KirstenLee has a new version out; (40) . This version has lots of changes in user controls. It also is up to date with the Snowstorm Project.
It is a little hard to know exactly what ‘up to date’ means. (Kirsten commented below) In Snowstorm there is a stable viewer, a beta viewer, a development viewer and two project viewers. Kirsten says Display Names code is in the viewer. That is from a project viewer. But, nothing is said about mesh.
Whatever the case, the Snowstorm team is making a lot of fixes for old and new problems. So, KirstenLee’s viewer should have most, if not all, of the available fixes. Plus the rollout of new server software Tuesday should be improving grid performance… not that I can see it yet. Tomorrow they will be talking about this rollout in office hours.
Kirsten has lain the foundation for an in-viewer support chat system. Those that have joined the Kirsten forum will be able to use it. I don’t know if this chat is going the same direction as Linden Lab and their planned changes to chat and group chat. If it works, and Kirsten says it can handle thousands of people, that will be a big step forward.
Kirsten does inspections of the code. The inspections can find mistakes software checkers miss. So, hopefully this version is more bug free than Linden Lab viewers.
Kirsten Viewer Lighting
I came across this some time ago and I’m just getting around to getting it out. This seems like a good place to post it. Ann Otool did some testing to see how the new SL Viewers were handling lights. Ann made some images of the tests. The results were rather impressive… well… for Kirsten’s viewer.
What you are seeing is a grid of lights as seen in SLV2 and KL39. It is the same grid in both images. Kirsten’s viewer is rendering all the lights, all 256 of them. This is a major reason why Kirsten’s viewer is the choice of photographers and machinima.
If I stop there, the comparison is a unfair. The KL viewer has Deferred Rendering on by default. The SL Viewer has it off by default as they feel theirs is not ‘production’ ready. This means the light count is dependent on OpenGL, which supports only 8 lights. A bug has cut that down to 2. Turn on Deferred Rendering and one can render a lot of lights.
In SLV2 Debug settings there is the control RenderShaderLightingMaxLevel. Set this to 1 and restart the viewer to effectively turn off lights and speed up render. A JIRA will make the viewer restart unnecessary. Higher values render more lights, but how many will be rendered is dependent on other settings and factors.
I won’t have time today to use it, or at least not until late today. Once I do, I’ll add more.