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.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Black Dragon Update "Feature Update"

You might want to increase godray brightness to 3.0/4.0, i found these to be just perfect for "every day usage", higher values are not recommended unless you want to make snapshots that show them more visible.

NOTE #2:
I recommend setting Scene Memory to at least 256mb and System Memory to 512mb. Otherwise, lots of texture trashing.

Hello there.

This update contains only a few changes, originally there were more planned (and are still planned) but i will push them back until 2.4.2 because i really want to get this update out now, i need feedback on the new godrays iteration now called "Volumetric Lighting"


This update introduces a bunch of new options, those are:

Browser options: Those that were lost into the world wide web long ago when i redid the entire preferences panel layout.

System Memory: This is a tricky one. Previously we only had a Texture Memory slider, this System Memory slider makes you able to split the actual Global Viewer Texture Memory and the Current Scene Memory and change them individually, this is good because: it allows you to set as much permanent texture memory as you might need without increasing all other internal memory values to crazy highs, theoretically you should now be able to set 1gb of System Memory and something like 400mb scene memory, that should drastically increase the amount of textures that can be loaded without causing "texture trashing" some of you might have already seen.

System Memory = Perma/Semi-perma Texture Memory, its used to save UI textures forever and all textures on the region you are on until you change regions.
Scene Memory = Texture Memory that is used to render the current scene, only what you can see at this very moment. This typically can have a much smaller memory pool than System Memory.

Volumetric Lighting: Not really new, it is just the renamed "Godrays" feature. I thought "Volumetric Lighting" is a much more fitting name than Godrays since this feature doesn't just render godrays only anymore, it looks more like Volumetric Lighting now.


I "fixed" some long standing issues with water rendering, you might have noticed them (or not) but at a certain height, water starts curling around your view, its not just an optical illusion it REALLY bends, making regions go half underwater in a water wall.

This last picture shows the fixed version, no more hurling around.

While i were at looking into the water shader code i also fixed another really big annoyance... ever noticed that water looked extremely... broken on distance? It does sudden cutoffs... it bends.. stretches and then is squeezed together... well NO MORE.

Unfixed version (non deferred)

Fixed version (deferred)

I fixed it in deferred first, hence why the first picture was taken without deferred (because the issue was still there so i had a comparison picture and i was too lazy to just revert the changes to make a proper one). You can clearly see that in the non deferred picture, water is strangely repeated, squeezed and stretched, it looks weird and unnatural, almost like the water consisted of multiple rivers that were somehow... clashing with occasional stripes of still ocean.

I hope to implement these fixes and Volumetric Lighting into the LL Viewer at some point, so we can all have these fancy graphics and maybe in an even better version than they are now!

Volumetric Lighting

Anyone with at least a bit knowledge of graphics will say "ohwait Niran this is not Volumetric Lighting" and you are absolutely correct. This is NOT volumetric lighting, not the typical type of volumetric lighting. It is still the godrays feature i got from Tofu quite some time ago, since then i have been modifying it from time to time. Since Oz showed interest in this feature i decided to revisit it, and fix as many bugs with it as possible, mainly godrays not working on particles and alphas, now they do and they even work underwater! A word of warning tho, do not use them with Depth of Field unless there are no alphas or particles around, particles and alphas will look perma lit/dark if used in conjunction with Depth of Field, the issue here is Depth of Field uses a slightly different Depth Map for its calculation than Deferred without Depth of Field, this Depth Map includes alpha and particles as solid surfaces causing them to have weird effects on Depth of Field....and on Godrays... because Godrays ... i mean Volumetric Light uses the same Depth Map as all features in Deferred do, as soon as you enable Depth of Field, this slightly altered Depth Map is used across all features in Deferred, that causes Volumetric Light to include alphas and particles in its calculations, causing really weird things from certain angles, i tried my best to get this fixed and it seems to be as easy as making a separate Depth Map (which we could use for Depth of Field too so it stops being so damn buggy with alphas and particles). Heres the issue i am talking about: Link and this is the Depth Map which shows the issue: Link

Note this is an LL rendering issue, it is present in all Viewers (should be, not sure about Cool Viewer and Singularity), i would be really grateful if someone could help me out getting this thing fixed (Oz i'm talking to you, give me one of your rendering geniuses! Make em fix it!)

Note: Volumetric Lighting is ONLY visible if:
You are facing the sun
You are using a windlight that compliments godrays
You enabled Deferred Rendering
You set Shadows to at least "Sun/Moon" (Some), better is "Projectors" (All)
You enabled Volumetric Lighting
You set the Godrays brightness high enough for it to be noticable (recommended 3.0 - 4.0)

Next update will include an option to make "facing the sun" optional, so it renders no matter where you look at, you can do that by editing the shader file right now if you know what you are doing. I do not recommend it tho.

