The Heart of the Sea – blog post
The notes in this update are taken from the following sources:
- Content Creation User Group meeting, held on Thursday March 23rd, 2017 at 1:00pm SLT
- The TPV Developer meeting held on Friday, March 24th, 2017 at 12:00 noon SLT.
A video of the TPV Developer meeting is included, and timestamps to it are included in the text, where relevant. Notes from the Content Creation User Group appear towards the end of this update.
SL Viewer Pipeline
Maintenance RC Re-issue
On Thursday, March 23rd, the Lab released a new Maintenance RC viewer – version 188.8.131.524882 – to replace the faulty March 16th release. As such, it includes the same set of updates, and I’ve written an overview of the core changes.
[0:19] The Voice RC viewer, version 184.108.40.2064770, has a problem with the SSL Certificate Authorities update included with it. This triggers some code deep within the viewer which should not be triggered. This tends to affect TPVs for than the official viewer (the issue was actually noted by Firestorm). It’s be at least a couple of weeks before this matter is resolved, and until it is, the Voice RC viewer will not be progressing, and the Lab is unlikely to expand the cohort of users running it. Alongside of this, but separate to is, is an issue which is giving the viewer a higher than expected crash rate. which is also being looked into. Additionally, among the updates to this viewer and not included in the release notes, is support for the Opus Interactive Audio Codec, although server-side support is still required. This should eventually see further Voice quality improvements.
64-bit Project Alex Ivy
[3:10] As noted in part 1 of this week’s update, the 64-bit viewer was updated on Friday, March 17th to version 220.127.116.113537. This viewer is showing a significantly lower crash rate, although it does have some other issues. It should have a further update in the next two weeks.
360 Snapshot Viewer
[4:06] It appears unlikely that the 360 snapshot viewer will be update in the next week due to the ongoing work with the 64-bit viewer.
Asset Fetching Via HTTP
Vir Linden has been focused on the viewer side of this work, which will see the remaining inventory asset classes – landmarks, gestures, animations, shapes, sounds and wearables (system layer clothing) – switch from UDP delivery through the simulator to HTTP delivery via the via the Content Delivery Network(s) the Lab uses.
[4:42] The viewer for this work may be appearing in week #13 (week commencing Monday, March 27th). However, this is dependent on some back-end web configuration work being completed so that the required simulator changes can be correctly enabled on the Main grid.
Once these remaining assets have been shifted to delivery to the viewer via HTTP / CDN, the remaining UDP messaging for asset delivery will be turned off on the simulator end. This may be around July / August time (to be confirmed once the HTTP updates have reached release status), and will mean any older viewers still using UDP messaging for asset data fetching will be unable to do so.
New JIRA – Soon
[14:35] There is a new JIRA update coming, in line with recent updates made by Atlassian. It is currently on internal testing at the Lab, but there is no time frame as to when it will make a public appearance.
[16:00] Around the start of the 64-bit viewer project there was a potential for an open-source contributed project for using Fmod Studio with viewer audio. This is likely to be re-examined, and if found suitable it may be up for adoption. However, given it will require a licence, which is likely to take a while to be processed by the Lab, it will not prevent the 64-bit viewer progressing forward toward release. Instead, the code module will be integrated as and when the licence has been obtained.
Content Creation Meeting Round-up
Animation Transitions: as noted in my March 9th CCUG meeting notes, people have been noting issues with animation playback, some of which appear to be related to llSetAnimationOverride, one of the server-side functions for controlling your animation state (see BUG-7488 as an example).
Vir has been looking at this, but no definitive cause has been found. One suggestion is that it might be related to Walk Adjust cutting in, which can occur when transitioning from standing to almost any other state when using llSetAnimationOverride. Although is that some transitional animation, such as a pre-jump or landing might be accidentally set to loop, causing an apparently freeze / lock. Vir will continue to poke at this.
Avatar Rendering Calculations: work continues on refining the rendering cost calculations for avatars. However, this work is still not ready for shipping. Theses adjustments are twofold: to account for more “recent” changes which have been made since the system was last properly evaluated, and to address known issues in how the calculations are made.
Applying Baked Textures to Mesh Avatars: this is still on the short list, but is not an adopted or active project within the Lab as yet.
Rigging Animated Attachments to the Skeleton: there are issues trying to rig animated attachment to the avatar skeleton (e.g. a set of nunchaku or a gun that twirls before being holstered). While they may work OK using a specific avatar shape, problems can occur should the shape be changed (e.g. the nachaku / gun no longer accurately positions relative to the hand). Medhue Simoni suggests items like this might be rigged and animated to the relevant attachment point instead.
NPCs / Animated Objects: this is still not a formal project at the Lab, but there has been some discussion on the potential feature set, were it to become a project.
Scripted method to position bones: see BUG11407. VIr’s concern with this approach would be the level of complexity / risk of conflicts with animations / need to expand the scripting capabilities on the back-end in order to make full scripted positions of bones useful. However, within the meeting, it was seen as being more useful in being able to fine tune poses for things like photography (e.g. to prevent hands vanishing into breasts or thighs), and thus supplant something like Anypose. As a result, Vir’s agreed to look at tools like Anypose and have a fresh look at the JIRA.
Bento Ridable Horse
Strawberry Singh has all the information on a new Bento Rideable horse, which has a release had of Saturday, March 25th. As the name implies, this is a horse which makes full used of the Bento skeleton extensions (so when worn, it is an extension of your avatar). Berry has produced a tidy video on the horse, and I’ll finish this update by embedding it – read Berry’s blog post for the specifics.