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Introduction Why a new ssText device for Meshes viewers
At the end of 2012, after a year of Meshed products, and stating that people are using Meshes with the majority viewers including all major 1.x Viewers with the possible notable exception of old Imprudence, is now time to update Boards to take advantage of Meshes to have better quality and a reduction of land Impact. In fact standard xyText cells use 1 prim to display either 5 or 10 characters. A board 10 Lines x 40 character costs at minimum 400/5=80 prims using 5char/prim solution and 40 prims using 10char/prim solution. 80 prims are usually a bit too much expensive for a land owner (it actually drains almost all of the 117 prim limits offered for a basic land), while low resolution solution has a very low quality and is almost impossible to script different fonts with gimp (we have lost original scripts from Xylor Baysklef 10 char/prim and what I developed is only an aproximation).
What are the advantage of Meshes vs traditional xylike textual boards?
- A cell can be crafted in blender to show 8 faces to observer completely flat and with NO distortion. This is obtained having 8 materials assigned to each square and a very simple UVMap for it. Mesh cell has only 18 vertices so it is quite lightweighted component.
- When loaded you can choose to have most of lods at the same high quality so that board can be seen in distance without being distorted
- When linked each cell counts for 0.5 landimpact => a board made of 400 chars will impact only for 400/16= 25 prims which is a very good improvement compared to standard techniques.
- Reduces lag. I tried to use standard xytext boards made a 1000 char-board as HUD having an object of 178 linked prim. When editing and loading this with various viewer I had to wait for a long period of time each time I touched on Edit waiting for viewer to loads characteristics of 178 prims. When used with meshed version viewer reacted almost instantly simplifying the life for developers and for final users.
I don't see any disadvantage except the marginal problem that people entering SL with Imprudence or some very other old viewer not mesh aware cannot see this.
Scripts have been tested on OpenSim and they are perfectly working with just a minor and trivial editing so this is adaptable to every OpenSimulator virtual world
These scripts are still on xytext scripts from Xylor Baysklef plus modifications I added in other versions UTF8 to allow for International Characters.
How to have prefabricated objects and scripts
I've prepared a zip containing a kit including current mesh plus scripts and other files needed to prepare inworld a working board.
(to be continued)