Jump to content

ALM Proposal / Work


Recommended Posts

I'm picking up on a rumbling :ph34r:

*Holds out her arms while tilting her head back with closed eyes, as she begins to feel for the vibrations*

Oh ya,This won't be good, no not good at all.. 

I knew it!!  I'm beginning to feel the drums of war.

I'm getting a vision now.........  Yes it's, it's much clearer now, much clearer!

I'm seeing two tribes!  Wait!!    No, it's Two Tribes and a group undecided..............    Oh nooo!

*Drops to her knees with exhaustion from her visions*

* Catching her breath she begins to explain*

I fear we are heading into a war! A War of which the likes we have not seen, since the days of Basic and Premium battles..

This won't end well and the casualties will be enormous..

The drums are getting louder!

 

Never mind, the kids just had the house system turned up more than normal.. False alarm.

  • Haha 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Gabriele Graves said:

I agree with this, as was stated previously, only LL has the numbers on this and really know.
To be fair to @Paul Hexem though the person he was responding to was also falling into the trap of thinking they know what the majority use-case is.

No, I said "I believe that most"...and people are still saying that in this thread AFTER what Paul Hexem wrote quoting me "that's a joke, right"?  

No, it wasn't a joke; it's what I've heard.  I only know of what I've heard.  I gathered that info in a thread not too long ago.  What is actually going on with most users in SL and ALM would be interesting data.

However, this sounds like a slider and is variable for many computers rather than how the thread starter made it sound as though it would just be on, no adjusting.

 

  • Haha 1
  • Confused 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

Well, no. Probably not. I know lots of people in SL who generally don't have ALM on. And I myself will turn it off in certain contexts (although the new performance update probably means I will do that much less than I did).

I think I've mentioned before the instance of a friend of mine -- a 14 year veteran of SL -- who was astonished when I sent him a pic of the log cabin he build for himself with ALM and shadows activated, because he'd never seen it "look like that before."

SL is chock full of people who aren't gamers, don't have very up-to-date computers, and aren't here mainly for the visuals in any case. In some cases, they are on very old computers, or ones that lack bells and whistles, because they can't afford them -- they're on a fixed income or whatever.

Again, we all need to stop assuming that "our" SL is also everyone else's SL.

I mean, we're talking about literally decades old equipment here. While there's certainly still people in SL using stuff that old, you have to imagine it's not the majority simply due to compatibility issues, big scary "this is no longer supported/you need to update to access this" messages that would be popping up everywhere, and good old fashioned hardware breaking down.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, JUSTUS Palianta said:

I always turn my graphics slider way down low as a old habbit from back in 2007 that  i think is better for my computer to live longer without overheating, even when I buy a brand-new lap top I still do it.  I'm sure I'm not the only one who plays SL like this.  I turn everything super high to make a photo.  I think this change would cause computers to overheat in summer reducing peoples amount of time online thus hurting linden in the pocket coz less time online means less shopping.

Dumb idea.

@Gabriele Graves posts like the above are what I hear the most.  Uh, anyhow, nevermind @Gabriele Graves

  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 minutes ago, EliseAnne85 said:

@Gabriele Graves posts like the above are what I hear the most.  Uh, anyhow, nevermind @Gabriele Graves

You might want to read this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anecdotal_evidence
 

Excerpts:

"Anecdotal evidence is evidence based only on personal observation"
"When compared to other types of evidence, anecdotal evidence is generally regarded as limited in value"

Edited by Gabriele Graves
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 minutes ago, Gabriele Graves said:

You might want to read this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anecdotal_evidence
 

Excerpts:

"Anecdotal evidence is evidence based only on personal observation"
"When compared to other types of evidence, anecdotal evidence is generally regarded as limited in value"

Okies.  

I was trying to say, there isn't anything more to say about what I've heard.  

 

  • Thanks 1
  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 minutes ago, Lyssa Greymoon said:

ALM on and off. Core i7-6700HQ & GTX 950M. TBH I'm very surprised the difference was that big.

Oh, I'm not surprised there's a difference using the same viewer version; forward rendering is supposedly a much shorter pipeline. But that's not actually the question, which was whether the current, "Performance Improvement" updated viewers are so much faster than before that even with ALM they're faster than they used to be without it. If so, there'd be no great loss in pulling the plug on the old code. But this would need data about any possible hardware-specific performance improvements with the new renderer, and I suspect the Lab is the only one to have collected that info.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Sid Nagy said:

I just turned it off for the first time, because of this thread. Just one word: Yikes!

That feels like back to the Middle Ages of computer graphics.

You know, regarding the above...before the beta and now this NEW FS viewer, I'd say you were right.   

