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, April 30, 2020

Black Dragon 64x - Update 3.8.2 "Enhancing Dragon"

Aaaand another bugfix update!

You get bugfixes, and you get bugfixes and you get bugfixes. Bugfixes for everyone!

Screen Space Reflections should now work with shadows, ssao and blur light off. Defaulting water height should work again, the "My Environments" window should now display all your settings and has been overhauled too. SSAO blur size should work again and SSAO itself has been slightly tweaked. Saving a preset from Fixed Environment after entering the name (but not yet clicking out of the name entry or committing with Enter) should now save the preset with the correct name that you entered. Much more importantly though, all presets should now be loadable again, regardless of their names and regardless of whether they were escaped properly or not. No more need to import them (hopefully).

Something that has been long in the coming was some tweaking to complexity values. I've finally gotten around to do just that, i lowered all complexity values by roughly 50%. This will drastically lower numbers but don't expect your 1 million triangle avatar to magically be fine, the calculation is still as punishing as it was before, the numbers are just in a smaller range now in hopes to trigger stupid automated script banners less. Again though, if your avatar is a shitfest of optimization it will still get a high complexity value, just not as ridiculously high as it was before and you will still be banned from such regions but at least because you deserved it. I might tweak them more but for now that should lessen the severity of that issue for now. Also... the 800.000 max complexity limit should now be enough for almost all avatars (hopefully).

Finally because some people have been nagging about this i've raised the maximum snapshot resolution to 12K. Yes. 12K. 12000x12000. This is mostly for GTX 10XX cards and i doubt that you'll get too many shots in with lower cards before the Viewer decides to poop its render pants and explode in a giant mess. Here have a quick 12K shot.


As always keep them bugreports coming.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Black Dragon 64x - Update 3.8.1 "Enhancing Dragon"

Iiiiiits Updaty! *axes through door*

This update obviously on fixing any reported bugs, improving the previously introduced systems and generally making sure that everything runs as smooth as possible.

Let's start with the Windlight windows, they have been slightly overhauled and cleaned up visually, the save buttons have been combined into a combo button to host both saving locally and the new saving to inventory option (in local edit or local saving in fixed environment editing). Saving your presets should now work for all first timers and those who didn't have a Windlight preset folder yet. Loading has gotten some improved notifications when loading fails, specifically with invalid names it will now suggest using the importer instead. Saving your presets locally should also now save the textures IDs into them properly if you have the permissions.

You heard that right you can now save your preset directly into inventory from the old Edit Sky/Water editors and save your preset from the Fixed Environment editor onto your disk, both options are now available in both windows. I've also reimplemented separate Cloud Scroll locks for X and Y sliders and the preset drop-down list now sorts your local presets at the top, your system presets second and your inventory presets last, all three are now separated by a nice separator with label that tells you exactly what preset bracket you are looking at!

Apart from the Windlight windows i've also fixed several other reported issues, such as SSAO Effect not working, SSR brightening the default glossiness reflections, attached lights vanishing while sitting down, the Windlight editors that open via the Environment Settings window doing wonky stuff, Fixed Environment not reacting to changes after loading a local preset, Edit Outfit having broken button positions, right-click menus for IM tabs not properly enabling/disabling depending on their conditions.

Graphically i also tweaked the Tone Mapping defaults to better match EEP and look closer to pre-EEP, note though that lighting is still vastly different and colors are fixed in EEP which makes red-ish colors show much stronger than before. Please don't expect exactly the same look across all possible settings. EEP has changed lighting as a whole and there is no way around fixing all your presets one-by-one without breaking lighting again, yes breaking again, it was broken and wrong before... as with so many things.

As always thanks for reporting these bugs and thanks to all the new Patrons!

By 털덩이

By Clover Jinx

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Black Dragon 64x - Update 3.8.0 "Enhancing Dragon"

After over a month of quiet development its finally here! The update you have been (not) waiting for!

EEP released yesterday so this is going to be the EEP update, featuring a total reimplementation of the entire Viewer (yes i had to redo it for EEP) and a complete overhaul of the new Windlight interface.

Almost nothing has been changed in the Viewer, this update is solely focused on redoing EEP, by bringing back all the old windows we know and loved (including the Environment Settings window) and reimplementing local Windlight presets. You will be able to use your old presets still just like before and you can still save them just like before, nothing has changed in that regard, ontop of that everything EEP has to offer was added, making it more of an addition (as it should have been) rather than a complete replacement.

Welcome back our new-old friends! Also the Environment Settings window has been cleaned up a bit. I'd like to know whether the new Environment Settings window (the small one on the right) is preferred or the old flat one.

As always report any bugs you find, this update has seen quite some testing which is quite unusual for my Viewer but since the entire Viewer was basically redone i suspect there are a lot more bugs to find.

