2019 SL User Groups 7/3: TPV Developer Meeting

Petit Lac Des Cygne; North Providence, January 2019, on Flickr
North Providenceblog post

The following notes are taken from the TPV Developer meeting held on Friday, February 15th, 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

[0:00-1:18 and 3:54-4:15]

The Bakes On Mesh project viewer updated to version 6.0.2.524367 on Friday, February 15th. The rest of the current viewer pipelines remain as per earlier in the week:

  • Current Release version 6.0.1.522263, dated December 5, promoted December 13. Formerly the Spotykach Maintenance RC viewer – 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):
    • BugSplat RC viewer, version 6.1.0.524348, February 13. 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.
    • Estate Access Management (EAM) RC viewer, version 6.1.0.523351, January 23.
    • Love Me Render RC viewer, version 6.0.2.523177, January 16.
  • 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.

It is hoped that one of the current RC viewers will gain promotion to de facto release status, although there is one further issue in the Love Me Render viewer to be seen to. Also, the EEP viewer could see promotion to RC status in the very near future.

Viewer-Related Web Changes

Release Notes

[16:35-18:20] The Lab will be introducing a new system for release notes. In short:

  • It will use a new website for publishing release notes, and not the currently SL wiki pages.
  • Those release notes currently on the wiki will remain there for archival purposes.
  • Once visible, any issues should be reported via Jira.

User Profiles – Viewer and Web

[18:23-24:35] The current user profiles seen in the viewer, on the web, via various feeds, etc., are all currently powered by a single application. There is an upcoming system upgrade in the pipeline that might result in some breakage within this app. The Lab will therefore be moving viewer profiles back to using floater-style user profiles, as is seen with the like of Firestorm.

Upcoming changes will impact the current means of providing profile information. In particular, this means the official viewer will, in the future cease using the web format for displaying profile information (l) and will revert to a more “legacy” style, as seen in various TPVs (like Firestorm, shown r).

It is not currently clear what will happen to the current web profiles and feeds. It is hoped these will be able to continue to work, but the Lab is also contemplating a “worst-case” scenario that they may be retained for historical purposes (so snapshots uploaded to feeds are preserved and remain viewable, for example), but will no longer work as they do now – but this is not what the Lab is hoping to achieve.

This will not be an immediate change, as there may be issues along the way the Lab need to work through.

Weekend Issues

[5:27-6:31] The weekend of February 9th /10th saw some significant issues with Second Life, and extended periods of unscheduled maintenance. The problems that contributed to the issues are still being investigated, ut the Lab is close to understanding exactly what went wrong, and how to respond should a similar issue occur.

As an aside, the weekend issues result in inventory problem that caused some uses to see the “cannot remove protected categories” error. If you are still seeing this message, and have not already done so, file a support ticket.

In Brief

  • [1:20-1:46] Visual Studio 2017 Build Process Update: work on this is progressing well, but will like pause in the coming week, due to the project lead being on vacation.
  • [2:09-2:40] EPP: As per my SUG meeting and CCUG meeting notes, the simulator EEP code is now on BlueSteel and LeTigre. This will not get a further promotion in week #8, as there is a fix for another issue the Lab wants to see get wider exposure on the grid.
  • [6:50-10:18] Avatar attachment issues: there have been reports of attachments belonging to other avatars randomly appearing to be attached to your screen when logging-in to / teleporting to busy regions. The underlying problem appears to be a race condition in which the object data for the attachment is received by the viewer ahead of the avatar / attachment point data (and should correct when the latter is received).
    • In the meeting, the issue is specifically reported as occurring with “jellydolled” avatars, but this appears to be purely coincidental.
  • [10:39-11:28] New EEP Assets causing log-in freezes: a default set of new EEP object types were added to the asset library recently for use with the EEP viewer. However, if pulled into a non-EEP viewer, they can cause log-in freezes, as the viewer repeatedly generates an error message for each individual asset it encounters in loading inventory, rather than simply throwing a single message of the asset type, and simply ignoring the rest of the individual assets. There is a fix for this, but it has yet to reach the current release viewer code base.
  • [11:37-14:10] Landmark assets getting fetched twice at log-in: this appears to be a new(ish) issue. Although landmark assets only appear once in inventory, the viewer appears to be fetching them twice; once around mid-way through the log-in process, and then again at the end. The cause is unknown at present, but it has been noted by the Lab.
    • An intermediate workaround if your logins are being delayed unduly is to delete you landmarks.
    • This can might cause the degraded performance message (see below).
  • [13:07-15:33] Degraded performance message: “Linden Lab has detected degraded performance on your connection”, with a suggestion you relog, is a message users might receive when the viewer is failing to acknowledge enough of the UDP messages exchanged with the simulator.
    • This can be the result of your router being overloaded by whatever else it might be doing, so responses from the viewer fail to reach the simulator.
    • It might also be the result of issues being experienced in the simulator.
    • While a lot of asset-related UDP messaging has been removed from simulator / viewer communications, there is still much that does require / well suited to UDP, particularly where information is changing, and the viewer needs the latest update, not a re-send of a now outdated updated (e.g. object updates), as would be the case using something like TCP, which attempts to re-send the data it has, rather than any new data.
    • See also BUG-225544.
  • BUG-226352 requests allowing users to define more than a single resolution when uploading a texture

