Tag Archives: Lumiya

Lumiya 2.6.0: fine-tuning the engine for F1 performance

lumiya-logoUpdate May 13th: Lumiya 2.6.1 is now available. This includes a fixing to prevent the client crashing when rendering megaprims, improved mesh download speeds and reduced lage when walking.

Alina Lyvette announced the arrival of the latest release of Lumiya on Friday May 9th.

Version 2.6.0 marks the arrival of support for Fitted Mesh and some pretty impressive under-the-hood changes which greatly enhance Lumiya’s performance in the areas of memory use, bandwidth utilisation and 3D rendering – and I found the improvements really are noticeable.

Feature Updates

Fitted Mesh Rendering

The Fitted Mesh support is perhaps the most visible update in terms of new features. I only carried out a quick series of tests, but found the FM demos I had from back when testing the SL Fitted Mesh viewer (I’m ashamed to say I’ve still not actually started using any mesh clothing myself…) worked just fine when rendered by Lumiya.

Fitted Mesh on Lumiya: renders perfectly

Fitted Mesh on Lumiya: renders perfectly

I did experience slight issues with mesh clothing failing to render when worn, something I don’t remember occurring back when mesh support was first released. Should this happen, a quick fix seems to be hopping out of the 3D view and back again.

Request Teleport

Another feature update with this release is the Request Teleport option. This can be accessed by:

  • Selecting the person you wish to teleport to from your Friends list, or IM
  • Tapping the MORE option
  • Tapping Request Teleport. This opens the Request Teleport message screen where you can enter your request text (or leave blank, if you prefer). Tapping OK will close the message window and send the teleport request
  • If the request is accepted, you will receive a teleport offer, as per usual; if the request is declined, you will not receive any feedback (which is how Request Teleport is handled in the viewer and not a result of Lumiya failing to receive a notification).
Request Teleport: now in Lumiya

Request Teleport: now in Lumiya

Avatar Interaction

Lumiya 2.6.0 makes it easier to interact with nearby avatars when in 3D view by applying a long touch to the centre of an avatar. This may take a little practice, but when used, will call-up a menu allowing you to initiate an IM session with that avatar, examine them, etc.

Using a long touch on a nearby avatar will

Using a long touch or the Drag to Select option on a nearby avatar will allow you to ineract with them via the displayed menu bar

If you have problems using the long touch method when selecting an avatar, don’t forget you can also use the Drag To Select option in the top left corner of the 3D view and drag that down to point to the avatar in question.

Under-the-Hood

The under-the-hood changes in 2.6.0 range from fixes for known crash issues through to better support for transparency in the 3D world view and new notification sounds (courtesy of Lhasa Mencur) to some really quite significant performance improvements.

The latter include a reduced memory footprint together with much improved bandwidth usage, both of which see Lumiya operate a lot more smoothly (not that it was ever particularly clunky). Much has been done to the 3D rendering performance and management as well.Also these combined mean it should be much easier to run  Lumiya on lower-end system, and for those on high-end devices, to have more of the bells and whistles turned on. In my case, for example, these improvements make it a lot easier to run with High Quality Textures enabled by default on my Nexus 2013 HD.

Feedback

Lumiya has always offered tremendous value for accessing Second Life while on-the-go with a suitable Android device. Even allowing for trying to maintain compatibility with older versions of Android, Alina consistently pulls-off some impressive miracles with the client, and 2.6.0 more than demonstrates this. While the added features may seem minimal (even though mesh support represents considerable work itself), the performance improvements evident in this release are astonishing.

Obviously, with a fairly high-end Android device running Android KitKat and a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon™ S4 Pro, 1.5 GHz / Adreno 320, 400 MHz combination, I stand to benefit the most from the improvements in rendering, but even so, on my old Samsung Galaxy S2 with Android 4.1 Jellybean and Dual-core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A9 / Mali-400 combination, things were still noticeably faster.

For those who require access to OpenSim and are Android users with a decent CPU / GPU combination and a reason screen size, Lumiya stands head-and-shoulder above the rest. For those wanting mobile access to Second Life and have limited screen size, it also beats SL Go hands-down in terms of convenience of use, even if it lacks the full rendering capabilities of the latter.

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Lumiya: Manage groups, blocks and scripts – and more

lumiya-logoAlina Lyvette released version 2.5.6 of the Android Second Life / OpenSim Lumiya client on Sunday December 8th, with a further release of version 2.5.7 on Monday December 9th; with both came a chance to have a real play with my latest toy: a gorgeous new Asus Google Nexus 7 HD 2013!

