Video Tutorials/TotW-30

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Second Life Tip of the Week #30: Graphics Preferences Guide

The following are 8 different text transcripts of the above video tutorial. These weren't edited, and there are typos. You're most welcome to correct them — your help is appreciated! — and let Torley know if you find this useful and/or want to help transcribe in the future (it's currently being done experimentally via Amazon's Mechanical Turk).

Version 1 - A3JBRQHOEQVDZW

Amicable salutations. It's me! Torley Linden, of course, and oh! I've gone shopping it seems, thank to Tutu Claxton who made this avatar. If you're wondering, where are the watermelons? Look closely, there's green and pink right there. And there's more melons. Ha ha! Anyway, let's get started.

In today's tip of the week, I'm going to cover the graphics preferences. What you need to know. A guided tour is showing you what just about everything does. Follow me and let's come along.

Edit menu, and preferences, and graphics. Now, by default it's a simple slider. And normally if you click recommended settings, it will optimize depending on your hardware. If you have supported hardware (and I highly do recommend that), meet the system requirements, or meet the system recommendations (even better), then you should be able to enjoy all of the graphics options in their glorious entirety. Otherwise, you may not be able to turn some of them on. I also advise you to upgrade your graphics drivers to the newest stables versions, whether you're on Invidea or ATI.

Now, enough of that talk. There's time for more show. So custom. This button, it enables all these options under here. Because normally you can one-click set it, right? Like set it to mid, for example. Set it back to low. And custom will give you more granular control. There we go, a lot of options.

And you may say, "Oh my gosh, this looks complicated." Well, there are a few simple principles which you should remember. For example, sliders to the left will mean that they are faster, the performance will be faster, and the quality will be less. Such as, mesh detail for objects. You turn to the left, it will be low. To the right, it will be high. This principle is true for all of them. Generally also, checking things will turn on options and make things slower with some exceptions. Such as avatar imposters, which I shall show you later. It one of my favorite viewer optimizations. Boosts your frame rate.

OK, so let's start right here at the shaders part. That's a nice starting place. Bump mapping and shiny. We may remove this in the future. Just about everyone can have this turned on. So, if I'm going to res a cube right here. With that off, I'll zoom in, test your shiny. It does nothing. But when I turn this on, now it has shiny. I move my camera, shiny, shiny, shiny. You can set it to shiny high.

And the bump mapping refers to this bumpiness. We don't yet have support for custom bump maps, but we will hope to in the future with materials. That's our keyword for having a versatile system for objects that can get beyond this. But right now you can add extra depth, make it look more 3D with these bump maps. So you can combine those and it looks pretty cool that way. Sort of.

The sky's not supposed to be white that way. I think there's something buggy with that. It's not supposed to blink on and off. That is, though, because I don't have even basic shaders even on. If I'm going to turn basic shaders on, then the world is going to look more beautiful. So let me just angle up there, and then turn basic shaders. There should be subtle differences and the terrain should also get sharper.

By the way, if your terrain looks splotchy, set it to high. See, crisper detail right there. This would normally be great out on higher end configurations. When I turn on the basic shaders. There we go. You see right there. Well the water I mean. I meant the water looks nicer already. See. Notice it went off. The way is like a inky. Then when it's on, ooo, it's going to get better. Things are going to get better. Getting betting all the time.

OK. Now, atmospheric shaders. If you've heard of WindLight, that's the code name for our atmospheric rendering technology, providing physically accurately modeled lighting effects, and atmospheres, and environments. Woo! So, when I turn this on, notice the sky. It will light the ground. It will have a greater dynamic range. It will just look more realistic, put it that way. And the sky will have nicer clouds and stuff.

Yeah, there we go. See. So now I've got this. It's more noticeable at some times of day. Like if I was to go to world menu, environment settings, and sunrise. OK, note how the sun looks. Ooo! Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. And if I turn off those shaders, then it's going to look not so beautiful. The clouds have gone away, it looks anemic, and it's just fading out.

It's not supposed to turn white like that. Oh there we go. Yeah, it's kind of pale. It's flashing at me. That seems buggy. I'll just turn it back on. If you can possibly turn that on, if your card, GPU graphics card, has DirectX 9 or higher shader support, you should be able to.

And next, water reflections. This does what you think it should do. However, it is rather taxing and may cause a severe performance hit, depending on your system. On higher end systems, not so much. But the best way to find out, try it, right?

I hear the sound of dropping boxes or something.

Let me go back to midday, and I'll turn it on and off to show you. So, I'm with the waters, and we don't have reflections so the water looks nice. So I turn them on. OK, that was a subtle change. Did you notice that? If I put something over the water. Oh, this is probably very recognizable. Oh, it has levels.

So terrain and trees, this means Linden trees, not resident created ones out of prims. So notice those aren't going to be reflected. But static objects, you can move. These go up cumulatively, successively, I mean. Then you start to turn on extra details. Let me get my avatar on top of the water so you can see. And actually, what I can do here is go to world, environment settings, and environment editor. I want to change the water and make it glassy. That way you can easier see the reflections, because it's glassy, like Philip Glass.

OK. Now I will turn on all avatars and objects. And there! There you see, my avatar is a reflection. Before I was a vampire, or something like it, but now I'm not. See? Then it adds that. So, terrain, all static objects, all avatars and objects, and now everything.

Everything has a benefit, also, of, you may not have noticed a difference there, but if there were things like particles, that would've shown up. Oh! Let me show you quickly actually, there's a particle, I think there's a waterfall. Oops, not a wayerfrall, a waterfall, a waterfall particle system.

Let me just quickly do this. Don't mean to rush you, but just to show you a quick demonstration. I know you don't have a lot of time sometimes, and I want to get this information nice and quick. I'll just copy that. Just paste it in there. Oh, it's going slow. That's not my library. It's confusing. It's kind of moving slowly. There we go.

OK, so waterfalls, right? I mean waterfall particles. This is just a particle system. It's emitting a fine mist. Let me put it over the water like that. Then, as you can see, the particles are also reflected. Normally if you don't have that everything, then they're not going to be. So it adds extra detail.

Sometimes there's things like night, I think. Let me just check this to be clear. Yeah, you notice the stars, if you look very closely at the stars. They are also reflected in the water. Kind of hard to see that, but it's beautiful. That what you need to be. Beautiful!

OK. Well, before we... Avatar imposters is like the tour de force here. I'll get to that I promise.

Draw distance - how far you can see off into the distance, as it says. You turn this up higher and it will let you see further. So 64 is the lowest, and you crank it up, and you can see further. You know, so there's trees and there's going to be other things. Keep in mind, the higher you set it, the slower Second Life will be, because it needs to render all these objects. And if you're looking very far away, that going to be a lot more resource usage. It's already kind of.

You'll see there's parts of this building appearing here. Slide it back down. Usually 128-192 is typical. See how it works for you though. That's what it is though.

Max particle count. Oh, this is a good one! It says we have a particle emitter right here. You can control how many particles you see on screen at one time. Too many may be so-called laggy. So if you turn them all the way off, you're not going to have any. And you can turn them all the way up, then you're going to see more on the screen at one time. Typically you can set this about 4,096. That's the typical number. Post process quality.

OK, you're like, "What does that mean?" And by the way, there's this question mark here. You can always click this to get help. So, like it says. Sets to resolution with which glow is rendered. Now, let's have a look at glow. