Monday, 23 July 2007

Muting the visibility of objects

This sounds like a neat idea... Able Whitman has created a modified version of the SL client, Second Life Viewer, Able Edition, which allows you to mute the visibility of selected objects and parcels.

Just what I need, given my comments in this blog the other day about Imagination Island...

When I made that post, JohnK came back and accused me of NIMBYism. But it's not just that. If you have a busy sim next door, busy in the sense of having lots of moving objects and/or particle systems, then the performance for everyone that visits your island gets worse. Why? Because the chances are that their clients will have to render some or all of the 'noise' going on next door.

So what does it mean to mute the visibility of an object?
1. The object is also muted "classically," that is, its chat is suppressed, just as with a normal mute.
2. Any particle system associated with the object is removed, just as with a normal mute.
3. All the textures on the object are replaced with a solid-white texture.
4. Phantom objects are made completely transparent.
5. Non-phantom objects are made 67% transparent. (They are not made entirely transparent because object collision happens on the server, so avatars would still run into them. This way they are at least visible enough to avoid.)
6. Attached sounds on the object have their gain forced to zero.
7. Hovering text on the object is removed.
8. Objects have their light source and fullbright settings turned off.
9. Touchable objects have their click action removed.
10. Objects for sale are not purchasable.
11. Objects have their angular velocity (llTargetOmega) forced to zero.
12. Sculpted objects have their sculpt texture set to the default sculpt texture.
I haven't tried this yet, but it definitely sounds interesting. Also worth noting that our ability to do this kind of thing is a direct result of Linden Lab's decision to open source the client.


Peter Miller said...

I agree that it sounds interesting. I wonder if there is there also the possibility of evolving a strategy for stopping chat "leaking" from a container/room using the same type of approach?

Peter Miller said...

I guess the answer is negative unless everyone can be persuaded to use the modified browser -- which is unlikely. Only thing you could do would be to encrypt/decrypt chat.

Art Fossett said...

Well, yes... but the beauty of the open source model is that mods like this potentially be rolled back into the production client code - if that's what people want.