Over the weekend i took another brief look at Project Bento that was highlighted on the Drax world makers back in February.
If you don’t know what the Bento Project is, basically it’s an update to what people can upload for avatars in Second Life adding extra ability to rig facial expressions and fingers.
First announced last December of 2015 and still in testing, i hope to at some point work out how to use it. the Avastar plugin for blender should make things easier eventually but at the moment that also is still in testing.
I’ll keep an eye on how it continues to evolve, but i now don’t expect to update my free mesh avatars to include bento until next year. In the mean time there are plenty of other features i can add to Loki Avatars that people have asked for.
Areas i hope to improve are the ability to change and customise skins and try a new way of masking body parts. I’d also like to experiment more with re-rigging the body shapes now that Avastar has evolved more. This would lead to backwards compatibility issues with older clothing though so we’ll see.
Almost a year ago i started a project to make a mesh avatar. I actually finished my own Mesh Avatar around July/August of last year, but since then i have been trying to work out how to make a consumer version that allowed others to customise it easy as well as have clothes for it.
Not a classic.
I explored a lot of ways to make a mesh avatar and chose the controversial path of making an avatar that could not wear clothes made for classic SL avatars. It means those who choose to use my Avatar are limited in the choice of clothing. To help with this i’ve decided to create a clothing creation pack for Clothes designers who want to retrofit or build new clothes for the Loki Avatar.
The way i have decided to present the Loki Avatar is as characters. The Smallest Avatar is called the Lilkid, then you have the BigBro followed by The Anime character. I hope to add more characters with more subtle changes to their shapes in future. Some people have already asked for a more skinny kid, or a more muscular teen and since i never really managed to figure out wether fitted mesh was just a myth i will try and supply some variations to the characters in future.
[UPDATE]: The Loki Avatar is partially Fitted Mesh, but once i started shrinking down the classic base avatar, things got weird. Since it’s only partially fitted, such as hands and feet part of the belly i can’t really promote it as fitted mesh.
I want users to have the opportunity to try the avatar and see if the system works for them, so all the Loki Avatars are available for FREE, FOR EVER.
SKNpods & paks.
But of course if you want to be able to change the colour and textures of your Loki Avatar, then you will need to purchase the SKNpod. This unlocks premium customisation features.
The First Step.
This is just the beginning. The Loki Avatar is basically the consumer version of the mesh body i use for my own avatar and i will be constantly working to create new clothes and accessories while also striving to improve my own look. This then gets offered to all those who are using the Loki Avatar characters.
The Next Step.
The Loki Avatar has only been available for a week and already there is a list of improvements that will come later in the year, such as better more precise SKNpod features, New Characters and more. Future clothing planned are School uniforms, new Bib overalls and socks. There are also a few other kids clothing designers who have grabbed the Clothes Creations kit so look out for the Loki Avatar Logo.
I’d like to thank everyone who encouraged me in this the longest single project I’ve worked on so far in Second Life. To those who gave me honest feedback and to those who kept me going on the numerous occasions i wanted to bin the whole thing :-p. The Loki Avatar and the solutions i built for it will not be to everyones tastes, but to those who pick it up, figure it out and use it, i hope it helps you achieve and express your second Childhood here in virtual space.