Every Pixel – Artificial Intelligence is how smart?

I enjoy looking through the images appearing on Flickr. Also, in a few threads in the Second Life™ Forum. One of the more fun threads that just popped up is My photo has a 97.7% chance of being awesome. Of course it does…

We can blame or congratulate Bree Giffen for starting the thread. Patch Linden has gotten in the thread, proving Lindens do have a sense of humor.

So… am I cute? Well, I’m not overwhelming the A.I.

The point of EveryPixel.com is to evaluate images using A.I., Artificial Intelligence. As you scroll through the SL Forum thread you realize it is either a stupid A.I. or using a different criteria than we do for our appreciation of images in threads like How does your avatar look today ? and The VaNiTy ThReAd. The Every Pixel site does explain what they are evaluating on. Part of the rating and apparently a significant part is the technical aspects of the image; contrast, vibrance, composition… Continue reading

Second Life and the Future of Apple Users

For SL users there is the Apple question, will Second Life™ run on Apple? Or… continue to run on Apple?

In June of this year Apple announced its discontinuing support of OpenGL after macOS 10.14 Mojave (scheduled for release Sept 2018), the core aspect of SL’s render engine. It will take a couple of years for Apple to phase it out. But, updates and support officially stop now. For some time support has been really bad.

● 1325 Colorful Disaster

They explained their reasoning when some game developers declared they would stop making games for Apple.

The reasons;

  • OpenGL was designed 25 years ago.
  • Core architecture is from the beginning days of 3D graphics.
  • Designed is based on outdated thinking.
  • OpenGL is a legacy tool with updates ‘tacked’ on.
  • Hardware GPU work flow has changed.
  • Never designed for multi-threading.
  • Today’s rendering is asynchronous.

On the PC side of things OpenGL is still supported. We can’t know for how long. Khronos, OpenGL’s developer, has introduced Vulkan. (See: State of Graphics: DirectX 12 & Vulkan – 4/2016) Development is exciting and popular. The group is on the forefront of some interesting tech. But, I don’t know that it will be helpful for SL. Continue reading

Blender 2.8 Coming Soon

A Blender update is coming… soon. The Alpha version and nightly builds are available now, here: Blender Latest. But, I want to know if this is an update I need or want. So, I went looking through what people are saying. The big one for me is… the User Interface is changing. Ugh.

So, here is a video (8/13) that does a decent job of showing us the changes.

The video producer provided these time stamp entry points. I suggest you start at the 2:12 TM. Or if you are only interested in how it affects those of us using it for Second Life™, just read my comments below.

TIME STAMPS
1:22 – Alpha, Beta & Release Candidate
2:12 – UI Redesign
3:24 – EEVEE, the Physical Based Real Time Render Engine
4:43 – New Work Engine: OpenGL
5:19 – Grease Pencil (2D Animation Toolset)
6:38 – Matcaps (Material Capture)
7:48 – Zootopia Hair Shader
8:01 – Pixar Open Subdiv
8:34 – Dependency Graph, Asset Manager, Static Overrides and More
9:16 – Daily Blender Build Download
10:16 – Blender Resources

The new render engine looks to be awesome. But, the User Interface (UI) is going to kill me. They seem to be trying to make Blender easier for new users to learn.  …like 3D modeling and animation can be easy to learn? Still probably a good thing no matter how annoying I find it.
They moved most of the stuff at the bottom of windows to the top… give me a break… That will take a bit to get used to. Continue reading

NVIDIA 1180 Almost Here…

We had rumors for months as to what the next NVIDIA card would be, when it would release, and what it would cost. But, we are getting closer to a possible release. NVIDIA only goes so long before they release a new card. So…

Ray Tracing is a way of rendering a scene. Its big advantage is in rendering very realistic images. For instance, most of an Ikea catalog is made from rendered images that for a long time I thought were RL photos.

The reason it isn’t used so much in games is the cost of rendering the images. So, software like AutoDesk’s AutoCAD use it as real time rendering isn’t needed. The primary task is prototype product images, pictures of products not yet existing in RL. Only within the design process… a computer.  Making it more of a snapshot thing than a  movie camera.

NVIDIA adding in a Ray Trace feature will being higher quality graphics to more games. Less time will be spent calculating the effect of lights and shadows.

For use in Second Life it isn’t going to be a big plus or even a change. The SL render engine is required to support older systems. So, adding a ray trace feature to the engine is not going to be a high priority, if it is even a consideration.

However, the card will be faster and likely have faster video memory.

Photoshop: Masking Impossible Hair?

Even in SL I run into this problem. The tutorials I usually see are elementary typically masking only high contrast images. This one is an exception. The basics and easy stuff is shown. But, the painful, tedious stuff is too.

Along the way there are some neat shortcuts he uses. I had to back up a couple of time for ‘How did he do that?’ things.

If you like his video, give him a thumb up on YouTube.

NVIDIA 1180 Rumors

The release date is the big rumor. It ranges from July to September 2018.

It also looks like NVIDIA may be the only manufacturer releasing a major video card in 2018. The collection of information available as of June 2nd, 2018 is in this nerdy video.

The TL:DR take away is it will be the best card of 2018 (…is that because it is the ONLY card?), pricy, somewhat faster but no one is for sure, will use the newest GDDR6 VRAM which is in short supply… But, this is only speculation even when based on educated guesses.

From an earlier video we get more specific details and for the visually oriented (aren’t all SL peeps visually oriented?) it is in an easier to compare format. Continue reading

Intel vs AMD for Second Life

Second Life™ users want performance. Most of you know Second Life is NOT an optimized game world but rather a hobbyists-built world that can drag even the best gaming machine down to single digit frame rates. So, performance is a thing among SL users.

CPUs are the heart of performance with the GPU being the legs.

Both Intel and AMD have new CPUs out. So, the natural question is which is best for running Second Life?

In general, this is how the two stack up in head to head testing. (8+ min)

For some data processing in the beginning AMD is noticeably ahead. Yet in the games similar to Second Life the Intel consistently renders about 5±% more frames. Continue reading