Project Bento Resources and Information

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Welcome to Project Bento! As we mentioned in our announcement, Project Bento is adding new bones and attachment points to the avatar skeleton. Bento is now ready for testing!

What is the test period for? How long will it last?

The testing period is designed to validate the viewer and the new skeleton, and will continue until we are confident that we have a solid release candidate, at least a few weeks.

During the course of testing, we will continue working on the Bento project viewer, fixing bugs and addressing other issues encountered during testing. We do not anticipate making further changes to the skeleton or attachments at this point.

At the end of the test period, Bento will become a viewer release candidate. Hopefully not long after that, the Bento viewer will be released as the default viewer.

Where can I find the required test viewer?

You'll need the latest project viewer for Bento. It is available on the Alternate Viewers wiki page.

Where can we test Bento?

Bento testing is happening on the main Second Life grid and the Aditi Beta Test Grid, which is completely separate from the Agni "Main Grid".

Testing Bento will require uploading and using meshes and animations that take advantage of new joints. It will also allow you to take advantage of new attachment points associated with some of the new joints.

How can we test Bento?

There are two ways to help with testing Bento:

  • If you are a content creator, please help us exercise the new skeleton. Create your own meshes and animations for facial animation, hand gestures, wings, tails, and so on! Let us know about any problems you encounter, and share your experiences with other creators in the Creation Forum Thread
  • If you are a mesh user, help us test the viewer. Try uploading and using some of the test content. Are there any problems displaying or using it on your system? Do you see a significant impact on performance when using the new skeleton?

Caveats & Best Practices

  • Due to the restrictions of the pre-existing Second Life Animation System. Playing animations that affect bone scale will (continue to) not work with Project Bento, however the slider system has been incorporated to adjust bone positions and bone scale.
  • Any slider controls that affect the position ( translation ) of a specific bone will be overridden if the user plays an animation that moves that bone. Since presently the animation system has no means of knowing the positional offset that the slider is providing, that animation will be played based off of the bones natural ( pre-slider adjustment ) position. However the influence of the affected bones scale will not be altered.

Because of the above two restrictions it is ill advised, to mix content where you want the translation based sliders to work with translation based animations. Because the animation will always override the slider. For a list of all the bones that are influenced by sliders that adjust their position refer to this :

This was the best practical alternative to simply not allowing translation based animations at all due to the possibility of them overriding sliders. The community asked for the ability to have translation/position based animations available for greater creative control and it was agreed upon that suffering the confusion from this conflict of behavior was still an overall gain.

Current Test Content


Note: to add new test content to the wiki, you can first attach it to BUG-10981, then post a link to that attachment in the wiki. The wiki does not allow attaching most file formats directly.

Collada (dae) files:

The following model files are compatible with the current project viewer, as of 2016-07-14, and should work with currently implemented sliders. Includes weighting to the new mFaceJawShaper bone.

Maya (ma) files:

These are also current with the skeleton of July 14, 2016:

(NOTE: Standard Skeleton with bone located in standard positions determined by the avatar_skeleton.xml file.)

(NOTE: Standard Skeleton with bone located in standard positions determined by the avatar_skeleton.xml file.)

FBX files:

These are based on the Maya files above.

3ds Max (max) files

All files are saved as 3dsmax2012 files, if your version predates this, they probably won't load.

"Basic" skeleton files contain no additional nodes and will not work for advanced control rigs and animation export, but are simpler, contain less clutter and might be ideal for simple rigging&skinning work. However bone rotation axis will not behave ideally for animations.

Normal Rigs have additional nodes for ease of use with animations, but animation must be done on "mBoneName_DRV" point helper nodes instead of the bones directly.

For both skeletons the mesh skinning and rigging should be done to the mBoneName or "collision volume" (fitmesh) bones / dummies only.




Scale Locking Test Viewer

There is a proposed feature and a test viewer to allow uploaded models to optionally lock some of their joints' scales. Some info on this that was originally posted on the forum thread (reposted here to make it easier to find):

We have had some discussions in the past about possibly adding the ability to override the scale as well as position for joints in uploaded mesh models. A joint with both position and scale overrides would be effectively "slider-proof" - no sliders that affect the joint would have any effect on the model. This may be useful for content creators who want to control their avatar mesh shape exactly, without being affected by the standard customization options.

A proof of concept build for this can be found here:

When you upload a model using this test viewer, under the standard "Include skin weight" and "Include joint positions" check boxes, this build provides an additional check box for "Lock scale if joint position defined". If you check this box, then any joint that has a position defined will also have its scale locked. Scale locking will be enforced whenever a joint would normally be scaled by a slider. To make a bone truly slider-proof, you will have to pay attention to the joint hierarchy. Any change to the scale of a parent bone will also cause the child bone to move, so you will have to make sure the bone's ancestors also have joint positions defined. A joint position will be ignored unless it differs from the bone's default location by at least 0.1 mm (ie, 0.0001 m in the units used by the skeleton definition file). If you want to lock a joint without changing its position, use a very small offset that will not be large enough to have a visual effect (some fraction of a mm).

If you get a chance to try this out, please let us know what you think! Any feedback about the design of feature or bugs encountered would be very helpful. Note that this is just a test build to help with discussion of the feature. It may or may not make it into Bento in this form, or any other form.

I found a problem? How can I give feedback?

  1. Submit bugs in Jira in the BUG project: please put [Bento] in the summary line.

If you have a display problem, please try with hardware skinning enabled and disabled

Me->Preferences->Graphics->Advanced->Avatar Rendering->Hardware skinning checkbox

Does changing that setting affect the display?