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Release Notes - 2018.3

Hi everyone - we've got a truly massive release today - it's been a while since our last official release, and this one is a bumper update. We'll be posting a series of articles over the next week showcasing the new improvements individually, but read on to see the list of what we've got in store for you with the 2018.3 release today!

Because of the size of this update, we're going to break out some key features first - then we can go into the specifics of what's in the release. (Each of these will be getting it's own blog post soon!)

Avatars

We've dramatically increased the polycount on our avatars in this update, but not just that - we've also increased animation quality, added new sliders, better support for tattoo and makeup layers and more. (Edited to add:) Also, clothing creators can now create clothing with significantly higher poly counts thanks to the new LOD features added in this viewer.

Facial Capture

Our brand new "webcam to avatar expression" feature will be available soon. This will be a premium feature (it was developed with the help of a fantastic partner company) and will be available for a one-off fee of 800 G in the store in the next day or two.

Virtual Reality

We've launched VR support officially! There's a mini-site up on the homepage with some more details. We're also on the lookout for Mac testers with access to VR hardware interested in testing OpenVR on Mac as well. (In theory, it should 'just work', in practice - well, we'd like to find out!)

Unity 2017.2

We've updated our core engine to Unity 2017.2 - which means we've got all the features from Unity 2017.1 and Unity 2017.2 now available to our creator community. There's a bundle of new toys to play with, including the Timeline cinematic suite for authoring cutscenes and improved animations. For those playing with global illumination, there's now improved HDR emission, improvements to particle systems, native support for Autodesk's Stingray shaders (now in Maya), improvements to the progressive lightmapper and ambisonic audio sources. (Go check Unity's roadmap to see what's coming soon - or watch their impressive 2018.1 trailer)

Low Memory Options

If you're on a older computer with limited RAM, we've added a host of new options to help Sinespace perform better on your systems - featuring many of the mobile and webgl optimisations, which are now available to desktop PCs. Just set your settings to 'Older Computer' and many of these will be applied, giving you a bit more oompf from an older PC or laptop.

Shortcut Keys

A lot of shortcut keys have been added to the UI (see a partial list below!) - and we're adding more as we integrate the new "Modern UI" (something we'll talk about at office hours in the next few weeks.)

