New Features in 4.2

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Added Features (excerpt)

  • Custom Avatars.
  • Optional mipmapping on pictures and signs.
  • Usage of fonts with sign text.
  • Storing outgoing telegrams.
  • Unified and highly improved image processor for all image file formats.
  • Support for palette-indexed image file formats, such as PNG-8 BW-JPG.
  • Transparent toolbars in PNG format are supported.
  • Web Capturing, displaying any web page on an object in world.
  • Chat log timestamps.
  • Voice Chat Zones.
  • Impoved Voice Chat quality with up to 44.1kHz sampling rate.
  • Improved media capabilities and quality.
  • Improved shadow rendering performance.
  • Powerful action command triggers for entering and leaving zones.
  • Addons/Plugins to the browser.
  • Scaleable Objects.
  • Easier game prototyping.


Upcoming Features



Build 1057

November 2011

  • Fixed Prof-UIS interfering with embedded IE 9 on Windows Vista and later.


Build 1056

November 2010

  • Customer specific build.


Build 1055

November 2009 beta
November 2009 release

  • Fixed skybox rendering for 'dirty' geometries (like in Alphaworld), providing propper z-depth rendering.
  • Fixed web-url display when url field was edited, yet the refresh button was pressed.
  • Fixed AWG-file validation for object groups loaded from the OP.


New in Build 1053 and 1054

13th October 2009 beta
22th October 2009 release

  • Added more JPEG subformat to the supported list of image formats.
  • Added a 3 state toggle switch for drawing the cell grid z-enabled or z-disabled.
  • Disallowed group (AWG) files using a relative url-path and checking the downloaded content.
  • Displaying the embedded web-browser's url as reported by the IE API insteed the initial requested url.


New in Build 1052

18th September 2009 beta
25th September 2009 release

  • Added another JPEG subformat to the supported list of image formats.
  • Drawing cell grid on top of all objects and increasing its area of 400 by 400 meters.
  • Fixed a crashing issue that could occur while duplicating objects out of visible range or beyond world boundaries.
  • Solved an issue that could have lead to sporadic crashes, when mirrors were located at the avatar's world entry location, in particular during launching the browser.
  • Fixed an issue with screensavers, when camera updates eventually continued and failed
  • Fixed, when pictures were animated images (gif or filmstrips), they eventually were not rendered in correct alpha render order.


New in Build 1051

8th September 2009 beta
11th September 2009 release

  • Tiny images smaller than 32 by 32 pixels, in particular when filmstripped, were resized when loaded and may have produced gradiant colors after rescaling.
  • Filmstrips stopped animating when they were downloaded the first time and short after revisted.
  • The Close Button (X) for closing 3D overlayed webpages no longer disappears when toggling fullscreen mode (Alt+Return).
  • Fixed an issue when shadows caused certain surfaces disappearing, if one or more materials without texture (texture NULL) had been assigned to geometry's surfaces within the model's file. Fixed by changing rendering order of shadows. (i.e. gfence1.rwx in AWTeen - issue occured since avatar shadows were added).
  • Fixed an issue when shadows caused certain objects or surfaces disappearing, if matfx was used and the only material used had no texture applied (texture NULL) within the model. Fixed by moving model clumps with matfx applied, into alpha rendering order. (i.e. pictwall2.rwx - note, this issue is not directly related to the similar issue from above, it is a special case of it).
  • Fixed bouncing to the world entry point, when the connection to the world server was lost and reestablished.
  • Fixed avatar movements not working right at high coordinates in a world (coordinates higher than 10000 cells or 10,000 meters and higher) when forcing the browser to high framerates above 60fps.


New in Build 1050 beta

1st September 2009 beta

  • Picture updates appeared to be broken, in particular when mipmapped and non-mipmapped versions of the same image source were invloved.
  • Fixed rendering order for transparent models against the water surface.


New in Build 1048 and 1049 beta

24th August 2009 beta

  • Fixed more issues that eventually lead to sporadic crashes on download failures from the web, for pictures and sound/noise.
  • Fixed possible buffer overflow when loading misformated object groups from AWG-files.
  • Fixed issue when teleporting from an external web-link to an area where native matfx using the default glossy textures were used. When the browser was started through DDE/MIME, the working folder was not yet set at the time the first objects were loaded, what caused to fail loading the default matfx textures.
  • Fixed an issue that eventually crashed the application, when matfx was applied on filmstrip textures. Note, rendering matfx on animated filmstrips is still not supported. Animated GIFs also count as filmstrips, where movies (media command) will take the matfx command and continue to animate.
  • Fixed an issue where images got filmstripped, even they were not in JPG or BMP format (Build 1049).

