Disclaimer

Black Dragon is MY Viewer, i decide which feature i want to add and which to remove, i share this Viewer to show the world that user base size is not important, i do rate quality by effort, thought and love put into the project, not some rough estimated numbers. I consider feature requests only if i you can name proper valid reasons i can agree on. It is my (unpaid) time i'm putting into this project, i'm not here to cater to every Joe's desires.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Black Dragon 64x - Update 3.4.8 "Playing Dragon"

It's too-late-for-update time.


I wanted to have it released last weekend already but you know how it goes, you finish up something small and notice something interesting, then you follow that and BOOM you are in the middle of some huge changes taking much longer than you wanted.

Anyway, this update got some interesting things for you!


Starting with the first thing you'll notice, the loading screen, i've improved its loading process drastically, it will now update the progress a lot more in-between big steps and will also inform you on what it is doing. Rather than starting at 30% and jumping massive 5-15% at a time, it will now start at 5% for the login and add 1% for every small step it has done, you will obviously still see it jump a lot depending on your loading speed but you'll notice that it looks a lot more like it is actually doing something now, you can also see what its doing and where in the loading process it currently is, this not only gives you an idea what might be taking so long but also gives me better insight at which part of the loading process the Viewer crashes (if it does), which makes it extremely easy to find out what code caused the crash in the first place. Here's an example of how it looks now, note that the final version looks a bit different, the text is right next to the loading bar on the right side now and the colors have changed but it's essentially the same otherwise. Note that this was logging in with my alt account, hence why it was so fast, older accounts with more items will obviously take a bit longer and get more time reading the loading info.



Next up, as promised last update the rest of the changes to the about land floater. A few examples:





You might notice that the Audio tab is gone, it is now in the Media tab, this was done to use the tab's space properly, otherwise half the tab would have been empty on both tabs, what a waste of space if you ask me, they should work just as usual, if not report it to me and i'll look into it. Have a look:


Then there's preferences and its million settings, i went through the entire display tab and tried making sure that all settings are enabled and disabled when appropriate, hopefully reducing the confusion a bit when you tick an option and it doesn't do anything because it requires a different option to be ticked first. This means that from now on you'll see a lot of greyed options in display if you keep lot's of things off and because i'm not stupid you can still use the [default] buttons in that very edgy case you've set an option so high that it crashed the viewer and now you can't set it back down because you need to have the option enabled to use the sliders which would immediately crash you again. (you would still be able to do it on login without issues but that's a different thing...). Future plans include actually telling you why said options are disabled, i'm thinking of an overlay that simply tells you "Needs X enabled" in red probably, we'll see.

This update also brings a new handy feature for machinima and photographers like myself. I present you: Raise Water Level. Yes! You heard that right, from now on anyone can change the water level on any region locally (and revert it back to region default if they need to) at any time. Why? Story time: I went through my pictures and noticed a distinct lack of nice pictures so i set out to make a new one and visited Maddy's EchtVirtuell blog to find some SIM tips, didn't take long to find a nice one, Elvenshire. I went there and tried making a picture but was dissatisfied with it and gave up and went to do some other more important things at the time. Some time later Ella posted this impressive picture into my Discord channel of the same place i went to...


When i saw it i wanted to head back and fix all the things that annoy me in this picture, the seemingly distinct lack of SSAO usage, the missing water and reflections, the pixelated shadows in the front (on the alpha surfaces) and the seemingly missing or inappropiate shadows in the background on the second wreckage and beyond. Said and done, i went there and...


i just couldn't finish this picture... the pixelated shadows on the alpha "water" was absolutely killing me (and the picture) so i said "fuck this, i'm doing it now" and added a feature to change the water height so i could raise the water level and derender all the fake water. All said and done and the outcome after some additional playing with sliders was this:


This is definitely a massive improvement over the above image but i still wasn't happy, i wanted it to be closer to Ella's original shot, so i made some drastic color correction and tone mapping changes to get to this:


Color wise its closer to Ella's shot but obviously i didn't want to just copy her (which is also almost impossible, each shot is highly unique and with so many options it would take many hours to get even remotely where you want it to be) but instead improve on the original image and its problems with shadows and SSAO. I'm quite happy with the outcome, it looks really good and makes use of the region water in a decent way... and that's how the Raise Water Level feature came to be. You can find it in the windlight water editor here:


Last major noteworthy change is the improvement of the bone camera i introduced a while ago, it will now rotate with your avatar instead of staying fixed in place, this allowed me to make another little funny thing i wanted to do and was basically another one of those features i made just for something i wanted to show. Tick HD and sound and enjoy.



