The Firestorm team released a new version of the popular Firestorm viewer (126.96.36.199831) on Wednesday 9th December. This latest version comes with the full release of EEP – Environment Enhancement Project, camera presets, some redesigned UI panels and functionality within the viewer. Firestorm 6.4.12 brings the viewer with the lab’s 6.4.11 viewer code base.
- “As per our 3-version rule, we will be blocking version 188.8.131.52588 and our recent EEP Public Beta from accessing the SL grid in 3 weeks’ time”.
It’s been some time since the last release because the Firestorm team have been working hard on adding the changes, fixes and features. Hopefully there will be more regular Firestorm releases during 2021. For me the Firestorm Viewer is still my favourite and the one I use the most.
* Check out the release notes here
Here are some of the highlights of this new version of the Firestorm Viewer.. .
The Firestorm 6.4.12 EEP release brings us to parity with the Linden Lab Viewer 6.4.11 codebase.
The main Linden Lab features included in this release are:
- EEP! Environmental Enhancement Project, including many EEP bug fixes since the Firestorm 6.4.5 EEP Beta release.
EEP is a set of environmental enhancements (designed to replace Windlight XML settings) to control the water and sky environments seen in Second Life and provide a wide range of additional/new capabilities for region owners, parcel owners and general users. It represents a fundamental shift in how environment settings are used and applied.
- Camera Presets—Allow users to create custom camera presets within the viewer to suit particular needs, and then save them. This means, for example, you can now have a camera position for general exploring, another suitable for combat games, another for building, and so on—all of which can easily be accessed and used at any time.
- Mesh uploader improvements contributed to Linden Lab by Firestorm.
Cosmetic changes include:
- Upgrade to preview resolution to 1024×1024
- Scalable preview
- Fixed display of colors in preview
- Adjustment of colors to better correlate to in world (yellow frame of mesh, blue tint physics)
- Rearranged UI elements to give more space for the preview even when not scaled up.
Informational changes include:
- Two new boxes: cost breakdown and physics breakdown. These provide access to information that has always been available to the viewer from the upload costs update message but were not shown to the user.
Firestorm-specific features included in this update
- The French language translation has been added back.
- RestrainedLove API updated to RLV v3.3.3 / RLVa v184.108.40.206831.
- Updated the pose-stand animations to work with bento bones.
- Attachment points of attachments are now shown in the Appearance window, wearing tab.
- A new option to allow double-click walk/teleport action to scripted objects: Prefs -> Move & View -> Movement -> Allow double-click action on scripted objects.
- A new setting, Dynamic Texture Memory, which allows the viewer to use more than 2GB of texture memory.
Dynamic Texture Memory only works on 64-bit viewers with at least 512MB VRAM and GPUs supporting either atimeminfo or nxmeminfo vendor-specific OpenGL extensions. It will allow using all currently available VRAM, or at least the value specified in minimum viewer texture memory capped at physical VRAM, minus VRAM reserve for allocating textures. That value minus cache reserve is the texture memory available for textures actually rendered. Preferences -> Graphics -> Hardware Settings.
Here are the OpenSim highlights in this release..
Easy grid entry. You can now paste a grid URI directly into the login box and the grid will be locally added to the user’s grid list.
A welcome change to the grid list behavior. For many years it has been enabled by default for the OpenSim build, but if a user were to install both viewers side by side there was a chance that the grid list could become disabled. The viewer now forces the grid list to be available on every startup of the OpenSim build. There is an option to disable this for grids that really need/want to restrict external grid access (though frankly, firewalls are a far better choice).
Another change that—while it affects both SL and OpenSim—seems to generate more noise and heat in OpenSim, is object contents caching. This is now “fixed” so that when editing an object with large numbers of items inside, the viewer will not refresh every time you close and reopen the edit. Please note though, this does not change the fact that the object contents fetch protocol is extremely poor; this means that whenever the contents update, you will still have to endure the long wait. There may be some news on that in the future but it requires server changes as well as viewer.
Fixed “My Suitcase” sometimes missing from inventory.
What do you think of this latest release ?
On Thursday 28th May 2020 the Firestorm team released a brand new release update numbered 220.127.116.11205. This new release comes with plenty of improvements, fixes and a lot for OpenSim users. This version of the Firestorm viewer brings it in line with the Linden Lab 6.3.8 code base. It’s been over 7 months since the last release so there is loads to be excited about this time.
* Added a “Stop Locally” button to the Sound Explorer.
* Added a search button to Nearby Chat and IM session floaters.
* New options added to the Area Search context menu: “Select All,” “Clear Selection,” and “Filter My Objects.”
* Added “Inspect” option for own attachments.
* Enabled multi-selection for all name lists in group profiles.
