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Friday, August 30, 2019


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Until its available for Mac I cannot use it. boooo. I do like what I have seen from others though

Igor Romanov

I can't say it looks any different than what I see in Alchemy. It all comes down to a decent graphics card and running the viewer on Ultra.


It needs a lot of work outside of the graphics side of things.

Wagner James Au

That's... kinda exactly what the Patreon is for.

Blaise Glendevon

Niran is so resistant to any suggestions about how to make the interface more user friendly that it's an exercise in frustration to use Black Dragon for anything more than picture taking. It's excellent for that, if you set up every element of your shot beforehand in Firestorm.


Ok so my comment was deleted, it's nice to know free speech exists here, if you say the right things, I won't be following this blog any more after this obvious advertisement and being censored.


So as being newer to SL like 6 months I personally started with using Firestorm. What can I expect to be different with using Black Dragon compared to Firestorm? Also based on the photos that I seen on the Flickr page for Black Dragon , I can say the photos look great but I am also running a GTX 1080ti so they are expected to look great and with firestorm I have amazing views of mostly everything in game with graphics turned to ULTRA. What can I expect different with using Black Dragon ?

weekend ruiner

StLoUie - Black Dragon takes a wee while to get accustomed to if you're used to using other viewers.
What to expect ? Volumetric Lighting aka "god rays", Screen Space Reflections which will give faux reflections of surroundings on any surface that has the suitable settings, better rendering - it just looks better, teleporting is a lot of fun visually.
Th interface is odd at first, not totally intuitive but you can get to grips fairly quickly. Likewise the options in graphic settings give you some idea what you can expect to see.

Just don't expect it to be like Firestorm / Linden viewers. Whilst they all have their uses ( I predominantly use Firestorm for day to day run of the mill things ) , Black Dragon blows them out the water when it comes to SL photography. You don't need a high end gaming machine to run it either - an old laptop can get amazing results although if anyone wants to buy me a gaming machine, get in touch... (if only)


To add to weekend ruiner's graphics settings note, here's a screenshot of all the various graphic settings. Screenshot is vertically long so be sure to zoom in.



Only thing good about Black Dragon is the graphics. Everything else need some work. Its too hard to navigate around on it. Use firestorm set up and Black dragon graphics and u have the perfect viewer tbh.

Nawty Ali

damn that girl on her knees !!

Charles Madewell

It lags on a 2 in 1





Caroline Resident

@Stuart: Mimimi

The blog owner decides what content is appropriate or not. It's called house right.



Always interesting to see complaints about Black Dragon's controls since it's one of the only viewers to use a more globally standardized scheme that most every other game is more in line with. Kinda the main reason I use it.

The Giving Tree

Blaise Glendevon- I do exactly the same thing. I set up all components in Firestorm to the point of where the only thing I need to do in Black Dragon is click my pose, fine tune the graphics settings, use the camera controls, and pray that I don't have to reposition my avatar and get caught up in that vortex.

I accept Black Dragon for what it is. I very much admire Niran for his talents. I don't complain. I accept that I am stupid and wrong for wanting some functions to be consistent with my comfort zone. I accept that I used to be in love with the old Nirans Viewer and, in the end, it wasn't in love with me:(. I accept that it needed to grow and I was holding it back. Whatever.

I might pay a subscription, because that's for the old stumps and that's what I am. Black Dragon was a loss and it kinda hurt. I can't be involved.



I'm sorry but it won't ever be available for Mac unless someone does it for me.

@Igor Romanov

I highly doubt that Alchemy looks like that. Infact i know Drake and from what i heard none of the graphical changes he did so far have been in an official release meaning Alchemy still looks like the plain old LL Viewer.

But then again most of the pictures aren't particulary telling to what makes Black Dragon great. Which is the reason i usually stay with my own pictures because i know i don't edit them (at all) and i try to use as many unique features as possible (and often not only just subtle but actually visible) to truly show what Black Dragon can do. I agreed with Wagner however that he should show other people's images (specifically human ones) so people don't get the impression that the Viewer is for furries only or only makes furries look good. While it can make everything look it certainly does make furries look much better in comparison to humans which see much less improvement as they usually use less of the unique features of Black Dragon, they would require a whole lighting change to look fundamentally different.

I'm not saying that these human pictures are not good but sadly i often don't see much difference in them myself compared to other pictures taken with Firestorm because again they often don't make much use of all the fancy new graphical features which leaves them with only the subtle improvements in SSAO, Shadows, Depth of Field which don't stick out as obvious as say Screen Space Reflections or Volumetric Lighting, the first of which is more often used on furry avatars (dragons, lizards, kobolds or anything with scales profit a lot from this).

I've always planned to make a comparison compendium at some point showing ALL the actual differences between other Viewers and Black Dragon but since things are constantly changing and stuff is getting tweaked all the time, i've held off on doing so, not to mention that doing actual real 1:1 comparison shots is extremely hard, it would require me to add in an option that sets the Viewer back into the original LL Viewer state to have an easy on/off comparison between them. It's something for... someday, until then people simply have to trust me when i say that almost everything has been touched and improved wherever i could improve something.


What would that work be? 7 years of work into the Viewer, most of which went into the UI, not the graphics, the graphics are one of the smallest parts of my work.

@Blaise Glendevon

I'm not resistant to suggestions i just basically don't get any and those few i get are rarely ever good.

Typical suggestions are: "The UI is shit." and "Everything is so different." and of course the worst "Make it look like Firestorm."

