What you should know about Bento
Bento was announced in December 2015. That’s right, a full year ago! And now it’s finally on the Standard SL Viewer AND firestorm, SLs biggest 3rd Party Viewer! Here is what you need to know about it!
What is Bento?
Bento is Linden Labs update to the SL Viewer that has extended the SL Skeleton to include dozens of new bones. 106 to be exact! Bones for Wings, Hind Legs, Tails. Bones for every one of your fingers (30 bones in all there!) and >40 bones in the face!
What does that mean?
It means creators can.. among other things.. create:
- Mesh Heads that:
- React to the shape sliders of your Face. (Think… Fitted Mesh… for your FACE)
- Animate with Animations instead of transparency swaps.
- Tails and Wings that are fully animated!
- 6 Limbed Avis, like Pegasus, Centaurs and Dragons that are full animated.
- Hands with fingers that move independently!
All of this using animations instead of “transparency swap” animations or laggy puppet/movement scripts, resulting in less lag, less ACI and smoother Movements then was ever possible before!
Wait.. did you say Fitted Mesh for my Face?!
Yes.. probably the most Hyped of the new additions is the ability to make faces that you can adjust with face sliders of your shape! This obviously… is AMAZING… and we’re all utterly thrilled to see it. But there’s some things to keep in mind!
- Not all Bento Heads are the same. Much like Mesh Bodys… different Mesh Bento Heads are going to look better for a certain look then others. It is NOT one-mesh-fits-all. Some will look better with big pouty lips, others will nail the angular look . The amount you can adjust each slider will also be drastically different between meshes! You WILL need to demo demo demo to find the head that suits your taste!
- Don’t Expect old heads to just be “updated” to Bento. Rigging was already a involved process. Bento takes that even further. Expect many brands to just release new Bento Heads to justify the effort it took them to learn the new process and essentially create an entirely new product. (As always… when you buy something in SL.. you’ve bought whats in the package… not whatever the creator does next!)
- Expect Mistakes and Improvements over time. Anyone who remembers the early days of mesh bodys and the … questionable rigging of that time knows that rigging is an artform onto itself. Everyone is essentially starting from square one again with this new update, so just like with mesh bodys, expect to see mistakes. Be patient, and let Mesh Makers know if you find anything… weird. (NICELY!) On the bright side, this also means we can see great improvements on the horizon as creators get more and more experienced with the new bones. If you don’t like a particular brand NOW… check back in 6months. 🙂
- Bento Heads should be affected by anything that animates the new bones in the face. So expect some amusing effects when you try to use your Catwa Animations with your GA.EG mesh heads or vice versa. This also means skilled animators should be able to create 3rd party animations for these heads. Want a super unique facial expression? That is on the table now, if anyone decides it’s worth the effort. 🙂
- Most Bento Heads come with a shape …. start with that! (Or copy the digets down and paste them into your own shape). You will save yourself much grief if you start with what they give you instead of with your normal shape!
What Bento Items Have Been Released?
I… am not tracking EVERYTHING that’s getting released.. but here is the Omega Stuff I’m aware of that has been released or teased for a future release…. (there’s actually more then this coming… but vows of silence and all that 😉 )
Altamura Aggie Head
Vista Mesh Hands – Female
Catwa Bento Head
AK Creations Head
GA.EG Damen Head
Aii Bento Demon Tail
Lelutka (Coming Soon**)
Logo (Coming when it’s ready)
Maitreya Body Hands (Coming… Sometime?)
Vista Mesh Hands – Male (In development? Previews have been shown)
Do Bento thingys work with Omega?
Bento, I’m happy to say does nothing to help or hinder Omega. Brands that were Omega before, are still Omega, and vice versa. (Although more then a few took the update as an excuse to contact me and get on board! Look for more updates in the new future!)