2020 Content Creation User Group week #36 summary

Aspen Fell – The Notebook, July 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, September 3rd 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.

EEP Fixes

Love Me Render

  • The current Love Me Render (LMR) viewer (version at the time of writing) contains a number of EEP fixes (as well as other rendering updates) These include:
    • BUG-229107 [EEP] [Improvement] Ice level Slider Graduation.
    • SL-13539 [EEP] Large reflection on the water when facing certain angles.
    • BUG-228992 [EEP] Appearance lighting is broken when ALM is enabled.
    • BUG-228914 [EEP] Deferred Soften Shader fails to link when Atmospheric Shaders are disabled. This causes Debug viewer builds to crash.
    • BUG-228882 [EEP] Disabling glow rendering while ALM is off results in massive rendering flicker.
    • BUG-228781 [EEP] Specular color interpreted wrong (too bright) from point lights.
    • BUG-228581 [EEP] Specular map reflections are way too weak.
    • BUG-228840 [EEP] cloud texture is rendered backwards.
    • BUG-228431 [EEP] Water lighting is wrong at certain camera angles.
    • BUG-228752 [EEP] Sky turns black when render quality is lowered to Low-Mid.
    • BUG-225784 [EEP] BUG-225446 regression – HUDs are again affected by environment setting and BUG-225446 [FIXED] [EEP] HUDs are affected by Atmosphere & Lighting changes.
  • These a further EEP updates to come, likely in the next LMR viewer, which will hopefully be issued in the next week or so. These should include a fix  to allow horizon haze to modify the Sun’s light and tint when it is close to the horizon.

Additional EEP Issues

  • Moonlight: the Lab is also aware of a number of lighting issues related to the Moon (attenuation of moonlight through clouds, for example. Again, these will be addressed in time.
  • Mainland ambient lighting: users have repeatedly noted that the default Mainland environment remains darker than under Windlight.
    • This is the result of an error made during the EEP deployment that now requires a simulator-side configuration update to be made that is slightly complex in terms of implementation.
    • Essentially, a code fix needs to be made, and then a new estate setting added to the simulator code to manage it, together with code to ensure the update is correctly propagated to the affected regions.
    •  Currently, the resources required to develop, test and implement the required changes are all heavily engaged in cloud uplift work.
  • Density Multiplier issue: this is the result of the simulator restricting the multiple value. A fix for this is an upcoming simulator release.
  • Linden Water / performance issue:
    • As noted in previous CCUG summaries, rendering Linden Water appears to impact viewer performance to a greater degree than previously (leading to some simply disabling Linden Water rendering (CTL-ALT-SHIFT-7).
    • LL currently don’t have a solution for this, in part because the precise point in rendering where the bottleneck seems to occur is proving hard to pin down.
    • Some  suggestions for dealing with it were put forward at the meeting, including:
      • As there does not appear to be occlusion culling for water, perhaps auto-disabling Linden Water from being rendered in the viewer above a certain altitude (where the water generally isn’t visible anyway).
      • Or adding a special texture UUID that, when set via EEP in a region / parcel,  resulting in Linden Water rendering being disabled (CTRL-ALT-SHIFT-7, effectively) for all viewers within the region / parcel, rather than people having to manually disable Linden Water rendering. This could be helpful for major indoor shopping events, etc.
      • Note: both of the above were user-made suggestions, not ideas that have been implemented.
  • Specularity issues: EEP has altered specularity rendering such that specularity in point lights can appear too bright, and in Sun / Moon light, too dim. Fixes for this are in the currently LMR viewer referenced above, but there is some disagreement as to how well (or not) they correct issues.
    • Part of this may be the result of EEP making adjustments so the specularity in objects appears more realistic, but creators have previously had to manually compensate for a weakness in specular map rendering in the past.


  • Vir’s work in updating Jelly Dolls is now available in the Project Jelly viewer, currently availability as a project viewer (version at the time of writing). This work is also likely to find its way into a Maintenance viewer at some point.

In Brief

  • Date of next meeting: probably Thursday, September 17th, 2020.

A new home for Seanchai Library in Second Life

Seanchai Library’s new home

Founded in 2008, Seanchai Library is one of the longest running virtual world Libraries in existence. Specialising in presenting stories and poetry and more in voice, the Seanchai team and their friends have presented thousands of storytelling events across the grid over the past dozen plus years, and in the process has raised raised thousands of real US dollars for numerous charities.

