2022 CCUG meeting week #13 summary

Where Our Journey Begins, February 2022 – 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  31st 2022 at 13:00 SLT. These meetings are chaired by Vir Linden, and their respective dates and times can be obtained from the SL Public Calendar.

This is a summary of the key topics discussed in the meeting and is not intended to be a full transcript.

Available Viewers

Current SL viewer pipelines:

  • Release viewer: version version – formerly the Maintenance J&K RC viewer, promoted Monday, February 28 – No Change
  • Release channel cohorts (please see my notes on manually installing RC viewer versions if you wish to install any release candidate(s) yourself).
    • MFA RC viewer, update to version, on March 24.
    • Performance Improvements RC viewer version, dated March 14.
    • Lao-Lao Maintenance RC viewer, version, issued on March 11.
  • Project viewers:
    • Performance Floater project viewer, version, March 18.
    • Mesh Optimizer project viewer, version, dated January 5, issued after January 10.
    • Legacy Profiles viewer, version, dated October 26, 2020.
    • Copy / Paste viewer, version, dated December 9, 2019.

General Viewer Notes

  • There is a general request out that people try the Performance Improvements RC viewer even if they are not in the cohort to auto-receive it as a viewer update.

Additional Materials Support – CCUG Meeting

  • LL are actively considering expanding the SL materials system to handle materials surfaces (imported in glTF format).
    •  The initial idea is that when done, it will result in a “materials asset” containing all the settings that can be stored in inventory and re-used on object faces.
    • The primary motivators for this are a) to help people who are creating content in the likes of Substance 3D Painter, so that then can import and then adjust the parameters are required; and b) to act as a foundational step as SL moves towards supporting PBR, as PBR will require additional texture channels, etc., and LL believe this approach offers a means to start holing that additional information.
    • However, as assets, materials, while copyable / reusable, would not initially be editable in-world when in use.
  • To start this off, LL are looking to:
    • Better understand “typical” workflows used by content creators (notably the specific tools creators would like to see supported), and how they might better support those workflows.
    • Gain feedback on how creators might want to use an expanded materials system.
  • It is felt that to be of value, the entire SL reflection model would require an extensive overhaul to better support specularity handling. However, LL are still determining overall support for materials, and have suggested specularity could be handled in one of two ways:
    • The glTF could be adapted to the existing SL texture entry parameter;
    • Or (seen as preferable) add glTF support to the render engine for materials exactly as they come out of Substance 3D Painter and similar tools, allowing reflection models produced within them to be properly represented.
    • Support for the latter is already available within the viewer, but is not currently readily accessible for use.
  • Some form of user group may well be established to help manage discussions going forward and help understand how different tools implement glTF and how creators utilise those tools.
  • Provision of materials support for Bakes on Mesh is not a part of this work.

In Brief

A lot of general discussion on a number of topics, none of which is currently the focus of any Lab project, including:

  • “Flexi-mesh”: .a frequent request to have mesh react to physics in the same manner as flexiprims.
    • Technically this could be made possible by treating the flexiprim physics as part of the skeleton rather than as just a primitive path.
    • However, there is a real risk that were this to be done, it would break existing flexiprim content.
    • Currently, there are no plans to touch the flexiprim code; or offer support for “flexi-mesh”. However, if a well-conceived feature request on the subject is submitted, then it might be something that the Lab could look at in the future to see how it might be addressed.
  • Physics enhancements (e.g. altering the rate at which an avatar sinks in Linden Water so as to be more realistic) – no plans at present to touch the physics system.
  • There has been a request to completely overhaul the mesh importer to provide a much better means of previewing models prior to upload (e.g. see things like lighting effects, how textures appear, etc.).
    • Doing so is seen as assisting workflows by allowing models to be previewed without the need to log-in to the beta grid (for free uploads), easing the workflow when working on the Main grid.
    • Again, shy of a detailed feature request, there are no plans to overhaul the mesh importer in a dramatic way.
  • BUG-231985 “LL Incoming Damage Cap” is a new feature request to make the SL damage system more flexible to creators of combat, etc., environments / games when damage is a factor (e.g. by allowing a max damage per hit cap to be set for a region / parcel, so that players aren’t automatically “dead” on the first hit).
  • Setting animation priority via script: frequently requested, but not yet on the roadmap, although LL are aware of the popularity of the request.