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, April 13, 2019

Black Dragon 64x - Update 3.4.6 "Playing Dragon"

Sweet sweet updates, you got more of them sweet updates?

An update dedicated mostly to optimization and bugfixing wheeee.

Overall performance should be better all around, everywhere, when avatars are around and when not, top performance should also be better. I got up to 140 FPS before the meeting on friday and still had ~45 FPS when everyone arrived, that was quite nice to see. Mostly selecting objects, specifically meshes have been further optimized in hopes to reduce any kind of hitching to an absolute minimum.

While we are on the topic of selecting things, selecting meshes should be a bit easier and hopefully more reliable, note that meshes are still a finicky thing and may just decide to randomly not be selectable anymore for no reason, it's a mystery.

The land tools should now send the correct tool to the server, meaning you'll now use the correct tool again.

Headtracking has been... revamped a bit, it does no longer feature two sliders for horizontal and vertical restrictions but rather offers one slider for head in degrees and another one for the eyes, this means you can now turn off eye tracking once and for all (hopefully). This feature is directly applied to the headtracking motion so in theory it should apply for all effects that use this motion. It does not disable random eye jittering though.

Next up a reported crash when pressing Factory Reset while not logged in was fixed (phew, it tried to reset your user settings when it doesn't even know yet who you are!)

Another reported issue was land info / profile reverting any unchanged windlight modifications, this should no longer happen, i took the time to fix a longstanding issue that caused the water changes and/or preset to revert to default when you changed the sky preset as well while working on the previous issue. Begone bugs.

Overall there has been done quite some stuff under the hood, most of which you might not notice but if you do, let me know, worst case the performance should be the same.

With this update the Viewer is also up-to-date with all the latest shenanigans of LL minus the worsened selection performance, this means autoplay in the webbrowser works again, hooray the login screen will once again play the video automatically!

EEP. Enhanced Environment Project is becoming a big topic lately and yes i've looked into it long ago, i wasn't satisfied nor am i now, in fact i'm massively disappointed, i keep hearing a lot of bad things about it and it gets worse. Not only is EEP going to break possibly every single graphical optimization and improvement i have ever done the past 7 years, in its current state it will break rendering as a whole, it's a fucking mess from what i was shown. I'll be testing EEP out myself soon but i can tell you i'm not going to have fun with this. I'm at a point where i'm denouncing support for EEP as a whole. Not only is the rendering part a disaster, its implementation is catastrophic to the point that its akin to spitting in our faces. LL has fucked up many things in the past but this easily takes the cake. With the new system they are going to take away the ability to locally modify any region windlight and give us this re-introduced feature they call "local environment" that is to replace it, not only doesn't it offer all settings it also does not allow us to change our modifications because from EEP onward windlight presets are seen as marketable items which means being able to edit someone elses windlight and save it is seen as copybotting. What a joke. I for my part would be ashamed coming up with such disrespectful nonsense towards photographers and machinimas, the very reason windlight exists and is so popular in the first place, it's windlights very reason to exist, what else does sky and water mean if not for photo and machinima and now we're spit in the face with this marketing bullshit. You can keep your stupid EEP if all it does is limit the very thing you write so big on your goddamn flag. "Your World, Your Imagination", more like "My Ass, Lick It". If i were you i'd go to LL's forums and burn down their forums until they understand.

Some sidenotes about this update: I became fed up with the seemingly decreasing performance so i tried out several other Viewers to get a picture of how well BD performs compared to them and to my surprise BD has been able to keep up with all of them except the very latest Singularity which was a whopping 10 FPS more average.

That isn't all that bad when you take into account that BD employs a few settings more and sets several options a good chunk higher besides drastic visual changes in several shaders such as for shadows, ssao and depth of field. My panicking was for nothing, BD's performance seems fine when compared to other Viewers but it's probably better to panic about performance once in a while and go on performance-improvement sprees to make sure performance stays the way it is than just adding shit on top and watching the viewer crumble to pieces.

By Pirschjaeger
By Ella


  1. What a shame with EEP. I haven't had a whole lot of time messing with EEP but here's my thoughts...

    - How EEP was implemented into the UI
    The UI is bleh. The interactive ball thingies are unnecessarily over-engineered and the interface has too much empty space resulting in this massive window.

    - The mess of rendering issues
    I see bug after bug of stuff mentioned and the Lindens are just handling issues as they're given to them and not really taking the time to think these things through. They're in a rush moment just to get something out. To do it well needs love, care and attention to polish it out and thoroughly test it. IMO, it needs to WOW people and using shitty default settings/textures and poor UI/UX isn't the greatest start.

    - The market aspect and permissions
    In a way the asset-based EEP settings are handy because they can be easily shared with other users and easily searched for all in one place - the marketplace. No Googling around for them. It has its advantage over passing around/migrating XML files and expecting "some" users to deal with managing those files. I personally don't have an issue dealing with XML files myself but just sayin.

