Emerald Viewer Released – Review

Emerald is currently in a fast release cycle right now. A significant release came out on the 17th with 2 more quick releases following. I am expecting at least one more soon.

Updated from Emerald Viewer (2/17) to Emerald Viewer (2/18) and as of 2/22 to version 1.64 mb Download

Update: Some Mac users are (were) having voice problems (1585). Get download: Mac Voice

There are (were) some image upload issues with v1585. See: Emerald Viewer Image Uploads Hotfix

Update: Version 1626 RC Feature Review

The download I got today (2/22) actually shows version 1628…

The grid manager has been improved over version 1582. It now saves your log on information. Yay! That helps. There is now an ‘Edit Saved Logins’ button on the login screen.

In version 1585 there are some texture loading problems. I did not run into them, but other apparently did. That issue has been handled and texture download improved, faster. I was thinking it seemed slower… but I only was noticing when shopping.

There is some problem with particles from various content (they say broken content). I have a bunch of particle stuff turned off because I use a DCS2 combat/RP system. The Emerald viewer now allows one to use the older style particles or the newer style. In the Advanced menu’s Debug Settings is the value “EmeraldUseNewFollowSourceLogic” that can be set to use the new process or older process.

Modular Systems says, “Emerald Arc changes can be reverted back to the broken method via the debug setting “EmeraldUseProperArc”. I haven’t run into this as a problem…

IRC log ons are off by default now. This only matters if you use an alternate IRC (chat). There is an IRC preferences panet where you can set your preferences. Preferences -> Emerald tab -> Page 2 tab -> IRC tab.

There was a problem with the ‘Script Counter‘ feature freezing (see below) and not showing a result. That has been fixed.

Emerald added KirstenLee’s viewer skins from her S19 viewer. This makes for a pretty user interface.

Some other bugs have been fixed too. If you are using the AO feature, Emerald can crash when you close the control panel. That fix is in progress. If you need help visit the Emerald forum.

LSL Preprocessor – The documentation for this feature appears to have been started 2m/4d/2010. I’m not sure when it first appeared in the viewer. Those that program in SL may find this handy. Information on how to use the feature is here: Modular Wiki lslPreprocessor. This is an advanced feature found in many language processors. How to use the feature is too complex for this post and is really for those doing lots of programming.

New Shiny – This also is a feature added some time ago. It changes the shader used to make things shiny. It seems to add a bit of environment reflection to a shiny surface. I could not get any good pictures of the effect. May be later. Preferences -> Emerald tab -> Page 2 tab -> Effects

Emerald Shadow Rendering – This has been around for some time and  turns on dynamic shadows. It takes me from high forties FPS to high teens FPS (48 to 17 FPS). Your results will vary. The rendering is nice but a bit shaky. Some things look odd when shadows are rendering. Also photos don’t work well, which has been an ongoing problem in Emerald. I’ll get an image up to show that what you see is not what you photograph, at least not with an nVidia 8800 with the current driver.

New Features 1582, 1585

One hot new feature for combat gamers that use ranged weapons (sniper rifles, wooo whooo) is the Mouse Look Zoom. Go into mouse look and hold down the right mouse button and roll the scroll wheel. This saves having to hold on target and press Ctrl-0, 9, and 8 to do your zooms for that cross region shot.

Emerald Viewer

Invisible Avatar

Then there is the Worn Item Edit option. Some times it is hard to select a worn item for editing by clicking on it. In some cases they are invisible things, like a combat meter or a belly ring. I hate those belly rings that I put on and they are somewhere inside my tummy. Now I can go into inventory, select the worn tab, find the item, right-click on it in the inventory and select the new item EDIT. Way nice.

Emerald 1582

Avatar Control

Then there is the Stealth Appearance Mode. Combat game managers will hear all about this one. In Preferences -> Emerald tab -> Page 1 tab -> Avatar tab -> checkbox Render Avatar Invisible. This turns you skin, eyes, and clothes invisible. Your attachments how ever remain visible. Of course this is not intended for combat gamers but for those strange avatars that need to hide the regular avatar body. This means less invisa-prims.

For those doing photography there is a No Camera Reset on avatar click. That should come in handy.

Camera Height Change via Ctrl-Mouse-Wheel. This is very much like using Ctrl-Alt-LMB. Or moving the mouse forward and backward with the LMB down (a mouse steering thing). But it is different and handy. It has some limitations. Once you Alt-left-click to move the camera it stops working. Play with it. I think I’ll like it.

There is an odd feature for panning the camera up and down. Call it Camera Vertical Pan. One presses the Atl-key and rolls the mouse wheel. Check it out.

Spell Checking… now there is an idea. This checker is the one used in Firefox. It works pretty much the same way too. There are some settings you have control of. Preferences -> Emerald tab -> Page 2 tab -> SpellCheck. You can change how the misspelled word is displayed, the dictionary, add dictionaries, and more. Right click on a mispelled word in chat, a script, or a note card and correct it. Nice. Oh, one of the dictionaries included is a set of the LSL scripting words. You can turn off the highlighting so that it won’t drive you crazy while scripting. See more instructions: Emerald Spell Checker

Built-in Translator, of course. But it one ups the SnowGlobe version I’ve been playing with. In the local chat window translation is automatic, going to your language. You can right-click and word or highlighted words and select translate and then select a target language.

