04-03-2012 06:39 AM
I'm asking all of you for your opinions here.
I've used a variety of viewers in my time using Second Life,
but ever since Mesh has become popular and the viewers have been trying to adapt,
I'm noticing little things that just irk the crap out of me.
Firestorm is what I currently use.
And I love to buy Mesh hair but .. sometimes it shows up, sometimes it actually requires a client restart.
Others, the hair will literally just be floating in the air!
But anyways, (got off topic there lol),
as far as reliability, the ability to view mesh, user-friendly customization and overall attractiveness in appearance,
what is YOUR favorite viewer?
" What Would Gordon Freeman Do? "
04-03-2012 07:00 AM - edited 04-03-2012 10:04 AM
For me, Niran's Viewer is the best. Higher frame rates than other viewers, gorgeous graphics and really flexible graphics options. He uses a series of graphics drop down options to fine tune your viewer as seen in the first image rather than the somewhat crude Low, Mid, High and Ultra sliders which are removed. May be a bit complex for beginners to SL but works great for me. Unfortunately, there is a ATI pink bug fix missing from the latest versions (not the main bug which doesn't affect me, but one affecting some clothing layers) but will be fixed in the next release. Mesh works fine. Doesn't matter what viewer I use, occasionally I have to relog to see mesh.
The latest few LL viewers, which I do use too, force me to disable VBO for some inexplicable reason (causes a drop of over 30 FPS) but no such issues with Niran's.
04-03-2012 07:23 AM
They're all the best. What do you prefer? (^_^)
I ran Niran's for about a month but with a less-than-stellar frame rate and the more recent updates would crash. I'll re-try it this weekend to see if anything has improved. (^_^)
I ran Catznip in the past. Off and on, this has been the highest FPS client I used. (^_^)
I'm currently using LL's client... Which is odd for me. But, my reasoning is simple. At this time, on my computer, the LL release client has the lowest crash rate and highest FPS. (^_^)
That all said, I rarely run a client for more than a week. "Best" is a matter of personal preference and everyone prefers something different. (^_^)y
04-03-2012 07:56 AM - edited 04-03-2012 08:03 AM
Catnip is very well-worth exploring; at first sight, it seems simply to be the Official Viewer with RLVa, but it's got a host of very well-thought-out tweaks -- many of them unique to Catznip -- that make it far more user-friendly and enjoyable. It has, for example, by far the sanest implementation of outfits of any viewer I've seen.
04-03-2012 08:24 AM - edited 04-03-2012 08:26 AM
The best viewer is simply the one running best on your specific hardware and connection type. But much more it depends on how you use it! That's why you hear so many contrary opinions about all the viewers.
That said the best for me right now is Phoenix 1691. Shows mesh quite fine and gives me the Phoenix GUI that I grew so accustomed to. No crashes and ok-ish fps is a given with any Phoenix I ever used.
I was on Firestorm 27000 for about a week or so. Loved it for the tweakable FUI and Phoenix-ish appearance ... BUT I just can't get my head wrapped around the weird logic of the V2/3 communication stuff. Group notices and IMs showing as a small symbol in the upper right hand corner ... what were they thinking? Lately I have to wait for hours for reply by other users who are clearly shown as online. Sometimes I don't receive anything at all. Most of the time they tell me they just missed my message becase they didn't see it. I guess that's a showstopper. Communication is 99% of what we do in SL; everybody knows that but LL.
Most other viewers I tried were either too V2-ish or didn't deliver all the goodies I get from Phoenix and FS. I guess Phoenix is still the most feature rich viewer ever. Features I don't wanna miss anymore.
So my vote goes to the Bird.
04-03-2012 08:38 AM - edited 04-03-2012 08:52 AM
I'm with Nyll on this one; Niran's viewer is the only one I can swear by.
The entire Viewer is geared towards graphical quality and he's always tweaking the UI to occupy the least real estate on the screen as possible. Of course, NV requires a heftier machine to run the way it's meant to, and (as Nyll said above) with all of the UI customizability there's a plethora of settings one needs to go through to get it "just right".
Again, being geared towards graphical-quality for photography and machinima, NV needs a heftier machine to get the most out of it. But that being said, if your GPU and Quad are up to the task, I'd recommend at least giving it a try.
The above is taken with my 'standard' settings, which never change: shadows, DoF, AA, SSAO, UW distortion, full reflections. In a relatively empty sim (like this was at the time) FPS hovers around 22-25. In a safehub with 10-15 avies, FPS drops to around 12-14.
Just a sidenote about Niran...he's fast. The updates are neither few nor far-between, and he's always wringing the bugs out as people report them.
Everyone's needs from a viewer are different, and so I'd suggest you try as many as time will allow, and make your own decision. Just try to remember: it's your SL, no one else's.
04-03-2012 08:43 AM
@ Nyll, I may be too lazy or too dumb to do a proper search (and, I am at the office, moreover lol!) but it doesn't seem Niran is available for Mac OS X. Or is it? And if so, where can I find a download?
04-03-2012 09:14 AM
Dolphin is updated regularly and the developer is quite responsive. It's worth a look.
04-03-2012 10:00 AM
Hi val, I'm not aware of a mac version of Niran's viewer..sorry.
Far as I can recall he doesn't have a Mac so unable to compile it.
04-03-2012 10:17 AM - edited 04-03-2012 10:23 AM
The photos I've viewed from users that use Niran's Viewer are amazing.
Maybe it's just me, and I admit, all I know how to do are run viewers on basic settings
so I can see how well it fares with my CPU, but every time I try to change my preferences on Niran
the entire client just crashes.
Yeah, I'm going to go ahead and assume that's not normal.
Also it is extremely laggy so far. =[ Maybe my CPU just isn't up to the task of running this viewer. -sigh-
Suppose I'll have to keep trying viewers until I find what works for me, FPS-wise and graphics-wise.
" What Would Gordon Freeman Do? "