The rest of the changes are just tiny fixes for reported issues, small QoL changes and cleanup in the Viewer, changes that should hopefully improve the overall quality and feel of the UI and change the Viewer for the best it can be.

By Ella

By Ella

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Black Dragon 64x - Update 3.4.7 "Playing Dragon"

It's too early-update time.

I really wanted to cook this one a bit more but i think the joystick thing would have sidetracked me for far too long and this update comes with 2 important crash fixes that seem much more important than fixing the jerkiness of joystick controls.


So without further ado, here comes 3.4.7, mainly an early release due to the aforementioned two crashes reported one being a week ago and the other one just yesterday. The first one fixed is a crash when you stop all motions completely and manage to hang the recreation of the headtracking animation in such a way that touching the head/eye tracking sliders results in a crash due to the animation not running. The second crash is related to right-clicking animated mesh on yourself or on others (with outline selection updates disabled). Both should be no longer.

Also once again i've gone through some code and micro-optimized calls here and there, nothing you'll notice but it sums up i suppose, this includes main viewer window loops and the joystick/flycam loops, i've also tweaked the flycam a bit to HOPEFULLY be a bit less jerky on massive framedrops, i can't get rid of the different input strengths with different framerates (not without completely rewriting it) but the difference should be smaller and sudden FPS drops shouldn't cause the camera to fly into space anymore.

Global brightness should now also work on lit alpha and material surfaces and whatever it was that caused projectors to not work at all on them seems to be fixed as well... magically.

Besides these changes, the latest LL code has been merged, namely EAM (Estate Access Manager), with it come more controls over bans (that's pretty much all i've seen). I've started overhauling the first tab of the "About Land" window now that EAM is done, the rest will be coming in the next updates.

before
after

About EEP: LL is working on fixes for all the reported issues (there are a lot), sadly it does not seem like they want to change their mind about marketable presets, this will mean that i'll either drop EEP support for now or at least make make some pre-EEP / EEP hybrid abomination that adds the new controls and features of EEP without the regio-share support and keep the old pre-EEP thing intact. Oz will absolutely hate me but its not my fault that they are doing the stoopid with these items.

For those who haven't seemingly seen my actual EEP bug-rant yet (yes Nalates i mean specifically you) you can find it here on the Second Life Forum - EEP Feedback Thread it's a massive scale rant (with pictures too) and it's a two part thing too, the continuation follows a few comments later. I can tell you that i am truly infinitely pissed, no amount of bugfixing is going to change that... but if those rumors of a full inverse kinematic animation system was true that would possibly make me happy.

By Ella
By Spiritus
By Jarrgo
By Beev


Saturday, April 13, 2019

Black Dragon 64x - Update 3.4.6 "Playing Dragon"

Sweet sweet updates, you got more of them sweet updates?


An update dedicated mostly to optimization and bugfixing wheeee.




Overall performance should be better all around, everywhere, when avatars are around and when not, top performance should also be better. I got up to 140 FPS before the meeting on friday and still had ~45 FPS when everyone arrived, that was quite nice to see. Mostly selecting objects, specifically meshes have been further optimized in hopes to reduce any kind of hitching to an absolute minimum.

While we are on the topic of selecting things, selecting meshes should be a bit easier and hopefully more reliable, note that meshes are still a finicky thing and may just decide to randomly not be selectable anymore for no reason, it's a mystery.

The land tools should now send the correct tool to the server, meaning you'll now use the correct tool again.

Headtracking has been... revamped a bit, it does no longer feature two sliders for horizontal and vertical restrictions but rather offers one slider for head in degrees and another one for the eyes, this means you can now turn off eye tracking once and for all (hopefully). This feature is directly applied to the headtracking motion so in theory it should apply for all effects that use this motion. It does not disable random eye jittering though.



