A new Dolphin Viewer version has made it out. I see it has a new build tool, Particle Editor, which is way nice.
Download and Install
The file size is about 26mb, on the small side for an SL viewer.
The install process is more like the SL Viewer install now, opening multiple little windows as it installs. These are indicators that files are being copied from a network location. Just like the SL Viewer these windows stall with 0 seconds remaining. One can leave them open for as long as they like. They’ll sit right there on your screen.
A check of the network status (Performance Monitor) shows nothing is downloading from the net. Nor is the CPU spending much time on the install program. Nor can I see that there is any disk activity related to the install.
As with the SL install, canceling the ‘file copy’ once they reach 0 seconds remaining seems to work and the install works. However, it can be hard to cancel the process. You may have to resort to the Task Manager to kill the process.
In Vista this file copy hang is a known problem. Microsoft has a fix: KB931770. If you have been using automatic updates, it should already be installed. If you missed getting the install, you are somewhat out of luck as Microsoft says they stopped supporting Vista in July of 2011. You may have to dig up the patch from a third party source.
Updates and Experience
The Dolphin Viewer site has release notes and describes the changes in this version. The code base has been upgraded to 3.2. It seems to have the performance limitations common in the SL Viewer, its slow on my hardware.
I’ve moved out of my little cottage. My new house is at ground level and much more laggy. The SL Viewers average about 10 FPS here and so does the Dolphin Viewer 3.
There are some new features. There are some notable omissions too. The largest is mesh upload support. Lance tried out the current open source uploader and was not happy with it. So, we may not see an uploader until he finds one that works to his standards.
Lance is working on a Flickr uploader. It may be some time before RL time limits let him get it finished.
I had not realized Firestorm has a particle editor in the build tools. Now Dolphin Viewer has the editor too. You find it in the top menu: Build -> Objects -> Edit Particles. To use it you first need to open the Build Dialog/Editor and select an object. Otherwise the feature is grayed out.
When you open the Particle Editor it opens in a window separate from the Build Panel/Editor. It is a busy panel with lots of options. Particles have loads of settings and it seems they are all accessible via the Particle Editor.
If you have an object selected, the existing particle settings are NOT loaded. It always uses a standard default setting. If the object is already emitting particles then you see the particles the object is emitting plus the default particles the editor creates, which can get confusing. I don’t see a Particle Clear function. I had to take all the settings to zero to turn off particles.
When changing particle settings in the editor the changes immediately display. With each change the particles react. So, you can see the effect of your editing. Nice.
When you have the particles the way you want them, you have a choice to copy the settings and paste them into a script or ‘Inject’ them into the object/prim. If you Inject them, they become part of the objects attributes.
I think there needs to be a button in the build panel that opens the Particle Editor. I also think there should be a Clear Particles button in the editor. And it would be nice if it loaded the particle settings from an existing particle emitter, so one could edit them.
I think this is a marvelous addition to the build tools. Amazingly it’s not a feature request in the SL JIRA. So, for the foreseeable future this will be a TPV feature.
The Dolphin Viewer 3 (DV3) is using the new FUI, Flexible User Interface. One of the additions to the UI in DV3 is an Animation Override (AO) button to access the built-in AO.
There are two AO buttons; a simple on/off and an AO Setup. I’m not sure if they are on screen by default because I installed over the top of my last install. I’ve customized my buttons. This install remembered my setup, so I don’t see the default settings.
The interface is pretty much V3 style.