Windlight & the Tiling Bug in Second Life

Legion (moderate)

I headed inworld on tuesday to do some exploring for a blog post and forgot that SL is often hungover that day. After some frustration and an extensive tour of adult hubs, with others unable to reach their destinations, I gave up.

I did go back in later and set to work on a photo essay I have due for a magazine in a week or so. I won’t be using the top image but I thought I’d share it and suggest you visit there – it’s a great sim. The next two images won’t be used either but they illustrate an aspect of the tiling bug that became readily apparent. I know it’s being worked on but, in the meantime, I have to deal with it.

Abduction Alley (moderate)

As everybody does I take a lot of shots and change angles and light and see what happens. I didn’t like this second shot so I changed things around and tried different options til I got what I wanted. Then I opened Gimp and started removing the tiling artifacts – even when the lines and distortions are small it takes a long time.

If you do this a lot you know subconsciously that Windlight has an impact on the tiling. I took a few photos from a new angle with different settings – it surprised me how much this affected the results. I haven’t touched up any of these images and there are small lines and distortions on the first two. This last one though, same image size as the second, is just silly. If you get something like this try a new Windlight. It’s cheaper than smashing your screen. :)

Abduction Alley (moderate)
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  1. How long have we had windlight? The tiling issue has been a bug forever it seems. One viewer will work for a bit and then there is some update and boom tiling all over again when you want a larger size image. Frustrating to be sure. LIke the last pictures angle. :)

  2. I can’t understand why it hasn’t been fixed yet. Is it that difficult, from a technical point of view?

  3. Okay, this only happens when you take high-rez pictures (using Ctrl-~), right? At least, on my PC that’s the only time I see the tiling issue but if you are seeing it on ALL pictures then that’s different.

    So, explain to me again (for the first time) why you want to take every picture in high-rez? Unless you plan to print them out in high resolution enlargements, or project them onto a huge screen, what is the need? It seems from the aspect ratio of your pics that you have a good-sized monitor, so why not just take them at full size? That’s what I do, and I’m still able to reduce them to 75% to smooth out most “jaggies.” For the record, I have a 1920×1080 resolution on a 24″ monitor, and I keep my SL viewer anti-alias at 16x.

    Most people (a) have similar, or lesser, screen size and resolution so high-rez is overkill and (b) want to see the entire picture fit on their screen, without having to scroll around it. So (except for special projects) why routinely take high-rez shots that are going to give you the tiling problem?

    I’m only asking because thinking of you sitting there erasing all those tiling imperfections on all those captures is giving me a sympathetic migraine. :-)

    • /me grins

      Firstly I’m self indulgent and like high rez and I’m used to it. I rarely had tiling issues til this year. This isn’t an issue usually if I restrict my images to screen size. I also have a 1920 by whatever screen – but I like 1600 by 1200 for this blog.
      However, the two magazines I do photos for require 5000 by 3000 (in one case) and 5000 by 2500 (in the other).
      As soon as you use the custom sizing – particularly custom sizing + really large – then the tiling bug has a field day. On smaller ones, even just my screen size, the windlight can trigger it as well.
      On the really large ones I could get away with just “healing the selection” (using a Gimp resynthesizer plugin). That’s often (if I have thin lines) a 5 pixel wide stretch of smudging, which as a percentage of a 5000 wide photo wouldn’t be noticeable. However, additional smudging is usually required for skies and water and some builds.
      I flashback to the time I used to make plant textures from my rl photos – they could take 20 or more hours each. This doesn’t take that long. :)

    • PS I click on ‘high rez’ when I download the viewer in the advanced menu and then just forget it. It’s not even conscious anymore. :)

    • Also, if you are cropping a pic, a higher resolution than the one your screen shows may be important. I remember once I took a self pic on full screen res, and from that pic I wanted to build a face icon. When I cropped the pic in order to show only my face and tried to upload it to internet profile sites, some of them, like google profile, would warn me that my pic didn’t have a good resolution. With a higher resolution, I can crop my pics without problems.

  4. Ah. Well, the bottom line is (no pun intended) the problem shouldn’t be there in the first place, of course. Hopefully they will figure out how to eradicate it. Then I can get back to my Hi-Rez photo series which I abandoned for this very reason. Ta.

    • For some reason I can’t access the right JIRA but a few weeks ago Runitai Linden was working on the problem and had moved a solution into test. I haven’t heard any updates since but this is what was said at the time:
      Now some caveats: the solution will only work if you have lighting and shadows enabled; the size of photograph will dictate whether the old tiling render approach affects you (it will depend on your video card which, frankly, is true for everything), he had tested it up to 4000 I think; and if you have Debug GL turned on you will crash.

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