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.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Black Dragon 64x - Update 3.2.8 "Caring Dragon"

Another update focused on improvements. Mainly fixing leftover issues and improving the UI where i can.

Complexity has been altered again, it should be even lower now because rigged mesh was calculated twice (woops) but don't think you'll magically get below those 5 quadrillion complexity of yours. No way. Once unoptimized, always unoptimized.

Your GPU name and memory usage will now be shown in preferences so you don't have to fiddle with the texture console to see it.



Motion Blur Amount and Automatic Shadow Distance should be persistent across logins now.

And several fixes to camera behavior have been done, camera rolling will now work when sitting while Cinematic Headtracking is enabled, there are two options one to configure the amount of roll while sitting with Cinematic Headtracking and another to disable avatar-based rolling while sitting. Note that disabling avatar based rolling still allows rolling when Cinematic Headtracking is enabled and configured to allow full rolling and vise versa. Headtracking roll is added on top of avatar-based roll and avatar-based roll is mainly for non-Cinematic Headtracking use.

Advanced Complexity Information has been overhauled for the new complexity calculations and should now give much clearer information on which attachments and specifically what features of it cost how much complexity.


I think i'll slowly start focusing on bigger stuff again now that i have a solid base again.


By Billy Daxter

By Jethro

Monday, September 10, 2018

Black Dragon 64x - Update 3.2.7 "Caring Dragon"

Another small batch of changes. Most noticeably the online/offline notifications in IM should again show "is Online" or "is Offline" while normal notifications wont.

Also triangle impact in complexity has been lowered a little bit more. Shouldn't make a big difference for most mesh avatars since they are rigged and rigged complexity values will still explode as they are supposed to.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Black Dragon 64x - Update 3.2.6 "Caring Dragon"

A small bugfix update.

Readability fixes, poser fixes and shadow distance adjustements. Windows 10 startup problems caused by outdated dll's should be fixed too.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Black Dragon 64x - Update 3.2.5 "Caring Dragon"

After last update's uproar about UI changes i thought i'd do something different this time around.

JK

This is another UI update.



But rather than listing everything i've done i'll just give you a few pictures and get onto the rest after that.


New online/offline notification look


Snapshot window shows the save path


Fancier voice volume popups

Lots of other stupid stuff you'll yell at me for, like fixed readability in text editors (specifically About Land and Landmark editing), some text changes and little cleanups here and there.

What is much more important however is the new Automatic Memory Management which by default is enabled, i want you to test it out and give me some feedback. What it does: It checks how much memory is used for Scene/System memory and automatically sets the limit for them as high as needed + some extra, meaning whenever you need more it will automatically set the limit higher and will also lower it again when you need less. This should reduce any performance impact large memory limits have to a minimum (if they still have one like they had before 64bit). I've also used this chance to make a few experimental changes to allow setting the limits up to 3984mb, making a total of roughly 8gb to be used. I'm sure you'll never hit these (you'll have a hard time hitting 2gb even). All i can say is i had to enable Full Resolution Textures to fill my whole 6gb of VRAM, without crashing or slowing down that is. You wanted more memory usable in SL? You got it. You can disable the automatic management if you think it's causing you issues or if you want to do it manually. Just note that on AMD it knows no limits, i still cannot read AMD GPU memory values so i can't find out how much VRAM your GPU has and thus cannot limit it accordingly, be mindful of that.

Another very controversial change is complexity. Yup i changed it again, i dropped the "divide by 10 to make numbers readable" and dropped the impact of simple polygons but raised the impact of rigged mesh. You'll see higher numbers for sure, my own av complexities roughly doubled but altogether you'll most likely see most people getting jellydolled anyway so not much change here, you might just have to adjust your max complexity a bit up. I raised the default from 125k to 150k, measuring against my own avatars (50k-110k) this seems like a good number for near perfectly optimized all the way down to slightly above "okayish" without letting in the "okayish" and below avatars. I'll keep an eye on complexity, i'll probably readjust it again, probably lower the impact if simple triangles a bit more to crunch big numbers a bit more down but besides big numbers it seems to do it's job well at jellydolling avatars i really don't want to waste my resources on. I also did some fixing to the calculations so the one in the complexity floater and the inworld display match and both count everything properly... inworld display didn't count the root prim's triangles for instance (ouch), so expect to see even higher triangle counts now.


Knotty Beach really isn't a good place to show complexity but you'll see what i mean with huge triangle counts, people there are the worst. Red numbers everywhere and triangle counts starting at the range of entire levels + NPC's in triple A titles. The whole scene was ~20 million triangles, that's simply insane.

Before i'll leave you with this new update, there's a new slider to control the global brightness of all light sources in the world.

And now, the first ever pictures on my blog from other people. These are coming straight from the Black Dragon Discord channel.

By SpiritusNatus

By Beev Fallen

By SpiritusNatus

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Black Dragon 64x - Update 3.2.4 "Caring Dragon"

Quick! Take this release and run.

RUN! RUN BEFORE THIS MANIAC DECIDES TO CHANGE MORE THINGS AND EVERYTHING BREAKS AGAIN! RUUUUUUUUUUUUN!



