UKanDo viewer 3.7.6: nips, tucks, tweaks

logoConnor Monaron issued the latest version ( of the UKanDo viewer on Tuesday April 22nd.

The update sees the viewer maintain parity with the Lab’s 3.7.6 code base, and introduces a number of tweaks and updates, as defined in the release notes.

Most notable among the latter are some further updates to the Preferences floater, a revised camera floater, and the import of some capabilities from other TPVs, notably Firestorm.

Preferences Updates

There are a number of updates to the UKanDo Preferences tabs with this release, including:

  • General > Avatar tab: check boxes for avatar turning added / re-introduced
  • Graphics > Hardware: now has a drop-down with options for Anisotropic Filtering
  • Move & View tab: camera mouse sensitivity slider added (slider to the left = slower, more controlled camera movement; slider to the right = faster camera movement); also numeric values added to sensitivity sliders (Mouselook and Camera)
  • Advanced tab: the check boxes (Allow Multiple Viewers, etc.) are now arranged in two columns
Avatar turning options in Preferences > Move and View, UKanDo 3.7.6
Avatar turning options in Preferences > Move and View, UKanDo 3.7.6

Firestorm Pose Stand

UKanDo 3.7.6 adds the Firestorm pose stand by Cinder Roxley with updates from Ansariel Hiller. This can be found on the UKanDo menu. This enables you to fit and adjust attachments, etc., wherever you are. The option does not require a physical pose stand to be rezzed – so it  can be used anywhere, regardless as to whether object entry / rezzing is disabled.

UKanDo 3.7.6 gains the built-in pose stand developed for Firestorm
UKanDo 3.7.6 gains the built-in pose stand developed for Firestorm

The pose stand animations will override those in your AO – unless your AO animations are very high priority. So if you find that you are not being posed when the Pose Stand window is open, then turn off your AO.

Firestorm produced a brief tutorial video when they originally released the pose stand. Note that the UKanDo implementation has a warning to remind users to disable their AO when activating the pose lock feature.

Other Items

As well as the above updates, UKanDo 3.7.6 includes:

  • camera
    The revised UKanDo Camera floater

    A smaller camera floater with button fixes (which could perhaps benefit for a drag-to-resize option)

  • Ability to prevent your avatar from automatically turning to face a selected object (from Firestorm / Ansariel Hiller)
  • Optional Viewer 1.x behaviour so your avatar turns to the camera direction after hitting ESC (see FIRE-6357 / Zi Ree)
  • Hide my group title option (via Kokua / Firestorm).

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Lab helps promote MOOC course for Spanish Educators

Following the recent Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education Conference (April 9th-12th, 2014), Linden Lab has moved to help promote an upcoming Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) designed to help Spanish-speaking educators in the use of Second Life as a starting point in their interaction with emerging and innovative environments that can be used for education.

Professor Max Ugaz, UMSP
Professor Max Ugaz, USMP

The course has been developed by the Universidad de San Martín de Porres (USMP), located in Santa Anita, Lima, Perú, by the university’s Project Director of Virtual Worlds, Professor Max Ugaz.

Commencing on Monday, May 19th, the course will comprise three week-long modules with a total of 15 lessons and an average workload of around 5 or 6 hours per week.

The course details and registration form are available the university’s website, which includes an introductory video for the course (in Spanish).

The course will take place at one of the USMP’s teaching areas in Second Life.

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Black Dragon viewer with added “Godrays”

Blackdragon logoNiranV Dean released Black Dragon (or, if you go via Help > About Black Dragon / the log-in splash screen) on Tuesday April 22nd.  The release marks Black Dragon’s completion of the third-party viewer self-certification process and inclusion in the Third-party Viewer Directory.

The release brings Black Dragon up to parity with the Lab’s 3.7.? code base (I assume 3.7.6, but this is not made clear in the release notes), and includes a number of updates listed as:

  • Added: ‘Godray’ effect, without switch yet
  • Added: Machinima Background texture
  • Changed: Disabled Show Title info in Sound tab
  • Changed: Updated to Tofu’s latest BlurLight shader. Doesn’t use newly added RenderShadowGaussian…
  • Changed: Allow minimum Sun Size down to 0.01.

Of these, the “Godray” addition is perhaps the most interesting, adding as it does rays of sunlight to the sky which, under certain lighting conditions appear to be very effective. The option is still a work-in-progress, and so there is currently no toggle / switch in the UI for enabling / disabling it (it is off by default) – expect one to be added in due course as the work is finished-off.

Tofu Blizzard's "Godray" effect in Black Draon (via the Black Dragon release notes)
Tofu Blizzard’s “Godray” effect in Black Dragon (via the Black Dragon release notes)

However, for those comfortable with editing shader files, Niran has provided notes on how to enable the function via a thread on SL Universe. I confess, the instructions didn’t work for me – which is probably more down to operator error than anything – but the images supplied by Niran look pretty impressive, as does a video he’s produced of the capability, which comes from the mind of Tofu Buzzard.

Niran is currently working on a UI refresh designed to offer a minimalist approach to displayed information while retaining ease-of-use and maximising the in-world viewing area. No time frame for this appearing in a release is available at present, but once it does appear, I’ll hopefully be able to provide a more detailed review, together with a better look at the “Godray” functionality. For now, and in the case of the latter, I’ll leave you with Niran’s video.

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