Second Life News 2017 w42

Servers

This morning I’m not sure if we are getting a rollout for the main channel. My ‘region restart detector’ isn’t showing a restart this morning. Actually, no restart since 9/26.

LOTD 262 ☼

LOTD 262 ☼

There was no Deploys-post for this week until about 11:30 AM PT. A couple of people are complaining in the forum about the lack of any information this week. We’ll see if they show up at the UG meeting.

Caleb or Mazidox Linden usually post the server updates in the forum and wiki. No posts either place as of early this morning.

From last week, we know the RC releases were explained as ‘internal fixes’. If there is a roll to the main channel it will be one of the 2 RC’s running this past week.

UPDATE

We did get a post so my post is a bit scrambled.

#17.10.06.509394 went to the main channel. However, my home region as of 1:45 PM PT is not showing a restart.

#17.10.13.509701 will go to Blue Steel, Le Tigre, and Magnum Wednesday.

These both have only internal fixes listed.

Viewers

The main viewer has updated to 5.0.8.329115. (Release Notes) This is the version named Moonshine and it is a maintenance release with lots of interesting changes. The main viewer last updated in week #35, about 7 weeks ago. This version was out as an RC in week #39.

This version has an improved Develop->Avatar->Animation Info. Enabling this display you can see which animations are being used by your avatar. The display changes in real time. Previously, the display showed a lot of zeros. That has been fixed.

New Linden Worn Tab v5.0.8 – 2017 w42

This version has a new ‘Worn’ tab in the inventory panel. It shows ‘worn’ items in a way better format. I’ll describe it as ‘in context’. See the image. I like this change. I put the FS ‘worn display’ up for comparison.

Also, the cache should be improved. They made changes. You can open the Viewer Statistics panel (Ctrl-Shift-1 toggle) and look in the Advanced->Texture section for Cache Hit Rate and other stats about the cache.

You can set your cache to 10±GB (max) for the best performance. I use both a RAM Drive and an SSD for caches. My main viewer is using the RAM Drive as it is the fastest. My other viewers use the SSD, which is significantly faster than a spinning hard drive but slower than my RAM Drive, considerably slower.

I have a couple of places I stand to check my FPS rate for comparison with other viewers. This version hits 100-105 at ground level. At 2500m elevation that bumps up to 125±. At a HUB with 25 people FPS drops to 25-35 FPS.

This viewer closes so fast I suspect it is crashing on exit. Maybe not…

Second Life Alex Ivy Viewer version 5.1.0.508209 – No change since week #37. We should see an update soon. There is a fix or two the Lindens have been working on to reduce the crash rate. I think it is already low, but that is on this computer. This is the viewer I use when running a Linden Viewer. It doesn’t have some of the 5.0.8 changes, so I expect those to be integrated soon.

Second Life Maintenance Viewer version 5.0.9.329464 – This is a new maintenance version named Martini, after the drink. The previous maintenance version is now the main viewer.

Firestorm 5.0.7 Worn Tab – 2017 w42

The big change in this viewer is the email thing. If you have not verified your email address, this will disable send IM’s when offline as email. The button will show in the viewer as disabled.

I expect we will get another announcement about email verification when this version rolls out as the main viewer. About half or more of SL users will be totally shocked by the news, having never heard of the change and thus have never verified their email address. Suddenly they will be surprised when their emails of IM’s stops.

There are about a dozen and a half other fixes. (Release Notes)

Second Life Voice Viewer version 5.0.8.328552 – This is an update from 5.0.8.329250, which was released in week #40.

Second Life Wolfpack Viewer version 5.0.8.329128 – No change since week #39.

Second Life Project 360 Snapshot Viewer version 5.1.0.506743 – No update since week #27.

Third-Party Viewers

Black Dragon 64x – Beta 3 “Bit Dragon” is out. I’ve been playing with Beta 2. I wanted to check out the ‘Pose/Animation Manipulator’, which is actually way neat. (Dragon->My Useful Features->Pose/Ani…)

Beta 3 is a 96MB download. The install is going to freak out computer novices. You’ll get a couple of overly helpful warnings from Microsoft that this viewer might be malware. It isn’t. NiranV Dean has been around SL for a long time, January 2007. Lots of people in the viewer design community know NiranV. In June Hamlet of New World Notes infamy wrote about Black Dragon. And there are a bunch of videos about BD on YouTube.

My download of Beta 3 was the 69th, I think. There is probably some deep karmic meaning in that ‘coincidence’. Beta 2 has been downloaded 4,234 times. So, while not massive acceptance, it has a decently sized user base.

Performance is good. On the ground, I am getting 75±FPS. In the clouds at 2,500m, I get 118±FPS. In the SL Landing Hub with 34 avatars, I get 14-25±FPS.

The Ambient Occlusion is better in BD than FS.  William Weaver made a number of tutorials for using FS Photo Tools and he mentions that AO in FS kinda sucks. So, if you are getting grainy AO in FS, you may want to check out BD.

Beta 3 improves on the Animation Manipulator. With Beta 2 I was wondering why didn’t NiranV… and now NiranV has gone and DONE IT. So, animations are easier to manipulate. Thanks, NiranV. Check it out. (Download)

This viewer is likely to become my favorite for photography. Firestorm has some neat Photo Tools and has been my favorite. The controls and tools are different between BD and FS. So, there is a learning curve.

