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animats

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Posts posted by animats


  1. Once you have adequate technology, the business model matters a lot. There has to be enough incentive for people to build in the world, keep the servers going, and market enough to get users. SL is there, barely.

    With no marketing and no business model, nobody is there. OpenSim/Hypergrid, which is an open source SL clone, shows this. Peak avatars today, 115 for the whole grid. The technology is fine. The business model is a near failure. I admire the people behind it for keeping it going, but nobody is using it. It may be possible to market Sansar into a success, although it's not compelling enough to do it by itself.

    (I have the horrible feeling that the future of Sansar is to acquired by Disney, with Experiences for not just Star Wars and Ready Player One, but every princess in the Disney pantheon plus the Marvel Overexpanded Universe. With lots of in-world stuff to purchase.)

    • Haha 1

  2. Ah. The problem here is that you're setting what SL calls "omega", which is the angular acceleration vector. If that value is very small, it will be treated as zero by the physics engine, to reduce load on the simulator. If you want really slow rotation, like 1 RPM or less, you'll probably have to compute and set angular position directly. Try using llSetLocalRot on your planetarium objects, and update the positions from a timer. See http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/LlSetLocalRot

    • Like 3

  3. 1 hour ago, ChinRey said:

    Looking at all the pictures from Sansar and all the experiences I've seen there (including my own), they all seem to rely heavily on the "candlelight effect". Toned down light, a bit of sepia tint and a hint of haze - that's always easy on the eye and it helps obscure many flaws that would be blatantly obvious in broad daylight. It's an old trick, common for early scifi movies, film noir is heavily based on the black-and-white version and painters have used it at least since the 16th Century to create instant "moodiness". Luna is certainly not the only one to love that effect. Let's admit it, we all do. ^_^ It does get old fast though.

    Let's see Sansar at noon on a clear day. Then compare it not to SL but to modern to notch 3D software like UE4. That is the real test.

    Good point. That look is nice in still photos, OK for looking around, not good for driving or flying, terrible for building. It's not really appropriate to most situations. New Babbage is set that way for Victorian steampunk ambiance. Few other places are. Because it does get old fast.

    Can anyone find a video of Sansar of a nice, clear day? Everything I find looks dark and foggy. Here's a futuristic city nightclub scene in Sansar, from someone who liked the original Blade Runner look:

    Watch what happens when the furry avatar with a plastic tail gets hit by a car. It works exactly like being hit by a tram in New Babbage - you get pushed, not knocked aside.

    If you like that look, there's a better place in SL - Hangars Liquides.

    liquides_001.thumb.jpg.b06c4341e39614666b26429861e688ae.jpg

    That's at Hangars Liquides (139/176/2184). Mostly abandoned. If you go there, take one of the cabs and get the tour.

    The feeling I'm getting about Sansar technically is that it works like SL with more server capacity, bigger prim allowances, and higher viewer specs. But beyond that, it's not a big advance.


  4. 11 hours ago, Qie Niangao said:

    I peeked in on the sim to see if I could find any of "the usual suspects" for Mainland lag, but this one is different than I usually see. The only lag I found was very spiked "Pump IO". Performance will be cruising along perfectly normally for a few seconds and then suddenly add hundreds of milliseconds of "Pump IO" to the simulation frame. A little slice of the spikes get accounted to "Net Time" but the vast majority goes to "Spare Time".

    Vallone is running BlueSteel 18.01.08.511751 -- not sure if this warrants a jira, or if anybody would want to investigate what's happening before a restart removes all evidence.

    It's a spiky problem, as you said. No lag, then huge lag for a second or so, then no lag again.

    I put up a "lag meter" column on my lot. It drops to yellow and red briefly every 10 seconds or so. If I cross the street from Vallone to Kama Center, with zero avatars now in Vallone, that stops. But the neighbor across the street has an identical lag meter (mine is a copy of his) and it doesn't drop to yellow or red when I'm on that sim. I don't have an exotic avatar or any unusual outfits. I've tried going back to a standard-issue newbie avatar from White Tiger, and the lag still happens.

    If you want to see this, go to Vallone (249, 7, 36). Try crossing the streets while watching the lag meter at the corner.


  5. 3 hours ago, Luna Bliss said:

    New Babbage looks very beautiful....I will have to explore it soon...

    It's difficult to explain just what it is I like better about the lighting in Sansar. Is it the shadows...the reflected light...the computation that allows the perception of an ambient light? Is it a difference in the reflections from the background skyboxes? Somehow it has been tweaked to appear more surreal as a default (of course windlight settings in SL allow the surreal too).
    And I'm not saying Sansar lighting is better (at this point in time anyway, as it will improve eventually), I'm really only saying that I prefer it. Maybe one day I'll contemplate light more and can give a clearer idea, but for now I can only say that I perceive it, that I feel it -- light creates a mood, atmosphere, or feeling.

    Sansar does do lighting better than SL. SL is slightly off in some ways. That avatar above is not floating above the ground.  That's a problem in SL's shadow rendering. Here's a worse case. That brick wall goes all the way down to the ground slab, and even some distance into it. There's no gap, despite what the lighting shows.

    wallgap_001.thumb.jpg.16bfa8be45501d7f7ebda29bfa3724e8.jpg

    The avatar and the car appear to be hovering. But they're not. Here's the view from ground level.wallgap_002.thumb.jpg.76c1e40c5c1ed4b4c23674a88a25f3d6.jpg

    That's a rendering bug.

    Again, it's not inherent in SL that you can't have Sansar-quality rendering. Rendering is all viewer-side. The sim tells you "There's a prim here, with this texture, and lights there, with these parameters." The viewer does the rest. Good project for Firestorm people to juice up rendering to modern standards.


  6. There really is excessive load on some servers even when nothing is happening in an individual sim. Here I am on a nice morning in Vallone, in Kama City. I'm the only avatar in Vallone. Yet lag is awful. Can't drive a vehicle properly. Viewer lag meter reports both the sim running slow and network lag. The network lag is all at SL's end. I'm running a ping to the sim server in the background, and it's consistently reporting 40-50ms ping times with no packet loss. Traffic on the network link is very low (it's a 30Mb/s link loaded to 0.088Mb/s). (Remember, 1 Byte/s = 8 bits/s).Viewer side, CPU load is low (4-core client machine). It's been like this for days.bogusload.thumb.png.0c3b12c386e1189682c9743d39c4c0cf.png

    Okay, how many sims did they load onto this poor server?

    Some days, I suspect that all of Kama City is running on one 1U rackmount server.


  7. 4 hours ago, ChinRey said:

    That tends to be a mess of undocumented, unintended and absolutely crazy dependencies and it can be really difficult for the current Linden Lab programmers to figure out what on earth is going on.

    Yes. The wiki page which is supposed to document Object messages is blank. No wonder they can't make it work right. Viewers and sims have to be working from the same spec for SL to work properly.


  8. If you turn on viewer logging in Firestorm and watch the error messages go by, there's a surprising number of HTTP 404 Not Found errors, 503 Forbidden errors, and gateway errors. Each of those indicates some asset the sim told the viewer to fetch, but fetching it failed. In-world, each of those errors means a texture that didn't appear, or a prim that had to fall back to a lower level of detail, or an object that didn't appear at all. Those ought to be rare events, but they're not.

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  9. Summing up:

    • The viewer-side fix to get rid of grossly bogus movement at region crossings is working in Firestorm, in use by a few users, and on track to go into a future beta and then a release.
    • The road problem at sim crossings is well-understood - roads need a prim on each side attached to the other side, to provide support for the first few meters after a sim crossing. Some roads have this, some don't. I'm working on a "pothole detector van" to detect and log places that need a fix. An automated repair van should be possible, but a Linden with road-building privileges would have to drive it.
    • If you have a good road and the viewer-side fix, sim crossings are pretty good. I've posted videos of zipping around on a motorcycle without slowing down for sim crossings. Fun.
    • There are still the "partial unsit" bugs. Some of those situations can be recovered by clever scripting. But not all. Those are real bugs in the code. The worst case is a 4-way sim crossing, but those bugs can show up at any sim crossing.

    Thanks, everyone.

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  10. 3 hours ago, BilliJo Aldrin said:

    so over and over again we are shown that second life can be everything and anything sansar claims it can be after god knows how many fixes and updates., Except of course, second life is a real world and sansar is just a builders sandbox.

    If we already have everything in SL why oh why is LL throwing money at something obviously doomed to fail?

    1. the VR fad
    2. SL lacks a casual gaming model
    3. SL lacks ad-based monetization

    So far, the big "experiences" in Sansar seem to be a Star Wars ad and a Ready Player One ad.

    What would make SL attractive to people who only had time to spend half an hour a day there? That's LL's big problem.


  11. lespantochurch_001.thumb.png.21d5d793ca29a256ca06566346fdd786.png

    Lespanto Church, a real-world church modeled in SL.

    A project of the Roman Catholic Church, this is their official presence in Second Life. It's an example of how good a job you can do in SL, within SL prim and texture budget limits. All the detail is there. Take a close look at the pictures, the stained glass windows, the books open on the altar.

    Ultra rendering settings, full-resolution PNG snapshot. The main lack here is shadows. Only some objects in SL can cast or receive shadows. Most users don't have shadows turned on, but they do work if you have the graphics power.

