Nov 15

Windlight First Look Viewer Updated

Category: Second Life Clients, Second Life Viewer, Windlight by Stone Culdesac

The day after the new release candidate with the new search is released, Linden Labs has released a new version of the Windlight First Look viewer, version 1.18.5.73655, and this version contains the new search, so I guess one time will be the number of times I log into yesterdays release candidate. Anyway, this is my time trying the Windlight client and it looks pretty good, I really like some of the effects you can use, I have become attached to the Sheer Surreality preset, but, that’s probably just the mood I am in.

They list five major new enhancements to the Windlight viewer,

1) Windlight itself brings back Classic Clouds, the moon, fallback (aka non-shader) WindLight is now much faster and of higher quality, which ensures those with older hardware still get fast, beautiful new skies, UI improvements to the Sky Editor dialog and a new Basic Environment Editor dialog.

2) Photorealistic water for those with powerful-enough graphics cards they now offer an amazing, much more physically-accurate water model, check this pic!

Second Life Windlight examples

3) All objects can now have a glow attribute assigned to them.

4) Avatar imposters - This should be a huge help to those hitting the popular spots as it can give you up to 40% fps increase in crowded scenes. It doesn’t go into detail about how they do it, but I assume it uses some kind of generic avatar to get the sim loaded quickly, just guessing.

5) Improved graphics preferences tab, which has been simplified and re-organized.

There is more exciting work planned for WindLight, including estate controls for custom skies/water and making skies/water available as trade able inventory items. Stay tuned for more info.

Also, there are several known issues we’re working on. You can find a complete list in the Release Notes. Some of the notable ones are:

  • Behavior in Leopard on Macs can be overly slow, and textures may be misplaced.

  • Shiny doesn’t look the same as before. We’re working to get it very close, if not better.
  • NVIDIA beta drivers 169.04 currently do not support shaders.
  • Some of your colors and textures might appear overexposed or washed out with the new lighting framework.

Source: WindLight First Look is back

Not sure how Torley and some of those guys have gotten those great effects on some of their pics, like this one, click for a bigger view:

improved second life graphics

But, here are a few pics I took tonight using it, I guess I just need better subject matter at a different time of the day, I guess, and probably a video card driver update and some good old fashioned tweaking to make it better.

Clouds

Here’s a new shot from The Wall.

Sunset

Sunrise

Daytime

Another sunset

Sunset Alpine Village

In a related post, Knowledge Base Article of the Week: WindLight Fever!, Jeremy Linden posted a bunch of info and links about Windlight, like Introduction to WindLight , Advanced Sky Editor, Advanced Water Settings, and info I was looking for earlier about the Avatar Impostors. Be sure to check the WindLight First Look folder in the Knowledge Base for lots more articles, and before you get started, check the system requirements to make sure you can run it properly.

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1 Comment so far

  1. The Grid Live » Windlight Overview and Tips November 16th, 2007 7:18 pm

    [...] graphics preferences in the first look client as well as an idea on how to use glow. In my previous post on Windlight, I could not get the water to reflect like they do, and it’s probably my graphics card, while [...]

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