Updated: 3rd July 2020
Disclaimer: I am not part of the Catznip support team, I simple choose to use it as my primary viewer. I actively encourage others to use Catznip which is why I wrote this page covering some of its basic features.
How each individual sets up their viewer should be based on your own preferences along with the capabilities of the PC your running on and network bandwidth. Below I cover a few basics as well as provide some helpful tips with a few of the viewers lesser known features.
Right clicking the toolbar allows you to either add or remove toolbar buttons. You can drag and drop each tool to either left side, right side, top or bottom.
I keep my toolbar to an absolute minimum only showing the tools I use more frequently, for some reason I like its location at the bottom.
I have screen shot a whole selection of screens and included them in a slideshow, some of the less important, mainly aesthetic ones are not included. For graphics I switch between several presets. What is represented below was the preset that was active at the time.
The following series of Preferences images may not show my current settings
If you find you are suffering from blurry textures, even after already been previously-rendered then check Advance Graphic settings. Dial down your Texture Memory to 1/2 and then slowly creep it up till you find the sweet spot.
Hiding Local Chat
I will be adding details here on how I hide the pesky scrolling local chat in the near future. In the meantime, if your interested in knowing the trick to doing this then connect with me in SL or in Discord.
Hide My Lookat
Lookat is one of my pet peeves in SL, Unlike other viewers that exploit it by associating an agent name with a camera anchor. Catznip does not exploit it, I also suggest whatever viewer you use, you choose to not have the feature active.
My advise if anyone complains about you staring at them, it’s there issue. “Your free to put your camera anywhere you choose, if they don’t wish to be seen, then maybe they shouldn’t be here”.
They choose to enable Lookat and they choose to use a SL viewer that exploits it. It’s therefore best to simply ignore them, if they get on their soapbox then simply block them, it’s one less idiot in your world. Ultimately people who soapbox about cross hairs have very little knowledge of how the technical side of SL works. If they did they wouldn’t complain and they would likely turn off the ability to broadcast camera anchors.
Bottom line is it’s no one’s business where your camera is anchored (this is also the opinion of Linden Lab). Besides, the anchor point is not a true indicator of where a person may actually be looking, its simply the point the system chooses to anchor your camera on.
There are very few users who have legitimate use for a local area object search. Due to the nature of how much area search functionality hammers a region it is currently not available in the Catznip viewer.
Built in AO
Personally, this is something I am on the fence about and its probably the first reason I swapped from using firestorm to using Catznip. This fundamentally resides in the fact that I am forced to wear the Firestorm Bridge object.
Beyond that, attachment based AO’s can do things a viewer based AO can’t. For example an attached AO can do attachment to attachment communication, a prime example here would be the Virtual Disgrace AO and an RLV enabled collar.
This feature is still in Beta, will be released with Catznip R12.4
The new camera controls provides added functionality to not only easily adjust camera view. It also provides you with the ability to save different camera views which can easily be toggled between. This feature is a great feature if you want to have a more immersive view over the above camera from rear view.
The two images below show more Immersive views I have created and save from both Front and Rear view. Click each image to expand for large views.
The pref area of the UI provides a GUI interface to adjust certain viewer settings. The other way to adjust settings is via debug settings. Before you go and make changes to settings this way, a word of warning. You could break your viewer resulting in the requirement to perform a full clean install to get it working. Furthermore, most helpers for the various viewer support teams are unable to help resolve issues if you have gone in and adjusted debug settings. In saying that I do find myself making several changes via debug settings. Most I keep to myself however there are a few that constantly come up in discussion.
Advanced>Show Debug Settings will bring up the debug floater, here you can type in the debug setting you wish to change if you know it. Or you can scroll down till you find the one you are looking for.
- PitchFromMousePosition and YawFromMousePosition = 0 (default= 90.000) These will help prevent head movement when you move your mouse around. You will also want to toggle off Arm Points Towards Selection and Turn Towards Selection under BUILD>OPTIONS (OBJECT – for viewer versions earlier than 12.2).
- RenderDynamicLOD = FALSE (default = TRUE) If left true you will see some Mesh objects render/de-render dynamically depending on camera distance/movement. I actually prefer to see everything render within my field of view rather than dynamically rendering in and out based on camera movement.