Note, browser builds 1048 and later display Version 4.3.

New in Build 1047

11th August 2009 release

  • Fixed an issue that lead to a crash after about 5 minutes, if pictures (picture action command)failed to download.


New in Build 1046

5th August 2009 beta
9th August 2009 release

  • Fixes issues with the tex-dictionary occuring, when name-collisions happend from images downloaded from the world op, the universe op and external web servers. In worst case such name-collisions lead to crashes.


New in Build 1045 beta

3rd August 2009 privat build, not published

  • Fixed all 'skewed' text issues on signs.
  • Fixed an issue that caused crashes when switching to another world.
  • Fixed D3D7 not retrieving the correct texture rendering capabilities from the graphic driver.
  • Forced n^2 texture sizes in OpenGL rendering mode.
  • Improved text-rendering for HUD.
  • Added web-trigger for "aworld:?click <name>" to the embedded web-browser. It looks for the first object with the given name within visible range and triggers its activate command.


New in Builds 1042 to 1044 beta

30th July 2009 beta

  • Functionality has been added to query the graphic card driver for texture capabilities. The most significant capabilities of interest are:


a) does the underlaying hardware require textures in a size of power of 2.
b) does the underlaying hardware require textures in square dimensions.
c) are there restrictions when using odd sizes of texture in width and height or the aspect ration.

If for whatever reason the capabilities cannot be retrieven, the browser assumes the worst case.

  • Whenever the application encounters a change in color depth, or any other reason that keeps it from successfully continueing to render, the application will restart itsself without user notification. If the login name and password was stored, the avatar will reappear at exactly the same spot as before after restart. If the user name and password was not stored, the user will find the application after restart at the login prompt.
  • Fixed crashing issues which are related to hardware incompatibility.
  • Fixed an image processing issue with palette indexed JPG files (rare format).
  • Fixed screenshots could crash the application.


New in Build 1041 beta

28th July 2009 beta

  • All supported image formats are now detected by their magic number, rather than by extension. An unsupported magic number within an image file, is the first criteria to drop these images.
  • Added proper error messages for pictures failing (the picture action command).
  • If a picture action command failed, the previously applied textures was removed. Now the previous texture on the picture tag will remain.
  • Fixed a few minor glitches with image processing.
  • Fixed a potential crashing issue that occured on some ATI cards with HUD Text (not pictures shown), in affect of the latest changes of image processing.
  • Fixed a possible buffer overflow that might have occured from web-triggers.
  • Fixed an issue with the render bounding box, when builds were in an altitude of below or above of 500 meters.


New in Build 1040 beta

24th July 2009 beta

  • Added image-only-debug log by setting image=1 in the [debug] section of aworld.ini.
  • Added failing picture images to report errors in the chat, if 'Print Object Errors' is selected in the Options/Settings/Advanced tab.
  • Consider all mask-textures used by models in late-render queue.
  • Some GIF images came up with a border around the transparency mask, caused by palette color used for transpaerncy within the GIF.
  • The file extension is now only a secondary identicator for image formats. As the primary image format identicator magic numbers are used, thus allowing pictures downloaded from urls without needing an extension.
  • Fixed coronas disappeared behind "visible no" objects.
  • Fixed crashing issue when debug log was on and the last image in the queue failed.


New in Build 1039 beta

21st July 2009 beta

  • The built-in JPEG library reported warning and error messages verbosly in a popup window. Such warning messages are not displayedanymore.
  • Particle emitters using filmstrips (either a vertical chain of images from an jpg file or a gif animation) lead to 'Access Violation' errors, if the same filmstrip was used by another object nearby.
  • Some CAV textures did not appear as transparent. I.e. some (not all) Body-Art textures applied the selected color to the whole body. This was, because some images provided for CAV seem use indexed color palettes, which was not taken into account correctly.
  • Resampling, when shrinking or stretching an image in size, caused a one pixel wide white stripe on the right hand of image, if the image had transparent borders. This was caused by the pixel color averaging method that was applied when shrinking or stretching an image. Changing the method considering alpha of all neighbor pixels (not only alpha of the current pixel), fixed it.


