2020 Content Creation User Group week #28 summary

Wision, 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.

This meeting featured a lot of general chat on possible features and / or performance improvements that might (or “should”) be made to SL, comparisons in the pros and cons of incremental changes over “radical” changes (e.g. the former can be turned around more quickly, but can be finite in pact; the latter can dramatically change/ improve SL, but on a time frame that means that when they are delivered, they’re not what users are looking for / they don’t actually deliver what had been anticipated), etc.

SL Viewer

Currently, the official viewers remain unchanged from the start of the week:

  • Current Release viewer version 6.4.3.543157, dated June 11, promoted June 23, formerly the CEF RC viewer – No Change.
  • Release channel cohorts:
  • Project viewers:
    • Custom Key Mappings project viewer, version 6.4.5.544079, June 30.
    • Mesh uploader project viewer, version 6.4.4.543141, June 11.
    • Copy / Paste viewer, version 6.3.5.533365, December 9, 2019.
    • Project Muscadine (Animesh follow-on) project viewer, version 6.4.0.532999, November 22, 2019.
    • Legacy Profiles viewer, version 6.3.2.530836, September 17, 2019. Covers the re-integration of Viewer Profiles.
    • 360 Snapshot project viewer, version 6.2.4.529111, July 16, 2019.

General Viewer Notes

  • The Tools Update RC viewer is on track to be promoted to de facto release status, possibly on Friday, July 17th, or more likely week #29 (commencing Monday, July 20th).
  • The Love Me Render viewer is still seeing additional EEP fixes added to it, as well as some other issues that are being looked into.
    • The upcoming version of the LMR viewer will include a fix for the EEP specularity issue (see BUG-228781 and BUG-228581).
    • BUG-229079 “[EEP] Density multiplier does not allow full range of settings to be saved/loaded”, requires adjustments to be made to both the viewer and the simulator code.
    • BUG-229031 “[EEP] Water has a large performance hit on EEP” has been accepted, an analysis has yet to be completed.

ARCTan

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

  • It’s still not clear in the Jelly Doll updates will appear in an ARCTan project viewer or within a project viewer of their own. These are more generic Jelly Dolls that improve their rendering.
  • It might be preferable for the Jelly Doll updates to move to their own project viewer, as ARCTan is awaiting a Bake Service update, which is in turn held up due to the on-going cloud uplift work.
  • There was a scare that the ARCTan updates might cause a performance hit – although this might be down to a system configuration issue and is still being investigated.

In Brief

  • There is some background work going on to update the Second Life systems requirement page. Not so much because SL’s requirement have changed, but simply to bring them more in-line with modern systems.
  • The data the Lab does gather on client systems indicate that a lot of users are based on laptops using on-board graphics and “a lot on older systems”.
  • Next meeting: Thursday, August 20th, 2020.