The following notes were taken from my audio recording and chat log of the Content Creation User Group (CCUG) meeting held on Thursday, August 18th 2022 at 13:00 SLT. These meetings are chaired by Vir Linden, and their 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.
Official Viewers Status
- Release viewer: version 188.8.131.523358 – formerly the Maintenance 2 RC viewer, dated August 1, promoted August 4 – no change.
- Release channel cohorts:
- Project viewers:
- Love Me Render (LMR) 6 graphics improvements project viewer 184.108.40.2063263, July 21.
- Performance Floater project viewer, version 220.127.116.111296, May 10.
- Mesh Optimizer project viewer, version 18.104.22.1686858, dated January 5, issued after January 10.
- Copy / Paste project viewer, version 22.214.171.1243365, dated December 9, 2019.
Materials and PBR Work
Please also see previous CCUG meeting summaries for further background on this project.
- The back-end updates are now “all there”, and the focus is now on “tightening up” the graphics., the the image-based side of things now looking “pretty good”.
- Internal testing currently involves Second Life, the new PBR / Materials viewer, the Kronos glTF 2.0 standard and Adobe Substance tools (Painter, Stager) to ensure that results displayed within Second Life are consistent with expectations when working within Substance Painter and with glTF.
- Some inconsistencies with using directional lights created in Blender have been noted and subject to further testing.
- Those with access to the Content Creation Discord server will be able to obtain an updated viewer soon. This will lack transparency support or LSL support; it will also have some “rough edges” around the UI and inventory support.
- This is a test viewer only, and not for general consumption.
- A more public Project viewer will be made through the Alternate Viewers channels when the work is more stable and suited for wider consumption.
- Once the initial work on PBR Materials is released, the graphics team will likely work on some quality of life improvements (e.g. bug fixes) for the graphics system, rather than launching into a new project immediately.
Possible New Inventory Fields
Whilst not solely related to content creation, the Lab has been discussing the potential of adding new inventory fields. Ideas being considered or also put forward at the meeting comprise:
- Providing a thumbnail image of the inventory item, rather than having to rely solely on descriptive text.
- A means of “tagging” inventory items (e.g. to define what they are in terms of being an attachment or not, and whether the attachment is / is not rigged, etc.), rather than just simply leaving them as a list of orange boxes.
- Providing a formal means of “archiving” items that are not regularly used but which are not yet ready to be deleted (other than boxing things up and creating more orange boxes….).
- Splitting head shapes and body shapes to make it easier for people who use different heads with the same body (or vice-versa).
- Requests are again surfacing for texture animation support in particles (see feature request BUG-5307). Those interested in seeing such capabilities should consider adding feedback to this Jira.
- This led to questions on a complete overhaul of the SL particle system, which is not something currently under consideration as a possible future project at the Lab – which is not so say incremental updates are ruled out. Again, specific requests incremental updates system should be made via Jira.
- For texture animations on particles, for example, the Lab would likely consider adopting the existing texture animation system for use with particles, rather than rebuilding the particle system to handle texture and other animations.
- There was a brief discussion of a viewer-side Animation Override (AO) system (e.g. similar in nature to the Firestorm approach). This has been raised in the past at TPV Developer meetings, where it appears to get more robust discussion.
- The question was raised of having support for user-defined custom shaders in Second Life. The short answer is “no”, as there are too many variables (a custom shader for a single scene may work – but what happens with 30 people utilise their own shaders / shaders made by others and all congregate at a single club? The rendering will not scale (also, with people all creating their own shaders, how can a consistent result be ensured? What about the risk of malicious shaders being used with content?).
- Thursday September 1st, 2022.