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Autumn 2014

Tweaks

First of all, this isn’t a regular post. It’s actually a post-it note with useful information related to SL viewer settings that I want to keep handy for quick reference.

Even though a lot of people are happy with SL’s official viewer, I’m among those who have one particular reason to hate it: It crashes constantly, period. I don’t know why, but that’s been my experience, even with different computer setups. Everything else works fine, but I can’t stand having to log back in every 5 minutes.

Crashes have been a thing of the past for all third party viewers (TPVs) I’ve used and liked over the years, but sometimes those projects, some of which depend on a lonely soul, fall out of updates, either because the developer is not interested in continuing with the burden, for example, or because other RL or SL endeavors keep their attention away from development or from matching the pace of official releases, among other reasons. When that happens, I tend to hop to another TPV and move on.

Besides the SL official viewers (stable, betas or release candidates alike), I currently use the following two regularly: Kokua Viewer and Firestorm Viewer. Both of them are closely related since, if I’m not mistaken, the first one is based on the second one; sometimes Kokua updates also take more time to come around. And of course, both of them are more feature-rich than their official counterpart.

To get to the point, the raison d’être of this text is to keep track of the camera settings I use on both of these viewers. Since I tend to “hang out” with one of them for a time and then shift to the other as features are updated (or a new annoying bug is accidentally introduced), with some frequency I’ve had to do a search for “camera settings” when switching sides… because I’m so lazy that I forget to write them down, yep. So this is my way to keep the notes handy. By the way, Firestorm has an exquisite tool that helps you backup and restore all viewer settings (found under Preferences), but there’s always something to tweak after a fresh install anyway.

Backup utility in Firestorm

So these are the camera settings of my preference, in case readers find them of any use. They can be tweaked by going to the Advanced menu > Show Debug Settings.

In Firestorm, the viewer I’m using right now, you get this warning when attempting to access the Debug Settings. That’s their way of scaring the hell out of you, but there’s nothing to be afraid of; the settings we’re modifying are quite safe and harmless.

Warning

Once “inside,” the Debug Settings window looks like this:

Debug

From the list, we’re scrolling down to CameraOffsetFrontView, CameraOffsetGroupView, CameraOffsetRearView, CameraOffsetScale, and a little bit down the list to FocusOffsetFrontView, FocusOffsetGroupView, and FocusOffsetRearView. GroupView affects the Side View in the default Camera Controls window (the little eye button usually present in the toolbar).

To know the nitty-gritty of the settings, please refer to these excellent posts by other SLifers; I won’t explain them better than they already do.

The values I use are as follows:

CameraOffsetFrontView:

X  2.300    Y  0.000

Z  -0.900

CameraOffsetGroupView:

X  -1.500    Y  0.700

Z  0.100

CameraOffsetRearView:

X  -1.900    Y  -0.350

Z  -0.300

CameraOffsetScale:

value  1.000

FocusOffsetFrontView:

X  1.000    Y  0.000

Z  0.100

FocusOffsetGroupView:

X  1.500    Y  0.700

Z  1.100

FocusOffsetRearView:

X  2.000    Y  0.000

Z  0.200

Of these settings, the only ones overly important for me (stressed in bold) are the two that control the rear view and the offset scale (though right now I’m keeping the default value for the last one). They really make a HUGE difference in the way we visually perceive the SL world. Everbody should change those, that must be mandatory. I rarely (if ever) use the other two modes, front view and group/side view, but some of you might do. I also tweak these values a little bit more depending on the situation.

 

Picture: No, I didn’t return to autumn after last post. It’s an old picture I came across that never got posted, and since this rambling is not about home and garden, it doesn’t actually matter what season of the year I stick to (nor that it matter in SL anyway). Stuff in the picture from 3D Trees, Botanical, and Studio Skye.

3 comments

  1. Hi Xeriko! Happy (almost) 2015!

    Thanks for the link, and YES, you’re so right, the Camera Offsets are quite important, and none more than the “Rear View” settings.

    Unlike a car “rear view mirror” which is about where you were, SL’s “Rear Camera View” is about where you’re going. If you want to take a picture, you can alt-cam to your heart’s content, but if you want to walk, you’re going to be looking at your “Rear View” settings. As I and others before me have noted, these defaults are, for most experiences, too high. You get a giant’s eye view of the little avatars rather than being immersed in the action. This can lead us to make avatars that are 200cm and taller, and buildings with 15m ceilings.

    I haven’t had the opportunity to see xeriko’s attic before – nice place you’ve got here! Keep up the good work and have a wonderful 2015!

    • xeriko says:

      Hi Vanessa. Happy 2015 to you too, and thanks for the compliments! I knew something was wrong with “my” camera after building my first house, but couldn’t understand how to fix the problem until you people started to discuss the issue. All I could do back then was to adjust my avie’s height to “normal” proportions –and make myself a Lilliputian, compared to everyone else. Adjusting the camera was the best thing I could do for my SL.

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