KirstenLee Viewer s20(38) Released Review

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KirstenLee S20

KistenLee has released a new test viewer. This one is especially for higher end computers and is classed a Test Build. Download it from the Test Build section of KirstenLee’s site.

S20(37) is the current main release.

One needs a Dual Core2 or better and at least a 8800 GPU or better to run the new test viewer. The code is optimized for SSE3 and GPU compute capabilities for OpenCL/Cuda.

This version contains lots of bux fixes and the addition for more Project Snowstorm code. Support for the nVidia 450 chip was added.
This should be a fun viewer to use. More later. Later…

Install Experience

Install is easy, as usual. It uses whatever cache location you have set or the SL default cache if you have not changed the cache location. It writes over most of my other settings. It did keep my button positions (you can rearrange buttons in bottom menu rail – click and drag).

If you crash when starting the viewer, check the system requirements. This viewer is not going to run on a lot of computers.

HTTP Texture Get is on by default. This should give you the fastest render and download on textures. To change the setting: Me->Preferences->[Graphics]->[Advanced]->Textures.

On the same dialog is a choice for Full Resolution Textures. One needs to understand Jepg2000 format only downloads the part of the image one needs. This was done to save bandwidth and make things faster. A distant textured object with 1024×1024 texture may only take up a few pixels on your screen. In that case the viewer asks for the minimum resolution image and downloads that. As you move closer it downloads a higher rez image and so on until the full rez image is downloaded. This switch causes the full rez image to be requested.

With the new HTTP download there is some question about which way is faster. Download several progressively larger images or one large image. This setting will allow you to experiment. Your computer and connection will determine which works best for you.

Dialog Help (the ‘?’ in upper right of dialog) is better but still seems a bit out of sync with the new dialogs.

Detachable Side Panel – The side panel is detachable by clicking the arrow icon in the upper right. This works diffidently than the SLV2 Development Viewer’s sidebar panels.


My Duel Core2 and 8800 with the latest drivers averages 25 to 30 FPS on basic high settings (not ultra). Turning on Lighting and Shadows drops me to 20 to 25 FPS. This enables projectors and various other lighting features. Adding Global Illumination in Advanced pulls me down to 17 to 25 FPS mostly around 21. Back in General adding sun and Moon shadows puts me at 0.2 to 1 FPS.

Several of the changes cause a few seconds of Not Responding. On some the viewer goes clear, black, and then comes back.

Relogging causes many of these graphics settings to be lost at least according to the dialogs. I’m apparently returned to ‘High’ settings common to my system. I think some of them are actually kept. I have to go through cycling features on and off to actually return the viewer to High settings.

So, when I’really back to high settings turning on Lighting & Shadows + Sun/Moon shadows I then get 10 to 13 FPS. Adding projectors makes little difference, 9 to 12 FPS. Adding Ambient Occlusion gives me about the same 9 to 12.

It is Global Illumination with Shadows that really pulls my system down.

Also, when changing settings click Apply and OK to exit Preferences. Clicking the X in upper right reverts your settings, which can be handy if you suddenly find your running at 0.2 FPS.

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