Second Life: Windlight Tutorial

Daeberethwen Arbenlow has a 20 minute video (3/27/2016) on controlling your Windlight settings for photography in Second Life. She uses the Firestorm Viewer and the Photo Tools feature it has. Those using the basic Linden viewer can accomplish the same changes to Windlight, just not as easily nor will the video help you learn how to use the Linden viewer, just the Firestorm viewer.

Daeberethwen does a good job of explaining all the settings and what they do. Along with the verbal description is the video example allowing you to see the changes.

Firestorm has the best set of features for photographers and machinigraphers (or is that machinamists?). 


For ‘artistic’ photography and machinima the Firestorm viewer is my favorite. I still have problems with the FS viewer going all jerky on me. The PING time goes high, pulls FPS down, and things get jerky. I can ping the sim from the Windows command prompt and the ping time is good. So, it is viewer/server lag.

The FPS is better in this version (4.7.7-48706). I do tend to turn Sun/Moon & Projectors off when using FS. But, I haven’t crashed with FS. About 90 minutes in I get mini freezes and low FPS. But, I haven’t used this version as much as I have the current Catznip and HTTP RC Linden, mostly because they seem to work better.

For a series of quick still shots, I like FS best, click and save, repeat. Several other viewers have a couple of more required clicks in the process slowing things down. Also, some viewers with each new secession require you enter a beginning file name for your shots. I find that handy and prefer it. Others don’t. They just use ‘snapshot’ by default and I have to ‘save as…’ to change the name.

For quick photos and machinima I tend to just shoot from the Linden viewer (HTTP RC for now). It too is jerky but doesn’t seem as jerky as FS. I do crash with the HTTP RC sometime after the first hour of use.

While I find all the viewers currently more problematic than past viewers, when I go back and look at the images I captured from 2008 to 2014, they don’t compare with what I capture now. Second Life is much nicer looking now than it was. With the features in Firestorm your images can be gorgeous.

8 thoughts on “Second Life: Windlight Tutorial

  1. Pingback: Graphics, Windlight, Art | Dings Digital's Diary

  2. Is it jerky while capturing or always jerky? Does it depend on the SIM? If your HD is slow (5400rpm) you can have issues capturing. Is your firewall possibly scanning the connection to SL? Are all your cpu cores enabled or are some parking? Is Windows not using the full core speed of your gpu?

    • Always jerky. For me it depends mostly on how many people are around, CPU’s (4) all about 75%, GPU GTX560 @ 25 to 50%. But, the video here isn’t mine. You can see my video in my YouTube channel:

      • So the issue is not capturing but your viewing experience. Do the other viewers have the same result? Do you get the same result on a different PC? Have you tried it with your Firewall turned off? Maybe you are running Windows Firewall at the same time as a 3rd party Firewall (happened to me even though I had disabled Windows). Maybe your viewer settings are severe for example AA or AF? I’ll assume you are hard wired to the net? Geez it’s getting tougher and tougher to prove I’m not a robot. Eventually I’m going to fail then I will no longer be classified as Human?

        • I appreciate your response.

          Different viewers have different degrees of the problem. Firestorm clears the gray faster than the Linden QG RC… way faster. For now Catznip is my fastest rendering viewer.

          My laptop is a different experience, but it runs and Intel HD chip and lots of render stuff is turned off.

          You might want to look through this and see what you think I’ve missed:

          Robots… they are searching for other intelligent life… Humans are second class citizens. But not to worry, they think we are all robots when we are in SL.

      • Recently I had the opportunity to Benchmark various combinations of AMD 6300 vs X5650 vs GTX 660 vs GTX 67 vs GTX 780 and found the AMD cpu uses about 50-60% while the Intel cpu used 14%. 209 fps vs 242fps. Oveclocking the cpu with a GTX 780 produced 338 fps. Intels run cooler and using less usage than the AMD chips however for the price they do very well. Which cpu are you using?

        • NVIDIA GTX560…

          Did you also compare the CPU use with the Intel HD chips to CPU use with AMD and NVIDIA?

          • I didn’t have a Intel HD gpu however I am sure that would be woefully behind and practically unusable (for me) for quality SL use especially with high settings. I imagine the cpu use would go up? I imagine the temps would be significant as well. So if you had fast mobile device and run on low settings you are probably good to go but at the minimum settings I suspect.

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