New Black Dragon Viewer Update

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This was brought to my attention by a post in the Visionaire group from WrenNoir Cerise.  There has been an update to the Black Dragon viewer.

I’ve used the Black Dragon viewer before and really liked it for taking photos.  However, I haven’t used it in ages – mostly because I haven’t really been in SL much in ages.

But I will definitely be downloading it and trying it out.

The new update apparently lets you move any/all of the individual bones that make up your avatar.  So you can pose yourself exactly how you want.

WrenNoir included a link to a video in her notice, which I’ve embedded below.  If you can’t see the video, click here for the link.

The music was a tad annoying, so I muted it.  The first part of the video shows the editing of the avatar pose in Black Dragon.  The last half is photo editing in Photoshop, so you can skip that if you’ve no interest in that part.

I can’t wait to dig in and start experimenting.  Thanks to Wren for the heads up!

Black Dragon Jelly babies and graphics presets | Inara Pey: Living in a Modem World

Black_Dragon LogoInara Pey’s breakdown of new changes to the Black Dragon viewer, which I find very nice for taking photographs.

I am going to download the new version so I can play around with the Avatar Complexity settings and see how the ‘jelly babies’ work.

Most in the dance world (including me) generally have avatar impostors turned off, so not sure if/how that will affect my view.

I am happy to read about the option to right-click and force an avatar to render fully – this would seem a great option for performers who may be complex, but I still want to render.

Knowing who is dancing and being able to right-click on them may present a challenge!

It will also give me a chance to play with the quick-settings for graphic preferences.

Source: Black Dragon Jelly babies and graphics presets | Inara Pey: Living in a Modem World

Tuesday Tidbits

tidbit-tuesdayI’m finding it hard to get back in the groove after the long holiday weekend.

I’d hoped that after school was out I’d have more time in SL.

But alas, summer sports are already encroaching upon my time, so I may not be able to post as often as I’d like.

When I do get a bit of free time today, I will be spending some L$, I’m sure –

⇒  The new round of Uber is open, with a theme of ‘Spice.’

Judging from the pics I’ve seen so far, everything looks exotic and beautiful and right up my alley. 😛

⇒  There has been an update to the Black Dragon viewer and there are some interesting changes made to the snapshot preview.

I will be downloading it and trying it out – my computer graphics card doesn’t groan nearly as much with Black Dragon, for some reason.

⇒  New World Notes reported that Oculus and USC are working together to capture your RL expression and put it on your avatar.

I’m not a fan.

I don’t ever see wearing these gigantic headsets becoming a popular trend.

I jump back and forth from RL to SL way to often for wearing a rig that ridiculous which I would have to put on/take off 10 times a day.

Also, I don’t want my RL expression captured for SL.

Just – no.

⇒  I was glad to find out that I’m not the only one who doesn’t find Flickr intuitive to use.

Kate Bergdorf has some of the same questions I do.

⇒   If you’re an SL blogger, the [SL] Blogger Support site has reworked their layout and is now available for blogger registration once again.

That’s all for this quick Tuesday Tidbits.

Have a great day, folks!

Black Dragon snapshot floater and cinematic camera

I’ve already found that Black Dragon works better with my computer (and it doesn’t complain as much) when taking photos. Can’t wait to download the update and try it out – especially the resizable preview!

Inara Pey: Living in a Modemworld

Blackdragon logoOn Saturday, May 23rd, NiranV Dean released version of his Black Dragon viewer, which brings with it three core updates:

  • Revisions to the Unified Snapshot floater
  • An experimental cinematic camera
  • A “lock” feature to synchronise map changes (diffuse, normal and specular) across all three channels simultaneously.

Unified Snapshot Floater Updates

The snapshot floater updates include:

  • An option to save the snapshot upload type
  • Automatic file format changes when switching to profile/inventory upload and back
  • Fixes for auto-refresh
  • Improved world freeze – the entire world is now frozen, and allows proper camming around.

However, what is likely to find favour with a lot of users (assuming it is adopted by other viewers, including LL’s)  is the ability to now preview snapshots in a separate, resizeable texture panel.

The alternative snapshot preview panel can be accessed via the Preview button in the Unified Snapshot Floater The alternative snapshot preview panel can be accessed via the Preview button in the Unified Snapshot Floater

This is enabled by a new…

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Playing in Photoshop

PS Logo
I googled ‘photoshop’ – I need to wash my eyeballs now. -.- Image Source:

It’s Tuesday, which means I made it through Monday.


I’ve been busily working on photos, though I still don’t have as much time as I would like to.

A few more days, and then I will have some extended time to spend in-world.

After taking my Photoshop class, I’ve been trying to apply what I learned.

I was taking some pics in-world at Slink West (a really beautiful sim!) and trying out the new filters they added to Firestorm with the last update.