Then there is the new Nazi tool LSL Script Counter.In the Pie Menu there is S.Counter. It counts the scripts on an avatar. Script limits are coming to SL so land owners will be happy with this one.

There is another new option in the Pie Menu; Derender. Right click an attachment and select More -> Derender. The attachment will go invisible. I have no idea how one gets it back. So, far only a relog seems to work. I’m not sure what one would do with this feature.

Camera Restrains New Option: Most of us have found the camera restraints that let us run the camera way far away from the avatar. Now Emerald has an option to let you run the camera up super close. This will be great for those working with nano prims. See: Preferences -> Emerald -> Page 1 -> Misc -> disables minimum camera zoom distance”. There is also an option to allow the camera to pass through prims on the same page. It is ideal for finding buried belly rings… but the other Attachment Edit thing is easier.

Grid Manager… this is great. I was hopping for this one. If you have used the grid manager in Hippo or MeerKat then you know what I’m on about. There is a button on the logon screen, near Name and Password fields, that lets you open a grid manager. You can add custom information for other grids, i.e., Open Life, OSGrid, and others. Very handy as I now play in SL and OSGrid.

Most importantly, the frequent high ping and low FPS rates seem to be gone. 🙂

I have an index to older reviews about Emerald.

New World Notes linked to this review: New Open Source Second Life Viewer With Invisible Avatars!

Update: There are many new articles here on Emerald. Check out the index to other articles here at the top of the page. Emerald Viewer Review Index I have not been good at keeping articles tagged and categorized, but you can use the Emerald category to find most of the information about Emerald on this blog.

12 thoughts on “Emerald Viewer Released – Review

  1. “Derender” has been already in the last two Emerald releases (at least) and is super-handy for photography.

    To turn it off, type “dd 0” into open chat (draw distance 0) and then “dd whateveryourdrawdistancewas” to get it back.

      • I did not notice the feature being there before. Peter says it was. I’ll have to play with it some more to see what else it can ‘derender’.

    • Thanks, I’ll add that tip in.

      I’m not at all sure why this would be handy for photography. Seems like it would be just as easy to detach an attachment.

  2. Yes, it was possible to derender attachments before. It is handy for photography because you can literally remove EVERYTHING from a scene. From that annoying full-bright sign to the danceballs that won’t listen to “/1 hide”. From the parked car in front of a house to the obnoxious noob avatar standing in your way. You can remove all distracting and annoying elements from a scene and get a clear shot. Look at my Flickr – I use “derender” in almost every shot.

  3. First, a note: a newer build,, is now the current update (an 11th-hour bug fix, I believe).

    How’s your experience with the new Emerald in OSGrid? I applauded the Grid Manager inclusion, just as you did, and tried it out right away. Unfortunately, both my partner and I (her OSG sim is adjacent to mine) found problems with some textures not loading — including our skins — and some previously-saved edits (shape, terrain) reverting to default settings. Cache clearing wasn’t a fix; neither was restarting the sim. Logging back in with another viewer (Hippo, in my case): everything was there as before.

    • Thanks for heads up 🙂

      I have not had time to work with it much on OSGrid or in my personal OpenSIM region. I tested a sculpty last night, but have not really used it there yet.

  4. The Emerald change log shows some other interesting features:

    – There’s a column in your friends list to show who has given you map and online viewing rights.
    – You can return objects that you cannot see. (you can do this anyway in the About Land window if you have parcel powers)
    – Search and replace in notecards! (I can’t wait for bold and italic)
    – Fixed the inventory search problem where the search results would disappear. That one was frustrating.
    – You can have one more pick (the 11th) in your profile?
    – The beacons window doesn’t show up at login if you had beacons enabled at logoff. That one was weird, because there was no way to display that window in Emerald in the first place.

    The change log says the current build is 1585. Time to download again?

  5. Pingback: Issue #281 Monday, February 22, 2010 « The D'ni Voice

  6. I dont know about others but i have had terrible lag for about 4 weeks. I ahve ben on sl and using EV for over 2 years and never had this problem before. Yes my pc is fast and so is my connection.I have even been in touch with sl but they wont help because i am using EV but i am even slower on SL v2 I am at my wits ends.Checked and read everything i can get my hands on. Played about with the settings. EV is brill but sadly because of the lag its not enjoyable amymore 🙁

    • You may have the “multiple threads” problem. nVidia graphics cards created some problem that slows things down. Once the threads are set right things speed up. Look in the Emerald forum, I have new links on the Emerald Reviews Index page.

      Also check what you are using for your texture download. I’m finding having HTTP protocol for textures on helps.

      Try Imprudence or Hippo to see if it is actually the viewer or if SL is just being laggy or you possibly have a connection problem.

      You can open HELP in the viewer and get the SL server IP from ABOUT. Then open a command window to run TRACERT with the IP. I do that while I’m logged in so I can see what my viewer is doing and see the network performance.

      For a time I had sever lag spikes. I saw that in several of the new viewers. So, I assumed it was more an SL sim problem than a viewer problem or just how they were not working well together as various parts were updating.

  7. something happened to my emerald and I had to redownload it. now when I try and extract it I get through I accept and where the file goes on my computer but when it goes to install it I get this message ” sorry the files can not be downloaded click “retry” to try downloading the files again or click “neck” to try installing anyway ” is there something I am doing wrong and how can I get it to download right? I did try both ways if I click install anyways it crashes when I try and sign on and if I click retry to install nothing. (Can anyone help)

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