This update took way longer than i wanted. Games kept sidetracking me, friends kept sidetracking me, family kept sidetracking me, then cool new stuff happened and it needed fixing then i wanted to pack up and just do this very tiny little change to top it off and everything broke... and this went on and on...but finally, here it is, in all its broken glory!

The main topic of this update was UI IMPROVEMENTS.

You'll find (but not notice) that the UI learned a few new handy tricks so let me give you a quick rundown what is new.

  • Right Clicking while dragging a slider will "cancel" out of the drag.
  • Right Clicking on a slider will revert it to its previous value if it had one.
  • Right Clicking on a slider, spinner, button or checkbox while holding CTRL and Shift will revert it to its default value IF it is linked to a debug setting.
  • Using the Scrollwheel while holding CTRL while hovering over a slider or spinner allows "scrolling" through values.
  • Holding Shift in addition to the above will scroll faster (times ten).
  • Clicking anywhere near the slider thumb will now center the mouse on it rather than instantly snapping the thumb to the mouse and changing the value, possibly causing a lot of hair-pulling. (Yup that's why i'm a naked dragon)
  • Pressing up or down arrow while a slider is selected now allows changing its increment value up and down respectively. There is currently no display to show you what it currently is set to.
  • Tools Floater - Texture tab sliders will now delay applying their value to prevent them from jittering all over the place because they constantly get resynced with the server and possibly ending up not the value you last set them to (e.g reverting back to previous values). This is not a perfect fix but it will massively reduce the hammering on the server when changing values and will combat this laggy behavior pretty good.

These are just the general UI widget additions. There's more! Loadingscreen has 2 new tips to mention two of the above new features too.

Both derender in nearby and adding friends is now multi-select, you can now mass invite everyone as friend....or mass derender everyone, the choice is yours.

"Show Original" in appearance will finally switch your inventory tab back to the main tab when it has to making it actually 200% more useful.

Some warnings to several options like the pie menu (action wheel), custom ports and others have been added to inform the user that using these will cause issues.

Lots of cleanup, layout consistency fixes, padding fixes, icon changes, scaling fixes and generally a lot of facelifting has been done across several panels all over the UI to ensure a more consistent look where i touched the UI.

HUDs taking control over the camera should now work properly again.

3 new people have been added to the Patreon list, thanks Nyt, Luke and Menominum!

The layout of the texture console has been overhauled again completely, wider bars, better spacing, consistency, consistency and more consistency, you can actually fucking look at it again and read it!


But wait, that's not all! The Viewer has been updated with the very latest code from LL and has had the maintenance fixes applied too, this includes a fix for rigged alpha masked/blending mesh shadows being rendered wrong, i waited years for them to fix it and here it is, FINALLY! The ONA Sergal finally looks as good as it was supposed to long ago!


Here's an example of the issue i reported over 4 years ago! Here is the original Jira


What a time to be alive!



via Gfycat

It's not over yet. I did change a few things on this blog as well, firstly and most importantly i added the bug tracker, you can see what i'm working on, which bugs i'm aware of, what features i have planned and which are already done/fixed. You can find it in the right sidebar. Further i changed the pre-download page to link the all "Guide" posts I've written, they are most likely more useful than the old posts i had linked there.

I've also separated the picture channel in Discord to differentiate between photo-shopped pictures and raw pictures, this is an effort to maybe feature unedited, raw pictures of users other than me on my blog. I stand for unedited pictures with my name and Viewer and i don't tolerate photo-shopped pictures ESPECIALLY not as promotion material for my Viewer, people are meant to see what the Viewer is truly capable of, now what you can do in Photoshop. I highly recommend taking a look at the pictures channel in my Discord Server, there are some truly awesome shots in there!

Also i'd like to thank all Patreon patrons again for their support, you rock!

One last thing, this update contains a bug that will sometimes render one ore more rigged attachments of other people on your HUD usually just until they are fully loaded, so far its rare and i don't know if its just me, so if you see it, DO REPORT it to me... i mean i'll investigate it regardless but just so you know i'm aware of it, if nothing helps do a relog but usually it should solve itself after a bit.

As always, report issues if you find them, i'll investigate them as soon as i can.

(Also WOW, dem downloads)


Enjoy some pictures, see you next time hopefully with pictures from others too!



Saturday, August 4, 2018

Black Dragon 64x - Update 3.2.3 "Caring Dragon"

Another update, a bit later than i wanted but it contains some extra to make up for it.


It's mostly fixes again to work down my long list of todo's which seemingly gets longer every day rather than shorter.

Besides fixing the broken group chat behavior options, a crash when trying to toggle borderless window mode off while in login screen, enter key not working properly in keybinding dialogs among some other minor things this update comes with a revamped Media-on-a-Prim floater.


Also new are buttons to invert values easily, they have been added to the flycam configuration window as seen below:


I've also added a button to lock an array of sliders and move all sliders at once. You'll find these lock buttons in preferences - display mainly, it allows locking shadow resolution for instance and changing all shadow resolutions at the same time if that's your thing. It's really just a tiny QoL thing.

