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.

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.

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).

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.

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. 

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.

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)

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Centaur Avatar Updates & New Coats

As I mentioned in a previous post, the Centaur avatar has been awaiting some pretty major updates as the new applier system has been in development.

The system wasn’t quite ready for prime time when they were first released, but over the past week or so we’ve had the opportunity to buckle down on all the necessary functionality and to offer additional coats while we’re at it.

What’s changed?

So let’s start off with the major changes – The new applier system shall allow third parties to easily & quickly offer new textures for the centaur body without having to worry about potential issues giving textures away.

To use the new appliers, all you’ll need to do is either wear or rez the applier in a script-enabled area  (while wearing your avatar body) then click to apply. Once all aspects of the applier have been sent to your centaur body, the applier can either be detached or deleted.

What does that mean for people who’ve already bought the avatar?

Moving forward, the Bay coat will be the default coat that comes with the centaur body. All other coats will be made available separately using the new applier system.

In order to take advantage of the new appliers, all existing holders of the centaur avatar will need to update to the new version by rezzing a copy of their avatar body on the ground in the blue exchanger circle, located here: (link)

These packages will each include both one copy of the mesh body AND a copy of the appropriate applier.

Cool, but what happens to those people who bought multiple coats?

Each existing avatar holder is eligible to update their avatar and receive the appropriate applier via the exchange process. (Yes, even RFL edition avatar holders!) Additionally, appropriate refunds for the difference in cost between full body & applier shall be handled individually upon request (please be patient as there may be a sizable queue).

How do I create for this avatar?

Finally, as a reminder for interested content creators, applications for dev kits are now open – you can check out the full details in this recent post: (link)

Last but not least, here are four new coats offered as appliers!



Do you enjoy keeping up with my posts but find this product is not quite for you? You can otherwise 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 projects, 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)

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Centaur Developer Kit Availability

The dev kit is nigh! Wilds of Organica has been working hard (with NeoBokrug Elytis of Desolate Studios) to prepare not only the next generation of Centaur coats but an applier and dev kit as well!

This kit, provided on a case by case basis, will provide the opportunity to explore:

  • Texturing – coat, tail, hoof, hoof fringe
  • Animation
  • Accessory/clothing-making

Provided will be several components, including UV maps , applier system (both provided in-world), armature and a decimated version of the model via .blend file format (provided by email).

Terms and Conditions:

A successful application will license you to use the dev kit with some conditions.
Centaur dev kit resources are released as several different components, each with additional separate expectations.

UV layouts & Applier Scripts

  • You may make derivative content based upon the UV layouts. (for example: coats, tail textures)
  • You may make commercial use of your derivative works either with or without the use of the provided Applier scripts.
  • You MAY redistribute the templates, but ONLY as part of the original UV layout notecard.
  • You MAY NOT redistribute this resource notecard or its contents for more than L$0.

Under the following conditions:

Attribution – You must attribute the work in the manner specified below (but not in any way that suggests that Wilds of Organica endorses you or your use of the work):
Custom coats made with these layouts are intended for use with the Wilds of Organica Centaur avatar. Redistribution of items derived from these resources must be accompanied by a landmark to the Wilds of Organica shop, the SLURL for which can always be found in the profile of Aki Shichiroji.

Armature with decimated model

  • You may make derivative content based upon the work (for example, animations, accessories, clothing)
  • You may make commercial use of your derivative works.
  • You may NOT redistribute the .blend file.

Under the following conditions:

Attribution – You must attribute the work in the manner specified below (but not in any way that suggests that Wilds of Organica endorses you or your use of the work):
Custom animations, accessories, clothing, and other derivative work are intended for use with the Wilds of Organica Centaur avatar. Redistribution of items derived from these resources must be accompanied by a landmark to the Wilds of Organica shop, the SLURL for which can always be found in the profile of Aki Shichiroji.

Additionally,

The following terms apply to ALL parts of the dev kit:

  • You acknowledge that each application applies to you and you only. If you require a separate license for another avatar, please note the alt account name next to your main in the questionnaire, along with any changes in operating business if necessary.
  • You acknowledge and assert that you do not create products which violate intellectual property rights.
  • You acknowledge that your products do not violate Linden Lab Terms of Service.
  • You acknowledge that the information provided above to be truthful and accurate.

Failure to adhere to the above agreement will result in a DMCA takedown request of infringing works.

When?

Applications are open TODAY via this questionnaire, while final testing and preparation is being undertaken over this week. All applications will be reviewed and developer kits will be sent out within two weeks.

Testing & Feedback

Because developing for Wilds means I’m not always logged in to SL *and* sometimes I’m not able to log in for various reasons (usually working on something else or not at home), Wilds now has a text channel on Discord over here, where testing and feedback can take place. The in-world group will continue to exist, but just be aware that I can’t monitor it all the time.

