2020 Content Creation User Group week #34 summary

Cascadia, June 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, August 20th 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

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

  • Current release viewer version 6.4.7.546539, dated August 11, promoted August 17, formerly the Arrack Maintenance RC viewer – NEW.
  • Release channel cohorts:
  • Project viewers:
    • Custom Key Mappings project viewer, version 6.4.5.544079, June 30.
    • 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 Legacy Profiles viewer has been further prevented from making progress due to additional web-side changes that need to be made to enable privacy settings (who can see your feed posts) to work correctly.
  • The Mesh Uploader has been integrated with further changes, and is currently being merged up to the current viewer release code base, after which it will go to QA. Providing it passes, it could be appearing as updated RC viewer in week #35. This viewer provides:
    • Additional information on meshes at upload, a-la those added to Firestorm (see: Firestorm 6.0.2: Animesh release, February 2019)
    • UI improvements to give better information on avatar rigging & related error messaging.
    • Improved error messaging overall.
    • It will also include various fixes (such as BUG-229032 “[Mesh Uploader] Use Joint Positions Option causes ‘Collapsed Joints/Bones’ for some Files”) that are currently being worked on.

Project Muscadene (Animesh Follow-On)

Project Summary

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

Current Status

  • Still officially on hold.
  • Will include shape sliders for Animesh – although it should be remembered body shapes and sliders are intended for humanoid avatars, not animals, etc.

Using the JIRA

Complaints were raised about the need to raise Jira bug reports for issues that are “raised in chat”. Simply put:

  • Describing an issue (often loosely) in chat  – or Voice, which is often the medium for meetings – actually doesn’t mean the issue is captured and recorded. It also doesn’t necessarily mean the issue has been properly described, as those talking about it are not being encouraged to think about the issue in a structured manner or provide illustrations that can better help with understanding precisely where their problem lies.
  • The Jira system provides a means by which:
    • Information can be captured in a structured manner.
    • It can be illustrated.
    • It can be updated with further observations, feedback from others, etc.
    • It can be referenced, searched and cross-referenced, potentially helping other users understand a problem they are encountering and allowing the Lab to better understand the overall impact of an issue.
    • At the end of the day, issues reported by Jira stand a better chance of being fixed at some point that those just chatted about (which likely have a 0% chance).
  • Raising Jira reports – Bug or Feature Requests – isn’t actually hard. See:

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 now appears that Vir’s work in updating Jelly Dolls will now appear in the ARCTan viewer, when that eventually emerges, but may also (and possibly sooner) appear in a Maintenance RC viewer.
  • Overall, ARCTan has been held-up awaiting a fix for an Bake Service issue. Vir believes he now has that fix, and is waiting for it to be deployed to one of the Lab’s internal text grids so he can check to see if it works. Assuming it does work, the fix will be queued for deployment to the main grid and allow performance data gathering to resume.
  • Discussions are to resume regarding better UI elements to support information on complexity, etc., that users can understand and use.

In Brief

  • Animesh:
    • minimum default 15 Land Impact: it is apparently putting some creators off of trying to make Animesh items (notably breedables). It’s been suggested lowering this to 10 LI might help generate greater interest in Animesh creation. Right now, LL haven’t done enough analysis to determine how the figure might conceivably be changed, rather than just making an arbitrary adjustment.
    • Bakes on Mesh support: this has been discussed on a number of occasions. There are no plans to provide support for Animesh to use Bakes on Mesh in the foreseeable future, as it requires Animesh to be overhauled to have full inventory support, together with outfit support, and would also require a significant update to the Bake Service to recognise and support Animesh characters.
  • Date of next meeting: probably Thursday, September 3rd, 2020.

A return to Broken in Second Life

Broken, August 2020 – click any image for full size

Shaun Shakespeare recently indirectly reminded me that it has been a year since I last wrote about Natalia Corvale’s Broken, the homestead region she has long dedicated to anyone who has lost someone they loved, offering setting that are rich in natural beauty and offering places to escape the madness of the world.

For the current iteration, Natalia offers strands of previous themes to the region design, as well as offering something entirely new with a touch of south of the border, down Mexico way.

Broken, August 2020

Surrounded by the high sandstone mesas of an off-region surround, and ringed at it edge by a slightly broken circle of rocks and plateaus that, from ground level appear to blend with the surround, the majority of the region sits as flat grasslands, dried and risking a turn towards yellow under the Sun. Joshua and Junipers with a mix of cacti give a further sense that the region sits on the edge of an arid region – one perhaps just beyond the surrounding rocks and mesas – although it is kept from drying out completely courtesy of the rive that sluggishly cuts though it.

The landing point sits offset somewhat from its centre, sitting close to a little adobe village built around a fountained-topped plaza. painted in different colours from yellow to a dour brown.

Broken, August 2020

The little houses may only be shells, but this is intentional, as they are really there to provide places to sit – and such places are one of the familiar elements found within Natalia’s designs. The majority of this seating in on the roofs, although a courtyard between three of the houses offers ground-level seating, while tables and chairs on the stone slabs of the little square are set with tables and chairs, an a outdoor tequila bar to one side offers refreshments.

Just beyond the incomplete wall of the village and across the other side of the landing point, sits a little church. Flat-topped, it may still have a row of bells strung from a metal frame, but this chapel is unlikely to be a place of worship now. The pews have all long gone, and the old upright piano that may have once accompanied hymns is now left with only a rusting lamp and crates of empty, ageing beer bottles for company.

Broken, August 2020

Horses are another motif from past Broken designs, and they can again be found here, out on the grasslands, brazen drinking from the village fountain and even keeping watch from up on a high peak, a couple of chairs close by for those wishing to do the same.

Indeed, such is the lie of the land that those who have a wearable horse might be tempted to slip it on and take to the hoof to explore. This is something this iteration of Broken has in common with the the August 2019 version, and is a manner of exploration that I can again recommend this time around, offering as it does a way of discovering all the various seating points in the region in a manner entirely in keeping with the setting – although admittedly, there are a couple of seating areas not well suited to horseback access!

Broken, August 2020

As is always the case with Broken, this is another engaging design from Natalia, one worth spending time exploring and enjoying, although for photography, you might want to experiment with environment settings.

SLurl Details

  • Broken (Farron, rated: Moderate)