2019 Content Creation User Group week #50 summary

Shadowlands Retreat, October 2019 – blog post

The following notes are taken from my audio recording of the Content Creation User Group (CCUG) meeting held on Thursday, December 12th 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.

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

  • Bug fixing continues – the estimate is around 18 or so bugs the Lab would like to resolve prior to any potential release.

Project Muscadine

Project Summary

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

Current Status

  • Still on hold due to the focus on ARCTan.
  • There are still requests to allow attachments on Animesh items.
    • This is something Vir hopes to look at in detail later in Muscadine.
    • It may require attachments to be handled differently to how they are managed with avatars.

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models with mesh), and to update the calculations to reflect current resource constraints, rather than basing them on outdated constraints (e.g. graphics systems, network capabilities, etc).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 getting things to a state where he can do so practical testing over the holiday period to ensure the relevant data is being collected. This is dependent on whether he has the time to confirm the internal version of the viewer is logging everything it needs to be logging.
  • The work is still very much focused on the data collection aspect, rather than doing anything with the data that is gathered.
  • It is not currently clear whether the ARCTan work will appear in a dedicated project viewer or will form a part of a Maintenance viewer update.

Texture Caching and Loading

  • LL is working on a viewer intended to improve texture loading and texture caching (the latter as part of a general overall of how the viewer caches data).
  • This will hopefully include a rethinking of the order in which textures are loaded (e.g. objects  / faces that all use the same texture may all have that texture loaded together/in sequence, rather than the texture having to be re-loaded each time it is encountered).
  • The improvements should see textures load faster in general. In particular, there is a re-examination of some of the “optimisation” work previously done with textures, as this might actually now be slowing things down, so the hope is the new viewer will streamline how textures are handled and loaded in general, so bringing about improvements.
    • An example of this is switching the viewer from downloading a texture (or grabbing it from cache) and rendering it incrementally to just letting it grab the entire texture, particularly now that most broadband connections will allow this without it becoming a significant bottleneck.
    • This will allow a significant reduction in the amount of checking and re-checking the viewer has to carry out when obtaining and loading textures, which can have an impact.
  • Hopefully, the viewer will also improve the texture load order (e.g. those textures nearest to you or filling your immediate field of view, such as a vendor board on a wall, will be loaded and rendered first, rather than waiting for other textures loading first).
  • There is currently no date on when this viewer might surface for public use.

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