Idle Actions are one of the key tools to making a 3D product come to life in IMVU. An Idle Action is the default action for a 3D product. It is the type of Action that plays without needing any input from a person. This functionality allows Waves to always move in a Room product, a Magic Pillow seat to Float up and down forever, a Pet cupid to always Flap its Wings and an Avatar to shift position on its own.
Avatars, Pets, Furniture and Rooms can all use Idle Animations.
This tutorial covers how to use a Create Mode Editor to assemble pre-Exported Assets into Idle Actions. However, it does not cover how to build those Assets. If you want to learn how to build Animations, please consult the following tutorials:
Create Mode Introduction
Any 3D product can contain Idle Actions. However, they are most common in Avatars, Pets, Rooms and Furniture.
The following is a description of how the IMVU Action system works:
All Actions are found in the Actions tab in a Create Mode Editor. To learn more about the various tabs in the Editor, please consult the Create Mode Introduction tutorial.
To learn more about the details of the Actions Tab, please consult the Actions Tab Tutorial.
The Idle Animation utilizes Randomness. You will notice that your Avatar doesn't do the same thing in the same order all the time. This is because its Idle Action contains multiple Animations and plays them at random.
There are three names to keep in mind when building an Idle Action:
As mentioned above, you can have multiple Actions in one product. However, you can also have multiple Actions in one product with the same name. This means, for example, you can have multiple Actions named stance.Idle which, in turn, means that you can drive multiple, independent Animations at the same time.
The avatar has a special Idle that is controlled by the IMVU code rather by an Action you under your full control. This special code Triggers an Action randomly if it is called Blink. The Blink Animations IMVU has made are very short Animations - no longer than a few frames. This makes the Blinks feel real when played in IMVU (and at random framerates on random computers.) This means that the Blink code has been tweaked to perform rapidly which, in turn, means that your Blink Animations ought to also be very short or they won't look right.
As a reminder, any Animation Asset included in an Action can have loop effects applied to it regardless whether it is a Skeletal Animation - .xaf file or a Morph Animation .xpf file.
The loop settings in the Ensemble tell an Animation which portion it ought to play over and over and for how many times. While you can set a number of loops in the loop settings, you can also tell the Ensemble to randomly play more loops using the 'Extra # of loops (up to)' field.
One of the most important features of Idle Actions (and Actions in general) is Blending. This allows the currently playing Animation to Blend into the next Animation. Without using Blending, those two Animations would just pop as Action A stopped and Action B began.
Idle Actions should always have their 'Composition' set to 'Average'. This allows Triggered Animations to replace the Bone Positions and Rotation (if those Triggered Animations are set to 'Replace', of course.)
If your Idle Action is set to 'Replace', then any other Actions you have set to 'Replace' will not actually replace anything.