Between them, these two updates comprise:

  • 2.5.6:
    • View your own profile and your transaction history
    • Send and receive group invites;
    • Persistent mute/block list support
    • Improved performance when handling large chat histories and of flexible prims in 3D mode
    • Fixes for an issue with touching complex mesh objects and a few known crash issues.
  • 2.5.7:
    • Quick fix for broken Unicode support in instant messages
    • Support for editing scripts, both in inventory and objects.

Note that with this review, I am using a 7-inch display screen, and so have split screens enabled. If you are using a device with a smaller screen / without spilt screen functionality enabled, your screen displays may differ from those shown in this review. All examples may not be the only means of accessing specific functions; they are based on my preferred usage of Lumiya.

Viewing Your Own Profile or Transaction History

View your own profile in LumiyaUntil now, Lumiya has only offered the opportunity to view other people’s profiles. With version 2.5.6+ you can now view your own. you can also view your transaction history, which will list any transactions made during your current log-in session.

To view your profile, display the Chat or 3D world view and tap on the More option (three vertical dots) at the top-right of the screen. This will open a menu of additional options. Tap on My Avatar.

  • If you have split screens enabled, your profile will be displayed on the right, with the My Avatar options on the left
  • If you are not using split screens, tap My Profile to display your profile.

To view your transaction history, follow the steps above to display the My Avatar options, then tap L$ Balance option. All transactions which have taken place while you’ve been logged-in will be displayed.

Send and Receive Group Invites

Lumiya 2.5.6 starts into providing more group management functions with the ability to send /  group invites with those groups in which you have be granted the required ability, or to receive group invites from others.

Sending A Group Invite

Currently, you can only send an invite to join a group to people recorded on your Recent, Friends or Nearby lists, there is no name picker to allow you to search for and invite anyone.

  • Tap Chat to display your Chat / Group options
  • Tap the name of a group to which you wish to invite new members. The group’s panel will open
  • Tap the invite icon located at the top right of the group’s panel.
Lumiya 2.5.6+: the new invite option for inviting people to join your groups

Lumiya 2.5.6+: the new invite option for inviting people to join your groups

  • A pop-up is displayed, allowing you to select the person you wish to invite from your Recent, Friends or Nearby Lists
  • Tap the name of the person you wish to extend an invite. A role picker pop-up is displayed
  • Tap the role you wish to assign to the person. The role is selected and an invite is automatically sent.

Receiving a Group Invite

As with any graphical viewer, when you receive an invitation to join a group, Lumiya displays the invitation in you Chat panel, with the name of the person sending the invitation, details of the group you are being invited to join and option buttons to join the group or decline the invitation.

Persistent Mute / Block

Lumiya 2.5.6 introduces the ability to mute / block IMs and group chat sessions, either for the current log-in session or persistently across all sessions until the block is lifted.

Muting an Individual or Group

There are a number of ways to mute an individual or group:

Muting via the chat list:

  • If the person or group you wish to mute is in your local chat list, long-touch the name.
  • A pop-up menu is displayed:
    • If you have selected an individual, it will include the option to Block them. Tap this. You will be prompted to confirm your action; doing so will add the individual to your Block list
    • If you have selected a group, it will include an option to Close and Mute the group chat. Tapping this will prompt whether you wish to mute the group chat for just the current log-in session or permanently (until unblocked). Tap the required option to add the group to your Block list.
You can mute / block for your current log-in session or persistently across all log-in sessions, including via other viewers

You can mute / block group chat for your current log-in session or persistently across all log-in sessions, including via other viewers

Muting via the Friends, Group or Nearby lists or from within an IM or Group chat session:

You can block someone via an open IM session, or by starting an IM session and selecting the mute option

You can block someone via an open IM session, or by starting an IM session and selecting the mute option

  • Select the individual you wish to mute / block from your Friends or Nearby lists OR tap on the name of the group you wish to mute chat from in your Group list
  • The IM or Group chat panel will open. Tap the More option icon (three vertical buttons) to display a further list of options. Tap Mute.
  • You will be prompted whether you wish to cancel, or mute the individual / group for the current session or persistently across all log-ins – tap your desired preference.

Muting an individual in  group chat:

  • Long-touch the individual’s name within the Group chat panel
  • A pop-up is displayed allowing you to Copy Message Text or Block the individual
  • Tap Block to add the individual to your Block list.