- RenderVolumeLODFactor = 3.000 (default = 1.000) I tend to up mine to 3.000. You can increase it to 8.000 however I would not recommend doing that. See NOTE 1 on my thoughts on upping the LOD factor.
NOTE 1: Setting RenderVolumeLODFactor too high can have a serious impact on performance for example a LOD of 4 is too high. Therefore I wouldn’t recommend going higher than 3. The SL community really should be holding content creators who continue to ignore LL’s ongoing recommendations they really need to optimize what they create. For users you need to understand that increasing LOD will result in experiencing lower frame rates, why should we have to put up with this just to cover up for creator’s ignorance.
NOTE 2: You will find if you change graphic settings that some changes made to debug settings will revert to default values.
The first one is imply showing (eye icon) that I have my sky currently fixed and set as CalWL.
The middle and right ones (people icon) shows how I generally limit the agents (avatars) I see when at events were my FPS and lag are impacted simply by the number of agents (avatars) present.
Note: Most lag is client based and not grid based. The rendering Myself and exceptions means most people do not render. Another option is to render Everyone as silhouettes, with this option you see shaded frozen silhouettes of others. This goes further than Jellydoll in that it also prevents the download of textures in the background.
I always keep under Exceptions the “Friends” toggle checked. In the example above (right) you will see I have “Nearby avatars (20m)” checked, this is generally not checked. At the time I took the image it was checked since there was only an additional 10 avatars at the venue.
People who are not friends who I often communicate in local with I click Others and add them as exceptions.
I find one of the main reasons people tell me Firestorm is the best viewer is based around additional features other viewers have not provided a UI for such as built in AO, Radar, object find functionality. Well just cause they can add these functions via a bridging script I am often left wondering if those functions ultimately result in performance degradation at a region level cause of constant scanning. Obviously one of the top features people often ask me is, does Catznip have a built in Radar.
In short it doesn’t, however it does provide a way to keep an eye on who is present via its People floater, provided your happy to keep the floater up.
In essences you could say its a pseudo radar without the announcing in local chat. The way I find it the most helpful is to set the Sort order as Sort by Recent arrival and them limit it to people within Range and/or on Current Parcel. The range is whatever distance you set on the Range (m) slider at the bottom. Mine is set similar to my draw distance of 128m.
Snoozing Group Chat
Often I am not interested in group chat due to the amount of chatter occurring. When this happens I generally snooze group chat for x amount of time were x = 5 mins, 15 mins, 30 mins, 45 mins or 1 hour or next relog. You do this by clicking the down arrow in the chat box right of the snooze alarm clock. Depending on the group I often choose 30 mins, 1 hour or Next relog.
There are times when you may find you have to replace several links, generally related to the “My Outfits” feature. For example when a mesh body or head update is rolled out. I don’t have a lot of links cause I use CTS Wardrobe and have abolished the need to use “My Outfits” along with the need for links with a few minor exceptions. I use one of those exceptions as an example.
Once you unpack the update and move the items into the relevant folder that you keep your object in. Right click (1) the old version of the object and select (2) Replace Links. In the image below you will see I have already swapped to the V5.2 Lara body from the V5.1 and am now replacing links before I delete V5.1.
A dialog box will pop up with the object listed in the OLD text box. It will tell you how many links have been found, in my case only 6 links, for people using “My Outfits” this is likely going to be 100’s of links. See Red outline section in the image below.
Now drag the new object into the New text box (3) and click Start as per the image on the right.
You will see the links count down to 0 (zero) as they are replaced. Cause I have only 6 links this process is relatively quick, if you have 100’s then this can take some time.
The end result will be a notification that replacing links has finished as indicated in the RED outlined section.
If you want to double check before deleting the old object you can right click it again and select Replace Links, the popup box will show there are 0 (zero) links to replace.
All you need to do now is right click the old object (4) and then delete (5).
You want a fast way to add/detach those pesky HUD’s or dare I say a quick way to add/detach those anatomical attachments. Then the Quick Inventory feature is the way to go. For this feature I will simply direct you at Butta’s YouTube Video.
Inventory “Accept” Feature
One of the cooler features of Catznip is its “Configure ‘Accept in’ Folders” feature that allows you to automatically have items when accepted stored in sub folders that are dynamically created containing variables as per the cheats listed in the following image.
For this feature I will simply direct you at Butta’s Youtube Video.