Next up a reported crash when pressing Factory Reset while not logged in was fixed (phew, it tried to reset your user settings when it doesn't even know yet who you are!)

Another reported issue was land info / profile reverting any unchanged windlight modifications, this should no longer happen, i took the time to fix a longstanding issue that caused the water changes and/or preset to revert to default when you changed the sky preset as well while working on the previous issue. Begone bugs.

Overall there has been done quite some stuff under the hood, most of which you might not notice but if you do, let me know, worst case the performance should be the same.

With this update the Viewer is also up-to-date with all the latest shenanigans of LL minus the worsened selection performance, this means autoplay in the webbrowser works again, hooray the login screen will once again play the video automatically!


EEP. Enhanced Environment Project is becoming a big topic lately and yes i've looked into it long ago, i wasn't satisfied nor am i now, in fact i'm massively disappointed, i keep hearing a lot of bad things about it and it gets worse. Not only is EEP going to break possibly every single graphical optimization and improvement i have ever done the past 7 years, in its current state it will break rendering as a whole, it's a fucking mess from what i was shown. I'll be testing EEP out myself soon but i can tell you i'm not going to have fun with this. I'm at a point where i'm denouncing support for EEP as a whole. Not only is the rendering part a disaster, its implementation is catastrophic to the point that its akin to spitting in our faces. LL has fucked up many things in the past but this easily takes the cake. With the new system they are going to take away the ability to locally modify any region windlight and give us this re-introduced feature they call "local environment" that is to replace it, not only doesn't it offer all settings it also does not allow us to change our modifications because from EEP onward windlight presets are seen as marketable items which means being able to edit someone elses windlight and save it is seen as copybotting. What a joke. I for my part would be ashamed coming up with such disrespectful nonsense towards photographers and machinimas, the very reason windlight exists and is so popular in the first place, it's windlights very reason to exist, what else does sky and water mean if not for photo and machinima and now we're spit in the face with this marketing bullshit. You can keep your stupid EEP if all it does is limit the very thing you write so big on your goddamn flag. "Your World, Your Imagination", more like "My Ass, Lick It". If i were you i'd go to LL's forums and burn down their forums until they understand.


Some sidenotes about this update: I became fed up with the seemingly decreasing performance so i tried out several other Viewers to get a picture of how well BD performs compared to them and to my surprise BD has been able to keep up with all of them except the very latest Singularity which was a whopping 10 FPS more average.



That isn't all that bad when you take into account that BD employs a few settings more and sets several options a good chunk higher besides drastic visual changes in several shaders such as for shadows, ssao and depth of field. My panicking was for nothing, BD's performance seems fine when compared to other Viewers but it's probably better to panic about performance once in a while and go on performance-improvement sprees to make sure performance stays the way it is than just adding shit on top and watching the viewer crumble to pieces.



By JDB
By Pirschjaeger
By Ella

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Crawling Shadows: The Quest For Infinity

It's time i make a new informative post, one that i've made in the past already but will try to recycle in a more informative and hopefully better explained way.

This post will address the many issues with shadow rendering that many of you probably have seen already, one we might never ever have fixed.


So what is the issue? Let's start at the beginning, what are shadows, technically speaking. Technically speaking shadows are the lack of light or depending on how you see it a huge overay of darkness. In Second Life shadows are everywhere where there is no direct sunlight, how does this work? Take the sun, imagine your camera at this very moment is the sun and you are shining wherever you look. Now imagine you are shooting a ray from your sun camera into the world wherever you look, when the ray hits a solid object it stops and you count the distance how far this ray went before it stopped, everything past this ray in this direction is assumed to be shrouded in darkness, shadows. The Viewer does this many times every second, as fast as it can for every pixel on screen (with a 1920x1080 resolution this would mean 2073600 times just to finish the screen once). As you can imagine this is extremely slow (this is essentially raytracing) so to make this run decently fast some genius people came up with tricks to make this faster, one of them we use in Second Life. Cascaded Shadow Maps.

