Wednesday, 18 March 2015

RELEASE ANNOUNCEMENT: PARAMOUR MULTI-ANIMATION CONTROLLER (PMAC) v.1.01

Release Announcement: PMAC 1.01

It gives me considerable pleasure to announce the long-awaited release of the Paramour Multi-Animation Controller (PMAC) v1.01., a no-poseball script system intended for use in almost any piece of furniture that needs to be able to position and animate multiple avatars at once.

PMAC is designed to offer a high performance alternative to existing systems such as MLP, nPose, and xPose. PMAC uses a core engine that leverages the powerful OSSL functions available only in Opensim to drastically increase the script's speed and reliability while at the same time using only a fraction of the simulator resources of the existing systems.

Key Features

  • WORKS IN ANYTHING - The PMAC system can be put into anything, from a single-prim scultpy blanket or one-piece mesh sofa to an elaborate multi-piece bedroom linkset. You can put it in a simple pine cube prim if you feel like it. There's nothing extra to attach and hide or position nearby. All it takes is a single prim. The only "requirement" is that PMAC must be in the root prim of an object.
     
  • NO POSEBALLS - There are no poseballs used at all for PMAC. None to disguise or hide as part of the furniture, none that have to be rezzed and sat on, none to get lost inside a sofa or buried underground or scattered around a sim...all of the users simply sit on the furniture item that contains the main script and PMAC takes care of the rest using a "virtual poseball" approach that exists within the logic of the script.
     
  • A TRUE MULTI-AVATAR CONTROLLER - PMAC systems can be set up to handle animations for 1 to as many as 9 avatars with the flexibility to load any preset configuration on the fly. You could set it up in a sofa to act like a sit AO when you're lounging around alone, and quickly turn it into a couples controller when that special someone comes to visit, and then switch it into a multi-person handler when you have even more company...and it's all available virtually instantly from the menu without the need to stand up or reset...all adjustments are done on the fly during use. Now your VL furniture items can be just as flexible as your RL ones are.
     
  • REGION-FRIENDLY - Most multi-avatar controllers are pretty harsh on a simulator, eating up valuable cycles, and memory and other script resources. PMAC's extensive use of OSSL functions allows it to drastically reduce this overhead. The core PMAC system is a single script. Yep, a fully functional controller for up to 9 avi all done with one low-footprint script. When not in use, it is completely dormant and uses virtually no simulator resources at all (just the tiny amount of memory required for the script itself). Even when in use, the system's footprint barely changes -- unlike SL systems with poseball scripts, animation handler scripts, multiple timers, multiple listeners, high message traffic, large menu memory consumption, and all the other complications that LSL-based scripts are subject to. Even with 9 avatars seated all it uses is a single script and single listener. The only time it ever uses a timer is on those rare occasions when you're editing positions or setting up a new system.
     
  • SPEED - The total time to initialize a typical PMAC system is approximately one second. That's right, just 1 second! If for some reason you need to reset it you'll be ready to use it again almost instantly. Due to its unique OSSL-based menu method, PMAC dialogs pop up right away even for very extensive set-ups with hundreds of different animations.
     
  • SYNCH - PMAC uses the tried and true Paramour synch method, keeping up to 9 avatars moving in perfect unison once their animations are in your viewer's cache.
     
  • FULL NPC INTEGRATION - Want some company but none of your friends are online? PMAC can rez a NPC (or two, or three, or up to eight!) to join you instead. When you're done, PMAC tucks them away again for next time. You can pick who, where, and when at the touch of a couple simple dialog buttons.
     
  • AUTO-MODE - Don't want to have to change your own animations? Simply engage PMAC's auto mode and let the system do it for you -- more or less like engaging a sit AO for up to 9 people. Timing can be chosen from a variety of options and changed on the fly; and you can configure the system to engage it automatically on start-up so your furniture is fully active without ever even needing to see a dialog (but of course you can simply touch the object to bring up the menu and disengage this at any time).
     
  • SWAPPING - You can quickly and easily swap positions with anyone else -- even if they aren't there and it's just an unoccupied "virtual position".
     
  • AUTO HEIGHT ADJUSTMENTS - PMAC automatically adjusts positions based on each avatar's height (although admittedly this is a very rudimentary estimate and depends a lot on how the original animation was created). In many cases this will be sufficient unless you have a very tall or short avatar.
     
  • ON-THE-FLY POSITION ADJUSTMENTS - The owner can make more detailed adjustments to avatar positioning at any time, rapidly and on the fly, and it remains temporarily stored in the script's memory or can be saved permanently with no interuption for the users.
     
  • NO NOTECARD EDITING FOR USERS - If the owner wishes to persist any position adjustments to the system's notecards, PMAC facilitates this by handling it all with the touch of a single dialog button. No more copy-pasting reams of text from chat into a notecard and hoping you don't mess something up! Typically the only time you'll manually open and edit a notecard is when making major changes such as adding new animations or deleting existing ones.
     