    [30:21-31:37] In-Viewer Animation Creation: This is a project based on contributions from NiranV Dean (Black Dragon viewer). Vir and Nat Linden had been working on elements of the project, but are both also busy with other viewer-related projects (e.g. Animesh follow-on investigations for Vir, working on the VS 2017 update for Nat). Resources are also being swallowed by the under-the-hood work required for the transition to the cloud, which is also impacting assorted projects.

  • [32:18-32:35] Texture resampling & mipmap availability: this has been the subject of extensive blog and forum discussions – see my week #7 CCUG summary) One outcome of this is Beq Janus has filed a feature request so users can define more than a single resolution when uploading a texture (see the dummy uploader floater design, right). The hope is this might encourage more people to make better choices about texture resolution use (very high resolutions aren’t always required, depending on how / where they are used, but can result in unnecessary texture memory use if unwisely employed).
  • [32:39-32:50] Asset UDP messaging deprecation: Aura Linden is now engaged in this work. This will include removal of the GrantUserRights message (found in LL PropertiesProcessor::sendfriendrights() ), which has been completely disconnected in the viewer since 2.0 days.TPVs are asked to check their code to confirm removal of the message path will not cause them problems.
  • [34:37-35:19] Does SL use multi-threading: yes, in parts of the viewer and the simulator code, but not as extensively as the Lab would like.

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Barbara Borromeo at the Lin C Art Gallery

Lin C Art Gallery: Barbara Borromeo

Currently open through until the end of the month at the Lin C Art Gallery is an extensive exhibition of art by Barbara Borromeo (barbaraborromeo), an artist I have admired for her work and style for some time now.

On display are around 27 images by Barbara, some of which have appeared at previous exhibitions (see Barbara Borromeo at Serena Arts, for example), while others appear to be newer pieces – or at least pieces I’ve personally not seen previously. Together, they offer an engrossing display of Babara’s visual styles, from portraiture through fantasy to pieces that offer abstract art or which feature a blending of physical and digital images.

Lin C Art Gallery: Barbara Borromeo

There are so many aspects of Barbara’s work that makes it so captivating that singling out an individual piece from her portfolio can be counter productive; he images need to be seen as appreciated individually to fully understand the breath of her work and the canvas of her imagination.

That said, there are some elements of Barbara’s work that are beautifully exemplified in this exhibition, such as her collage pieces that blend together a number of elements into a single image: a portrait, a background (something themed), as with Enchanted Forest LN, Alter, and Cosmic Woman, which can so often weave a story in the mind.

Lin C Art Gallery: Barbara Borromeo

But even her more “normal” (in terms of capturing a scene) images such as Tuscany Byker OK, present such a rich depth and narrative, its is hard not to become completely bound up in them. I was also pleased to see  Words Never Said, a piece I first encountered in August 2018, which is magnificently powerful in its emotional content.

If you have not witnessed Barbara’s work first-hand, then I strongly urge you to go along to the Lin C Art Gallery and witness the power of her work for yourself; I guarantee you will not be disappointed. Awed, yes; but not disappointed.

Lin C Art Gallery: Barbara Borromeo

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Sansar 2019 Product Meetings week #7 w/audio

Villain Training Facility 23 – Ravioli

The following notes were taken from the Sansar Product Meeting held on Thursday, February 14th. The full video of the meeting is available here.

Following the February 7th Product Meeting, during which Ebbe Altberg indicated that avatar enhancements would be a focus for Sansar development for at least a part of 2019, this meeting focused on the sansar avatar, and upcoming changes.

