Black Dragon viewer with added “Godrays”

Blackdragon logoNiranV Dean released Black Dragon (or, if you go via Help > About Black Dragon / the log-in splash screen) on Tuesday April 22nd.  The release marks Black Dragon’s completion of the third-party viewer self-certification process and inclusion in the Third-party Viewer Directory.

The release brings Black Dragon up to parity with the Lab’s 3.7.? code base (I assume 3.7.6, but this is not made clear in the release notes), and includes a number of updates listed as:

  • Added: ‘Godray’ effect, without switch yet
  • Added: Machinima Background texture
  • Changed: Disabled Show Title info in Sound tab
  • Changed: Updated to Tofu’s latest BlurLight shader. Doesn’t use newly added RenderShadowGaussian…
  • Changed: Allow minimum Sun Size down to 0.01.

Of these, the “Godray” addition is perhaps the most interesting, adding as it does rays of sunlight to the sky which, under certain lighting conditions appear to be very effective. The option is still a work-in-progress, and so there is currently no toggle / switch in the UI for enabling / disabling it (it is off by default) – expect one to be added in due course as the work is finished-off.

Tofu Blizzard's "Godray" effect in Black Draon (via the Black Dragon release notes)
Tofu Blizzard’s “Godray” effect in Black Dragon (via the Black Dragon release notes)

However, for those comfortable with editing shader files, Niran has provided notes on how to enable the function via a thread on SL Universe. I confess, the instructions didn’t work for me – which is probably more down to operator error than anything – but the images supplied by Niran look pretty impressive, as does a video he’s produced of the capability, which comes from the mind of Tofu Buzzard.

Niran is currently working on a UI refresh designed to offer a minimalist approach to displayed information while retaining ease-of-use and maximising the in-world viewing area. No time frame for this appearing in a release is available at present, but once it does appear, I’ll hopefully be able to provide a more detailed review, together with a better look at the “Godray” functionality. For now, and in the case of the latter, I’ll leave you with Niran’s video.

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9 thoughts on “Black Dragon viewer with added “Godrays”

  1. Amazing! I wish that someone could make a video with these state-of-the-art graphics and with some content that is really representative of the virtual reality in Second Life, with the fun, the social, the educative etc aspects… and getting lots of views on Youtube. I say so because searching for Second Life on Youtube, and seeing what videos are the most viewed and reading the misinformed comments is kinda depressing.


    1. Blue Galaxy was used here because the sky preset fit so well and made the Godray effect very visible which was exactly what i wanted. Blue Galaxy does not necessarily represent Second Life in it’s entirety but Blue Galaxy is a really good showcase on how good Second Life could be if it’s content was made with Performance and Quality in mind. You can see that by going there, the SIM doesn’t overuse huge amounts of super high polygon models nor does it spam that ugly alpha sculpt grass. It uses Materials and a decent amount of polygons for all models, they all are handcrafted and properly set up, even the grass is just the default Linden grass. Personally i think if you wanted a Second Life representative SIM… well… go to a Sandbox, rez a cube and sit on it. It’s probably the most accurate representation of Second Life you will get. *Ahem*… What i mean is, Second Life’s content is extremely dependent on the User who creates said content, that also means there is no real “representation” of Second Life as Second Life can and will always be whatever you make out of it. That’s probably the reason why my Second Life looks so “state-of-the-art”, because i want it to be like that, i make it look like that, i look for content that fits into this category and visually enhance it. Not everyone is so focused on graphics and performance as i am, especially content creators aren’t. They often just want their stuff to be sold to make money, ignoring problems they cause with their stuff. Prim Shadows…so less use of Materials…Alpha Channels in textures adding unnecessary texture size and breaking alpha sorting on Avatars and other things are just a few things right out of my mind which i see very often which make me really angry.

      That said, no one will go out and make a “state-of-the-art” fancy video with these graphics of Second Life anytime soon. No one cares enough to do so. Sadly.


      1. I agree, it is quite sad. I saw how bad the texturing is in many items and all the other problems beside texturing made by who build without care and buyers that can’t evaluate what they buy (then complaining because SL lags or they experience texture issues having their graphic memory filled). But I don’t think SL is just a pregnant avatar delivering (million of views) and 2007 graphic, with duck walking avatars, and people telling SL copied IMVU, which is mostly a 3D chat (and released a bit later…), while SL is a virtual world, where you can build anything, socialize, and sail for hours among many connected regions, and finding educative and useful things etc from seeing the NASA rockets, to people with Parkinson finding help, and all the stuff in SL that many people outside (and some inside) don’t know… I wish a video that could represent all this stuff. I wish that people could see this, that SL is not just a pregnant avatar delivering a pixel baby.


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