Full Release Notes

  • Video: We now support streaming video via RTP and RTSP protocols when using the EmbeddedVideo component.
  • Avatars: We now support 'high detail' avatars featuring a 8x polycount bump and improvements to the meshing of the ears, nose and face.
  • Avatars: Skinned animation now uses 4 bones on most computers when applying skin weights, instead of 2 bones.
  • Unity 2017.2.1: We're now built against Unity 2017.2.1, and creators can take advantage of all the new features in Unity 2017.2 and 2017.1. 
  • FogVolume 3: We now fully support FogVolume 3 for generating procedural volumetric clouds and fog in regions.
  • WebGL: WebGL now has a much lighter memory footprint
  • Ghosts: On low-memory devices (computers with less than 2GB of memory, mobile and webgl), avatars in busy scenes will be replaced with 'ghosts' which are brightly coloured simple silhouettes matching the original avatar.
  • Build Size: We've reduced the size of key player files on all platforms.
  • Fast Login: We've added new 'Fast Login' options to webgl to allow instantly logging in as a guest without registering an account or picking an avatar.
  • Animations: Fixed an issue where animations would not play in certain circumstances
  • Animations: We've improved the blend between walk and run animations.
  • Sliders: We've fixed an issue where one slider would erroneosly also influence a finger on the left hand.
  • Video: Video playback on older machines (esp. laptops) is now hardware accellerated and smoother over all.
  • Scripting: Added the ability to force indexing behaviour in Lua to have consistent array accessors when interoping with C#.
  • Clothing: Clothing processing is now multithreaded across 8 threads.
  • Shortcuts: We've added a collection of new viewer shortcut keys:
    • F1: Help
    • Ctrl+T: Toggle Chat
    • Ctrl+F: Toggle Friends
    • Ctrl+E: Toggle Explore
    • Ctrl+H: Go Home
    • Ctrl+Q: Toggle Quests (nb: this shortcut may change)
    • Ctrl+I: Toggle Inventory
    • Ctrl+O: Toggle Outfit
    • Ctrl+S: Toggle Shop
    • Ctrl+U: Toggle Auction
    • Ctrl+`: Toggle Snapshot Mode
    • Ctrl+/: Toggle Settings
    • Alt+Left/Right Arrow: Move Chat Tab
    • F12: Show avatar profile
    • Ctrl+M: Toggle Mail
    • Ctrl+Space: Start a search
  • Chat: Chat text entry is now focused when changing tabs
  • Shop: Higher priced items will no longer truncate their price on the first page of the shop. (Detail & confirm window remains fine)
  • Facial Capture: Added support for MacOS
  • Clothing Fitter: Now more reliable in the event of a failure or bad data
  • Search: Fixed a bug where search would sometimes not work
  • ExcludeObject: Fixes an issue where ExcludeObject would cause an error
  • Clothing Patterns: Fixes an issue where patterns would not display in the shop
  • Shop: Added more categories to the shop
  • Cloth Physics: Sovler frequency is now tied to the number of vertices in a individual item, higher poly items will run at a lower frequency to limit lag.
  • Explore Window: Long named regions will no longer crop their text
  • Version Number: Switched to 2018.X numbering scheme.
  • Depth of Field: Depth of field focus should be more reliably tracked
  • WebGL: WebGL should now update page titles as you browse regions
  • Clothing Fitter: Now even more reliable in the event of bad data
  • Facial Capture: We now capture at a higher framerate
  • Scripting: Adds SDialogues.ColorPicker
  • Profiles: You can now store more text in your profile
  • Settings: Added a settings button to the login screen
  • Inventory: Now displays filesize of each item when mousing over
  • Muting: Fixed an issue where mute lists were not respected in the global chat channels
  • Clothing: Fixes a bug where cloth deletion would not work in child objects of a parent clothing item
  • Lipsync: Fixed an issue where NPCs would not lipsync correctly
  • Clothing Deletion: Deletion and preservation zones are now correctly oriented again
  • Scripting: Now gives better error messages when timing out
  • Clothing: Fixes a large number of clothing related issues
  • Sliders: Added customisation slider for Elfen ears.
  • Post Stack: Updates Post Stack to latest 1.X release (2.X is still in beta at time of writing)
  • Memory: Low-memory PCs will use lower resolution textures
  • Animations: Added new flying animations to default AO
  • Patterns: Fixed wrong thumbnail being used for Patterns
  • Movement: Crouching is now activated by holding the Fly-Down key  (C) instead of CTRL to avoid conflicts with shortcut keys
  • Tattos and Makeup: Many fixes and improvements to tattoo and makeup layers allowing them to be used at last.
  • Scripting: Added a Pause function to Embedded Video
  • VR: Added body & hands IK, then removed it. (will be back soon!)
  • VR: VR no longer crashes when teleporting to certain scenes
  • VR: Merged VR client into mainline client codebase, now enabled through option in viewer.
  • SynchronisedAnimator: Fixes synchronised animator component
  • Scripting: Fixed a monsterous memory spike in scripting when loading intensive scripts.
  • Avatar Loading: Fixed a memory spike during avatar loading
  • Chat Zone: Adds 'Chat Zone' component for localised chat areas
  • Avatar Loading: Now uses less CPU when deleting avatar skin
  • Memory: 32-bit client builds are now always treated as memory constrained environments.
  • Snapshots: Fixed an issue with broken poses in the snapshot tool
  • Day Night Cycle: Added proper component name for this component.
  • Parcels: Fixed an issue where if you transferred a parcel while another user was editing it, their client would error out when saving.
  • Clothing: Fixed an issue where bone data was going missing
  • Avatar Inspector: fixed scrollbar when a user is wearing lots of clothes
  • Avatar legs: fixed several issues with avatar legs and their animations
  • Camera: Camera now behaves far better when in close proximity to nearby walls.
  • Costumes: prevents a slowdown occuring when a costume contains a bad animator setup and leaves the environment.
  • Private Rooms: Room furniture placement is now more logical and easier to use
  • Vivox: Improved lip-sync when using Vivox voice
  • Vivox: Vivox is now the platform-wide default voice system, the old system has been removed.
  • Clothing Tags: Added support for clothing compatibility tags
  • Clothing: Correctly transmits layer information when unpacking LOD clothing
  • Performance: miscellaneous performance improvements
  • Scripting: fixes an issue with IK and scripting.
  • Scripting: you can now read VR controller states from scripting
  • Chat: Fixes the VERY ANNOYING underscores bug.
  • VR: VR users can now interface with "clickables", seats and more. 
  • VR: VR users can now drive vehicles & use joysticks to input conventional movement into existing objects
  • UI: Adds new 'Scalable Canvas' for mobile interfaces (soon!)
  • UI: Adds new pseudowindow for enabling dockable windows in the UI (soon!)
  • Localisation: Adds new localisation framework for multilingual clients
  • Archimatix: Begins first stage of Archimatix integration.
  • VR: Improves VR control schemes

Known Issues

Expect a hotfix in the next 24-48 hours to address these issues. If you find any others, please report them to us using our bug tracker.

  • Skin Tone: Skin tone appears to be different than prior to the update. We'll be hotfixing this one shortly.
  • Camera: The camera drag has a bit too much slack and feels "loose". We'll be lowering the swing in the next hotfix update.
  • VR: Hand tracking - we broke avatar hand tracking this release on some headsets. Will be coming back in the next hotfix as well.
Image: 2018-03/blogpost.jpg

Written by Adam on Wednesday March 7, 2018

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