2018 SL UG updates 51/2: Content Creation Summary

Whirly Fizzle’s EEP Saturn

The majority of the following notes are taken from the Content Creation User Group (CCUG) meeting, held on Thursday, December 20th, 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.

With the Christmas / holiday break now on our doorstep, this was a short meeting.

SL Viewer

There have been two further viewer updates:

  • The Estate Access Management  RC viewer updated to version on Wednesday, December 19th. See my preview of this viewer here for more information.
  • The Environmental Enhancement Project (EEP) project viewer updated to version on Thursday, December 20th.

Hover Height / Vertical Positioning Issue

Ever since server release 18# was deployed at the end of October / beginning of November 2018, there have been reports of a hover height / positioning issue issue for full mesh avatars of less than “normal” height. This can leave such avatars floating 0.2 to 0.3 metres off the ground if non-height related changes are made after hover height has been set (BUG-225893).

Current Status

Anchor Linden has been investigating this, but is hampered by the fact the behaviour cannot be properly reproduced with consistency. This is making a root cause determination difficult. As this work is currently Anchor’s main focus at the moment, it means the Bakes on Mesh project is somewhat on hold.

Bakes On Mesh

Project Summary

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.


Current Status

  • As per the notes above, Bakes on Mesh is “on hold” at present while Anchor is otherwise engaged in bug hunting.
  • There are apparently a couple of issues with BoM still to be ironed out, and there is also an internal wiki issue preventing the Bakes On Mesh documentation being published on the SL wiki.
  • Allowing for the hover height / positioning issue mentioned above and the remaining work on Bakes on Mesh (+ the QA testing), it’s possible it will be a few weeks after the start of 2019 before this project progresses again.

Environment Enhancement Project

Project Summary

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).


Current Status

  • This week has seen updates to both the simulator code (available on Aditi for test, and also on limited release on Agni via the Snack RC channel) and, as noted above, to the viewer.
  • It’s hoped that the last of the shader work (e.g. crepuscular rays) will be completed in January.
  • The set agent environment scripted controls (allowing the entire environment for an avatar to be replaced when using an experience) is now in place.
    • Documentation for this will be pushed on the wiki after the holiday break.
  • Rider Linden is working on some further UI clean-up / clarification.

In Brief

  • There has been an issue with joint aliases not being correctly supported (the “avatar_xxx” aliases were not working for all the bones in the skeleton). Vir now has a fix for this, which should be appearing in the relatively near future.
  • Date of next CCUG meeting: Thursday, January 3rd, 2019.