Old Progress Reports

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Old Progress Reports

  • April 11, 2010 Real Life has slowed development a bit. New version (v0.5.1) with a lot of little tweaks but no big new features. I am in a quandary as to want to add next. LG is still a bit unstable, doesn't scale well and has lots of ToDo's. The Linux version is on hold waiting for an Ogre 1.7 installation. The avatar baking has proved complex -- LG tried to apply baked textures to the avatar but get a transparent texture as often as not.
  • March 21, 2010 The new version displays T-pose avatars and even puts some baked textures onto them. Not sure if the baked textures are oriented properly but now one has Ruth avatars with their attachments at their feet. Slow progress on the avatars.
  • February 21, 2010 Up to version 0.4.8 with an installation package for Windows XP and up. Have been dealing with my day job and having a life so little progress has been made the last few weeks. There is a splash screen with all the copyrights and mesh loading is not done on demand but are prebuilt. The original philosophy was to have everything built on demand (place a scene node which requests a mesh which requests materials which requested textures) but this turned out to be too slow. So, backing out of that design and to a more traditional 'build it early' design. Makes it a little quicker and stable although there still seem to be some lockups. Avatars are a bear.
  • February 1, 2010 Up to version 0.4.5 with an installation package for Windows XP and up. LookingGlass properly handles llTargetOmega animated objects so you will see some things moving. Many other little tweeks but no major new features.
  • January 17, 2010 A lot of little tweaking has resulted in performance and display improvements. The 0.4.2 version (that's installable for Windows XP) uses shaders for the display so colors are better. In sims < 5000 prims, the loading and running is pretty smooth. Above 10K or so prims, though, loading and movement is slow. Sharing of meshes in Ogre has allows me to load sims of 20K prims but it takes several minutes to load. Plan to spend more time with the shaders and looking at creating real avatars.
  • December 27, 2009 One problem that new users see is that entering a new region doesn't display very well the first time. It looks like the texture loader and the object updater suffer under the initial loading. Once textures and meshes are in the cache, display is better. If it doesn't work well the first time, try logging in a second time to get the rest of the textures.
  • December 26, 2009 The chat dialog is working and I was able to hold my own in a crowded plaza. The state-of-the-project page has a video showing the other avatars (spheres) moving around. It also has an image of all the dialogs. The dialogs are really web browsers that are Javascript and CSS formatted. I found that most of the crashes I've been dealing with are in the culling code. Don't have a solution yet but it's probably that Ogre doesn't like things being ripped out from under it. Investigation in progress.
  • December 20, 2009 A login browser window has been added to do the login dialog and, eventually, be the major dialog control (opening and closing the other dialogs) as well as listing the avatars in the area. Avatars currently show up as spheres. The next steps are to add the avatar list and a chat feature. Then I can start using it as a browser. I also plan to get it running on Linux over the holidays. There have been a lot of internal changes over the last few weeks but performance is still wanting. I still need someone who knows shaders.
  • December 5, 2009 After a short stint with Real Life and my Real Job, I added multi-threading to Ogre (compiled with the threading option turned on) and added some threaded loading and serialization of meshes. Unfortunately, Ogre doesn't have much theading support so there is not much one can do in a helper thread. LookingGlass is still way to slow loading regions. There are new sources and a new installation version for Radegast 1.12 in the files directory.
  • November 23, 2009 I checked out the SVN to another machine and discovered it didn't build. Looks like my private git repository and the forge SVN are out of sync. Blush. Will fix that tonight. I have been working on sim load performance. My original model of Ogre pulling resources from the world has turned out to be too slow. But performance work has resulted in running Wright Plaza with all the sims around it and a draw distance of 400m. I'll put out a video in a few days. The batching in Ogre still reduces the frame-rate below 10 for complex scenes. And I could still use someone who knows graphic shaders. Things would look better with shadows.
