The majority of the following notes are taken from the Content Creation User Group (CCUG) meeting, held on Thursday, June 21st, 2018 at 13:00 SLT. These meetings are chaired by Vir Linden, and agenda notes, etc, are usually available on the Content Creation User Group wiki page.
Note that the audio presented here may not be in the exact order of discussion during the meeting; as subjects were at times returned to following their initial discussion, I have attempted to bring together key points of discussion by topic / subject matter. Also, please note that audio drop-out when Vir is speaking appears to be an ongoing problem at his end.
The Pálinka Maintenance RC viewer, version 18.104.22.1686459 and dated June 15th, 2018, was promoted to de facto release status on Thursday, June 21st, 2018.
The 32-bit Windows Unloop RC viewer, version 22.214.171.1245965 and dated June 5th, 2018, was also withdrawn as it is no longer required with the promotion of the Pálinka RC viewer.
This leaves the official viewer pipelines, at the time of writing, as follows:
- Current Release version126.96.36.1996459 and dated June 15th, promoted June 21st – formerly the Pálinka Maintenance Release Candidate – New.
- Release channel cohorts:
- No viewers (at the time of writing, but a new Maintenance RC is expected).
- Project viewers:
- Bakes on Mesh project viewer, version 188.8.131.526270, dated June 14th.
- 360 snapshot viewer, version 184.108.40.2065934, June 6 (see my hands-on update).
- Animesh project viewer, version 220.127.116.115420, dated May 14 – project overview.
- Linux Spur viewer, version 18.104.22.1689906, dated November 17, 2017 and promoted to release status 29 November – offered pending a Linux version of the Alex Ivy viewer code.
- Obsolete platform viewer, version 22.214.171.1240847, May 8, 2015 – provided for users on Windows XP and OS X versions below 10.7.
The goal of this project is to provide a means of animating rigged mesh objects using the avatar skeleton, in whole or in part, to provide things like independently moveable pets / creatures, and animated scenery features via scripted animation. It involves both viewer and server-side changes.
- Animesh User Guide
- Animesh test content
- Animesh LSL methods:
- Animesh – Updated Limits and Cost Formulas
- Animesh feedback thread
- JIRA filter for Animesh
As noted in my report here (and the official announcement from the Lab), the server-side code for Animesh was deployed to the BlueSteel RC as part of the ongoing developing and testing of the capability. For those wishing to test Animesh, there are also five dedicated Animesh test regions available (all obviously on BlueSteel at this point in time):
How quickly Animesh is promoted beyond BlueSteel depends on whether any additional bugs / issues are identified, what else is in the simulator release queue. However, it is unlikely the capability will go grid-wide until the viewer at least reaches release candidate status (at the time of writing, it is still at project viewer status).
No additional bugs have thus far been reported, although there is a claim of slight delays being experienced when starting / stopping Animesh animations.
Vir continues to work on the Animesh viewer’s bugs, which include, but are not limited to:
- Encroachment / Position / Offsets.
- Rigged Mesh Level of Detail / Bounding Box Issues (BUG-214736).
- Broken Rotations Issues.
- Dynamic bounding box issues: the project viewer (126.96.36.1995420) includes updates for keeping dynamic bounding boxes going for rigged avatars (including Animesh). The calculations used in these updates for Animesh attachments “isn’t quite right” and the extent calculations can be incorrect (particularly if an Animesh object is being rendered as an imposter).
The next viewer Animesh viewer update will likely only be a merge for parity with the updated release viewer; the Animesh viewer update after that should include further fixes / changes.
There’s also more performance and stability testing to be carried out now Animesh is on the main grid and facing some “real” simulator loads, as Aditi is not representative of scripting, etc., loads simulators on Agni have to deal with, or the kind of avatar and rendering loads the viewer has to manage.
Bakes On Mesh
Extending the current avatar baking service to allow wearable textures (skins, tattoos, clothing) to be applied directly to mesh bodies as well as system avatars. This involves server-side changes, including updating the baking service to support 1024×1024 textures, and may in time lead to a reduction in the complexity of mesh avatar bodies and heads.
This work does not include normal or specular map support, as these are not part of the existing baking service.
- Bakes on Mesh forum thread.
- Bakes on Mesh JIRA filter (courtesy of Whirly Fizzle).
There have been some conflicts between Bakes on Mesh and the inventory service. The latter requires an update, but this has been delayed pending updates related to another project (I presume the Environment Enhancement Project, which also requires changes to the inventory system – see below).
It is still not clear if the additional baking channels – LEFT_ARM_TATTOO, LEFT_LEG_TATTOO, AUX1_TATTOO, AUX2_TATTOO and AUX3_TATTOO, which can be access through the latest version of the Bakes on Mesh project viewer (version 188.8.131.526270, dated June 14th, at the time of writing) will be updated to support the application of alpha layers. The con / pro arguments for alpha support on these channels are seen as:
- Against adding alpha support: alphas are primarily a means of masking the system avatar; as these five new channels cannot be used with the system avatar, there is no need to add alpha support.
- For adding alpha support:
- Regardless of the above, there are cases where creators may want to mask a portion of a mesh on which anyone of these channels are used.
- Ensuring a consistent means of using alpha masking across all of the bake channels could help in reducing the overall complexity of mesh bodies and heads.
These pro points are being heard by the Lab, and will be discussed further before a final decision is made whether or not to add alpha support to the new channels.
Environment Enhancement Project (EEP)
A set of environmental enhancements, including:
- The ability to define the environment (sky, sun, moon, clouds, water settings) at the parcel level.
- New environment asset types (Sky, Water, Days that can be stored in inventory and traded through the Marketplace / exchanged with others.
- Day assets can include four Sky “tracks” defined by height: ground level (which includes altitudes up to 1,000m) and (optionally) 1,000m and above; 2,000m and above and 3,000m and above, plus a Water “track”.
- Experience-based environment functions
- An extended day cycle (e.g a 24/7 cycle) and extended environmental parameters.
- There are no EEP parameters for manipulating the SL wind.
- EPP will also include some rendering enhancements and new shaders as well (being developed by Graham Linden), which will allow for effects such as God rays.
- Project definition document.
- Project summary (this blog)
This work involves simulator and viewer changes, and includes some infrastructure updates.
Rider Linden is working on debugging the back-end inventory system changes required to support the new EEP asset types – Sky, Water, Days (as per above). As soon as this work is completed (and presumably passed by QA), thing should be set for a project viewer to be made public, and the back-end support for EEP will be deployed to Aditi for public testing.
The first release of an EEP project viewer will not include any scripting support for the new capability – that will be added as the project viewer iterates. Details of the anticipated scripting support can be found in the project definition document, linked to above.
There was also a short discussion between Vir and Rider Linden on the ease with which sets of assets might be added to the inventory system as a result of Rider’s work.
The question was asked if the permissions system in Second Life could be extended to allow easier means of collaborative work.
For example: adding an option to the viewer’s Build floater that allows an item to be shared with the same permissions as granted the creator, or providing a means by which an object’s metadata includes the Agent IDs for avatars with whom it can be shared whilst maintained its original permissions.
There are currently no plans to the Lab to work on the permissions system.
Animesh / Mesh Rotation Issues
There was a discussion during the latter part of the meeting on the mesh / Animesh rotation issues. As noted in previous updates in this blog, there are likely a number of contributing factors to this problem, and the Lab has not settled on a solution.