Starting life as the West of Ireland Library and Cultural Centre, a part of the West of Ireland Charity Estate, Seanchai Library’s own story has been an evolving tale of growing chapters that have over the years have included many faces in a growing family of storytellers and readers, with new chapters being added as the Library has either moved to new locations or expanded it activities and presence. Some of these chapters include:

  • 2010: joining the Community Virtual Library (CVL) estate in Second Life, when the Library officially adopted the title Seanchai (pr. Shawn-a-kee – A traditional Irish storyteller/historian).
  • 2012: the launch of The Dickens Project. Now very much a part of Second Life’s Christmas tradition, complete with the support of Linden Lab, The Dickens Project has to date received nearly 5000 visits, hosted  61 events, and run over 88 hours of live programming featuring 65 performers, presenters, and artists.
  • 2014: Seanchai expanded to the OpenSim / Hypergrid enabled Kitely, offering a range of programmes and events to a broad audience of virtual world users, and presented the first virtual / physical world presentation in what would become their EXPLORE programme; Explore The Great Gatsby was presented in partnership with the Tacoma Little Theatre (TLT), Tacoma, Washington state.
  • 2015: In partnership with CVL, Seanchai Library established a presence on (the now defunct) InWorldz grid, which operated for two years prior to both CVL and Seanchai withdrawing from InWorldz.
  • 2017: Seanchai Library relocated to Holly Kai Park as part of the integrated arts programming at the Park.
Seanchai Library’s new home

I was particularly honoured to  play a small role in the Library’s move to Holly Kai Park and to share in their work through the Stories in the Park events that featured Seanchai’s storytellers and artists from across the grid.

This coming weekend, Seanchai Library opens a new chapter in its story, as it transfers its base of operations to a new, bigger location that has generously provided by friend to the Library and to the arts (as well as a gifted storyteller / writer and raconteur), R. Dismantled.

Seanchai Library’s new home

For the last three years, it’s been my distinct pleasure to work with Cale and Shandon and Seanchai Library, and I look forward to continuing to cover their events and activities as I’ve done since 2011, and also to the opportunity of working with Seanchai through the auspices of the Phoenix Artists Collaboration (PAC) at both Seanchai’s new home at at PAC’s expanded home of Cherished Melody.

The new facilities officially open to Seanchai events on Sunday, September 6th, although they have been available to the public to visit even as the Library’s team has been preparing the land and setting up their new building and storytelling grounds. In particular, the new environment offers Seanchai Library far more space at ground level in which to offer storytelling settings, with space overhead in which to host special events and sessions.

Seanchai Library’s new home

In the meantime, if you would like to join Seanchai Library for their farewell event at Holly Kai Park, you can do so at 19:00 SLT, when Shandon Loring will be reading Rudyard Kipling’s Captains Courageous.

Seanchai Library Links

September 2020 WUG summary: uplift and SL Mobile

The Web User Group meeting venue, Denby

The following notes are taken from my recording of the Web User Group (WUG) meeting, held on Wednesday, September 2nd, 2020. These meetings are held monthly, generally on the first Wednesdays of the month, with dates and details of the meetings available via the Web User Group wiki page.

When reading these notes, please keep in mind:

  • This is not intended as a chronological transcript of the meeting. Items are drawn together by topic, although they may have been discussed at different points in the meeting.
  • Similarly, and if included, any audio extracts appearing in these summaries are presented by topic heading, rather than any chronological order in which they may have been raised during the meeting (e.g. if “topic X” is mentioned early in a meeting and then again half-way through a meeting, any audio comments related to that topic that might be included in these reports will be concatenated into a single audio extract).

Web Properties Updates

The primary focus for the web teams remains the transitioning of services from the Lab’s own servers to AWS servers as a part of the Uplift project, although non-uplift web properties work is being carried out where possible, as noted below.

Uplift Work

  • Place Pages and the land store pages are all now running in the cloud.
  • Various support tools as used by the Lab have also been transitioned to running in the cloud.

Non-Uplift Web Properties Updates

  • The Second Life Jira has been updated, although this caused some issues for users who had not used  the Jira for some time, but who had used the Name Changes capability to change their avatar (user) name. This has now been fixed.
  • A  similar update is required for the SL wiki (for those able to edit pages). This will be implemented after the cloud uplift work has been completed.
  • The Marketplace has received a number of fixes / updates, including:
    • A fix for some users being unable to create stores on the MP.
    • A fix for some of the merchant reports hanging when run.
  • The SL web properties (including the viewer’s web search) now have a Cookies Acceptance banner, as required under Californian law.

Premium Plus

  • Currently “shelved” due to cloud uplift work,
  • It is still “on the [road] map, but just not a target right now.”
  • Will be looked at again some time after the uplift work has been completed.

Mobile Client

  • Issues arose during the QA testing of the last iOS update, these are currently being worked  on.
  • The current plan is now:
    • A further QA testing on the iOS version of the app.
    • If  this version passes QA successfully, make it available to the current closed alpha testers AND submit it to Apple for their testing / review.
  • While LL will *not* be offering the ability for using to purchase L$ or make transactions in the initial releases of the app, they are watching the escalating Epic (Fortnite) / Apple + Google situation (see: Epic suing Apple and Google over Fortnite bans: Everything you need to know) to see how this affects fees levied by both Apple and Google regarding L$ transactions, once they become available through the SL mobile app.
  • As per last month, the Android version of the apps remain some way behind the iOS version.
  • General reminder: in its initial iterations, the app will be primarily focused on communications. It will not have a full range of capabilities when initially made available to users, but will be iterated upon; this includes the app not having any world rendering capability, although this may be added in the future.
  • General updates on the app can be found in my periodic SL Mobile updates.

Next Meeting

Wednesday, October 7th, 14:00 SLT.