This 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.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Black Dragon 64x - Release Candidate 2 "Bit Dragon"


Fixed a crash when opening the group tab in the people window.

Whoopsidoodles. I swear this always happens on cleanups.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Black Dragon 64x - Release Candidate "Bit Dragon"

Quick bugfix update

A long standing issue with the top toolbar not letting clicks through onto HUDs below them has been resolved, finally!

Also info on the ease in and ease out duration of animations has been added to the Pose/Animation Manipulator window.

The missing ban button in the group roles panel has been added and hopefully AMD cards fighting the auto-scaling memory limits should be resolved now too.

Updates weeeeeeeeeeeeeeh!

Monday, October 16, 2017

Black Dragon 64x - Beta 3 "Bit Dragon"

Usability update #3.
The last one for now.

The biggest pile of changes was writing all the tool tips for the remaining tabs, they have all been tipped with a tool if you know what i mean. This includes the panels 'Notifications', 'Controls', 'General', 'Privacy', 'Sound & Media', 'Keybindings', 'Viewer', 'Chat', 'Browser' and 'RLVa' with RLVa being the worst out of them all, i'm hardly a RLVa user and i don't know what most of these options do, i tried my best explaining what i could get from the already existing tooltips and debug descriptions but don't count on them being 100% accurate. Other tabs have gotten some improvements too, namely 'Display' tab's tooltips have been improved even further.

I overhauled the 'Animation' (Animator) tab in the Animation Controls window (which is now called 'Pose/Animation Manipulator') in an attempt to speed up animation creation and make it easier to make changes to it.

I fixed the Poser being overwritten by these pesky AnyPose posestands and moved the entire window from the 'World' menu to the 'My Useful Features' menu.

As said in the last post, i was unhappy with the 'Derender' option so i moved it out of the 'Render Avatar' menu and into the main menu to the rest of the avatar specific actions.

I disabled the pesky 'Launch the BD_Launcher instead' notification for now until we actually have a working launcher.

Controls on some vehicles that utilize Shift + Left/Right should now also work, i also added the Move Left/Right option to the sitting menu in case you want to rebind them.

This is pretty much it for now. 3 Updates focused solely on improving the interface and usability, it was a lot of work and there is still much more to do but this should at least improve on the worst parts. Also... no pictures... why the fuck are there no pictures in this post... i have to fix this.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Black Dragon 64x - Beta 2 "Bit Dragon"

Usability update #2

This one has quite some changes in it.

I continued adding and improving all tooltips in preferences like i did with the display tab, so far 'Interface', 'Camera' and 'IM & Groupchat' have had their tooltips created and/or updated, additionally i updated the tooltips in the onscreen movement controls window, it shows you the default buttons in green now too.

The second big thing that i spend the last 3 days working on is the avatar right click menus. Menus, plural. I changed the people menu, inworld avatar menu, inworld attachment menu, IM tab menu, speaker list menu, group memberlist menu, SLURL menu and chat title menu. Every menu that has remotely something to do with someone else or their avatar has been changed, reorganized and filled with additional options.

I think you'll quickly see that they all now have a consistent layout across all of them. The only thing i'm not yet fully happy with is the derender option being in the Avatar Render menu but then again you're most likely rarely if ever going to derender full avatars en mass, but i'm open for feedback on that one.

Most of these menus have been filled with missing options such as remove friend, block text and mute voice (you can do it inworld now finally!), report option where possible, reset skeleton options (yes you can select multiple people on the People-Nearby tab and mass reset skeleton now), view chat history option all over the place and much more. I'm sure some of you will cry in agony seeing that i touched the right click menus but don't worry, you'll get used to it very quickly and its SO GODDAMN MUCH BETTER.

Then theres preferences again, i added a few missing default buttons, changed the default buttons to clearly indicate which options they change and fixed some alignments too. Should be much easier to understand now.

While we're still in preferences again, the Sound & Media tab was changed too so it fits the general layout of all other panels... for consistency you know. Also you can now enter values directly and of course see them too, should again improve readability and make it easier to understand what is going on.

The rest is just minor cleanup, fixes, layout tweaks and translation stuff, nothing you won't notice unless your OCD triggers when something has a single pixel more offset than the previous option.

