Niran is releasing a new version about each week. The coming 1.44 release is delayed white new code from Linden Lab™ is integrated and debugged. And the user interface is being redone.
Version 1.43 is available for download. The news on http://niranv-sl.blogspot.com advises that the version is going to be buggy and crash prone. But, it does have new code and fixes coming out of the Lab.
NiranV 1.43 Download 32bit. A 64-bit version is available. The download is about 42mb and only takes a couple of minutes. Niran recommends clearing the settings and cache when installing new versions.
The install is pretty much the SL Install generic. No surprises. There are a number of skins and they take some time to unpack, but it’s automatic with the install.
The install is more of an unpack process than an install, IMO. No new entry is made in the Start menus. That makes the Desktop icon more important.
Experience-wise in viewers there isn’t much happening. The LL SL Viewer is getting spell check but little else changes in it. Other viewers are not changing the user experience much either. Only Niran’s offers you a new experience… which can be good or bad depending on your preferences.
One change in Niran is that the viewer now gives you an immediate choice on start up. You can choose the standard SL setup when starting or choose Niran’s Gamer setup. The opening image shows the splash screen with the choice.
The left side has the choice for the more conventional viewer setup. Mean the camera is in the expected position, behind you, and the keyboard is in the standard SL configuration. The right side has the Niran choice for Gamer/RPG setup with the camera over the right shoulder, a gamer keyboard setup, and hidden chat. Oddly you need to restart the viewer after making a choice. I suppose that is not surprising, but I wonder how many will actually read the directions and restart?
I think Niran’s Viewer is excellent for photography and machinima. I love the render it makes. With the HIGH setting and Lighting & Shadows, Ambient Occlusion, and Sun/Moon shadows I get about 16 to 18 FPS. But, it is a gorgeous 16 FPS.
I can never find anything in Niran’s because I am accustomed to the LL viewer interface.
The Preferences Panel is well enough hidden I gave up and pressed Ctrl-P. It is rearranged, as tends to happen with the ongoing experiment in User Interfaces.
As you explore the settings you’ll find all sorts of handy features and settings. Some are just standard LL Debug Settings exposed in Preferences. Others are unique to the Niran Viewer.
It is possible to more easily control how much other avatars affect your viewers performance. You can control when the complexity of another’s avatar attachments is too much and to stop rendering. See Preferences -> Display & Audio Options -> Auto-Visual Muting.
In the same area of Preferences you’ll find that HTTP Get Textures is turned off. For now that is not a problem and can provide better texture resolving speeds. But, it can also lead to corrupted caches if you connection is weak (losing packets).
One could write a new manual with each interface change. The screen captures from previous version are useless as everything changes. If you are not into the User Interface experiments, this is not the viewer for you. If you are looking for the best interface, I’m sure parts of it are in Niran’s Viewer. I wonder when the Cloud Party interface will have an influence?
This is a difficult viewer to keep up with, but it is fun to use… as long as you don’t have to change any settings…