Cascaded Shadow Maps is simply put splitting the covered area into several segments (cascades) to make use of different shadow map resolutions for different distances, save resources and overall up the quality and reduce the artifacting we would encounter when rendering one large shadow map over the entire world. What we do is we take our "sun" and calculate a shadow map that is essentially a texture with three-dimensional information on lighting conditions in a covered area, we do this by rendering an image with coverage information with all objects inside this area, basically we are rendering the covered area a second time (although much faster and simpler) to "bake" the objects depth information into the texture which we later use to determine shadowing. We do this with a given resolution for each shadow cascade, 4 here (some games use 6). Since a shadow map can only contain a certain amount of depth information, similar to a depth map can only contain a certain amount of inbetween color steps from black to white, there's only a limited amount of precision, the smaller our area the higher the precision as we have more depth-steps in a smaller area, thus being able to define depth differences more accurately.


Depth map portraying the precision issue: Close to us everything is seemingly black (e.g the same depth) the same goes for flat angles and close to infinite depths, we only have 256 shades from black to white.

As you might guess this already has a massive drawback. If the resolution is too small, the area too big or the camera/sun angle too... special we run into precision issues.



Looking at the above pictures we can see that the shadow precision takes a huge hit on the lower one the further away our shadows are. My body still has highly precise shadows, while 4m into the picture the shadow precision becomes noticeably worse almost making it indistinguishable, another 8m into the picture and shadows become pixel mush. This is because the first 4m of the picture (roughly to the tip of my tail) the shadows use the first shadow map at 2048x2048 resolution, meaning we have roughly 5 pixels for 1cm depth, that is still highly accurate. The second shadow map uses 2048x2048 as well but covers 8m depth, meaning we are now left with roughly 2.5 pixels per cm. We've become half as precise and we can clearly see that 2.5 pixels is... just barely enough to produce something we can identify as our shadow. Beyond that we use 512x512 for the other two shadow maps, the third being 24m and the third being 64m. With 24m we get 1 pixel for roughly every 5cm that is highly inaccurate.


But wait that's not everything! We haven't even talked about the angles. BD has much better shadow accuracy but even BD has issues displaying shadows with low angle sun but why? Remember the depth map? Imagine you are looking at a plane from above, you can see every centimeter of it clearly, now as you approach a lower angle it becomes harder for you to see every centimeter of the entire plane, you start having issues telling apart how far something is away, if you were to lie down on the plane and look over the plane what would you see? Almost nothing, an almost straight plane, basically 0 depth perception, if anything or anyone were standing on it you could only guess how far it is away from you based on your previous experiences and its size. Similarly the rendering has issues defining depth on a plane that is pointing its ends towards you rather than the huge flat area, if you were to look perfectly along the plane on the same height as it you would see only the start of the plane and then the infinite nothingness behind it, 0 depth. Similarly here, if you were to shoot a ray or render an object in front of you while the camera is lying down flat on the ground you would only see the object, possibly a bit depth on the object itself if it does have some (like an arm in front of a body) and that's it, if you use this as shadow map you'd be casting a shadow from this object across the entire plane into infinity and the one pixel touching the ground would be used to determine whether the plane is shadowed or not for as long as this plane goes (obviously a super cataclysmic example), if we imagine the same situation with a slight angle we would still be using a single pixel for many centimeters (if not meters) of the plane causing extreme inaccuracies and artifacting... crawling, pixelation, flickering to name a few, the crawling here coming from the rendering applying this shadow pixel (square) to a changing camera view angle and guess what happens if you rotate a huge square shadow pixels to "face" your camera... right you see this pixels seemingly "crawling".

Example: How far do you think my avatar is?

Solution: You thought it was very close... no you thought it can't be because i wouldn't be asking this question otherwise right? You're right, my avatar is roughly at 1/3 of the plane's total depth. We can see this with the depth map, my avatar is clearly much brighter than the platform. This perfectly illustrates the issue with depth at certain angles, we simply can't tell depth here this creates mistakes.