However, with the recent viewer, if you enter a dark sim with no shared environment, I just hit the lighting thing above left and hit around the moon and move the azimuth slider around and it looks like the original Windlight ALM and it's pretty and it just takes a few clicks and seconds even to have a very pretty lighting.  

I like this new FS viewer and hope LL doesn't rush too quickly.  

The reason SL looks blah without AML is because people are working with too dark textures, imo.

The first texture below is an average SL texture I purchased here on MP and these kind of blah textures are uploaded and used in SL everyday.  You can see it looks dull.  The second is the same texture I redesigned in Photoshop to give it the appearance of ALM turned on.  Is it too bright?  Not exactly in this one case I'm showing because I used it for an actual moon and it looks pretty and 50x better than the blah texture.   I can then click lighting, click around the moon and move the azimuth slider and it looks very nice.

It's amazing what others can achieve on their machine that other's on their machine don't know or see.

Old tiled paper 8 256.png

Old tiled paper 8 256 yellow bright.png

  • Like 2
  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I skimmed the thread and understood almost none of the tech stuff, but here's my opinion:

I hope they don't make ALM mandatory.  When I turn it on several things happen.

 

Everything loses definition and becomes a little bit blurry, so for me it's not even good for photos. Shadows are pixelated.

My computer slows way down and fps drops making it hard to walk around or even just cam around.

My face gets hot from the fan cooling my laptop blowing in my face.

I risk my entire computer freezing, blue screening, and restarting itself. (This may have nothing to do with ALM, but it happens enough that I've convinced myself that's it's not a coincidence)

Worst of all everything looks greasy, slimy and covered in snot. Yes, a whole world covered in mucus. Really, it's ugly.  I dislike materials.

 

I have a mid-range laptop.  Without ALM turned off my fps ranges between 40 and 100.  This is fine for all the things I do in SL.  With ALM turned on, my fps is 4 to 25 if I'm lucky.  Not good for moving or general SL fun.

No mandatory ALM, please.

Edited by Cinnamon Mistwood
  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, Cinnamon Mistwood said:

I skimmed the thread and understood almost none of the tech stuff, but here's my opinion:

I hope they don't make ALM mandatory.  When I turn it on several things happen.

 

Everything loses definition and becomes a little bit blurry, so for me it's not even good for photos. Shadows are pixelated.

My computer slows way down and fps drops making it hard to walk around or even just cam around.

My face gets hot from the fan cooling my laptop blowing in my face.

I risk my entire computer freezing, blue screening, and restarting itself. (This may have nothing to do with ALM, but it happens enough that I've convinced myself that's it's not a coincidence)

Worst of all everything looks greasy, slimy and covered in snot. Yes, a whole world covered in mucus. Really, it's ugly.  I dislike materials.

 

I have a mid-range laptop.  Without ALM turned off my fps ranges between 40 and 100.  This is fine for all the things I do in SL.  With ALM turned on, my fps is 4 to 25 if I'm lucky.  Not good for moving or general SL fun.

No mandatory ALM, please.

Cinn, have you tried ALM turned on, but shadows (and Ambient Occlusion) turned off?

I think shadows are the real laptop killer?

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 minutes ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

Cinn, have you tried ALM turned on, but shadows (and Ambient Occlusion) turned off?

I think shadows are the real laptop killer?

I feel like I've tried all the combinations, but for daily walking around SL use, I have no advanced lighting on at all.  I have no idea what ambient occlusion is, but I've seen the box and checked and unchecked it.

If I do choose to use it for a pic, I just set everything up first.  When I have the pic framed how I want and I won't have to move or change the camera angle, I up the graphics, turn on ALM, and cycle through the EEP choices.  Then back to medium graphics settings with no bells or whistles.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

52 minutes ago, Cinnamon Mistwood said:

Everything loses definition and becomes a little bit blurry, so for me it's not even good for photos. Shadows are pixelated.

There is a slider for better shadows in Prefs>Graphics>Rendering>Quality of Shadows which does improve the pixelating a lot but at quite an expense in FPS.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, EliseAnne85 said:

The reason SL looks blah without AML is because people are working with too dark textures, imo.

I'm not sure which "blah" is under discussion exactly, but textures and ALM are almost orthogonal components of a scene. It's certainly possible to compose a static image of all surfaces baked to the exact same static light sources and camera, and for that one camera POV and those specific light sources, it will look just fine, every bit as good as ALM can make it.

But that's not the point of ALM (nor of PBR, soon to come). More advanced rendering is to represent qualities of the surfaces so they can appear correct under different dynamic lighting conditions and while the camera moves through and around the scene.

