Author Archives: Fiona

Updates (August 28, 2016)

There was a lot of waiting on errors in Bento and in Avastar, and still is. Currently I’m waiting on a fix to the facial deformations going on because it looks like something I have no control over.

In the meantime, I am working on the other project I may have mentioned – it’s the riding version. I’ve seen some other folks doing their riding versions that will likely be similar to mine so the secret is not really a secret anymore and that’s fine!

This requires adapting the bento skeleton to both the avatar doing the riding, and the horse. The extra bones make this easier but by no means simple. One of the big issues is a real lack of attachment points to distribute to the horse. I am working on the best solutions to that.

I suspect this will be done before the avatar because I won’t have to worry about mucking around with the face or other tricky avatar issues; I mainly just have to get the horse to move in a simple but effective manner for riding purposes without extra layers of emoting.

The main trick, like I said, will be dealing with attachments and experimenting with the interface to put it on, take it off, control, etc.

At least this, I feel like I can just get to work and not wait endlessly for fixes. No insult meant to SL or Avastar; they are doing great work, it just takes time.


I might eventually move this over to Facebook. I have a tendency to forget to check blogs, and I already have to check FB for a lot of other things. We shall see. So if I miss your comment, my apologies! I’m bad at seeing them.


Posted by on August 28, 2016 in General Announcements


May 30, 2016

So with much fiddling and reworking, I seem to have the skinning and weighting for the rig that I want to use. There are definitely some pros and cons with the new skeleton.


  • I was able to work in more bones for the neck. This will help with posing and attaching manes properly.
  • The tail and eyelids are now part of the mesh and the blinking and tail movements will be natural and animated instead of script-translated objects.
  • Expressions are a lot more functional now with all the new face bones.


  • In order to work in the extra neck bones, I was unable to properly connect the eyes so that they move naturally like an avatar’s to the focal point. If you want to know why, here’s why:

Feedback on the Eye Issue

  • In order to use the facial animations, you CANNOT fiddle with the appearance sliders. Customers are just going to understand that we currently can’t do anything about this. Here’s why:

Feedback on Slider-Animation Incompatibility

Overall though, the pros are far better than the cons so I am happy and plugging along with new animations!

Here’s a clip of how nice the blinking looks now.

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Posted by on May 30, 2016 in Work Log


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So here we are in May!

It looks to me like the new skeleton for Project Bento is in a very workable state. I LOVE the new bones that have been added, and I’m pretty darned excited about experimenting with the best way to use them for the horse avatar. Medhue Animations put out a video on a new way of managing the new bones in ways that make it easier to animate – it’s going to be included below for anyone interested in knowing more about that. Thanks everyone, who put that idea together! It will definitely come in handy.

So now I am back to work at reskinning the horse. I don’t foresee any particular problems and I’ll keep y’all informed.

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Posted by on May 9, 2016 in Work Log


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Still plugging along…

A lot of what I’m doing is pretty experimental because of course, Bento is experimental. That means I’ve already had to redo a few things. So overall, I think I will wait to finish rigging the avatar until Bento is ready to go. Redoing it over and over is not a good use of my time. For example, there is no point in working on animations when the number and order of bones is still up in the air and my rig might be out of date in a week.

So while that waits, I am working on something else – hopefully it will go quickly and successfully. I’ll mention more when it looks like I’m really onto something that will be completed.

Regardless, when Bento is ready, I will be too, and the avatar will be finally completed.


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Posted by on February 20, 2016 in Work Log


Back in 2016

So you all may have noticed that I got stopped again in 2015. It’s unfortunately the byproduct of not having a high paying job, so when temp work pops up, I have to take it. When that happens, I stop working in SL because it’s pretty tough to stay focused on it when 10 other projects are happening.

However, I’ve learned… I hope. I am pretty certain now that it is impossible for me to work through the summer and I absolutely have to finish whatever I’m doing before the late spring arrives or I’m out of luck for the year. Denial has beenĀ strong about this.

So the focus is on – and with the new Bento skeleton available, I am working right now on the re-skinning. This will solve many of the problems I’ve discussed in the blog up until now so I’m pretty excited to just roll it all out.

Currently I’m working on adding eyelids to the main mesh that simply animate instead of the prim eyelids I was using that were coded separately, and of course, adding a tail to the mesh instead of having it separate also. Next will be working with the new facial expression bones.

Thank you to all who write to me with encouragement and understanding. If only Second Life were my First Job, I could get things finished a heck of a lot faster.

See you around the grid…


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Posted by on December 30, 2015 in Work Log


February 28, 2015

I played with the tail and loved how it looked. However, it just didn’t FEEL as good while moving and walking around in SL. I’ll go back to the old flexi concept but I think I’ll still use a mesh tail piece at the top, just not a rigged one. Everything has its pros and cons and sometimes a designer just has to make a choice between two ways of doing things and hope that most people approve.

Back to working on animations today. I think that’s pretty much all that’s left to do before switching to the ‘rebuild it in the main grid’ phase.

I seriously hesitate to give a hard and fast date of completion, but it seems like I might be able to get to Alpha in the next couple of weeks and the beta by the end of March. Fingers crossed.


Posted by on February 28, 2015 in Work Log


February 27, 2015

As I was building the shape I wanted to use for the tail root (the part that all the flexis get attached to), I got a bug to make it BETTER. Not justĀ a better shape, but better performance. So I’m experimenting today with ways to animate it through rigging, as well as making a custom texture for it so it flows seamlessly into the pelvis.

One thing people are going to have to understand with my design on this tail – it’s a Friesian tail, not an Arabian tail. That means it is held low and close to the haunches most of the time – that’s part of the breed characteristic. It’s not designed to be constantly flared out, though hopefully, I will be able to make it do that at the proper times.

The wrong tail shape is a common problem I see in SL when people try to represent specific breeds. They aren’t generic.

I’ll update with some pictures once I get it done.

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Posted by on February 27, 2015 in Work Log