* Updated the Mac installer image backgrounds for readability and consistency.
* Fixed being unable to post snapshots to Flickr.
* Fixed hi-resolution snapshots appearing broken up in segments
* Lots of behind-the-scenes work to migrate the Firestorm code repositories from Mercurial to Git and to switch crash reporting from Windows systems over to Bugsplat. Expect future releases to be even more stable.
* Improved memory handling on the Linux viewer
* So many crash fixes…
* Improved region crossing behavior.
* New feature to lock and protect an inventory folder to prevent inadvertent drag-and-drop or deletion.
* Translation updates for German, Polish, Japanese & Russian
* Just sooo much more!
This new release adds viewer-side support for Premium Plus. There will be some kind of new announcement soon on this on the Second Life Blog. It’s important to note that Linden Lab have not released the Premium Plus feature yet.
For those interested in the EEP capable version of the Firestorm viewer the answer is soon. I’m thinking later this year depending on progress being made. There is pressure for EEP to be fully incorporated however there are still a number of challengers ahead for the Firestorm team.
For those that use OpenSim grids this new release brings it back in line with the Second Life Firestorm release which is very good news to hear. Nine new OpenSim grids have now been added to the grid manager including Virtualife World, DiscoveryGrid, Alife Virtual, Mobius Grid, Zone Nations, Party Destination Grid, TanGLe Grid, The Kaz Grid and OpenSim Community Conference.
This new release improves map search and there are lots of maintenance fixes. All group notices should now send correctly on OpenSim.
Here are the full release notes including new features and improvements.
On 1st October the Firestorm team announced the Bakes on Mesh viewer (18.104.22.168052) release which is a major update and it’s important all users upgrade to it. Firestorm 22.214.171.124052 is now fully merged up to the 6.3.1 Linden code-base.
This new release includes rendering-related changes from Linden Lab, bug fixes, improvements and tweaks.
This build is not offered to OpenSim users for the moment.
In my previous blog post I said we would provide an “as-is” download of this release for Opensim. However, I have been informed that this update will actually cause Opensim regions to crash upon login. Unfortunately, by the time we made the decision to reverse the split we were too far into our QA process to test or make changes & fixes. This is why the “as-is” was mentioned. Because of the severity of the issue (crashing regions is about as bad as it gets) and having no time to fix it, I am forced to go back on my word on this one.
We will continue to host Firestorm 126.96.36.199680 on our downloads page in the Opensim section until we are able to remedy the major issues. The SL version of this update will install separately, so you can use the 6.3.2 update for SL and continue to run 6.0.2 for Opensim.
Major updates from LL in this update include:
– Bakes on Mesh! See the primer from Inara, the announcement from Linden Lab, and the LL Knowledge Base.
– Love Me Render! See the post from Linden Lab on these rendering updates.
– Umeshu, a group of bug fixes, tweaks and improvements.
– Edit notecards from an external editor.
– Ability to duplicate group roles.
There are Firestorm goodies…
There are a few new FS-specific features in this release as well like ability to sit on objects from Area search, New Discord Rich Presence, Ghosted attachments now automatically fix themselves after tp, but as usual there are too many to list here.
Bakes On Mesh
BOM – Bakes On Mesh
Bakes on Mesh is a new feature to allow system avatar baked textures to be shown on mesh attachments.
Avatar wearables are baked into eleven different textures (BAKE_HEAD, BAKE_UPPER, BAKE_LOWER, BAKE_EYES, BAKE_SKIRT, BAKE_HAIR, BAKE_LEFTARM, BAKE_LEFTLEG, BAKE_AUX1, BAKE_AUX2, BAKE_AUX3) by the baking service.
You can now apply these textures to your avatar’s object attachments’ diffuse texture slot.
Right-click on the attachment, click edit and from the edit face menu select textures.
Click the diffuse texture icon to open up the texture picker.
The texture picker has an extra radio button mode called ‘bake’ for selecting server bakes.
The ‘bake’ radio button mode has a dropdown for selecting BAKE_HEAD, BAKE_UPPER, BAKE_LOWER, BAKE_EYES, BAKE_SKIRT, BAKE_HAIR, BAKE_LEFTARM, BAKE_LEFTLEG, BAKE_AUX1, BAKE_AUX2, BAKE_AUX3 server bake textures.
When an attachment is using a baked texture, the corresponding base mesh region of the system avatar is hidden.
If a mesh face is set to show a baked texture but is not attached to an avatar, you will see a default baked texture.
If you are using an older viewer without bakes on mesh support, then faces set to show baked textures will also display as the default baked texture, and base mesh regions will not be hidden.
For more detailed documentation, please see:
The things I like from this release…
The full release notes can be read here.