2019 Content Creation User Group week #43 summary

Breath of Nature, September 2019 – blog post

The following notes are taken from my audio recording of the Content Creation User Group (CCUG) meeting held on Thursday, October 24th 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.

SL Viewers

Pipeline Updates

The Copy / Paste project viewer adds buttons for copying the X, Y, Z co-ordinates for the Position, Size and Rotation of an object to the official viewer’s Build / Edit floater, offering a similar capability to that provided by TPVs

The Love Me Render RC viewer updated to version 6.3.3.532031 on Wednesday, October 23rd, bringing it to parity with the current release viewer. The rest of the viewer pipelines remain as follows:

  • Current Release version 6.3.2.530962, formerly the Vinsanto Maintenance RC viewer, dated September 17th, promoted October 15th – NEW.
  • Release channel cohorts:
  • Project viewers:
    • Copy / Paste viewer, version 6.3.3.531844, released on Monday, October 21st.
    • Legacy Profiles viewer, version 6.3.2.530836, September 17th. Covers the re-integration of Viewer Profiles.
    • Project Muscadine (Animesh follow-on) project viewer, version 6.4.0.530473, September 11th.
    • 360 Snapshot project viewer, version 6.2.4.529111, July 16th.

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models with mesh), and to update the calculations to reflect current resource constraints, rather than basing them on outdated constraints (e.g. graphics systems, network capabilities, etc).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

  • Vir is working on trying to gather data on the impact of textures in rendering avatars and objects.

Project Muscadine

Project Summary

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

Current Status

  • The server-side support or Muscadene is awaiting an update.
  • The viewer has been merged up to the latest release viewer (no actual updates to the Muscadine code), and is awaiting QA testing.

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

  • The anticipated viewer update has been delayed as a result of a couple of the changes made resulting in unintended outcomes whilst in testing. Plus the viewer now needs to be merged up to the current release viewer.
  • Still no back-end updates while Ptolemy and Euclid continue to get up-to-speed with the SL rendering engine and pipelines.

Other Items in Brief

  • BUG-227585 “[BOM] Display the new Universal wearables between the Skin and the Tattoos ones” is a feature request suggesting the new Universal Wearables for Bakes on Mesh be moved from sitting above the skin and tattoo layers, to being between them.
    • With a noted reservation that doing so will change behaviour so are already using, the Lab has accepted the idea as something they might consider.
    • The Jira includes additional discussion points  / ideas.
  • The meeting included a discussion (voice and text) on alpha sorting and the issues that can occur within it when using alpha blending. Some of these issues are SL specific, others are more generic in nature and found within OpenGL in general. The suggestion was made to allow a certain amount of creator-defined ordering with objects, but there were several concerns raised around this by creators and the Lab, including the potential for performance impacts.
  • The above discussion spiked into one about avatar meshes, the potential for a new “standardised” (or “Lab-driven) “mesh avatar 2.0”, that could be far more rendering efficient than all existing models, th pro (better efficiency of design and rendering) and cons (whole new system incompatible with existing heads / bodies & getting people to use it).
  • Also folded into this was a conversation on how to encourage creators to make more efficient content.
    • One suggestions is to have some form of “scoring” system taking into consideration item complexity, use of textures, etc., that determines how high up on Marketplace searches goods appear & thus are likely to be seen and purchased – the idea being that by trying to “game” the scoring system, creators produce better content.
    • This skips the case of items sold in-world (how are scores enforced on vendors?). And also has a problem of how does an automated system “score” pre-packaged items uploaded to the MP (since it would only be able to assess the packaging, not the content)?
    • Alternatively, Vir pointed out that there is a lot more that the Bake Service could do in assessing the complexity of avatars in-world, and this could be potentially more meaningful in the future as ARCTan progresses beyond the current scope of the project.
  • Overall, and given the amount of legacy content in SL, one of the core ways of encouraging better content  is seen as not only making improvements to the mesh uploader and trying to push creators into making more efficient content – but to give users the tools and reporting that help educate them about what is going on around them, what is causing potential performance issues and then allowing them to start making more informed decisions on how they set their viewer and the kind of content they purchase.
  • Date of next meeting: Thursday, November 14th, 2019.

Berthe Morisot at the Museum of Fine Arts in Second Life

The Museum of Fine Arts: Berthe Morisot

In September 2019, I toured the Museum of Fine Arts with curator Tonem (see: The Museum of Fine Arts in Second Life), and was impressed with the care and attention that has been put into the gallery’s operation in making it as much akin to the experience of visiting a physical world art museum / gallery as possible.

Since that original article was posted, the team behind the Museum of Fine Arts have been continuing to develop the museum’s grounds, and also recently opened the second part of their exhibition of art by les trois grandes dames of French Impressionism, so this gave me a reason to pop back and spend time once more at the museum.

The Museum of Fine Arts: Berthe Morisot, self-portrait, 1882

Having featured the art of Marie Bracquemond in the first part of the grades dames exhibit, this second part features the work of Berthe Marie Pauline Morisot (1841- 1895), and it can be found in the Lindal Kidd terrace gallery space, which had now been increased to two side-by-side pavilions behind the main museum building (just enter the main building and past through the ground-floor exhibition spaces and exit through the rear doors to find the terrace).

Morisot was born into a family enmeshed in the arts: her father, while local administrator, was trained in architecture, while her mother was the great-niece of Jean-Honoré Fragonard, one of the most prolific Rococo painters of the ancien régime. So, even allowing for art being a natural part of her education, she and her sisters perhaps received additional encouragement in pursuing it. This encouragement continued through her early career, which brought her into contact with artists such as Édouard Manet and Oscar-Claude Monet and Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot.

Her own work was not publicly exhibited for the first time until 1864 – largely because she was a hard self-critic, destroying a lot of her early pieces because she regarded them as not being good enough – particularly her early work in oil paints, a medium she particularly struggled with initially. However, from the early 1870s Morisot began to be exhibited more regularly, gained a patron – private art dealer Paul Durand-Ruel. By the late 1870s, she was regarded as the “one real Impressionist in this group”, and judged Morisot among the best of the impressionists by many art critics.

What is particularly engaging about the exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts is that it amounts to perhaps the large single gathering of Morisot’s work to be seen in the world today outside of the Louvre in Paris. As such, it is a must-see for anyone with a love of classical art, whilst again demonstrating the uniqueness of SL itself as a means to present such a collection to what amounts to a global audience.

The Museum of Fine Arts: Berthe Morisot

In keeping with the Museum’s approach, individual pieces are offered to scale to one another and of a size equating to how they would appear in the physical world when standing before them. This can make individual paintings a little small when viewing them and call into use some steady Alt-camming, but the effort is worth it. In addition, each is displayed with an information card giving the title, date, medium and provenance of the piece – all of which can be viewed in local chat by clicking on a painting.

This is another engaging, engrossing exhibition of physical world art, offering a unique opportunity to appreciate the work of one of the great names of the French Impressionist movement.

SLurl Details