New in Build 1038 beta

20th July 2009 beta

  • Microsoft's GDIPlus image processing library was removed and replaced, as it caused problems and lead to crashes over time.
  • The X-button was disappearing sometimes when web was open in the 3D viewport window - was related with other toolbuttons, like the basic mode, the register-now or renewal buttons. Changing avatar or switching the gesture bar off triggered it also.
  • Pictures using the mipmap option no longer fail loading when the same picture was used without mipmap nearby.
  • Semi-transparent textures (PNG) render in correct order now. Looking through semi-transparent textures clipped objects behind.
  • The world sector-border-issue that occured on zones and particles when changing to another world secter is fixed.
  • Z-buffering artefacts could be reduced by setting a smaller world box size of 710 meters (71 cells) insteed of 1200 meters (120 cells). This allows the renderer to calculate z-depth more accurate (see annotation).
  • When mover objects got deleted, but the linked objects remained, the linked object got invisible and could not be clicked anymore. Such 'missing links' are rendered visible and are clickable in build mode now.

Annotation

A world box is a cube defining the renderer's current scene. World sectors are smaller as the world box, to allow correct rendering and geometry collisions across world sector borders. For example, if a world sector covers an area of 1000 meters squared (100 cells), the according world box should cover at least the same area adding the maximal visible view distance, so it would be 1200 meters (120 cells) squared. Reducing the world box to 710 square meters (71 cells, note a prime was used) and consequently setting the world sector size to 500 square meters (50 cells) bei keeping the maximal visible view distance at 200 meters (20 cells), has the effect that distances between objects within the world box can be calculated more precice as the relative distance between the geometry, in aspect of the considering world sector coordinate system, is higher.

New in Build 1037 beta

30th June 2009 beta

  • Software compliance to Windows 7. In particular better DEP and UAC compliance, since Microsoft released documention on 18th June 2009 about Data Execution Prevention that has been used on XP and Vista since years.
  • Fixed an issue with media, if the Windows Media API reported an 'invalid data' event (NS_E_INVALID_DATA), causing the media to stop playing. Media will now continue playing and listening to further WM-API events, if such an event occurs.
  • Fixed voice chat quality slider setting was not working as expected.
  • Fixed show-menu got double entries after switching message files.
  • GrabFrame Addon now is disabled in software rendering mode, as the desired frame image conversion method is not available by the software engine.


New in Build 1035 and 1036

February/March 2009

  • Added new layouts.
  • Fixes toolbar of Object Property dialog not fully rendering always.


New in Build 1034

28th December 2008 beta
31th December 2008 release

  • Fixed VoIP not obeying forced compression (VoIP server plugin 4.0.0.18 required).
  • Fixed "Resource was unavailable" errors (Windows running out of UI resource handles with fonts on signs).
  • Faster application shutdown.
  • Fixed potentional issue with object property dialog causing crashes.
  • Fixed an issue with auto-login, if stored username/password was too long, too short or contained invalid characters, and login dialog was not displayed.
  • Fixed issue where SDK controlled avatar changes did not shown in the target avatar's browser.
  • VoIP Server Plugin 4.0.0.18:
    • Optimized performance, less CPU usage, when forcing a compression (disallow individual compression selected by client software), switching internal sampling rate to the sampling rate of the forced compression saves additional sampling rate conversions.


New in Build 1033

24th November 2008 beta
29th November 2008 release

  • Fixed VoIP userlist not always been correct, in particualr in VoIP zones (world server build 98 is required);
  • Fixed wireframe renderer was broken when the same textures were used with the same mesh;
  • Fixed mover lock-position entries in the property dialog box were not accepted;
  • Fixed particle emmitters could crash, when attempting to change a PE using a value 0(zero) for the minimum release time.
  • SDK Build 77:
    • Fixed aw_wait returning an error if the current instance is set to NULL.
    • Added feature to unify right-string appearance internally.
  • World Server Build 98:
    • Fixed VoIP group handling and updated VoIP plugin to 4.0.0.17 fixing voip login procedure
    • Added feature to unify right-string appearance internally.