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Fantasy Faire 2017 Wrap-up

Thanks for helping to make this year’s Fantasy Faire such a success – Our combined efforts allowed Wilds of Organica to raise L$28950 for the American Cancer Society!

All new releases are now available in-store and moving forward we’ll be working on offering applier functionality and some new coats for the centaurs.

I’ve received excellent feedback for them so far, but if you have something specific you’d like to ask, I welcome the opportunity to correspond. Send me (Aki Shichiroji) an IM and I’ll try to address your questions!

Additionally, I don’t recall whether I pointed this out on the blog before, but there is now a Wilds of Organica group. All notices will also get sent here, but there is a group chat component for those who want to socialize or need some help with Wilds of Organica products.

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Wilds of Organica at Fantasy Faire 2017!

If you’ve been following WoO, you might have been wondering what I’ve been up to. A preview of a new offering was put up on my Flickr feed a couple weeks ago, and now I’m happy to announce that two new freebie avatars are now available at Fantasy Faire from any of the region landing points as low ARC options for browsing this or any other event.

An added bonus is that other colours are also available from my shop at the Faire, located in The Spirit Pool region, as part of a gachapon vendor! Two rares are available and there are ten non-freebie coats available!

Additionally, the long awaited centaur avatar is also being introduced at Fantasy Faire! Four coats are available for general release, while two additional (purple and pink) are offered as donation items for the Relay for Life. The avatars are made for both male and female shapes (although some modification may be necessary for a natural fit) and require Bento & ALM functionality to be viewed. All animations are custom made and include some facial and hand animation support for those who wear Bento heads and hands. Additionally, while this release does not include applier functionality, additional coats will be offered soon, after the new applier system is implemented (watch Wilds of Organica subscriber notifications closely for this announcement!).

Be sure to drop by the [ WoO ] shop in The Spirit Pool from April 20-30 for Fantasy Faire to try a demo or check out all the other new things that are now available!

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Unpacking – 2016 and beyond

It’s been a while since I last posted, and for good reason.

Much of 2016 for me was characterized by offering in-home care for my Grandmother after she came to live with family and after she passed away in September, the conditions were just right to move on, ahead and out. So on top of some new long-term work that takes up a large portion of my week, the past few weeks I’ve been moving (box by box) in to my new place.

Looking back on the year in SL, I would say that a lot more time went in to testing and experimenting with new content tools (IE: Bento) than general releases. The closed beta got announced last year on or near my birthday and it effectively became the gift I wanted for a very long time but which continued to redefine itself well in to the year that followed.

The bones offered changed numerous times, as did their parenting.

  • Whereas originally only additional wing, face, hand and tail groups were added, we got hind-quarters not long after I tried making my first centaur with wing bones (cue centaur iteration #1).
  • Additional spine bones were added relatively late and to date I’m still not entirely sure what the rationale was for their placement in the bone chains (they inherit other parent bones somewhat oddly) (cue centaur iteration #2)
  • After feedback, some changes were made to bones in the face that allow for a bit more rotation-only movement for those who wanted to keep slider functionality yet still animate the face.

Juggling these changes has been (and continues to be) a trial when paired with the fact that the sole Blender tool for working with this new rig has also been in development concurrently – so for those working on the bleeding edge really found themselves making and remaking content. There are various projects (the wyvern, centaur and a new peryton) on the backburner for me at the moment because they push the limits of what the rig can do and how Avastar can deal with it (Basically, every time something major changes in the plugin that prevents an update in the armature, each of these need to be re-rigged and animated).

At least now, with Bento officially in the mainstream viewer, I have one less sliding scale of development to worry about. Many basic things like tails and ears can be found on the market now. A few mesh head makers have been selling and supporting new human heads for a couple months. I released the Yeti avatar pretty much on the gamble that Bento would go live in December and it’s actually done quite well. You can look forward to some new content imminently, with the onset of Enchantment SL’s Cinderella round (see next post).

Moving forward, I’ll continue making products for both Organica and Wilds of Organica. I have quite a number of Bento-related projects that I’ve been itching to finish up/get-to/start on the avatar side and look forward to working on some more home & garden items as the inspiration strikes surrounding settling in to my new home.

Additionally, with Sansar on the horizon, it’ll be really interesting to see where I can take my skills and push them further.

I’m hoping to get a bit more settled by the end of this month and then we’ll see where my available time leaves me in terms of thinking up new fun things to make. In the mean time, please stick around for my next post, wherein *gasp* actual stuff gets released. 😲

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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.

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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.

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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

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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

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