2019 SL User Groups 4/2: Content Creation summary

Junbug; Inara Pey, December 2018, on Flickr
Junbugblog post

The majority of the following notes are taken from the Content Creation User Group (CCUG) meeting, held on Thursday, January 24th, 2019 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.

SL Viewer

On Wednesday, January 23rd, the following viewers were updated:

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

  • The simulator code is now out on the BlueSteel RC channel, which has also absorbed the Snack RC.
  • A further project viewer update is expected for the EEP viewer. This is currently awaiting QA clearance, which should hopefully be followed by an RC viewer soonTM
    • The latest EEP viewer (version and dated January 16th, at the time of writing) includes sample EEP assets in the Library section of inventory, in the environments folder. These will also be included in all versions of the EEP viewer as it moved towards release status.
    • It is not clear on whether the final shader updates (e.g. crepuscular rays) will be ready by the time the viewer goes to RC status.
  • The focus now is not on adding features but ensuring there are no significant blockers to EEP progressing to release status.

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

  • Anchor Linden has resumed work on Bakes on Mesh.
  • This work is currently focused on fixing viewer bugs and moving the viewer forward.

Non-HTTP Asset Fetching / UDP Path Deprecation

  • A further reminder that UDP message paths for inventory asset fetching is being removed from the simulators.
  • When complete, this means anyone using really old viewers that use UDP messaging rather than HTTP / CDN will no longer be able to obtain responses to asset requests.
  • This work is running a little behind the planned completion date of January 9th.

In Brief

  • Texture caching: the updates to the viewer texture cache are part of Graham Linden’s work, and he is currently focused on EEP and shader work.
  • Mesh uploader: as reported in my previous TPVD meeting update, Beq Janus contributed her updates to the mesh uploader to LL. These are being worked on for incorporation in the official viewer. This is no largely working, but has some UI inconsistencies to be ironed out.
  • ARCTan: this is the work to revise the calculations for avatar / object complexities
    • It is still at the data gathering phase. This data can then be used to redefine the formulas used in calculating complexities, leading to the necessary adjustments to things like rendering cost, LI, and upload costs.
    • This work also involves updates to the respective back-end services so that they can acquire all the information needed for the calculations, rather than relying on viewer-side analysis.
    • Texture use should also be considered in the new calculations – although this may be in terms of the number of textures, rather than their size.
    • ARCTan may also look at instancing of meshes (e.g. more than one instance of a specific mesh in a scene, if this is not done already (as textures already are).
  • Animesh follow-up: still at the discussion stage internally at the Lab.

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