Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Project Bento. Spread Your Wings.

Project Bento is now live on the grid.  After months of talk and beta testing, Bento is now available.
Bento is extensions of the standard SL avatar skeleton. Including 11 extra limb bones for wings, additional arms, or extra legs. 6 tail bones, 30 bones in the hands, 30 bones for facial expressions, 2 other new bones in the head for animating ears and 13 new attachment points associated with the new bones.
Mesh avatars came out in 2011 with much excitement and a lot of trial and error but that release has prepared us for Bento.  Why?  Most of us have worked hard on getting our shapes and skins perfected
and since the Bento is Omega compatible, many of your favorite skins and makeups can be used as well as your shape.
We tested several different brands using Bento from Lightstar to Catwa.  They all came with preset HUD choices such as skins, lashes, shine etc. and starter shapes that you can copy the slider spec's from your favorite shape.  When the Bento Mesh Head was added to pre-existing shapes, we found that the look was still somewhat different.  This is to accommodate the new "bones" for the facial animations.  Don't be surprised if you look slightly different with the Bento mesh heads then your regular mesh head. But since the Bento heads can be edited with the appearance sliders, you can easily get the right look.  There are empty slots in the HUD that you can add and save your favorite skins and makeup options.
The Bento Mesh heads also come with a facial animation HUD for basic expressions including talking but an additional HUD can be purchased for more advanced expressions.
The Bento hands work with an animation override so the individual finger's move as well as tails, ears, wings and other attachments.  Wings can be expanded or retracted with flapping movements when flying.  Bento animal avatar HUD's include realistic and random ear and tail movements among many animations.
Note:  System eyes will not work with the Bento Mesh Heads.  You need mesh eyes such as Ikon eyes.  A few of the heads we tried came with mesh eyes.  We had to do some tweaking to get the eyes right.  Zoom to the eyes and try the different animations to make sure they are correctly set in the sockets or the eye balls with stick out on some of the animations
You MUST have a Bento compatible viewer such as the latest Second Life Viewer release or Firestorm 5.0.1 to see the Bento mesh.  Also other's who do not have the latest viewer releases will not see you correctly.  As in just hair and a pair of eyes.
Also, It is very important that you try the demo's.  Not all Bento Mesh heads are alike.  Before buying, check that the Bento head is Omega compatible and then check that your favorite skin can be added to the Bento head via the Omega system.  This will save you time and frustration.
Be on the look out for innovative new creations using Bento such as attachable and ride able animals and shoulder pets, fairy wings, and full non human avatars.

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