In case you do not understand what "facing the sun" means:


In case you want the diner room in full resolution and the other pictures i made there: Here you go


Added: (EXPERIMENTAL) Ability to change system memory and current scene memory seperately.
Added: Browser options tab in preferences floater.
Added: Really experimental godray calculation, looks smoother and works on alpha, bugs on particles.
Added: Ability to select rigged meshes when in build mode and right clicking them. (From Kitty)
Added: Volumetric Lighting (experimental godrays) into a seperate shader, fixing a lot of issues. Same issues with particles Depth of Field suffers.
Added: Seperate Texture and Scene Memory sliders to preferences.
Added: Default buttons to System and Texture memory sliders.
Changed: Swap "Members" and "Roles" tabs so "Members" is the second tab and selected first for unknown reasons.
Changed: Allow right clicking rigged mesh attachments.
Changed: Shrink button toybox to make it fit with our fewer buttons again.
Changed: Quiet Snapshot to Disk to on by default.
Changed: Cleaned up preferences floater internally, should increase first start performance a bit. Still freezes for a few seconds tho.
Changed: Renamed Godrays to Volumetric Light (since it is more of a volumetric light feature than godrays only now).
Changed: Rearranged display preferences panel, made it clearer which options belong to each other.
Changed: Reorganized display preferences slightly, make it more distinct which options belong together.
Fixed: Chiclets being invisible and positioned way above where they should be.
Fixed: Make sure we don't show a scroll wheel in the Login background in case we use websites.
Fixed: Long standing water hurling issue, increased the distance at which water starts hurling massively preventing it from hurling in visible space.
Fixed: Long standing water ripple issue in which water has switching sections of stretched/squeezed textures, especially noticeable on open water.
Fixed: Long standing water ripple issue in which water has switching sections of stretched/squeezed textures, especially noticeable on open water. (Non Deferred)
Fixed: Long standing water hurling issue, increased the distance at which water starts hurling massively preventing it from hurling in visible space. (Non Deferred)
Fixed: Vignette Multiplier being cut out of the panel at the bottom.
Fixed (TEMP): Renamed notification well to prevent it from hiding until i find the place they are hiding it.
Fixed: Only use the Godrays shader if we enabled Godrays.
Fixed: Preferences freezing the Viewer for quite some time when opened the first time. Preload it on start.
Fixed (EXPERIMENTAL): Sort the friendlist when refreshing them the next time (on reopen as example).
Fixed: Deferred Rendering shutting down due to godrays when disabling shadows. Make sure godrays are a class 1 shader.
Removed: Godrays glsl from softenLightF.glsl now that Godrays have their own shader.
Removed: Godrays glsl from cofF.glsl now that Godrays have their own shader.


  1. Hello I just installed my new update BlackDragon2.4.1.9 the black dragon and my voice do not want to walk
    there is no area to try to detect my sound card

    1. Preferences - Sound & Media , scroll down.

  2. great viewer, love it, but on the new version when enabling DOF, my screen looks like this now.


  3. Will you ever consider implementing FXAA into the viewer I know you can force it, but it ruins the overall quality in viewer.
    And also adding in the feature to hide crosshair and possibly an updated chat system?

    1. 1. FXAA is already in the Viewer since a long time (around Second Life 2.7 something)
      2. Preferences - Camera - Show Crosshairs
      3. Updated chat system? This is already the newest chat system available (CHUI)

    2. Doesn't look it, AA/FXAA doesn't seem the best.
      The crosshair is still visible to other users though? So that didn't really do a thing for me.
      Well simplize the chat system then? me at least don't want to have a big window on my screen would rather have boxes.

    3. FXAA is generally not the best. FXAA is just a really fast general solution to aliasing.
      FXAA ON
      FXAA OFF
      The difference is quite extreme i think.

      @Crosshairs. Yes that option is for the crosshair in mouselook not the "lookat beacon" you are talking about.

      @Chat. It's CHUI. I can't simplify it. It is stupidly simple, so stupidly simple that it is just stupid to use. I hate it. Chat Windows
      I tried making it more like the V2 chat long ago when i started Black Dragon, people really disliked it. Not gonna do that again anytime soon.

    4. I really like Firestorm's chat system, and that one is from V3 with the local chat bar and small buttons in the top right for IMs and groups. Very easy to manage, nothing in the way. The chat is literally the only thing I don't like about the viewer. (I'm not the above guy, by the way, the stupid thing won't let me post unless I post as anonymous.)

    5. Firestorm's Chat System is either a V1 like system then or V2 (depending on if you chose to use Phoenix mode).

      V1 is basically the same as CHUI, the difference between them is that CHUI has its annoyances somewhere else.

      V1 had tabbed IM, friendlist and grouplist in tabs and IM in local chat. All of it horrible.
      CHUI has tabbed IM, horrible space wasting, unnecessary space wasting functions and missing functions V2 had.

      Conclusion, it is the same shit as V1 again just with a different layout. I hate both. I want my V2 separated chiclet IM system back.