There will be a third usability update which will add tooltips to the remaining preferences tabs that have yet to receive them, there might also be a few more right click menu tweaks and some more tooltip tweaks to display tab tooltips. We'll see, only time will tell what evil-ish things i can come up with.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Black Dragon 64x - Beta "Bit Dragon"

The usability update #1.

I always complained about how time consuming it is to write tooltips and keep good information presented to the user if they chose to. Well today i'm gonna release the first update whose goal it is to improve on usability and documentation.

This updates includes a unholy amount of tooltips for every single option in the preferences display tab. Every single tooltip has been rewritten or altered massively to have a new somewhat consistent design across all options. Tooltips will now display you a rough estimate of how they impact graphics and performance and what they actually mean, for instance, what does Object Quality 'Normal' mean? Well now it will show you that it is a value of 2.0. If that wasn't enough, quite a few options will give additional hints on their usage and other misc stuff they might happen to change or be changed with but most importantly all options now have decent explanations as to what the option really does. No more guessing (unless you're counting the tone mapping options, they are still vague since i'd have to explain the weights and how each slider interacts in the calculations, which i don't know without looking into them nor would help you in any way). I've spend roughly 6 hours on a rough pass through all of them and another 4 hours doing some iterations. I'm not done yet but this is huge progress and i'd like to get it into the public as quick as possible to get some feedback on it before i continue building on it, since this is one of the very few things that i'm actually doing for YOU rather than me. You're welcome.

Other than tooltips there have been some other changes such as the "Report" option missing from certain often used menus such as conversation tabs or the people window, it should now be there and usable, should make it a lot easier to report people if the need ever arises.

Also zoom limits have been removed. You can now Alt-Zoom out up to 9999m. Click to Walk will no longer break the normal camera behavior, click to walk is just an extension now and allows....you to click somewhere to walk there... rather than breaking the entirety of the camera and how it behaves.

Also i figured out why the agent recorder breaks sometimes, it writes the pilot files into the Viewer folder which almost no one of you probably has write-access to. I moved the pilot files to the user_settings folder in AppData, this also means that the camera recording now reliably works for me too. Great. I'll redo it in the future into a full featured recorder studio where you can list and edit every position, add and remove them and possibly do more. Looking forward to this.

The most important fix in this update is probably the "Current Outfit" tab finally working again. I figured it out... only took me a few months. As always it was something really stupid and small...

While i found some great deal of additional information on why changing the UI size is bisbehaving i sadly haven't found a fix yet other than you resizing the window or toggling Fullscreen Window Mode twice, both of which fix the click offset. Sadly i cannot employ a proper fix and no... just forcing the Viewer to reshape doesn't work, i tried it. The reshape must come from the window through user interaction, the internal reshape code itself doesn't fix it.

Still 2 of 3 long standing issues fixed. Someday i will find out whats breaking UI size changes. Someday. It has only been broken for 6 years now.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Black Dragon 64x - Alpha 3 "Bit Dragon"

So after 3 failed and missed upload attempts i'm just uploading update 3 instead. Have fun, tiny changes, most important for you is the fixed named of the executable. Other change is i removed the internal texture/scene memory limits, you can go beyond 1992m now but only in debug settings for those that want to test it out. If you do so please keep a VERY CLOSE look at your framerate and report if it has any impact on your framerate. Thanks.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Black Dragon 64x - Alpha 2 "Bit Dragon"

So this is it.

The final update before i vanish forever into the depths of Divinity: Original Sin 2 which is about to release today. My last words are:

This update disabled HTTP Pipelining until LL figures out how to not make it blow up the Viewer and it also includes some improvements to shadows in hopefully every possible situation but most importantly on high altitudes. Shadows should flicker less if at all and they should be almost as precise as on the ground now while the ground shadows should be slightly more precise on distance too, yay for less disconnected shadows!

I hope you value this improvement as much as i do.

I think the following two comparison pictures of a theater on 1800m altitude speak for themselves.

Last update

This update

Note these are 4k shots with 6k and 4k shadow resolution to show the effect even more. They do a big improvement on normal 2k shadow resolution too. Don't believe me? Normal 1080p shot with default shadow resolution below.

