I mostly use Release Candidate (RC) viewers. The new RC viewer with the Reported ‘appearance’ problems is 1.23.0 RC. Note that by June the 1.23 viewer will likely be mandatory because of the Adult Content change over. However the Lindens will change schedules or fix the problem rather than upset everyone, so not to worry. Do know that by default in the 1.23 viewer you are set to PG/Mature. You must change to PG or PG/Mature/Adult. (More info on Adult Content: SL Adult Content Blog)
Probably the more serious problem is the RC 1.23.0 triggering a false positive in some anti-virus programs. That has been a show stopper. The requirement for RC 1.23 to be required for RC-users has been lifted because of that.
Back to appearance, it is not all that bad. It certainly messes up my eyelashes. Otherwise most of the problems can be adjusted out in the appearance menu. See the images.
NYX Linden says in the Jira, “NOTE: Both pictures were taken from another viewer running 1.22. It is not the display of the skin that differs with 1.23, but the baking, and is evident to other viewers regardless of version.”
Now, that is just confusing. I think it means that if I use 1.23 and re-bake a texture then that is what everyone sees… that doesn’t make tech sense to me.
And NYX says, “The negative side effects you will see should be contained to the head texture – some layers that were previously obscured by tattoo layers that overwrote the entire texture were moved above the tattoo layer. These effects (eyebrows, makeup, etc) can all be removed by tweaking the visual parameters in the appearance editor.”
And NYX says, “In the meantime, any skin should be unaffected when using the 1.22 client.”
But, what will happen when the 1.23 viewer becomes the ‘standard’ viewer for SL?
Consider. This problem comes from an effort to add features most of us have been wanting. Things like additional layers which allow us to change makeup and tattoos while wearing no mod skins. Also the ‘Alpha’ channel change which will allow us to make parts of an AV disappear.
Anyone that makes clothes knows of Chip Midnight. He made the most popular clothes templates going. He made comments about these features in the Jira.
Chip Midnight added a comment – 29/Apr/09 01:09 PM
Thanks for the speedy response to this Nyx. We really need some way to allow people to apply makeup and tattoos over custom full body skins, and we have for a very long time. While allowing slider makeup to work over custom skins isn’t a bad idea in theory I think it would be of little use overall because there’s such a wide variety of lip shapes among skin makers. What I’d love to see is for the addition of a new type of inventory object that’s a container for textures with alpha channels with permissions (in the same way that skins already are) that people could layer over their skins without having to have them modifiable. That would enable a strong secondary market for skin add-on products, tattoos, and make the clothing system far more flexible than it is. It would also remove one of the major reasons people resort to ripping textures. It would be a boon to designers and end users alike. Something along those lines is what we really need.
In the Jira about additional avatar texture layers there’s a comment from a Linden from last year saying that the feasibility was being looked into and that we should expect updated information about it around November. No additional info was ever offered. Was any progress made in that direction?
nyx linden added a comment – 29/Apr/09 01:14 PM
Progress has been made on that and more. We’re currently working on a number of avatar improvements including the addition of alpha masks to the avatar.
We’re also going to be enabling the ability to wear multiple items of the same type. So in theory you could have a “base” skin layer and add on additional layers for makeup, tattoos, etc. There will be some limits, but it should be fairly flexible. I hope to work on some documentation of the plans for the wiki at some point when things settle down.
With these features coming the mistake in how skins bake in 1.22, which designers and residents have learned to live with, will be fixed. That means some will have some skin problems. How bad they are going to be depends on the skin.
It seems the quick fix for residents is going to be to use the appearance controls. Editing appearnce will clean up most of the problems. The ‘zero setting’ in some values is not a real zero. The zero setting does not completely turn off the aspect of appearance and that can be a problem. I would think that is simple fix and we will see Lindens fixing that in RC 1.23.1 or 2.
Still, it looks like there may be pain for some residents as we get the new features. Some skins may never look right again. But in general it should not be a problem.
Of course not all the changes in the RC are a problem. It has dynamic shadows, if you can figure out how to turn them on. It’s an ‘alpha stage item so the Lindens aren’t saying how to turn it on.
Most of the changes have to do with Adult Content. All the changes are listed here: Release Notes
There are many changes. You will see several things have been removed from the standard pie and drop down menus to the Advanced Settings (Ctrl-Alt-D).
A few performance settings have changed. Linden trees will no longer sway… In advanced settings, set ‘RenderAnimateTrees’ to TRUE to enable legacy behavior.
For combat gamers the collision skeleton changes will change how they see targets. See the image.
On the whole it is an improvement and will be quickly fixed to become usable. I use it about half the time now.