New in Build 1032

18th November 2008 beta
20th November 2008 release

  • Fixed an issue that occured in build 1031 only, in regards to ATI graphic cards not scoping well with Vertical Sync. vsync is now an optional setting in aworld.ini, and is off by default.
  • Fixed an issue that occured in build 1031 only, where all filmstrips were treated as transparent images, even they were in jpg image format.


New in Build 1031 beta

17th November 2008 beta

Taken over from 5.0:

  • Fixed gaps when moving objects at high coordinates.
  • Calculating object moves in double precision (64 bit) floating point numbers for more accuracy.
  • Accurate display of x-y-z- coordinates in the object property dialog.
  • Voice chat was reset when world attributes changed.
  • Fixed a transparency issue caused by the skybox, clearing z-buffer and do not clear image buffer each frame.
  • Treat PNG and GIF formatted textures and pictures the same way as masked textures in regards of transparency.

Other changes:

  • Shadows were rebuilt when world attributes changed.
  • Keep the size of scaled objects when selecting them and display an orange bounding box in order to mark them visibly as scaled object.


New in Build 1030

7th November 2008 beta
10th November 2008 release

  • Fixed crashing issue related with model-update-queue, occured most when scanning through worlds for a long time or switching worlds/login after staying at a crowded area for a a longer period of time.
  • Fixed toolbar not redrawing when floating or when message set is switched.


New in Build 1029 beta

23rd October 2008 beta

  • Fixed control items were checking input values on change, insteed when they lose input focus.
  • Added support for object downloads from SSL/https servers.
  • Omit parts of CAV presets written to the debug log by default.


New in Build 1028

17th October 2008 beta

  • Added optional world feature to limit wait-time on action commands (applies to move, rotate and scale).
  • Added display of used cell size in percentage and bytes in the object property dialog when single-selecting an object.
  • More precise avatar rotation and pitch, makes it easier to adjust yaw and look level.
  • Camera collision: Smoothen camera zoom-out.
  • CAV: changed behavior of shape modifiers for breasts.
  • Rolled back multi-object-selection rounding error issue fix, to what it was before build 1025.
  • World Server Build 96:
    • Moved building seed object from admin tool to world server.
    • Setting default world attributes when attributes are reset and when world is added.
    • Added world option setting to limit the wait time for move, rotate and scale commands.
  • Admin Tool Build 45:
    • Moved building seed object from admin tool to world server (for worlds before build 96, the seend object still will be built by the admin tool).
  • SDK Build 76:
    • Added world attribut to limit the wait time for move, rotate and scale commands.
  • COM-SDK Build 76:
    • Added world attribut to limit the wait time for move, rotate and scale commands.
    • Fixed callback enumeration.


New in Build 1027 beta

9th October 2008 beta

  • Continue 3D rendering while selecting from gesture sub-menus.
  • Added nonav option to web action command to omit the navigation window on click.
  • Fixed mirrors, self-avatar not rendering in mirror when in 1st person view.
  • Fixed semi-transparent edges on sign text surfaces as a result of Windows' resizing methods for images to 32 bit images when using high quality convert settings (bicubic, bilinear, or trilinear image pixel manipulations).


New in Build 1026

7th October 2008 beta
9th October 2008 release

  • Fixed move action command was not resetting to initial position always, if model was hidden after wait time elapsed.
  • Fixed local path may exceed 255 characters in length.


New in Build 1025

24th September 2008

  • Fixed universe ejection dialog not showing correct data after adding a new ejection.
  • Corrected error messages in ejection dialogs.
  • Fixed registration dialog not shown during login process when citizen was expired.
  • Corrected error messages in login and welcome dialogs.
  • Fixed 3D view window remained dark sometimes.
  • Added displaying "Loading" during inital browser startup in 3D view window.
  • Fixed "long nose" distortion of CAV. The browser now applies the walk animation sequence before applying the geometry deformation, assuming the walk sequence starts with an (almost) standard position. If the walk sequence is missing, no CAV deformation will be applied.
  • Improved rendering performance speed of animation sequences and media by considerung view frustum (if model is seen or not).
  • Multi-object-selection rounding error: The smallest possible unit we can store with elemts is 1 centimeter (1 cell / 1000 or 1 meter / 100 or 0.01 meters). The issue that became obvious cause we save such object selection directly to awg files. In fact it has been in there since long time, and at least the SDK/world server truncated to centimeters always.
  • Multi-object-selection: fixed ZYX-coordinate-cross not always rendering beyond world sector limits (every 1000 meters or 100 cells).


