Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Future for Avatars - Deformations FAQ

The following is reprinted with the kind permission of Daryth Kennedy from a note card received in-world:

Daryth and the rest of the Isle of Wyrms staff would very much appreciate your support for the JIRA issue:

Avatars in Second Life have been evolving since the very beginning. If you’d like to see them continue to improve with more realistic movement and more artistic possibilities, please help by voting to support Deformations.

This is an issue that effects the future for all Avatar collectors and creators. Without official support, LL has plans to disable the uploading of future Deformation anims. Our aim is to fight to gain proper support from LL for deformations instead of letting this amazing tool be disabled.


What are Deformations?
Deformations transform the appearance of an avatar beyond what
can normally be achieved via "Edit Appearance"
A deform animation can move a joint such as a knee or elbow to a different location, allowing for shapes and animations beyond the movement and size restrictions of
a basic human skeleton.

Why are Deformations important?

Both the Basilisk Dragons/Wyrmlings/Hatchlings and the Seawolf dragons use
deformations as a vital component of their construction. Neither sets of AVs could
look the way they do without Deformations.
*see Below the FAQ for a longer list of reasons to support Deformations*

Why is this JIRA important?

Although LL have agreed to respect existing content with respect to deformations
they plan to patch the route via which new deformations can be created thus making
it difficult/impossible for new content to use deformations. IF we can get LL to adopt
this JIRa then deformations, in some fashion, will become a supported part of the SL
experience and eligible for a few annoying bugs to be fixed.
Why is your vote so important?

Currently LL are primarily only concentrating on infrastructure work on SL. Several
Lindens have stated that work of this nature will only be undertaken if a JIRA receives
a lot of votes. Previous JIRAs have needed around 1000 votes in order to get LL to
sit-up and take notice.

We feel that this issue is much more than content created within the context of the
Isle of Wyrms and to that end IoW staff have been working closely with Seawolf staff
to raise awareness of this issue to both are communities and to other avatar creators
in Second Life.
What's this I hear about Gryphons?

Development is well underway and they'll be the next avatar available at the Isle of
Wyrms cathedral. Other creatures such as phoenix, chimeras, dragon turtles, and
hippogriff are also on the drawing board for later in the year.
Six reasons to support Deformations

* Improves the overall appearance of SL * much like sculpties have, by increasing the potential for more realistic and artistic creations.

* They would help SL look less out-of-date * While LL is celebrating that SL is six years old, it also means the technology is at least six yeas out of date ... something like deformations will help bring SL back up to the animation level that people see & expect in 2009. All LL has to do with something like deformations is properly support it and the content creators will take care of the rest ...

* They allow for more out of the box thinking * For many people, being something other than human in a virtual world is simply a given: why be human when you could be ANYTHING else. Deformations allow for much more impressively created & animated avatars.

* They may even increase the appeal of SL to new players * or those that might have left, by allowing for a higher level of quality in animations and character design.

* Disabling the ability to use deforms wont solve the problem * If LL's concern is griefing or misuse, there's already a slew of ugly deform anims in SL, pulling the plug on any new ones isn't going to make the griefing go away. Its just like any other tool in SL, there's always people who are going to abuse them, the root of the problem is the people themselves not the tool they use.

* LL can claim its a feature and not just another bug * They won't have to do a lot of work for something that appears to add "new" functionality - just clean up the functionality of something that's already there.
Useful Links:

The main JIRA issue:
The Council forum post for info & updates:
Stickman Ingmann's page on how to vote for a JIRA:
Thank you for your time and your vote

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