Last update

This update

Much better isn't it? All those ugly free floating totally disconnected shadows. I know this is still not perfect but its basically 10 times better than anything we've ever had in SL so far and probably close to what advanced shadowing technologies would achieve.

I realize that these snapshots are partly extreme tests, i think most of you have probably seen what happens when you set a sunset/sunrise (long shadow) like preset, right your shadows will go super nuts, disconnect, vanish completely (on LL Viewer sunset basically has no shadows whatsoever), its absolutely crazy how they break in these conditions and as you can see they perform absolutely fine now.

Have fun.

Also, sadly still no launcher... still trying to figure this monster out.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Black Dragon goes 64bitssssss

After painstaking 5 days, compiling the Viewer up and down, back and forth and trying to find the issue, i finally, randomly stumbled upon the solution by "trying something really stupid". Needless to say stupid sadly wins. I managed to compile the Viewer as 64bit executable, with sound and texture decoding intact.

You can download the 64bit version on the usual downloads page of bitbucket. Please not that this 64bit version is absolutely the same as the 32bit version except that it is now obviously 64bit. From my tests so far however i can tell you that it runs a lot faster (for me) than the 32bit version ever did. I'm talking about 20+ more fps on the above picture's place and 10-20 more fps in the place on the picture below.

This is a drastic improvement, make sure that texture loading is done before comparing your fps, while textures where still downloading i got roughly the same low 10 fps but when they were done loading i went up to rock solid 25-30 fps. That's with deferred, shadows and SSAO on.

This build also rips out the updater system which allows the Viewer to start up faster, login a bit faster and eliminates the freeze whenever you open Dragon - Help - About Black Dragon. However, this build doesn't come with the launcher nor updater, i'll have to reconfigure them for Black Dragon soon so they'll keep it updated, so you'll have to update it manually for the time being until i can get the launcher working and can verify that its updating the Viewer properly.

For now however i'll need some rest. A lot of rest. 5 days nonstop headache trying to fix this mess just so it turns out it's a "stupid thing" that fixed it. Ugh. Oz. Get your goddamn documentation together. If you had like written one single sentence, one simple "note that 64bit libs are named after their 32bit counterparts while the dll's are named 64 as usual" all this mess could have been skipped. Or at least give us some sort of insight into your building process for the libraries like fmodex because as you may know OR NOT, we can't look into them because we cannot get them, we have to build them ourselves, which if there is no documentation on how to actually build them, is a bit hard, you know.

Thanks to everyone who tried to help me solving this shit. Specifically Whirly, Nicky, Henri and Cinder. You might not have actually helped but at least you tried, that's what counts. Also thanks to my dad who installed all this crap to look into it just to fail as i did, he did a good job at mentally and morally supporting me with his failed attempts.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Black Dragon 64bit

I suppose i have to make an announcement for this, right?

Most of you know that several TPV's exist in both 32bit and 64bit versions, i think it should be quite obvious why 64bit, it's ability to use 18,446,744,073,709,551,616 bytes of memory, that's 16 exabytes, of course it will never use that much, to use that much you'd first have to have that much memory available physically but it boils down to one important thing, it can use more than the 3,6gb a 32bit application can use after which it will crash due to running out of memory.

Why is this important? Over the past Second Life has undergone some changes, most of the content changes have undergone absolute devastatingly bad changes, many creators in Second Life are not skilled enough to produce optimized content, whereas optimized would be something that is not absolutely terrible, so it's kinda dumb to say they are not skilled enough because making this kind of "optimized" as in not complete shit you really don't need to be skilled at all, you just need to have an idea what's good and what's bad for the client/server which is sometimes really obvious and sometimes terribly easy to test, i think it should be no secret that one avatar eating up 20mb of script memory is bad in comparison to one that uses 0.1mb, right, especially if the SIM has only a small amount of available memory. So... because lots of content has inevitably made as turn for the worse, memory usage has increased drastically, we've reached a spot where one avatar can use up to 400mb and more of your precious 3,600 available megabytes, that is 1/9 of your max, now add the Viewer which depending on which you use and the settings you use can easily take up to 400-600mb by default not taking your avatar and the rest of the region you are on into account, we're talking something around 800mb is pretty standard, that's me plus Hippo Hollow region and my high graphic settings plus some chatting on Black Dragon. It's not much isn't it? Yea but not everyone carefully optimizes his avatar like me, whenever i go anywhere the memory usage will quickly ramp up to 1.5 - 2.0gb, sometimes just for the region, that's a lot for nothing, add some unoptimized avatars on top and you'll get 3.6gb easily, resulting in a quick crash.

