*sighs* The endless viewer conundrum. They all have their pros and cons, and as just a layman average user I know some features I like/want/need and I know things that annoy me, but that’s about it. I’m not qualified to give any kind of technical review of any of them. I used Phoenix for a long time, then switched to Firestorm to see mesh, and contemplated going back to Phoenix when it got mesh but then I read an excellent blog post over at Living In A Modem World http://modemworld.wordpress.com/2011/12/12/nirans-the-viewer-that-dares-to-be-different/
Anything you want to know about Niran’s viewer, Inara has already done a better job thann I ever could in describing so check out the link above for a proper review.
I’m just going to tell you my average jane first impressions:
1) I logged in and see little buttons on the left, right and *gasp* TOP of the screen. I had read that in the post, but I didn’t realize how much sense this would make until I used it myself. I quickly figured out how to right click on the buttons, chose which ones I wanted, and move them where I liked which ended up being all along the top. Love love being able to customize this.
2) The camera movements are smoooooth. I wish I had more techy words to describe this. I don’t even know why this is the way it is or what makes it different then other viewers but it just is. Camming around feels like being in some sort of flight simulator game or something. I love it.
3) No menus. Everything is under one navigation pane and apparently Niran’s brain works the same way mine does because everything was extremely intuitive to me in terms of where to look for things.
4) Preferences has… TWO graphics tabs. Whoa. OK I’ll admit I’m intimidated, and it’s going to take me a while to figure out what all these graphics settings do, but I’m super excited. Perhaps if people have experience with Kirstens viewer they will find an easier time adapting than I did but I’m learning fairly quickly. One thing I noted is that the “High” setting on Niran’s is equivalent to “Ultra” on the official viewer. That means you get a whole additional level of graphics quality I guess.
The most important and noticeable thing with using Niran’s viewer is… well… how everything looks. These are two unedited snapshots I took in SL today. I didn’t do anything fancy really, just turned on Ultra and snapped the photos. No poses, not setting up the shot, just walking around with my regular AO and snapping shots.
I’m lost for words.
I was able to get 45 FPS on Ultra graphics taking these snapshots at the KittyS Winterland sim I just visited the other day for my snowshoe post. That’s ample performance for me, heck I’d even take a hit on performance to have my SL look like this. Lowering my settings to medium, which is probably all I need for day to day when I’m not doing photos, I’m over 100 FPS which at that point doesn’t even matter any more as I understand it.
I have a feeling you’ll be seeing me taking a lot more photographs as I continue to experiment with this viewer.
Niran’s Blog http://niranv-sl.blogspot.com/