2019 SL User Groups 3/2: TPV Developer Meeting

The Forest - Winter Wonderland; Inara Pey, December 2018, on Flickr
The Forest – Winter Wonderland, December 2018 – blog post

The following notes are taken from the TPV Developer meeting held on Friday, January 18th, 2019. A video of the meeting is embedded below, my thanks as always to North for recording and providing it. Time stamps are provided to the major topics of discussion , which will open the video in a new tab for ease of reference.

SL Viewer

[2:40-4:00]

The following viewers updated on Wednesday, December 16th, 2019:

The remainder of the official pipelines remain as:

  • Current Release version 6.0.1.522263, dated December 5, promoted December 13. Formerly the Spotykach Maintenance RC viewer – No Change.
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • Estate Access Management (EAM) RC viewer, version 6.1.0.522564, December 19.
    • BugSplat RC viewer, version 6.1.0.522614, December 18. This viewer is functionally identical to the current release viewer, but uses BugSplat for crash reporting, rather than the Lab’s own Breakpad based crash reporting tools.
  • Project viewers:
  • Linux Spur viewer, version 5.0.9.329906, dated November 17, 2017 and promoted to release status 29 November – offered pending a Linux version of the Alex Ivy viewer code.
  • Obsolete platform viewer, version 3.7.28.300847, May 8, 2015 – provided for users on Windows XP and OS X versions below 10.7.

The EEP viewer is now very close to being promoted to RC status, and if all goes to plan, the simulator EEP support should be going to RC as well very soon.

Viewer Build Process

[4:04-7:24] The Lab is starting on moving their viewer build process to Visual Studio 2017.  This may lead to changes appearing in the build process as this work progresses. So far the work is proceeding smoothly, and is not anticipated as taking too long to complete. After this, the Lab plans to track their build process updates a lot more closely to Visual Studio releases (VS 2019 will be appearing this year).  Mac builds are to OS 10.13, and use Xcode 10.

Linux Viewer Status

[11:40-17:42] A couple of TPV Linux developers have contacted Oz Linden concerning assistance with the Linux build of the viewer. The holiday period, plus the fact Oz was on vacation immediately following it, means he has not followed up on the offers as yet, but will be doing so. It is hoped that this means work on supporting Linux will once again resume soon.

The Lab’s plan had been to provide a basic Debian build for Linux, avoiding the need to rebuild all the libraries for different tarballs. However, but suggestions have been made to consider using snaps / flatpacks instead. Currently the Lab is open to trying to incorporate the progress other have made in supporting Linux, including setting up build environments to support them with the aim of providing a Linux flavour for the viewer once more, with the caveat that any work carried out must not break the build processes for the other platforms.

There are a couple of potential caveats with any Linux viewer build that emerges from this work:

  • It will not have direct Voice support because a) Vivox no longer support Linux; b) changes to the Voice API means older versions of the SLvoice.exe plug-in will not work. (although voice via Wine is possible).
  • It is unlikely to have Havok support. It is felt that the number of Linux user actually employing the official Linux viewer has always been so small that the effort to incorporate the Havok libraries is not seen as worthwhile. This may be revised as work progresses.

Non-HTTP Asset Fetching / UDP Path Deprecation

[7:44-10:36] All asset types are – and have been for some time – fetched via HTTP / the CDN. However, the old UDP message paths for such fetching has remained in place. This is now being deprecated from the simulator code. The patch for this is not ready to go, and should be rolling out across the simulator release channels over the next few weeks, a little later than originally planned.

This means anyone using really old viewers that do now have HTTP asset fetching (notably for the likes of system body parts, system clothing, gesture, animations, sounds, landmarks and textures) will not long be able to obtain responses to asset requests.

[34:52-35:15] The Lab will also consider requests to move other functions away from UDP to other capabilities.

