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Mirrors in SL...


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There is no inherent reason mirrored surfaces couldn't be allowed aside from the limitations of the current rendering engine and viewer. There are a lot of people who can't even turn on shadows due to their system limitation and mirrors would be far more taxing. LL doesn't want to add something that so few would be able to take advantage of. Perhaps if LL switches from OpenGL to Vulcan so GPU's are better utilized, they could do it then. You can sort of kind of simulate a mirror with clever use of projectors, but it only works for the location it's in and doesn't show AV's.

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3 hours ago, Fay Starlight said:

Why can't they work? I am curious why one cannot be created. 

Basically, because the viewer does not support ray traced reflections. Over the years, people have come up with some ingenious work-arounds, but they all have limitations.

  • Take a picture of the room from the mirror's point of view, and use it to texture the mirror. Of course, this does not reflect YOU, which is the real purpose of a mirror, and there is no parallax effect as you move and view the mirror from different angles.
  • Take a picture of yourself and paste it on the mirror. Now you see "yourself", but not the CURRENT "you". Fail #2.
  • A reflective floor can be faked by making the floor semi-transparent and then building a mirror image of the room BELOW the floor. This can look fabulous, but it doubles your prim count. Ouch.
  • SL water can be used as a reflective surface, and it can be made to reflect yourself. However, you have to pose your avatar at a 90 degree angle to the world. Not very useful for a vanity table.
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Mirror code by Zi Ree, Firestorm viewer developer.

(Outdated) Patch > https://jira.secondlife.com/browse/STORM-2055

 

Ah yes, this old thing again. The concept has been proven a couple of times by different people. Why LL won't do mirrors has been a debate for years, nearly 10 years, if not longer. My guess is performance. As mentioned before, few people would actually be able to render these and LL does not want the headache. Implementing mirrors and only having a few people be able to render them would highlight evenmore how outdated rendering in SL really is. A good example is ALM. Very few creators are using real Materials/Bump maps in clothing or other items. they rather "paint on" shine.

So yes, it's a shame that mirrors do work in sl, but just will not be implemented.

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40 minutes ago, CaithLynnSayes said:

So yes, it's a shame that mirrors do work in sl, but just will not be implemented.

Please check the @KT Kingsley's answer:

8 hours ago, KT Kingsley said:

There was a discussion about mirrors at a recent user group meeting. This is Inara Pey's report: https://modemworld.me/2022/03/19/2022-ccug-tpvd-meetings-week-11-summary-mirrors-maybe/.

As for this..

40 minutes ago, CaithLynnSayes said:

My guess is performance.

Mirrors code worked without any issues on my old laptop with GT520M card and 8GB RAM, with several surfaces acting as mirrors (and works even better nowadays with RTX 3060; Patch may be outdated for SLV, but is still being updated internally for FS). The main (if not the only) reason why the Lab didn't implement mirrors was the fact that the code didn't work in ALM mode (deferred rendering) - and they didn't have time and/or resources to forge anything out from the initial patch provided by Zi. However, as you may see in the Inara's article there is some interest again from the Lab's side to talk about this feature and maybe something will be done with it.

Edited by panterapolnocy
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6 minutes ago, panterapolnocy said:

Mirrors code worked without any issues on my old laptop with GT520M card and 8GB RAM

I just rewatched your video on that before posting. I like the video you made back then. I didn't click the modemworld link thinking it was an older post. My bad. Good to see there is newfound interest in it. I too would like to see actual mirrors in SL. Thanks for pointing this out.

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I was pretty surprised when I logged into worldsplayer and saw mirrors that worked without a delay. I haven't a clue how they do it though.

worlds.thumb.png.ee97b2db07ea08f5c21b8a44efddc385.png

If I recall correctly, this was my first avatar in the 90s as well.  I never did get very involved there though..

I remember my first time experiencing mirrors was in Duke3d, that was many years ago - I think in the 90s.  When I first started SL I was surprised it was not something we could enable.  I do know we have reflections in water, but as far as objects, nah.  I do notice a drop in FPS when I have water reflections enabled though.

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Isn't there enough vanity in SL already?
One really doesn't have to check every day if ones hair is still okay.

And one can cam around to have a closer look.

Edited by Sid Nagy
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I like the realism aspect, I'd love to have mirrors reflect things even if only for someone with a beastly PC or set to photo mode, though I've seen some setups where things were flipped on their side for photos and a pool of water was used with full reflections turned on.

Sadly that only seems to work with Linden Water, so you need to be low enough in altitude and have access to terraforming, then build something that is set for static poses only...

Much easier, at that point, just to take a photo and texture a prim than to get real reflections going.

3 hours ago, Istelathis said:

I do notice a drop in FPS when I have water reflections enabled though.

Just a drop, not a total tank? Though I suppose I have reflections and projector shadows set to turn on in the same profile so, when both pop in at once, that's going to destroy FPS.

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Mirrors would be a nice touch, and I'm sure there are a few creators that would make great use of them and incorporate them in creative and unexpected ways (just as SL creators always seem to do with any new feature), but personally I'd rather have things like custom environment maps to help improve the awful default SL reflective surfaces, or multiple material layers so we no longer have to choose between seamless tiling and decal textures.

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2 hours ago, KT Kingsley said:

I wonder what the performance hit of two mirrors facing each other would be.

It's an interesting RL gedanken experiment, popular on physics forums. Even if you have perfect mirrors with nothing in-between, you won't get infinite reflections. Those happen only for photons normal to the mirrors, which can't get in to the "trap", and those somehow already inside can't get out to be observed. Thankfully, we can make great use of imperfect realizations of this situation. They're called "lasers".

In SL this would depend on how reflections are modeled. If simulated mirrors are invisible to each other, this becomes a non issue. In the absurd extreme (my favorite sandbox) I can imagine wearing flat mirrored sunglasses, opening my compact to check my lipstick, and crashing out of SL in a flash of darkness. The most absurd part of that scenario is probably my wearing lipstick.

It is fun to wonder about these things.

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4 hours ago, Sid Nagy said:

Isn't there enough vanity in SL already?
One really doesn't have to check every day if ones hair is still okay.

And one can cam around to have a closer look.

But...but...I'm sooo PRETTY!

I checked out Inara Pey's linked post, and at the bottom of it, she has a link to an even more thorough implementation of the projectors idea. There's an in world example, and touching it gives complete instructions. I was impressed by the effect; it even reflected ME, although only as a shadow within the mirror. It's still very cool. http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Escapades/182/89/42

profile_001.thumb.png.abfdd4cf9362b6e59b9739a259a98061.png

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Ahaha, when I saw the topic header, I was all curious, thinking it was about our Avatars as our mirrors, like in mirrors as a narrative/cinematic concept, or maybe something along the lines of whether we choose our friends for being mirrors, but it was still interesting, I hadn't even realized that there are no "physical" mirrors in SL. Never ever got the idea to buy one for decorating one of the many SL homes I've had up to now. Fascinating. 

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