How can we combat this? Raise the shadow resolution! Reduce the shadow distance! I hear you shouting... well yea... no. You see... this issue is just the drawback of how we render shadows, we cannot truly fix this, not without sacrificing more resources, whether it is adding more shadow cascades (6+) using extra techniques such as screen space precision shadows for small scale objects, raising the resolution or lowering the distance shadows cover, they all have their pros and cons, most noticeably cons, the performance. Raising the resolution does improve the accuracy but also massively impacts the shadow rendering performance, even more so with high complexity objects. Lowering the shadow distance does make the shadows more accurate but in a smaller area and can negatively impact performance as well in certain situations. Having a huge area covered is less straining than a smaller part of the same area that shows the most complexity since this complexity is now rendered with much higher precision (you could say resolution, but the resolution is the same its just more accurate). Adding extra shadow cascades uses more memory and adds 2 more shadow map rendering iterations to the mix and so on. All we can do is adjust the settings to match the scene as best as possible, this is why i added the shadow distance and shadow resolution sliders large non-detailed areas can be grouped into one shadow area with lower resolution than lets say an area with complex items such as grass/leaves or avatars which require a lot more accuracy to be distinguishable. A tip from me, lowering the first shadow map to 2 or 1 doubles/quadruples the accuracy of shadows extremely close to your camera while a 64-128m shadow map with 1024 to 2048 can be sufficient for a huge area, remember you can adjust all shadow maps separately to suit your current needs, make use of them.

The differences can be between this:


And this. I turned the shadow resolution close to me down and the distant ones way up, while the distant ones look decent now, the close ones have become a garbled mess.

Another example:


This is the transition from the second to the third shadow map, i could easily fix this by reducing the first two shadow maps (since they are not visible anyway) to 512x512 and the third (most of it here is covered by it) to 2048x2048 or higher.



Saturday, March 16, 2019

Black Dragon 64x - Update 3.4.5 "Audible Dragon"

Black Dragon Updates Episode MXVII

In a virtual universe far far away...

It's a small one but important one, it contains an updated CEF plugin which fixes an important security issue, we were asked to get this into our releases ASAP. So after some short testing and a test run on yesterday's meeting... everything seems fine, so here we go.

As usual, if you find bugs, report them... or don't.

With this update i'll also experiment with the auto-updater again. This release will be made mandatory so everyone will have to update to this version soon. This is primarily to get people to get all the latest stuff and to see whether the updater works now, it will be removed if it doesn't (saving 10-15mb from the package).



Monday, March 11, 2019

Black Dragon 64x - Update 3.4.4 "Audible Dragon"

So as announced last week, another update.


This one came with a bit more than i wanted. I just wanted to replace FModEx with FModStudio, for those who don't know what it is, it is essentially SL's used sound engine. I had to replace it and get an official license because apparently taking Patreon donations (or any donations, even inworld) voids the FMod license and i need to get one for my Viewer. I'm happy to say that this is now the case, Black Dragon now has an official FModStudio license. Wooo.... so nothing changes. Old audio engine out, new one in, same bugs plus more.

The other announced change was the inclusion of a crash fix but when i pulled it i pulled the entire batch of other changes too and thought "fuck it" and update the Viewer to the latest LL code... with a few changes here and there all seemed to have gone well. Wooo....

As side-effect you'll now find a new .exe in the Viewer labeled "SLVersionChecker.exe" this new and totally (not) improved ViewerManager replaces the old one that didn't work, i had to include it because otherwise the Viewer wouldn't start and crash on startup, i could have just disabled it but i thought this would be a good time to leave it in and soon force an autoupdate to this or the next version in order to see whether it actually works with TPV's now or not. Worst case you won't be able to log in, get a cryptic message that doesn't tell you to update the Viewer and you'll have to play the guessing game what it means and eventually update the Viewer or end up asking me. In that case i'll disable and remove it again. Nothing lost.

I've also included a few texture fixes across a few windows that i missed. No interesting changes from my side other than these mentioned above.

LL's changes brings us a few fixes here and there, nothing worth mentioning and the new Bugsplat service which i don't use.

As always, the release is highly untested, i just made sure it starts and runs and does things as always you'll have to find the evil hidden booboos. Good luck on that, you didn't even notice the dropdown textures in tools were missing :<



by Spiritus

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Black Dragon 64x - Update 3.4.3 "Exploding Dragon"

Yesterday i pushed another small update.


It's not much but it fixes some reported bugs, including the mouselook offset not working thanks to a last minute change (once again) and the land tool selection being offset.