In Brief

  • Reports are increasing on the time it takes mesh attachments (clothing, body parts, to “snap” into place when logging-in or teleporting to a region where there is a number of other avatars.
  • Some Firestorm users are also reporting texture corruption issues linked to the above, which may be linked to Malwarebytes anti-virus software..
  • Firestorm is hoping to move the current version with Animesh support to a “full” release around the end of January, hopefully).
  • Catznip is planning a release without Animesh support, to be followed by a release with optional Animesh release.

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2019 SL User Groups 3/1: Simulator User Group

R.A.H.M.E.N.L.O.S; Inara Pey, November 2018, on Flickr
R.A.H.M.E.N.L.O.S blog post

Server Deployments

As always, please refer to the server deployment thread for the latest information and updates.

  • There was no deployment to the SLS (Main) channel on Tuesday, January 15th, 2019.
  • There will be at least one RC channel deployment on Wednesday, January 16th, 2019. This will have extra back-end logging, but nothing visible to users.

SL Viewer

At the time of writing / publishing, there have been no updates to any of the viewers in the current pipelines at the start of the week, leaving things as follows:

  • Current Release version 6.0.1.522263, dated December 5, promoted December 13. Formerly the Spotykach Maintenance RC viewer – No Change.
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • Estate Access Management (EAM) RC viewer, version 6.1.0.522564, December 19.
    • BugSplat RC viewer, version 6.1.0.522614, December 18. This viewer is functionally identical to the current release viewer, but uses BugSplat for crash reporting, rather than the Lab’s own Breakpad based crash reporting tools.
    • Love Me Render RC viewer, version 6.0.2.522531, December 18.
  • Project viewers:
  • Linux Spur viewer, version 5.0.9.329906, dated November 17, 2017 and promoted to release status 29 November – offered pending a Linux version of the Alex Ivy viewer code.
  • Obsolete platform viewer, version 3.7.28.300847, May 8, 2015 – provided for users on Windows XP and OS X versions below 10.7. This viewer will remain available for as long as reasonable, but will not be updated with new features or bug fixes.

Hover Height / Vertical Positioning Issue

The hover height / vertical position issue that has seen tiny and very small avatars incorrectly hovering above the ground since November 2018 – see BUG-225893should now hopefully be fixed.

The problem lay within changes made to the back-end Back Service, which manages the overall avatar appearance. The Lab had been working on trying to locate the root cause of the problem for some time, hampered by the fact a consistent reproduction of the issue when tweaking things to see what might be the cause proved difficult.

However, a fix was developed in week #2, and passed to the Lab’s QA team for testing. The fix was deployed on Monday, January 14th, 2019. As per the notes on the update, “any avatars experiencing issues with hover height will need to change outfits in order to help you stand on the ground.

Environment Enhancement Project

It is anticipated that a broader server deployment of EEP (currently on a limited deployment on the Snack channel) will occur in week #4 (commencing Monday, January  21st, 2019). This will hopefully see EEP go RC-wide on the main grid, and will be accompanied by a viewer update with further UI tweaks, bug fixes and (hopefully!) the additional render updates to enable things like crepuscular rays (“God rays”). rider will also be updating the LSL documentation on the SL wiki as it pertains to EEP.

Resources

Other Items

Puppeteering

is a topic that often comes up for discussion. While Animesh has potentially opened the door to better means of controlling NPC, creatures, etc., there are cases where on-the-fly control of your own avatar would be a help  (e.g. having more control over a  hug).

The pupeteering project was originally started to provide such a means of additional animation control. This reached the point where the results would have been confined to the user’s own world view (so not seen by others), but if followed through, it would have also included the network layering so that the result of pupeteered avatars would have been seen by all. However, this work was eventually put aside in 2011.

A more recent project, based on code contributed via the Black Dragon viewer is in progress, but (I believe, as I’ve not looked into it to any great depth) this will be more constrained in scope.

