Monday, August 18, 2014

Progress Update to 2.4 (#3)

I figured i should talk a bit about the current progress, right?

Basically there is none, i'm not actively working on the Viewer right now. I'm currently working on fixing bugs and fleshing out my server-side AO a bit more now that it is available. You can find it here.

Also i'm working on fixing the last bugs in my Snapshot floater Oz happened to like, he wants it in the Linden Viewer, so i'm basically waiting for them to find all bugs so i can fix them as fast as possible so this implementation doesn't take unnecessarily longer than it already does. I suppose it will go into a RC sometime this or next week which means i can slowly start working on my Viewer again without getting sidetracked by that kind of stuff.

You probably wonder why a bit of fixing bugs and scripting an AO keeps me busy so much, well it doesn't but there's other stuff i do every day, playing games, talking with friends, real life stuff like that... maybe also a new video...MAYBE.

Other than that, here's a run down of what changed since last update:
Added Zi's mirror code for testing purposes, merged LL's release code several times, fixed a few very tiny things and collecting reports of broken features... still trying to figure out a proper way to make floaters n stuff fit to the new skin without doing incredibly hacky stuff.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Progress Update to 2.4 (#2)

EDIT: Changed for some wording to hopefully add all missing words i missed except an "a" i missed somewhere which i can't find anymore...also moved the entire part regarding Firestorm  onto an extra page as "open" letter (here).

After merging all the latest changes from LL and fixing a nasty merge error that broke chatting with icons i have been slowly preparing to start the real work on fixing up all the broken stuff, redoing many UI parts and rechecking everything else for consistency and stuff.

As said in the previous post i will have a look at preferences again, changing tool tips, labels, reorganizing stuff a bit, checking options.. stuff like that. Also the machinima sidebar is in desperate need for some changes, it's still using old labels, tool tips and partly options that aren't even working anymore...

Chat will probably have a re-visit too, maybe a more V2 styled look overall with the CHUI core functionality (sadly), i'll be looking into the chat "panel" request too since it's something i wanted back since CHUI was introduced, i never managed to get it to work tho, new try with more knowledge than before, new luck i suppose.

I have also had a great live stream about my camera behaving funny and i might just like it enough to make it a more fleshed out feature, it ended up in making a superb snapshot that clearly shows the real power of my Viewer, you should really watch it and take the last part starting at 53:45 as a guide on how setting up a snapshot could work, it's depending on the scene of course but it's better than a 1000 words lengthy tutorial as it shows it in a real scene.

You can see the final snapshot here, crop'd to 1920x1058 for your viewing pleasure (and because Google doesn't allow going beyond 2048)

Now someone should say that my Viewer doesn't look totally different than other Viewers!... wait...a...second.

"Not allowing users to get the inkmarks off the borders is just stupid, egotistic even, considering your idiotic reasoning.

Not everyone uses the in-game snapshot function for screenshots, not everyone wants an unremovable overlay/border getting in the way of scrollboxes, HUD's or interface buttons. Not everyone LIKES some bullshit black mark/border around everything. If they did, they'd use a fucking vignette.

A minimalist design is good, but you're fucking it up by putting stupid shit where it isn't needed - the opposite of minimalism. Do you need a funky black border? No? Then don't add it.

Your viewer already adds hardly anything more than Firestorm, graphically there's hardly any difference and yet you are still missing a lot of features Firestorm has and you want to focus on shitting up your UI? If you really want to improve the UI? Make the chatbox better. Done.

Otherwise focus on graphics optimization and feature support.

Brought to you by someone who likes Black Dragon but isn't a psychophant who's going to blindly suck your dick no matter what decisions you make."

Ohboy... whoever that was, he or she sounds like me, hence i'm going to destroy this comment piece by piece and debunk these laughable rumors once and for all.

"Not allowing users to get the inkmarks off the borders is just stupid, egotistic even, considering your idiotic reasoning. 

So i guess the reason why game X chooses to have Y style interface because of immersion is also egoistic. Games without any interface at all are probably the most egoistic because they don't want to share information they are working with!

Dude. I chose to add these black inked corners for artistic and immersion reasons, they give the rendering a feeling as if it were painted on your monitor.

Not everyone uses the in-game snapshot function for screenshots, not everyone wants an unremovable overlay/border getting in the way of scrollboxes, HUD's or interface buttons. Not everyone LIKES some bullshit black mark/border around everything. If they did, they'd use a fucking vignette. 

1. If you don't use the "in-game" snapshot function which's primary function is to make snapshot, then that's your problem, the "in-game" snapshot function has all necessary options to make a proper snapshot, even more than pretty much every other "game" has.

