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animats

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  1. That shouldn't be too hard. Most AOs are overacted. Orcs don't do subtle, so that should be OK. Go to one of the big animation stores where you can try all the AO animations and try before you buy. (Finding subtle AOs is hard. I use AO animations with my NPCs, and I need stands that don't move far from the base, slow walks and turns that aren't exaggerated, and a good smooth fast run. All these have to smoothly ease in and out from each other. Plus, I need them full perm. Now that's hard to find.)
  2. On impostors: for those who don't know what we're talking about, here's an explanation. For a few months, I had an "impostor garden" in SL, where I'd created impostors for a half dozen objects and set them beside the real object for comparison. Impostors vs low LOD-models. For each pair, the one on the right is the impostor. The impostors are a bit blurrier but have no pieces missing. This is closer to an impostor than you'd usually get; it's for background objects off in the distance. Many creators and developers came to see this. The impostors were simple 8-plane images, with an LSL script to show the one facing the nearest avatar. Beyond 25 meters, the impostor usually looked better than the lower-LOD model. The impostors were made with a simple rig in world that put the object on a turntable and took pictures against a green screen. Impostor making in world. The table is sitting on an invisible turntable with a green screen behind it and a red frame in front of it. The avatar making the impostor images sits in a chair attached to the rig with their viewpoint locked like this. The turntable is started, and rotates the object in 45 degree increments. Each time the rig beeps, the user takes a picture like this one. Final impostor image. A program clipped to the red frame, removed the green screen, and resized to SL texture dimensions. Then all 8 views were put into one image so that texture offset could switch to the proper texture. All automatic. This LSL demo worked only for one avatar at a time, because it was done in-world without viewer mods. In a real system, you'd do this in the viewer, so each user sees the one of the 8 images appropriate to their viewpoint. This was a proof of concept to show that impostors in SL looked better than bad LOD models. To do this for real would take viewer mods. You'd have an option in the uploader, in the LOD menu, for "use impostor", and you could select, say, 8 or 16 planes, and whether you needed top and bottom views too. The uploader would then create images like the above (it can render the object, so it can do that) and upload the low level of detail marked as an impostor. When the viewer displayed an impostor, it would rotate the impostor plane to face the viewpoint and apply the texture for that view direction. This is something that could be retrofitted to SL. It doesn't require a new design. The impostor illusion breaks down in some situations. Mostly when impostors overlap. A distant avatar in an impostor chair or vehicle is the worst case. Probably need to turn off impostoring for objects being sat on or with an avatar inside them. If you get close to an impostor, the illusion breaks down, of course, but before that point, the viewer would switch to a higher LOD model. This isn't magic. But it's better than what we have now. Impostors are cheap to render. Much less draw overhead at distance, leading to higher frame rates. That's what this is all about; getting frames per second up to acceptable levels. Gamers think 60 FPS is slow. SL has trouble making it to 20 at times. That needs to be fixed to retain new users with game-level expectations. 30 FPS (TV scan rate) is probably the minimum acceptable. So, that's what impostors are all about. I don't think High Fidelity did much in that direction. Every High Fidelity world I ever tried was so simple it didn't need them. SineSpace, being based on Unity, does have impostors. Does Sansar?
  3. Can something on the asset-prepping side be taken from Sansar or High Fidelity and used for SL? SL just takes what the creator puts in as mesh, does some checks, makes an attempt to create lower level of detail models, and pushes it out to an asset server to be downloaded by the viewers. In a game development shop, there's an intermediate step, where, with junior artists and automated tools, meshes and textures are cleaned up and simplified, and impostors are generated. Sansar has some of that. I'm not sure about High Fidelity.
  4. No, that's not it. Long story, probably belongs in a different topic.
  5. High Fidelity shut down as a public virtual world back in May. Virtual Worlds Startup High Fidelity Lays Off 25% of Staff, Pivots to Enterprise Communication - Variety. This is the "pivot to enterprise" failing. “If you had asked me when we started the company in 2014, I’d have said that by now there would be several million people using (VR headsets) daily, and we’d be competing with both big and small companies to provide the best platform—but I was wrong. Daily headset use is only in the tens of thousands, almost all for entertainment and media consumption, with very little in the way of general communication, work, or education." - Philip Rosedale. The sad thing about High Fidelity, technically, was that it wasn't a "big world" system like SL. It was a "game level loader", like Sansar and SineSpace, where you can load an instance of a canned world and have some of your friends in. That niche, in VR mode, doesn't seem to interest many people. All of those systems have user counts in 2 digits. All that work on a dead-end concept. (I tend to think that SL has the right concept - the big shared world. The tech just needs to be brought up to about 2015 game quality. This isn't impossible, just hard and expensive. Probably cheaper than Sansar was, though.)
  6. Yes. All the big web services want their own walled garden now, and the walls are getting higher. Gyazo no longer seems to accept uploads from the web; they want people to use their client program. Reddit just started requiring logins to read comments. Google just started blocking GMail logins from "nonstandard browsers". More web sites, especially news sites, are ad blocker and tracker blocker hostile. Even a small part of SL's own web sites, the Tilia identity validator, does that. The web has more big, beautiful-to-the-service-provider walls than it did two years ago.
  7. That's the best argument for doing this I've seen. That seems to be why Belli is a success. LL got this right. Roads and water are enormously important to Second Life, even when not used much. Visit Corsica. Get 150m from road and water, and you're on abandoned land. Endless houses, like the old Linden Homes, are the run-on sentences of architecture.
  8. I'd say, keep asking. We got rez zones that way. I'd like to see a reasonable waterway width around a few tight spots, and good connections to the nearby continents. It should be possible to circle Belli, and get to places on Sansara and Jeogeot that have rez zones and road connections. Then you can Go Places. Drivers of SL and GTFO both look for routes like that.
  9. Hardware problems can affect SL. A useful test is to run the Unreal Engine 4 test, "The Valley". "Extreme performance and stability test for PC hardware: video card, power supply, cooling system. Check your rig in stock and overclocking modes with real-life load! Also includes interactive experience in a beautiful, detailed environment." It makes a graphics card do about everything it can do. Just start it and let it run for half an hour. If you get bored, you can take control and explore the valley, but you don't have to. It gives you a tour by default. Nothing much happens there; it's not a game, just a very pretty graphics test built with a game engine. It's from 2013, so it's appropriate for SL-level hardware. (There's a later version, "Superposition", if you have a modern gamer PC.) If your computer can run The Valley reliably, it's OK for SL, which is less demanding. If it can't, time for computer maintenance.
  10. That truck was supposed to be here hours ago! Animesh NPC at a major GTFO hub.
  11. Rain. I saw a huge rain object, with animated textures on four vertical planes, in Bellessaria today. The textures move a pattern of droplets downward. A nice feature of that approach is that you can make a rain object that keeps the rain outside.
  12. I'd noted on the Tilia withdrawal discussion that the identity validation service won't work if you have New Relic tracking blocked. Same problem?
  13. Did you look above for a skybox? I'd really like to see Walled Parcel and Skybox Non-Continent, sims for people who want isolation. Move their skyboxes and walled builds to isolated sims dedicated for that, and free up mainland for ground-level development. There are landlords offering such parcels, but it would help if LL offered a land swap deal to clean out mainland messes like the above.
  14. How big is the backlog of demand, anyway? Is the end in sight? Bellisseria is getting huge.
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