Note that audio extracts are included below. However, these are not necessarily representative of the chronological run of the meeting; where appropriate, I have attempted to concatenate comments from Lab personnel by topic, in order to hopefully present a more logical follow to statements while (again hopefully) avoiding placing any of the statements out-of-context.

Lab-Driven Improvements

System Avatars

  • The overall style of the avatar is to be revamped as well so that Sansar avatars are generally better looking to start with. This will include numerous updates and the in-house name for the work is “avatar 2.0”.
  • Bone deformations are viewed as a preferable means to adjust avatar features by a simply “tugging” on them rather than having to use sliders all the time (a-la Second Life).
    • There will likely be maps on the body itself which will be click-to-drag, allowing cheeks to be fattened, the collar bones adjusted, etc.
  • Sliders (existing and new) will then be available for more fine-tuning of changes.
  • The deformation / slider updates will likely be made to the avatar face first, then expanded to include the avatar body.
  • A height slider and / or a means of uniform scaling is to be added to allow for taller / smaller avatars.
  • The next release will see the AA/BB bounding box on the avatar adjusted to 90cm all around.

Custom Avatar

  • There will be an immediate push to enhance the capabilities for custom avatars.
  • The first element of this will be to allow clothing – specifically clothing created using Marvelous Designer to be used on custom avatars.
    • This will include the use of a Gizmo-like tool (as seen in the Edit mode for placing and rotating objects in a scene) to help with the rotation and place placement (+scaling) of MD clothing on custom avatars.
    • It is hoped this support will be available in the April release.
  • A question was raised about someone creating an avatar that effectively “takes over” from a system avatar, simply because it is so widely used.
    • The Lab has no problem with this, as long as custom avatars are correctly rigged to the system avatar skeleton.
    • If a custom avatar proves popular enough, the Lab might even consider offering to make is a system avatar.
    • The hope is that creators will offer more non-human custom avatars (see also general comments, below).
  • The Lab is also looking to give custom avatars greater exposure to users coming into Sansar.
    • Many incoming users aren’t even aware that custom avatars are available in Sansar
    • This would be restricted to free custom avatars provided by creators, however,
    • It would be a means for creators to promote their work, and the Lab would provide creators details for those custom avatars featured in the avatar picker.
    • These avatars would be rotated on a regular basis (although the precise time frame as yet to be determined), so as to give participating / selected creators equal exposure over time.

Attachment Points and Accessories

Lab hopes to:

  • Provide more variability in attachments.
  • Make attachment points adjustable (to avoid issues of sunglasses floating above heads on small avatars, etc.).
    • The IU mechanism for doing this has yet to be determined, but might take the form of a Gizmo-like tool (or could be something completely different).
    • This would also be designed to allow attachments to be worn more freely. For example, as well as sunglasses being worn in front of the eyes, they can be positioned by the user as if pushed up on top of the head.
  • Open the attachment system to support custom avatars.
  • Support custom skins as a part of the “avatar 2.0” work, but this will initially be limited to just system avatars.
  • Allow tinting for hair / skins / nails / eyes for the current system avatars, potentially in the next couple of releases.
    • “multi-tints” (e.g blond hair darkening to red tips) will not be supported.
    • This will likely be removed once the “avatar 2.0” work is released, as this will utilise a different skin type utilising sub-surface scattering shaders, and tinting does not work particularly well with this approach.

However, animated attachments are not on the immediate roadmap.

