2020 Content Creation User Group week #13 summary

Lakeside, February 2020 – blog post

The following notes were taken from my audio recording and chat log of the Content Creation User Group (CCUG) meeting held on Thursday, March 26th 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.

SL Viewers

Following the promotion of the Premium RC viewer in week #12, the following viewers were merged up to that code base on March 25th:

At the time this report was written, the rest of the SL viewer pipelines remain as:

  • Current Release version  version, dated March 12, promoted March 18th. Formerly the Premium RC viewer.
  • Release channel cohorts):
    • EEP RC viewer updated to version, March 20.
    • Zirbenz Maintenance RC viewer, version, issued March 19.
  • Project viewers:
    • Copy / Paste viewer, version, December 9, 2019.
    • Project Muscadine (Animesh follow-on) project viewer, version, November 22, 2019.
    • Legacy Profiles viewer, version, September 17, 2019. Covers the re-integration of Viewer Profiles.
    • 360 Snapshot project viewer, version, July 16, 2019.

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.


Current Status

  • Is now “really close” to be ready for release, with all of the graphic team working hard to eliminate the last of the issues that have been seen as blocker to moving the project to formal release status.
  • There  may only be two remaining blockers that need to be cleared.


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models with mesh), and to update the calculations to reflect current resource constraints, rather than basing them on outdated constraints (e.g. graphics systems, network capabilities, etc).

As of January 2020 ARCTan has effectively been split:

  • Immediate viewer-side changes, primarily focused on revising the Avatar Rendering Cost (ARC) calculations and providing additional viewer UI so that people can better visibility and control to seeing complexity. This work can essentially be broken down as:
    • Collect data.
    • Update ARC function.
    • Design and provide tool within the viewer UI (i.e. not a pop-up) that presents ARC information in a usable manner and lets users make decisions about rendering / performance.
  • Work on providing in-world object rendering costs (LOD models, etc.) which might affect Land Impact will be handled as a later tranche of project work, after the avatar work.
  • The belief is that “good” avatar ARC values can likely be used as a computational base for these rendering calculations.

Current Status

  • Vir is still trying to resolve the appearance  / Bake Service issue he thought he might have a fix for.that has been causing problems with ARCTan testing. This has yet to be QA tested. Should it pass, then it will mean internal testing can resume.

Project Muscadine

Project Summary

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

Current Status

  • Still technically on hold, but Vir has been looking at what will be required to get what had been worked up back up-to-date This work, when it can be tackled will include:
    • Merging the project viewer up to the current release viewer / EEP.
    • Updating the server code with all of the updates made to the simulator code, which is described as a “fairly major” piece of work.

General Discussion

  • LL is continuing to see a rise in Second life use as a result of SARS-Cov-2, and the majority of the services are handling things well.
  • There is a report that larger Animesh objects do not LOD (level of distance) swap gracefully if the viewer cache has been heavily used (e.g. as a result of going to an even), even if the Animesh has been previously cached. The only ways to clear the issue appear to be re-logging or clearing cache.
    • This is not a known issue or something LL have seen, and a Jira has been requested on the problem.
  • There is an issue with the LL viewer getting confused between RC viewers when updating to a more recent RC update. This is a known issue and is being investigated.
  • There was a discussion over animation priorities and expanding the current range of priorities (with one suggestion they should go as high as 15!).
    • An advantage with a greater range is that in theory allow for more granular control of animation types (e.g. 0-1 for default system animations; 2 for general AO animations (standing, walking, running, flying); 3-4 for common AO animations (e.g sitting); 5 for “speciality / custom” AOs; 6 for “must run in all cases”.
    • The flip side to this is the issue of creators just opting for the higher-end settings “because they are there”.
  • The ability to dynamically set animations via LSL was also re-mentioned and discussed.
  • Vir noted that were LL to look at implemented the dynamic application of animations, they might also look at priorities and priority ranges.
  • A further request was made for a “standalone”alpha channel for materials (separate to the one pre-baked into the diffuse texture channel. This is something that has been requested in the past (e.g. see: BUG-224928), and something not under current consideration.

Ostoja: a woodland retreat in Second Life

Ostoja, March 2020 – click any image for full size

Designed by ViktoriaRaven and Janeen Arliss, Ostoja is a quarter of a Full region that is offered to public visits and photography. Bounded on two sides by curtains of cliffs on two sides, it is open to the sea on the other two – both watched over by a tall lighthouse, the rest of the parcel forming a high, mesa-like island linked to the cliffs by a pair of rock bridges.

