2019 SL User Groups 5/2: Content Creation summary

Nevglide Forest; Inara Pey, December 2018, on Flickr
Nevgilde Forestblog post

The following notes are taken from the Content Creation User Group (CCUG) meeting, held on Thursday, January 31st, 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.

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, (hopefully) crepuscular rays (“God rays”), better horizon haze and fogging (but will not include rain / snow).

Resources

Current Status

  • There should be a further EEP simulator RC deployment in week #6 (commencing Monday, February  4th).
  • It has been decided that due to a number of performance issues that have yet to be resolved, EEP will not initially have crepuscular rays when the viewer is promoted to RC status, although hopefully these will come in time.
  • There is an issue with the Linden terrain appearing blurred in the viewer, this should be fixed in the next viewer update.
  • When importing windlight settings into EEP, it should be remembered that there will not be a precise 1:1 match when converting; some elements of an environment’s lighting might be darker or lighter than their windlight equivalents (as can be seen with the sample EEP assets now available in the EEP viewer’s system library). This is because the underpinning rendering in EEP is very different to the current windlight rendering.

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.

Resources

Current Status

  • There are still a number of issues to be resolved within the viewer (e.g. bakes not being seen by other viewers,plus the “black skirt” issue that can result in an avatar appearing to wear a long, jet black “skirt”, at least one UI issue with a button not working correctly) so no updates at the moment.

Animesh Updates

  • Vir is looking at the way object updates are handled in order to find the best way to send and receive shape information to Animesh objects, should the system be extended to allow shapes to be applied to Animesh.
  • Right now, the Reset Skeleton option only applies to the local view; there have been requests to make this a system command (so if I use Reset Skeleton, a message is sent to all viewers around me to perform the reset against my skeleton as well, rather than other users having to do it manually if they see something wrong with my avatar after I’ve changed shapes).  This could also potentially benefit Animesh, and Vir is also looking at the idea as well.
    • The focus here will probably be on triggering the reset through the UI, as described above, rather than allowing a LSL function to trigger it. The problem with the latter is the risk of people using it indiscriminately in avatar models, triggering unnecessary (and impactful) updates on systems.
  • Adding attachments to Animesh is also a request, but this isn’t being looked at right now.
  • Currently, an Animesh can keep an animation as a prim property, regardless of whether or not the animation is there (e.g. add a bouncing animation to an Animesh, remove it, and the animation will persist, even if the Animesh is copied and distributed). This is not expected behaviour and will likely be fixed.

Other Items

  • Visual size overlay when editing appearance: this feature request from Penny Patton (see BUG-225513) has been accepted by Linden Lab, but is currently on the back-burner of things they may consider in a future project, but is not currently being actively worked on.
  • Next meeting: it is likely the next CCUG meeting will be on Thursday, February 14th. However, check the wiki page for confirmation ahead of February 7th.
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Art and artists at La Maison d’Aneli

La Maison d’Aneli: Xirana

Now open at La Maison d’Aneli Gallery, curated by Aneli Abeyante, is an interesting ensemble art exhibition featuring the work of Nabrej Aabye, Xirana (Xirana Oximoxi) and Betty Tureaud.

A writer and artist in the physical world, where she is known as Núria Vives, Xirana presents Women Artists XVI-XIX, intended to both showcase the work of ten female artists from the 1500s through to the early 1800s. In particular, the exhibit is intended to illustrate “the difficulties they had to deal with to be recognised as professional artists”.

La Maison d’Aneli: Xirana

The ten artists in question are presented with a portrait by Xiranna, together with (for the most part) 2 of their paintings. The critique they faced is designed to be evidenced by the male silhouettes passing comment in speech bubbles.

However, how representative the comments are to critiques the artists may have faced is perhaps questionable. For example, the idea that Élisabeth Sophie Chéron was unknown as a painter in her lifetime is hard to reconcile with the fact that while alive, she was acclaimed as a gifted poet, musician, artist, and academicienne. I found myself having similar niggles around the presentation of several of the other artists as well (notably Mary Beale and Élisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun – with the latter, it is not unfair to say many artists, regardless of gender, depended upon the patronage of royalty and / or the rich).  The flip side to this is the controversy of accreditation of Judith Jans Leyster’s work is pretty on-the-nose. As such, in lieu of notes from Xirana outlining her view on how these artists faced prejudice, I would suggest taking time to Google them and draw your own conclusions.

La Maison d’Aneli: Nabrej Aabye

Across the hall, Nabrej Aabye presents a series of his vibrant paintings, split between those created in the physical world and those that appear to have originated with images captured in Second Life, all of which are framed by a story mounted on the wall in alongside the entrance to his display space.

These are all remarkable paintings, a good number abstract in nature, but all alive with colour and depth. Alongside  of the abstract are portraits suggestive of an origin within Second Life (Recto Verso and The Architect), while also to be found in the mix are animal studies, two of which also appear to have their roots in SL (The Elephants’ Dance and Refugees).

La Maison d’Aneli: Betty Tureaud

The final exhibit is a 3D installation by Betty Tureaud, which appears untitled. I’m note entirely sure how to view it myself so, and without wishing to appear in any way dismissive, I leave to visitors to define it for themselves.

SLurl Details