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.

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))

Friday, August 18, 2017

Redownload the update 2.8.0.

Everyone who downloaded the update prior to this post please redownload the update... i missed a tone mapping setting and now everything looks darker than it should...

EDIT: Please download the update manually. I broke the updater. Grlrlrlrllll.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Endless Update Loop.

UPDATE: The issue should now be resolved. Let the update downloading commence.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Black Dragon Update 2.7.9: Posing for a cleanup.

Almost a month passed without me doing something, gotta fix that.

Updated the poser (again), now you can toggle bones on and off (will be saved into presets) and you can finally use the first iteration of the Animator, allowing some basic pose-chaining to create fake-animations.

You might also enjoy the little... thingy i did in my login screen. I might be using this to some extend in the future, to preview features and changes.

Other than that not much more, you can now toggle world lights, your own attached lights and other people's attached lights independently from each other (WOW).

I also added an option to toggle projector light projections off, again independently from their image reflections and projectors themselves.

Also... i love posing with the poser, you can do all the things, really.