Windlight First Look Viewer Updated

November 15th, 2007 | Category: Second Life Clients, Second Life Viewer, Windlight

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
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