New in Build 1024

18th September 2008 beta
22nd September 2008 release

  • Re-Adding gesture-shortcuts (Alt-key + Letter).
  • Added an option to reduce volume of all encounted media (apply to wm-signs and global streams).
  • Fixed F4 key could not be assigned.
  • Allow assigning the F11 key where Show Position is assigned to Ctrl+F11 key now.
  • Show Menu is reordered by function key by default, unless specified differntly in the menu configuration file.
  • Addressed an cache-open issue, when World-CAV-Path was set to the world's OP, yet the http:// prefix was missing.
  • Improved performance speed on model changes slightly (rotate, scale, move, etc).
  • Added browse-file button to GrabFrame configuration dialog.
  • Multi monitor maximized window size changed back to build 1020 an earlier. Maximizing the application window does no longer attempt to cover all monitors in a multi-monitor setup, insteed capability to scale the window in restored window mode has been added. Fullscreen mode covers the screen of the main window's current monitor. Reasons is, cause various graphic card's drivers return inconsistent results in total virtual dimension of a multi monitor setup.
  • SDK 75 and World 95: Added capability to send object clicks and object bumps to a single session, as well as allowing global bots sending these events globaly.
  • Enabled shadow action command for objects as special command.
  • Added world feature to set camera zoom - requires build 95 or later of the world server.
  • Assign the same functionality to the numpad enter key as to the return key.
  • Added stop and reset options to the web action command.
  • Camera Object's default zoom (1.0) changed to 100% of the camera zoom setting in the world features, that all camera zoom settings are based and the same value.


New in Build 1023 beta

9th September 2008

  • Added collision statistics to engine metrics.
  • Added 'Application Shutdown' notification window and ensuring server connections are properly closed before exiting, to prevent leaving the connections open and getting a "The account is already in use..." warning message on immidiate subsequent restarts (e.g. when upgrading).
  • Loading AWG files no longer interfers with visible objects in a cell.
  • Fixed incorrect behavior when scale and rotate are applied on the same object.
  • Fixed crashing issues that might occur when media urls fail, or in the case a shoutcast server referenced is not broadcasting.
  • Fixed, unused "cursor" statement in action command trigger was closing the property dialog.
  • Fixed, pressing Cltr+C (for Cut&Paste) was closing the teleport and citizen dialogs.
  • Fixed, GrabFrame Addon crashing, if no output method was enabled.
  • Fixed international language files displaying wrong messages in the CAV dialog.


New in Build 1022

4th September 2008

  • Added Build Icons Size adjustment (scaleable from 5cm to 60cm) in Option/Settings/General tab.
  • Fixed a potentional crashing issue with the say action command.
  • Fixed an issue where build-icons were not freed from memory.


New in Build 1021

3rd September 2008

  • Scaleable Objects: (scale x y z [loop OR noloop] [sync OR nosync] [reset OR noreset] [time=time] [wait=wait] [name=name] [smooth] [global]). The scale command is treated like the move command and can be added to the special command list for usage restriction.
  • Added support for dual monitors in maximized and fullscreen mode.
  • Modified Teleport and Settings dialalogs to modeless windows insteed of modular dialogs (not locking the main window anymore).
  • Restore main window size when the GrabFrame addon is stopped.
  • Fixed various resizing issues, when no window is docked to the main frame.


New in Build 1020 beta

29th August 2008

  • Added Addon (plugin) to grab rendered frames, GramFrame allows saving to file, streaming live off your PC, pushing your stream to a sever;
  • Fixed an issue with zone names.
  • Fixed issues with the embedded media player.
  • Other minor issues are addressed as well.


New in Build 1019 beta

14th August 2008

  • Fixed a crashing issue that occured sporadically.