Also... i'd reeeeeally like to know about the Pie Menu, i updated it in hopes to fix the crashes, the warning is still active but i'd like to hear whether you still crash with Pie Menus or not.

Thanks to everyone on Discord who helped finding bugs and thanks to all the new and old Patrons on Patreon!

By S!nny (Sinful Rhapsody)
By Spiritus Natus
By MoxxTheMocker

Friday, April 3, 2020

Environmental Enhancement Project (EEP) - The Plan

So here's the plan how EEP is going to happen for Black Dragon.

I went to TPV meetings, posted feedback into the Feedback thread on the Second Life Forums and attempted to salvage what was salvageable, without luck. I suppose i came too late to the party because i trusted LL to do it right, i guess that's not going to happen again, next time i'll be all over them from the get go when there's a project ongoing that i'm interested in.

Since Oz is refusing to change EEP now in any way, shape or form, i suppose i'll have to do it. I've already threatened that if EEP threatens Photography and Machinima (which i suppose this Viewer is all about, right?) i'll not be merging it, luckily that's not necessary. I think i have a plan that we all can be happy with.

The first and foremost offender of EEP is the interface. It is clunky, it is big, it wastes tremendous amounts of your limited screen space and it was unnecessarily rebuild from scratch to confuse and make everything harder than it should both in code and for the user, so that's the first thing i'll change.

Introducing the NOT personal lighting.

These two windows are exactly what you think they are, they are the two old Edit Sky Preset and Edit Water Preset windows that we already had prior to EEP. Updated with all the new EEP settings and slightly reorganized to fit all the new options, you will see that editing water hasn't changed at all, editing a sky on the other hand had some slight reorganization in the Atmosphere tab and some major reorganization in the Sun & Moon tab because a lot of options were added there, but you'll still find everything there, don't worry everything should be pretty much immediately apparent just like before. To give you an idea what the original EEP windows look like:

Quite the difference but that's just one part of it, the functionality will also change. The above two windows are the edit preset windows you get when you edit a settings item from your inventory, my two windows are free windows that can be opened at any time from the main menu just like you could prior to EEP, they replace the "Personal Lighting" window introduced in EEP which was missing a lot of options and functionality. The edit sky/water preset windows will look exactly the same as the "Personal Lighting" replacements above, meaning no matter if you are editing your preset or your personal Windlight, all settings will be in the exact same spot everywhere.

Coming to the functionality, this is most interesting to Oz, he wanted a writeup on how i'm going to tackle this to decide whether it is okay or not.

A major downside of EEP is that it does not offer you the ability to use local presets anymore, instead you have to manually import them one-by-one and export/save them as inventory items to be able to use them, this is tedious and annoying, bloats your inventory with more potentially corruptible items and is generally very user unfriendly compared to the previous system. Why setting items weren't added as simple extra feature is beyond me but it's exactly what i started tackling first.

Right now as you can see in following picture, you can select a preset from your locally saved presets (either user created or coming with the viewer) and it will immediately load and apply it, just like before, you can also save the preset locally too, just like before, you can (unnecessarily) import said preset again (why would you do that if you can just select it from the preset dropdown, but the option is there...).

Any presets saved from now on will be saved in the new EEP compatible format, meaning all legacy settings will be translated to the EEP equivalent and will thus become unusable in previous versions (which you shouldn't be using at that point anymore anyway). To prevent copybotting shenanigans the save function will check whether you have the textures being used for the sun, moon, cloud noise and water map in your inventory and if you have the permission to copy, mod and transfer them. If you do not, the Viewer will not save the texture ID into the preset resulting in the entry missing from the preset and loading it will use an empty or default texture for all missing ones. This way you can edit a region windlight at any time but you cannot "steal" the textures being used. You can do the same when someone gives you the settings item, you can modify it but you can't save it into the same settings item (it will create a new one), though i am not sure whether it keeps the textures (probably does but safe is safe).

You can also delete any selected preset just like before with the "Delete Preset" option.

Settings items were not changed at all in my version of EEP, they work as expected and can be loaded , shared or edited just like in the original EEP implementation. They now act almost exclusively as "addon" rather than the only way of using your Windlights, like it should have been from the beginning.

I'm unsure what i'm going to do with the Day-Cycle editor aside from changing its layout to match the rest... i'll probably leave it mostly as is as it really isn't of interest. I will investigate later whether it is feasible to add local preset support to it or not.

Additional plans include bringing back the toolbar buttons to open the sky and water editor directly, as well as bringing back the Environment Settings window (the small one where you can select all your sky/water/daycycles and open all other editors).

As shown below i've kept the menus as close to the original as possible (while removing the unnecessary entries that are no longer needed of course). All relevant options can once again be found in Dragon - World - Environment Editor

I hope to have the release ready around the time EEP is officially released into the Second Life Release Viewer, possibly sometime next week.