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Windlight-Graphic settings-Appearance

We all care about our appearance apart from one or two who really don’t care and will wear and look whatever. (I wish I didn’t care as it would save me a lot of time and Lindens!) So I thought that I would look at the things that affect our appearance.


In early SL there were just 4 settings, sunrise, morning, afternoon and sunset, well I am sure it was those 4 options but I could be totally wrong, but today it is sunrise, midday, sunset and midnight as the 4 basic options. The environment plays a big part in how we look.



Now going back to 2007, Windlight was introduced – “WindLight is the codename for Second Life’s atmospheric rendering system that enhances skies, lighting, and other graphical aspects of the environment. “WindLight” is commonly used by Residents to refer to photographs and machinima that include such effects.”(I joined SL in May 2007 but I wasn’t aware of Windlight then, I just knew the basic 4 options. I didn’t go on any forums so I never really got any SL news back then. I always found sunrise and sunset were the most flattering for your appearance. Though looking at those 4 options now I am not sure any are flattering)


A video dating back to 2007 by the infamous Torley Linden

Todays 4 basic sky settings

I just used low graphic settings that I would have used back then, I look frightful! :-)

 Looking in my Firestorm environments folder I have the choice of  252 different sky settings and the offical SL viewer looks to have the same. So we are spoilt for choice. And what we choose is all down to personal preference. But we must not forget that others may not see us the same due to their own personal environment and graphic settings.

Look at the image on the right, showing the difference in appearance via graphic settings. The 1st minus ambient occlusion and advanced lighting model, the 2nd with those options used.

It is just mostly shadows and highlights that is the difference but it is something to take into account.

I am yet to dabble with the EEP(Environment ehnancement project) so I cannot talk about that, but that can be saved for another blog. 


So while you spend valuable hours making your appearance look just right others may see you in a totally different light, literally!

It can be a good idea for groups of friends to use the same windlight and graphic settings so that you are all on the same page! You cannot guarantee exactly the same results due to your individual PC’s/graphics cards etc but close to it.


Why do you think you can never get the exact look advetised on heads/skins? There’s lots of variants that change how we look. It can be handly to know what windlight skin/head manufacturers use and use the same one but even then as I have found out you don’t always get the same result.


I have taken 21 pics using different windlights, I used some of the most common and a few random ones.


You will notice the huge differences between all of those windlights and it is all about trial and error to get the windlight you are happy with. 


I only use high graphic settings when taking shots of myself and other people, for the rest of the time I use lower graphic settings to make things run quicker. If you have a super dooper top of the market PC setup then yeah, use high graphics all of the time, but some of us need to speed our SL experience up a bit to suit our PC. 


You may want to adjust windlight setting when visiting certain sims to get the benefit of what the sim is about. It is good to play with the windlight depending on which sim you are in. Or just use 1 setting to take personal pics and for other regions use the region settings which have usually been set up to suit the content of that sim. 

My only point of reference was from HERE