Jump to content
Alexa Linden

Environmental Enhancement Project (aka EEP!) Feedback Thread

Recommended Posts

1 hour ago, NiranV Dean said:

I don't think "going back" to old Windlight is a solution nor is offering EEP as "optional" extra feature.

I am hiding under the covers as long as I possibly can, am definitely not happy with the absence of brightness and contrast "ramp" and very happy that I haven't used materials much in my creations, but chose to bake textures which seem to hold up better in the "new EEP normal". 

 

All that being said, before EEP was added to the default Linden viewer, Ebbe stated clearly that The Lab knew there were issues still and that they didn't plan on fixing (most) of them. He suggested that creators might (would) need to redo some of their work in order for their objects to look correct, but hey ---     Has that position changed along the way?  What happened to "don't break earlier content"? 

 

 It seems to me that LL  just decided to wash their hands of the EEP problems and "move on".  I have some personal comments on all of this but for once will just keep quiet :D.  Ranting has been going on for years now so one more tirade isn't going to fix anything.      

 

My own personal Windlight settings seem to transfer over fairly well (some better than others) but making anything that I WANT from scratch isn't working for me on oh so many levels. So a hint for folks that do make their own Windlights --- BACK UP your skies folder somewhere safe before journeying "forward".  I am betting you will really WANT your old Windlights even though they aren't quite the same. 

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, NiranV Dean said:

I don't think "going back" to old Windlight is a solution nor is offering EEP as "optional" extra feature.

The Enhanced Environment Project as its name suggests was obviously planned as an enhancement to the systems already in place (Windlight) thus its goal was being an addon to what we already have. The problem with EEP (aside from its many rendering issues and crap UI, i'll get to that later) is that at some point in development it was apparently decided that EEP should no longer be an addition to Windlight but rather a complete replacement. This starts with the complete overhaul of everything rendering related that really wasn't necessary to touch at all, at least not for the scope of simply adding an enhanced set of features and ends with the absolute bad implementation of how EEP works and replaces the previous workflow when using Windlight.

I don't believe that running 2 different versions of the Windlight rendering is the solution or even a viable workaround, its simply a bad band aid fix for the real issues here. Bringing back Windlight is not a solution either, we want to go forward, not backwards and ultimately we want to end up with something that is not exactly the same as we already had but something that is more, otherwise the entire project was unnecessary in the first place.

EEP needs to have a clear goal and that goal shouldn't be a total replacement of the previous system, it should be an enhancement to the already existing systems and as such EEP has completely failed in its current iteration... which doesn't mean this cannot be fixed.

The current major issues i see with EEP right now:

  • The total preset replacement with inventory based assets, rather than adding inventory assets as additional way of saving and sharing presets easier
  • The giant screen real estate wasting UI that was unnecessarily completely rewritten to be unnecessarily more complex both for the user and for the developers who have to work with it.
  • The (still) many glaring rendering issues, mainly the now much dimmer and quickly "capping" sun light intensity (notice how at around ~40-50% the sunlit sides don't get any brighter)
  • The absence of an easy method of choosing your presets without going through your inventory or a mini inventory, a simple dropdown like we had before (don't tell me its not possible i goddamn implemented one, it even includes the inventory items)

Several of these issues i've tried addressing in my own Viewer without going with the apparently cheap trend of simply "going back" like its often done.

  • I've re-added the local presets in all their glory, the Viewer can load both pre-EEP and EEP (newly saved) presets given they don't have invalid names (characters) and in that case you can still use the nuclear option and "import" them or simply go into the folder and rename them.
  • The UI was the first thing to change and i've tried using the old windlight editors as template while adding the new options and only minimally changing their layout to make space for the many new options. I've also used this chance to clean it up a bit and add changes that should have been there from the beginning. (getting rid of this absolutely retarded and un-precise sun angle/time system)

image.png.a78ed5a11f2ebd4784b9e8f1a1c7dcf7.png

  • Further to the UI i also readded the Environment Editor (as revised version to use less space, another thing i should have done a while ago already) to allow easily and quickly selecting all your presets, new and old ones, inventory and local just like we did before and all this without having to go through yet another stupid inventory window.

image.png.097b6f2df7ab33467558cd2544607146.png

I really don't see why this wasn't implemented in a similar fashion, everything could have stayed exactly like it was, nothing would have needed such a radical change. This leaves the last issues and those are probably the biggest, the rendering issues, namely the completely altered shininess on many items and the now weirdly capped sun brightness which in turn brings a whole host of new issues with it. These are however beyond my capabilities and i have to trust that LL is going to fix this as they get reported.

