The following notes are taken from the Content Creation User Group (CCUG) meeting, held on Thursday, November 15th, 2018 at 13:00 SLT. These meetings are chaired by Vir Linden, and agenda notes, meeting SLurl, etc, are usually available on the Content Creation User Group wiki page.
Animesh is now official released. Blog posts:
This means that the Animesh code will now be merged with all current RC and project viewers in the coming days / weeks. Firestorm support for Animesh will be coming soon, as is the other case for TPVs that have not already started making releases with Animesh support.
To help people get started with Animesh, there is already a range of available resources, including:
- Animesh User Guide
- Animesh test content
- Animesh LSL methods:
- Animesh – Updated Limits and Cost Formulas
- Animesh feedback thread
- Concern has been raised about the 2 Animesh attachment option for Premium members impacting performance at major events given the lack of “public” testing of the ability (which had always stated as being one Animesh attachment per avatar across the board).
- Interestingly, when the one Animesh attachment per avatar was first set, it was seen as too limiting, with some wanting as many as five per avatar.
- The tri count cap remains unchanged at 100K per Animesh.
Environmental Enhancement Project (EEP)
A set of environmental enhancements allowing the environment (sky, sun, moon, clouds, water settings) to be set region or parcel level, with support for up to 7 days per cycle and sky environments set by altitude. It uses a new set of inventory assets (Sky, Water, Day), and which include the ability to use custom Sun, Moon and cloud textures. These can be stored in inventory and traded through the Marketplace / exchanged with others, and can additionally be used in experiences.
The project also includes a new set of render shaders to support atmospheric effects such as rainbows, crepuscular rays (“God rays”), better horizon haze and fogging (but will not include rain / snow).
- Project definition document.
- Project summary (this blog).
- Full EEP Documentation.
- Project Viewer – via Alternate viewers wiki page.
- EEP testing region: secondlife://Aditi/secondlife/EEPTesting/247/44/23
- EEP Feedback forum thread.
- EEP sneak peeks forum thread.
- EEP Jira filter.
- There are a couple of blockers that have come up on the next viewer update, and which are currently being worked on, and should hopefully be cleared by the end of the week.
- The first scripted functionality for EEP is now available: llGetEnvironment. This:
- Returns a list containing the current environment values for the parcel and region as a list of attributes.
- Takes a list of attributes to retrieve in parameters and returns them in the order requested.
- llGetTimeOfDay has also been revised in line with EEP.
- Graham Linden is continuing to work on the rendering side, including crepuscular rays. He is however, also engaged in other work related to viewer rendering (such as project ARCTan).
- As a part of Graham’s work, there is a further update to the EEP sky settings that will allow the atmospheric settings to be altered
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 viewer and 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 Bake Service, nor are they recognised as system wearables. Adding materials support may be considered in the future.
- The required Bake Service update (which in part allows the support of 1024×1024 textures) was deployed in week #46.
- It was a glitch with this deployment that caused the Bake Service to overload, resulting in a lot of grey or cloud avatars mid-week.
- Anchor Linden is now working on updates to the viewer, which is considered to be the only blocker to Bakes on Mesh going live.
- Additional channels have been added to the Bake Service already which include the left arm and left leg. A request following this update was to allow upper and lower body skin textures to these channels – this will not be a part of the initial Bakes on Mesh release.
- It has yet to be tested, but as Animesh objects do not have the necessary shape support for the Bake Service to use, it is thought BoM will not work (or at least not work as anticipated) with Animesh attachments on an avatar.
Normal and Specular Maps Support Experiment
As noted in the project summary above, Bakes on Mesh will not by default support normal and specular maps when released.
However, in week #45, Cathy Foil suggested it might be possible to allow Bakes on Mesh to indirectly support normal and specular maps using a combination of three additional bake channels within the Bake Service and a scripted “applier” option, similar to current skin and clothing applier mechanisms.
Since that time, she’s been carrying out tests using the existing three Aux Bake Service channels, added to the system as a part of Bakes on Mesh. While the approach appears to work with normal maps, there are a number of questions relating to alpha blending, deriving specularity (normal maps use the alpha channels for specular power in the SL materials setup), etc. These would require more in-depth testing through a suitable viewer, and as such, this isn’t seen as a viable approach at this point in time.
No decisions have been made as to what user-visible projects will come next.
- There is an infrastructure related project for inventory, but this shouldn’t have user-visible impact.
- Project ARCTan (avatar and object complexity calculation improvements) has been on hold, awaiting resources, which are now becoming available.
- There are a mix of options in the pot for Animesh and BoM follow-ups, but any follow-on work hasn’t been officially defined.
- There are a number of other potential projects the Lab isn’t ready to announce as moving forward just yet.
The next CCUG meeting will be on Thursday, November 29th, 2018.