Materials processing – more sneak peeks

The server-side materials code reached the main grid in week 5, with a deployment to the BlueSteel Release Candidate channel. As stated in my project report marking the deployment, the code will not be usable until there are suitable viewers on the grid which can utilise it, and they have yet to be released.

As it stands, viewer-side work is progressing, and it is likely that a project viewer will be made available in the near future, although time frames are still a little hard to determine. Commenting on possible viewer availability on Wednesday January 30th, Geenz Spad, lead developer for the viewer, stated, “At this point, it’s hard to say; the majority of the rendering bits are finished at this point. The UI’s there, but needs a bit of polish; so all in all I’d say a public testing version should be out really soon.”

During the conversation, Geenz provided further preview pictures to those in attendance, some of which are reproduced here.

Materials in action: a prim with a texture (diffuse map) and normal map applied (courtesy of Geenz Spad) - click to enlarge and see in detail

Materials in action: a prim with a texture (diffuse map) and normal map applied (courtesy of Geenz Spad)

Viewer UI

In week 4 I was able to provide a quick look at the changes to the Build floater’s Texture tab which are directly relevant to materials processing. Since then, the developer leading this work, Tonya Souther, has progressed the tab to a point where it is close to finished. In particular, pickers have been added to the normal and specular map options, and the diffuse (texture) option now has a drop-down for the alpha mode selection, also as discussed in a previous project report.

Materils Build floater Texture tab revisions (31-01-13): The diffuse (texture) option, showing the Alpha mode drop-down options (l); the normal map options, with map picker and default texture list drop-down (c); the specular map options, in which the Use texture drop-down displays the familiar low, medium & high shiny options (r)

Materials Build floater Texture tab revisions (31-01-13): The diffuse (texture) option, showing the Alpha mode drop-down options (l); the normal map options, with map picker and default texture list drop-down (c); the specular map options, in which the Use texture drop-down displays the familiar low, medium & high shiny options (r). Materials can be applied per face of an object, with scale, rotation, etc., applied across all maps on a face / object – click to enlarge

Viewing Materials: How Things Will Look

Materials processing will require viewers to be running in deferred mode (i.e. with lighting and shadows enabled, although not necessary with shadows activated – see my notes here). While it is not possible for materials to be implemented in such a way that it can run in a non-deferred mode, materials should not have any major negative impact on how second life looks to those who are unable to run their viewer in deferred mode. In fact, SL should continue to look to them much as it does today, hopefully as show in the image below.

With and without: how materials will look when running a viewer in differed mode (top) and in non-deiffered mode (bottom). The differences are clear, but the in-world experience in non-differred mode is not in any way "broken"

With and without: how materials will look when running a viewer in differed mode (top) and in non-deferred mode (bottom). The differences are clear, but the in-world experience in non-deferred mode is not in any way “broken”

In the meantime, Linden Lab are continuing to try to gather data on the number of users running their viewers in differed mode and – perhaps equally as important – the number of users who could be running with deferred active (again, if not with shadows active), particularly given the continuing improvements being made to the rendering system.

So materials processing is progressing and drawing close to an initial release. There is a lot going on within Second Life as a whole at the moment in terms of projects coming into the viewer, with both avatar baking/server-side baking (SSB) and the Communications Hub User Interface (CHUI) also on the horizon as well. As such, the Lab still need to establish priorities on the various projects and plan releases accordingly. Similarly, TPV’s need to consider the impact of these various projects on their work and determine their own priorities for integrating the projects into their viewers. Given the complexity some will face in implementing CHUI, it would appear likely that the materials capabilities might reach some TPVs ahead of that work, even if CHUI and materials are released in relatively close order.

As always, updates will be provided as news emerges.

Another preview of a  normal map and a  diffuse map (texture) in action (courtesy of Geenz Spad)  - click to enlarge

Another preview of a normal map and a diffuse map (texture) in action (courtesy of Geenz Spad) – click to enlarge

Related Links

About these ads

4 thoughts on “Materials processing – more sneak peeks

  1. Pingback: Materials Coming Soon - Page 12 - SLUniverse Forums

  2. Wolf Baginski

    There is one current trick which may not work, if the SL Wiki page can be believed.

    Material Data entry from SL Wiki

    With the current system, deferred or not, the texture can be tinted by the color. I’ve used that to give an AV green hair. It works for both prims and skin/clothing.

    Under the new system, it looks as though the simple color setting will not do this, and a color tint can only be added with a specular map. If you want the same effect, you don’t need a big texture map. but you do need one, and you cannot adjust the setting within SL: you have trial-and-error uploads,

    I cannot say I am entirely happy at the prospect of losing the option. But what will happen to existing content?

    Like

    Reply
    1. garvie garzo

      looks to me like color is in its own spot above as before. generally there would be no reason not to be able to color diffuse textures. also it’s possible that specular has an extra area for color picking because it is where you would choose the color of the highlights or refected light from the material. again i can’t say for sure, but that would be typical of specularity maps in 3d. so in that case you could tint your hair AND choose a color for the light emitted by it’s gleaming shine.
      and one more thing W O O T.
      but besides all that,
      as for trial and error uploads and adjusting things in second life, tale a closer look at the texture tab and use that button called Local… it’s awesome, and it lets you adjust your textures BEFORE you upload them.

      Like

      Reply
  3. foneco zuzu (@ZZBottomHL)

    The 1 already using latest versions of Niran’s wiith ambient light oclusion already know a fe about what diff effects have to tint or to use full bright, when using defered rendering enabled!
    If some i would love to, was to see any that could not run defered rendering out of Sl!

    Like

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s