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.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Update 3.0.3 and why it is taking so long.

Long story short, i'm working on 3 bigger for this update.

One has been researching and studying the arts of rotations and how to make rotations in the poser a bit... easier to work with. I had... mediocre success. 3.0.3 will include a dropdown menu in the Poser to change the order in which you apply pitch, yaw and roll. Since quaternion rotations are heavily dependent on the order you apply each value in it makes a possibly drastic difference if you apply roll before pitch, or yaw before roll. I've switched most main bones around to use whatever rotation order i found to full fill the requirements i wanted for a "proper" rotation interface, this means most main bones should now have 2 sliders that move up/down and left/right while the third will ALWAYS roll around its own axis rather than going all nuts depending on the other two sliders. However due to how rotations work you might find yourself in the situation where one of the first two sliders will do the same as roll, this is simply due to how rotations are handled. Imagine looking forward, then looking up and down. Look forward again and then left and right on the same height, simple right? This is how the sliders work when not being used in conjunction with other sliders. The complex stuff starts when you look up a bit and then look to your right, what do you do? right, you look to the right on the same height you had before, you rotate your look on the same plane around yourself. This is how these sliders work too. Funky stuff happens when you look straight up or down and then try to look left or right, since you look left/right relative to the angle you look up you'll just turn around, basically rolling your view just like the third slider would do or as you would do when tilting your head to the side. Sadly there is nothing i can do about this. I hope to get a better fix for this when this is going to Linden Labs.

For now all old poses are detected as "legacy" poses and they will be loaded as such, meaning they will continue to look the way you saved them, all new poses saved after this update will use the new rotation orders for bones, making it easier for you to pose most of the bones, some weird bones like tail and wings do remain...weird since they are not aligned straight. :/

While we are talking about tails...

I got mine utterly smashed by a heavy metal cube while working on stuff. Yikes.

Second thing i'm currently (not) working on is the camera recorder window. The Viewer always had an avatar recorder implemented but beyond just recording and playing back there wasn't really anything you could do, i'll want to make a full camera suite that allows creating new recorded paths and edit them to make automated, animated camera paths possible. As nice bonus i saw something that might help me get camera tilting to work without controller (besides the camera recorder).

Last but not least, my current project is working on the sidebar... what is there to work on... especially for so long?

A fully customisable sidebar, it's taking quite some time (most of it was wasted on trying to find a way to delete layout panels out of stacks without crashing the Viewer but was ultimately given up on because it is simply not possible hence why it isn't done anywhere in the Viewer (probably)). I sure hope it will be worth the wait but as everything else will probably take multiple updates before its working as intended.

Also, little reminder to join the Discord chat if you need help or want to share pictures.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Discord Server is live

I sat down for an hour and made a Discord Server for the Viewer (finally), now you can bug me with your issues all the time, everytime, everywhere you go, no matter where i am. It also offers some help resources, a help and suggestion channel as well as general chat and picture posting channels for those who want to share their pictures made with Black Dragon. Note the server is only moderated by me and i won't be moderating much, you are free to post whatever dirty nude pictures you deem right but prepare for EWWW's if people might not like it. *shrug*

For those of you who dont know what discord is it's a chat and voice application just like Skype/ICQ/Teamspeak but on steroids you don't even need to have it installed to use it, you can use it via their website too, though you might want to save it somewhere if you are asking for help so you'll get the notification when you get an answer to your help request.

Please don't expect me to respond the instant you @mention me or write into help, i might be sleeping or playing a game or simply not at my PC, i'll get to you eventually.

The invitation link can be found on the right side in the sidebar labeled "Discord Channel" it will direct you to the website where you'll be asked if you want to join the server, accept and you'll be given the option to either close the tab for if you have the app installed or continue to the server through the website in case you want to use the webapp.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Black Dragon Guide: Projector Lights

It seems like that projector lights cause some confusion, whether it is not knowing how to enable them or not knowing why they might not work. Here's a guide on how to set up projector lights.

