- by John Luxford
This update has been a few weeks in the making, and we're super excited to share these improvements with you, so let's jump right in!
The Flipside Creator Tools now support importing not just your own custom characters, but your own complete sets too! Along with our custom props and skies, Flipside Studio is now the only VR animation software that gives you complete control as a content creator.
Our mission is to empower you as a creator, and this is the last major piece of that puzzle in terms of customizing your shows. But don't think that means we're close to finished; we're only going to make it better and better from here.
Flipside's character importing now works with Unity's Dynamic Bone plugin for more realistic hair, cloth, and tail movement. This is part of our continued effort to make your characters - the heart of your shows - come to life.
Flipside's characters now support facial expressions, lip syncing, natural eye movement, full body movement and tracking, and now realistic hair, cloth, and tail movement too. And we're proud to be able to say that every one of these features works through the Flipside Creator Tools, because it's the same tool we use to build our own character sets too.
Flipside's character importing now supports a third mode for lip syncing, which we call Simplified Blend Shapes. Our full blend shape mapping requires individual shapes for each viseme (aah, ih, oh, ou, etc.), which many character models don't have. Our new Simplified Blend Shape mapping option still lets you map the facial expressions and eye movements, but it uses only one "open mouth" shape to control the lip syncing.
This means as long as a character has a default (closed mouth) state and one open mouth shape, it should still work in Flipside. It also means Flipside can now achieve effects like Muppet-style mouth movements!
The updated Flipside Creator Tools also automatically maps Adobe Fuse characters to this simplified setup, so Fuse users don't have to do anything to map their facial expressions, eyes, or lip syncing.
We've expanded the properties panel for props in the Set Builder to work with cameras and preview monitors too now, and added our first customizable camera setting: enable/disable camera shake.
To open the properties panel, grab the camera or prop and press either the Application Menu button on HTC Vive, or the A/X buttons on the Oculus Touch controllers.
A few users have expressed that when using the teleporter, it would be great if they could see where their boundaries are - a suggestion that we decided to move on sooner than later. The next time you use the teleporter, you'll notice that in addition to the marker that shows where you'll land, you'll also see the boundaries of your play area so you can see where you can walk around at your teleporter destination. We will also be rolling out some visual updates to the teleporter in the near future!
Join us on our Discord chat, our community forum, or our Steam discussion page to let us know what you think, to share your Flipside creations, and to get to know others in the Flipside Creator Community.
We're learning so much from all of you that are helping shape Flipside Studio into the product that it is. A big thank you from our whole team for that invaluable input!