Flipside Update #31 - Character body physics, Unity 2019 and more

- by Lux

Please note: This update includes some big changes which we wanted to give everyone time to test out safely and adapt to their projects, so to try it out you'll need to opt into our Beta release channel. Instructions on switching between release channels can be found here.

Body physics on characters

You can now add physics colliders to add body physics on your characters via the Flipside Creator Tools. Body physics lets actors interact in a more natural way with props and other elements of a set, and with each other.

It means you can high-five without hands passing through each other, swipe a bunch of props off a table in a fit of passion, or rest your arms comfortably at your sides without sinking into your body.

New characters created in version 0.26 of the Flipside Creator Tools or later will have body physics added automatically, and existing characters can easily be updated using the new GenerateColliders component. Learn more about generating colliders on characters here.

Body colliders are highly customizable to suit the needs of any character, but there will be edge cases and bugs along the way. Head over to our Discord community for help or to let us know if something isn't working the way it should.

Unity 2019.2

This release is also the first that's built on Unity 2019.2. If you're using the Flipside Creator Tools with the latest Alpha channel release, you'll need to upgrade Unity to version 2019.2.11f1. Information on how to upgrade, including how to update your characters and sets, can be found here.

Unity has seen a ton of improvements since the previous version we were on (2017.4), including:

Some of these changes will take time to make their way into Flipside Studio and the Flipside Creator Tools, but they pave the way for a faster, leaner, and bright Flipside future.

Note: If you're sticking with the Stable branch, do not upgrade to 2019.2 yet. Stick with 2017.4 to ensure compatibility.

Other improvements

In addition to the above, we've also made a number of other fixes and improvements in this release:

  • Clone objects in Set Builder mode by grabbing them and pressing the trigger. The trigger used to turn snapping on or off, which was moved to the B/Y buttons on Oculus and the thumbpad on SteamVR. This makes dressing sets so much faster.
  • NDI support so you can stream low-latency high quality video from Flipside Studio to video capture devices over the network. Look for it in the desktop camera switcher's settings menu.
  • Flipside Studio now launches 2-3x faster!
  • Many other performance optimizations and reliability improvements.

Flipside Creator Tools improvements in Unity 2019.2

We've made some big improvements to the character and set previewing capabilities of the Flipside Creator Tools in version 0.25. When you press play in Unity, hopping into VR to preview now lets you do these cool things:

  • You'll now see your controllers in VR, just like in Flipside Studio.
  • Preview your character's facial expressions using the thumbpad on your left hand controller, just like in Flipside Studio.
  • Teleport around the scene using the thumbpad on your right hand controller, so you can preview your characters and sets from any angle.
  • Use your controllers to test collider and toggle interactions.

Information on how to upgrade, including how to update your characters and sets, can be found here.

Known issues

  • Some characters and sets built in Unity 2017 import with shader and lightmap issues. We do some auto-upgrading magic, but it doesn't cover every case. Cases it can't auto-fix will need to be rebuilt for 2019.
  • Animations in sets built in Unity 2017 don't play in the Unity 2019.2 builds (both Animators and Playable Assets). They import with errors, so sets with animations will need to be rebuilt for 2019.
  • Characters and sets built in Unity 2017 take slightly longer to load, due to the aforementioned auto-upgrading magic.
  • Adding or removing props on an existing recording is broken. For now, sets need to be dressed before the first take.