Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Ascent Viewer for SecondLife (R) Review 9-28-2010

 Today I will be taking a look at the Ascent Viewer for SL. This is the newest version and is 5 releases forward from the last time I looked several weeks ago. Ascent is based on the SnowGLobe 1.4.1 code, and  advertised as a trimmed down power user client with enhancements, including multiple attachment points and "Outfit Linking" just like Viewer 2, temporary uploads, derender, and a host of other features geared towards builders.
A quick look at their feature page is quite impressive to say the least.

The last time I looked Ascent was at version, and there were multiple problems. Blurry textures, antialiasing not functioning, dismal inventory load times, an a few other show stoppers as well. I did not feel it was a good time make a judgment, or give the viewer a fair review. So I am really looking forward to giving this newest version a try.

The initial setup before log in is very well layed out, and it is quite obvious, that indeed this viewer is intended for the power user. Without all the extra fluff getting in the way, I'm very impressed so far.

The first thing I notice is that all 3 problems I have mentioned above in seem to have been worked out, everything loads fast and sharp. A quick check of the FPS is comparable to most all 1.x series viewers. There are a ton of different Windlight  settings available, more so than on any previous 1.x viewer I have encountered so far. Separate Windlight Sky & Water presets, with about 200 individual presets pre-programed for you.

As you can see, the build menu has very precise adjustment control for size and rotation.

 And the Building Block Type field offers a wider variety of choices, than the standard viewers available from LL.

This viewer will automatically adjust your draw distance as you teleport from one region to another, thus speeding up the rezz time, increasing your ability to be able to fully enjoy the SL experience. And another wonderful feature I really like, is automatic inventory loading in the background,as you first log in for a session.

All in all, this is by far, the best 1.x series viewer yet. If they can get it to work with Media on a Prim, alpha layers, the upcoming Mesh graphics capabilities, and the FPS speed of the Phoenix viewer. I would see no compelling reason of any kind, to use Viewer2.

Highly Recommended 

JayR Cela :_)

AMMENDUM !! Posted :  7 - 30 - 2012 

    Hi there, I believe this viewer is no longer available, their web link is broken, and a number of different searches have turned out to be dead ends :(

     If anyone out there reading this, please Post a link for me.

JayR :_)

P.S. This viewer is now currently available as a fork project : The Singularity Viewer is available here.

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