The blog post says it all – “old school” – a simple message with a lot of meaning. Kirstenlee Cinquetti has been twiddling under the hood with the S19 (v1-style) version of Kirsten’s Viewer with the result that an updated version – code-named “Blackbird” (version S19.404 at the time of writing) was released via Google Code on Wednesday 24th April.
This is the second time there has been a surprise update to one of Kirstenlee’s viewers – in September 2012 a couple of updates were made to the v2-style S22 viewer. As with those updates, the new release of S19 does not mean that Kirstenlee is returning to the field of viewer development per se. Nor is this a complete update – although it does incorporate a lot of v3 code and is Server-side Baking ready. As it stands, the release – as with the S22 releases in September 2012 – is offered “as is” and without support – and there is no time scale or firm commitment where further updates are concerned.
As readers, know, I’m not a fan of the v1-style interface, but I admit there is something pleasing about loading and running this release – quiet possibly because it is one of Kirstenlee’s builds, which, despite the odd hiccup between the viewer and my hardware, I’ve always felt pretty much at home with. Perhaps it’s the green :).
Some of the New Bits
I’m not proposing an in-depth review, but here are some of the main features in the update.
Server-side Baking / Appearance: as mentioned above, this update is “server-side baking / appearance ready – it will render avatars correctly on SSB/A-enabled regions and avatars using the viewer will render correctly to others. However, the new “hover” mode partial z-offset “fix” is not included in the Edit Appearance floater.
Mesh Uploads: Nicky Dasmijn’s mesh uploader is included in this release of S19, again bringing it into line with other viewers and the age of mesh.
Anaglyph [3D] rendering: Kirsten first introduced 3D rendering in the S22 viewer. While still very experimental, with all the interest in Oculus Rift, its inclusion in S19 with this release is perhaps a little pertinent and timely as a means of generating a 3D view in a viewer.
Restrained Love: RLV comes to Kirsten’s viewer with a dedicated preferences panel which includes the ability to set a “profile” against your RLV use – one of “BDSM Persona-Player”, “BDSM Role-player” and “Non-BDSM”. These define how many (and which) RLV controls can be blacklisted (i.e. prevented from operating), so that, for an example, someone using the “Non-BDSM” option can make use of options such as automatic chat redirection, shared folders for changing outfits and “forced” teleports which necessarily having to also have the more restrictive RLV options active.
Pathfinding: Kirsten’s Viewer S19 also gains options to display pathfinding information on linksets and characters. These options are on the Tools menu. As S19 supports OpenSim, there is no navmesh visualisation as there is no Havok sub-licence agreement.
Overall, this is a sudden and interesting update to Kirsten’s original v1-style viewer, incorporating a lot of v3 code which more than makes it capable of running on today’s grid. On the whole I found it to be stable, and with performance levels I’ve tended to get from Klee’s builds (somewhat lower than with other builds for reasons I’ve never fully fathomed). I did encounter an odd issue – while I could run the viewer in deferred mode, when I enabled shadows, my in-world view turned black, and refused to come out of its sulk until I disabled shadows once more. Whether this was due to a problem with the viewer, or simply another of the hiccups which seem to occur between my hardware an Klee’s viewer builds at times, I couldn’t say.
There are a few bits missing from the update as well – no Depth of Field for photographers, for example, (although Dawny Daviau, Kirstenlee’s partner, tells me this might be coming). So don’t expect it to be fully up to S22 / v3 standards in terms of options, etc.
Again, this release is not a return of Kirsten’s viewer per se, although there is an open invitation for those who like the viewer or the v1-approach to give it a go. Just remember, support isn’t given – and it may be a while before a further update arrives.
In the meantime, some more 3D, this time courtesy of a video demonstration from Chantal Harvey, filmed back when the capability first appeared in Kirsten’s Viewer.
With thanks to Dawny Daviau.