Alina Lyvette is a miracle worker. There is no other way to describe her. Since its first release, her Lumiya client has developed into a mobile Second Life / OpenSim client which is truly remarkable.
From humble beginnings just seven months ago, Lumiya has quickly grown in both capabilities and stature, just some of the highlights being the addition of in-world rendering (with in-world object interaction quickly following), inventory management, OpenSim support and a whole new look also packed with goodies.
Version 2.3.1 raises the bar even further, adding:
- Avatar and animation rendering
- Camera control in 3D view
- Avatar outfit control
- Ability to change active group
- Improved inventory update speed
- Issue fix for ghost objects.
Avatar and animation rendering
This is the most visible change to Lumiya with this release. Whereas previous versions only generated a greyed-out male avatar form, this version aims to render recognisable avatars and provide them with a decent walk animation. Now, the results aren’t 100% like-for-like with avatar rendering in a full viewer – and in fairness, you shouldn’t expect this to be the case. Even so, what is offered is really remarkable, and adds a huge depth to Lumiya in terms of offering mobile access to SL and OpenSim.
There is a little of the Unity feel to the avatars, particularly in the exaggerated arm length, but overall the results really are impressive. And default walk animation is very good as well, and again adds a lot to the in-world experience; no more gliding ghost-like around.
Version 2.3.1 adds camera control to Lumiya’s 3D view. This is accessed using the CAM button located in the bottom left of the in-world view.
Tapping this allows you to alter your camera angle / position simply be dragging your finger across the screen or up / down.
When tapped, the button caption changes to WALK, indicating that the next time you tap it, it will toggle back to WALK mode, allowing you to move your avatar, and the camera will snap back to the default rear view.
You can also use the arrow keys to the right of the in-world view when in CAM mode . The left / right arrow keys will orbit the camera around your avatar, while the up / down keys will zoom your view in / out.
Outfits Folder Support
Alina is working towards providing compatibility with the upcoming new avatar baking service Linden Lab are working on. This work involves support for the Current Outfits folder, and as a first part of that, Lumiya incorporates Outfits Folder support within the 3D view. currently, the functionality doesn’t support sub-folders within outfits, which limits its effectiveness for those who have invested heavily in organising their (My) Outfits folders, but Alina is aware of this, and will be addressing matters in the future.
You can now change your active group tag within Lumiya. Simply go to the Chat screen, tap GROUPS, and then long touch the name of the group you wish to set as your active group. A pop-up will be displayed asking you to confirm, and on doing so, your active group will be changed. Simples.
There were reports of crash issues with 2.3.0 on OpenSim, and Alina issued 2.3.1 to fix this. Both 2.3.0 and 2.3.1 functioned very smoothly for me, although I did encounter an issue on Kitely in that the skin and system layer clothes on my avatar would not rez (although her prim hair did) and she remained a white cipher. Other than this, however, Lumiya worked as well with Kitely as it did for SL, and I had a pleasant several minutes simply camming around and taking a look at Fallingwater, something which hasn’t been easily achievable on Lumiya in the past without a lot of walking aroundand looking over my own shoulder :).
Lumiya is doing a lot of work for an app designed to run on a mobile device / tablet. As such, don’t expect performance to match a standard viewer when on a wifi connection. That said, as I’ve commented on my previous Lumiya reviews, this doesn’t mean it is a slouch. While there can be pauses when handling large updates, it still runs more that comfortably on my Galaxy S2, and others have reported it runs at least as well on a number of other modern phones. Rendering is not that slow (avatars can take time to load, and this does admittedly take time in a crowded location), but on a wifi connection, it is still possible to use Lumiya with ease and see people, chat, move around and interact.
When connected to a 3G network (UK O2 network), bandwidth usage was slightly up on previous versions, with 2.3.0 hitting 2.6Mb in five minutes, compared to an average of just on 2 Mb with previous releases. I assume the additional use is down to avatar rendering data – so if you’re using Lumiya on 3G and in a crowded space, you’d best keep more of an eye on bandwidth use.
Having several other avatars in mt draw distance also impacted performance (unsurprisingly – it does on all viewers), so if you are again in a crowded place, you might want to keep DD right down (although a cap on the number of avatars Lumiya will attempt to render might also be a good idea).
Alina’s work on Lumiya never ceases to amaze me, and this release really is quite something. The avatar rendering is phenomenal, and the camera movement options are both intuitive and really do improve the in-world experience. There’s still more work to be done around Outfits Folder use, but that’s hardly likely to cause many issues. I’m not actually sure how widespread the use of (My) Outfits is; there are limitations with the implementation in the official viewer, and it can create a fair amount of inventory bloat. While I do tend to use it for NO COPY outfits from a couple of my favourite designers, friends do tend to respond with a “never bothered with it” when discussing using it.