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What viewer do most people use? And why does everyone's viewer show different shades of colors on avatars?


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Last I heard was that Firestorm was the most used viewer but nowdays it seems like more and more are switching and using Black Dragon, especially among the furry community. Which is better and more used currently? After much debate of this I been thinking of switching to BD but am unsure.

And I can't figure out why but a friend and I use Firestorm and both viewers have the exact same settings, and our avatars are different shades of colors on both screens but doesn't seem like its just us seeing this but multiple others. My avatar seems flawless on my screen but on my friends you can clearly see the lines that connect your arms to hands and feet to legs, in which arms and feet seem slightly brighter than my body, and others say different things. Is there a surefire way that everyone seems them perfectly on all screens/viewers? (unsure if this would fit under body or viewer category.)

Edited by CloudRedHeart
typo fix
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  • CloudRedHeart changed the title to What viewer do most people use? And why does everyone's viewer show different shades of colors on avatars?
23 minutes ago, CloudRedHeart said:

My avatar seems flawless on my screen but on my friends you can clearly see the lines that connect your arms to hands and feet to legs, in which arms and feet seem slightly brighter than my body, and others say different things. Is there a surefire way that everyone seems them perfectly on all screens/viewers? (unsure if this would fit under body or viewer category.)

Even with the same viewer (some viewers have slightly different shaders, such as BD, or right out different renderer such as the Windlight one instead of the Extended Environment one), and the exact same settings, you will get slightly different results on different computers, depending on their respective graphics card brand, and sometimes even the driver (proprietary or Open Source, for example).

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I help make the Catznip Viewer with @Kitty Barnett and we use that.

 

There shouldn't be big differences between the rendered output on screen, all viewers (without exception) use the same render pipeline as shipped in the stock viewer. We all tinker a bit, but not in anyway that should make a dramatic difference without explicitly enabling an option other viewers lack (eg in BD).

The differences the OP describes (assuming they are correct about 100% matched settings) sounds like the OP's avatar is rendering at a higher LOD for them then their friends .. which is how all viewers try to work. Your own avatar is rendered at maximum detail, others see your avatar based on their settings, size of the avatar on screen, etc etc.

There is no way to force other people to see you avatar a certain way.

It might be time to investigate if what brands of body everyone around is wearing and consider switching if your the odd one out.

This free HUD will unintrusively help with that - https://marketplace.secondlife.com/p/MB-What-is-She-Wearing/9129140

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Over the years I have tried just about all the major 3rd party viewers, but Kokua is the one that I like the best, and the one I have used for the longest period of time.

I use the Kokua viewer because it has the default SL viewer style splash screen which I really like, is updated after each LL default viewer update, and has the 2 things from 3rd party viewers which I wish were in the default SL viewer (property line display in the mini-map and the larger texture memory size).   

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Black Dragon has additional graphics settings such as color correction profiles, but that shouldn't make avatar seams "clearly visible."

Are you @CloudRedHeart absolutely sure your viewers aren't using different environmental lighting (time of day, etc.)?

The best thing for this discussion would be a screenshot from both viewers. Usually the problem becomes obvious.

Edited by Wulfie Reanimator
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4 hours ago, Wulfie Reanimator said:

Black Dragon has additional graphics settings such as color correction profiles, but that shouldn't make avatar seams "clearly visible."

Are you @CloudRedHeart absolutely sure your viewers aren't using different environmental lighting (time of day, etc.)?

The best thing for this discussion would be a screenshot from both viewers. Usually the problem becomes obvious.

Yeah, we had the same viewer settings and everything dealing with SL, yet their screen they still see my hands and feet as brighter than my body itself at a different shade than I see on my screen, while a 3rd friend seems them darker but can't see the lines that kind of 'show' where the feet connect to the legs and such. Possibly is just different PC parts/performance and whatnot like @Henri Beauchampdescribed?

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3 minutes ago, CloudRedHeart said:

Yeah, we had the same viewer settings and everything dealing with SL, yet their screen they still see my hands and feet as brighter than my body itself at a different shade than I see on my screen, while a 3rd friend seems them darker but can't see the lines that kind of 'show' where the feet connect to the legs and such. Possibly is just different PC parts/performance and whatnot like @Henri Beauchampdescribed?

