The new renderer, PBR, PBR Terrain, HDRI Sky... discussion

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Moon Adamant
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The new renderer, PBR, PBR Terrain, HDRI Sky... discussion

Post by Moon Adamant »

Hello all,

As requested, I will be copying here the ongoing discussion at Discord, with just some light editing to make it more easy to follow.

For context:
The SL Official Viewer (SLV) has a new renderer engine since last summer. Since then, most other viewers have incorporated the SLV code, the exception being Firestorm, which is delayed in the implementation.
The new renderer brings in important changes, namely:

  • the capacity to use PBR materials on prims and mesh. These materials (really GLTF materials) are a new SL item that will be stored in your inventories in the folder Materials. They allow for much crisper appearances that react much more accurately to the environment and surroundings. Atm, to be able to see the PBR materials applied, you'll need to use any viewer other than Firestorm. Firestorm users are able to see the old-style textures (now called Legacy Materials), and objects can and should hold both the legacy materials and the new PBR materials.
  • A new sky and EEP system, based on High-Dynamic Range Images (HDRI). If you go to World / Environment, you'll see that now you have two Middays. Legacy Midday is the old system sky -- the other being the new Midday, which is HDRI. Last featurette version of SLV now allows HDRI personal lighting.
  • and finally, the last SLV version made PBR terrains a feature of all terrain in SL. There's now an option to use PBR materials instead of textures on the land, with great improvement!

Firestorm viewer doesn't see yet PBR materials, HDRI, PBR terrains, and I believe also doesn't see 2k textures yet, which is another new feature.
The discussion on Discord has been looking at tests we are running, and we are discussing our tests as we go along.

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Re: The new renderer, PBR, PBR Terrain, HDRI Sky... discussion

Post by Moon Adamant »

This conversation took place on 20 May on the #EM channel at Discord, I was handing out some PBR-related links, in a reply to a question if we would need to buy new materials for the PBR terrain revision:

Moon Adamant — 20/05/2024 14:54
Well, there's free PBR terrain textures in PolyHaven
and Ambient CG
these are free so I expect that you'll see them throughout SL

Tor_Karlsvalt — 20/05/2024 14:55
Super!

Moon Adamant — 20/05/2024 14:56
Another option would be to buy some -- I buy some textures from Poliigon website
and of course, we can make our own from seamless photo textures using the Materialize app (or you can use Adobe Substance, if you have a subscription)
I think it would be good to make a list of what textures are needed, considering seasons and the terrain levels -- because I think it's actually a good number of textures.
Mind that the AmbientCG materials (and I suppose the PolyHaven ones as well) are already loaded into SL by that Creative Commons account... sec
https://marketplace.secondlife.com/p/Creative-Commons-CC0-PBR-Materials-Pack-2964-Free-PBR-Materials/25543879
This is a freebie, btw, so saves L$ -- it's a bit cumbersome to use, as they placed the materials into unsearchable dispensers

Moon Adamant — 20/05/2024 15:04
btw, other sites that also have free PBR materials (also in that CC0 pack): https://www.texturecan.com/category/Ground/
and https://publicdomaintextures.com/ground/

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Re: The new renderer, PBR, PBR Terrain, HDRI Sky... discussion

Post by Moon Adamant »

Moon Adamant — 20/05/2024 15:20
btw -- the Materialize app in case you want to create your own PBR materials from photo source images
(works fine, but it needs some experimenting)

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Re: The new renderer, PBR, PBR Terrain, HDRI Sky... discussion

Post by Moon Adamant »

A note here: while the regular Firestorm Viewer doesn't have the GLTF implementation as of today, there is a test version of the FS Viewer for it. I don't know how you get that version!

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Re: The new renderer, PBR, PBR Terrain, HDRI Sky... discussion

Post by Sudane Erato »

You get that version by joining the Firestorm Preview group (I forget the exact name). Free to join. Within the Preview group are notices which contain notecards which contain the URLs to access the versions. You are requested directly not to share these links. They want everyone trying these Beta versions to be a member of the group and be willing to help with comments.

As Moon will confirm, we have already discovered features for PBR editing which don't work (yet)... not in the Firestorm Beta nor in the SL Viewer either.

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Re: The new renderer, PBR, PBR Terrain, HDRI Sky... discussion

Post by Lilith Ivory »

Thanks to the info shared here - and a chat with Rosie who got me motivated - I joined the "Phoenix Firestorm Preview Group" inworld a few days ago and got the link to the Beta Viewer from their group notes. You cn read about that more on the Firestorkm website:
https://www.firestormviewer.org/pbr-whe ... orm_splash

I really like the concept hof having to be a member of this group to get access to the Beta Viewer as the group is very active and not only can I get answers to my own question within seconds, I also learned a lot by reading questions from others and the answers to that. Including links to useful Video tudorials like …

Intro to PBR GLTF Upload for Second life Using the GLTF Packer

Second Life University - How to Create PBR Materials

For some reason I can't share the slurl to: "How to make a PBR Mirror in Second Life - Firestorm Viewer" but you should be able to find it easily on YouTube.

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Re: The new renderer, PBR, PBR Terrain, HDRI Sky... discussion

Post by Moon Adamant »

That first video you posted has a very useful ink in its notes, for the GLTF packer, it's that link going:
Ai-AI Cap'n's GLTF Packer: https://aiaicapta.in/gltf-packer/

It neatly packs your maps into the material and a folder with textures. It also composes the Metallic Brightness map (you can do it by hand, but this GLTF Packer saves you work!)

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