Still i'm incredibly pissed at EEP, it broke so many things and caused so much additional work that really wasn't necessary if LL had just listened to those that didn't just pat their back on the job well done, ignoring all the issues that apparently caused EEP to be delayed for months once a certain person (me) told you how majorly broken EEP was at the time. What i found even worse is that i was told that "i should have worked earlier and more actively with LL" as if you could just pass this down to being my fault just because i didn't show any interest in EEP until it was in a state i could actually get a proper opinion on its state. I shouldn't be the one following you where ever you go, watching your every move, you should be the one coming to us TPV devs and ask us to get involved and not with a generic mass mail that invites everyone to "try out" EEP. If you want proper feedback you should actively seek out to contact us and work with us not the other way around, especially since we most often are just in for the ride and don't get to say s*** anyway.

I'm getting bombarded daily by users freaking out that their presets they have been making for so long are gone until i can calm them and tell them that they are not gone and can still be used just like before just because you thought herpaderp corruptible inventory assets are the future lets dump local presets. It's incredibly frustrating to have to fix your failures once again.

And don't even tell me you contacted us developers because i see no evidence of just that, because if you really got in touch with us how come that no one, absolutely no one seemed to have pointed out all the extremely obvious flaws i still wonder. How come @Whirly Fizzle came to me (that only ever happens when the stars align) and asked me, no plead me almost to look at EEP well knowing i'd go on a super rant. Whirly asking me to look into something and basically go ranting about it is like a desperate cry for help, for that to happen you had to really mess things up and boy it took me only half an hour, most of it writing down and documenting all the bugs to find so many bugs that Whirly made your Jira explode. Only the rendering part of my complains have been mostly fixed, where are my concerns about the preset handling, the UI, all the rest? Did you listen? No! Of course not, "it was too late". You sure know how to keep me red hot glowing.

*stomps in circles*

Thank you for this post.  Also, i am curious, what is the viewer you develop?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, sandi Mexicola said:

Thank you for this post.  Also, i am curious, what is the viewer you develop?

He is the developer of Black Dragon 😁

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, OptimoMaximo said:

He is the developer of Black Dragon 😁

I should have known!  :)   Thank you for the answer!  :) 

I almost ditched FS for BD, cept FS has some options important to me that i can't find on BD.

BD definitely has better graphics that are faster.  In FS i can't walk around all day with shadows on.  In BD I can. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have been in communication with Dan Linden about EEP:

Hi Dan,

I am sending the texture that I used with Firestorm viewer (which was originally a 4096x4096 TGA). For my EEP trial I have reduced the file size to 1024x024 TGA to comply with what seems to be the latest viewer input limit, and I have substantially reduced the dynamic range to remove the brighter areas. The result in EEP requires a lot of tweaking to look any good, and I am unable to achieve anywhere near the results I can in Firestorm in terms of looking passably naturalistic, but some of that will be due to the reduced resolution compared to Firestorm for the cloud texture.  

I note when adding a clouds texture locally with EEP in the Second Life LL viewer, that I can use a JPG file now. Previously it was only ever a TGA.   I also note that when I add a texture file of greater than 2048x2048 it is rejected, but if I use 2048X2048 it is accepted, but that it shows in the viewer cloud selection dialog as being imported as 1024x1024??  Is it being converted to TGA and downscaled on the fly?  

The sky is really the only area where anyone ever sees a texture zoomed in to the nth degree…   A bit of creative thinking could enhance the user experience for everyone - have you tested the performance impact of being able to use a JPG texture of 4096x4096 72DPI in grayscale? In the Firestorm viewer with Windlight, using 4096x4096 TGA cloud textures, I saw no appreciable degradation in system performance compared to the inbuilt basic 512x512 cloud texture. Nothing compared to the impact of one single very complex avatar.

