For this week’s Hidden Gems of Second Life, we will take a look at the cool sim of Requiem. I was told about Requiem from a good friend of mine, who goes here for 7Seas fishing. The sim is big on 7Seas fishing and holds a daily event at 2:05 pm slt every day. Requiem has not one, but FIVE ares to fish in, which you can find from their helpful teleporting signs as soon as you land.
If you are a creator or builder in Second Life, then you will love the FULL PERM Mesh, Sculptie, and Texture Fair, which is currently running in the Old Europe Sim.
A couple of months ago we reported a rumor that stated that the Phoenix Viewer would have mesh. They explained that Phoenix could not have mesh because of the codes that were used to make Mesh available in viewer 1.5. According to the Phoenix Blog, that is now made possible. The Phoenix Crew gave thanks to the creator of Cool VL Henri Beauchamp, who shared the information of how to get Mesh working in viewer 1.5 (Cool VL was one of the first viewer 1 that became compatible with mesh, when it was said that viewer would not function with the new mesh upgrade.) According to the Phoenix Blog:
Firstly I want to make it clear that the only reason the phoenix viewer has mesh now is because of the tireless and determined efforts of Henri Beauchamp of the Cool VL Viewer. I would encourage those of you who appreciate these efforts to thank him personally. Credits and Kudos! Thank you Henri!
- Phoenix Blog
It also states that the RLVa function of Phoenix will not be updated, according to the Phoenix Blog:
RLVa has not been updated in this Phoenix viewer release. This was my decision, not that of Kitty Barnett. Although I said some time back we would update RLVa in Phoenix it became obvious that the work/time commitment involved in doing so was simply not reasonable or responsible. Kitty is a very valuable asset to this team and I refuse to take her away from the ground breaking work she does in Firestorm and v2/v3 to put a large time commitment into a dying viewer code base. She is worth far more than that. If you want updated RLVa I would suggest using the Firestorm Viewer or Kitty’s own Viewer Catznip. I offer you my sincerest apologies for going back on my word in regards to RLVa update in Phoenix, however I believe it was the right decision.
- The Phoenix Blog
It seems you can’t keep a good viewer down as new third-party viewers have popped up with updated mesh support. Astra, Catznip, and Niran have joined the family this September, providing an alternative to SecondLife’s Default viewer.
Catznip, created by Trinity Dejavu and Kitty Barnett is an a user-friendly third-party viewer which is based on the original V2. According to Catznip’s blog Catznip 2.6 & 2.8 were released on September 20, 2011. Catznip seems like the Imprudence of V2, keeping things simple and does not over complicate the user experience. The Torch SL Guide recommends this viewer to first time Second Life users.
Niran’s Viewer is a German Based Viewer and is a Kristens Viewer modification. After discontinuation of the Kristen viewer, Niran developer NiranV Dean started on Niran’s blog :
YES! , it’s not yet dead i want to continue it , im having fun merging bugfixes and features atm , building my own Viewer and using it =3 *proud is*– NirvanV Dean
According to Jessica Lyon, one the developer of Second Life third party viewer Phoenix/Firestorm, announced that their Phoenix Viewer might have Mesh support. Thou Viewer1-based viewers is supposed to be unable to hold mesh support, recent development with the Cool VL viewer, developed by Henri Beauchamp who is an avid fan of Viewer1, the technology for mesh in Viewer1 is now a real possibility.
There are a few things to concider thou. Phoenix is still a has-been project, and the development team is still directing their focus on Firestorm and will therefore not have support for Phoenix in the future. This is because Viewer1-based viewers are already on life support and the work with retrofitting the V1-based viewers is way much more than it would take to build new viewers based on V2 and V3. What took 9 months to do on V1 took only 2 weeks to do on Firestorm.
Another issue is that mesh requires SSE2, a protocol not supported by older computers, so a final Phoenix Viewer without mesh will also be released until you with older computers can upgrade. By then you should also have a computer good enough for Firestorm and Viewer2/3.
We have talked a lot about what mesh is, but not how you can experience it. Therefore I’ve taken the liberty of compiling this list of mesh-able viewers for you, just click the name for a link to the download page.
Viewer3 The standard SL viewer from Linden Labs. Great for newcomers, but it isn’t as customizable as the other viewers and it can be a bit unstable at times. At the moment one of the only viewers that can upload mesh.
Firestorm 3.x The next step in the evolution of the Phoenix Viewer. Powerful, but still in the beta stage, so it isn’t as stable as other viewers. Constantly updated and very customizable.
Kirstens Made for snapshots, machinima and other graphically heavy projects, this viewer was one of the first third party viewers to support mesh. This version is the final version thou, as the developer have discontinued the project, but it can upload mesh, so it might be a good alternative to V3.
Dolphin Viewer 3 The most stable viewer that supports mesh so far, and it have great customizability too.
Cool VL Proud to be ahead of LL on many bugfixes, Cool VL attempts to go beyond the standard viewers.
Stay tuned for the updated list as more viewers gets support for mesh.
First I’d like to say Mesh isn’t the easiest thing to put on or model. This is my first mesh freebie shoot, it was very unpleasant. Anywho Mesh is upon SecondLife and is only limited to the Viewers that have Mesh(Firestorm Viewer 3, Kristens Viewer and Default Viewer 3). It’s nice to know that there is cheap and afford mesh outfits that are out there for newcomers to experience without having to break their piggy banks.
The pros of Mesh, there is something new to wear, the clothes look stylish and the cons on Mesh, there is so many, I think but its really up to you what you think?
When I heard that there was a new what I like to call Vanilla Viewer – the benchmark where all other tastes derive from – I knew I needed to check it out. Check out Morphman’s post on the blog as this is supposed to be a major release.