Soon i'll push another update, this one will most likely contain only 1-2 changes but a really important and big one. Stay tuned.

by Loverdag

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Black Dragon 64x - Update 3.4.2 "Exploding Dragon"

Whew. What do we got here? Is that an update in your pants or are you just happy to see me.


More than 1 month without an update, what have i done? Let's just say quite a bit.


Lets get started right away! We'll start with the cat in the bag: Performance! Don't you just hate when you optimize right-click selection outlines to the point you can actually have something selected without freezing to death and this stupid UI blows everything up and calls his children 560.000 times per frame? ME TOO! I know mothers become dragons when it's about the kids but boy this mom surely calls its children a lot of times, unnecessarily so, even worse, calling out for her kids this often annoyed the nice neighbor framerate so much that he couldn't do his work this resulted in a lot of stalls, unnecessary stalls in work. I took my chance and smacked a big fat patch across her big mouth, she should be quiet for a while. No more interruptions. No more stalls in work. If only working on the Viewer was this easy... oh i forgot, it is! That's why i did more! I didn't just fix 560.000 getChild calls per frame i also took the liberty to look around the UI and see what else is calling for its childs too often. You know, counting through all your 5 billion children is a bit slow, especially if you do it hundred thousand times a second but the UI does call its children quite a lot everywhere, not just when something is selected (for whatever reason), i went through right click menus, the main menu, object and avatar menus, some windows and the main UI as well as the main UI update cycles and drastically reduced the stalls everywhere. It feels so nice to open right click menus without stalls now. Not to mention left-clicking now doesn't stall the Viewer for a tiny itsy moment either. In general the overall performance should be much more stable and maybe even a tiny bitsy bit better. Most importantly though, constantly updating objects won't murder your framerate anymore when you keep them selected, wonderful.


So while going through everything due to the above... *ahem* performance issues, i also cleaned up some quite a few code parts and hopefully made them faster and safer, this includes iterating through attachments in the complexity window, the camera as well as the Viewer in general.

Then i spent a lot of time going through my to-do list, fixing as many issues as i could, adding some suggestions and improving on some others. Keybindings should no longer falsely default to "First Person" and show "Third Person". Attachment icon and text when creating group notes should finally show up and stay like they should...i added a warning to changing the Font DPI, improved consistency in multiple areas of the UI such as the Map and Tools window.


Mod/Copy/Trans permissions in inventory have been changed, they are now strikethrough, Deferred Rendering is now considered default on, Motion Blur was disabled by default, its options were slightly changed (you can now select whether to blur your own avatar, others or both in addition to objects), the balance display vanishing in some rare conditions was fixed and working with the glow and transparency sliders on objects should now be much smoother thanks to them not immediately spamming the server with changes and rather waiting for you to be done dragging the slider.



IM/Group sessions starting for you should hopefully no longer make you freeze for increasingly longer times (thanks to Drake for the fix), flycam rolling should work again when its bound to an axis rather than buttons and more...

..i fixed multiple crashes, one related to having a bigger Font DPI and opening certain windows, another when rendering lights.

Finally there are also new things in this update. You can now change the mouselook camera offset but beware, mouselook works different than the normal camera, changing anything but the height will do strange things. You can do some fun things with it tho.



But most importantly this update includes the very first draft of my new big feature i'll be working on after the Poser. You might remember the totally broken camera recorder window i added quite some time ago, i spent a few days to rework it and make it mostly fully functional, it's really hard to use and extremely meh at best still but its only the very very first working version and just like the Poser this will get constant updates, new features, improvements and so on. I've also chosen to leave the UI as is, as in it's complete shit, no thought and no effort put into it as special experiment so you can see how the UI looks when its just made functional and i haven't put my hands on it yet. I'm thinking of putting every UI overhaul into a separate tab so you can see the evolution (if there is any beyond the first rework) of the UI over the course of its development, i thought that might be a nice reminder of how much is actually going on behind curtains when it comes to working on the UI. You'll get a functional UI first, no fanciness, no consistency, no design, no nothing, pure UI functionality, then later you'll get the usual UI changes, then tell me again i don't put any thoughts into it.



Yeppers, that's the UI you see there, big, clunky, broken. Have fun with that.