    • Like 2

  12. Luna, is this the "appealing surreal look" you wanted?

    clockhaven-shadows_002.thumb.jpg.f0974a0aad0aee7fa9e5debea9b7ad97.jpg

    That's the New Babbage docks in winter, with New Babbage's standard lighting and rendering options at max. New Babbage, unlike most of Second Life, has people who care about and work on the aesthetic. They have a building code and building inspection, to keep the quality up, and an annual Oiling Festival during which problems are fixed.

    Sansar's few experiences are mostly the creations of pro designers. That's why they look good. It's not the technology.

    • Like 2

  13. 6 hours ago, Luna Bliss said:

    While I don't fully understand all the graphics specs you've mentioned, I notice an appealing surreal look with the shadows and lighting, and even the sound is somewhat surreal....what causes that?

    Artistic choices and rendering power.  Here's a picture of the SL Waterhead Welcome Area with common rendering settings.

    waterhead-std_001.thumb.jpg.a52c362c05474566bc05cbb08356954b.jpg

    Same scene, but with highest rendering settings in SL, plus a change to the scene lighting to early twilight.

    waterhead-std_003.thumb.jpg.97d8a4a6b10f59d447521c6fbfb2ec43.jpg

    Frame rate on my machine is about 20fps at these settings.

    SL's night is rather bright, but doesn't have to be. Here's New Babbage at night, lit only by the few street lights and the tram's headlamp.

    newbabbagetram.jpg.cdbc60d30ff17bc1368f97274809eba9.jpg

    Here's Dark Alley, the roleplay area, rendered as, well, a dark alley.

    darkalleystore.jpg.9e89f1edfe6b5849b8e2882ff0a78edb.jpg

    If you want to make SL look like Sansar, the tools are there.

    • Like 3

  14. 8 minutes ago, Parhelion Palou said:

    As for continents ... most people don't want them.

    You may be right. The social layout of the world is a huge issue. Sansar and SL are very far apart here. This matters for the future of virtual worlds.

    Running a big space with lots of people in it is hard. I've been involved in major real-world planning disputes. Stanford University wanted, and still wants, to expand their campus into the foothills. After much public pressure, that was pushed back, and so Stanford moved about 2600 administrators to a urban site ten miles away in Redwood City. I went to about fifty meetings on that. That level of effort is too high for a virtual world.

    SL ended up with feudalism. Eight land barons own about 40% of SL's land. Most disputes are between landlords, who have all the power, and tenants. Linden Labs doesn't have a dispute resolution mechanism for neighbor problems.  (There are abuse complaints, but they're not too helpful.) Feudalism gets Linden Labs out of dealing with city councils. Earlier in SL's history, governance was taken more seriously, but that seems to have ended.

    There are a few successful large areas run by groups. New Babbage (11 sims) is probably the most visually coherent. They have building inspection. Some of the big urban roleplay areas hold together well. They're all strong-leader operations, enforced through land ownership. If there's a democracy left in SL, I don't know of it.

    If your virtual world isn't a world, just a collection of unconnected 3D web sites, who needs Linden Labs? Just use WebGL, which is quite powerful and in everyone's browser. There are impressive WebGL demos, and few real uses. Or put up your world as a game on Steam.

    But then Linden Labs doesn't become a really big company.

    • Like 1

  15. I agree with most of that.

    • 2K textures may not be that useful, but Sansar does have them. Unreal Engine has 4K textures, but they usually don't push them across a network.
    • Bigger regions - 64-bit machines and more RAM help a lot. Good region crossings mean you can have big continents. Whether there's a market for big continents is a real issue. SL has them because that's what virtual worlds were like in science fiction. Sansar seems to be single-region islands, although it's supposed to be possible to have multi-region ones. Anyone seen one in action? Fir SL region crossing, with the current architecture, some delay is inevitable, but the things that go badly wrong seem to be fixable bugs.
    • Voice. In Sansar demo videos, there's usually someone talking. Usually the guy in charge. That may be the way this goes. Masters talk. Peons type.
    • Facial expressions. The real question is first person vs third person, a classic video game issue. In first person, you don't have enough field of view unless you have a VR headset or wraparound screens. In third person, you're one step removed from the action, but can see what's going on. This has classically been a first-person shooter issue, but avatars with facial expressions mean it has to be addressed again. I dunno.
    • Level of detail. That needs to be automated as much as possible. Yes, good 3D artists can get good results with inadequate tools. But they have better things to do with their time. In general, creating needs to be made easy for creators. Nobody here has AAA title budgets. For example, if meshes are cheaper to render than the equivalent collection of prims, they should be created automatically when a collection of prims is saved. Keep the prims around for later editing; archive them on some asset server until needed. One of the great strengths of SL is in-world editing. Face it, Blender is a pain and has a terrible UI, even after several rounds of improvement.

    There's so much that could be done here. I wish I'd been here when SL was on the way up, rather than getting in on the way down.

