SL project updates week 26/2: Content Creation UG

The Content Creation User Group meeting, at the Hippotropolis Camp Fire Circle (stock)

The following notes are taken from the Content Creation User Group meeting, held on  Thursday, June 29th, 2017 at 1:00pm SLT at the the Hippotropolis Camp Fire Circle. The meeting is chaired by Vir Linden, and agenda notes, etc, are usually available on the Content Creation User Group wiki page.

Medhue Simoni live streamed the meeting via his You Tube channel, and I’ve embedded the video at the end of this article. Time stamps in the text below reference this video. Note, however, that items are presented by topic, not necessarily in chronological order. Audio extracts are also provided, but please not these may have been comprised to just the core points of discussion / statements (while avoiding any loss of context).

Rigging To Attachment Points

[1:11-8:45] There has been some discussion around this for the last couple of meetings. In essence, rigging to attachment points was used by some content creators in the past to overcome a shortage of bones. With Bento, it was decided that rigging to attachment points should not be supported in new uploads, but would still be allowed for older meshes using it, to avoid content breakage. However, it now turns out that there is a conflict between the simulator (which allows rigging to attachment points) and the viewer (which shouldn’t allow mesh rigged to attachment point to be uploaded – although some TPVs still do, by accident or design).

Vir is still looking into this to determine how best to handle things going forward. However, as it has been pointed out that there is legacy content which cannot be easily updated if uploads of meshes rigged to attachment points is blocked, and clothing cannot be made for mesh bodies using rigged attachment points, His current feeling is that the simulator behaviour will likely not be changed and that the viewer  – based on a JIRA he has raised – will be updated to be consistent with the simulator’s rules, although he made a request that new avatars are not made with meshes rigged to attachment points.

Note: the discussion on the video includes references to Firestorm (version 5.0.1 onwards) no longer accepting uploads for mesh rigged to attachment points due to an accidental breakage (the fix didn’t make the cut for the 5.0.7 release).

Animated Objects

Attachment Points on Animated Objects

[10:29-14:21] Animated objects will have attachment points as they use the avatar skeleton. However, the following should be kept in mind:

  • In relation to rigging to attachment points (above) – this should work for animated objects (so this could allow existing avatars rigged to attachment points and volume bones to be converted to animated objects, for example)
  • The Lab is undecided on including attachment points at this point in time in order to allow items to be attached to animated objects (or animated objects to one another). They are simply there as a part of the avatar skeleton.

General Status

[39:59-41:30] The animated objects (aka “Animesh”) project is progressing. Still no ETA on a project viewer. Vir is still working on getting the avatar skeleton to work with linksets of multiple meshes making an object.  Most of this is working, although the graphics pipeline still gets upset in places if changing objects from animated to static or vice versa at the wrong time.

Still to be done is evaluating the land impact of animated objects, deciding whether or not to implement support of attachment points now or in the future.

Given that objects already have a land impact, the current thinking is that when converted to animated objects, they will likely incur an addition LI overhead – although what this will be can only be determined in time. Hence, for the project viewer, once available, it may be an arbitrary figure, subject to adjustment.

Bakes on Mesh

[17:28-18:10] Anchor linden is making “good progress” on updating the Baking Service to support increased texture resolutions (512×512 to 1024×1024). Once this work is completed, the next step is to run performance testing on the baking service to assess how well it can support the increased resolution, and whether any additional hardware, etc., might be required in support of the increased loads.

Other Items

“Crazy Bone Scaling Animation”

[9:00-10:05] During the week #25 meeting, a bone scaling animation was demonstrated which could rescale an avatar  to huge proportions, as if it were being “blown up” / inflated. Vir looked at this and believes it is the result of storing animations in a way that’s “not normalised” and which are not being handle correctly for scaling. So while useful in the way it currently performs, the technique isn’t useful for accurately rescaling the avatar skeleton.

Hires Proxy Mesh Rigging

[16:33-16:49] This came out of the last meeting, and Beq Janus is working on a design outline for it, covering how it could supported in-world and protect mesh body creators’ intellectual property at the same time. She plans to offer the document via Google Docs, and those wishing to read it and provide feedback should e-mail her at for access.

Mesh Uploader and LOD Options

[20:35-43:00] A suggestion was put forward to change the Level of Detail (LOD) buttons on the mesh uploader from the current “Generate” default to “Load from File” in an attempt to encourage creators to make their own, efficient, LOD files, rather than relying on the auto generation process – which is not always as efficient as custom LOD files.

Feedback was that changing the buttons would not help, but could encourage people simply to generate a single high LOD file and use that (a problem already evident when custom LOD files are used). An alternative suggestion was to remove the ability to adjust the LOD auto-generation process (so no spinners on the uploader) – so unless creators supply their own LOD files, they have to accept whatever the uploader generates for each level.

Suggested mesh uploader change that sparked a discussion

The core of the discussion in voice is below, but please refer to the video to hear it in full.

This led to a lengthy (primarily text) discussion about how to encourage creators to use their own sensible and custom LODs, which is interspersed with other topics. Some of the idea offered by users at the meeting were:

  • Making customer LOD uploads cheaper than if generating them through the uploader
  • Offering similar incentives to encourage creators reduce their high-end poly counts and not fudge their low-end LODs
  • Improving the preview option in the uploader to better represent LOD sampling
  • Adding a field on the marketplace similar to the Land Impact one but for Display Weight on worn meshes (on the basis that a high display weight can be indicative of poor LOD usage), and in theory encourage creators to be more efficient in their use / provision of LOD files
  • Have a render meta mode like physics, that shows the quality of the LODs as a colour map (e.g. look at the volumetric relationship between the LODs on the basis that a good LOD should hold volume)
  • Instructional videos from Torley – although Medhue Simoni has a 3-part series on LODs: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

In Brief

  • [14:52-15:36] The link on the SL wiki Rigging Fitted Mesh page to download the avatar skeleton is currently broken.
  • [19:04-20:22] Inverse Kinematics via LSL function with global position – this has been suggested a number of times. While noting it would be useful (it might, for example, enable an animation to make it appear as if an avatar is opening a door when standing before it), Vir stated it has not received in-depth thought at the Lab in terms of being implemented or how it would work, given the server currently doesn’t know where the joints in an avatar are, so it introduces a level of complexity as to how things would be handled.
  • As most people know, initially accessing Aditi is a case of submitting a support ticket. Inventory is now merged between Agni (the Main grid) and Aditi around 24 hours after initially logging-in to the latter (a merge process is run every day for all accounts which have been logged into since the last run). However, it now appears that changing your SL password can break your Aditi access, requiring a further support ticket.
  • [43:09-end] Discussion on copybotting, policies, banning, etc., which threads through to the end of the meeting, and split between Voice and chat.

One thought on “SL project updates week 26/2: Content Creation UG

Have any thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.