New in Build 1018 beta

14th August 2008

  • Voice Chat improved to adjust sampling rates up to CD quality.
  • Voice Chat can now be switched to either world global or within visible range (avatars out of range others are muted, still listed).
  • Voice Chat added option settings (chat tab) to select the voice capture and voice playback devices.
  • Voice Chat added optional microphone boost and 3D pan switches.
  • Voice Chat Zones fixed.
  • Engine Metrics display in Designer Mode shows numbers in your system settings (thousand-separator, decimal point) and texture stream size in MB.
  • Fixed issue where HUD was not rendered after re-login or world disconnect.
  • Added a tag name to zone.
  • Added new action command trigger statments "enter zone <name>" and "exit zone <name>" to trigger events when entering or leaving zones, and is a very powerful feature even just mentioned in one line here.
  • Added "say" action command statement.
  • Along with these modifications a world server is updated to build 94 and the SDKs are updated to build 74.


New in Build 1017

28th July 2008

  • Fixed a crashing issue caused by the metrics display option, even it was not on.


New in Build 1016

24th July 2008

  • Adjustable shadow quality. Helps a good deal to increase frame rate while shadows are on.
  • Display telegram sent date in standard date format, the short-date of the system-user's locale setting (e.g. US time format mm/dd/yyyy, and European time format dd.mm.yyyy).
  • Automatically adjust count of fully rendered near avatars from 1/4 of the limit up to the full limit specified in options/settings/chat tab.
  • Improved speed controlling shape in CAV dialog, added CAV dialog text to message set and added various randomize buttons to CAV dialog.
  • COM SDK build 73 (also known as VB SDK) supports all features of the C-SDK (now including V4 objects, terrain, CAV, all callbacks and events and all attributes).
  • Improved HUD text rendering.
  • Optional Designer Mode (Video settings) displaying render engine metrics (like count of triangles, vertices, materiel, lights, textures and total texture size rendered per frame).


New in Build 1015

10th July 2008

  • Added simple terrain rights management (world rights).
  • Optional mipmap quality settings (affects video ram usuage and framrate) in performance settings.
  • Session based CAV, enabling individual CAVs for tourists and bots to set/load/save custom avatars.
  • Added auto-registration of mover objects when issueing an world admin property load function (SDK: aw_object_load ()), to initiate and registry movers to the server automatically without restarting the world server.
  • Fixed an issue where the web page wasn't sized properly always when opening the embedded web browser the first time.
  • Added restart-required when media res has changed (options/downloads).


New in Build 1014

2nd July 2008

  • Added option displaying timestamp in chat log, alternatively VRT or local time.
  • Ensure scrolling chat log to the last line when restoring the window from minimized state and when switching timestamp.
  • Improved media quality and increased possible resolution to 1024, in order to render HD formats. Improved media aspect ratio detection and scale rendered width and height individually whenever applicable.
  • Added browser option for limiting max rendered media resolution (options/downloads/media settings).
  • World Server build 92, SDK build 72 and COMSDK build 72.


New in Build 1013 beta

25th June 2008

  • Voice Chat Zones have been instroduced.
  • AWVoice world is open to test Voice Chat Zones.
  • World server build 91 and Browser build 1013 are required in order to use Voice Chat Zones.
  • SDK build 71 allows you to build voice chat zones programatically.


New in Build 1012

20th June 2008

  • Redesigned CAV dialog window. Color selection is now shown right below the selected item if applicable.
  • Improved CAV texture composing speed.
  • Fixes seq-object updates.


New in Build 1011

18th June 2008

  • Allows you to click the CAV-button in the toolbar while wearing another avatar
  • Fixed an issue with Win Vista on certain graphic cards.



Public Release

Proposed date for public beta release is Monday, 21st April 2008.

The preliminary scheduled release date for 4.2 in the Activeworlds universe is Monday 16th June 2008.

The 4.2 SDK and the 4.2 World Server will become available on the official download pages on June 5th 2008, for world owners to prepare switching their worlds to 4.2.

On June 16th all worlds are require an update to version 4.2. World servers running on 4.1 are no longer supported. Bots and other SDK based applications compiled with SDK 4.1 will continue to run in the 4.2 universe.

The beta team will have an opportunity to run 4.2 worlds and 4.2 bots in the beta universe until 16th of June.

Screenshots

CAV screenshots as of 3rd April 2008

WebCap screenshots as of 28th May 2008

Beta Start


The 4.2 Beta Cycle is scheduled to start on 11th February 2008. 4.2 first will introduce Custom Avatars (CAV), based on skinned avatars. These are universal avatars, coexisting with PAV and world avatars (Avatars).