It is April 1… but I’m not putting you on.
In week 13 there was a third-party viewer UG meeting. A significant part of the meeting was spent discussing the EEP – Enhanced Environment Project (EEP).
The EEP Viewer is in RC and has been for several days. It is the big push in the viewer pipeline. Vir Linen thinks the Love Me Render viewer is the likely next candidate to be promoted. But, EEP should be ready to release in 2 to 3 weeks… Firestorm thinks they will be 2 to 3 weeks behind that. I think 5 or 6 weeks behind, but I’ll be happy to be wrong.
As soon as EEP releases the Lab will move on to EEP2. Some of the things people want in EEP are being put into EEP2 to allow EEP to release sooner.
EEP is causing the current black stars and changes in the appearance of some Windlight (WL) environments. So, lots of complaining going on. I’ve turned off ‘Use Region Default’ on my Firestorm viewer. You do that in Preferences->Firestorm->Windlight->Automatically change environments… (uncheck). I can still control whether WL is using the region-default WL or not with the Photo Tools controls.
I set an environment that works well with Firestorm and then manually set to a local region-default when I want to see the local’s lighting. This makes for a much nicer flying or sailing experience.
However, there is a big problem coming with EEP for the photographers and machinima makers. The new WL settings via EEP are ‘environment’ objects with permissions. As it is now there are no permissions on environment settings. We can move the sun around and change other settings as we please. But that is going to become awkward with EEP. Try it with the 126.96.36.1995395 RC version. It’s like where did my controls go?
If you are looking for them… World->Environement->My Environments… then look for the GEAR icon, lower left, and find EDIT in the dropdown menu. This gets you into the environment editor. You can jump over to Hippotropolis Theater (URL) or Denby to see the problem. There is no way to get to the controls for the local sun. EDIT is grayed-out until you select an environment from the list. Clicking EDIT then makes that environment the current one and changes the local environment. So, if you just wanted to move the sun… you are screwed.
I also expect a No-Mod EEP environment to be even more difficult. So, moving the sun for a better photo is going to be a big problem. So, expect to hear screams and to do some screaming.
The Lindens and third-party devs are looking for how they might work around this. Firestorm, of course, has to get their Photo Tools working in the EEP version of their viewer. They are going to have to figure out how to make environment changes to an existing local environment and protect the original environment from theft.
This will likely be a big deal in EEP acceptance with users. I expect EEP use to start slow and build. Initially, few region owners will be using EEP environments. As time passes more builders will take advantage of the extended capabilities in EEP. Many of them will want to sell their EEP environment and will be putting them out with No-Mod permissions. Mod or No-Mod as more of the EEP environments come into use the more photographers will run into this restrictive problem.
I expect there to be a workaround in the Firestorm viewer when it releases. I also expect the Linden Viewer to have a workaround soon, possibly before EEP final release. Think weeks.
It will be interesting to see if the problem can be solved before EEP releases. While moving the sun and making small environment tweaks for a photo may not be as convenient as it is now, I do expect a workaround soon. The problem isn’t with people changing things for their personal experience. But, with stealing EEP Settings from No-Copy-Mod environments or using them for a starting point for their environments… sort of a back door theft.