The following notes are taken from my audio recording of the Content Creation User Group (CCUG) meeting held on Thursday, October 17th 2019 at 13:00 SLT. These meetings are chaired by Vir Linden, and agenda notes, meeting SLurl, etc, are available on the Content Creation User Group wiki page.
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models with mesh), and to update the calculations to reflect current resource constraints, rather than basing them on outdated constraints (e.g. graphics systems, network capabilities, etc).
- Data gathering is continuing, with the intention of gathering enough information on different rendering operations to be able to update the current cost coefficients being using in the rendering cost calculations.
- Normalising the settings across different client-side hardware is seen as a challenge.
- One thing the Lab proposes doing is running the resultant model across a range of client hardware types and different ranges of settings.
- However, if there are significant differences across hardware types (which is likely), then some weighting mechanism will need to be used.
- One issue noted as a part of the work is a persistent spike – frames in every second that were much longer than the others in the Windows viewer. This was traced back to a call being made to an expensive API that wasn’t even required and has therefore been removed.
Environment Enhancement Project
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”).
- The viewer is being merged up to the latest release viewer (version 22.214.171.1240962, dated September 17th, promoted October 15th). This may also include at least one UI issue fix as well.
- There are no further simulator-side updates that are ready for deployment as yet, but work has been continuing in resolving bugs.
Other Items in Brief
- Following on from the discussion at the previous meeting about object size and land impact calculations a feature request – BUG-227762 “Removal of Size from Land Impact calculation/Texture LOD/Adjustable LOD distance” – has been submitted, and has been accepted by the Lab for consideration
- The Jira also touches on texture management and handling, suggesting a way the textures for an object could be manipulated / downscaled in real-time.
- It was pointed out that Firestorm offers an automatic downscale of 1024 textures in its 32-bit versions (and the setting in optional in the 64-bit versions), but the suggestion is that be providing users with information in the viewer could allow them to make more informed choices when making adjustments to help with their own performance.
- This JIRA will be looked at in reference to ARCTan.
- Something of a companion idea to this would be to allow a texture upload to produce multiple versions of a texture (e.g. a 1024×1204 also produces a 512x512x256x256 and 128×128). This has been discussed in the past, and is seen as something that, will requiring input from the Product Team, might be worth exploring.
- A suggestion to lessen the reliance on high-res specular maps is for the Lab to provide a set of default grey textures at (say) 128×128 against which specular glossiness and environment could be set. A counter to this was that the blank white texture could be used and tinted to grey.
- There was also general discussion on PBR and its possible introduction to SL in the future (it is *not* on the roadmap right now!) and its potential impact on existing content were it to be introduced.