  • EASY CONFIGURATION - PMAC can be fully configured in the script or -- thanks to a bit of script Seth kindly donated -- via an optional configuration notecard which some users might find a little less intimidating to do.
     
  • USER ACCESS RESTRICTIONS - The PMAC system has a variety of settings allowing you to control who can use it, who can access which menus or animations, who can rez which NPCs, and other similar access-control restrictions.
     
  • POWERFULL ADD-ON COMMAND SYSTEM INTEGRATION - As a design goal, I wanted the PMAC system to be easy and intuitive enough to just "rez and play" without what can be a rather nasty learning curve of many other systems. I also felt it was imperative to optimize PMAC's performance, simulator footprint, and XEngine demands. As a result, only the most important and commonly-demanded features are part of the core "out of the box" PMAC system.

    However, I also wanted to offer the flexibility for more advanced builders and users to enhance its functions, capabilities and offerings, so PMAC incorporates an integrated and extremely powerful command system that opens up almost endless possibilities via the use of scripted add-ons. If PMAC doesn't do something you want it to do, it's very likely that an add-on can be scripted to do it in conjunction with PMAC's command system -- at the expense of the additional script(s) overhead.

    I will likely create add-ons for the most often-requested extra features (an Expressions add-on is included with the initial PMAC general release); but anyone with reasonable scripting skills can write their own custom applications for specialized requirements. The only limits are likely to be your imagination (and ability to script it).
     
  • COMPANION MLP CONVERTER - Thanks to Seth Nygard, existing MLP 2.x systems can be easily converted to PMAC in a matter of minutes using a conversion script he kindly wrote for the system. Look for the "PMAC Builder's Kit" which contains this script and everything else you need to take an existing MLP system and turn it into a PMAC system in less than 10 minutes and requires absolutely no scripting knowledge!
     
  • FREE - The PMAC system is the culmination of many months of work and almost 5 years of development and testing of various approaches to making the "next generation" multi-avatar controller. I'm releasing it to the Opensim community for free and full perm (under Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International license). Any general release add-ons I create for it in future will be free, too, and I sincerely hope that other add-on creators will follow suit and donate their enhancements to the community as well. If you write a good one that you feel many people would want to use, I'd be happy to consider adding it as part of a future core release.
     
  • Initial general release version 1.01 includes the PAO Expression add-on. This is an add-on script I wrote to duplicate the function of the MLP Expressions add-on, allowing each animation to trigger any of the 20 built-in facial animations. The MLP2.x converter Seth wrote will convert and store existing MLP expressions to the PAO Expression format at the same time it converts the main object.
     
  • CAVEAT: This item only works in regions where OSSL is enabled and the script-owner has sufficient permissions to use the necessary functions. Consult your region host if you are unsure whether the system will work for you.
     
  • Currently not supported (no add-on yet scripted): MLP's object-rezzing, chains, or sequences add-ons. These can all be added via the add-on command system.

PMAC 1.01 Builders Kit with MLP2.x Converter

This initial release is supplied as a "Builders Kit" packaged with the new MLP2.x-to-PMAC1.x conversion utility written by Seth Nygard specifically to make the conversion of existing MLP objects to MLP a quick and easy process. If you have any MLP object, you can use this package to convert it to PMAC in a matter of minutes, even if you don't know a thing about scripting.

Contents

  • PMAC 1.01 core script
  • PAO Expressions 1.0 add-on script
  • Seth Nygard's MLP2.x to PMAC 1.x conversion script
  • All supporting PMAC core, add-on and converter documentation
  • Additional core contents (P1 base synch animation, Ruth Enpeecee demo NPC, edit mode positioning handle

Where to Get it


For the time being this kit will be available from the lobby of my Hedonism club in Refuge Grid (refugegrid.com:8002:Hedonism) although in future I hope to have a more suitable in-grid location set up for people to try it out "in store" and to offer specific furniture designed for its use.

You can see it in action in my Paramour region (refugegrid.com:8002:Paramour) where you will find it in the divan in the south-west corner of the palace, and in a blanket on the island on the eastern side of the region. Please be patient when visiting Paramour, it's hosted on my home system which is considerably slower than the profession server system that hosts Refugegrid and my Hedonism region.

You should also soon be able to get a boxed copy from Dorothea Lunquist's Love & Peace furniture store in OSGrid. Thank you Doro!

You should also soon be able to get a boxed copy from Nara Malone in Nara's Nook Grid (most likely in Greyville region). Huge thanks to Nara for being a guinea-pig during the beta phase.

Anyone else wishing to distribute copies should contact me in world to make arrangements. There are special considerations for the simulator and boxing set-up to ensure that all contained scripts, notecards and objects are correctly transferred and I wish to ensure that your distribution set-up will work -- if it won't, I'll explain what's necessary to do so.