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BeYou glitching in Black Dragon


Creothina
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So I've contacted BeYou about this and we've done some testing and it turns out it only happens in Black Dragon.  I was told there may be a fix but I can't find it anywhere.  How would I go about fixing it and is there even a fix for it?  Ty :)

 

https://gyazo.com/488148406fde77be7d30b8cd83c727ae

 

https://gyazo.com/e1cb99b5ceb9379b51572850f1c6630a

Edited by Creothina
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Oh this...

Well bad news for everyone.

This is NOT an issue only seen in Black Dragon and it must be fixed on the content's side.

Whats happening:

In 3D rendering alphatransparent surfaces are handled differently than normal solid surfaces, Second Life is no different in this case. Second Life renders alphas completely separately from the main rendering method, which means they are essentially placed into the image without gaining any benefits of the actual rendering process, they lose advanced lighting and everything that comes with it, such as SSAO, the light blur pass (for soft shadows) and some other things. This is why alphas are lit differently than normal objects even if they use the exact same texture and are put next to each other. We try to fake alphas to look like normal objects but that doesn't work perfectly, it's impossible without some really sophisticated solutions that would require completely rewriting large parts of how alphas are rendered. One of the many issues of alphas is also that they have sorting issues, sometimes depending on the camera angle a surface that is positioned behind another is rendered in front (this is what you are seeing there) and it happens universally across all Viewers in varying strengths, some objects do it constantly, some do it in certain angles only, some don't do it at all, it depends on your settings, camera angle and how the item is designed. A solution to this issue is using 1Bit Alphas, also called Alpha Masks in Second Life, these Alpha Masks contain only an on/off for transparency which makes them able to be handled like solid surfaces, which in turn means we can render them as normal objects and include them in all the fancy advanced lighting rendering steps, a solid object also doesn't have the sorting issue. We as users can do this via Edit - Texture - Alpha Mode dropdown. For all solid objects that do not need alpha, such as walls, your cupboards, non-transparent tables, chairs etc its quite easy, you can simply set the Alpha Mode to "None" and eliminate alpha altogether. For items that need some simple alpha like plants, grass, tree leaves you can use Alpha Masking mode and set a Mask Cutoff value that compliments the effect you want to achieve. Another solution, and the best one would be from creator side, simply not including alpha channels into textures that don't need them, this saves bandwidth and prevents this issue outright, requiring no manual intervention of the user or creator after upload.

The problem:

This is all fine and dandy but the real issue here is that most people don't know these Alpha Modes exist, nor what they do or what they should be used for. After this, you should contact the creator again and tell him, or probably link this answer so he/she knows as well and can fix all his/her content. Prior to the implementation of Materials and thus the ability to set Alpha Modes, we couldn't change surfaces like that, we had to accept whatever happened but LL implemented a "hack" that attempts to auto-alpha mask surfaces to prevent this issue from appearing. Sadly this hack is pretty bad and doesn't actually make them real alpha masks and neither does it fix the alpha issues completely, lighting and shadows are still wrong on them, along the usual other issues, it does however prevent this sorting issue in your case (and most other furniture) because these are items that use a texture that is completely solid but contains an alpha channel (probably by accident). I believe this hack has (as seen here) done more harm than good, it never fully fixed anything and only caused broken content to be created, this hack should have been disabled with the introduction with Materials, showing everyone how broken their content really is but delivering the necessary tools to fix them properly at the same time. LL of course did not turn it off and i think that's a big mistake, which is why its disabled in Black Dragon, which is the reason you see this issue so easily. If you go looking you might notice that all Viewers will have issues with these items you are showing, most visibly shadows not being smoothed on them, this is an indicator that something is wrong with these but Black Dragon "exaggerates" this issue because it doesn't use the auto alpha masking hack that prevented the sorting issue from appearing in this mild case.

The fix:

The fix for this issue, if you haven't already read it out of the above explanations is laughably simply, so simple you'll probably face palm that you didn't see it because it was smiling at you all the time. You right click any object, click Edit, go into the Texture tab of the edit window and select "None" or "Alpha Masking" from the Alpha Mode dropdown and set a Masking Cutoff value if necessary. Example of my ears below, they absolutely need simple alpha because the texture isn't a completely solid square, thus we select Masking and change the Cutoff value to something that makes the ears appear properly. In your case, the furniture it is most likely enough to simply set them to "None".

image.png.f28cc159b615d4dc46fc05987724722f.png 

Below is a comparison between blending and masking, as you can see blending has the shadows being pixelated and the lighting is slightly brighter too, in this particular example it doesn't even make a difference visually, both versions look essentially the same texture wise because the texture was made with Masking in mind, it doesn't use any blended transparency.

image.thumb.png.7f1ea13aac1c1e21dc71296239d7e790.png

image.thumb.png.4e0e1494e7cb64c8d9f51b84c917e89e.png

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