This has sadly become not a rare occurrence but something more and more people keep reporting me, obviously blaming it on the Viewer. I went there, checked out the region and surprise, the region alone eats almost 3gb memory, every single avatar eats like 400+mb, doesn't surprise me you're crashing here coming from Firestorm (presumably 64bit). Now i could tell you that adopting 64bit early was a big mistake which basically just worsened and sped up the moment this was going to happen, because 64bit makes people again careless, they can just use and spam whatever they want, bloating your memory without care, this doesn't affect 64bit Viewers much but does a lot of harm to 32bit Viewers such as mine and the LL Viewer, which along the fact that 64bit was necessary at some point anyway, was probably the reason LL decided to tackle 64bit and will soon become the baseline Viewer.

With 64bit becoming baseline, Black Dragon will also finally get a 64bit version, which should eliminate out of memory crashes, once and for all. That is until you run out of real memory, but don't worry, knowing Windows it will probably start freezing and possibly BSOD long before the Viewer has a chance to report out of memory and crash. Great i can see it coming, people complaining at me that my Viewer bluescreens their PC.

I'm currently in the process of trying out the 64bit compile process on a Virtual Machine with Windows 7 64bit Home Premium installed, the wiki is very vague and makes it sound like Windows 10 is required to do so and no one else i asked compiled it under Windows 7 so i was on my own (as always) working through the still incomplete guide that is the step by step article on the Wiki. Needless to say that if i get it up and running we'll soon see a first 64bit version of Black Dragon, which will end support for 32bit systems, yes that's right, no more 32bit versions. Why? You shouldn't be using 32bit anymore. It's 2017, 64bit shouldn't have been around anymore since Windows Vista sometime around 2007. I'm not Linden Labs, i won't be hand holding your outdated systems like they do hoping you will someday finally switch to 64bit which of course you will never do because we all know how that works out right? ~ "Never change a running system".

What else? ... right... i changed Auto Alpha Masking in the last update, i'm absolutely super sorry about breaking your stuff but the truth is your stuff was broken already, you just never noticed because this hack of a feature which was presumably made to have some sort alpha masking was made prior to Materials, which allows us to set the alpha mode ourselves. I feel like since Materials is here for quite some time now this hack is no longer needed and should be disabled by default, i know no one except me has the balls to do it (as always) because ohno you break content (no you fucking don't) and fixing this is as easy as editing the object or prim or face in question and setting its Alpha Mode to "Alpha Masking" if it requires some sort of alpha, like hair or cutting off legs or clothing layers or something (which really shouldn't exist in the first place) or simply "None" to get rid of the alpha completely, both Masking and None are almost identical with the exception that Alpha Masking can still have transparency but only full transparency (100%). The optimal solution would be removing the alpha channel in the uploaded texture, which most of you probably can't do but it's something you should tell your creators if you want them to improve their stuff and if they want to argue with you, send them to me, i'll give them a lecture as to why they should do it, apart from it being like 2 clicks in GIMP to remove the alpha channel (not sure in PS).

Anyway, if you for some reason can't change the Alpha Mode because you are one of those poor souls who buys overpriced human stuff which usually comes without mod permissions you might want to go into the main menu - Dragon - Develop - Rendering - Automatic Alpha Masking (Deferred) and enable that to revert to the old settings where you see your broken stuff less broken but still broken with pixelated shadows, missing SSAO, broken transparency in Volumetric Lighting and so on... but at least your hair won't poke through the front of your eyes from behind right?

That's it for today, will see you possibly on a 64bit Black Dragon soon... oh and, if for some reason 64bit turns out to be not compile-able for whatever stupid reason and i can't get it fixed, no more Black Dragon when 64bit becomes baseline. Dropped the bomb there, did i?

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Forget about update 2.8.0.

Download 2.8.1 instead! More fixes. More stuff. More ... more! Soon mandatory (which will fix the auto updating process which currently fails due to md5 hash mismatch (probably... it should))