Back in July 2012, I indicated that Runitai Linden had a long-awaited fix for the “tiling” issues affecting high-resolution snapshots for some people.
The issue was initially reported in JIRA MAINT-628 at the end of 2010, and has impacted viewer releases since then, becoming the subject to intense investigation by users and LL alike. The problem has tended to make itself known when taking images at a higher resolution than that of your monitor, resulting in lines breaking-up the captured image in a tiling effect.
In July Runitai commented on the JIRA thus:
Runitai Linden added a comment – 18/Jul/12 1:57 PM
Fixed in viewer-cat
Fix was to use a large render target for snapshots that are larger than the window, but only when lighting and shadows is enabled. Screen space effects will still show seams when lighting and shadows is disabled.
If the graphics card is unable to allocate a single render target large enough for the high res snapshot, the old method of tiling is still used. On my GTX 580, I could take artifact-free snapshots up to 3500 pixels wide, but could not allocate a full set of render targets at 4000 pixels wide, so the old method is used.
Changes involve an invasive set of changes to LLRenderTarget, so QA should be careful to check various shadow modes, ambient occlusion, depth of field, and anti-aliasing with lighting and shadows enabled. Running with Debug GL enabled will likely cause a crash now when taking high-res snapshots (expected and acceptable behaviour), since the driver reports “out of memory” when trying to allocate a large render target. When Debug GL is not enabled, the viewer handles this error condition gracefully and continues to function.
Sadly, in the interim, things went slightly pear-shaped with LL’s viewer code, with major bugs appearing in the beta code branch which brought updates to a juddering halt which they were sorted out. Those reading my weekly project news updates will be aware of the issues, which were finally sorted out last month. However, in the interim, a LOT of high-priority work has backed-up, with the result that MAINT-628 appeared to be in a holding pattern with a lot of other work, waiting for the high-priority stuff to clear. When I asked Oz Linden about the situation, he could only say that the JIRA looked likely to be out “pretty soon” – which suggested a potential wait of a few more weeks.
However, for those using the SL viewer – the wait is over!
Beta viewer 188.8.131.527755 was released on December 5th, 2012, and the release notes contain a small but significant entry:
I’ve just been playing with the release, having long suffered from the tiling issue when trying to capture images at almost anything over my screen resolution of 1440×900 and the results are superb. The following two images were captured at the same image resolution (3500×2154). The top was captured using the current SL release viewer, and the lower image with the new beta viewer. The results are clear – but click to enlarge each, if required. Note the tiling line across the sky in the first image and the lack of any such line in the second.
So, for those who have been afflicted by the tiling bug, the wait is almost over. You can either grab the beta viewer and start snapping in high res, or wait for the fix to arrive in your favourite viewer – the wait shouldn’t be that long now, hopefully!