Muting via the Block list:

  • From Chat or the 3D world view, click the More icon (three vertical dots) in the top right of the screen
  • Tap My Avatar
  • Tap Block List to display a list of blocked individuals, groups and objects
  • Tap the ADD button (top right of the list)
  • A pop-up is displayed for your Recent, Friends and Nearby lists. Tap the required list to display a list of names
  • Tap on the avatar name you wish to block, it will be added to your Block list
  • Repeat for any additional names you wish to block.

Blocking an Object

To block a spammy object:

  • Locate it in Chat and long-touch it
  • A pop-up is displayed which includes the option to Block it
  • Tap the Block option to add the object to your Block list.

Unmuting / Unblocking an Individual, Group or Object

The easiest way to unblock an individual or group is via your More menu:

  • From Chat (or the 3D world view, click the More icon (three vertical dots) to display further menu options
  • Click My Avatar
  • Click Block List to display a list of blocked individuals, groups and objects
  • Scroll through the list to the item you wish to unblock and long-touch You’ll be prompted to confirm the action
  • Once you have confirmed, the individual, group or object will be unblocked.

Note that you can also unmute an individual or group by tapping on the name in your Friends / Nearby / Group list to start an IM / Group chat session, then tapping the More icon and tapping the Unmute option.

Script Editing

Lumiya 2.5.7 allows users to view and edit scripts to which they have the requisite rights both from within inventory and contained within an object.

Open a Script from Inventory

  • Tap the Inventory icon to open the Inventory panel
  • Navigate to the folder containing the script to be edited
  • Locate the script in the folder’s contents and tap it
  • The script editor is displayed, together with the selected script in view mode.

Open  a Script in an Object

  • In the 3D world view, long-touch the object containing the script you wish to edit
  • Tap the More button to display additional options
  • Tap Open Contents. A panel displaying the objects content is displayed
  • Locate and tap the script to be edited. The script editor is displayed, together with the selected script in view mode.
Lumiya 2.5.7+: viewing and editing your scripts

Lumiya 2.5.7+: viewing and editing your scripts

Editing a Script

  • Tap the Edit Script button at the bottom of the script editor
  • Position the cursor at the point at which you wish to start editing
  • Use the Save or Discard Changes buttons as required.

Lumiya on the Nexus 7 HD 2013

And now, a short aside.

Until now, I’ve been running Lumiya on a Samsung Galaxy S2. However, when updating my mobile (cell) phone recently, my new service provider offered me a bundled deal of a new ‘phone and free Nexus 7 HD 2013 (and other goodies) for the same monthly tariff rate I had been paying for just the S2. Needless to say, I took the deal.

Lumiya has always worked well on the S2 for me, although it did struggled at times and the relatively small screen tended to make some operations difficult. With the Nexus 7 HD, Lumiya is nothing short of glorious.

Not only do I now have the benefit of full split-screen functionality on a screen big enough to handle it when operating in landscape mode, I have the power of two quad-core processors to handle the application and graphics and twice the available memory to play with. As a result, the 3D view is a joy to behold and move around in, with very fast rendering (as compared to the S2), and much smoother movement – both of which go a long way towards making Lumiya even more of a desirable travel companion.

The in-world view is also given something of a boost as a result of the Nexus 7 HD’s screen resolution: 1920×1200 which is a higher resolution than I’m getting  on my main monitor (1440×900) and at an amazing 323ppi. This presents a really crisp, clean in-world image when using the 3D view which is very pleasing to the eye; so much so that I don’t feel a screen cap really does it justice.

My home on Lumiya and the Nexus 7

My home on Lumiya and the Nexus 7

The Nexus does still struggle when using the High Quality Textures setting, particularly at higher draw distances (48-96 metres), but given the load this is placing on the tablet in areas rich in textures, many of which will be of very high-resolution, I’m not actually surprised by this.

As I plan to use (and already have used) the Nexus to do “serious” work when moving around, I opted to invest in a bluetooth keyboard to go with it; and I have to say it is an absolute joy to have – part of this article was actually written on the Nexus using the keyboard and Kingsoft Office. The keyboard really adds to using Lumiya in that it obviously avoids the need to use the on-screen keypad, and the cursor keys / WASD keys can make moving around a lot more natural in feel if you’re used to using them on a viewer. Another benefit with a keyovard is the reduction in the amount of finger prints and smears appearing on the screen as you work.

I’m actually rather chuffed with the keyboard, which I obtained via ebay for £15.00 (around 18.00 Euros or $24.00 USD). When not in use it forms a protective cover for the screen, clipping securely around the tablet. Despite being aluminium in construction, it adds very little physical bulk to the Nexus when “closed”, and also has the benefit of solid-feeling keys which have a decent travel distance, which aids typing considerably. With Lumiya, it certainly adds a huge amount of ease to chatting and (now) to editing scripts! If you’re a Nexus user and decide to get one, just make sure you get the version which matches your Nexus model (2012 or 2013).