Some at the Lab have been tossing around ideas, but it should be noted these are only ideas, not a project, as Simon Linden mentioned at the meeting:

The hover height is an interesting little AV position mod … we’ve been brainstorming (warning – I think there was beer involved) with ideas like extending that, so for example you could adjust a hand position during a static pose. This is all just playing with ideas, however.

However, any in-depth work on the animation system is liable to require something of a deep dive into the system’s foundations – which probably won’t be easily countenanced at the moment.

In Brief

  • Animesh: Simon indicated there has been further internal discussions on what might be included in any Animesh follow-on project, with feature request BUG-22815 “Much needed Animesh specific constants for llGetObjectDetails()” being looked at in particular. LI for Animesh humans continues to be a concern; while it is noted a “reasonable” Animesh character can be made for around 28 LI, those using Bento can range around the 80-90 LI mark, possibly higher – which could limit their use. These discussions will likely continue through the “regular” forum for Animesh discussion: the Content Creation User Group.
  • OS Updates: work is still progressing on updating the operating system used by LL’s servers. This will not only bring them up to a more up-to-date OS version, but is also seen as foundation work for moving services to the cloud.

 

2019 SL User Groups 2/1: Content Creation

Winter's Hollow; Inara Pey, September 2018, on FlickrWinter’s Hollowblog post

The majority of the following notes are taken from the Content Creation User Group (CCUG) meeting, held on Thursday, January 10th, 2019 at 13:00 SLT. These meetings are chaired by Vir Linden, and agenda notes, meeting SLurl, etc, are usually available on the Content Creation User Group wiki page.

SL Viewer

There are still no updates to the current crop of official viewers in the pipelines, leaving things as follows:

  • Current Release version 6.0.1.522263, dated December 5, promoted December 13. Formerly the Spotykach Maintenance RC viewer.
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • Estate Access Management (EAM) RC viewer, version 6.1.0.522564, December 19.
    • BugSplat RC viewer, version 6.1.0.522614, December 18. This viewer is functionally identical to the current release viewer, but uses BugSplat for crash reporting, rather than the Lab’s own Breakpad based crash reporting tools.
    • Love Me Render RC viewer, version 6.0.2.522531, December 18.
  • Project viewers:
  • Linux Spur viewer, version 5.0.9.329906, dated November 17, 2017 and promoted to release status 29 November – offered pending a Linux version of the Alex Ivy viewer code.
  • Obsolete platform viewer, version 3.7.28.300847, May 8, 2015 – provided for users on Windows XP and OS X versions below 10.7.

Hover Height / Vertical Positioning Issue

Ever since server release 18#18.10.25.521081 was deployed at the end of October / beginning of November 2018, there have been reports of a hover height / positioning issue for full mesh avatars of less than “normal” height. This can leave such avatars floating 0.2 to 0.3 metres off the ground if non-height related changes are made after hover height has been set (BUG-225893).

Current Status

Anchor Linden has found the root cause for the issue, buried in the Bake Service. He has a fix for the problem, and it will be going out as soon as possible after it has been through testing and QA.

Animesh

Animesh and Pathfinding

As noted in my Simulator User Group update, there is increasing interest in Pathfinding now that Animesh is available, and there is a forum discussion going on around the ways and means to move Animesh which encompasses tests with Pathfinding.

Again, the Lab currently aren’t working on Pathfinding, but they are aware of the discussions and following them. In particular, there is interest in hearing back from people who have used Pathfinding sufficiently who could perhaps help define a set of best practices for using the capability / who have used it sufficiently with Animesh to be able to point to deficiencies in the system or could suggest means of improving it.

Animesh Sex?!

Early on in Animesh development a feature request was put forward suggesting a switch be added to the viewer so that if Animesh creators are on a parcel with parcel privacy enabled, they will obey the setting and not be seen from outside of the parcel so long as the root prim remains within the boundary (see BUG-202592). The idea would be to prevent “adult / sex” Animesh from being accidentally seen.