General Discussion

  • The talk of enhancing the avatar system and extending capabilities to custom avatars sparked a discussion on the benefits of keeping to a single “format” of avatar utilising not only the same skeleton, but also the same UV maps, and allowing multiple custom avatars, each with a unique set of uv maps.
    • The former would allow makers of skins, tattoos, make-up, etc., to participate equally in the market without the name to worry about developing for specific avatar models.
    • The latter would potentially offer a wider choice of avatars to users, but makes supporting them with accessories such as skins potentially more complex for both creators and users (vis., the complexity of supporting multiple mesh body types in Second Life).
  • A ground offset capability / means for avatars to wear high heels is not currently on the roadmap.
  • Custom avatars and avatar accessories have an issue when creating the thumbnail image for the Sansar Store (in short: the model has to be uploaded twice). LL are aware this is not a good work flow, and will be looked into.
  • New user process: more outline information was given, including:
    • Offering new users improved options for avatar selection.
    • Accepting or declining until later the tutorial process and quest approach (as per my previous PM notes).
    • Extending the tutorial capability into avatar customisation.
    • Providing MD clothing in the individual avatar inventory to expose it to news users sooner.
  • Improved animations (e.g. the ability for avatars to properly hold a gun, to go through the actions of reloading it, etc.). These are being discussed at the Lab, but no project or time line for their introduction as yet.
  • However, various aspect of game play are to be enhanced over the next couple of releases, including the ability for avatars to jump or crouch, and improvements to Desktop mode (e.g. improved aim / throwing capabilities).
  • A little further out (a few months), the Lab plan to start looking into providing a proper mechanism for avatars to ride vehicles.
  • Avatar inventory – the ability to have some form of inventory an avatar is “carrying” (so they can draw a sword or gun when it is needed, or consult a map, etc.), is being considered.
    • One thing that cannot be supported right now is the ability to swap clothing. This requires the use of the Look Book, and the architecture will not support this.
    • What may be supported, possibly by the end of 2019, is the ability to swap avatars without needing to go to the Look Book (so if you have a fully dressed avatar clothed in A.B,C, and another clothed in X,Y,Z, you can swap between them without having to go to the Look Book, but you won’t be able to swap “jacket A” for “jacket “X” on your current avatar without going to the Look Book).
  • Respawning in an experience at the same point from which we entered Look Book (rather than back at the experience’s main spawn point): this is being worked on, and will be coming SoonTM.

 

Support Parkinson’s Awareness Month in Second Life

Courtesy of Creation’s for Parkinson’s/Events for Parkinson’s

April 11th, 2019 is World Parkinson’s Day, intended to raise awareness of Parkinson’s disease, promoting a greater understanding of this condition and how it can affect a person. To mark it, many countries are marking April as Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Month. In Canada and the United States, this is being supported by the Parkinson Society Canada and American Parkinson Disease Association. Other countries around the world are holding more focus events. In the UK, for example, there will be a Parkinson’s Awareness Week (April 10-16th), supported by Parkinson’s UK.

Within Second Life, Creations For Parkinson’s/Events For Parkinson’s have partnered with Miss Globe Universal Charity Foundation to also mark Parkinson’s Awareness Month, with Oasis, a special event running from April 1st through April 21st, 2019 inclusive.

Right now, through until February 25th, they are seeking merchants and bloggers to support the event, which is described thus:

We plan to provide a beautiful Egyptian themed region for invited brands, bloggers, and guests for a fun shopping experience, music, theatre entertainment, twice the hunts and much more during the wonderful time of the Spring season in the era of Ancient Egypt. We also want to raise more awareness for this amazing charity through education for guests. Lending your support to The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, we are forever grateful. 

– From the Creations for Parkinson’s website

Merchants wishing to participate in the Oasis event are asked to  register their interest in participating in the event by completing the Merchant’s Application Form.  Note that details of the four merchant packages and their prices are available on the second page of the application form.

Bloggers wishing to cover the event are asked to complete the Blogger Application Form. Applicants are required to write a minimum of 2 posts covering the event, and posts must be recorded using the event’s blog management reporting system.

Media sponsors wishing to support the event are asked to contact DjRoseAthena, either in-world or via Facebook. If she is not available for those preferring in-world contact, interested parties are asked to contact the event’s co-coordinator, Nola Hellershanks.

About Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative condition. In Europe, approximately 1.2 million people have their lives impacted by the disease, and in the United States it is the second most common neuorlogical disorder after Alzheimer’s.

“Neurodegnerative” is a term referring to a progressive loss of nerve cells (neurons) and/or their function. Neurodegeneration from Parkinson’s disease can give rise to a wide spectrum of symptoms which vary among sufferers depending on the severity of the disease’s impact, what’s more symptoms can be unpredictable and can vary on a time scale as short as one minute. As the disease progresses, symptoms can worsen; for example, over time a person may not be able to move, speak or swallow. This can often arise 4-8 years after the initial onset of Parkinson’s disease.

The cause of the disease is unknown, and there are no known successful treatments which can delay or stop its progression. To further complicate matters, because of the broad range of symptoms, Parkinson’s may be initially misdiagnosed. In addition, while it is most often seen as a disease affecting people of 50 or older, a form of Parkinson’s disease can strike people at a much younger age, and one in twenty of the 8 million Parkinson’s sufferers worldwide is below the age of 40. Known as Young Onset Parkinson’s Disease (YOPD), this differers from older onset Parkinson’s, both because genetics appears to play a stronger role in it, and the symptoms may differ, as does response to medication.

Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Month is intended to raise public awareness of the disease, its impact, and to encourage people to help support those affected by Parkinson’s by encouagring them to donate to organisations carrying out research into finding a cure or adequate treatment for the disease. As noted above, these organisations include the likes of the Parkinson Society Canada, the American Parkinson Disease Association, and Parkinson’s UK.

The Oasis event in April, also as noted above, aims to raised funds to help with the Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, which has to date raised some US $800 million for research initiatives.

2019 SL User Groups 7/2: Content Creation summary

The Grumpy Troll; Inara Pey, January 2019, on Flickr
The Grumpy Trollblog post

Updated, February 16th: the suggestion to make suitable mipmaps available to users when uploading textures (see the end of this summary) has been translated into a feature request by Beq Janus, allowing users to select multiple image resolutions when uploading a texture – see BUG-226352.

The majority of following notes are taken from the Content Creation User Group (CCUG) meeting, held on Thursday, February 14th, 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 Updates

  • The Bugsplat RC viewer updated to Wednesday, February 13th, to version 6.1.0.524348.

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, but 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

  • Anchor Linden has pinned down a couple of further bugs.
  • The hope is that BoM will progress to viewer release candidate (RC) status in the near future, although this is down to internal testing at the Lab.

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 includes the ability to use custom Sun, Moon and cloud textures. The assets can be stored in inventory and traded through the Marketplace / exchanged with others, and can additionally be used in experiences.

Due to performance issues, the initial implementation of EEP will not include certain atmospherics such as crepuscular rays (“God rays”).

Resources

Current Status

  • On the simulator side, EEP is now on the BlueSteel and LeTigre channels (representing roughly 20% of the main grid).
  • There is “one last” major issue with the current viewer code to be resolved. This is related to experiences, and Rider Linden believes he has a fix for the problem.
    • It is therefore hoped the EEP viewer will move to RC status very soon.
    • The next update to the viewer should include fixes for BUG-226249.
  • There have been some changes to the data returns by llGetenvironment, and further changes will be made in the coming week. These changes will be reflected in the wiki documentation.
  • There is also a bug that can cause avatar tags to be corrupted in certain EEP environments, as demonstrated by Whirly Fizzle (below).
Whirly Fizzle demonstrates the corrupt avatar tags that can occur under certain EEP environments. Credit: Whirly Fizzle
  • This pass of EEP will not, as previously reported, include Godrays at this point in time. It is hoped these will be added in the future – although when in the future is not clear.

Animesh Follow-On

  • Vir has some prototype hooks in the code that allow body parts in the inventory of an Animesh to be used to customise the skeleton of the Animesh. This doesn’t (as yet) include any communications from the viewer to the simulator, which s the next thing Vir will be examining.
    • This next part of the work may possibly hampered by the fact there is an “embarrassingly large” number of ways to transmitting object information between the viewer and the simulator.  None of them are particularly comprehensive, making it harder to determine how best to add messaging specific to Animesh.
    • As a result Vir is also looking at a means of rationalising things to make it easier to add object information communications to the system beyond Animesh.
  • There have been requests to provide a means to obtain things like the tri count for Animesh. Vir believes it might be easier to add the means to obtain streaming cost, etc., (as this information is already supplied for in-world objects), and / or to give a more straightforward means of indicating whether something can be linked into an Aminesh object or not.
    • Tri counts are being required so creators can check whether or not linking objects together for an Animesh will take them over the tri count limit for Animesh.
    • A problem here is that the simulator doesn’t have the full tri count information for any mesh object, only an estimate to assist in making LI calculations; so using LSL to extract the information could require more in the way of back-end work to expose the required information obtained from the viewer.
    • There is also a risk that as time goes on, the rules regarding what is allowed for Animesh might change – including the tri count. Any such change could therefore invalidate the accuracy of scripts with a hard-coded tri count limit.
  • A request as also been made to enable / disable Animesh via LSL. This is currently not on the cards, unless a compelling use-case can be defined.
    • A suggestion has been that using LSL to disable Animesh could help reduce LI when Animesh objects don’t need to be animated. However, due to the fact Animesh is rendered differently to static objects, this would likely not work in the way people imagine.
  • Vir still hopes to re-work Reset Skeleton a system command so that anyone triggering a reset of their avatar skeleton when they see it deformed can send that update to all other viewers in the scene perform a reset for that skeleton, rather than users having to manually select and reset the affected avatar.
    • If this is done, it is unlikely to include any LSL support, due to the risk of it being over-used in scripts, with the potential for performance hits.
  • Another request is to have a viewer-side option to reset Animesh skeletons. This is viewed as a good idea, as there is already a debug setting (DebugAnimatedObject – set to True) for this, which could be better exposed, although it doesn’t work with Animesh objects attached to avatars.

