Daily Archives: December 19, 2012

“Tiling” snapshot fix (and more) now in the SL release viewer, Dolphin, Niran’s and RLV

Snapshot Tiling Fix

The snapshot tiling fix (MAINT-628) can now be found in the following viewers:

  • Dolphin viewer 3.4.6.26773+ (current release now 3.4.7.26856)
  • Niran’s Viewer 2.0.5+
  • Restrained Love 2.8.3.5+ (Windows)
  • SL release viewer 3.4.3.268262+ (released: 18th December).
Tiling test for Dolphin

Tiling test for Dolphin (3.4.6.26773+): image taken at 3500×2134 resolution using Dolphin 3.4.6.26773. Location: The Island of Armenelos (M) (click to enlarge) – fix also in the latest SL official viewer (3.4.3.28262), Niran’s Viewer (2.0.5+) and RLV (2.8.3.5+)

Graphics Preferences Updates for GPU Classes

The SL viewer, Dolphin and RLV all include the new Graphics Preferences settings related to the ongoing GPU table updates. These new options place additional “stops” on the Quality and Speed slider between the four original settings of Low, Mid, High and Ultra, which are intended to better represent the default SL capabilities of different GPU classes,

The new "intermediary" graphics settings intended to better represent the capabilities of different GPU classes

The new “intermediary” graphics settings intended to better represent the default SL capabilities of different GPU classes

SSAO Fix for Horizon Haze

Also included in the recent Dolphin and Niran’s Viewer releases, is Tofu Buzzard’s SSAO improvements for generating horizon haze over Linden Sea (“ambient  distance fog”). This helps overcome a long-standing bug within the viewer which has effectively broken / nerfed horizon haze over Linden Water for a considerable time.

SSAO haze effect - fix from Tofuu blizzard, available in deferred mode on Dolphin and Niran's viewers.

SSAO haze effect – fix from Tofu Blizzard, available in deferred mode on Dolphin and Niran’s viewers. (image courtesy of Niran V Dean) – click to enlarge

Space Reflections

Niran’s viewer also introduces an interesting / experimental viewer-side feature from Tofu Blizzard called “space reflections”, designed to create reflections on shiny surfaces when running in deferred mode and with the appropriate Graphics Preferences option enabled. It’s not perfect, but it can be used to produce some interesting effects, as shown below, if only for those running a viewer which can render the desired results.

Tofu blizzard's "space reflections": (l) a viewer running in deferred mode; (r) Niran's viewer running in deferred with "space reflections" active

Tofu Blizzard’s “space reflections”: (l) a viewer running in deferred mode; (r) Niran’s viewer running in deferred with “space reflections” active to produce reflections both on the floor and inside the large sphere (click to enlarge)

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SL project news: week 51

Server Deployments week 51

Tuesday 18th December saw the Main Release channel get the maint-server release as deployed to Magnum in week 50, as Maestro Linden indicated might be the case during the Server Beta meeting on the 13th December. There have been some reports of teleport issues following the deployment, but these are thought to be a network-side issue, rather than a problem with the server code itself.

Release notes.

All three RC channels should be receiving the same package on Wednesday 19th December, 2012 which is also the Magnum deployment from week 50, with a single additional bug fix.

Release notes (for Magnum, but applicable to all three RC channels)

Forum thread for the deployments.

This is the last set of server-side deployments for 2012.

A low-key Simulator User Group meeting on 18th December, the last for 2012

A low-key Simulator User Group meeting on 18th December, the last for 2012

SL Viewer Updates

The release version of the official SL viewer rolled to the 3.4.3 code on Tuesday 18th December, with the release of 3.4.3.268262. Among a range of updates, this release include the major GPU table updates seen in recent beta viewer releases, the additional graphics settings and the tiling fix for high-resolution snapshot (MAINT-638). This release also sees the return of JIRA numbers to the release notes, matching the recent beta viewer release notes update.

The new "intermediary" graphics settings intended to better represent the capabilities of different GPU classes

The new “intermediary” graphics settings intended to better represent the default SL capabilities of different GPU classes

The beta viewer should be moving to the 3.4.4 code with the next release, although it is not clear whether this will be before or after the holiday period.

Interest List Update

Andrew Linden has been tweaking and optimising his Interest list code. The first phase of the new interest list code is aimed at reducing the amount of information being sent to the viewer by the server. Speaking at the Simulator User Group meeting on the 18th December, Andrew commented, “Last week I managed to find an optimisation opportunity in my Interest List project, which shaves a few hundred usec off of some cases where there are a lot of Full Object Updates. So this would translate to better server FPS when in large groups of avatars or when in the presence of stuff that is generating lots of full updates.”

As I reported last time, object updates take three forms, Full, Terse and Delete. Full updates are generated when an object is seen for the first time, or which is undergoing a constant change in appearance / position. Terse updates are sent only when an object changes its appearance / position. Under the current Interest list system, both types of update are sent to the viewer, regardless as to where the viewer actually needs to process them. A primary part of Andrew’s work has been reworking the code so that updates – particularly terse updates – are only sent to the viewer when the object generating them is in the camera’s field-of view. This new optimisation work should further help reduce the number of updates being sent to the viewer regardless as to whether or not it has to process them.

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