2. Those black borders are not irremovable, they are hidden just like any UI part when using the hide UI shortcut.

3. Those black borders can't get in the way of your HUD because it's not mouse opaque, it will let mouse clicks pass through, it is also very small, there is hardly way those could get in the way of anything at all. Even if, i could still just move their layer below the UI which would just take some separation changes to the HUD, which would even add the ability to move the HUD around layers and put it on top of the whole UI.

3.1 Those black borders can't get in the way of your UI because it is already layered below the entire UI, every menu, every floater, every anything that is a part of the UI is added after those borders layering them on top of them.

4. If you don't like it, go ahead, remove it. If i really wanted to prevent anyone from removing it i would probably have to pack textures into a data package that no one can extract to prevent people from editing them. I'm not going to stop you, but i won't help you if you decide to go against my intentional design, change it and break something.

5. A vignette effect is usually nothing else than a black screen with a round hole in it, it's something entirely different than what i'm doing there, if i wanted to have a normal vignette effect i would have forced vignette on, which would have been easily reversible and wouldn't have worked in Forward Rendering.

A minimalist design is good, but you're fucking it up by putting stupid shit where it isn't needed - the opposite of minimalism. Do you need a funky black border? No? Then don't add it. 

Be careful here, just because i have a minimalistic approach doesn't mean i am trying to squeeze out every tiny pixel, which i already did several times already.

Your viewer already adds hardly anything more than Firestorm, graphically there's hardly any difference and yet you are still missing a lot of features Firestorm has and you want to focus on shitting up your UI? If you really want to improve the UI? Make the chatbox better. Done. 

Nothing but rumors, empty and unproven accusations.

1. My viewer is not meant to be another "Firestorm", i keep out pretty much all their features for reasons you will again just call "egoistic" and "stupid". My viewer is not designed to be a wanna-be-can-do-everything viewer which copy cats every tiny feature of other viewers that makes them special. Some viewers try to focus on something, Exodus is a nice example, it focuses a lot on combat but also on machinima/photography/rendering to make that combat look nice and crispy. My viewer is focused on rendering and a more gaming-like, immersive approach of showing Second Life. I always found Second Life lacking so many fundamentally basic things present in every game, very tiny things that would make Second Life more interesting and easier to learn for gaming oriented people or generally people who did at least a bit video gaming at some point.

2. Graphically both viewers hardly differ huh?

Both pictures were taken in stock settings, i went into both viewers, took the default UI, UI size, ticked all available options except Depth of Field because it was causing Firestorm to go all blurry when using the scripted camera position, my viewer didn't have any problems with focusing through a scripted object that took control over my camera.

Then i wanted to know it, once and for all, i went to Manor Garden and raised the settings to maximum, copied my glow weighting and settings over to Firestorm and ticked Depth of Field in both viewers, which i previously disabled due to Firestorm having issues with it, chose a windlight preset and applied it both with exactly the same settings.

Looks quite a bit different, doesn't it? I could have even gone so far and copy pasted every damn setting from my viewer to Firestorm, my SSAO defaults, my DoF defaults, Camera defaults, everything, what would it have changed? Nothing. Sure, DoF wouldn't have blurred my avatars and pretty much half the scene but the overall difference would have been still the same, missing Godrays, Lens Flare, Motion Blur, sharper shadows, better SSAO, no fog-ish grey look among other things. Not to mention that Firestorm's SSAO probably would have been broken if i carried over my SSAO settings because Firestorm uses a different SSAO style (if they haven't changed it by now).

3. I already tried changing CHUI, people didn't like it so i removed it. I secretly tried again several times, without any really achievement worth mentioning. I settled on fixing CHUI's alignments and look.

Brought to you by someone who likes Black Dragon but isn't a psychophant who's going to blindly suck your dick no matter what decisions you make.

Google's dictionary suggests psychopath, i guess that's what you meant. I don't want anyone to blindly suck my dick, actually it is very embarrassing every time a fan boy comes up reading from a list of cliche sentences like "THIS IS THE VERY BEST EVAH ITS SO GOOD I WILL NEVER EVER USE ANYTHING ELSE". I really dislike those kind of feedback comments as they do not contain any valuable information other than fanboyism. If you really liked my viewer you would have put some thoughts to what you were ranting about, all you were doing was criticize my plans long and broad with no real facts showing that my plans/ideas are bad.