Seen from the water, it is both an an intimidating and intriguing sight: its sheer sides seem to be foreboding, but the coastline offers a landing point with wooden steps climbing up to the top of the island and – if one looks – and the hint of a cave entrance promising secrets to be discovered.

Ostoja, March 2020

The landing point is located on a curved shelf of rock sitting just below the island’s peak, a place where an aged terrace sits and a small garden guards the wooden steps that rise from the beach. The greenhouse offers a place to lounge or bathe, whilst on the far side of the terrace from it a footpath of stepping stones points the way to a cliff-side glade on the far side of the island.

Here sits a tree-shaded conservatory, it’s high dome overlooking he ruins of a wall suggestive of an ancient structure, now all but gone. Beyond the wall is a private residence, the boundary marked by ban lines should you get too close. These spoil the setting a little, but as they’ve likely been raised as a result of people ignoring the signs requesting privacy, their presence is understandable.

Ostoja, March 2020

Behind the conservatory and sitting slightly above it, is the ruin, of an ancient chapel, a quiet retreat complete with its own pool of water, the brick surrounds of which speak to it clearly having been added a long time after the chapel had fallen past its prime. Around it, the plants, sofa and lights make the old chapel a cosy retreat.

Take the steps down to islands coastline, and the ribbon of beach that is home to flamingoes, places to sit, the aforementioned landing point and – that hidden cave entrance.

Ostoja, March 2020

Tunnels and and caverns sit within the very heart of the island, winding their way to a point where a hidden place for trysts awaits, and a further opening offers a way out to the inland side of the island, a place with a cinder beach, lit by floating lanterns and overlooked by the house on its rocky perch. An imposing figure carved from stone rises from rocky footings between island and the waterfalls of the cliff walls, a further guardian for the the setting and the house.

Compact but with a lot to discover, photogenic and detailed, Ostoja is a delight to visit, and a destination not to be missed. Caitlyn and I both enjoyed our ramblings there, and would (again!) like to thank Shawn for tip.

Ostoja, March 2020

SLurl Details

  • Ostoja (Nadril, rated Moderate)

ArtCare Gallery: new space and new exhibits in Second Life

ArtCare Gallery: Thus Yootz

After something of a hiatus, Carelyna re-opened her ArtCare Gallery in mid-March to offer an expanded environment for displaying art in Second Life, complete with a featured ensemble exhibition of art that runs through until April 12th, 2020.

The featured exhibition is located on the upper floor of the gallery space, reached by a teleport disk towards the middle of the lower floor. The latter is home to the gallery’s foyer area and landing point, together with a series of exhibition spaces Carelyna has entitled the ArtCare Legacy Collection, celebrating past exhibitions hosted at the gallery.

ArtCare Gallery: MTH63

This lower level presents a marvellously rich variety of art from within and without Second Life. Within the halls can be found 2D and 3D pieces by the likes of Suzie Anderton, Bamboo Barnes, Zia, Branner, CybeleMoon, Lam Erin, Pol Jarvinen, Kimeu Korg, Silas Merlin, Moya Patrick, Agleo Runningbear, and more.

It’s a richly diverse collection featuring landscapes captured from within Second Life, avatar studies, digital mixed-media, pastels and paintings from the physical world, all laid out through the halls in a manner that naturally draws the visit through them, with each artist presented by just enough of their works that the visitor isn’t overwhelmed by the art of display.

ArtCare Gallery: Strimon

On the upper level of the gallery, the featured artists exhibition comprises collections by Devanahousha, Jessamine2108, MTH63, Strimon, Mareea Farasco, Mentat Immelmann, Viktor Savior and Thus Yootz. Here, each artist has an individual hall in which to display their art, allowing them to offer a much broader selection than found for the artists on the lower level.

Like those of the lower lower floor, these displays offer a rich mix of art: digital, Second Life landscapes, image and avatar studies, and physical world paintings and landscapes, the styles of each artist offering a further layer to the distinctiveness of the art to be found within each hall. All deserve equal appreciation, but I confess that I found myself particularly drawn to Thus Yootz’s corner with its impressive selection of 2D pieces that are marvellously processed and finished and displayed with a trio of sculpture trees that are also intensely individual.

ArtCare Gallery: Devanahousha

As noted, the featured artists’ exhibition will run through until April 12th, and both it and the Legacy Collection make for eye-catching visits.

SLurl Details