And for the end, i saved the very best: WEBPROFILES WILL GO! GOODBYE WEBPROFILES!

No i didn't change my mind. This came right from LL! Soon webprofile feeds will break and then LL will bring back clientside profiles. Oh did i wait long for this... not because i don't like webprofiles, i liked them, i'm just happy to get a new window to trash and redo.

As always, if you find bugs or issues, report them to me (or on Discord), i'll hopefully get them worked out sooner or later.

by 털덩이

by Spiritus
by Spiritus
by Loverdag

Friday, January 25, 2019

Black Dragon 64x - Update 3.4.1 "Exploding Dragon"

This one's a big one. Lots of fanciness included!




Let's start with the additions.

The double-click behavior on inventory items and avatars in "People" can now be changed, there are multiple options. Teleport to is NOT an option.



Shadow occlusion has been brought back, no idea if it actually improves shadow rendering performance but we'll see.


The changes...

Keybindings has been reworked (again) to hopefully make it much easier to rebind keys and see what you are supposed to do, no more 5 lists, no more selecting an action first, the new way is much simpler. You select the keybindings you want to see -> First Person , Third Person and so on, you hit "Add" and get the add dialog in which you can select the action you want to add and press the keys you want to assign, very simple.



Font shadowing has been enabled for most if not almost all texts in the UI, you'll notice that the text will look different than before, that's because it will now have a soft black shadow around it, making it a bit easier to distinguish from the background and making background such as in the Login panel changelog obsolete. It also looks cool at no perceived additional performance cost so far. Nice!



While we are at performance, i've undone a small cleanup from the last update that seems to have introduced a loss in performance, i hope this is fixed now.

I've also spend some time optimizing the preferences window again, improving its opening performance by a lot, no more freezes on opening it except when opening the Avatar Render Settings tab for the very first time. It should also run a tad bit faster while open, less slowdown whooohooo!

Also, while we are at Avatar Render Settings, the right-click menu entry "Exceptions..." didn't work, i fixed that, it should now open the preferences window and select the Avatar Render Settings tab.

Furthermore i spend a huge amount of time this update going through many windows and panels, fixing the tabs, fixing the layout, making everything as consistent as possible and generally just making everything look nice and fancy. You'll notice the preferences window has gotten a bit fancier and all tabs in several windows have had their widths increased to properly fill the entire container all the way to the end, so nice and clean.



Have you ever noticed how selecting high poly avatars in other Viewers has absolutely murdered your framerate? Did you also notice how this was not the case in Black Dragon? Well i did some.. tweaks in the past to stop the selection outline from updating every frame but this had the side effect that the selection outline became instantly out-of-sync when the item in question was rigged and moved, it also made selecting parts a hassle because the outline took 5 seconds to show up (and update) if the update was enabled, otherwise it might have never showed up at all. Well not anymore! I've reworked this part too, the selection outline will once again update as fast as possible, every frame, but it will require VASTLY less performance to do so now, it will still take a huge chunk of your framerate if you select Maitreya or Belleza bodies but it should no longer drop you into completely unusable 1-3 fps or worse, 10-20 FPS while having them selected should be easily possible now, given you have 20-30 FPS to begin with of course. As test i've selected a jacked that had 1 million polygons, it only dropped me to around 6 FPS (from 30 thanks to the overly complex avatar itself), previously that would have made me freeze for several seconds and most likely not allow me to get more than 1 FPS... or more likely would have simply crashed me. Having one million polygons selected and update in realtime is a bitch but its our bitch now! *whipcracking*



Haha ohyea and before i forget, the mesh outlines (and all their styles you can select) are now used for all object types, not just mesh. How awesome is that!? Screw those old shitty laggy crap glowy outline thingies, you can now have the new ones!

Also premium users should now hopefully see their premium max group number correctly, previously it was showing the default 42 at all times.

I've also changed a few option labels to better describe what they do and look less like leftovers from previous preferences versions.

And finally, i've merged the latest code from Linden Labs getting the Viewer up on par with 6.0.1. It contained some crash fixes, translation stuff (which i don't use) and a few other smaller bugfixes such as jellydolls still emitting light.

By JDB
By JDB
By Loverdag