The following notes are taken from the 4:00pm PST Sansar Product Meeting held on Friday, December 1st. Product Meetings are usually held every Friday at 9:30am PST and 4:00pm PST, and are open to all. There is currently no set agenda, and the meetings are a mix of voice and text. The official meeting notes are published in the week following each pair of meetings, while venues change each week, and are listed in the Meet-up Announcements. and the Sansar Atlas events section.
Events Calendar: Submitting YOUR Events
As I’ve previously reported, the last Sansar updated included the basic framework for an events calendar in the Web Atlas. Initially, this only highlighted events organised by the Lab, but the ability for Sansar users to submit their own events for inclusion was promised, together with further updates to the calendar itself (e.g. including it in the Client Atlas).
On Friday, December 1st, Linden Lab provided details on how Sansar users can submit their events for possible inclusion in the events calendar, with the caveat that all submitted events are subject to the event team’s approval at this time, and no guarantee is given that all events will be added to the calendar.
Event Calendar Submission Process
- You should allow at least one week for your event to pass through the submissions process.
- Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org requesting to add your event into the events calendar. This e-mail must include the following information:
- A title / name for the event.
- The URL for the experience which will host the event.
- The time of the event (PST).
- A short, concise description of the event (which may be edited by the events team).
- Note that no other URLs / links can be given, other than the host experience URL.
- You receive an email confirming your submission, indicating it is being reviewed by the Sansar events team.
- You may be contacted and asked to provide further information (e.g a revised description for use in the event calendar).
- If the event is accepted by the team, it will be added to the events calendar and remains active until the time of the event has passed.
- Note that due to the current limited display space for events, and depending on the number and dates of events in the calendar, your event may not appear in the Atlas until any immediate events have passed.
Still on target for a mid-December deployment, the Fashion release remains focused on clothing and fashion, but will also include other updates as well. Both fashion and non-fashion updates in the release are bullet-pointed below.
Fashion Related Updates
Not that this is only an initial fashion release. Capabilities will be enhanced.
- Will allow clothing uploads and sales through the Sansar Store.
- Clothing uploads will be handled in the same manner as accessories, via the avatar customisation editor.
- This initial release will not include cloth physics. Instead the baking service will continue to handle clothing as is currently the case, until such time as some optimisation updates for experiences have been implemented, as cloth physics can be resource intensive.
- It will still be possible to use the character models within the customisation editor, clothing physics just won’t at this time be baked with the clothing / avatar within an experience.
- Subject to further confirmation, this update will probably not include avatar shape sliders.
- The avatar mesh models will be provided via the Knowledge base.
- These will most likely be supplied as .FBX files, rather than a blend file – but this is still TBC.
- As has been previously stated, the character models will have pre-baked underwear as a part of the avatar skin (and so cannot be removed).
- The Lab is still working on this, and how much of the avatar the pre-baked underwear will cover.
- The idea is that those wishing to make their own underwear or items such as swimming outfits, will be able to mask the pre-baked underwear.
Some concerns have been raised by designers familiar with Second Life over the complexities of rigging in Sansar, and whether additional tools might be required (e.g. to ease the workflow in Second Life, Blender uses can employ Avastar and Maya users MayaStar to ease the rigging process and obtain an “SL-ready” Collada file). The hope is that the .FBX files supplied by Linden Lab should be sufficient to handle rigging in either Blender or Maya using their native capabilities, rather than being reliant on third-party plug-ins, although sets of weightings might be useful.
Non-Fashion Updates in the Release
- Improvements to uploading assets to experiences in Edit mode: the button for uploading items currently in the Inventory panel is to be moved to the tool bar in the upper left corner of the Edit screen.
- Ability to upload custom height maps
- Addition of the event calendar to the Client Atlas: this is being planned, but at the time of writing, still TBC as being in the release.
- Experience access controls: a first pass at experience access control, allowing experience creators to set their scenes for either public access, or limiting access to only the people on their Friends list.
- Access controls will be expanded in future releases to include whitelists, ban lists, etc., and give more granular control to experience creators.
- If an experience is set to Friends only (or controlled by a whitelist, once available), it will not appear in the Atlas listings for anyone who cannot access it.
- Media Previewing: the December release will include the ability for experience designers to preview audio and video streams when building their scenes in Edit mode (they’ll no longer need to publish and switch to Runtime mode to hear / see media).
- The Materials Editor will be able to modify objects post-upload:
- This applies only to in-scene objects (both a creator’s own items and those purchased from the store).
- Changes cannot be saved back to inventory, and only persist as long as the object is in the scene / experience.
- This capability does not apply to clothing / accessories.
- Concern has been raised about implementing this before a suitable permissions system has been implemented to allow creators to control whether or not their items can be modified. While a permissions system most definitely is required, given this update will not allow user changes to objects to be saved back to inventory, the concerns raised did come across as a little over-wrought; however, the feedback is being taken back to the Lab.
- Audio improvements:
- Audio materials for terrain.
- Voice quality improvements, including gating to reduce the amount of background noise being capture when people are speaking or leave their microphones open (people leaving their microphones constantly open is perhaps the biggest irritation with Sansar, particularly when they are off furiously hammering their keyboard for minutes at a time, or sitting and filling their faces with food. A polite application or OS toggling of their microphone would be appreciated).
- Audio normalisation has been disabled, to help ensure that audio uploads retain their intended levels / quality.
- Users in experiences will be able to adjust the sound levels within an experience.
- Scripting improvements: still TBC, but should include better memory management, and updates to reflective handling.
- Avatar attachment size increase: the Lab is still investigating what to do with the current 1m x 1m x 1m avatar attachment size limit. It’s currently not clear if this will be changed with the Fashion release or not.
- Ability to update Store items and distribute to customers: this is mow being targeted for an end of Q1 2018 release.
- Custom terrain textures: will not be in the next release or “any time soon”, due to unspecified issues. So more likely to be later in 2018 than sooner.
- Inventory updates: not in the next release, but being development, and may include a folder capability or similar hierarchy capability.
- Water Editor: there are no plans at present to release a water editor.
- Wish lists: as the audiences between the community meet-ups, the Product Meetings and the Sansar forums are somewhat different, Jenn has started to occasionally write-up unofficial “top ten” wish lists of things people at the community meet-ups would like to see, which can then be checked again feature requests on the forums and topics raised at the Product Meetings, and feed into the Lab’s general thinking.