NiranV Dean released Black Dragon 188.8.131.52 (or 184.108.40.206492, 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.
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.