I saw today that Linden Lab has announced revisions to their Third Party Viewer policy. The Firestorm/Phoenix tema has already posted a reaction. They are also planning to discuss the changes at their next Phoenix Hour, planned for Feb. 28 at 2 PM SLT/PST.
I think Jessica phrases their take on the meaning of the changes in a pessimistic take. However, she may well be right. It is hard to know. You can read her take on the changes on the Firestorm/Phoenix blog. See: New additions to the Third Party Viewer Policy.
These changes, if intended as Jessica takes them, will be explosive. I see the changes impacting Firestorm and other viewer negatively. Exodus and Nirans viewers may become ineligible to connect to the grid. If so, I’m sure this will create a massive amount of blow back.
MetaReality did an interview with members of the Exodus Viewer Team. It is presented as a PODCast. I’m curious about viewers and the teams that make them, so I had to check it out. Following is my take on the interview. I’ve included time marks so you can jump to parts of the interview you may be interested in. The PODCast runs 1 hour 15 minutes.
Exodus Team; Clix Diesel, the voice of Exodus Viewer and project lead, Ash Qin is Exodus’ Linux developer and owns and runs the popular Sci-Fi sim Deshima, Geenz Spad is Exodus’ graphics guy, and Ayamo Nozaki (not present on the podcast) is the lead developer for Exodus.
0:00 – 3:45 – Introductions, we gotta know the players.
3:34 – 4:00 – Clix talks a little about the direction of the Exodus Viewer Development. Mostly that it is targeted at the SL gamers. I take that to mean those that play in the combat SIM’s. They probably take a broader view, but they are from a hardcore combat group in SL.
The Exodus viewer has some quick fixes added and version Beta 7 (12-01-03b) has been released. The version numbering in the blog and in the viewer is a little different. One uses 12-01-03b and the other 12.01.03.1… and they are Beta 5, 6, and 7… which is a little confusing.
The alpha textures render problem is fixed. My HUD’s are now usable and the tree outside my house looks right through the window.
The Animation Overrider (AO) has a bug and may crash the viewer when the note card loads. That may be from the LL bug that has a fix now in testing in the release channels. All three release channels are running the same server maintenance pack and one of the fixes is about a problem with note cards.
…this situation is funny… I can empathize with Niran clearly remembering my bouts of depression and periods of grieving. So, it’s not like I’m unsympathetic. But, seeing human nature in play in others makes it easier to see the silly and humorous aspects that make us human. I wish him all the best. …is he staring at her… ummm… chest, that a good word.
Today Niran is more into things and has obviously taken the time to take a serious look at the Exodus viewer and compare it to his viewer. He has posted a new article explaining what he found and how he perceives the match up. See: Exodus vs Nirans.
Exodus vs Nirans
Niran sees his viewer as providing a better render of Second Life. He could be biased. He has a comparison set of pictures. I have a small version of the images above. Please don’t try to use them for making a comparison. Visit Nirans blog and take a look at them. Once there click on one to bring them up in full size. Take a close look at them and see what you think. Niran didn’t say which image is from which viewer. That makes it interesting figuring out which is which.
A new release of Exodus is out. This one has lots of new features. Many are for photography and machinima. The viewer may be losing it emphasis on being a gamer’s viewer and being a photographer’s viewer. But, one may as well expose controls to the video pipeline while working to optimize it. So, it may be too soon to say.
Looking Good in Exodus Viewer Beta 6 (12-01-02)
The Exodus Devs have noticed the coverage in the blogs. So, they added some features just for the photographers and machinima peeps. Nice. I hope they keep their gamer focus and avoid trying for a viewer that is all things to all people.
I hadn’t seen any new posts from the Exodus viewer. Taking a look at the Exodus blog I find that Ayamo Nozaki, the lead developer, had a hardware failure. Ayamo’s video card, an nVidia GTX 470, died. Until Ayamo can afford a new one, development is delayed.
If you want to help out, visit the blog: ExodusViewer.com. At the bottom of the post is a place to donate toward a new card for Ayamo. GTX 470’s go for US$150 to $250. A GTX 570 goes for US$240 to $350.
Thursday a new post appeared on the Exodus Viewer blog explaining two features of this new viewer. HDR and FXAA. I had guessed, wrongly, that the HDR was High Definition Render. It is High Dynamic Range. My guess average is sliding down…
The article provides a good explanation of the subject terms HDR and FXAA. But, they don’t explain all the terms they use, like MSAA and others. So, I’ll give a try at an explanation too.
HDR or HDRI is High Dynamic Range Imaging. Exodus explains it and you can find more detailed information in the Wikipedia: HDRI.
If you have used film based photography or the older digital cameras you have run into RANGE problems. Neither could handle the range of bright and dark the eye can see. So, photographs and digital images never looked quite real because we could not see detail in the bright or dark areas of a picture. The top edge of tire in a car’s wheel well would disappear into the black of the wheel well.
Photoshop users can correct the problem to some extent using LEVELS or CURVES.
There is a new kid on the block… The Exodus Viewer has just been released as a beta version. I got a download. \o/ Seems there was a minor goof. If you downloaded in the first couple of hours, you need to get a new download. Something about the settings not saving.
The viewer is based on SLV 3.0.6 code.
A New Viewer
There is a FAQ page up on the Exodus site. It provides developer names, SL names. None tie to RL names. So, I’m curious if anyone knows the developers?