A suitable bluetooth keyboard can further enhance using Lumiya

A suitable bluetooth keyboard can further enhance using Lumiya

Feedback

Two more outstanding updates for Lumiya which significantly enhance its capabilities, although on smaller screen the script editor may have limited appeal due to issues of trying to correctly position the cursor for editing and seeing what you’re actually doing when an on-screen keypad is open as well.   On a tablet, the editor performs much better, although big fingers may still have problems positioning the cursor.  As noted above, use of a suitable keyboard easily overcomes this problem (although are not always easy to use when on the move), and also makes chatting and IMs massively easier for those who aren’t keen on on-screen keypads.

The group and mute / block options are likely to be heartily welcomed by those putting Lumiya to extensive use and / or who routinely visit busy places. Both work very well using the methods I’ve indicated in these notes, and the functionality appears flawless.

All told, these are more than worthwhile updates to Lumiya further enhancing its reputation as the go-to solution for anyone on android who needs to access SL for a broad range of tasks while on the move.

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Lumiya 2.5.0: advanced rendering

Update August 29th: There have been two additional updates with Lumiya since this review was published. Versions 2.5.2 and 2.5.3 both offer the same additional functionality as reviewed here, but include further fixes for devices using Adreno GPUs.

lumiya-logoAlina has released versions 2.5.0 / 2.5.1 of Lumiya. The two versions, released on August 26th and August 27th respectively, comprises the same updates features-wise, but the 2.5.1 release includes an additional fix to correct a crash issue users encountered with devices using Adreno GPUs (such as the HTC One).

The focus for this release has been on rendering capabilities, with the 2.5.0 release notes summarising the updates as:

  • An advanced rendering mode for better visual quality
  • Limited windlight support (sky, clouds, stars, time of the day)
  • Drag-to-select pointer for easy selection of small objects in 3D mode
  • Ability to purchase objects
  • Fixed an issue with terrain not being rendered when 3D view is opened too early.

Advanced Rendering and Windlight

The number of rendering options already included in Lumiya is impressive. Advanced Rendering brings with it the ability to render in-world light and other visual effects, windlight support for clouds, night-time stars, setting the time-of-day in the world view, and anti-aliasing.

Advanced Rendering options. note that Advanced Rednering must be enabled via a separate option in the Settings menu in order to access the options

Advanced Rendering options: note that the capability must be enabled via a separate option in the Settings menu in order to access these options

The additional capabilities are added to the 3D View section of Lumiya’s Settings menu (device Menu button > Settings), although they are on by default. While they do offer some enticing options, they do make Lumiya very much more device dependent than perhaps has been the case with the client in the past.

For example, I found that with the Advanced Rendering options active, my Galaxy S2 struggled mightily to render an in-world scene, even with high quality textures disabled, max avatars dialled back to 1 and draw distance down to a minimal 48 metres. More particularly, it got very hot in my hand; something I’ve not encountered previously. Once rendered, the scene also lacked clouds (although I’d chosen a region with a cloudscape overhead on purpose), but stars were visible when switching the time to night. Because of this, I’ve not included images from my phone, but rather demo images Alina captured on a tablet device with more oomph than my S2 can manage, as they give a fairer indication of what can be seen when using the right hardware.

Lumiya has clouds - if your Android device has the power

Lumiya has clouds – if your Android device has the power

That my S2 struggled isn’t surprising. There’s an awful lot of work for a small hand-held device to manage, even with just some of the bells and whistles turned on. Just as it is unrealistic to expect older computer hardware with limited graphics performance, memory, etc., to be able to handle all the latest shiny in Second Life, it’s also unfair to expect devices which necessarily have limited capacity to present everyone with the same level of detail with all the options ticked.

Starry, starry night /  Paint your palette the Lumiya way ...

Starry, starry night / Paint your palette the Lumiya way …

Drag-to-Select

Another major new addition to Lumiya in this release is Drag to Select. This comprises a small hand icon in the top left of the world view, with the label Drag to Select. Following the instruction allows you to drag the icon (which changes to an arrow) and point to objects in-world, enabling you to interact with them more easily. Releasing the icon when pointing at an object will bring up the initial interaction menu, allowing you to touch, sit, etc., depending on the object.

