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, January 26, 2016

Black Dragon Viewer - Update "Binding Keys"

Please make sure you downloaded it contains an important fix for vehicle controls. If not, go download it and install that one.

Feature Highlight

As the update label suggests, this new update focuses primarily on binding or rebinding keys, in other words: Remapping Controls.

That's right, the feature that has been missing for over 13 years now. It is finally coming into Second Life, at least a small part of it, my userbase. I have worked the past few days up and down to get this feature up and running as it is right now. It is pretty "basic" at the moment and only allows binding one set of controls for pretty much all controls available, it is not possible to bind alternative controls yet but will be soon.

It works pretty straight forward, you click the [set key] button, popping up a small window asking you to press the key you wish to set for this action, you can then choose to add modifier keys such as CTRL, ALT and SHIFT in any possible combination, when done, press "Bind" and that's it.

To ensure it worked properly i had to remove the internal code that removed doubles, that means you can bind all actions to one key, which will result in that key probably doing a lot of funky things, please be aware of that.

Additionally there are two more buttons, "Unbind All" which does exactly what it says, unbinds all controls locally without saving it - and "Export" which manually saves your current bindings to the desired file's name, which is "controls.xml" right now until i add loadable presets. I used these buttons for many hours of debugging, be careful with these as they might break something in a case i have not yet managed to reproduce.

By far the biggest downside of this change is that all controls have been unbound and completely rebound from the scratch, it might be possible that i missed some, additionally there will be no more Arrow Key controls, the controls are now by default AWSD as they should be.

Here's an overview of the new controls:

AWSD - Move left/forward/backwards/right
Q/R - Rotate left/right 
Space - Jump/fly up 
C - Crouch/fly down
X - Stop movement
F - Toggle fly mode
Enter - Start chat

User Interface

I've re-added the "Keybindings" tab to the preferences floater, it contains all the new stuff you will need to rebind your controls.

I've also changed a few german translations to better match the new preferences layout.

I've fixed the inverted "Letter keys are used to" option, it should behave properly now.

I've added a Freeze World menu entry to the main menu, it can be found in: Dragon - Useful Features - Shortcuts - Freeze World. (Ctrl + Alt + F)


I've made some changes to the Tone Mapping defaults, it seemed like i forgot to change them, that or i made more tweaks to it later, after i made my last tweaks. You'll have to revert the Tone Mapping settings to default with the [default] key if you've touched the sliders at least once.

I've also made some changes to the way shadows and SSAO are softened, for the better i hope, they should be softer than before while projected light shadows shouldn't be over-blurred anymore.


As you may have noticed (or not) i have made some changes to the blog, i felt that it was time to work up some parts of the blog, namely the download link which now always refers to the "pre-download" page which will link you to all important information before downloading the Viewer, hopefully reducing the "i can't see anyone" question i keep seeing a lot lately.

From now on you won't find a download link anymore in my update posts, only the sidebar will now contain the download link. I'm currently deciding if i should remove the sidebar download link and only have a download link in my blog to force people to look into the update posts.

I'm also trying to clean up my writing a bit more, making it clearer what i want and what i've changed.



Added: Ability to remap almost all controls in the UI, unbind them, export them with a given name and load them on start.
Added: Freeze World shortcut menu entry.
Fixed: Wrong translation for the mouselook invert option.
Fixed: Inverted "Letter keys are used to" option.
Changed: Tone Mapping defaults, brighter.
Changed: More tweaks to SSAO/Shadow softening.
Changed: Ignores to allow commiting changes to the character folder.
Changed: Display prefs XML cleanup.
Changed: Set the default controls file name to "controls.xml".
Changed: Disabled Keyboard Layout options.
Removed: Shortcut from Debug Avatar Textures.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Black Dragon Viewer - Update "Occluding Ambience"

I highly recommend you press the default buttons for all SSAO options to make sure they match the new defaults.

First update of 2016.

Let's start this year with revisiting Screen Space Ambient Occlusion (SSAO) shall we? I made some tweaks to the blurLight shader, overall increasing the smoothness of SSAO without impacting framerate negatively. Also fixed is the weird case of light being blurred twice (it's in the LL Viewer too and explains why shadows are so horribly overblurred), that means less blur on shadows, crisper shadows and most importantly projector light shadows are not ultra blurry anymore, they look fine again. While doing some tweaks to the light blurring i also fixed the ability to control shadow blur on distance and SSAO blur, both work now. These changes were necessary as i removed the ability to switch between Tofu's softening kernel and the default LL one, Tofu's is now default and cannot be toggled anymore, good riddance shitty quad kernel!

I used the time jumping around between shader files to do a little... comparison between original LL style look of graphics and my most current Black Dragon style graphics. I reverted all my tweaks, all my debugs, removed all changes, swapped my shader files with those of LL and brought all my visible graphic features on par with those of LL to show you an example of how different both Viewers look in their "recommended" default settings.

Linden's Original

Black Dragon's Default

Note: I recommend using "Custom" Tone Mapping and "Linear" Color Correction.

Also in this release is an updated layout for the Machinima Sidebar which now matches the preferences layout.

Fixed are also a few little layout inconsistencies as well as an issue with the Landmark Profile buttons which didn't enable.

For Adeon i also included my Freakangels 5 Windlight sky preset which i often keep using for a lot of pictures in modified form obviously, the original Hippotropolis Windlight sky preset which i used for the loginscreen video is also included in case you want to see it for yourself, the last is Insilico 4 which i used quite a few times for the SIM Insilico, the old loginscreen image for example, again modified for whatever shot i'm taking. The actual graphics preset i used for the video can be found here on the forums.

Below are some snapshots, showing my Avatar in pieces and funny experiments with the SSAO and projected light blurring.



Added: RenderSSAOBlurSize Debug option to control ssao softening.
Added: Tweaks to blurLight shader, allow SSAO and Shadow smoothening controls.
Added: SSAO Blur Size slider to Machinima Sidebar.
Added: Freakangels 5 Windlight preset.
Added: Insilico 4 Windlight Preset.
Added: Hippotropolis Login Screen Windlight Preset.
Changed: Chat Preferences title bar length.
Changed: Much enhanced SSAO, smoother, darker.
Changed: Machinima Sidebar layout, applied Display panel buildup.
Changed: Version to
Fixed: Shadows and SSAO being blurred twice.
Fixed: Distance Blur not working. Broke Shadow Gaussian and Blur Size for it.
Fixed: Control buttons in Place/Landmark Profiles not working.
Fixed: SSAO Blur Size slider in Display Preferences.
Removed: Softening Kernel options, they are no longer used.
Removed: Unused code.