Here are two Youtube videos showing some of the Windlight and clouds settings in use in Firestorm. I made these videos yesterday and they show what sort of results I was able to achieve. Note how the clouds display depth and internal texture and the appearance of internal shadows. Far more like an amorphous white blob in EEP, with my limited testing.  Please watch both these videos right through noting the way the clouds in all cases have texture and depth and look like real clouds (when the Windlight settings are set to be realistic). Each video is only using the one cloud texture, so such a huge range of possibilities exist for customisation with a quality cloud texture to work with.
Windlight Custom Cloud Texture Demonstration 1
Windlight Custom Cloud Texture Demonstration 2
 

If you guys would like to play around with all my textures as available in SL, using the Firestorm viewer or older LL viewer with Windlight to see what I have achieved, here is my marketplace store:
https://marketplace.secondlife.com/stores/204498

I am very happy to work with you to come up with the best possible outcome here. I can see some good features in EEP, but it should be improving what used to exist, not stepping backwards. There is a huge possibility to have creative and beautiful and realistic skies inside Second Life to enhance everyone’s experience, especially if they are set up by the people who manage the location being visited, and those location owners need the building blocks of good cloud textures and an EEP that interacts well with the clouds. I am willing to design a few textures to be distributed inbuilt into your SL viewer if you like, once EEP is close to being optimised. I am happy to beta test EEP aspects of the SL viewer with you guys. I use a 27-inch 5K iMac running Mojave OS. I can run quite ok with all the graphics settings maxed out.

======================

On a separate note, there is also a bug in the current LL Second Life viewer app for Mac which I am sure you guys must be aware of when the view angle is zoomed out and the sun is in the right hand side of the view the top right of the sky appears washed out like some sort of weird lens flare effect; this does not happen when the sun is in the left hand side of the screen. I enclose some screen captures.

The file will be in a ZIP.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I sent this email off a few minutes ago.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a sky I was working on in EEP this morning. Has anyone else experienced the odd white glow thing on the top right side when view angle is widened?1865457272_LLViewerEEP.thumb.jpg.9125fe86aa8952492545f310478c58f2.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are a lot of reasons floating around so I would like clarification. -  Did we get EEP because

1) Windlight would no longer work with some SL upgrade?

2) People wanted to sell skies?

3) People were complaining that other people were "stealing" their skies?

If it was number 1 - I can accept that - but not what it's been replaced with. If it was 2 or 3 .............

EEP.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Pyewacket Bellman said:

Did we get EEP because

1) Windlight would no longer work with some SL upgrade?

2) People wanted to sell skies?

3) People were complaining that other people were "stealing" their skies?

Because we wanted to provide you with:

  • A bunch of new environment parameters and capabilities (custom moons, etc)
  • Support for customizable day lengths and offsets (sync your in-world environment to your real life)
  • Parcel specific and Experience-mediated environments (that work for everyone, not just those on particular viewers)
  • Sharing and selling environment settings as assets

in short, making environments better.

  • Thanks 4
  • Confused 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
On 6/28/2020 at 10:32 AM, Chic Aeon said:

but chose to bake textures which seem to hold up better in the "new EEP normal". 

Ah yes, baking shadows for a rendering engine that has supported shadows for at least ten years...

  

6 hours ago, Oz Linden said:

in short, making environments better.

If only you didn't also add ways for users to bypass/ignore those new features and gave land owners/estate owner actual control over their (very expensive) virtual land.

There is nothing more stubborn than SL users when it comes to resisting change. Which is why everyone still insists on baking lighting/shadows into textures as if this was 1995.

Edited by Kyrah Abattoir

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Oz Linden said:

in short, making environments better.

I will be happy with the new implementation if the bugs are ironed out and the skies can look as good if not better than they did before. They do seem to lack depth at present. Is the code behind how they look a complete rewrite? If is the same as before, then whey do the skies look so different comparing Windlight with EEP?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wanted to note that I did some tests this morning comparing skies using Windlight settings under EEP and found that they were MUCH more consistent with their look under Firestorm (no EEP)  than my tests from April when EEP first went live.  So I am very happy that the "we aren't going to fix" idea was scrapped.   So hopefully the changeover won't be quite as traumatic (for me anyway) :D. 

