Nirans Viewer 1.32 Review

NiranV releases lots of iterations of this viewer. There are no massive changes from my perspective as a  user. The changes tend to be in the nature of the user interface and new ways for established controls to work. For instance one of the previous versions change the default camera position. Expect lots of experimentation and innovation with this viewer.

The video is made by NiranV using the Nirans Viewer.

Start with a Problem

NiranV is using a new compiler (or library – not sure) to build this version of the viewer. I think the hope is the viewer will be faster. Whatever, the package fails to include a component: vcomp100.dll. You can get the component from: Microsoft Visual C++ 2010 Redistributable Package (x86) 32-bit or Microsoft Visual C++ 2010 Redistributable Package (x64) 64-bit version.

It is a simple download and install. Then the viewer starts and runs. Those running Win7 64-bit probably won’t see the problem.

Also, the problem is likely caused by OpenMP, a memory manager thing for cross platform software. NiranV says that is coming out of the next build. Which is probably mixed good and bad. My memory use is down to 200mb in this version. But, it leaks and I see memory use climb by 100k to 400k every 2 or 4 seconds. The memory flush in System Explorer clears it.

Noted Changes

NiranV is good at blogging about the viewer and each version’s changes. See: NiranV’s SL Blog. It uses lots of JQuery stuff, so you’ll have to figure out how to use the blog too.

Settings

This version recommends you to clear your viewer settings. So, delete or renamed the file:

C:\Users\[windows_login_id]\AppData\Roaming\Nirans Viewer\user_settings\settings.xml

This is needed only to handle glow settings, which with the new shaders will turn your render into a neon experience. I suppose if you have done lots of tweaking on your settings you can keep them and just tweak your glow settings.

Compiler

Niran notes that a new compiler is in use, as the problem above notes. Provide feedback as to whether you have a worse of better experience.

Splash Screen

This changes from the typical static image to a video. After all the viewer is moving toward more Machinima support.

You can disable the video in Preferences -> Viewer -> UI.

The login and teleport screens remain static images.

Mesh Glitches

The new awesome L$49 Mesh Boots Jaci turned me onto from Blackburn, flash on and off in this viewer.  I thought that would make this version unusable. But, turning of the Qarl Deformer stops that problem.

Nice but High Poly Count

I went to Mayfair, they region that is mostly mesh construction, to see how things work. There is some glitch with the deformer on. While the boots still flash in an out of existence, the mesh building don’t flash… but they …twitch… I also get what looks like arrays of vertices that suddenly jump out stretching the meshes into what we use call vertex vomit when sculpties went nuts.

So, this version’s Deformer is not going to be usable. 🙁 The boots I can take off. But, the exploding vertices are way too annoying.

The poly count on the boots is high. See the image. I suspect there is some delay in processing all those poly’s that causes them to flash. So, while they were cheap and look good, they add 6,000+ to my render cost. I’ll have to compare some other mesh boots.

I don’t know for sure which version of the Deformer is in use in this viewer version. I suspect it is Qarl’s 0.2, which is slower than the 0.1.

User Controls

This last week I was playing with some of the XML files to get more keys in the Gesture Panel. NiranV helped be do that. See: Extend Your #SL Gesture Keys. NiranV has added the feature to the Niran Viewer. If you need to have more keys for your gestures, you can build them in the Nirans Viewer.

A & D

NiranV changed the behavior of the A & D and left and right arrow navigation keys. I think the change will be handy for machinimists. The A & D now behave like ‘strafe’, which we formerly got by pressing Shift A or D. We can get the old or standard behavior by pressing shift now.

NiranV provides instructions for editing the KEYS.XML to change the behavior back to what you expect. XML is basically a text file. So, the change is mostly a copy/paste change. See: 1.32 Blog Post. The link to the download is there too.

If you swap viewer as often as I do, this change is frustrating. So, being able to make the change back to standard behavior is important.

Speed

I find the viewer faster. I typically get 10 to 15 FPS with the current round of 3.3.2 viewers. I get 18 to 21 FPS with this version.

When I turn on my shadows I drop to 6 to 10 FPS.

Double Click TP and Auto-Pilot

These now work. I’m not a fan, so I turn them off. I mouse steer and find the behavior of mouse with the Double Click TP enabled unacceptable. It would be nice to have TP on a double-right-click TP or some key combination to enable TP click. I seldom need it, but now and then I get trapped when a TP fails and I find myself in a flooded basement. Turning on double-click is a PITA at that point.

User – Display Names

I turn off some of the over-your-head-tag info. The result is in IM’s and Group Chat the names can get funky. In the user group meetings telling who is talking in text chat can get confusing. NiranV added controls to allow you to control which names are displayed in chat. That helps. I have no idea where that control is.

Summary

This is always a fun viewer to play with.

2 thoughts on “Nirans Viewer 1.32 Review

  1. 1. the mesh and sculpts exploding is a Level of Detail problem , each time they swap their LOD level the Mesh Deformer will rebuild the whole Mesh which will result in flickering shadows and sometimes exploding meshes , Mesh Deformer will sadly derive in future until that problem is fixed , you can circumvent that by just disabling Dynamic Level of Detail in graphics or by setting Objekt Detail higher

    2. The User/Display name controls are still where they were before , i havnt included new controls , i just made IM Titles actually reflect your desired name options , meaning that having Display Names on in IM (Prefs – Viewer – UI) will result in Display names to be shown , additionally enabling Usernames in Name Tags (Prefs – General) while Display names are active will result in BOTH names to be shown and having Display Names (NOT the one in general which is for name tags ONLY) disabled but Usernames on will result in Usernames shown as the only names in IM , i included the snapshot on my blog that shows all 3 behaviors (one with Username , one with Display name and one with both)

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