    • Like 1

  16. On 1/9/2018 at 5:42 PM, KarraSue said:

    I am seeking to buy a parcel, would like mountains, and some wooded areas, some water. Would like approx 550 prims. Want to spend no more than 10,000L.

    If it doesn't have to be near anything, there's plenty of abandoned land like that. See, for example, http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Relleri/93/174/23 You get abandoned land by filing a support request. Then LL puts it up for auction, and you bid on it. Some flipper will bid, but usually not that high; all the big owners have a huge inventory of land they can't unload.


  17. 43 minutes ago, Parhelion Palou said:

    Sansar needs that high end graphics card to run VR goggles. Without the goggles you can get by with a lesser PC.

    The original poster was concerned about frame rate. You need a high end card to get full frame rate with complex scenes and high rendering options, goggles or no goggles. Goggles with frame rate problems is hell, while flatscreens with VR problems are only heck.

    • Like 1

  18. 8 minutes ago, Jerilynn Lemon said:

    Would larger texture maps improve on lagging (FPS) in SL?

    I've seen if I am near a building that offers multiple  texture options, surrounded by multiple texture foliage, my FPS drops like a rock (7-14 FPS). If I am in a clear area, a building area for instance, it improves greatly (35-41 FPS).

    It would only help if you had a graphics card with a lot of texture memory. Those are still a few hundred dollars. Sansar requires one.

    • Like 2

  19. On 1/9/2018 at 1:57 PM, Luna Bliss said:

    SL simply can't be improved as much as we'd like, as it was built a certain way years ago and this causes limitations. Sometimes it's easier to start from scratch, especially when changing things too much could break our content.

    Visual quality in SL could be improved a lot. If you run SL today with the client hardware recommended for Sansar (a $500 or up graphics board), and turn the quality settings all the way up, it can look better than Sansar. Many SL avatars look better than Sansar avatars.

    What's Sansar got technically that SL doesn't have?

    • Bigger texture maps - 2Kx2K vs 512x512. SL could do that. They'd just have to pay for more RAM.
    • More server to client bandwidth. SL is throttled down to 1.5Mb/s or lower. Sansar is throttled to 10Mb/s. 
    • 64-bit servers. Are SL servers 64-bit yet? The migration to Amazon's cloud eliminates any old 32-bit hardware. If the code isn't 64-bit yet, it should be. Then you can have more RAM per server.
    • Bigger regions. Region crossing in SL is a headache, but as I pointed out in another topic, it's a combination of about four bugs, one of which I've fixed, one someone else has worked around, one in road construction that can be fixed in-world, and a tough one involving crossings at 4-sim intersections. All those could be overcome.
    • Voice that works better. SL doesn't use voice by default, and most regions have it turned off.  That's a policy issue. Voice also fails a lot, because the voice system doesn't try hard enough to reconnect when bandwidth is limited.
    • Facial expression recognition and animations that match it. Sansar has that, and a SL viewer could have that as an option. You don't need a VR headset, just a webcam.
    • Better level of detail handling. Biggest visual problem in SL. SL level of detail is per-prim. There's no way that a large number of prims, like a house, get aggregated into one big distant texture. SL needs that. Drawing nothing beyond the view distance sucks. SL needs something like a "LOD box". You'd put a LOD box around your building, it's rendered into a texture for each face, and that's what's shown when the camera is far away. Prims inside a LOD box are on standby until someone gets close. As an incentive, you should get a bigger prim allowance for prims inside a LOD box. LL themselves could implement automatic sim-sized LOD boxes, so that the faraway world always has a visual representation.

    As I've mentioned before, Sansar is way below the Unreal 4 game engine in visual quality. Sansar is roughly 2005 game technology.

    Now, to really juice up SL, do all the above, and add SpeedTree procedural vegetation. Give all LL-owned grass and trees SpeedTree equivalents. Natural areas suddenly look far better. Much of Sansar's better look is better vegetation. It's certainly not the avatars or the motion.

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  20. Sansar is a "go in, have experience, leave" system. Second Life is a "live there" system. It's the difference between Angry Birds and Everquest.

    The business case for Sansar is that there's a big market for casual entertainment. The downside is that you're competing with all other forms of casual entertainment, many of which are better. The business problem with SL is that it appeals mostly to people with a lot of free time, hence the limited market.

    Headset-type virtual reality may turn out to be the next 3D TV. The Oculus Rift has been out in some form for five years now, and there's still no "killer app". For the first ten minutes, VR is really cool. Now spend four hours in there. A lot of those things end up in closets or on eBay. Some fraction of the population gets simulator sickness from VR, and if you wear a VR headset while standing and the graphics glitch, there's a big chance of falling. That's not good for a mass market product.

    Augmented reality, where you can still see the real world but graphics are projected on it,  still has potential. If you get a chance to try a Microsoft Hololens, take it.

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