Friday, July 05, 2013

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Add Some Polish to Your SL Pics with Firestorm Viewer's Screen Space Reflections Feature

Janine "Iris Ophelia" Hawkins' ongoing review of gaming and virtual world style

If you're looking for that special something to take your Second Life snapshots up a notch, you may want to look into the Firestorm Viewer, which added an entirely unique rendering feature with their 4.4.0 update. Screen space reflections allow objects that are set at any level of "shininess" in SL to reflect their surroundings, rather than just the world lighting as they have for ages. Glossy glass, polished hardwood, slick ice... There are a lot of possibilities, as well as some limitations.

Now obviously not everyone will be able to use screen space reflections depending on their hardware, but if your computer can handle shadows and depth of field you'll probably also be able to handle SSR.

While screen space reflections may not be the most obvious visual enhancement that's come out for SL in the past couple months, they're finally starting to catch on with photographers and artists looking to experiment with their work. You can check the Firestorm Viewer wiki for more details on this and other features.

(Photo credit: Nylon Pinkney)

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Mixed reality iris 2013Iris Ophelia (@bleatingheart, Janine Hawkins IRL) has been featured in the New York Times and has spoken about SL-based design at the Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan and with pop culture/fashion maven Johanna Blakley.


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val kendal


Adeon Writer

Niran's Viewer had this 3 versions back! :|

Wolf Baginski

Now that is a well-hidden option. There's one or two things on that web page which look badly out of date, such as HTTP Textures.

Archangel Mortenwold

It would be a nice feature if Firestorm actually worked consistently and for most users. Sadly, it doesn't, going by the posts on their blog. The developers made the conscious decision to cease updating their better viewer, Phoenix, in favor of a crashy, buggy mess with a low frame rate, a black screen that won't go away, and a default user interface that is unusable. I predict a lot of people besides myself will be moving to Singularity and Cool VL Viewer full time once Server Side Baking is fully implemented. Singularity has some pretty decent photographic tools built into it and I've gotten some very good images using the settings.

Tonya Souther

Oh, good grief, Archangel. You've been practicing equine sadonecrobestiality for long enough for everyone to get heartily sick of it, and of you. What you see on the blog are the few who actually have problems. We have far, far more who don't.

Phoenix is not a better viewer. It deserves to die. If you don't like it, fine, get the hell out and use one you do like, but that hdead horse has ong since bene pulverized.


Old Niran's viewer indeed has this options long ago, the reason for me to still use it!
And i don't use it only for photos, if one has the hardware, one must really use it as default, with shadows quality set to high level no need to a windlight setting, reg ll day cycle makes all look amazing!
Sadly Niran's new viewer, Black Dragon, has the same terrible graphics of LL materials viewer, that hopeful LL is already sorting out and for sure Niran will tweek those!
And being trying all viewers, still cant find one that makes the graphics look as good as the old Niran's and belive me, i did tried!


LL will soon realize that your team decision, Tonya, will cost us all a lot more then just a simple change of viewers!


@ Arc, speak for yourself. I have used FS forever, and never had any issues with it, far better than Phoenix.

Archangel Mortenwold

Give it up, Souther. You and your clique made the decision to abandon the viewer that worked in favor of something more crashtastic and lower quality than even the default LL viewer, and you've been lying to and insulting your own user base on top of that. If you don't like people telling the truth about you and your viewer, then 1.) start updating Phoenix again, and get help from people who know how to program this time, and 2.) stop lying to and insulting people. It's that or get used to people calling you on your B.S.

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