There's a chance Henri is correct, but unless we can visually compare the two, it could be a million different things.

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On 3/29/2022 at 7:40 PM, CloudRedHeart said:

Last I heard was that Firestorm was the most used viewer but nowdays it seems like more and more are switching and using Black Dragon, especially among the furry community. Which is better and more used currently? After much debate of this I been thinking of switching to BD but am unsure.

And I can't figure out why but a friend and I use Firestorm and both viewers have the exact same settings, and our avatars are different shades of colors on both screens but doesn't seem like its just us seeing this but multiple others. My avatar seems flawless on my screen but on my friends you can clearly see the lines that connect your arms to hands and feet to legs, in which arms and feet seem slightly brighter than my body, and others say different things. Is there a surefire way that everyone seems them perfectly on all screens/viewers? (unsure if this would fit under body or viewer category.)

I'm not sure about the Furry community thing but given that the Viewer is developed by a Furry i'd say it kinda sounds logical i guess? People who are/think alike are often drawn together, using a Viewer made by someone who has similar hobbies increases the chances that this person understands you better than someone else might. I suppose you could describe it as "feeling more home-y". Apart from that its not even that rare or unique, given that several Viewers have Furry developers (Singularity, Alchemy, Black Dragon, Firestorm and even the official Viewer (((yes there are/were furry lindens too)))).

But i'm pretty confident that Firestorm is still the most used Viewer by a wide margin and i doubt that's going to change anytime soon. Firestorm had the fortunate luck to be a successor (actually a chain of successors) to wildly popular Viewers which gave the Viewer a massive head start and put it in everyone's mouth so to speak... just like i had the fortunate luck to have my Viewer essentially become the successor to the niche Kirstens Viewer which was known for photography, also photography is still a niche activity (although with all other activities in SL grinding more and more to an halt over the years, it has become more and more popular) and not something most want to (or can) focus on.

I'm sure if Firestorm were to make a photography/visual focused Viewer it would be immediately a big hit, if they were to put their heads to it, similarly i could start turning my Viewer into a Firestorm-esque jack-of-all-trades Viewer to appeal a broader audience at the cost of my sanity (or whats left of it) and with some time and "advertisement" i could probably get close to Firestorm's userbase at some point. Neither of us however is interested in doing so and it also is kind of ... well a bit of a dick move and something of an "unwritten rule"? silent agreement? that we don't do that and leave other Viewers to their stuff. I mean common, do we really want to have one single Viewer for everyone to use? Nah. But on a serious note, if you were to pool all developers into a single kitchen and have them cook up the ultimate one-for-everyone Viewer it would probably end... very very badly. What happens if you take several developer groups with different interests, different goals, different focuses, different skill levels and different ideas of how and what the Viewer should do and put them all together? Armageddon.

 

When it comes to the colors, different Viewers do have the same renderer but may change or alter how certain things look. Both BD and Alchemy will look different than the official Viewer, not necessarily because colors themselves are touched but other features can impact how the final image is ultimately displayed (tone mapping is one such example, using different precisions for certain buffers might also change how things look, see high precision specularity in BD). Apart from what Wulfie and Henri already said, your monitor can drastically alter how even the exact same image is displayed differently and that is not yet accounting for the fact that each and every person perceives colors differently. Adding on top of what Coffee said, it might not just be LOD (for the mesh/object) but also for the textures. Your own textures are always shown in their maximum quality whereas they may not use the full resolution for others, your own textures can also look better for you than they do for others (not exactly sure what it is but it seems like most of the time other people see it more compressed)

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5 hours ago, Coffee Pancake said:

Firestorm is to viewers what Starbucks is to Coffee.

Broadly consumed and recognizable, heart breaking and confusing to people who like actual coffee.

Its funny how every time im nice to FS someone else is less so. 

Well i never said its the finest of things, that is what happens if you spread your focus.