This also means that textures produced for more advanced rendering won't use heavy bakes, or texture shadows cast in different directions from object to object, giving even static photos an unsettling feel—even before studying the images closely enough to consciously see the irreconcilable lighting on the different objects, revealing why it's all so unsettling. It's amazing that this doesn't drive SL photographers crazy. Maybe standards and sensitivities for "deep fake" imagery are still evolving.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Qie Niangao said:

I'm not sure which "blah" is under discussion exactly, but textures and ALM are almost orthogonal components of a scene. It's certainly possible to compose a static image of all surfaces baked to the exact same static light sources and camera, and for that one camera POV and those specific light sources, it will look just fine, every bit as good as ALM can make it.

But that's not the point of ALM (nor of PBR, soon to come). More advanced rendering is to represent qualities of the surfaces so they can appear correct under different dynamic lighting conditions and while the camera moves through and around the scene.

This also means that textures produced for more advanced rendering won't use heavy bakes, or texture shadows cast in different directions from object to object, giving even static photos an unsettling feel—even before studying the images closely enough to consciously see the irreconcilable lighting on the different objects, revealing why it's all so unsettling. It's amazing that this doesn't drive SL photographers crazy. Maybe standards and sensitivities for "deep fake" imagery are still evolving.

To be fair, most "shadows" on SL objects are just ambient occlusion, the only time I see long shadows baked is in some houses that have the light from the windows baked into the floor.   If an object has relly strong directional shadows baked in, I usually skip it, for the reasons you mentioned.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, Qie Niangao said:

I'm not sure which "blah" is under discussion exactly, but textures and ALM are almost orthogonal components of a scene. It's certainly possible to compose a static image of all surfaces baked to the exact same static light sources and camera, and for that one camera POV and those specific light sources, it will look just fine, every bit as good as ALM can make it.

But that's not the point of ALM (nor of PBR, soon to come). More advanced rendering is to represent qualities of the surfaces so they can appear correct under different dynamic lighting conditions and while the camera moves through and around the scene.

This also means that textures produced for more advanced rendering won't use heavy bakes, or texture shadows cast in different directions from object to object, giving even static photos an unsettling feel—even before studying the images closely enough to consciously see the irreconcilable lighting on the different objects, revealing why it's all so unsettling. It's amazing that this doesn't drive SL photographers crazy. Maybe standards and sensitivities for "deep fake" imagery are still evolving.

Which blah?  I showed in the pics above.  Above:  first texture blah; second texture looks like ALM is on but it's done in Photoshop.

Edited by EliseAnne85
  • Haha 2
  • Confused 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, Qie Niangao said:

It's certainly possible to compose a static image of all surfaces baked to the exact same static light sources and camera, and for that one camera POV and those specific light sources, it will look just fine, every bit as good as ALM can make it.

I never said I can create a static image with everything baked in. I just wanted to make that perfectly clear.   I said I am working on baking in bump and shine and nothing more, only bump and shine into one texture not three. I would never bake in shadows other than shading to give the illusion of a little depth which is a centuries old artist's technique used every day by artists.  I think users should have use over their shadows to tweak them how they like them or don't, as well as the shiny.  The bump and shiny together, meh.  I said shiny needs increments...'if' that is possible.  

SL was designed for amateurs to have fun almost 20 years ago.  But shiny and full bright could use being put into increments and into the purchaser's control, imo.

The above is more or less what I said.  I never said bake in everything.  And, I said my shine wasn't just some white streaks, my shine I'm working on is nothing of the sort.  No white streaks involved.

Edited by EliseAnne85
  • Haha 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, EliseAnne85 said:

SL was designed for amateurs to have fun almost 20 years ago.  But shiny and full bright could use being put into increments and into the purchaser's control, imo.

When you say "shiny and full bright" are you referring to the old legacy shiny and fullbright settings or the newer materials based equivalent?

I think the point Qie and others are trying to make is that, while adding additional detail to a diffuse texture can be used (very effectively) to simulate depth and shininess on objects in certain circumstances, it can't replicate the effect created by using a normal map since it's still just a static diffuse colour texture whereas a normal map is literally bending light in realtime.

To illustrate here's a quick auto-retopo I did of a doodle/practice sculpt I was playing with (it's just under 2000 triangles, so about the same polycount as a sculpted prim and has a blank grey diffuse texture)...

2133360458_NormalMaps.jpg.d728c015ddf0e28bdc5f035c30d1ac0f.jpg

and here is the same object with different lighting...

normals2.JPG.b142b0f9ab6fb2c0df30998e5a6000d3.JPG

As you can see the placement and colour of any highlights and shadows on the surface of the object that are simulated by the normal map will change based on the direction and colour of the lighting under which it is viewed and that's just not something that can be achieved with a static diffuse map.

