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Tuesday, January 04, 2022

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Nadeja

Awesome! It was going to happen. When you log in, it looks immediately active and engaging. VRChat has its own issues, but retains the users well enough and gained a good social media presence.
Meanwhile, NeosVR seems heavier and less user friendly than VRChat, but they are doing some little technical wonder:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9wVJkJigchY

Timo

I read many comments here recently about how VRChat uses more modern technology, custom shaders from Unity etc. Which is supposed to be light years ahead of SL dated engine. So I was wondering how come VRChat looks so terrible? In the screenshot in this article shading is so bad it's almost impossible to see anything. All characters seem to be completely flat shaded. I understand that everybody likes to use cartoon shader on VRChat but even for cartoon the quality of shading I see seems awful, dark and flat.
In addition to shading, the quality of models is also not looking good. Low poly to the extreme.
Does anybody know what is the reason for that? Is it just because everyone on purpose choose shaders that look flat? Or is it because of the technical limitations? I can't understand how the game based on 15 years newer engine can produce results that are so much worse visually than SL.

Adeon

Timo- You are entirely correct, as a trip to the “Shader FES 2021” world will easily show the power of custom shaders is nearly unlimited - but at the end of the day, an avatar will only still be as good as its creators make it. Much if VRChat’s content is hand-crafted by novices - so just because the engine has the capacity for AAA level content doesn’t mean you it will be common to see.

That said, the obsession with photorealism in Second Life is not a common desire you will find in VRChat. So while it is possible - it’s just not very wanted.

Adeon

I should add that there are many worlds in VR chat that are photo realistic - but when it comes to the avatars, you would be very unlikely to find anyone who wants such an avatar.

Now; you find yourself being someone who would want a photorealistic avatar, and you have the skills to make it, you will find no technical limitations in VRChat stopping you. If you think there is an untapped niche - you may very well be the first to tap it.

Nadeja

Indeed Unity is capable of doing things that SL can only dream of:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_BoPIXqLZeQ
Also "Digital Human based on Unity HDRP. AR remote, Realtime Raytracing SSAO. it can follow user's facial moving by iphone."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mzn7gpe6Jf4

It's fun that people in SL want photorealism with the engine least suited for it.

HDRP aside, already the fireworks in the VRChat video posted by Hamlet are technically another planet compared to anything I've ever seen in SL... and I'm one who loves particle shows.

The anime avatars are like that partly also because that style, there are western-cartoon looking avatars that look more 3D.
However, as Adeon says, who is good can also make much better avatars.
Also look at these:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i72pqqQF-kg

Betty Rubble

You can have a million log in and it means nothing as younger people rarely spend money unless forced to do so. remember this is the "keep me safe" generation they expect others to foot the bill. if a million log in and barely any meaningful transactions happen on a financial level then they are only costing VRChat in server costs for the added server load.

Secondlife is not as outdated as you think most of the server side has been rewritten & optimized while the user experiences is maintained on leading edge amazon servers. while the viewer side is a work in progress it is open source and anyone can create a better viewer plus we will have a mobile viewer this year (my bet is it's going to look very much like a 3rd party viewer that got removed from the google store)


All this high fiving you forget to mention VRChat runs someone else's software, its limitations is by another game developer and at some point everything in the game can be broken if Unity Decides to allow it to happen and VRChat would be helpless to do anything about it.

Sinespace is a better option compared to VRChat at least you don't have to wear face goggles and they run the same unity engine... a more fair comparison.

Adeon

Betty Rubble:

Using Unity (Or Unreal, or any modern game engine) does not take any cut of revenue or imply any sort of control over programs/games made using it.

No more than the ISO has any control over Linden Lab and Second Life since it was written with C++.

Squishy

Timo- Speaking as a four year VR-Chat player, my first answer is just that the example video here simply doesn't show much. It's just not a great example. If comparing to SL, doing an image search for Second Life returns images with graphics that look little better than 'The Sims'. High res textures, but incredibly flat lighting. I can't say I'm seeing the higher bar you're implying. I'm sure that image search might well be non-representative though, since googling for VR-Chat images returns utterly atrocious examples from 2017 and the Quest version of the game.

Perhaps we need to compare some of our own photos rather than rely on Google. ^ ^;

Regarding VR-Chats overall graphics though, there's a mix of elements, and it varies highly depending on where you go and who you meet. Two key factors are this...

1) The demands of VR. VR-Chat's user base is now over 80% VR players. Playing via VR requires that everything be rendered twice. Aditionally, when using VR high frame rates must be maintained in order to ensure comfort and usability. Thus optimization is important. This gets reflected in which art styles are most practical and look best.

2) Uncanny valley, and difficulty of creation. Photorealistic avatars are entirely possible, and I've seen some myself, but the thresh hold for what triggers the uncanny valley effect in VR is both lower and wider. Facial animation is likewise very important in VR, and small flaws stand out easily. This means that more realistic art styles such as those found in Second Life are not easy to pull off. There are 3rd party services for VR-Chat that will build you an avatar based on a photo of yourself, which are both free and easy to use. Despite this they are very unpopular due to the odd feeling they give off.

The anime art style that has become the most popular on the platform, avoids these pitfalls. It can look good even in very low poly count and is easy to modify for beginners. It avoids the uncanny valley whilst still being exceptionally expressive. The more exaggerated facial expression of the art style, even has the side advantage of being easier to read at a distance, which proved an advantage during the earlier days of VR where the "screen door effect" still existed.

Squishy

@Betty Rubble: That's not how using a game engine works. VR-Chat exists on a specific version of Unity. The version used can be updated to new versions released by Unity, but it can't be altered by them. Any new releases that Unity makes exist as a new standalone version that the VR-Chat team have full control of whether they migrate to it or not.

Also regarding, "at least you don't have to wear face goggles" to each their own, but to me that line reads like someone advocating that writing letters via pen and paper is better than Second Life, because "at least you don't have to use a computer". The difference in what it offers you, is that significant.

10PeopleDontNeedACommunityManager

Sansar reported having 9 unique users on New Years Eve, so they think they did well. They said so as all 3 of them wished each other a good new year as Wookey plans to sell off the now dead platform, but so far no takers.
i was on vrchat earlier in the day and yes there were tons and tons of people they have taken off so much while sansars woke culture killed them

Wagner James Au

"The demands of VR. VR-Chat's user base is now over 80% VR players."

Hi, is there a good source for that figure? The company reported it was 30% VR users back in 2019:

https://nwn.blogs.com/nwn/2019/02/vrchat-users-hours-stats.html

Would love to update that if it's changed!

Divya55

Exceptionally pleasant article
मेंथा ऑयल रेट
Mera Janamdin Kab Hai

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