Second Life Bits 2014-17 #2

In The Wash Fabulously Free is doing their Gachamaina. This is a place to landmark. The collection of free and cheap stuff from name designers is nice. The Carnival of Choas, you’ll have to look around for it, has more gachas stuff and is a well done build.

The Carnival of Chaos in The Wash

The Carnival of Chaos in The Wash

There seems to be a move toward selling mesh clothes cheaply, but without demo versions. It seems to be sort of a does it look interesting enough to be worth the gamble? I think merchants with demos and low conversion rates may be trying the idea of dropping price and demos to up income.  Continue reading

Second Life Bits and Pieces 2014-17

This last weekend was Easter Weekend, for Christians a big deal. Lots to do, family stuff, dress up, and eating good food. By tomorrow I’ll know how much of what I gained is water retention from salty foods. Ugh. But, it was yummy good and fun.




Second Life’s eleventh birthday is approaching. Ciaran Laval has an article up that is interesting and gives the details: Second Life’s 11th Birthday Plans Announced.

I’ve been around SL for 6+ years now. Wow.

The party is June 22-29.  Continue reading

Second Life Fitted Mesh Doesn’t Fit

Well… surprise, surprise…

There is an excellent thread in the Second Life™ Forum about the designer side problems of getting fitted mesh to fit. See: Blender/Avastar [Fitted Mesh]: Need help/advise with a few issues. Posted by Zakiel Windlow the problems are clearly expressed. Zakiel includes a great set of images to show the problems.

ZAkiel's Images on Fitted Mesh Problems

ZAkiel’s Images on Fitted Mesh Problems

Zakiel explained where he is coming from and what he has realized, “A few weeks ago I was using a workflow that gave me good, fast and (more or less) SAFE results:

Standard rigging and 5 or 6 sizes (or more). But I wasn’t happy, anyways. I always wanted the “fitted” mesh so all the girls could use my clothes without problems or restrictions. That was what I thought or was expecting.

Now I realize that with the fitted mesh there are restrictions too; and the workflow (for now) is harder, longer and not safe as the standard rigging. I have to check the fitting with big breasts, small breasts, big+high, big+low, small+high, small+low, big+close, big+open, big+high+close… You get the idea… And what works for 1 combination probably won’t for the other…”  Continue reading

Second Life News 2014-16

RL kept me out of the Server-Scripting UG today. From the forum post we know:

The main server channel did not get a roll out this week.

The server RC channels Blue Steal and Le Tigre will not change this week. They continue to run the Sunshine package with AISv3 enabled. (Agent Inventory Services)

In a number of 3rd party viewers it is possible to make inventory links. The inventory links allow us to use No-Copy items in multiple outfits. But, the AISv3 code is not returning a property formatted link. The result is the inventory list on the viewer side gets out of sync with the server side. Continue reading

Second Life Normal Maps

Drongle asked in the Content UG meeting about what I’ll call the breakeven point when using normal maps. When does a normal map cost more or less than the number of triangles it replaces?

Normal Map

Normal Map

This question comes from considering the cost added by downloading and rendering another texture, the normal map. As GPU’s render triangles faster every day, there is a moving point at which it may be cheaper to add some number of triangles and skip the normal map. But, where is that point?

The answer is: it is different on each computer. The only way to know is to test. But, that only tells you for the specific hardware you are using.

It would be good to have a rules of thumb that works for the majority of people. Nyx Linden says, “It depends on how overloaded the GPU is in terms of computing and at which stage of the pipeline, the overall memory usage, which depends on the scene and the available hardware, etc. turning on normal maps for a surface is going to increase the load on the GPU computationally, regardless of what texture detail the normal map is. Adding a more detailed normal map will increase memory needs and the stress of managing all the extra texture data. That being said, if you can get away with significantly simpler geometry for a little bit of texture data, that would speed things up greatly for any users that are geometry bound.  Continue reading

Firestorm Q&A 2014-15

There was a Firestorm Q&A on Saturday afternoon. Inara Pey has a synopsis and index for the video (2hr 37min) and link to the video on her site: April 12th Firestorm meeting: video, transcript and notes. The points that interest me follow.

The 64-bit Firestorm download was offline for a short time while the FS Team got a certificate problem resolved.

The Dynamic User Interface (DUI) that was the center of the April Fool’s Joke is put into some more perspective. It is real. It is possible to build a viewer that allows the panels to be moved outside the viewer window. The current version of the DUI viewer is broken. It is only a proof of concept viewer. So, while the moving the panels works it is not for everyday use… or any use, other than to see the panels move.  Continue reading

The State of Avastar & Fitted Mesh

Numerous people are running into the problem with their mesh clothes creations not working well with the Second Life avatar. Gaia Clary’s latest comment in the SL Forum is here:

‎2014-04-14 06:35 AM - edited ‎2014-04-14 06:36 AM

Maybe I [Gaia] can add 2 remarks here:

  1. You could use the Morph targets to create a dummy character and implement the SL Shape sliders to shape the dummy into the SL shape. Then you can use that dummy as reference for making your mesh garments of course. But note that the morphs themself [sic] take no active role in the fitted mesh deforming.
  2. If you wanted to create something reasonable then you would create some sort of controllers that modify the Collision Volume bones. If properly done, then you could immediately see how your mesh would react in SL with changing slider values.

The main problem is to understand which bones are affected in which way by which slider. Most of this is noted down in the avatar_lad.xml file. And yes, in Avastar we actually have ported the SL Shape slider system into Blender This works as intended for the dummy itself. But for the mesh garments there is still something wrong (so right now we do not have a complete solution )

BTW: Blender allows to export shape keys to Collada, so in theory you could take our workbench blend file, then export the character with shape keys, and then try to upload that to Maya. Maybe that works, maybe not, I have never tried it myself.


At the Content and Mesh Import User Group we got some new information on the problem and what it might take to fix it. Don’t get your hopes up. It looks like we are going to have to learn to work around the problem. But, At least we know what the problem is and can quit wasting time searching through viewer code.  Continue reading