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Keeping up to date with what we're working on!

Discussion in 'Blog' started by sinespace, Oct 9, 2017.

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  1. sinespace

    By:sinespaceOct 9, 2017
    Staff Member

    Aug 31, 2017
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    Hey everyone,

    I thought I'd use this opportunity to do a bit of a status post - with what we're working on, what's about to release soon, and where you can get information on what's coming up soon. Read on for more!

    Keeping up to date

    The easiest way to keep up to date with what we've released is right here on the blog - if you check the new 'Release Notes' category, you can see listings of most of the changes in each viewer release. For larger features, and listings on what we're working on - we maintain a Trello board, which you can find here, this one tracks feature development; specifically the major tasks we're working on, and where they're at.

    Reading the Trello board is straight forward, but here's what each status actually means;

    • Under Consideration: We haven't decided to do this yet, but we're thinking about it. (6+ months away)
    • Scheduled: We'll do this - and it's on our roadmap with a priority. (2-6 months away)
    • In Development: We've started work on this, there's at least a line of code towards supporting this feature. (1-3 months away)
    • In Testing: We've got a version of this ready, and it's undergoing the test/improve cycle. (typically within a month or two, some larger features may spend longer here)
    • Pending Viewer Release: We're happy with this feature enough to put it into at least a creator preview viewer, it'll release in the next 1-2 weeks. (0-2 weeks away)
    • Released: we've released it - it's in at least a creator, if not live, viewer.

    Of course, we're also chatting about what we're working on each week at our Technical Office Hours (check the event calendar on the login screen for more!) - you can come and hear the latest updates on everything we're working on.

    How to suggest something

    If you think there's a feature we desperately need - come suggest it on our forums, we've got a dedicated feature request subforum; which we read often. You can also bring them up at office hours, or in our development groups; but we do prefer the forum - since it's easier to track requests.

    Some highlights of what we're working on

    We've got a number of projects on the boil at one time, these are a few highlighted projects which are going to be coming out very soon.

    Facial Tracking

    (Video of yours truly, visit our YouTube channel for more like them)

    This is a new feature we'll be enabling very soon - we're just undergoing a few last minute tweaks to the morph shapes we use to drive the animation; but in effect - animate your face on your webcam, and we'll animate your avatar. You can move your body left/right, forward/back and up/down to steer your head position - all while it tracks your facial features (like your eyes, mouth, cheeks, brow and more.).

    We will post some more on this soon - along with how creators can add this to their custom avatars and clothing (such as masks). We will note there'll be a small one-time fee to use this feature; but we'll post details on that soon.



    A few months ago, we set out to build a simple pets / creatures system; it's been on the back burner for a while - but we're finally ready to release it soon; including all the bits and pieces for creators to make their own pets. We'll be improving this over time, but we're allowing you to define either premade behaviour trees (or coming just after launch...) or your own; which allow you to drive pet behaviour simply and easily.

    It's a total rebuild of the old one we built before - with the goal of allowing creators to participate in the system. The components you need are already in the latest editor packs, but we'll post some proper tutorials on setting these guys up, and how to build a proper set of animators to make them behave.

    Tucking and Layering 3.0

    We've had a tucking and layering system for clothing for a few months now; where if you wear multiple clothes together, they should fit together. Based on our (and others) observations, the problem has been in many cases, it doesn't work terribly well, infact it some cases it can make things worse.


    Enter the third version of our tucking and layering system - it's both more configurable by creators, and overall more robust. As creators, the only thing we need you to do; is make sure your 'Layer' is set correctly in your clothing (defining whether the clothing is from underwear to outerwear); but if you want finer grained controls - they're availible; this is particularly useful for transparent clothing, which would previously perform things like skin deletion automatically (which might not be ideal!)

    Stay tuned for more updates!

    Continue reading...
  2. Marcus Llewellyn

    By:Marcus LlewellynOct 13, 2017
    New Member

    Dec 22, 2016
    Likes Received:
    The facial tracking looks neat!

    But as someone who favors a fully costumed avatar, I won't have a use for it until you make use of matching morphs that creators may place on their meshes.

    Also, I'm curious as to how it holds up if someone is wearing a headset? I imagine the mic may obscure the mouth at some angles. Eyeglasses come to mind as well.
  3. Trilo

    By:TriloOct 13, 2017
    Active Member

    Dec 6, 2016
    Likes Received:
    Well, by virtue of being fully costumed/bypass avatars, they bypass the avatar system and all the features and functionality that SineSpace avatars offer (body sliders, clothes, many types of attachments, etc). If you're making avatar content, you should strongly consider not bypassing the avatar system, and instead rig your humanoid avatars to the SineSpace skeleton. In my opinion, bypass avatars are best used for non-humanoids (stuff like tigers, horses, dragons, and Adam's spider avatar, for example), and creations that would likely never need access to things like shape sliders, clothing and attachments, or facial gesture recognition.

    Back to the feature list, the pets system sounds like fun, but I'm most excited about tucking and layering. For us the existing system has been broken since June, not only preventing us from making and releasing new stuff, but causing some problems with existing content. I've loved the pics you've shared of avatars wearing mix & match clothing, not necessarily because it's a good look (haha) but getting different pieces from different creators to work in harmony is mind-bogglingly awesome.
  4. Adam

    By:AdamOct 18, 2017
    Staff Member Moderator

    Aug 21, 2014
    Likes Received:
    Yeah the issue is there's a _lot_ of morphs you need to make for the full facial tracking, around 20-30 or so I think. It can be done, but it is a lot of work; so if you can, rig & skin our skeleton to get most of the benefits. We will document how you can make custom clothing/costumes that interfaces with it though (Hello, Mr Ed.) as part of the general release.
  5. Trilo

    By:TriloOct 19, 2017
    Active Member

    Dec 6, 2016
    Likes Received:
    Yeah, I imagine it's a lot of morphs to get something approaching human expressiveness. For makers creating their own original works, they probably have the necessary skills to do it and the extra effort to make the morphs is well worth it to really bring their original content to life. People who are just bringing in clipart and mining other peoples' creations probably won't have those skills, and they'll either need to dig in and learn, switch to using SineSpace avatars, or settle for less with the bypass avis.