The bug was closed without action, and a suggestion has been made to add a scripted capability to do the same things. This seems to be something of an edge case / overkill, given animated objects of a sexual nature can be seen within a region with privacy enabled, even if the using avatars cannot.

Animesh Marketplace Sub-Categories

  • There are currently no plans to add sub-categories to the Animated Objects category of the Marketplace.
  • If it is  felt there is a name to add further sub-categories, suggestions should be made via the CCUG meetings and also the Web User Group meetings.

Environment Enhancement Project

Project Summary

A set of environmental enhancements allowing the environment (sky, sun, moon, clouds, water settings) to be set region or parcel level, with support for up to 7 days per cycle and sky environments set by altitude. It uses a new set of inventory assets (Sky, Water, Day),  and which include the ability to use custom Sun, Moon and cloud textures. These can be stored in inventory and traded through the Marketplace / exchanged with others, and can additionally be used in experiences.

The project also includes a new set of render shaders to support atmospheric effects such as rainbows, crepuscular rays (“God rays”), better horizon haze and fogging (but will not include rain / snow).

Resources

Current Status

  • Graham is continuing the final work on the shaders for things like crepuscular ray support, and Rider is working on a clean-up of the new EEP UI elements.
  • An updated project viewer that includes all of this work is anticipated as being available in week #3 (commencing Monday, January 14th, 2019).
  • Rider will also be updating the EEP LSL documentation in the wiki.
  • Sample settings objects are expected to appear in the viewer library “soon”. These will comprise all of the current default windlight settings found in the official viewer, plus a selection of windlights found in Firestorm.

ARCTan

ARCTan is the code-name for the project to re-evaluate object and avatar rendering costs to make them more reflective of the actual impact of rendering both, which it is hoped will also help correct some inherent negative incentives for creating optimised content (e.g. with regards to generating LOD models with mesh). This project has been on a slow burn through 2018, but is due to resume in 2019 – although when is still to be determined.

Other Items

  • iOS Client: Mention was made of the preliminary work being carried out to develop an iOS client. For details, please refer to the following blog posts:
  • Wiki updates: these is apparently some issue with the SL wiki which is causing problems with updates to the “official” pages managed by Linden Lab.
  • Mac Retina fixes: there are apparently issues of UI blurring with Mac Retina screens. There are fixes in-hand, but the time frame for deployment is not clear, although a new build of the viewer with Retina support was due to go to the Lab’s QA team on Thursday, January 10th.
  • Next CCUG Meeting: due to the Lab’s internal All Hands meeting (delayed from the start of the month), the next CCUG meeting will be on Thursday, 24th January, 2019.

 

2019 SL User Groups 2/1: Simulator User Group

Let It Snow!; Inara Pey, November 2018, on FlickrLet It Snow!blog post

Server Deployments

As always, please refer to the server deployment thread for the latest updates and information.

  • There was no deployment wo the SLS (Main) channel on Tuesday, January 8th, 2019, leaving the channel on server release #18.12.05.522294, comprising a voice service adjustment and internal fixes. However, regions on the channel were restarted in keeping with the Lab’s 14-day restart policy.
  • On Wednesday, January 9th the RC channel updates are slated as being:
    • Magnum and LeTigre are slated for “no roll” and to remain on server release 18#18.12.05.522294, first deployed to it on December 12th, 2018.
    • BlueSteel should be updated on Wednesday, January 9th, 2019 with server maintenance package 19#19.01.03.522821, comprising logging improvements, including “logging to gather baseline information on simulator performance in various areas of interest”.
    • Snack should remain on EEP simulator version 18#18.12.14.522551, first deployed on December 17th, 2018.
    • All RC channels should be restarted, again in keeping with LL’s 14-day restart policy.

