Fresh on the heels of Astra 1.5.10.(2) gaining mesh rendering support, Henri Beauchamp has issued an experimental release of the Cool VL Viewer, also with mesh rendering support.
As with all versions of the Cool VL Viewer, the experimental release requires Snowglobe 1.4.2 to be installed first, with the CL VL package then installed over it. This is smooth enough, taking just a few seconds to complete. Once installed, the Viewer can be loaded using the Cool VL Viewer icon not the Snowglobe icon.
Given it is one of the longest-running TPVs in SL, Cool VL Viewer comes with everything you’d expect of a TPV, and I’m not going to repeat the impressive list of features here – as this item is about the mesh rendering (although I should point out the release also includes full support for dynamic lighting and shadows).
As with Astra 1.5.10.(2), I used the SL mesh sandboxes to test the Viewer and took a look around – starting with Don Linden’s familiar examples and Oskar Linden’s black duck in the background.
As can be seen, they all rendered well in Cool VL Viewer for me, although there is an issue that Henri is aware of at present. Sometimes mesh objects get stuck in the lowest level of detail (LOD) setting, causing them to appear semi-rendered. In the case of in-world objects, a quick right-click fixes this.
Sadly, the same solution doesn’t work on mesh clothing worn by others, which may also get stuck in the lowest LOD rendering. However, as this is only an experimental issues of the Cool VL Viewer, things should hopefully improve as the code is refined.
There is currently no upload option for mesh at present, so those wishing to upload will have to use either the official Viewer 3 or Kirstenlee’s S21 (build 9 and above); this is currently a fact of life for the majority of third-party Viewers, although the situation may obviously change in the future.
If I’m honest, the LOD issue was not something I encountered in testing Astra 1.5.10.(2) and mesh at the sandboxes – but Cool VL Viewer does score over Astra 1.5.10.(2) in that it is a recognised Second Life Viewer with a pedigree people know and love; this is liable to make this version very popular, and any bugs in the current release are, as mentioned above, bound to be worked out.
Cool VL Viewer 18.104.22.168 also scores over Astra 1.5.10.(2) at present in that it is also available as a Linux download.
So if you are a confirmed V1.x user, either on SL or OpenSim, and want to see mesh, why not give it a go? Just please bear in mind that it is currently experimental, as as such, may be subject to stability issues, so don’t get mad with Henri if it does!