Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Catznip R7: I'm converted.

I've never been a fan of the official viewer, and after trying Nirvans recently and finding it missing too many things I needed I had low expectations for Catznip.  I decided to put it through its paces by visiting a number of sims back to back.  Running on Ultra, with every possible bell and whistle enabled, Catznip was fast.  Very fast!

While sipping a cup of tea at  Kittens Heaven  I perused the Windlight Settings, and found the standard set plus a couple that were new to me. After gutting my Firestorm WL setting folder and transferring all the extra settings I have gathered over the years I'll be in business. 

At LEA, which had a number of other visitors, I braced for a bit of lag but experienced none. Rez times continued to be zippy.  As I flew around, I called up the minimap and discovered it is very nice indeed!  I rarely use the MM, so maybe all the viewers are more like an architect's plan now and I have just been oblivious.  Either way, I'm sold. 
I ran into my first problem with the Catznip at LEA.  While I was delighted to see the 'Post Snapshot to Feed" feature was in attendance, I was unable to successfully upload any of my images without reducing the image to 600x800.  Gradually increasing the size resulted in normal upload behavior, so the problem may have been transient and with the servers.

I found the switch from FS a smooth and intuitive transition.  By the time I hit  Love Padlock Bridge I had my camera and movement controls wired and all my preferences set up (except turning off 'point at', I haven't found that one yet).  Hopefully, in the next release they will make it possible to size the Movement and Camera windows rather than the existing option of closing or minimizing them.  They are too big if you take a lot of photos.
At Second Norway I had my second, "Oh, damn it!" moment when I was unable to properly zoom and take a photo without my own big head in the frame.  After a quick scramble through the graphics settings I thought I found a dealbreaker: no "disable camera constraints".  Fortunately, my brain kicked in and I found the setting in the same place as it had been in Firestorm, under the Advanced Menu.

And Fashionistas, not only is the indispensable "Worn" feature available  (albeit a little button on the left, beside your Inventory button, instead of Firestorm's Inventory tab), there is also a "Right Click" on Mesh feature.  Naturally, I had to indulge myself in a bit of shopping to properly run a blind test for bugs and to familiarize myself with these essential features ;-).  Mon Tissu has never rezzed so fast.

After getting a grip on the basics in well under a couple of hours I felt some leisure time was in order and took my Phoebe over to Rossers.  Sadly, if there is a way to tweak or adjust the Depth of Field setting I haven't found it.  If Catznip wants to attract photographers, this issue should be addressed sooner rather than later.

While the main tug was supposed to be lightening fast rez times, I fully expected gaps in other essential features.  Not so!  While I'm not a builder, and can't speak to the Viewer's pros or cons in that area, for the average clothes-horsey, photo snappin' grid traveler, Catznip fits the bill. I look forward to discovering what other goodies I missed today.

*No post processing on any of the images

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