2020 Content Creation User Group week #2 summary

Elvion, November 2019 – blog post

The following notes are taken from my audio recording of the Content Creation User Group (CCUG) meeting held on Thursday, January 9th 2020 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

  • The EEP RC viewer updated to version 6.4.0.534193 on Thursday, January 9th.
  • Bug fixing continues, notably around alpha rendering issues.
  • It is believed there are about a dozen remaining issues to be dealt with before EEP may be ready for formal release.

Pathfinding

First introduced in 2012 (and developed over the following year), Pathfinding was intended to provide a means for more interactive non-player characters (NPCs) in Second Life. Unfortunately, the implementation of the system proved to be so cumbersome (and leaving aside some of the incorrect perceptions about Pathfinding on the part of land holders), the it has never really seen that much use in Second Life.

With the arrival of Animesh, there has been renewed interest in using Pathfinding in conjunction with Animesh characters, but again, the current implementation is proving a bottleneck (e.g. highlighting / indicating “walkable” areas in the viewer; whether the navmesh is actually visible; the effort required to Pathfinding, etc.).

  • A forum thread highlights the issue, and it has been suggested that if a Jira can be raised highlighting the specific problems, it might be something the Lab could take a look at to try to improve some of the visualisation issues within the viewer (Navmesh visibility, etc.).
  • However, a broader pass at improving / overhauling Pathfinding is not on the Lab’s current road map for SL.

Pathfinding Resources

In Brief

IP rights, UV Maps and “working copies”: there has been recent discussion on the forums, through various user groups (notably Governance, which I’ve been unable to attend for the last couple of months due to RL) concerning IP rights and things like mesh VW maps, compatibility, weight painting etc. The questions have arisen of late due to a mesh appearing on the Marketplace that achieves compatibility with all the other meshes of the same nature by providing amazingly close replicas of them.

Currently, the primary course of response to concerns over potential infringement – imperfect is it may appear to be where this issue may be more esoteric in nature, given that the meshes in question all tend to use things like UV maps derived from originals supplied by Linden Lab – is for a creator with concerns over infringement to file an DMCA complaint with LL.

BOM take-up: Bakes On Mesh take-up is seen as being a little slow. Some mesh body / head makers have yet to fully adopt BOM flagging on their products for example (so while Maitreya support BOM on their current body via a HUD, the body still has some 800 individual mesh elements that the viewer needs to handle, compared to the (roughly) less-than-fifty used by the Slink Redux (BOM) body). Also, there are continued concerns about BOM’s ease-of-use when compared with the use of HUD-based applier systems. While the latter can be more resource-intensive, the form is seen as requiring better scripted tools and / or better inventory visualisation mechanisms (even better base alpha support) in order to be more attractive to users.

Next CCUG meeting: Thursday, January 23rd.