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, November 16, 2018

Black Dragon 64x - Update 3.3.4 "Animating Dragon"

Yea an update!



The update focuses on bugfixing and improving the UI mostly.

The snapshot floater, windlight editor, group profiles, places profile and the conversations window had some fixes, layout changes and improvements. Most noticeably will be the group profile window though, it's a slow, work-in-progress project of mine to go through all main windows and apply the preferences window design to it, overall bringing some more consistency into everything, grouping things nicer and generally cleaning up old stuff. Two examples how this looks like (old vs new)



The poser has had a nasty crash fixed when working with animesh not on the same SIM as you (why would you do that?) and shadows on certain rigged, alpha masked objects were fixed (once again)

It's overall a somewhat small update, it's really just some fixing and finetuning the rough UI edges, not to mention i'm slowly getting burned out again so i'm trying to get some downtime for next month when i plan to do a christmas update marathon, an update every week where i try to smack as many ugly UI windows as possible and rework them... this is going to be fun and a lot of annoying work... especially "Appearance". Maybe we'll finally see some "About Land" window updates... "maybe" because LL is planning to add a lot more stuff to it so i'd want to stay away from it until that is done.... same goes for windlight with EEP in the coming.

Also, something i totally forgot last time was the pie menu, i changed a bit of stuff in the code and cleaned it up a bit in an attempt to fix the random right-click crash that has been plaguing my pie menus for 6 years now. Since i don't experience this crash (but apparently everyone else) all i can do is ask whether it is better now (or even fixed) or still crashing on right click. Please do tell.

Another thing is the blog and download procedure you're going through, i'll be cleaning it up over the coming weeks/months, i've done a first pass at removing all old blog posts from the download page and only linking to new and really important ones that are often asked about, i will want to write more guides in the future but they take time and might be outdated the moment i write them essentially wasting my time over and over again.

Lastly there was the AVX2 experiment which... sadly didn't work out, testers reported that it broke hilariously, rotating objects randomly around their axis... it was a funny mess but sadly unusable but hey the performance was definitely better haha!...



By Spiritus

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Black Dragon 64x - Update 3.3.3 "Animating Dragon"

Ugh what a downtime.

Originally this was meant to be a small quickfix update but... you know... things happen and boom there's new stuff.

So with this update i bring the ability to pose-animate multiple avatars at the same time, again only yourself and animesh. YOU CANNOT POSE OR ANIMATE OTHERS, THIS WILL NEVER HAPPEN (Thanks to LL).

Of course you want to see this in action, here goes!

Awesome isn't it?

Well... that's actually pretty much it. Latest animesh code was merged (look out for any performance decreases, i'll do some performance tests soon to see whether the new code satisfies my strict performance rules). The rest is just small scale cleanup and fixes, nothing fancy.



That's pretty much it with Viewer stuff.

I'm also most likely going to add an AVX2 version for the very first time, when i find some time compiling it along with a non-AVX version and AVX version. I'll also write some additional stuff down on the download page about the recent Windows 10 problems with starting the Viewer and which version to take when.


Once again many thanks for the continued support via Patreon!

Friday, October 12, 2018

Black Dragon 64x - Update 3.3.2 "Animating Dragon"

Another update, another crash.



Crashes are the name of the game here, you wanted crashy? you get crashy, crashes for you, crashes for him, crashes for her too! Crash this, crash that, crash everything!


Obviously i fixed a lot of things that should have been crashing, starting with the login button, don't ask me why it didn't crash but now it will certainly do, 11/10 tries will end up in a crash, thank me later.

...

what...

What do you mean it isn't the 1st of april yet?

...oh... Oh...

Whoopsie. I was under the impression that it's aprils fools, i guess i was wrong... well then back to the boring normal updates.

Lets see... some UI improvements, including but not limited to the ability to sort "Nearby" by recent arrival, the pesky "Too Many Groups" notification annoying the heck out of you when clicking the menus in "People" is gone, the ability to permanently ignore (and restore) the "Do you really want to delete this?" notification and several smaller skin improvements and fixes.

Most importantly however is the new ability to pose animesh. As previously promised, here it is, you can now pose animesh! All you have to do is open the Poser, select who you want to pose (this includes you) and start posing like usual. Saving and loading poses to and from them works as well, heck you can even animate them! Now you can multi-pose, pose yourself to fit your new poseable animesh friends!


HAH! How do you like that animesh!


Not so funny now when I'M IN CONTROL.