Edited by NiranV Dean
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one of the main reasons i am on Firestorm for years is the "old" chat and pop up windows behaviour. ( and of course derendering and a few more anti social things :)  )
I never looked at others anymore since that started to change in the official viewers..
is that still a thing?...

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9 hours ago, Alwin Alcott said:

one of the main reasons i am on Firestorm for years is the "old" chat and pop up windows behaviour. ( and of course derendering and a few more anti social things :)  )
I never looked at others anymore since that started to change in the official viewers..
is that still a thing?...

Is what exactly a thing? The console-style chat? No.

Chat has been long replaced with a proper window-based chat system that allows you to close down messages and properly splits between nearby, IM and group chats. I have never understood the appeal of the old console-style chat, it is in almost every way inferior (except in size and technical terms).

Speaking of the technical aspect, the only reason i see why you would prefer the console style chat (from a technical side) is because it is faster (or should be at the very least) since its just straight up text with a background, no fancy window and widget creation shenanigans but that's highly negligible considering that it almost pretty much no perceived impact, is just one of million things that slow down SL and trades the ability to close down messages (or open the conversation if you click the message itself). It would probably be better if they offered a couple more options like chat width so you can fill your entire screen like so many people seem to like or possibly some visual customization (like you can switch between different fonts and header styles) but that's rather miniscule QoL. I'm personally more pissed that they got rid of the V2 separated chat windows and instead made this abomination of V1/2 tabbed IM chat called CHUI. It is by far the worst chat system i've seen in any application that has online and chatting capabilities and i've seen many.

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Dzonatas Sol did this, about 12 years ago ... IceSphere

3 hours ago, Jackson Redstar said:

Maybe BD can break the mold again and give us floaters that can be moved onto a second monitor...?

 

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On 4/1/2022 at 8:22 PM, Coffee Pancake said:

What am I missing ? (ignore the font, that's my personal preference)

CtTEyDZ.png

Sub-folders.

An Outfit folder called Dresses, and in that folder 20 folders of specific dress outfits. Outfits inside outfits in that pane/view. Firestorm lets me do that in their Inventory view of Outfits. I want that replicated in the Outfits pane, not just a list of all my outfits.

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2 hours ago, Katherine Heartsong said:

Sub-folders.

An Outfit folder called Dresses, and in that folder 20 folders of specific dress outfits. Outfits inside outfits in that pane/view. Firestorm lets me do that in their Inventory view of Outfits. I want that replicated in the Outfits pane, not just a list of all my outfits.

Sounds like the sort of thing where the Viewer's hardcoding will break its own neck or worse your inventory gets corrupted, given that this implies you can't create normal folders (thus sub folders) in the outfit folder i'd expect the Viewer to burst into flames when you open the outfit window and it tries to make sense of a folder with several subfolders inside your outfit folders. Allowing creating folders inside any folder is quite easy actually but there is probably a reason LL prevents you from doing so after all the Inventory has to have a certain... layout. And with how Outfits is based around accordion tabs that fold i'm unsure how you'd even realize a sub-sub... folder structure... accordions inside accordions? (that was horrible) Fold out folders like in the inventory? 

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9 hours ago, Katherine Heartsong said:

Sub-folders.

An Outfit folder called Dresses, and in that folder 20 folders of specific dress outfits. Outfits inside outfits in that pane/view. Firestorm lets me do that in their Inventory view of Outfits. I want that replicated in the Outfits pane, not just a list of all my outfits.

Like this?

vI18z5v.png

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On 4/4/2022 at 1:51 AM, Coffee Pancake said:

Like this?

vI18z5v.png

I'd assume that she's talking about the original outfit window, not an inventory based one. Essentially what you did there is an inventory view that filters by the system folder "Oufits", at that point you could as well just use the inventory to begin with and when using the inventory... you can just make folders and sub folders... i fail to see what the actual "improvement" is other than having a tab that is forced into the outfits system folder at all times, you could do that in the inventory window itself and at that point... what is even the point of the outfit window... what even was the point of it to begin with other than slight QoL?

Edited by NiranV Dean
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