None of these are suggestions and none of these tell me anything at all. None except Firestorm, that one does tell me something but not much. I know how Firestorm looks like and i absolutely despise it because its a broken, half-assed, uncreative, patched-together UI that looks worse than the Official UI. Firestorm offers no consistency, no UI rules, no straight design (no design at all), the skins are all lifeless recolors and variations from each other. Yes they have lots of UI and stuff needs to get done in a timely manner but the quality takes a huge hit. It took me something like 5 years or so to just come up with a skin that offers a clean look and can be used everywhere, it took me 7 years counting to find a UI layout that i'm somewhat happy with, one that offers consistency, cleanliness and most important works technically everywhere. UI design isnt as easy as "just make it look like Firestorm", that's not a solution, Firestorm's UI is bad and i'm avoiding copying any other Viewer's UI, i want to find my own unique style, one that works because it works not because people were already used to it for almost a decade.

Then again i don't expect to ever get some serious suggestions because people don't know what i want and what rules i design my UI in mind with. The vast majority of SL doesn't know UI's at all, they are in SL only and never really move outside of their tiny little comfort bubble. If they did they would have much less issue finding their way around my UI, or any UI for that matter. Every app is different, has a different UI, why does it work everywhere else just not in SL. It's the users, not the Viewer. I can switch to any Viewer any time without having issues finding my way around because to me they all are the same, they don't just look similar, they are. To me they don't differ much from my own Viewer but i don't start up a Viewer and are confused because the button has a different texture now. The people in SL simply need to learn to work their way through the UI in a plain and straight way one that doesn't immediately causes confusion when a button has moved from left to right and triggers the immediate "OH NO EVERYTHING IS DIFFERENT" thinking that will hinder you and possibly make you fail to understand completely. I can't help people but tell them that they have to be less ... "strict" with how they approach the UI, if they bail out the moment a button has moved from the first to the second row rather than simply zooming out a bit and looking at it from a bit further away... at the bigger picture... or more generally then i can't help them.

By biggest issue with the UI design is that i don't want to break or dumb down the UI, i want to keep the UI intact, on a high quality level, accurate to the point and most importantly technically correct. I don't like using dumbed down names for features like "enable-this-to-do-exactly-this-and-that-feature". An example of this is the well known "Advanced Lighting Model" (previously known as Lighting & Shadows). Advanced Lighting Model is basically saying nothing, advanced lighting model, what does that even mean? what about the lighting is advanced, what does it do? Well it makes the lighting model advanced i suppose. It's correct technical name is Deferred Rendering. Deferred Rendering doesn't tell the normal user more than Advanced Lighting Model did but it offers the unique ability to google it because Deferred Rendering is something used in other 3D applications. Those who truly seek knowledge can actually find it, if they are willing to look for it that is. Similarly i spent a lot of time improving the little helper features, one such feature are tooltips, sadly something completely overlooked, many people either disable them or don't look at them but i spent days writing extensive tooltips for all features that clearly explain what these features do and even make notes about things you should keep in mind such as possible performance impact or problems they might cause or extra features that they might require. Once again if people just take the time to look at things, they would have much less issues figuring things out.

Whenever i change a window i try to reduce space wasted and fill it with purpose, i try to make the UI as obvious and clear as possible given certain restrictions, sometimes i have to cut somewhere, icons rather than text due to space limitations for instance. The UI would look a lot more chaotic if i didn't spend as much time on the UI as i do, see Nirans Viewer's UI, it was all over the place, constantly changed to be even more all over the place and generally there was little thought put into the UI, all that mattered was cool looks and trial-and-error experiments. It's quite sad to see that so many people prefer the old chaotic UI of Nirans Viewer over the much cleaner and organized UI of Black Dragon.


You are a perfect example of the above. If you spent less time "having a hard time navigating around" and instead tried to find a solution you would have found out (either yourself or asked someone) that you can easily change all the controls to your liking with just a few clicks in Preferences - Keybindings.


Sadly that is just how it is, Op basically just proved that people simply don't look (and not even hard, its right in the preferences window, its a whole extra tab just for it). They want everything to be perfectly set up for their personal use from the get go.

It's sad to see that even though the solution to the problem at hand is basically right in their face most people fail at finding it and then fail again because they decline my help offers that i have basically scattered everywhere in the Viewer. From my name appearing in the friendlist, not to just look at it but to IM me if they need help (even tho most people who IM me think that they don't deserve my time. If i don't want to talk to people i wouldn't put my name into the friendlist at all times now wouldn't i?) to tooltips, to the viewer group, the discord chat, emails or simply finding me inworld. If people would just ask...

@The Giving Tree

Black Dragon is much more than just a photo tool. It's an every day Viewer like any other. I've been all over content creation of all kinds for years. The Viewer works no different than any other Viewer in that regards, the build tools are the same, the inventory is the same, the script window is the same, none of them differs to what LL offers in any meaningful way. It just doesn't offer special features other Viewers have, like copy-paste entire object parameters because... well those are their specialties just like other Viewers don't offer Black Dragon's special features. If you can't "work/create" with Black Dragon you can't work with any other Viewer other than Firestorm because of your own dependency on these extra QoL features.

weekend ruiner

@ Igor
If all you want to do is use Black Dragon for photos you an get remarkable results straight from it without any need for external editing using a basic laptop. Admittedly it will hate you for it as you watch your fps plummet as the integrated graphics goes into overdrive however, the results are more than worth it.
These are 'raw' images from Black Dragon
( about the 'reflections' in the water - that isn't water - it's a textured regular prim on a platform 2000m up in the air. That's what Screen Space Reflections can do. To do that in Firestorm or any other viewer I'd have to use Linden water or a cubemapped environmental projection system.


ok, show me some shots of IMVU's world. I mean is it just a photo shoot. Hell you can do that any place. Any place. Do I need to say that again. It is not a world, just a Barbie world for the vain :)))))

madalin stunt cars 3

Thanks for sharing us a great information that is actually helpful

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