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.
The Love Me Render RC viewer updated to version 184.108.40.2062031 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 220.127.116.110962, formerly the Vinsanto Maintenance RC viewer, dated September 17th, promoted October 15th – NEW.
- Release channel cohorts:
- Project viewers:
- Copy / Paste viewer, version 18.104.22.1681844, released on Monday, October 21st.
- Legacy Profiles viewer, version 22.214.171.1240836, September 17th. Covers the re-integration of Viewer Profiles.
- Project Muscadine (Animesh follow-on) project viewer, version 126.96.36.1990473, September 11th.
- 360 Snapshot project viewer, version 188.8.131.529111, July 16th.
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models with mesh), and to update the calculations to reflect current resource constraints, rather than basing them on outdated constraints (e.g. graphics systems, network capabilities, etc).
- Vir is working on trying to gather data on the impact of textures in rendering avatars and objects.
Currently: offering the means to change an Animesh size parameters via LSL.
- The server-side support or Muscadine 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
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 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.