Second Life’s End of InvisiPrims?

With the release if the Maintenance Viewer (4.0.2.312269) in week #11, invisiprims pretty much died their final death. Support ended for these critters in 2011. The code that renders them invisible has been in viewers up to this release. But, with this release something changed.

Dry Dock via Invisiprim - Noted by: Callum Meriman

Dry Dock via Invisiprim – Noted by: Callum Meriman

Inviziprims were prims with a special texture that caused things behind the texture to become transparent. Rendering-wise this was nightmare and problematic. The Lindens took advantage of a happenstance of the render pipeline to get them to work. I understand Crazy Mole once built a dry dock using invisiprims (the picture). Many boat builders used them to make the water inside their boats disappear.

The most popular use was with prim/sculpty shoes to make the feet disappear. Now we use alpha layers.

The new process is to use alpha layers. The render process is less costly and more consistent with other render engines.

No-Mod things that use invisiprims are obsolete and difficult if ot impossible to change. Toss them out and buy new. If you have the patience, you may be able to replace invisi-textures with clear textures. This would get rid of the gray blob that invisiprims have become, but clear won’t make the foot invisible. You’ll have to add an alpha-layer to the avatar to hide the foot.

It was the improved Advanced Lighting Model (ALM) that broke invisiprims. Or in a different frame, they prevented ALM from looking right. The invisiprim changed how the lighting with ALM rendered and made things look stupid. So, the process to render invisiprims was left out of the ALM pipeline. More gory etails here: Invisiprim. Basically, turn on ALM and it disables invisiprims.

If you run with ALM disabled, invisiprims still work, I think. But, people have started noticing a problem since the release of the latest Linden viewer and asking questions. So, something more has changed.

4 thoughts on “Second Life’s End of InvisiPrims?

  1. I can’t use ALM on a current year Apple machine — my fans go nuts and FPS go down to nothing –even on low graphic settings .

    So I am losing a lot of shoes for a “feature” that is of no value .

  2. This only goes into the effect of the change concerning invisiprims on the Second Life Viewer. Since Firestorm uses code from the SL Viewer, I can’t help but wonder how Firestorm will be affected.

    • At some point I expect Firestorm to start focusing on performance. As it is now I have my lowest FPS using FS. So, while invisiprims probably still work on FS with ALM disabled, I expect that to change.

  3. Invisprims *can* work, including in ALM: the Cool VL Viewer, Singularity and (IIRC), Marine’s RLV can render invisprims in “Advanced Lighting Mode”. However, invisprims cause graphics glitches (they always did) that get even worst with v3 viewers shaders in ALM (that all TPVs also adopted, so to implement Materials & Co); in particular, there are bad interactions with semi-transparent textures as well as with primitives shiny faces.

    The problem is that the number of people running viewers that still can render invisiprims is now so small that wearing such prims tend to make your avatar look weird in the large majority of the people’s viewers…

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