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Second Life PBR Materials Official Launch


Linden Lab

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Today is the official release of the literal new shiny in Second Life, PBR Materials! With our weekly grid update, all of Second Life will now be capable of using PBR Materials in the Second Life viewer.

The goals behind the PBR Materials project are increased visual realism, keeping with industry standards, and bringing GLTF content into Second Life with expected results. One method of enhancing realism is to create scenes with real reflections which mimic how our eyes have learned to identify that a surface is metal, plastic, or some other material. Whether you create objects in Second Life or simply enjoy seeing and wearing them, PBR Materials will provide a big step up in the appearance of the Second Life world.

In the remainder of this post, we have included some more technical points for creators. We can’t wait to see what you all create!

PBR Material Features

  • Move from sRGB color space to Linear for all lighting and blending
  • HDR Environments
    • Auto exposure and tonemapping - If you look at a dark space it will brighten, and a bright space will darken.
    • The default environment of Second Life has always been a sunny day with blue skies and this will be more apparent now.
    • A new default Midday setting
  • Continued support for existing materials (Diffuse, Normal, and Specular) 
    • Yes, you may use old materials and PBR materials on the same object
  • Reflection probes - Automatic and Manual (content creators see additional links below for more information)
  • LSL may only use llSetPrimitiveParams and llSetRenderMaterial to change PBR material values
  • Materials system folder (empty by default so try creating a new PBR material to fill it.)

PBR viewer at Midday 
pbr-zanzibar.png
Image and scene created by Zanibar Darkstone (located on Rumpus Room 3)

Prior release viewers at Midday 
Release sample content 2.png
Scene created by Zanibar Darkstone (located on Rumpus Room 3)

The New Normal

  • Transparency is done in linear space, so some objects will be slightly more transparent and others will be slightly more opaque
  • Fullbright will now be affected by atmospheric lighting
  • Auto exposure and tonemapping will be based on the contrast of the scene in front of your camera
  • Content creators and builders - Interior spaces that utilize manual reflection probes will require light sources
  • Transparent water is actually transparent water rather than blue texture
  • Reflections of projections have imperfections
  • On Windows, graphics quality set to ‘High’ or greater now receives shadows from Sun and Moon. It required higher settings previously.
  • Mac HiDPI now defaults to off

Additional Resources

Future Features

  • Now that Second Life needs lights to illuminate rooms and interior spaces that use manual reflection probes, we’re going to reduce the download cost of objects by 15%, across the board, without any additional charges, which will create more available Land Impact for everyone.
  • Point lights will soon be affected by dense fog and haze
  • Mirrors!
  • PBR Materials on Terrain!

PBR.jpg
Scene created by Sere Vene (serevenaen) (located on Rumpus Room 3)

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