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  1.  (221.1)
    Is it worth trying? Any issues?
  2.  (221.2)
    I finally tried it out yesterday for the first time. It's definitely an enhancement to the ambience of the Wastelands, especially on certain presets such as Desert Sunset and Pirate Sunset i think. I believe Control+Alt+E brings up the advanced setting controls for sky and water where you can access the presets.
    I should've wandered around SL more with it but i got wrapped up tweaking the textures in the Excavation so certain things (the crystals, water, falling light from openings above) would Glow as i had designed them to be in the regular viewer also (with Renderglow enabled). Glow is an adjustable value for textures within the Edit menu in the Windlight viewer. Just a small little bit is all you need otherwise a surface or object becomes a blinding spotlight.

    If/when/probably never have time, i'd like to play around with making a custom setting for sky/water for various points in the passage of the day for use in the Wastelands. For a brief period of time, I tried making the water appear to be a sea of desert sand with laughable results.

    But as i was can be very intensive if you play around with the various settings, and i really should've just hopped around SL to see what it was like in different places instead of making more work for myself.
    • CommentTimeDec 7th 2007
    Forgive my lack of wherewithal to search and find out for myself, but what exactly is this Windlight of which you speak?

    And is it as necessarily as technical as you make out? It sounds interesting...
  3.  (221.4)
    Windlight is the atmospheric rendering (sky/water/sun/shading) program that Linden Labs hopes to incorporate into the primary Second Life viewer/client software. You can download and install their First Look viewer here.

    Second Life Community First Look

    First Look is essentially the community beta-tester for future upgrades. Windlight has been in the works for awhile now. It was in an earlier First Look but then removed and recently returned (where it shall remain for who knows how long?).

    It's not necessarily as technical or time-demanding as i may have implied for the casual user/explorer. It certainly can be if you chose to go in and play around with the settings and customize things to your liking. Depends on how much you really wanna dig around and play with it. In some cases, (like merely switching to one of the Preset Sky settings) you might be pleased with the results.

    There may be others here who can describe the nature of the First Look viewer/client thing better than I. This was the first time i bothered to install it.
    • CommentTimeDec 7th 2007
    I'm writing this at the end of a long day.. so please pardon me if some things don't make sense. I'll go back and edit when i'm not sleep deprived and hungry.

    Windlight is great for visuals - unfortunately, because my computer is 2-3 years old, it takes a huuuuuge hit on my computer when I turn on the options that allow for the pretty clouds. I can only really afford to position my camera, switch 'atmospheric shaders' on momentarily, take a snapshot.. and then switch back... because with it enabled, I get only 0.4-5FPS, sometimes less.

    Windlight, being in First Look testing... still also has a lot of bugs that need to be ironed out. For a while, I was experiencing crashes for attempting to take snapshots... and i still get major system shutdowns when i try to resize my Windlight window.

    That said, there are some stability improvements worked in to the Windlight client that go beyond pretty skies. One major help is a new feature called 'avatar imposters' which basically means your computer renders other avatars at a lower quality in order to improve FPS. Also - even lower end users will be able to take advantage of different skies and water reflections (just not the clouds).

    There are ongoing office hours for Windlight Tuesdays and THursdays for those who are looking for info on features and bugs, or who just want to provide feedback. Lindens have actually been pretty receptive about answering, keeping an eye on and taking up the task of fixing issues given that they have enough info to make the fix. i *think* the Tuesday office hours are 8-9 and Thurs 2-3, but i could be wrong. They are listed in the event postings. You can also discuss Windlight Firstlook in the FirstLook group.
  4.  (221.6)
    windlight, at present, is rather great IF you only want to travel in slow-motion and take snapshots. i tried doing the apocalypse now head / water thing - very silly. the reflections are great. It's a bit like playing far cry on a machine that's just not fast enough to play it - everything looks great, but it crawls. I tried it in black swan, made their fantastic sculpties look even more impressive.
    • CommentTimeDec 8th 2007
    I'm thrilled with it. I have a shit graphics card and processor, and SL has always run lousy for me. thanks to Windlight, I can go into places like Toxian City that have more than five people in them at any one time, and actually interact with people in something approximating real time. I don't even have to keep it on the lowest graphics setting to do so, either.
    • CommentTimeDec 8th 2007
    I tried it, and it sure was pretty. My graphics card is new even if my computer is old, so it ran okay... but I got a lot of weird artifacting - polygons exploding out to infinity at certain viewing angles, for example.

    But in the end, I'm not going to use it... It makes the world look great, but the harsh lighting on faces made my pretty pretty avatar suddenly look ugly ugly :(
    • CommentTimeDec 8th 2007
    "polygons exploding out to infinity"

    I know it's probably not, but that sounds ridiculously awesome and I want to see it.
    • CommentAuthorhank
    • CommentTimeDec 11th 2007
    It seems kind of cool, but dynamic lighting is Very hard to get right and it really seems that this is an odd implementation of it.
    • CommentAuthorhank
    • CommentTimeJan 10th 2008
    I have been using exclusively since Christmas. I cannot complain, though it seems more system intensive. I will have to do a side by side with the regular client in IAL to see if there is a big difference.