SL Viewer

  • Current Release version 6.0.1.522263, dated December 5, promoted December 13. Formerly the Spotykach Maintenance RC viewer – No Change.
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • Estate Access Management (EAM) RC viewer, version 6.1.0.522564, December 19.
    • BugSplat RC viewer, version 6.1.0.522614, December 18. This viewer is functionally identical to the current release viewer, but uses BugSplat for crash reporting, rather than the Lab’s own Breakpad based crash reporting tools.
    • Love Me Render RC viewer, version 6.0.2.522531, December 18.
  • Project viewers:
  • Linux Spur viewer, version 5.0.9.329906, dated November 17, 2017 and promoted to release status 29 November – offered pending a Linux version of the Alex Ivy viewer code.
  • Obsolete platform viewer, version 3.7.28.300847, May 8, 2015 – provided for users on Windows XP and OS X versions below 10.7.

Pathfinding Revisited?

Pathfinding is a capability deployed to Second Life in 2012. For those unfamiliar with it, pathfinding was intended to provide a means to allow a range of automated characters – people, animals, monsters, mobile objects (“mobs”) to be created and set into motion within Second Life with greater ease than had been possible.

Using various tools and LSL commands, together with the “navmesh”- a representation of a region’s geometry generated and used by the Havok physics engine to determine paths for pathfinding characters – these characters would be able to navigate their way around obstacles, follow roads, climb inclines, etc. Yoy can read more about it in my 2012 Pathfinding overview.

Unfortunately, and due to a number of reasons – not all of which were entirely fair – Pathfinding never really gained significant use (in fact, many region holders disabled the capability out of fear concerning performance issues.

With the arrival of Animesh, however, there is potentially a new opportunity for Pathfinding to find a use. However, in the time that’s elapsed since the original deployment, there are things that need to be looked at – the wiki documentation, for example, appears to be somewhat out-of-date (and was always a little confusing). Also,Pathfinding itself can also be somewhat unpredictable, while some of the capabilities could possibly do with update.

Whether or not Pathfinding will be revisited by the Lab or not is currently an open question; however it has been a topic that has been raised at a number of user group meetings (Simulator can Content Creation), so it is something the Lab is aware of as being of potential interest to users / creators.

2019 SL User Groups 1/2: TPV Developer Meeting

Lutz City; Inara Pey, November 2018, on FlickrLutz City, November 2018; blog post

The following notes are taken from the TPV Developer meeting held on Friday, January 4th, 2019. A video of the meeting is embedded below, my thanks as always to North for recording and providing it. Note that was a brief meeting, with extended silences while things were discussed in chat.

This was a shot meeting, given not a lot has changed since the December 21st, 2018 meeting, and a no change window has been in effect at the Lab. Note that in the recording, there are some significant pauses in voice, and the time stamps below reflect this.

SL Viewer

[1:04-3:00]

Still no viewer updates since 2018, week #51, leaving the official viewer pipelines as follows:

  • Current Release version 6.0.1.522263, dated December 5, promoted December 13. Formerly the Spotykach Maintenance RC viewer.
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • Estate Access Management (EAM) RC viewer, version 6.1.0.522564, December 19.
    • BugSplat RC viewer, version 6.1.0.522614, December 18. This viewer is functionally identical to the current release viewer, but uses BugSplat for crash reporting, rather than the Lab’s own Breakpad based crash reporting tools.
    • Love Me Render RC viewer, version 6.0.2.522531, December 18.
  • Project viewers:
  • Linux Spur viewer, version 5.0.9.329906, dated November 17, 2017 and promoted to release status 29 November – offered pending a Linux version of the Alex Ivy viewer code.
  • Obsolete platform viewer, version 3.7.28.300847, May 8, 2015 – provided for users on Windows XP and OS X versions below 10.7. This viewer will remain available for as long as reasonable, but will not be updated with new features or bug fixes.

