Firestorm Updates to 6.4.13

This week Firestorm release an update to their viewer, 6.4.13. For details of what got updated see Inara’s article Firestorm 6.4.13 Release. I am only going to talk about the stuff that interests me.

The Bridge

It seems they made the viewer easier to fix when it comes to the Firestorm Bridge.

My Porch 2021

The bridge is an attachment the viewer puts on your avatar. It provides an interface between in-world scripts and the viewer. Basically, it gives the Firestorm viewer more capabilities. The techy details are here: Firestorm Bridge.

As one bounces between viewers, like I do, one can run into problems. Also, the general flakiness of a connection to a virtual world can cause problems with the bridge. The viewer is smart enough to resolve most problems on its own when something goes wrong with the bridge. But, not all of them. Then it can be a pain to fix the bridge… and often a headache figuring out just what the problem is.

Now there is a BUTTON! Yay! Well… more a menu command than button, but you get the idea. Click Avatar->Avatar Health->Recreate LSL Bridge. Poof the problem bridge is turned into free electrons to evaporate into the valley of lost bits. A new one is generated and attached. Problem should be solved.

This makes it so easy to fix you could add it to your first steps of troubleshooting.

Bulk EEP Import

I won’t have a use for this… I think it a handy idea. But, I had about 900 Windlight Sky settings. I NEVER want to have that many environment settings again. I’ve wasted days of time, accumulated, searching for settings I knew were in there.

Now I only import settings I actually use and that are not duplicates.

Inara wrote a nice tutorial for those that want to do bulk imports.

Mesh Uploader

The mesh uploader has been improved. The Preview Settings tab lets you check for problems before you attempt to upload and get some error message, which is always such a disappointment.

There is also more tech info about the proposed upload.

I am looking forward to my next mesh upload.

PhotoTools

Firestorm has the awesome PhotoTools. For those of us that enjoy taking pictures in SL, and there are a couple of us in the forum (How does your avatar look today?) and over on Flickr (Official SL), the Tools are so handy.

Now there are a couple of new options for Depth of Field (DoF). One is a FOLLOW option and the other is a LOCK option. The setting is in the Phototools panel in the DoF/Glow tab.

The normal behavior is for the focal point to only change when you click on something. When Alt-right-click caming around, whatever you click on becomes the focal point. It stays the focal point until you click on something else.

Selecting ‘Depth of field focus follows pointer’ causes the focal point to move to whatever the cursor is over.  It is dynamic moving as you move the cursor/pointer.

To lock the focus click on something while in focus follow mode and press Alt-Shift-X. Or you can use the menu’s World->Photo and Video->Depth of Field Focus Lock. Sadly this option is not in the Phototools. We will have to remember the keyboard shortcut.

Faster?

Using the new 6.4.13 viewer… All measurements with Sun/Moon & Projectors w/ALM.

Ground level on my new porch @ 128m DD – 24.1 – 24.6 FPS
Old porch @ 128m DD – 50 -53 FPS
Green Room @ 2200m @ 128m DD – 110 – 115 FPS
Old site of Green Room @2200 @ 128m DD – 102 – 109 FPS
Neisonia Safe Hub @ 128m DD w/15 Avatars – 31± FPS

My old measurements… I thought I did a better job of testing each new viewer version. If I did, I can’t find where I wrote it up. So, I settled for a set from July 2019, version 6.2.4.

5.1.7 – Porch w/Sun-Shadow-Projector @ 256m DD – 42± FPS
6.0.1 Beta – Ground level on my porch: @ 256m DD 73± FPS*
6.0.2 Main – Ground level on my porch: @ 256m DD 102± FPS
6.2.4 Main – Ground level on my porch: @ 256m DD – 45± FPS

5.1.7 – Neisonia Safe Hub w/25 Avatars – 19-30± FPS
6.0.1 Beta – Neisonia Safe Hub w/28 Avatars – 30-45± FPS
6.0.2 Main – Arapaima Safe Hub 2/38 avatars – 30± FPS
6.2.4 Main – Neisonia Safe Hub w/30 avatars – 35± FPS

5.1.7 – Skybox Green Room 1500m Elv – 100± FPS
6.0.1 Beta – Skybox Green Room 1500m Elv – 152± FPS
6.0.2 Main – Skybox Green Room 1500m Elv – 154± FPS
6.2.4 Main – Skybox Green Room 1500m Elv – 135± FPS

My conclusion is this viewer runs about the same as Firestorm has for the last couple of years. I see only minor changes and I consider those within the margin of error for my measuring as these are *NOT rigorous controlled tests. I just walk out on my porch and check the FPS.

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