2022 week #37: CCUG meeting summary – updated

Endless: Birdlings Flat, July 2022 – blog post

Update, September 19th, 2022: in response to the discussion concerning the upcoming mesh new starter avatars and encouraging creators to help develop an ecosystem of clothing and accessories for them (see In Brief, below), Alexa Linden forwarded the following comment to me:

Linden Lab plans to release devkits for our new Default Avatars after we’ve gone live with them. We’re waiting to make sure everything goes smoothly and no tweaks are needed. Once we’re happy with the results we’ll work on the documentation and devkits to make them available for ALL creators interested in supporting these avatars.

Alexa Linden, Septmber 19th, 2022

 

The following notes were taken from  my audio recording and chat log of the Content Creation User Group (CCUG) meeting held on Thursday, September 15th 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 6.6.4.575022 – hotfix for Crash at ~LLModalDialog() – promoted September 15 – NEW.
  • Release channel cohorts (please see my notes on manually installing RC viewer versions if you wish to install any release candidate(s) yourself).
    • Maintenance P (Preferences, Position and Paste) RC viewer version 6.6.4.574750, issued September 6.
    • Maintenance 3 RC viewer, version 6.6.4.574727, September 1.
  • Project viewers:
    • Puppetry project viewer, version 6.6.3.574545,  issued on August 30.
    • Love Me Render (LMR) 6 graphics improvements project viewer 6.6.2.573263, July 21.
    • Performance Floater project viewer, version 6.5.4.571296, May 10.

Materials and PBR Work

Please also see previous CCUG meeting summaries for further background on this project.

  • Tangent spaces:
    • The glTF 2.0 standards are very specific about where tangent spaces are expected to be and behave. To this end, Second Life will use mikkTSpace tangents at least for PBR support.
    • There are internal discussions going on at the Lab as to whether this should be retroactively applied to existing meshes. If this is the case, meshes will have to be re-uploaded in order to have the correct tangents, do to the way bounding boxes are currently handled (the DA upload changes the coordinate frame of the original mesh, resulting in tangents being generated which do not match the normal map).
    • As it is, use of mikkTSpace tangents does increase Land Impact (LI), as the tangents are being stored inside the mesh alongside the normal information.  However, LL are currently running experiments to see if the tangents can be generated and stored without altering LI.
    • Until it is shown whether or not these experiments work, LL is requesting holding off on discussions about possible LI increases until they know what the likely scenarios is.
    • Alongside of mikkTSpace, this project will use per pixel binormal generation.
  • There is a mismatch between the colour space handling swatch in the viewer’s material’s editor and the glTF specification; the latter all calls for these colours to be in liner space, and in the viewer they are in SRGB space. This means that the values displayed by the swatch does not match the values which would be typed into a tool like substance Painter. It’s not currently clear how this mis-match will be handled.
  • Viewer:
    • Transparency and double-sided materials are now supported in the PBR development viewer.
    • To maintain commonality with the glTF specification, albedo in the PBR viewer is now called base colour.
    • Access to the PBR development server is via the Content Creation Discord channel, and requests to join that channel should be made in person at CCUG meetings. I am no longer able (at LL’s request) to furnish such information.
  • Again, this project is only focused on the materials elements of the glTF 2.0 specification, it does not including glTF mesh model import – although there is potential traction for this be a follow-on project, with the goal of eventually replacing COLLADA support for mesh uploads.
  • Ideally the Graphics team would like to structure work such that elements of the glTF 2.0 specification can be selected and then implemented within Second Life, thus presenting an “extensible” means of support the standard.

Puppetry Update

Please also refer to:

Notes:

  • Jiras from the Lab and users will now be available in the public Jira for ease of reference.
  • Meetings are held on Aditi (the beta grid) at the Castalet region Puppetry Theatre on alternate Thursdays at 13:00 SLT. The next meeting will be on Thursday, September 22nd, 2022.
  • Some users have been looking at using OpenXR  for Puppetry and enjoying some success.

In Brief

  • The New Linden Lab mesh New Starter avatar (see here for more): the project has reached the stage of the Lab (through the LDPW) generating a fixed set of content to support the avatar, which will be made available through the Library.
    • There is – as Patch Linden has indicated – the potential for content creators to be encouraged to support this new body and potentially provide a support ecosystem of clothing and accessories – although this will require a dev kit.
    • It’s been suggested that some existing clothing / accessory creators be invited to help test the new avatar.
    • Mention of the new mesh avatar triggered an extended discussion on the current state (and, for creators) pitfalls of the current multi-body / head marketplace and providing content, content efficiency, etc. As a more philosophical discussion (at this point in time) than a clear set of opportunities for improvements, the discussion largely falls outside of this summary.

Next Meeting

  • Thursday, September 15th, 2022.

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