Elvion – blog post
The majority of the following notes are taken from the Content Creation User Group (CCUG) meeting, held on Thursday, March 21st, 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.
- The long-expected Maintenance RC viewer, code-named Teranino, was released on Wednesday, March 20th. Version 188.8.131.525401, comprising 50+ fixes.
- The EEP RC viewer updates to version 184.108.40.2065395 on Thursday, March 21st. It is felt EEP may have “one or two” further RC updates before it is ready to go to release status.
The rest of the official viewer pipelines remain as:
- Current Release version 220.127.116.114670, formerly the BugSplat RC viewer February 13th, promoted February 28th No Change.
- Release channel cohorts (please see my notes on manually installing RC viewer versions if you wish to install any release candidate(s) yourself):
- Project viewers:
- Linux Spur viewer, version 18.104.22.1689906, dated November 17th, 2017 and promoted to release status 29th November – offered pending a Linux version of the Alex Ivy viewer code.
- Obsolete platform viewer, version 22.214.171.1240847, May 8th, 2015 – provided for users on Windows XP and OS X versions below 10.7.
Environment Enhancement Project – on the Grid
On Tuesday, March 19th and Wednesday March 20th, EEP back-end support was deployed to the SLS (Main channel) and to the Magnum and Cake RC channels, meaning it is now gird-wide.
As EEP handles environment rendering differently to windlight, that can be that at time, viewers without the may rendered skies oddly (e.g. black dots (stars) appearing in daytime skies, the sun may look bigger than it actually should be, and similar). Should this be the case, toggle the Use Region windlight option in your viewer off / on.
Note that if you are using a personally applied windlight or a custom parcel windlight through a viewer like Firestorm, generally speaking, you should see no issues.
Bakes on Mesh
Again, no update, other than a back-end Bake Service update is due (presumably to fix the “black skirt issue”. Once this is deployed, it should allow a resumption in progress with the viewer, which could likely be promoted to RC status.
The ARCTan project to re-evaluate object and avatar rendering costs in the viewer is still stalled. One concern is that more needs to be done to encourage a greater number of creators to create low impact worn mesh; high impact worn mesh can do much to impact viewer performance, but is currently seen as having little around it to discourage better design. While there are options like the “jelly doll” capability, these are seen as limited in encouraging better content design as the onus is pushed onto other users to determine what they can or cannot see.
ARCTan itself is a difficult set of measures to calculate, as user hardware plays a role in performance (obviously), such as the split between CPU-based and GPU-based computations. As a result, frame times can vary widely. Ergo, more objective measures are required (e.g. triangle counts + surface area for textures, etc.).
- Mesh attachment loading: this is taking appreciable longer, and is particularly noticeable in busy regions, where avatars with a lot of mesh can take what feels like an age to “pull themselves together” (so to speak), although no cause has yet been identified. Vir Linden has been leading work to look into this.
- Animesh follow-on: the focus is still on allowing body parts in the inventory of an Animesh to be used to customise the skeleton of the Animesh.
- Creator requests: Vir asked a general question on things creators may be seeing a blockers to developing new content and what they would like to see to overcome these blockers. The feedback included:
- More script functions.
- Replacing appliers with an inventory based solution and a Bakes on Mesh follow-on.
- Extending the existing constraints in the animation format to be a full Inverse Kinematics system.