Thursday, September 20, 2018

Feature: Visual Size Display in Appearance Editor

One of my very first posts was about avatar size. It's an issue that's been around since the beginning of Second Life.

 After a discussion with Vir Linden at today's Content Creation group meeting, I've submitted a Jira requesting a new feature for the SL appearance editor.

(Everything below just recaps everything already in the Jira.)

 I submitted a Jira in 2011 pointing out that the height currently displayed in LL's viewer is incorrect. Like, not even close to your avatar's actual height. Unfortunately, there are some problems to consider here:

  • Deformers and attachments can alter an avatar's size in ways the viewer and server cannot account for.
  • SL's own broken existing system for checking an avatar's size is tied to too many other features to be fixed this late in the game.

So rather than fixing the inaccurate height currently display, why don't we just get rid of it entirely and use a visual scale. An inworld overlay just like the object editor uses.

Put height information right there, next to the avatar.
This completely circumvents the issues that make fixing AgentSize impossible, and it works for all avatars, even those who use attachments and deformers to alter their avatar's size.

But why even worry about this?

It's a visual design issue. 

When creating any content in Second Life, from a house to your own avatar, it helps to have this information in front of you otherwise you end up with visual inconsistencies that negatively impact how good Second Life looks and how you interact with your environment.

It is also a content creation issue.

 Nearly all content creators use their own avatar as their sole point of reference for scale when creating content. This is true whether you're talking animations or houses. This can result in houses where the windows are way above the average avatar's heads, or staircases where each step comes up to their knees. Or animations created for specific avatar sizes but incorrectly labeled when sold due to the existing confusion.

We see problems like the above every day in Second Life. Fixing this now would lead to generally better consistency for new content going forward.

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