I've installed Firestorm just to show you how wrong you are and i didn't enjoy my stay at all, it was the most horrible derail to any other viewer i have ever had.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Progress Update to 2.4 (#1)

Quite some time passed since i last updated the Viewer and nothing really important has come up that needs fixing as of now so i decided i should start to make 2.4 happen. 2.4 will see quite some changes, excluding a bazillion just to get up to date with Linden Lab's latest releases.

Most changes will happen in the User Interface category (obviously). The current interface is what i consider "broken", it's stuck in a temporary transition between new and old designs i'm testing. Many things are just either missing, bugged or straight up broken, there are also a crazy amount of widgets that need a lot of love. Preferences is a prime example of a huge outdated floater that has never made a step forward until i recently total-overhauled every panel, categorized everything and added and fixed a lot of features, inventory is another one that could use some changes but the worst is the whole "Appearance" or "Outfits" floater, it looks absolutely horrible, it's filled with buttons and strange alignments, it's straight up next to broken, simply broken. I want to trash them all and redo them for a cleaner and better look without removing too much functionality (hopefully). I got quite a bunch of ideas for Preferences already, if you've been following me since my first Niran's Viewer releases you probably know how many re-visits the Preferences floater had already... so i'm here, asking you what i should do next, i want something that is unique, something that can contain a huge amount of options without cluttering the screen too much, there are so many things i could do, i could try, maybe a mix that includes features from the past, maybe not. My previous iterations looked like this:

"I think this one was probably the worst i have done so far. It was space wasting, looked way too funky to be good and didn't work out at the end anyway..."


"...which brought me to this, basically a small version of the graphics panel that can be minimized. It didn't work out, was really buggy and missed a lot of options. It went into trash really fast."


"Similar to the one below, it includes the second design from the first one as "Graphics 2" tab and had the advanced graphics options in an accordion that was only visible if the main one was hidden (right one) until i changed it to always visible (left one)."


"This one was similar to the last one, it included the above panel and used a similar layout i used later in the next one, advanced settings were in a completely separate main preferences tab totally disconnecting it from the graphics tab itself, most people didn't even look into it."


"I think this one was one of the better designed ones, it made all most important options easily available on the main page, allowed selecting advanced options via tabs and was quite idiot safe. I still use the drop-down widgets for most detail related options because everyone understands LOW MEDIUM HIGH better than 1 3 5."


"I loved this one, it had a huge goal but never met it tho because of the horrible way the UI works especially with scaling. It was inspired by pretty much any game that uses a full screen preferences panel instead of a big floater that is always in your way no matter where you put it. All i could do was just trying to make it usable as much as possible. I would really like to see it return but it would require a huge redo of how the UI works to make it work with differing screen resolutions, not to mention that i would have to cut off about 60% of all included features. Second Life is a bitch, it has way too many options for conventional methods of containing them."

Phew, what do you think, should any of these be re-considered? Should i create something totally new again or is there something you would like that is used elsewhere in games or other applications you know that might work?

Next big part on the redo list is the main interface, the one you see as soon as you logged in to Second Life.

I will change it, that is for sure, you already saw that i changed it to a "water splash" themed design which didn't quite look like i wanted to. I have redone it in a more "painting / brush" styled design, have a look:

This is the current main UI. Small, sleek and minimalistic, the only "fancy" thing about is the actual design i chose for it... and no you will not be able to hide those black lines around the screen, they are a core part of the artistic style i want to create, hiding or transparenting it (Yes i'm looking at you Adeon.) is a kick right to where it hurts most, there will be no option to hide it other than hiding the entire interface, i will include an option to show/hide it in Snapshots though because it's a nice framing. Mouselook UI hiding will not hide it too, only the edges at the top but not the black frame around the screen. I will hate you if you remove or transparent them, i'm serious. The main UI will probably not include a direct "Search" feature as it did before except the Navigationbar which can be used to search as well, you might also notice that there is no balance display. Yes, i am money-less, you will become money-less too soon enough when 2.4 is ready... i'm just joking, the money display will be moved to your Inventory and Pay/Buy floaters. Inventory... am i crazy? No. Tell me, do you see any money display here on this screenshot below?

I'm pretty sure you don't, that is because there is none, it only shows up in your Inventory and on vendors and it works absolutely fine and i'm pretty sure it works fine in Second Life too, you don't need to see your account balance 24/7, it's wasted screen space.

No "Search", no "Account Balance". Check. Anything else? Yes. There's one thing i want to mention. Toolbars, those widgets you put your most important buttons into. I'm considering to remove all of them except the top one, either that or i will add 2 to the bottom corners and unnecessarily code a hide part into their background so they only show up when buttons are slotted. I think that's it for today. Tell me what you think and if you liked the new "layout" i chose for this sort of "self conversation"

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Oh boy.

