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Today Linden Lab announced ‘Project Bento’, the biggest change in Second Life avatars in years.

One of the things Second Life offers like almost nobody else is the freedom to change and personalise your avatar pretty much without limits, now they are making this easier and are going us even more options.

I quote from the Second Life website announcement;

We are introducing extensions to the standard Second Life Avatar Skeleton that give you dozens of new bones to support both rigging and animation, and accompanying new attachment points! This extended skeleton, which is fully backward compatible with existing avatars, rigging and animation, gives creators the power to build more sophisticated avatars than ever before. The skeleton extensions include:

  • 11 extra limb bones for wings, additional arms, or extra legs.
  • 6 tail bones
  • 30 bones in the hands (all 10 fingers!)
  • 30 bones for facial expressions
  • 2 other new bones in the head for animating ears or antennae
  • 13 new attachment points associated with the new bones

We’ve developed all this in collaboration with many expert Resident content creators and with the developers of the most popular tools for creating avatars and animations, so there will quickly be versions of those tools you can use to help take advantage of these changes. There is also some demo content already available.

I think this is interesting news, quite a few people seem to think Second Life will be neglected now Linden Lab is working on Project Sansar, but this clearly shows they are still putting a lot of work into improving their first-born.

Another thing I like is that they aren’t releasing this yet, but first want us to testrun these new features and let them know what we think.

I quote again;

The avatar skeleton changes introduced by Project Bento are not yet final because we want your feedback, either in the Creation Forum or in JIRA. To experience the changes, you’ll need to download the Project Viewer and upload any content using the new skeleton extensions to the Aditi Beta Test Grid (most regions on the Beta Test Grid will allow this; some may be in use for other testing and not yet have these updates). Once we have finalized the skeleton extensions, we will enable uploads using them to the main Second Life grid and the real fun can begin!

You can read the entire announcement by clicking here.

And check out this enticing video made by Gaia Clary;

Screen Shot 2015-12-16 at 23.20.15