Viewer 2 got a lot of slack and negative comments by a lot of die-hard viewer 1.x fans as it was a major move away from classic looks: new interface, engine coding and feel. What Linden Labs forgot then was that people don’t like too much change. I guess they listened to the complaints as Viewer 3 has a v2 look and feel… or is it just a rename of the year old bottle of wine?
The login screen did change a bit: you get a website overview that in my opinion could have been more integrated into the viewer: the colors are more “website” than “viewer” based. I have a feeling this has been rushed and not looked over by a graphic designer, as the image on the top is pasted against the top bar, rounded at the bottom means for me it’s missing a bit on the top… But that’s pure esthetic!
What is interesting to me is to see the “What’s Hot Now” screen, you get an overview of the busiest sims of that moment, although I’d have to investigate if those are real-time stats (I doubt it) or some timescale is being used (more logical and server economic I think). The “Destinations” is what it is: destinations filtered by their category. If you want to feature in this I guess you have to take time to put them in the “Events” diary. Finally something that might make this feature a bit more appealing to use, as it might bring in new people to your events.
The more interesting thing is what happens when you look at the bottom: no change whatsoever! You still get a choice between “Basic” and “Advanced” mode – I’ll be skipping the former as in my opinion it takes too much away from the SL experience and thus being pointless (don’t get me wrong, it’s a great way to ease new players into the SL experience, but most will skip it within a day or two I think :)
Checking out the viewer
Of course this release gets a new number as it incorporates mesh into SL. But what is more interesting to me is if the minor “problems” have been solved… So mesh for me isn’t all that important – yes I am excited about it for other reasons, mainly to see what builders are going to do with this new toy!
Not a lot has changed at first look: the much hated – but in my opinion very useful – sidebar is still there. You get the “Linden home screen” with the same basics that were shown in V2, so i’m going to skip that. I do recommend as a new user to go over them, there is some useful stuff in there!
The profile screen got revamped when you click the “profile” button, more in touch with the website version of your profile. This was not unexpected as LL announced a more web-inclusive interface. The other tabs haven’t changed at all on a first glance. The favourites bar is still there – one of the features that I really liked about V2 from the start!
What I suspected: V3 is just V2 with mesh code incorporated into it. Not a bad idea to rename this, as it is a major difference in user experience inworld, but not per sé viewer-wise.
What is really getting on my nerves is that 3rd party viewers are able to render things right, but V3 still has a problem rendering textures right for me when I switch to “ultra” graphics settings… I can only compare to Firestorm at the moment, but there I can run SL smoothly with everything bumped up to maximum, V2 and V3 just aren’t up to the challenge! Frame rates drop, making my experience less than optimal… Why is it that a brand new high-grade computer still isn’t able to use Ultra graphics settings, Linden Labs? Why still include this!
The other thing that still get on my nerves is “depth of field”: granted, a useful tool when you’re taking pictures in Second Life, but why hasn’t this option been moved to the “snapshot” function? Depth of field isn’t that useful on a day-to-day basis.
Yes, I agree these are minor things, but annoyances non the less…
• No major changes – except of course for including mesh
• Various tweaks, like the web-integration that has been refined.
• Messed up Ultra – at least for me
• Minor gripes solved in 3rd party viewers still present in Vanilla…
Viewer 3 is a logical rename of the previous viewer, giving users access to the long coming promise of mesh inclusion. I’m sure in time coming this will become apparent to all users, as mesh will steadily be introduced to the grid. Don’t worry, it will live perfectly next to prims and sculpties as we know them, so you don’t have to start buying new stuff immediately!
Hopefully my minor problems with V3 will be solved in the (near?) future, although these are my gripes and as with everything: you can’t please’m all!
But what is different? you ask.
I can’t see anything different! you say.
Well, it is still, basically, Viewer 2, but with one major change: MESH!
Mesh is a new feature that has been in the testing for about a year or so that allows designers to use a 3D designing software, such as 3DS or Wings3D, to create a model, much like a sculpted prim, but without the restrictions that sculpted prims have. It is still under development, so expect rapid changes, but some can actually make meshes and upload them right as we speak.
What you need to upload meshes are a SL account with payment info and you need to take a test, showing that you know about the copyright laws. This is to protect LL and the possible creators because meshes, unlike most things you can upload, is so easy to just steal from others. You can basically just download a model from a game and upload it as it is, but if you do, you are violating the copyright laws. If LL don’t know who you are, they will be held accountable, so that’s why you need the payment info on file.
Meshes are very different from the rest of the graphical elements in SL, therefore the old viewers can’t see it. That’s why Viewer 3 was released along with the mesh. Due to ownership outside LL of some graphical elements, they can’t release the source code to the third party viewer creators, that’s why all other viewers will take some time to update. It is said that Firestorm will be able to view meshes within a week and users of Firestorm will be able to upload meshes within a month, thou this is still in the rumor state.
As of now, Imprudence is the only viewer that is based on Viewer 1 that will be able to view meshes, but they are about a year away from getting there.
I noticed today that a new version of the Phoenix viewer has been released, until recently Phoenix was my viewer of choice but because of impending changes by Linden Labs which will render the performance of V1 viewers such as Phoenix less than acceptable, I personally changed in preparation for the next chapter in SL graphics.
I thought rather than try and explain what this change entails, I would leave it too the Project Manager of the Phoenix team who says it best here as part of her August 2 introduction to the latest version. There are also links to a number of pages that show you how the older viewers will not be able to display MESH objects correctly.
Hopefully her introduction will help clear up any misconceptions you have or at the very least, alert you to the impending changes. The latest version of the Linden Lab viewer will be able to cope with MESH objects but for those who choose to use 3rd party viewers (as I do for increased functionality and improved interface etc) we will need to ensure our choice moving forward is MESH capable.