Step 1: Preparations

First and foremost to make projectors even work you have to make sure several options are enabled as follows:

Deferred Rendering - to allow shadows and projectors to work, at all.
Render World Lights - to allow lights not attached to anyone to work, at all.
Render Spotlight Light Refraction - to allow the light cast by projectors to be seen, this includes shadows that are inside the light radius, remember no light, no shadows.
Shadows: Projectors - to allow projectors to cast shadows.

Additionally you should make sure the shadow resolution for both projectors are set to at least 512 (1024 is better and still lower than default but looks more than fine).

If any of these options are not enabled or not working for some reason (unsupported hardware such as Intel GPU's) you'll not be able to see them.

Step 2: Setting up the projector

Right click the ground or any object and select Build to open up the build tools floater, you can do the same by hitting Ctrl + B or Ctrl + 1/2/3/4 for any of the tools directly. Now rez any prim and set it's "Light" property to true, the prim will now emit light, nothing new so far. The magic happens when you select the empty texture select rectangle at the bottom of the same tab you just enabled the "Light" property in (Features tab) and select a texture, if you don't have one handy you can simply use "Blank" at the top, that works too. Accept with "OK" and the light should have vanished like this:

Fear not, you didn't do anything wrong, the reason the light vanished is because the light is now a projector, a projector is a directional light only casting its light into one direction, which by default is below this cube, stupid that. Lifting up the cube will immediately reveal the light being projected below it:

Given everything mentioned above is working and you haven't done anything wrong you should probably already see the projector casting a shadow depending on if something is in it's light such as my Avatar is on the picture.

Step 3: Finetuning

Now that the projector is set up and working you'll have to finetune it. Change the light intensity, radius, falloff and so on. New for projectors are FOV, Focus and Ambiance. FOV simply controls the field of view (how wide the light is), focus sets the amount of blur or sharpness the corners and the projected texture has (if any) and ambiance sets the amount of light in all shadowed areas, essentially setting this up will raise the ambient lighting up to the point of completely eliminating any cast shadows, they will however continue to cast them, taking up resources and a precious shadow spot.

Additional Info

If your projector still does not cast a shadow this might be due to the limitation of a maximum projector shadow amount of 2. You can never have more than 2 projectors that cast shadows at any given time and the Viewer will try to give those shadow spots to the closest 2, this can essentially make a perfectly set up projector not cast a shadow because 2 other projectors are closer and taking up the 2 available shadow spots, keep this in mind.

Two shadow projectors are fine.

A third one cancels the right one out. Try to prevent this at all cost, don't use more than 2.

Sadly we don't have any means of controlling which projectors can cast shadows or not beyond the local option i added labeled as "Shadow" besides the checkbox for the "Light" property. You can use this to prevent a projector from casting a shadow to make room for a more important one doing so but this option is not saved as it is not synchronized to the server. I've written a Jira to get this feature implemented with not much progress so far.

Note that additional projectors will reduce your framerate fast as they take up a lot resources even when not casting shadows, use them carefully.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Black Dragon 64x - Update 3.0.2 "Spring Dragon"

Just a quick update, fixing the pay dialog in the german UI as well as overhauling it while being at it.

Also another Patron, yay.

Niran trying to figure out dance floors, how am i doing?

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Black Dragon 64x - Update 3.0.1 "Spring Dragon"

Another update with more meaningless fixes and changes.

There's sadly not much to talk about, it contains a bit of fixing unreadable username tags, a slider not working, the friend count not counting properly and borderless window crashing when activated through the menu, also IM flash count and period options have been removed as they are no longer used and were causing crashes if one were to reset them.

There's only one thing...

As promised and threatened, Object Quality is now clamped to 4 max. I said, if FS pulls through with this, i'm going to do it as well and it seems like even LL is planning to do so. This means soon shit content creators have to be less shit and learn to mesh better so their stuff doesn't go invisible the moment you zoom out 2 meters as they wont be able to tell customers anymore to simply set the LOD to higher than 4. Don't like it? I don't give a fuck, you deserved this, it's time this mess is finally getting cleaned up.

I'm watching you.