With the release if the Maintenance Viewer (22.214.171.1242269) 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
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. Continue reading
Hamlet has a guest blogger, Brookston Holiday, that wrote a great article on doing lighting in Second Life™. See: SL Building Tutorial: Seven Lighting Tips for Stunning Results.
PS: There is a thread about Hamlet’s post on SLUniverse: Guest NWN post.
There are gotcha’s in this latest main SL Viewer 3.8.4, in the mesh upload. You can use more than 8 materials now. Gaia Clary has changed AvaStar to export more than 8 materials. But, the announcement of that change comes with a warning: don’t.
POTETO_BackStage Pass – surfash.bade SOME KIND OF BOUNCER MAN
Also Drongle McMahon commented on the problem and what happens when we exceed the allowable polygon limit per material for mesh items. See: Second Life’s Limits. Continue reading
Lildaria Resident started to do a tutorial on Masking in Second Life™. But, she found a good tutorial already exists. She reprinted that tutorial. See: Tutorial: Understanding Mask Mode.
Blackspot by dolletjes, on Flickr
In the tutorial it is talking about masking meaning alpha layers, hiding parts of the avatar or things in Second Life. If you aren’t clear on how this invisible, transparent, and translucent thing works, check it out. I think it will help.
If you are trying to understand how to implement ‘masking’… I think this tutorial falls a bit short. But, that may just be me not getting the ‘how to’ part of it.
You may have picked up from the SL Viewer news that a change is coming to the Lab’s mesh uploader. There are, I think, some nice changes coming.
WA D-Lab PICCOLI2 IN YOUR GARDEN by Willow, on Flickr
As it is now, when uploading mesh we often get an error and the error message is basically useless, no help. The Lindens are working to improve that. They hope to give us a better idea of what went wrong.
Also, we are currently limited to 8 faces per mesh. That means any single mesh object can only have 8 materials. That too is going to change. The Lindens are saying if there will be a new limit just that we can have more than 8.
There is also something changing about how the various LoD models and physics models will associate with our item based on file naming. I don’t get what they are doing here as I have yet to play with the RC/Project viewer that is out.
This week’s (23) server rolls returned the packages that briefly ran last week, until Wednesday evening’s re-roll that wiped them out. Yesterday (this week’s Wednesday) those were re-deployed with the only change being the security fix was added.
The Trace 2014
Le Tigre now has the Group Ban project package. With a Group Ban Project Viewer you can try out the feature. It is not 100% and won’t be until the update is rolled to the entire grid. This means for now you can group ban people. But, there are ways around the ban and those only close once the roll is grid wide. Continue reading
We have a new aspect of Materials arriving, the ability to script materials as we script textures (diffuse map).
Simon Linden has posted in the Server Beta UG agenda about the coming Materials Scripting feature to allow script control of the new Materials. Quoting:
- LSL support for materials is in testing
- Certain Aditi regions (DRTSIM-253 channel, presently) have LSL support for materials
- Regions “roller-test102” and “roller-test103” are on this channel
- This is still a work-in-progress – testing is still underway
- Materials can be added to object faces with llSetPrimitiveParams() functions
- [PRIM_SPECULAR, integer face, string texture, vector repeats, vector offsets, float rotation_in_radians, vector color, integer glossy, integer environment]
- [PRIM_NORMAL, integer face, string texture, vector repeats, vector offsets, float rotation_in_radians]
- [PRIM_ALPHA_MODE, integer face, integer alpha_mode, integer alpha_cutoff]
- Valid alpha_mode options are PRIM_ALPHA_MODE_NONE, PRIM_ALPHA_MODE_BLEND, PRIM_ALPHA_MODE_MASK, PRIM_ALPHA_MODE_EMISSIVE
- Materials can be read with the various llGetPrimitiveParams() functions
- [PRIM_SPECULAR, integer face] returns [string texture, vector repeats, vector offsets, float rotation_in_radians, vector color, integer glossy, integer environment]
- [PRIM_NORMAL, integer face] returns [string texture, vector repeats, vector offsets, float rotation_in_radians]
- [PRIM_ALPHA_MODE, integer face] returns [integer alpha_mode, integer alpha_cutoff]
- Behavior for both getting and setting materials parameters should basically correspond to behavior with PRIM_TEXTURE
- The color vectors use 0.0-1.0 as the range, as with llSetColor()
- The integer parameters for PRIM_SPECULAR correspond to the same values that you see in the build tool
- Components of a material can be ‘reset’ as follows:
- PRIM_NORMAL and PRIM_SPECULAR settings are set to ‘default’ values by setting the texture to NULL_KEY
- PRIM_ALPHA_MODE settings are set to ‘default’ values by setting the alpha_mode to PRIM_ALPHA_MODE_BLEND
- mask_cutoff is actually reset to 0 unless the alpha mode is PRIM_ALPHA_MODE_MASK
- When PRIM_NORMAL, PRIM_SPECULAR, and PRIM_ALPHA_MODE settings are all set to ‘default’ values, the material is deleted from that prim face, and LI may be updated accordingly
- Known issues
- There is a viewer rendering issue, where the face will not be rendered and you’ll see log spam (BUG-6187),
- If the viewer has ALM enabled
- and a prim face has a material on it
- and PRIM_ALPHA_MODE is PRIM_ALPHA_MODE_BLEND (this is the default after a material is added)
- and the diffuse texture does not have an alpha channel (e.g. plywood)
- The version currently on Aditi lacks proper throttling, so there could be performance issues if scripts behave badly
You can test this new code in ADITI regions; “roller-test102” and “roller-test103”. These are mainland regions (meaning they are running the code currently on the main grid) in the ADITI grid.
There is an interesting discussion in the SL Forum about a problem some people have had making Normal Maps for Second Life™. Jake Koronikov opened the thread. Jake had a problem with the normal maps creating a visible seam in the model.
Normal Maps from Flickr Search
For instance, the seam between the front and backsides of the avatar leg. Of you were making a manikin and using a normal map on it that seem would become visible as a step in the surface rather then the smooth surface it is supposed to be. You can see his images of the problem in the thread: Tangent spaced Normal Map seam visible in uv border area. Continue reading