Use Drag to Select to interact with in-world objects which may be too small to otherwise use long touch on

Use Drag to Select to interact with in-world objects which may be too small to otherwise use long touch on

This is especially useful when using a small screen, where the finger can easily cover multiple items, resulting in some frustration when trying to long touch something for its menu. Do note, however that as the option removes your avatar from the in-world view, you can’t use it to touch your own attachments; nor does it appear to work on other avatars’ attachments.

Making Purchases

You can now shop ’til you drop with Lumiya. Simply find a vendor or object set for sale, long-touch it, and the pop-up menu includes a Buy Object item. Tap this for a final confirmation before buying.

You can now purchase things with lumiya

You can now purchase things with lumiya (account balance blanked on purpose)

Feedback

Another interesting update, albeit it one which may well tax some devices, prompting users to disable some of the options. Seeing windlight start to arrive in Lumiya is good, and helps the client to become more of a mobile alternative to a full-blown viewer for those on the move requiring their SL fix. Similarly, having the ability to make in-world purchases adds to Lumiya’s attractiveness. I also like the new Drag to select function, although its addition is starting to make the in-world view on small screens rather crowded. Even so, I’d rather have it than not.

I understand that in-world building is on the cards for a future release of Lumiya; now that will be interesting. I presume it’ll be a capability best suited to tablet devices rather than small-screened handhelds, but that’s no reason for seeing it excluded. It just means I’ll have to go buy myself a tablet! :D.

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Lumiya 2.4.7: bake, float, layer and find your place

lumiya-logoLumiya, the mobile client for Android devices saw two rapid-fire updates on June 11th. First came version 2.4.6, offering a lot of new and improved functionality, which was followed by 2.4.7 with a round of bug fixes which demonstrated again that no matter how hard you try to stomp on the little sods before a release, some of them will still be there to blow raspberries at you after a release…

Given the rapid-fire nature of the updates, I’ll be reviewing them all under the banner of the 2.4.7 release.

The Fixes

The under-the-hood fixes to Lumiya with this release comprise:

  • Minor inconsistencies with avatar shape rendering correctly
  • Fixed terrain rendering in regions with default terrain textures
  • Fixed a crash on clearing cache while connected
  • Updates for server-side baking compatibility.

Multi-wear / Multi-attach

Lumiya now supports multi-wear for clothing at attachments.This is enabled via an ADD option appearing in the pop-up menu when selecting items from inventory or outfits to be worn / attached.

Currently, the order in which items on the same clothing layer are displayed is a little random (so if you wear shirt layer item 1 first and then shirt layer item 2, the second item might appear to be worn over the first, but the next time you add them in the same order, the second might appear to be worn under the first). There is also no ability to re-order items once worn, as is possible with a viewer.

At the moment, system clothing in Lumiya all utilises the same icon in inventory & outfits (a shirt icon), regardless of the layer on which it is worn. Alina does plan to improve this in time, however her attention is on other functionality right now.

aaa

Lumiya 2.4.7: (L) – The new ADD option for multi-wear, allowing additional clothing items to be worn on an occupied layer / attachments to be worn on an occupied point, a-la most viewers, and accessible from both inventory and outfits; (c) – the new Places search option, which can be selected from within Search; (r) – the three options available from within Lumiya’s settings for displaying hover text in-world.

Search Places

Lumiya’s Search option has been expanded to incorporate places and well as people. You can toggle between the two on entering search (e.g. by selecting it from the menu displayed when tapping the Menu button on your device) by tapping on the displayed option (People is the default) and selecting the required option from the drop-down.

Emotes and Hover Text

Lumiya now supports emotes in chat (e.g. /me smiles) and will also now display hover text above objects. By default, this is only on for hover text associated with worn HUDs. This is to prevent smaller screens being over-run with lots of on-screen hover text (because you’re roaming through a breedables store, for example). However, it can be enabled for in-world objects (or disabled altogether) by tapping the Menu button on your device and then going to Settings and scrolling down to 3D View and tapping Display floating text. This will display a pop-up menu with three options: On all objects, Only on HUDs, and Do not display – tap the radio button for the desired option.

Feedback

All told, another nice little package of updates to Lumiya which again further increase its capabilities and which enhance it as a worthwhile alternative to a full-blown viewer for those who need to access SL while on the go and away from their computers.  All of the additional functions are nice-to-haves, and the server-side baking / appearance updates ensure that Lumiya remains SSB/A-ready, once the latter starts to go live across the grid. There is something of a delay in changing / updating outfits as a result of SSB/A, so if you do try Lumiya for the first time, please bear this in mind and remember the app is doing an incredible amount of work in order to bring you both a mobile client and a functional in-world, real-time view of the world.

Kudos to Alina once again!

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