2019 SL User Groups 35/2: Content Creation summary

(fae forest), July 2019 – blog post

The following notes are taken from the Content Creation User Group (CCUG) meeting, held on Thursday, August 29th 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.

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 and heads. This involves viewer and server-side changes, including updating the Bake Service to support 1024×1024 textures, but 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

  • BoM is now live. See:
  • There are some local edit issues  – some already noted in the viewer release notes – that can produce odd results when using the appearance editor which correct themselves on exiting the appearance editor and when baked via the Baking Service.
Cathy Foil has noted this glitch than can occur with Baked_Lower wearables on BOM: when editing locally in the appearance editor, the leg does not appear to be masked correctly by the wearable (which is also incomplete at the waist). Once baked, however, the wearable appears correctly applied and in full (r). Credit: Cathy Foil.
  • Some of these local edit issues may not be specific to Bakes on Mesh, but may be more noticeable as a result of BoM, and the Lab is looking to resolve them.

Animesh Follow-On – Project Muscadine

Project Summary

Currently: offer the means to change an Animesh size parameters via LSL.

Current Status

  • The simulator support on Aditi (the beta grid) – DRTSIM-421 (region Bakes on Mesh) has been updated, but there are no feature changes within it.
  • The project viewer has been merged with Bakes on Mesh (as the release viewer) and is passing through the Lab’s QA, and so should be appearing soon.

ARCTan

Project Summary

An attempt to re-evaluate object and avatar rendering costs to make them more reflective of the actual impact of rendering both. The overall aim is to try to correct some inherent negative incentives for creating optimised content (e.g. with regards to generating LOD models with mesh), and to update the calculations to reflect current resource constraints, rather than basing them on outdated constraints (e.g. graphics systems, network capabilities, etc).

Current Status

  • Work has now resumed.
  • First part of this is to continue data-gathering and look at re-aligning some figures based on the changes made for Animesh.
  • Thus far, the project primarily comprises enhanced logging to assist the Lab in data collection, allowing information on the overall cost of a specific avatar or in-world object to be gathered.
  • Once enough data has been gathered across a broader enough spectrum of content to give the Lab confidence they have a good understanding of things, then work can start on adjusting the cost calculations for rendering, etc.
  • It’s important to note that any user-viewable changes as a result of ARCTan are still some way off, and the Lab will be staging things to let users know what is happening when, and what it is likely to impact.
  • There was a lot of general conversation towards the end of the meeting on what people hope ARCTan will do (e.g. forcing creators to make proper use of avatar LODs, etc.).

Environment Enhancement Project

Project Summary

A set of environmental enhancements (e.g. the sky, sun, moon, clouds, and 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 includes the ability to use custom Sun, Moon and cloud textures. The assets can be stored in inventory and traded through the Marketplace / exchanged with others, and can additionally be used in experiences.

Due to performance issues, the initial implementation of EEP will now likely not include certain atmospherics such as crepuscular rays (“God rays”).

Resources

Current Status

  • Work continues on rendering bug fixes.
  • The number of remaining issues is “trending downwards”.

Misc. Items

  • The upcoming Voice RC (or project) viewer mentioned at the last TPVD meeting still has a couple of issues preventing it from surfacing in the Alternative Viewers page.
  • The Umeshu Maintenance viewer (currently version 6.3.1.530411, merged with Bakes on Mesh) could be promoted to de facto release status as early as week #36 (commencing Monday, September 2nd), in a break from the Lab’s preferred 2-week gap between release promotions.
  • Date of next meeting: Thursday, September 12th, 2019.