I generally take a couple of pics with different windlights, but sometimes I try out the filters just for fun, to see what they do.

I used a filter and really liked the effect; however, I decided I wanted to try and recreate the look myself in Photoshop, rather than just using the FS filter.

When I posted the photo in the LOTD post, Yummy asked if it was a FS filter.

So yay!

I think I accomplished what I wanted, if that’s what she thought. 🙂

Original PhotoThis is the original photo.

I cropped it, of course.

And I was using the system avatar, so some work with liquify was in order.

Then I played around a bit with various things in Photoshop.

What I ended up with was this:

LOTD 135I usually try not to change the look of LOTD posts too dramatically.

If I’m showing off an outfit, I want it to show as it would in-world.

Sometimes, though, it’s just fun to play around.

You can do so many different things in Photoshop.

With this photo, I was trying to recreate the filter I liked.

I was happy with the way it turned out, but I rarely think a photo is ‘done.’

It’s not exactly like the photo I got with the FS filter.

That photo looked like this:

FS FilterI’m so glad that FS added the filters to the viewer.

It gives me another set of options to play around and have fun with.

The Black Dragon viewer is still a bit faster when it comes to actually taking the high-res photos, but it’s nice to have choices.


Trying Other TPVs – Black Dragon

Old TPVs
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Over the last week or so, I’ve been trying out different viewers.

I didn’t think I would find one to replace Firestorm.

CtrlAltStudio is a close second for everyday use, just because it’s so much like Firestorm.

It also seems to be easier on my computer when maxing out my graphics.

So I probably would have used it to take hi-res photos.

Until I tried Black Dragon.

Black Dragon certainly has some things about it I don’t like, such as the fact that there is no built-in AO.

There is no worn tab in the inventory, which is kind of a pain.

The chat panel seemed backwards to me – the names were listed on the right, while the chat appeared on the left.

It also didn’t have a built-in pose stand like Firestorm does.

There are no phototools like in Firestorm, but – it does have some amazing options.

The UI looks more like the official viewer (and Alchemy); however, I’m willing to put up with that to use the amazing graphics tools.

It doesn’t come with as many pre-loaded windlights as Firestorm, but it does have quite a few.

Most of the items in Firestorm’s phototools you can find under Preferences → Display tab.

I was able to bump up my graphics settings to the max.

When I went to take a photo, there was absolutely NO delay when refreshing.

In addition, the viewer has a number of built-in filters you can use to enhance your photos, like lens flare, sepia, toy camera, etc.

Having those options can really cut down on the amount of time I spent post-processing a photo.

And having it refresh instantly, even at max settings, is a timesaver (and less stressful!) as well.

Like CtrlAltStudio, I am able to travel around to various places with all the graphics settings maxed out.

However, I much prefer the options I get with photos using Black Dragon.

For the time being, I plan to use Black Dragon when taking hi-res photos.

That leaves more time for shopping!!

I didn’t try out the Kokua or Catznip viewers.

I did try out Singularity, but it was too much like the official viewer, so I didn’t really spend any time using it.

I didn’t try out Restrained Love viewer or the UKanDo viewers, so that is the end of the reviews of the TPV’s.

I’m off to take more photos!

New Shoes and Viewers

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Tuesday was one of my favorite events – 21 Shoe!

I am a shoe-aholic in SL.

I can never have too many shoes.

And since 21 Shoe is a two-fer event, it’s even better!

YS&YS – Rapallo – White

I love high-heeled shoes, and with my Maitreya body, I love them even more.

After doing some shoe shopping, I decided to try out something else – a new viewer.

I’ve been a Firestorm user for a long time, back when it was Phoenix, and before that, when it was Emerald.

I have just never been comfortable with the official viewer – it makes my head hurt.

But after a group chat conversation in a blogging group, I decided to try out some other TPV’s for comparison.

I’ll have a write-up on my opinions in a later post. 🙂

But I will say that I am in LOOOOOOOOOVE with the Black Dragon viewer at the moment.

Essenz LA Peach
Essenz – Los Angeles – Peach

I can take hi-res photos and it refreshes instantly.

With Firestorm, there’s always those few seconds of, “Am I crashing? Please don’t crash! Please!” when I take hi-res photos.

So, I logged in this morning with the Black Dragon viewer and snapped some pics of these gorgeous shoes.

I’m still trying to figure out the UI and where all the settings are, but there are a few features I love.

I also tried out Alchemy, Singularity, and CtrlAltStudio.

Anyway, back to shoes!!

I have begun phasing out any shoes but ones for Slink and Maitreya feet.

Iris Wine
MyADDICTION – Iris – Wine

I run ALM all the time, and invisiprim shoes look horrible with it. 😦

Even some mesh shoes can look odd.

But shoes like these?


Some of the designers were new to me, but I will definitely be revisiting them in the future.

Do you have a favorite shoe designer?