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Wednesday, May 29, 2013


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Metacam Oh

Came here from Facebook where you guys said "Total game changer." I hate so say no, but no. Implementing features that are 10 years old bringing you somewhat up to the present, doesn't change games. Very glad this stuff is being added, but game changer it is not.

Iris Ophelia

Sorry I should have been clearer Metacam, I meant in terms of Second Life content creation more than anything else.

Wolf Baginski

The idea of Materials on the Avatar (not just the skin but the clothing) likely runs foul of server-side baking. But there is a lot of stuff which could benefit from it (all that latex and leather). As for the actual skin, I am a little doubtful. Would the detail level needed be too much to handle?

We have the LOD aspect, and it's something to be aware of in any CGI. If a detail is significantly smaller than a displayed pixel, does it matter? A lot of those fancy tattoos we now have in SL look more like dirt at a distance.

So what would normal maps contribute to an Avatar? I suspect the dividing line is somewhere between buttons and wrinkles.

Bur if anyone wants AV materials, there is a very obvious answer: a Mesh AV.


As nice as having normals are, it does come at a pretty big price. Advanced lighting needs to be on and thats a hit, not to mention you are doubling or quadrupling your texture memory thats already abused to an extreme.

If we want normal maps to work texture optimization is a must, people like Fate who stick 1k maps on tiny ties are not helping.

Everyone in SL can't be running around using up 12MB of memory PER texture. We are heading into the distinct possibility that ONE person could use up all of your VRAM and outright crash you.

SL is not a place filled with educated content creators and LL isn't doing anything to curbing their bad behaviors.

Cube Republic

Rage, just place the normal map on 50% of the texture and the diffuse on the other 50% and use the offset for what is needed from each map.


The problem isn't that there aren't ways around it. The problem is getting people too actually DO it.

Arcadia Codesmith

Designing for the lowest common denominator is the primrose path to stagnation. Creators should test to make sure their products degrade gracefully on lower settings, but they are not obligated to handicap their vision for antique systems.

Linden Lab should optimize the software to better prioritize and handle texture streaming, and it appears that the Sunshine viewer is doing just that. If that's in preparation for materials, someone is using that grey mass between their ears and deserves a cookie.

Tracy Redangel

Even on newer systems, having Advanced lighting with shadows enabled is incredibly taxing and frame rate crippling. My husband's PC is barely a year old. He usually runs SL with his graphic settings on High and gets about 40-60 frames per second in world. But once he enables shadows that drops pretty dramatically.
I have a 3 year old iMac, and obviously my machine is even slower. But...I can enable shadows just fine for picture taking.
So in that regard, I think materials is wonderful for SL photographers.

But I think it's fair to say most SL residents don't have Advanced lighting enabled when they're running around in world shopping, going to clubs, concerts, hanging out, etc.
Hopefully the Sunshine viewer project will help with that...but we'll see :)

Damien Fate

@Tracy: Materials do require 'advanced lighting' to be turned on, but can be run without turning shadows on.

Tracy Redangel

Oh thanks Damien, I didn't know that. Well that's a whole different story then :)
Even on my 3-yr old iMac I can run my settings on high (but no shadows) without taking too painful of a performance hit.
It's going to be interesting to see subtle and maybe not-so-subtle differences after Server-side baking and Materials are launched into the world.


And some really use advanced lighting and shawdows on at all time, Me as example, with a 2 years old already computer, using niran latest ssb version, did a 200 sim crossing trip on sansara, on ultra graphics settings and with a draw distance of 260m and guess, no crashes in all the journey (I feel that ssb viewers somehow are making sim crossings with vehicles way better now!)
So if my 2 years old intel 7 quad, with oly 12 giga ram ddr3 and a nvidia gtx580, with windows 7 64b, runs always Niran's at is high settings, i can only think that newer computers are just not using the best viewer, period!


Would love to see another article on how these new materials will effect the full perm mesh and sculpt market. Also what does it mean for creators who have invested heavily in full perm sculpt maps to incorporate into their creations and builds.

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