  • Like 8
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, EliseAnne85 said:

Which blah?  I showed in the pics above.  Above:  first texture blah; second texture looks like ALM is on but it's done in Photoshop.

This is so confusing.  ALM does not add much in the way of vibrancy, color and detail in the diffuse texture. It never has. People have been making lovely vibrant textures for years in here....no ALM needed.  ALM is about the materials and the effects of the in game lighting,  that can add ADDITIONAL detail and a pseudo 3d texture to an object....for those that wish to go all out. 

So, I don't understand what you mean by "second texture looks like ALM is on but it's done in Photoshop."   The second texture is going to look just as it does in or out of ALM.

 

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, EliseAnne85 said:

I never said I can create a static image with everything baked in.

Right, but in theory that's possible, and the thing is, in theory that's the most that's possible with forward (non-ALM) rendering. Of course it's impractical unless all the items in the scene are being textured with the same POV and lighting, but even if it were practical, then it would still look wrong as soon as the lighting changed or the camera moved.

To maintain realistic effects in the face of such dynamics is kind of a big deal for a modern virtual world, and that's why more advanced rendering is needed for scenes to respond coherently as people move around in SL. But it's not surprising there's a cost: it entails doing in real time a huge lot of computation that, without ALM, would be done offline when lighting is baked onto textures, not responsive to scene dynamics.

Anyway, I'm not trying to argue for or against turning off forward rendering, but I've been trying to make the point that, if they've already sped up the viewer enough that nearly everybody can now get better performance with ALM than they could before without ALM, they'd want to seriously weigh the business value of spending resources to maintain that renderer, versus all the other opportunities they've delayed. Most relevant, I think, is the mobile client, both because it's a huge and growing market, and because it's been growing right into much of the market that was once filled by low-end desktops that had so much trouble with ALM. Depending on approach, that mobile client might even be an adequate substitute on many of those same low-end desktops, too.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Qie Niangao said:

Right, but in theory that's possible, and the thing is, in theory that's the most that's possible with forward (non-ALM) rendering. Of course it's impractical unless all the items in the scene are being textured with the same POV and lighting, but even if it were practical, then it would still look wrong as soon as the lighting changed or the camera moved.

The non-dull texture I showed which I Photoshopped and really mimics ALM looks good in all lighting, plus I said some other things I am doing are showing promise.

My point in my post prior was that making ALM mandatory stifles creative innovation and your world, your imagination, imo.

But, you don't know that the theory you are talking about above is an absolute.  It may be an absolute for you because you have a formula made up in your mind already, imo, which involves technology and a static image with shadows or whatever baked in and that is not what I am/was talking about at all.

But, also my point was technology is always changing.  ALM could change totally into something else is what I meant due to technological advances.

Another downside, is chips are going through troubles right now.  I've heard still a chip shortage, and additionally the new chips in the pipeline are going to new energy efficient chips.  What if energy efficient chips won't render ALM for example?  In conclusion, as I don't want to debate any further on what was really a point about stifling creative innovation and imagination, is that I don't think it should be mandatory but a slider situation may be interesting or a flop.  I don't know the answer to that.

I also said I really like the new FS viewer.  And for those who don't want to use ALM, try the following:  Turn on Midday, hit the lighting button near top upper left, after window opens click around on the sun and then move the Azimuth slider and it gives some really nice ALM lighting like effects in just minutes that look a bit like the old windlights.  And, voila, no lag. 

A problem is many laptops don't have adequate cooling systems in them to run ALM now.  I have a desktop with fans I can easily clean.

 

Edited by EliseAnne85
  • Haha 2
  • Confused 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

29 minutes ago, EliseAnne85 said:

The non-dull texture I showed which I Photoshopped and really mimics ALM looks good in all lighting, plus I said some other things I am doing are showing promise.

My point in my post prior was that making ALM mandatory stifles creative innovation and your world, your imagination, imo.

But, you don't know that the theory you are talking about above is an absolute.  It may be an absolute for you because you have a formula made up in your mind already, imo, which involves technology and a static image with shadows or whatever baked in and that is not what I am/was talking about at all.

But, also my point was technology is always changing.  ALM could change totally into something else is what I meant due to technological advances.

Qie is correct, and does know what he's talking about. He's not giving you a personal theory. He's explaining to you what ALM is, since you do not understand it. The brightness or dullness of a texture has nothing to do with it, and it's not something that "just changes with technology."

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...