Making Videos in Second Life

Parcel Windlight

I am surprised, sort of, that people do not know more about Windlight. I was definitely surprised that Bryn Oh had us jumping through the Windlight setup process for the Immersive Exhibit. I suppose Bryn did that so that the landing point could use default settings, otherwise a lot of people might have been at a total loss as to what was happening.

It was back in December 2012 that I was writing about Parcel Windlight. See: Phoenix Viewer Final Release? In 2012 this was a Phoenix Viewer only thing. Since then the Lab has added Region Windlight. Region Owners and Estate Managers can set the Windlight settings for their land. All a visitor has to do to see them is have their viewer using region default settings, which is the viewer default setting.

One Windlight Use for Everyone

With the advent of mesh and especially Fitted Mesh we are seeing new bodies, boobs, butts, feet, and hands. All of these have to be adjusted so the skin matches among the various additions. That can be really difficult and misleading if you are not tweaking your Windlight settings first. You need a neutral environment setting in which to adjust your skin color.

Trying to set your skin color in the early morning or late evening in SL will result in a poor color match. Even using the mid-day setting is not ideal, but better than other times of day.

I wrote Matching Skin Color – Second Life to explain how to use Windlight to simplify your skin color matching tasks. I included links to more Windlight presets. I actually have something like 700 presets.

Keeping Your Presets

Every now and then we need to do a clean re-install of the viewer. Or we may want to try out another viewer and want our presets in that new viewer. In both cases we can suddenly find we need to re-install our presets.

I dealt with the problem of saving Windlight settings when I wrote Second Life Clean Install. If you haven’t read it, it provides good basic knowledge for any Second Life user. It is getting out-of-date and I really should rewrite it.

The important part for saving Windlight settings is to grab the Windlight settings folder after you have your presets installed. Copy the Windlight folders to some place safe. You will find the viewer’s default presets in:

Win7: C:\Program Files (x86)\SecondLifeViewer\app_settings\windlight

The presets you create will be stored in:

Win7: C:\Users\[Win_login_ID]\AppData\Roaming\SecondLife\user_settings\windlight

I suggest you NOT mix the two together.

Presets you download and install should be placed in the second location. If you use a viewer other than the SL Viewer replace ‘SecondLife’ with your viewer name. Browser to the location my paths suggest and look for your viewer name to get the exact name.

Using the Roaming location allows each user of the computer and each avatar to have their own settings collection.


It seems each year we get more features and controls for our virtual world and people keep asking for more. The result is no one knows everything there is to know about Second Life. But, if you want to make great movies in SL, you are going to need to learn about the movie making process and the details of creating atmosphere in Second Life.

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  1. Pingback: Making Videos in Second Life | Zarf's

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