Photos and info on my blog for anyone interested. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes they are working on it. Overall, the sun is still darker so cranking up the overall ambient light is a requirement. I await the integration into Firestorm of EEP, to see how they implement things.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
On 7/10/2020 at 1:11 AM, Kyrah Abattoir said:

If only you didn't also add ways for users to bypass/ignore those new features and gave land owners/estate owner actual control over their (very expensive) virtual land.

I'm very sorry to contradict you on that point, but I deny you (or anyone else) the right to control how environment is rendered on *my* monitor. You might find it cool to *impose* *your* view on others, but I don't find it cool *at all* that this could ruin *my* fun, *my* way to (and rhythm in) RP, or simply to make things not visible on my screen because you love super-dark environments while I try to preserve my (aging) eyes by keeping the luminosity (relatively to the room ambient light) as low as possible on my screen.

The Cool VL Viewer, for one, will *always* provide the final user with full control on what they see on their screen (which includes opting for the Windlight renderer if they think 50% more frame rate matters more than ”prettiness” of the sky).

Edited by Henri Beauchamp
  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/9/2020 at 6:57 PM, Oz Linden said:

Because we wanted to provide you with:

  • A bunch of new environment parameters and capabilities (custom moons, etc)

It could easily have been added to the Windlight renderer/shaders at a much lower cost in frame rates (with 30-50% loss in EE when compared to WL)....

Quote
  • Support for customizable day lengths and offsets (sync your in-world environment to your real life)

Thing is, it was already possible with WL... And the syncing with each user's RL is not even what truly matters for many SL users, namely role-players: the rhythm of a role-play (especially between para-RPers) will never match or sync with any clock, be it the wall clock/ocal time (which is likely not even the same for each RPing partner), or the sim time (whatever its day length setting).

Quote
  • Parcel specific and Experience-mediated environments (that work for everyone, not just those on particular viewers)

”Not home-made” programmer syndrome... Just because the feature existed in TPVs and not in LL's viewer, then you decide to break every ”standard” that LL did not define itself... Note that I am not advocating for one of ”my” standards here, since my viewer did not (natively) implement Firestorm's way of providing parcel customized environments (even if you could easily emulate it via Lua scripting in my viewer). I just find this approach (snagging TPV developers' work or ideas, and re-implementing or re-branding it as LL's without any request for comments or  inputs from the original authors and, most important, from their user base), totally lame !

Quote
  • Sharing and selling environment settings as assets

Sharing is a good motive... I suspect the ”selling” aspect was the main (and actual) motivation behind this feature... Not going to blame you for it since as a private company I do acknowledge that LL needs incomes... Especially to cover the total wastage of coding power and money that went into Sansar (RIP !).

Too bad you pushed EEP to release status while it is was not even remotely ready for it !  I'm not opposed to progress and evolution (by far, as shows my early adoption of new features in my viewer), but I'm opposed to needless ”progress” that actually results in regressions.

The huge loss in frame rates and the discrepancies in how things are rendered in EE viewer compared with WL will just make more people grumble, complain, or resist to the bitter end to that change.

  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Henri Beauchamp said:

I'm very sorry to contradict you on that point, but I deny you (or anyone else) the right to control how environment is rendered on *my* monitor. You might find it cool to *impose* *your* view on others, but I don't find it cool *at all* that this could ruin *my* fun, *my* way to (and rhythm in) RP, or simply to make things not visible on my screen because you love super-dark environments while I try to preserve my (aging) eyes by keeping the luminosity (relatively to the room ambient light) as low as possible on my screen.

If you don't want me to control how environment is rendered on your monitor, or to be imposed specific views. Why would you even set foot on my land?

I picked up a region originally was to be able to create and display my own (interactive?) spaces. (and that's despite the steep price tag and the lackluster control)

The reason I'm always pushing for more land/region owner powers, is that as long as you can freely teleport away, no one can impose anything on you.