Here we go, i wasted WEEKS in putting on/taking off all kinds of meshes, changing their textures, bumpmaps, speculars, transparency, rotation, scale, glow, properties and whatnot to finally find out why Motion Blur keeps bugging out on very certain mesh things. FITTED MESH. Fitted Mesh uses extra bones which you rig surfaces to to allow these surfaces getting modified like normal shapes would do, it's a "hacky" fix of doing it but probably the easiest and Motion Blur takes samples of each bone, since Motion Blur was made at the time where Fitted Mesh was far from even being thought about, it was made with 35 bones in mind instead of the 52 we got now, resulting in all other bones to go blurry 24/7 because Motion Blur thinks these are in motion. This error could have gone the total opposite and Motion Blur wouldn't have worked on these surfaces at all which would have made noticing it even harder.

Long story short. It is fixed. Finally!


Sunday, June 29, 2014


As promised, if there's anything major broken i will push a fix in between before working on 2.4. So i guess work on 2.4 will probably start in about a week or so if nothing (again) breaks horribly.

The changelogs were available for a few days already so those of you looking at them might already know whats coming, it's mainly bug fixing especially some really major ones like a GPU not being recognized, some more shader compilation bug fixing on older GPU's with older OpenGL, fixed derender and proper flycam controls which are not FPS dependent anymore.

I'm also working on an AO (not clientside one) that utilizes all the new things from Serverside AO + more while keeping maximum speed, reliability and a low memory footprint, for those of you interested, just IM me and i'll give you the latest available test version. I hope to put it on the Marketplace soon and add an updating possibility.


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Update (A)

Probably the last update for some time if nothing goes boom in a foreseeable future. (I don't stop, stop asking why.)

You can read the changelog by clicking on the Changelog link on the right ->

Same goes for the download, just click the Download Black Dragon link on the right ->

DO READ THOSE CHANGELOGS! Read them, learn them, forward, backwards, diagonal and mirrored, you have to be able to read them out of your mind while hanging upside down, blindfolded in a room full of annoying and distracting noises and being tickled by Google's scientist apes. It saves you stupid questions about the existence of certain (definitely-not) navigation bar related features.


Monday, June 9, 2014


Big update time guys.

This includes a lot of fixes a huge bunch of additions of old and new features and a little new rendering thing.

As usual i need a lot more feedback like with the previous version. Some things are still WIP if not all but they advanced a lot as you may notice. This update also includes the recently released "Interesting Project" from Linden Labs so expect bugs and a really laggy direct avatar camera movement (sadly :/, i hope they fix that).

You can find the Changelog here or on the right side of this blog in the 'Link' section.

I'm sorry that it took a bit longer, sudden tiredness and some last minute tests to make sure the Viewer runs did their job at postponing this a bit.

More detailed info will be coming soon in extra posts, until then i will leave it open to you to explore all the new things.



Friday, June 6, 2014

It's nearly update time.

Now is your chance! Tell me all suggestions, bugs and other things on your mind you want to see fixed for the next update, i compiled a list of ALL already done changes in my new 'Changelog" tab (on the right side of this website), please go there, read it, read it ALL (just the pack of course) and tell me anything you found broken that isn't listed there. All my changes are green, yellow, purple, red and blue and all Linden changes are pink and separated into a second, huge changes pack below my changes.


Friday, May 16, 2014

Update (Experimental)

Note: Second quickfix. Spellchecking, Toptoolbar and Shadows not working should be fixed now. Please re-download.

Uh what is this?

It's an UPDATE!!!111!!

And it's highly experimental, i know you like these because these usually come with really awesome stuff, hence why they are experimental.

This time with major UI changes, Godrays toggle, Motion Blur, SLShare2, bugfixes, NEW and IMPROVED grey scale, sepia and posterize post effects, re-added light source reflections on water and much more! Keep in mind tho, this is an highly experimental in-between update, it is far from done and it is the first step to 2.4.

Some additional info for you:
Motion Blur is enabled by default, it only works with enabled Deferred Rendering (doesn't need Ambient Occlusion or Shadows). You can visit my Viewer bunker to watch it in action. Hippo Hollow
The new Snapshot floater design is 90% mine, the functionality behind it with post effects and stuff is Lindens.
There is a Godray toggle now as well as fine tuning options for both Godrays and Motionblur, try them out and tell me what you think.
The UI and Skin are both highly WIP, nothing is set in stone and many things are still missing.
It does not include Project Interesting (yet).

Known Bugs:

  • Possible AMD Shader compiling issues (still).