RC Viewers

Both the EAM and Bugsplat RC viewers are close to being at a point where either could be promoted to de facto release status. The current Love Me Render (rendering improvements) RC is liable to receive at least one more update before it will be ready to be considered for promotion. However, none of the viewers are ready for promotion in the immediate future.

Project Viewers

The Bakes on Mesh project viewer is still awaiting bug fixes, and the EEP viewer is awaiting UI updates and more atmospheric shader work, all of which is covered in my previous Content Creator UG summary. Both are expected to go to release candidate status “very soon”.

Texturing Fetching and Caching

[12:58-19:39] Linden Lab is working on both overhauling how textures are fetched and how they are cached by the viewer. This work involves pretty much rebuilding the entire texture fetching pipeline(possibly using HTTP 2), and changing the state the data is cached in by the viewer (uncompressed, rather than using JPEG 2K, removing the need for the local computer to decode / decompress the texture for JPEG 2K when loading it from cache into memory).  This should itself improve texture loading, as well as all of the changes hopefully bringing improvements to texture handling as a whole, as well as hopefully getting to a point where cache clearing has even less significance than it does at present (and hopefully remove more of the myths about cache clearing).

This work has been on the back burner for a while, but a resource has once again been assigned to it, with a focus on fixing the bugs in the fetching changes. If all goes well, these updates – which also change how texture memory is used – should be appearing in a release candidate viewer some time “in the next several weeks”.

This topic kicked off a text chat technical discussion on texture handling among TPV developers, that continued through to almost the end of the meeting. Please refer to the video for details.

General Notes

  • [5:14-5:32] TPVs should hopefully get the most recent crash stats in the next couple of weeks.
  • [6:09-6:32] Again, as per my CCUG summary, the Lab has received contributions from Beq Janus (mesh uploader improvements) and Nicky Dasmijn (improved search capabilities on preferences and settings). These should be appearing an a maintenance RC once implemented by the Lab.
  • [7:38-9:20] The Lab has ceased doing debug builds with viewer. This speeds the build process as enough data is gathered via deb info to remove a dedicated debug build. However, it does mean viewers using the debug build path many well fail during the build process, and one TPV is reporting issues with deb info – although this may be due to their build process being at a variance to the Lab’s.
  • [10:50-11:12] The Lab’s development viewer builds for Mac now use macOS Sierra (10.12). It’s not certain if this is the case for the production builds as yet.

2019 SL User Groups 1/1: Content Creation

Snow Falls; Inara Pey, November 2018, on FlickrSnow Falls, November 2018 – blog post

The majority of the following notes are taken from the Content Creation User Group (CCUG) meeting, held on Thursday, January 3rd, 2019 at 13:00 SLT. These meetings are chaired by Vir Linden, and agenda notes, meeting SLurl, etc, are usually available on the Content Creation User Group wiki page.

SL Viewer

Due to the end-of-year / new year break, at the time of writing, the official viewer pipelines remain unchanged from 2018 week #51:

  • Current Release version 6.0.1.522263, dated December 5, promoted December 13. Formerly the Spotykach Maintenance RC viewer.
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • Estate Access Management (EAM) RC viewer, version 6.1.0.522564, December 19.
    • BugSplat RC viewer, version 6.1.0.522614, December 18. This viewer is functionally identical to the current release viewer, but uses BugSplat for crash reporting, rather than the Lab’s own Breakpad based crash reporting tools.
    • Love Me Render RC viewer, version 6.0.2.522531, December 18.
  • Project viewers:
  • Linux Spur viewer, version 5.0.9.329906, dated November 17, 2017 and promoted to release status 29 November – offered pending a Linux version of the Alex Ivy viewer code.
  • Obsolete platform viewer, version 3.7.28.300847, May 8, 2015 – provided for users on Windows XP and OS X versions below 10.7.

Voice Update

There was a back-end update to SL voice on Wednesday, December 26th, 2018.

