Yesterday Linden Lab released a new “First look Viewer” for “↑Second Life“ (SL) [they call the SL-client a “viewer”], a new test-client. With the ↑WindLight First Look Viewer: 184.108.40.206469 you can regularly log on to SL’s main grid, and experience a new technology integrated, namely ↑windwardmark interactive‘s ↑WindLight, at the heart of which “is a physically-correct model of how light actually behaves in the outdoors. […] WindLight takes into account over twenty lighting parameters, each of which map to real-world light contributors in the Earth’s atmosphere. […] Any time of day, from dawn to twilight, can be represented […]“ ↑Detect already had the test-client installed yesterday, messed around with the newly added settings options, and came up with a ↑series of pictures of his Sim, the (SLurl:) ↑City of Abaddon. Today I tried it, and have to second his opinion—it really is an improvement to SL. In the “World” drop-down menu there has been added “Sky Settings,” just beneath “Force Sun.” Clicking on it gives you a window with three tabs containing all in all 50 sliders to control the atmosphere settings. Furthermore there is a drop-down box with preset settings to try out—do that, as the default preset is, well, … not so good. After having seen the presets, hit “New” and go havoc with the sliders in creating your own preset. The best thing to me is the “Day Cycle Editor,” which allows to save changing atmosphere settings for a whole SL-day (currently 4 hours). This allows e.g. the owner of a Sim to define a whole day’s sky and atmosphere matching the ambience of the Sim’s theme. The picture above is a rendition of the nighttime for Detect’s upcoming combat system “Final Days” … “↑Blade Runner“ worthy in my humble opinion. The next thing on this line which will be integrated into SL, is ↑Nimble, which creates volumetric clouds, and “allows the user to fly up, over, and through multiple cloud layers with full density and vision occlusion, all in realtime. […] Wind control, density control, pattern attributes and coverage are all interactively modifiable by the user.” It seems that, after Newtonian physics, meteorological and celestial phenomena are the current trend in bringing more naturalism into spaces created by game engines. Watch the ↑trailers of Alan Wake for that.
Results of my fooling around with the atmosphere settings in SL. The pictures were taken in Abaddon City—the upper one is outside the Dojo Detect has newly built, the lower one is on the street in front of Bar Substance. Detect’s pictures and the two of mine also were taken having RenderGlow activated, which makes inworld light sources glow. To activate it go to “Client” → “Debug Settings” and click the drop-down box. A huge list will appear, scroll down to “RenderGlow”, click it, and set it “TRUE”. You can also mess around with “RenderGlowResolution”, “RenderGlowSize”, and “RenderGlowStrength” a bit, if you wish. No “Client” in your menu bar at the top? Hit Ctrl+Alt D to add “Client” and “Server” menus. You’ll need those anyway when you decide to hang more in SL, you geeks.