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Moriash Moreau: My Second Life
Monday, September 10, 2007
Visit Scenic 1,000 Kilometers!
If anyone is interested, I've setup a semi-permanent Av-Melter stand in Abitibi (SLURL link). Just thought I'd mention it after Daedalus Young's recent documented flight to a million meters, and its subsequent mention in the Linden Blog. Wish I'd thought to take videos before somebody beat me to the punch. Ah, well.
Thanks for the links! :) Btw, I hadn't even noticed Torley put the video on the blog :|

I tried the Av-Melter and I have to say it's easier and faster than how I did it. Also stops at the right point, I had to be careful not to go too high to avoid becoming unrendered. The dance anim is fun too :)
Of course you can still do a video of it. Was it you who commented about the Melter and "Enable Vertex Shaders" on the vid? I tried that, but it made no difference. If I understood correctly the sky should deform too with that unchecked? I'm on a Mac, using ATI Radeon X1600 vidcard, maybe it'll work on other machines. I'd sure like to see that! If you see something else than on my vid, be sure to let me know :)

Thanks again!

(I posted this comment twice, it reverted me back here on 1st attempt :/ )
Yeah, I was the one that left the comment. I'm not sure about the ins-and-outs of Mac graphics, but on most Windows boxes, the avatar distortions are greatly reduced with Vertex Shaders enabled.

Unfortunately, sky deformations and bugs seem to be a thing of the past. The sky effects Christiano Midnight mentioned in the "Exploring Second Life's Highest Frontiers" article you quote (and elsewhere) are no more. I recently posted some older pics on a weblog entry, if you hadn't already found them:

I can't be certain, but I think the sky effects went away when they brought in the new sun. (Late last year? I forget, and "new sun" is a non-starter for Googling.) Most of the sky effects kicked in at only a couple hundred thousand meters, and got pretty boring by a million or two, even then. Now, the sky is pretty much unchanging at any altitude, save for some flickering at extreme heights (or perhaps speeds). The only entertainment left to high altitude flight is the avatar deformations themselves. So, basically, no reason at all to go above a million.
Yes, I have seen your post with the snapshots. It does look cool.
I think Avatar Vertex Program is the setting that reduces avatar deformation. It's an option that's disabled on Macs, as it can cause problems on ATI cards.

The new sun must've been around May 2007. Google search (without quotes) "site:sluniverse.com new sun".

I think the sky flickering when flying up is due to a decreased vertical resolution. Rather than moving up smoothly, the camera moves up jerking. I linked that and the avatar deformation together, as that's a decreased resolution too. You can really see the camera jerk if you hover still at, say, 500,000 meters and then use the camera controls ctrl-alt-up/down arrow.

We can only hope WindLight will bring back unexpected effects (though with Havok4 allowing objects to go higher, I think the sky will be more stable anyway).
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