Hover Height / Vertical Positioning Issue

Ever since server release 18#18.10.25.521081 was deployed at the end of October / beginning of November 2018, there have been reports of a hover height / positioning issue for full mesh avatars of less than “normal” height. This can leave such avatars floating 0.2 to 0.3 metres off the ground if non-height related changes are made after hover height has been set (BUG-225893).

Current Status

Anchor Linden has been investigating this, and the current thinking is that it is related to a change made to the Appearance / Bake Service, rather than to a simulator update. However, it is still proving difficult to reproduce 100% of the time, so investigations are still in progress.

Animesh

  • The number of Animesh items on the Marketplace is increasing, and “Animesh” is now sufficiently recognised as a search term that using it will turn up relevant results, as well as using the Animated Objects category as a means of filtering.
  • The SL feature roadmap for 2019 is still being discussed, but Vir hopes to be able to put more work into Animesh in order to make Animesh characters easier to customise (e.g. applying a body shape). However, this work will not be appearing on the immediate horizon.

Environment Enhancement Project

Project Summary

A set of environmental enhancements allowing the environment (sky, sun, moon, clouds, water settings) to be set region or parcel level, with support for up to 7 days per cycle and sky environments set by altitude. It uses a new set of inventory assets (Sky, Water, Day),  and which include the ability to use custom Sun, Moon and cloud textures. These can be stored in inventory and traded through the Marketplace / exchanged with others, and can additionally be used in experiences.

The project also includes a new set of render shaders to support atmospheric effects such as rainbows, crepuscular rays (“God rays”), better horizon haze and fogging (but will not include rain / snow).

Resources

Current Status

  • Rider Linden is working on updates to the EEP settings tabs for both the Region / Estate floater and the About Land floater (parcel-level controls). These should be appearing in an EEP viewer update “soon”TM.
  • The viewer will hopefully be moving to RC status in the near future. In the meantime, it is hoped that the back-end will be expanded to a to least one further RC soonTM as well.
  • By the time the back-end role-out occurs, support for crepuscular rays should also be available through the viewer.

ARCTan

ARCTan is the code-name for the project to re-evaluate object and avatar rendering costs to make them more reflective of the actual impact of rendering both, which it is hoped will also help correct some inherent negative incentives for creating optimised content (e.g. with regards to generating LOD models with mesh). This project has been on a slow burn through 2018, but is due to resume in 2019 – although when is still to be determined.

Bakes On Mesh

Project Summary

Extending the current avatar baking service to allow wearable textures (skins, tattoos, clothing) to be applied directly to mesh bodies as well as system avatars. This involves viewer and server-side changes, including updating the baking service to support 1024×1024 textures, and may in time lead to a reduction in the complexity of mesh avatar bodies and heads.

This work does not include normal or specular map support, as these are not part of the existing Bake Service, nor are they recognised as system wearables. Adding materials support may be considered in the future.

Resources

Current Status

  • As Anchor Linden is still involved in determining and trying to fix the hover height / vertical positioning issue for smaller avatars, BoM is still pretty much on hold.

In Brief

  • Viewer contributions: The Lab have received contributions from the Firestorm Team:
    • Beq Janus has contributed her improvements to the mesh uploader (see my Firestorm 6.0.1 review).
    • Nicky Dasmijn has contributed improvements to the viewer’s search capabilities on preferences and settings.
    • Hopefully, these updates will be appearing in a Maintenance RC viewer at some point in the future.
  • SL 2019 Roadmap: It’s been acknowledged that 2019 is going to be something of a balancing act for Second Life between new features implementation and also all the infrastructure work involved in the transition to the cloud.
  • Baked Mesh “seams” issue: there have been reports of issues with “seam” appearing on meshes using baked textures. This appears to go back to a normal maps related issue (BUG-5975). Within the Lab, it had been thought the problem was the result of the used normal maps being discontinuous, rather than a shader issue. Further investigation will require further examples with “non-broken” normals in order to determine if it is a shader bug.