  • November 8, 2009 Performance still bugs me and I've spent a lot of time improving same. LookingGlass works better standalone but gets a fault deep inside when run under Radegast. There is a new section on naming of entities. Mostly to help me figure out the design. Since names of things like meshes are passed into Orge and then come back and need to be mapped into an entity, some rules on name creation are required. Updated to the latest libomv which means an API change from older versions. Started code for region and mesh management in the C++ code. Lots of little work. Avatars and working under Radegast are next.
  • October 28, 2009 I broke a lot of stuff getting to a better place. The loading and reloading experience was poor (slow and jerky) so I moved a bunch of the update code from C# to C++. That has necessitated (after a while finding that this was the problem) building and including Boost for data structure access locking. I also wanted to have the Radegast window navigable via the keyboard. This meant reorganizing the input code to extract common routines. Adding avatars meant rethinking and redoing the organization of Entities to allow for extensions for attachments, etc. Avatars are not first class items but merely a specialization of an entity which the viewer has to figure out how to display. The short of all this is I ripped a lot of things apart and they are not all together yet. Hopefully only another week. Fingers crossed.
  • October 12, 2009 More documentation was added under Development and a better architectural discussion with a better block diagram was added. I'm starting to build binary packages so the Development pages have information on those. This has just started so it's not a nice, installable package yet. There is a separate page on the Radegast plug-in with some pictures. On the development side, there's been an experimental integration of the Ogre SkyX plug-in (limited functionality and deploy-ability) and much work on stomping race conditions and performance (better but still not there). Avatars and region management are next.
  • October 3, 2009 LookingGlass is a lot more robust and quicker. I moved a lot of the work queue processing from the main rendering thread so LG now uses many more threads and has a higher frame rate. The integration with Radegast works pretty well allowing one to chat and move while seeing where you are. The big things missing are avatars and proper region unloading when teleporting. That latter problem will cause out-of-memory problems as all the regions one has ever visited will stay loading in Ogre. I want to thank dmiles for finding and submitting fixes for some problems he found -- helpers are appreciated.
  • September 7, 2009 I refactored a lot of the startup and setup code to allow LookingGlass to plug into Radegast. An initial version is working although it is not integrated at all. And the panel flickers. But there are instructions on how to get it limping. Once the Radegast integration is complete, one can chat, walk, and see what's around you.
  • August 22, 2009 As it says in the project status, LookingGlass will go to most any sim and display the contents. I have added real lighting (even does simple shadows), dynamic loading and unloading of textures and vertices based on distance and frustrum as well as many but fixes. I am trying to find somewhere to take a good video. The problem is that avatar navagation is not prioritized and it can take forever to move around. That sort of performance work is next.
  • July 22, 2009 I’ve wanted to advance a version but the main thing keeping LookingGlass from being usable was the unbelievable memory footprint. Ogre vertices took up all the memory until it crashed. So, I’ve spent the last two weeks fixing bugs adding a dynamic loading and unloading system. Now I can log into Wright Plaza and walk an fly around. Woot!! I’ll add a video and some updates this weekend.
  • July 6, 2009 LL viewer keyboard keys for avatar movement work for walking and flying. Completed sculpties and added many texture processing improvements. Sims are coming out very nicely with proper rendering and texturing.More...
  • June 17, 2009 Backed out the Ogre scaling, arrow keys move avatar but camera does not move yet, fixed some bugs. More...
  • June 14, 2009 Changed the scaling of prims to use the Ogre scaling factors rather than Meshmerizer scaling the vertices information. This will allow me to share vertices information within cube prims. More...
  • June 12, 2009 To get proper sun and moon lighting, I spent a day adding Caelum. This is an Ogre plugin for sun and moon and precipitation and everything atmospheric. I didn't quite get it working and as I was looking for solutions I found that the person who created Hydrax (water and oceans) is now building a sky system. I think I might wait to see how that comes out. This means that, for the moment, Caelum build information is in the source tree but the ifdef in LookingGlassOgre is commented out to disable any use of that library.
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