1 hour ago, Henri Beauchamp said:

The Cool VL Viewer, for one, will *always* provide the final user with full control on what they see on their screen (which includes opting for the Windlight renderer if they think 50% more frame rate matters more than ”prettiness” of the sky).

Ald I'll be sure to bring that up in a TPV meeting.

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, Kyrah Abattoir said:

If you don't want me to control how environment is rendered on your monitor, or to be imposed specific views. Why would you even set foot on my land?

You can make up any rule, but you cannot impose what a user displays on their computer screen... It's called freedom. Sorry.

Quote

Ald I'll be sure to bring that up in a TPV meeting.

Is that a menace ? 🤣

  • Thanks 1
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
23 minutes ago, Henri Beauchamp said:

You can make up any rule, but you cannot impose what a user displays on their computer screen... It's called freedom. Sorry.

But I already am, if you tp in my region, everything is already "imposed" to you. How dare I fill your beautiful display with unwanted objects. Sidenote, keep your dogwhistles for yourself.

Policy on 3rd party viewers https://secondlife.com/corporate/tpv.php

Edited by Kyrah Abattoir

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, Kyrah Abattoir said:

Policy on 3rd party viewers https://secondlife.com/corporate/tpv.php

Irrelevant quote... The only rule there is not to break shared contents for *others* (e.g. via things the viewer would transmit to the servers and that other viewers won't be able to render), not for changing how things look for yourself. 😝

In any case, your (I'm afraid, dictatorial) demand has already been rejected by LL, by design, since they always allowed custom environments, viewer side, be it with WL or EE...

End of discussion for me.

Edited by Henri Beauchamp
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, Henri Beauchamp said:

In any case, your (I'm afraid, dictatorial) demand has already been rejected by LL, by design, since they always allowed custom environments, viewer side, being with WL or EE...

Some get rejected yes, but a lot gets accepted. There has been a lot of progress on experiences for instance, and I'm certainly not going to stop pushing for useful features.

Edited by Kyrah Abattoir

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Except that isn't really a practical stance to take now is it?

There are already a lot of other impediments to the "creator representing their work as they see fit" in SL.

For example, we don't have any control of the following:

* Draw distance.
* Network speed and latency.
* Whether they have Advanced Lighting Model (ALM) enabled (if they even can).
* The type and power of graphics card that the user happens to have.
* The monitor size, settings (such as gamma, brightness and colour correction) or the resolution they are using.
* The lighting conditions in their room
* If they have sound, how they experience that sound (ear-plugs, headphones, speakers) and with what quality.

All of these things and more can drastically alter the experience of the user.

For these reasons, no two people in SL are ever going to experience anywhere or anything, whether "art" or not, in exactly the same way.
It doesn't matter how much anyone pays for their land, nobody will be able to ensure any of the things I listed are exactly the way they want them to be for the experience to be exact for each person.

Nothing on that list can even be detected by the region/parcel owner to refuse entry or adjust the experience currently and if some of that kind information was available, it would probably enable fingerprinting and tracking of someone regardless of account used.

So please, let's stop pretending that this is about experiencing "art" in an exact way because that just isn't possible in SL and never will be.
The land owner already has the ability already to set their defaults and "present their art" and that should be enough.

This is about locking the user out of more and more usability settings which may be crucial for them to tailor in order to get the best out of SL for them and their circumstances.

For me, it is stepping way over the line and they have no right to expect it.

 

Edited by Gabriele Graves
sentence structure corrections.
  • Like 2
  • Thanks 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Gabriele Graves said:

Whether they have Advanced Lighting Model (ALM) enabled (if they even can).

Non-ALM rendering is getting canned in a near future last time I checked, and so is non-EEP lighting.

That being said, most of those you mentioned aren't so much personal preferences, but ways to increase/reduce the rendering load.

Whether you use the parcel environment, "midday", or your own is a personal choice that has nothing to do with performance scaling.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Kyrah Abattoir said:

Whether you use the parcel environment, "midday", or your own is a personal choice that has nothing to do with performance scaling.

Actually certain WL or EEP settings can knock your FPS lower.  Generally foggy environments will knock you down about 5FPS.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...