I fiddled about with reintroducing the ears to the mesh instead of using attachment ears, but forgot that the bones I’d want to use (attachment bones) have a space in the name, so weighting to them won’t be recognized by the SL importer. Still, it’s nice to have that mesh weighted and ready in case the importer is ever changed to allow this.
In the meantime, I’ll stick with attachment ears, and I can always change it someday later with an update.
So, I’m just cranking out the many, many animations that need to exist, and testing them with priorities and such so they play nicely together.
One thing I should explain about my method:
Most actions and expressions will be keystroke generated, just like running around as a normal humanoid avatar. That means if you want to turn, you hit the turn key. If you want to rear, you hit the crouch key. If you want to laugh, type /laugh. Only the stuff that really can’t intuitively be connected to a normal gesture or movement key will end up on the HUD, such as lying down.
My helper says this will freak people out because everyone is used to doing it all with a HUD, but I’m willing to assume that people will either be flexible in learning this because it will work very well (and will reduce the number of buttons hovering in front of your face) or because they’ve been using them all along with regular avatars.
I’ve been hearing a lot that people are going to want my product to run essentially the same as other people’s products for heavy compatibility. It’s probably bad of me to say so, but I really don’t understand this viewpoint. If you want your avatar to be rigged and animated and working exactly the same as Company X’s avatar, then buy from Company X, right? Isn’t that how it’s always been in SL? You get choices because everyone’s stuff is unique?
This is especially true when it comes to a rigged mesh. There are so many ways to go about doing this, that compatibility is only going to happen by random lucky chance. We can’t just ask everyone to give us their rigs so we can make products to sell, and backward engineering everything to someone else’s rig brings us back to “Why would we bother with different products, then?” as well as being a huge time sink that would prohibit someone like me from ever getting something out for sale, as well as curtailing our personal creativity.
I hope people will understand why I’m choosing to make things my own way and enjoy the unique qualities of my products. I really can’t build any other way, anyway.