Nirans Viewer Review 2013-10

Niran has said he would stop building Nirans Viewer… So, there is a new release out as of March 7, version 2.1.2 Beta (3.4.6-2512). If you don’t know, Nirans Viewer is an ongoing experiment in user interface design. Niran has a talent for figuring out new ways to do things. Sometimes the ideas are better sometimes worse, but that is how people find the good stuff. I have a challenge finding things after the menus get changed, which is why I am not a frequent user.

Nirans Viewer Preferences - Presets at Top

Nirans Viewer Preferences – Presets at Top

This version of the viewer was much easier for me to use. The defaults are more like the SL Viewer, so I am good until I need to dig into the Preferences.

One of the interesting things in this version (new to me) is the ability to save Preferences settings as different sets of presets. I think this is a great idea. Those of us that move from shopping to exploring to photography to role play… can definitely make use of this feature.

From time to time Niran tweaks render settings and code. That makes for some interesting affects for photographers and machinamists… (machinagraphers? Naw, does roll off the tongue), which are the target groups for this viewer.

The download is about 55mb. I haven’t used Nirans viewer since about July 2012. Today I see about 1,054 people have downloaded this version of the viewer. It is the 4th most stable viewer in Second Life, according to the TPV Directory.

This is one of the viewers that need a cache and settings clear with each version update.  That changes the splash screen such that it requires a choice between the ‘classic viewer’ and the gamer viewer. I think the choice just changes viewer settings. Then you arrive at the login screen, which has no ‘launch’ button. Once you figure that feature out you are into the viewer.

Nirans Viewer Camera Controls

Nirans Viewer Camera Controls

I had a load of error messages informing me of the Windlight settings that were missing from the day-cycle.  Once past that I dealt with the chiclet message pop ups in the lower right corner of the screen.  From reading Niran’s blog I can surmise Niran does not like the new CHUI and is saying it is an unlikely addition to the Niran Viewer.

The camera behaves quite differently than in the standard viewer. It takes some getting used to. If I were to use the viewer daily I would have to adjust it to something more like the main viewer. I can see where all the settings made available in the version would be handy for those making machinima.

I get between 20 and 25 FPS in most places with my Quad Core and GTX560.


Nirans Viewer is still a fun and interesting viewer. Whether it is going to cease development is anyone’s call. For now if you do machinima or want a viewer you can tweak for artsy pictures this viewer is something you should check out.

2 thoughts on “Nirans Viewer Review 2013-10

  1. The error messages telling you that some sky presets are missing comes from you not doing a clean viewer install in terms of deleting the Viewer folder manually, the problem is caused by Windows. I renamed some presets from a small e to a big E and if you replace a file with the same name but different capitalized letters the already available one will be kept name wise, that will cause this error message because the new daycycles are searching for the new names which contain the differently capitalized letters. As example, the day cycles are searching for E-12 and you have e-12 even tho the new install packages copies E-12, but windows keeps e-12 as long as this file is only replaced and not completely removed and re-copied.

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