.

The base avatar being offered straight out of the Arcade machine will be Non-Bento. If you wish to try out the new Bento functionality, please be advised that it will work if you are using a Bento viewer, however you may look odd/squished to those around you who aren’t using a Bento-enabled viewer yet! Also, it should be noted that all eye-blink/facial animation included with this avatar uses Bento, so if you’d like the full functionality, you will need to switch! Instructions for exchange to a Bento-enabled transferrable OR for the mod/copy pack are included with your package!

Moving forward, some of you have been asking about other projects I’ve covered over the past couple of months: of note, the wyvern & centaur avatars. These are still being worked on and hopefully there won’t be too many changes in the workflow, however I should note that the tools used for this development are still somewhat in flux and since these rigs both push on the limits of what Bento can do, it’s important to hold back and do things right rather than to rush in to final release for them, because the rigs for both have had to be redone a couple times now. Many other Bento-related things are on the way over the next couple of months, so keep your eyes on this blog and my Youtube channel for further details.

New Pomeranians at The Arcade for June!

Pomeranian-HeadLegent-1024

Wilds of Organica will be participating in June 2016’s round of The Arcade with this new set of Pomeranian Avatars! As part of this gachapon event, each play from the Wilds of Organica machine will provide a randomly selected prize from the pool (there are two rare items this round) that includes:

  • A full mesh quadrupedal avatar
  • matching animation override & eye control HUD
  • Optional mod/copy exchange

Be sure to visit The Arcade starting June 1st thru 30th at The Arcade region in SL!

Pomeranian-legend-1024

Additionally, Wilds now has a Facebook Page! The new page is here at https://www.facebook.com/WildsOfOrganica/

I know I recently posted a couple videos over here and for major stuff I’ll probably still post to the blog and link from Facebook and the subscriber kiosk, but sometimes I have work in progress shots that don’t warrant full blog posts or in-world notices, so with the Facebook Page, I’ll be able to post those plus update those of you who don’t get the chance to log in all that often to see new notices.

Armadillos make their way to The Arcade this month!

YourArguementInvalid
I am a purple armadillo riding a red velociraptor (JIAN Dino Buddies – Fast Biter – Red by Kalia Firelyte), lugging my worldly belongings (PFC Vagabond Hat & Vagabond BNB Bag by Pucca Firecaster) across the Post-Apocalypse! (The Wastelands). Your argument is invalid.

 

As the title suggests, Wilds of Organica makes its way back to The Arcade this March with the following avatar!

It’s .5m tall, comes with controllable eyes and tail, and also comes with both a biped and quadruped AO.

Materials optimized, transfer-only, with optional mod/copy exchange.

Check out the Wilds of Organica gacha machine here from March 1-March 31st, 2016!

Armadillo-VendorLegend-1024

Wilds of Organica at The Arcade, Dec 2015!

Folks who follow me on Plurk may have seen some previews over the past couple of weeks, but I’m pleased to officially announce the newest release from Wilds of Organica – a Penguin avatar!

Penguin-Vendor-1024 Penguin-Vendor-Names-1024

Each avatar comes with eye & beak control plus AO. Comes in 12 coats, with 2 rares available. As usual, vended transfer-only, with option to exchange for mod/copy. Plays are L$100 each. Whether you want to collect ’em all or just pick up one, drop by The Arcade, starting 12AM Dec 1 2015 to take in the whole Arcade experience!

Remember: the exchangers have moved. You can always check my profile picks for the current location, but as of 2015/11/30, the location is: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Organica/110/184/2503

New Raccoon Avatars starting Sept 1!

Raccoon-key-1024

 

This September at The Arcade, these twelve raccoon avatars will be available as prizes for L$100 per play! They are 0.75m tall avatars, include a bipedal AO, with eye & tail control options! (The Wilds of Organica machine is near the back, on the left side of the central aisle). They’ll be available at The Arcade from September 1 2015 thru Sept 30!

As usual, transferrable avatars can be exchanged for mod/copy editions. Please note that the exchanger can now be found at http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Organica/231/78/30 .