    Permissions is where it gets messy as a market item because it goes against the point you were making about the joy of expression in photography and machinima. It would be nice to sell some neat EEPs but if it comes to this then I say remove the selling & permissions aspect altogether and just let EEP stuff be expressive like it was while being an asset that can be easily shared with others via marketplace for free (non-profit market asset). I don't know if there's a way to really solve it. Permissions is a touchy issue and what's stop someone from copying values and reselling it for profit.

    1. The biggest problem with marketable EEP settings is that they are just that, settings. They are in a way a shape item for the sky/water, they are like taking your graphic settings, making a preset out of them and then selling this preset, putting no-mod permissions on them and screwing people over with shitty/broken/slow settings that don't work right or look outright crap. Windlights have been inventory items long ago already although only as hacks and they were freely shared. The purpose was to make it easier to share windlights which worked great. This new system on the other hand reaches out to give you a hand and at the same time smacks your face when you try to shake it. Not only will you have to pay for windlights of others if they so choose to sell them only, they will surely make them no-mod too because they think it will protect them from people stealing their settings. It's a disaster, this mindset is outright wrong, "stealing settings" shouldn't exist, permissions on local settings shouldn't exist and this whole "protect other people's settings" nonsense shouldn't exist either. It's a goddamn windlight, its nothing but a few slider values.

      It doesn't make it any better that LL's excuse for this shit is lowering land rental costs because thats what all this is about.

      I can see the future and in it people pay 1000L$ for a sky preset anyone could create in 2 minutes.

  2. I'd be interested to hear your opinion on how, if at all, the "personal lighting" thing announced by Rider on the forums on Thursday mitigates the issues with EEP assets? Does it do enough?

    1. It doesn't mitigate the core issue: Windlight presets are now marketable assets and people will do nonsensical marketing bullshit with it, ontop we cannot save our changes, we have to unnecessarily recreate the windlight which is merely an annoyance since you can easily reproduce the windlight given that you can see the sliders and probably values too, hence i see no reason why not simply add a function to save this preset locally.

    2. If it's no mod, I assumed that values and slider positions would be hidden from view with the exception of the Personal Lighting window. But even then, it's possible that someone, with enough skill at Windlights, can copy the look even without all the visible values/controls.

    3. If you remove the values you make it much harder to make precise changes, so once again you are taking usability out for the sake of protecting a few stupid setting values.

    4. Sorry. What I'm saying is if it's no mod, then controls would be locked and in default states. Much like how the texture panel looks when it is no mod - locked out, defaulted and grayed out. The only ones that would NOT be in a locked out state are the ones in the Personal window.

  3. I have not looked at EEP all that much, but how you describe it sounds almost like Sansar - ish where the user cannot freely adjust the sky, which is why to me, Sansar is nothing more than a museum. My my workflow doing wedding videos I make a new WL for every wedding, so hope at the east can continue that. But honestly I wonder if this EEP thing was brought in by the likes of creators like Cica Ghost... some sim creator HATE when someone changes their windlites because that is THEIR "artistic" vision (she even said to me once that's like re painting the mono lisa to my liking!)

    As far as performance, I'll have to try out your update, but honestly, I have found that after a sim loads BD does fairly well to FS, however, the issue I have had with BD is 'after the sim loads' it can easily take 10-15 times longer than loading on FS, primarily on mesh and alpha heavy sims (i am wired LAN at 100mbs download on a desktop with a gtx 970 and 32gig RAM) I'd love to be able to shoot weddings again on BD if the initial loads would speed up, and 'texture refresh' and animation synch (ctrl + s) came back

    1. BD never had animation sync on a shortcut (you can do it via animation manipulator) and "texture refresh" was never a thing in BD as well, you are probably talking about a rebake which only reloaded your own baked body texture.

      Not sure whats up with your loading times, mine seem fine here but they kinda spike from time to time, lag, packet loss, SIM issues and so on.

    2. i seem to remember the old Niran's with a tex refresh but in any case, re-synch would be a great addition for when doing video )

      I dont know either load times maybe something is clogging my pipelines, but takes a good 5-8 min to load a heavy sim, with frame rates between 4-10 at max until loaded then frame rates come up then. I have made sure BD is white listed on the firewall, but, when installing BD get the windows notification it is potential malware or something, so maybe something else in windows is slowing down BD loading ...

  4. a follow up on crazy slow performance on sims.... i notice sometimes BD gets only maybe 1-2 fps on a sim and looking at the task manger, something has the disk write pegged at 100%. (see screenshot - https://gyazo.com/718151c2078bdf862b2188cc88679c0a)for some reason, BD triggers this 'ntoskml.exe' file and starts writing to disc utilizing 100%. Close BD and the file close and disk writing stops. not sure what is gong on behind the scenes but something seems to be lagging BD down like hell