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Server Side Baking – The Countdown Starts

For folks who don;t know…

Next year, probably around February, a new way of presenting clothing “layers” to the viewer will start.  Right now and since SL started, clothing layers (non mesh or sculpt, actual clothing) have been presented to the viewer as a texture layed on the avatar itself. 

This meant that in busy sims, sometimes people just turned up grey, rebakes didnt work.

Next year, clothing layers will now be “baked” to the avatar.

What does this mean?  Well…”baking” a texture onto a mesh object means that the texture information is relayed and hosted ON the server, and not downloaded into the viewer.  Once this goes live the second an avatar’s shape loads…the server side baked on clothing layers will be relayed to the viewer.

No more ghosted particle avatars, a massive reduction on grey avatars, and much, much less bandwidth on your connection.

However…it comes at a price.

There has to be a new viewer for this to work, old V1 style viewers (like Phoenix) will now be consigned to the scrap heap.  If you go inworld with a non baked clothing ready viewer avatars will simply looks like grey blobs, they will not load AT ALL.

I said halfway through this year that LL will find a way to render those ancient non mesh viewers totally obsolete…now they have.  V2 and current V3 viewers will also be obsolete when server side baking comes out.  Linden Lab has already released the baking code to TPV’s so when it does go live Firestorm etc etc will be ready for it.

http://www.sluniverse.com/php/vb/alternative-sl-clients/79248-server-side-baking-countdown.html for more indepth discussion about the topic.

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5 Comments

  1. Mr. Arnold Mr. Arnold December 20, 2012

    I remember when we heard they would make it obsolete, but I had no idea how they’d manage…this makes sense.  Guess anyone who wants to use a third party viewer will have to hope they get on the move upgrading.

  2. Beq Janus Beq Janus December 21, 2012

    There is a positive that seems underplayed, for those that create clothing and skins. In the past each layer of clothing was sent as a texture to the viewer, the viewer would assemble them. This made it simple to create tools to steal textures as they were sent out. With serverside baking you are only going get a single composite texture making it much harder for the average copybot to do its work. Hooray!

  3. Junie Ginsburg Junie Ginsburg December 21, 2012

    One can only hope this will result in fewer incidences of the “but I’m wearing clothes in MY viewer” phenomenon.

  4. JuJu the Cat JuJu the Cat December 21, 2012

    [groucho] I soitenly hope not. [/groucho]

  5. Caesar Osterham Caesar Osterham December 21, 2012

    I forsee yet another round of shenanigans as our favorite Third Party Viewers (come on, does anyone use the standard LL viewer) get broken by the latest “innovation” from Linden Labs.

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