There were also a few... issues regarding the "Auto Accept Inventory" and "Show Offered Inventory" options, they... didn't quite do what you'd expect them to so i dug into their code and found out what they actually do, updating their description to properly reflect their actual function as well as adding a new option that is responsible for opening your Inventory and highlighting new inventory items in your Inventory when you receive them, all three options have been added/moved to the "Interface" tab where they belong.

I also fixed a particulary evil crash when loading poses with scaling or attachment bone/collision volume information . Whew, good thing that's over!

The rest is really just internal improvements, cleanup and small scale fixes. Have fun! I'll also be pushing to get a new updated non-AVX version up ASAP!



Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Black Dragon 64x - Update 3.3.1 "Animating Dragon"

Ahhh, after some good productive development there's finally another update.



Not only does this update rework the poser a lot, finally adding bone scaling to all bones, it also adds support for collision volumes and attachment bones! Wow. As always, if you find bugs report them to me.


I've also spent some time to add a feature to copy your shape to animesh objects as well as move your selected attachments to the targeted animesh object via the Animation Controls. This will allow you to do things like this:



But be warned though, moving attachments will prime the Viewer for a crash. Make sure you wear everything you want to send over first before attempting this, altering your outfit in any way will cause a crash, a logout might also cause a crash as well... just like a teleport... this is HIGHLY EXPERIMENTAL, use with care.

Besides all this posing nonsense i've also tracked down the cause for the huge performance decrease with avatars around, i think i don't need to mention that i fixed it and framerates should once again be as they were before. Boy this stuff dropped me from 30 to 1-4 FPS...

Reset skeleton has also been fixed, hooray and the Viewer has been once again updated to the very latest code from LL. Have fun.

By Spiritus


Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Black Dragon 64x - Update 3.3.0 "Animating Dragon"

The age of animesh has come.

I was bored and didn't know what to do a friend asked me about helping him to merge animesh into Firestorm and get it up and running so when he was done with that i thought i could start doing it too, i mean why not. It's a RC now and should hit live this or next week.

So here we are. Animesh fully supported now in Black Dragon as you can see below.



Expect me to make some music videos with this at some point.

I didn't just implement animesh however, i did the usual bugfixing and improvements too, namely the Animation Control window and the Advanced Complexity Information window both support animated meshes. Yes you can stop, freeze, slow-down, speed-up and copy and paste animations from and onto them. Since they are just objects i see no reason LL would not allow me to allow you to do whatever the heck you want with them. The poser however does not support animated mesh YET. This is the next thing i'm going to work on in addition to some nice extra features for animated mesh, such as copying your shape and attachments to them. Animated mesh as it is right now does not support neither, they won't have attachments and their shape cannot be changed, i plan on changing that. (Really LL? you didn't think of adding a "copy your shape item in the animesh object and have it applied" feature? This is a total no-brainer) If attachments work anything like i imagine them to work and if what i plan to do works you'll be able to copy both your shape and attachments onto them, this is only locally (as you'd expect) and is mainly to allow me to make my music videos as planned... with myself. HAHA.

Complexity was changed a bit with the introduction of animesh but don't worry, as always i don't give a flying fuck about it and changed it to match the complexity calculations as before with the exception that animesh is now included and does reduce the complexity value by 5% since an animesh avatar is not a full avatar and thus shouldn't be treated as such with a minor complexity discount, not that it matters really, all animesh objects cannot be shitty meshes anyway, they must be somewhat low poly and if you're going to wear it you'll have lots of high complexity pieces which will do the rest anyway regardless of what the animesh object does.

Also in order to do something for better FPS i went ahead and refactored large parts of the joystick idle/working calculations and eliminated all settings lookups, this is a massive improvement and essentially means no more FPS drops while having any kind of joystick plugged in and "enabled". This should make using them a bit smoother and generally squeeze out a few more FPS (depending on how much you already got) for those sweet 60 FPS you want while recording your videos.



I'm sure you'll appreciate the changes. From what i could test it netted me roughly 20 FPS when 100 where the base framerate and while using it (as shown above) i didn't notice any unusual or permanent framerate hits. As always if you find anything not working do tell me so i can get it fixed ASAP.

Besides above mentioned things there were a few tiny changes, left clicking on objects while the About Land window is open should no longer deselect land but rather now select parcels properly (yay) and the rest is mostly just merge-caused issues that were resolved.

Also thanks again for all your continued support, Patrons and non-Patrons alike. Without you i hardly wouldn't feel the need to push further.

As always a picture from me and a few from others from Discord.




By Liaranne

By 털덩이

By macronomicus

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!