Texture Resampling

Thanks to a somewhat confused blog post at New World Notes, there has been a lot of talk over the last couple of days about a “debug setting that miraculously improves texture quality”. In actual fact, there is no such thing – as Beq Janus explains in her own blog (see: Compression depression – Tales of the Unexpected) and in the forums (see bi-curious? You should be – or why your assumed wisdom may not be correct).

As Beq correctly points out, there is no “magic” debug setting to improve the resolution or quality of all textures, and Second Life cannot displayed textures with a resolution greater than 1024×1024.

What Beq did confirm is (as per their descriptions) the referenced debugs can be used to upload textures much larger than 1024×1024 Second Life. However, such textures will be resampled to 1024×1024. The particularly interesting thing here is that in resizing such images, the viewer uses bilinear resampling which – contrary to perceived wisdom pointing to bicubic resampling – can actually result in far better quality in the finished 1024×1024 texture.

Beq’s forum post and (particularly) her blog post explains what appears to be happening – and how direct resizing very high-resolution images using bilinear resampling to 1024×1204 prior to upload will also result in better quality textures with viewed in-world.

Does this mean that the upload texture size limit should be increased? Well, no. The crucial part of this is that the different is only seen with 1024×1024 textures – which have issues in terms of the amount of memory they eat, and in the fact they are already drastically over-used. As such, increasing the allowed upload resolution prior to resampling might further elevate the use of 1024×1024 textures.

In the meantime, the forum post has triggered some interesting discussion around bilinear and bicubic resampling, and where each might be preferable to use, and how bilinear could benefit the production of seamless normal maps.

A further suggestion resulting from these discussions (or the resurgence of a suggestion) is to make all the mipmaps for an uploaded textures available, rather than the just the level selected at upload (so, for a 1024×1024, the 512×512, 256×26 and 128×128 mipmaps are also made available to the user, allowing them to experiment and see how the different resolutions work on surfaces.  A feature request Jira has been requested for this idea.

The peace and seasons of Angelhaven in Second Life

Angelhaven; Inara Pey, February 2019, on FlickrAngelhaven – click any image for full size

Angelhaven is an artists’ concept of the natural wheel of change, beautifully expressing the seasons around us and within us. A haven for angels, winged and unwinged, and those searching for romance, peaceful prayer, and the things that comfort and remind us we are only human. Happy or sad, lonely or in good company, love and loss, life and death, there is a time and a season for all things.

– Angelhaven description

Angelhaven; Inara Pey, February 2019, on FlickrAngelhaven

So reads the description for the Full region of Angelhaven,designed and held by Vangel (VanderGalaeth). As the description suggests, this is a place for reflection, a natural setting that encompasses the beauty of nature and the realm of fantasy. It is also a place that exists on multiple levels, starting with the landing point  1,000 metres above ground level.

Here, visitors will find the rules for visiting the region – all of which are straightforward and understandable. Also available by touching the rules board, is a note card outlining all the major destinations within the region, each with its own land mark enclosed. However, these can also be reached via the teleport disk located at the end of the short hall leading off the main arrivals hall.

Angelhaven; Inara Pey, February 2019, on FlickrAngelhaven

Several of the locations can be found on the ground – including the Ballroom, the Café, the four seasons and the Swamp. Others are located on their own islands in the sky, such as the Lunar House, the Angel House, and the Solar House. Given the fantasy nature of the region, the windlight offers an ethereal look and theme: a pervasive orange glow surrounding the land and sky islands.

Those locations on the ground are linked one to another by paths making exploration possible without necessarily resorting to teleporting. Walking also reveals all the little spots to be found for sitting, cuddling and simply resting.

Angelhaven; Inara Pey, February 2019, on FlickrAngelhaven

The sky locations offer a nice feeling of further privacy and separation, while the similar nature of their appearance also helps give a sense of commonality between them, and thus a feeling of continuity as you travel one to the next, or between them and locations on the ground.

Finished with a fitting ambient sound scape, Angelhaven makes for a restful visit; a place where myth and fantasy mix gently with one anther to offer an environment open to being enjoyed and where tension can slip away. As noted, there are plenty of places to be found for couples to enjoy, as well as places to be appreciated in solitude.

Angelhaven; Inara Pey, February 2019, on FlickrAngelhaven

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