With Black Dragon, I have always had a ‘where did NiranV put it’ problem. I still run into that to some degree. Things are not in exactly the same place in BD as in the Linden viewer. But, about half the things I use are close enough to Linden/FS locations I can find what I want. I really miss Firestorms ‘Preference Search’. So, about half the stuff I use is somewhere else and I have to seriously search.

Then there are the things NiranV doesn’t use and leaves out and I spend forever trying to find.

I think you’ll find some of the things are moved are in places that make good sense. For instance, NIranV put all the UI color controls together. Not what I would expect from using other viewers, but handy once I found them. I mean… a tab labeled colors… why would I think chat text colors would be in there? Doh!

The Machinima Tools are behind a button, Machinima Sidebar. It is a Viewer v2 type sidebar. It works well and controls are easy to get to. Easy as in I can quickly get to them.

The default sky and stuff are stuck off over in World, Environment… Setting sun direction is awkward. But, not any worse than in FS. About the same number of clicks. Here NiranV didn’t stick with grouping related things together.

UI-wise on the tools it is a tossup which is better BD or FS. It depends on what you change most often for your photos. But, you can’t beat the Animation Manipulator in BD.

I have pose controls and the Animare and AnyPose HUD’s. BD’s controls beat the Animare HUD hands down. But, only I can see the resulting poses, which is OK for photos. Plus BD provides Bento level control. I have yet to see a poser with Bento support.

7 thoughts on “Second Life News 2017 w42

  1. ” Performance is good. On the ground, I am getting 75±FPS. In the clouds at 2,500m, I get 118±FPS. In the SL Landing Hub with 34 avatars, I get 14-25±FPS. ”

    Looks like i have a lot to do. 25FPS less than the LL Viewer sounds like the total opposite of what i’ve been seeing for me and several people report me. I assume you used the stock settings? If so you might want to disable Motion Blur for that sweet sweet extra performance (not that it means much in a crowd since its set to be applied to your own avatar only for now)

    The animator layout revamp was something i just randomly shoved in between because reasons, i guess i was bored or annoyed of writing tooltips, possibly both.

    The chat color thing… i can’t count how much time i wasted thinking about it… where to put it, Chat tab makes sense since they are chat specific colors… but they are also colors so they belong into the Colors tab… putting them into both would be unnecessary clutter… i guess its solely dependent on the remaining UI approach, you put it into Chat if you put all non-specific colors into the Colors tab and leave specific colors in their respective specific tab or you put it into the Colors tab if you put all colors in there regardless of if they are somehow specific to another part of the UI.

    ” Then there are the things NiranV doesn’t use and leaves out and I spend forever trying to find. ”

    The parts i don’t use are quite obvious. Roughly everything that is 1:1 LL style is not used by me or at least not often enough to rectify redoing it. Everything estate, region/land/parcel management, management in general. Basically anything “Power User” related, since i’m not a power user and you don’t use my Viewer to be one there’s no reason to rebuild them, not yet at least. Someday probably for consistency. The main menu is one of the many things i touched very rarely, the main menu is pretty as basic as it can get. Me has been renamed to Edit, upload options have been moved to File, Build was renamed to Tools and the shortcut menu was moved out of the advanced menu and into its own menu in Useful features along with all the other misc features that really belong nowhere. I might just go through the main menu at some point and clean it up too… i mean it has been like this for 6 years… 7 if you count Nirans Viewer.

    • I haven’t tried to optimize Black Dragon settings for performance. Nor the LL or Firestorm. After I get to 20+ FPS I’m happy. So, it is mostly appearance, visual quality, that I want.

      Since I haven’t played in an SL combat game in years, max FPS isn’t that important to me. Nor am I doing anything more than casual comparisons for performance. Going through getting all the settings the same and comparing it too tedious. I suspect the couple of thousand people that will read the comparison aren’t that interested in performance either. Performance is even a rare discussion in the forums these days.

      UI is tough. No one design works for everyone. I think your placing all color controls in one place is a good idea. It makes sense to me. So, we have similar mental aberrations…

      Thanks for sharing your viewer.

      • They might not think much about performance but it will push the wrong thought that my Viewer needs a better PC or even a high end PC which i have been fighting for years now since it is outright wrong.

  2. I like the visual enhancement options with Black Dragon. I do feel heavy performance issues with sims that use a heavy amount of alphas for things like mist, bushes, grass, snow, rain, etc. I’m on a i7-6400K, GTX 1080, single monitor, updated drivers and cache excluded from antivirus scan. One photography sim that is pretty heavy on performance is Netherwood around the railroad track area. Enable Show Transparency and behold all the red highlights. I don’t know if there is anything I could do to improve performance other than derender a lot of that stuff.

    The Pose feature is something I’ve been wanting for quite some time. Huge thanks to Niran for adding that in! It’s quite fun playing with your avatar while in world.

    One other thing about the Pose feature I would like to see is maybe reusing the SL Editor gizmo thingy as a way to rotate bones. Sliders are ok, but the usability of being able to interact with the avatar directly would be an awesome time saver from having to scroll for the right bone. This would of course mean some way to see the individual bones on the avatar as well and a way to toggle them on and off.

    I have yet to figure out how to reload a Pose I created/saved so that I can either load it for another scene setup or make further changes to it and resave it. Have you figured out how to do this?

      • I tried the Load button before and it didn’t work, but it’s possible that I wasn’t in Start Pose mode before clicking Load. Now, it works OK. Yay!

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