2020 Content Creation User Group week #27 summary

Yes – Endless, May 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, July 2nd 2020 at 13:00 SLT. These meetings are chaired by Vir Linden, and agenda notes, meeting SLurl, etc, are are available on the Content Creation User Group wiki page.

SL Viewer

  • A Custom Key Mappings project viewer, version, was issued on Tuesday, June 30th.

The rest of the official viewers in the pipeline remain as follows:

  • Current Release viewer version, dated June 11, promoted June 23, formerly the CEF RC viewer.
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • Love Me Render RC viewer, version, June 30.
    • Tools Update RC viewer, version, June 25 – this viewer is built using VS 2017 / a recent version of Xcode, and Boost.Fiber. It contains no user-facing changes.
    • Arrack Maintenance RC viewer,, issued on June 24 – this viewer uses Viewer Manager 2.0.538279.
  • Project viewers:
    • Custom Key Mappings project viewer, version, June 30.
    • Mesh uploader project viewer, version, June 11.
    • 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.

General Viewer Notes

  • The Love Me Render (LMR) RC viewer is still absorbing fixes for EEP and rendering issues. Version, dated June 30th includes a fix for BUG-225784 “BUG-225446 regression – HUDs are again affected by environment setting”. This viewer will hopefully in time include a fix for specularity issues (see BUG-228781 and BUG-228581).
  • It looks like the Legacy Profile viewer could be getting promoted to RC status very soon.


Project Summary

An attempt to re-evaluate object and avatar rendering costs to make them more reflective of the actual impact of rendering either in the viewer. 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models with mesh), and to update the calculations to reflect current resource constraints, rather than basing them on outdated constraints (e.g. graphics systems, network capabilities, etc).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:

  • 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.
  • 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’s updates to jelly dolls have hit a couple of issues whilst in QA, but should still get rolled into the ARCTan project once he’s had a chance to fix them.

In Brief

Pathfinding Navmesh

  • A request was put forward to allow scripted access to rebaking a region’s navmesh (used with Pathfinding).
  • A use case for this would be something likes a procedural game where elements of the scene may be placed via script in accordance with progress.
    • As alterations to a scene impact the navmesh, this can upset NPCs using it.
    • Currently, the only way to rebake is via manual intervention, which can be missed.
    • Offering a scripted means would ensure the navmesh is automatically updated when required.
  • This type of scripted update has been requested in the past, and generally frowned upon due to the risk of potential abuse. However, risk could be mitigated by limited the scripting option to estate owners / managers, and using a throttle on the number of allowed requests.
  • That said, multiple rebakes of the navmesh can themselves have a cumulative impact on simulator performance and resources (particularly on Homestead regions), such that a region restart is required to correct matters, which might in some cases be as disruptive, so this would likely need to be re-examined.
  • Currently, there are no plans to work on Pathfinding in the short-to-medium term, however, it has been requested that the idea is written up as a feature request for review by the Lab.

Other Items

  • There as been a request for the viewer to support Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) image format (see: BUG-229007). However, this would require an extensive overhaul of the graphics pipeline (which currently uses JPG2000) in order to ensure all texture handing had a code path for running SVG. So this is not a likely target for a project.
  • There was a general discussion on the animation system and file formats (.ANIM and .BVH) including long-standing requests to overhaul the system and provide overrides for priority, speed, start / stop frame, etc., and more informed control of easing out/in to the animations. Currently, there is no work being planned for the system, however.
  • A request has been made to allow for scripted interrogation on how people are using EEP. The specific use case would be a game or similar, where a specific environment has been set (e.g. fog / reduced visibility) and the system could query incoming systems to ensure the viewer is set to Use Shared Environment, and if not, advise the user they need to change their setting. Not clear if / how this will be addressed.
  • Next meeting: Thursday, July 16th, 2020.

A look at UASL in Second Life

UASL July: Skyler Morningstar Arel

In the wake of the Linden Endowment for the Arts winding down almost a year ago (see: Linden Endowment for the Arts to officially close), a number of in-world arts group were created in an attempt to fill the void left by its departure so as to offer artists a range of facilities and opportunities in lieu of those presented by the LEA.

Well none can in all honesty provide anywhere near the extensive facilities and opportunities presented by the LEA (that’s the advantage of having the Lab sitting behind you), several have gone on to offer artists rich opportunities for the exhibition of their work. One of these groups is the United Artists of Second Life (UASL), operating out of the Mainland and presented facilities on, and over a full region.

UASL is a relaxed group of artists in SL that share and communicate regarding various art events and opportunities open to the artist community. We encourage people to use their imagination and to continue to learn different methods of creating art. We fully support other artist groups. As well, we manage and host our own events.

– from the introduction to United Artists of SL

UASL July: Tempest Rosca-Huntsman and John Huntsman – Perception

As with many arts groups and galleries, UASL provides opportunities for artists to display their work. But they also offer more besides including:

  • A sandbox area.
  • A learning centre for talks, presentations and instructional sessions.
  • Ground-level display spaces available for rent by group members (art sales currently prohibited), with displays subject to group rules.
  • An events space.
  • A supporting website complete with an in-world HUD for accessing it, and the ability for group members (preferred) to write blog articles.
  • A paintball arena.
UASL July: Storie’s Helendale – Silences

The main landing point is on the ground level, which is also home a a 2D gallery space, the sandbox, the aforementioned display spaces upcoming rental areas and the learning centre. Teleports from here access exhibition spaces for artists, located in the sky overhead. These are called Performance, Prodigious and Utopian. Each comprises three units of four display areas apiece stacked one atop the previous.

At the time of my visit, Prodigious was the most active, with the following artists using it:

  • Level 1: Chris Craft (ChrisCraft Undercroft), Skyler Morningstar Arel (SkylerStormySky), Riannah & Chelo and VanessaJane66.
  • Level 2: Karma Weymann, Tempest Rosca-Huntsman and John Huntsman, Barry Richez,
  • Level 3: London Junkers, MarieMadeleine38, VarianBlake, and ZackHerrMann and Storie’s Helendale (GlitterPrincess Destiny).
UASL July: Karma Weymann

Further information on UASL can be found through their in-world group and by visiting the UASL website or region.

SLurl Details and Link