This update also brings the Viewer up to snuff with the latest LL Release, meaning snapshot saving is now multithreaded too among some other things, no more freezing SL while you are choosing a folder to save your snapshots in. In the future i'll use it for my animation window too.

If something is unexpectedly broken, report it to me, this version is almost untested besides a quick snapshot test to make sure LL's snapshot changes didn't break the most important feature of my Viewer.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Black Dragon 64x - Update 3.2.2 "Caring Dragon"

This update comes with a whole host of improvements all around.


Chat, Camera, General and Privacy tabs in preferences have been revamped for increased consistency in the layout and looks of all preferences panels. The joystick/flycam configuration window has been totally redone too!
old (left) | new (right)
new (left) | old (right)

Lots of warnings fixed, code and files cleaned up and defunct options and widgets remove.

Also the biggest addition is the ability (finally) to change permissions via the friendlist either via the menu at the top or the gear menu... or the right click menu... speaking of right click menu, you can also change the permissions in ANY right click menu now. Awesome. Please note that permissions will not update in your friendlist unless you force them to (untick view permissions and then retick it), i swear i tried automating it the last 3 days without success... idk why it doesn't work but hey, it doesn't refresh via webprofiles either, nor does in the LL Viewer.

Screen Space Reflections have been slightly improved and they should no longer vanish in closed rooms on certain surfaces depending on the camera angle.

Besides these, lots of small improvements have been added and bugs have been fixed all over the place such as the texture selection that should work again, selecting "cancel" in the color picker will no longer revert to 0 alpha, highhlighting transparent will no longer lock your depth of field focus and hiding your UI will no longer break looking up and down via left or right-click drag, speaking of, right click-drag now works with the UI hidden too! Miniprofiles have had their look improved and your own dot on the minimap is now colored blue by default.


MOST IMPORTANTLY: Opening tabs in preferences will now change the "+" icon to a "-" icon. WOW. Mind blown.




I hope you like it.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Black Dragon 64x - Update 3.2.0 "Falling Dragon"

Note: Update 3.2.1 pushed to fix a startup crash if you had the camera window open on login.



Update time.


This time with more falling dragons!

Dragons fly you say? Not today!


Last week i made some much needed improvements to the animator, this week i'm finetuning and fixing more tiny things here and there.

Most importantly clicking the "Play" button too early (when the list is empty) shouldn't crash the Viewer anymore, in fact you won't even be able to click it anymore until you add at least one step.

Also in the poser you can now move the pelvis further around, 20 units rather than just 5 units, this was necessary for my latest video as well as something completely new...

...something i wanted for quite a while and you can finally do it, the camera floater now has a dropdown in its "camera modes" tab in which you can select any of your 134 bones to force the camera to follow it based on your current camera preset's offset, i added it now because again it was absolutely crucial for the video i was making.



You'll probably remember the falling scene i made last week, i extended it twice, all the way down to the ground. Poor draegn is ded.

This update also brings the Viewer on par with the Second Life Viewer 5.1.7, the latest official release again, almost fully untested of course, if you find any bugs or issues report them and i'll see what i can do to get them fixed as soon as possible (like the above mentioned play crash).




Sunday, July 8, 2018

Animator and what to do with it...

I've been hard at experimenting again and i'm digging up some interesting things that got me some interesting ideas.

What if i told you that it would be possible to make a UI for a full animation editor, like QAvimator inside SL? Technically you could take any animation that is running, read it out and fill the UI with all necessary information, keyframes, rotations, positions, time values and allow you to edit them, fully, imagine you could edit a running animation, move around its keyframes, change rotations and positions not only would this be the ultimate and only animation editor inside Second Life, it would also give mod permissions on animations a right to exist.

Making a functional and sensible UI for this is probably the biggest challenge of this. Not only would it require a lot of time to build, it would also require a lot of time to test and make it functional, fill it with features that are needed to make working with it as easy as possible.

Being able to fully edit running animations...

How would it look... how would it work... would this even be worth making?


Who knows. Maybe i'll get around to do it, it would help immensely getting the exporter up and working.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Black Dragon 64x - Update 3.1.9 "Falling Dragon"

A dragon never sleeps. Unless it sleeps.



Continuing on last update's work this update brings another bunch of improvements for the Poser, specifically it's animator feature.

The animator was always kinda... not very persistent, the moment the window was hidden the animator stopped working, that's because the main loop for the animator was written into the draw call for the window as it is the only call that was periodically called, problem was that as soon as the window didn't call the draw call anymore, such as when the UI is hidden or when it was closed the animator would stop... animating. Bummer.

NOT ANYMORE! BEGONE DRAW CALL NESTED ANIMATOR! I separated the animator from the main window's code and made it its own thing that can be called from anywhere in the code. This means the animator will now persist beyond the existence of the very window that houses its UI, this is especially useful if you want to ... well record your animations without the UI. Now you can! To show it off i made the very first fully-UI-less animator animation, no edits, no hacks, no tricks! It's 100% made inside the Poser.

I used the magic of the internet and put some fitting music to it as well!

You can see the version with sound here


That uh... well that's pretty much it already but i made a few more nice pictures for you!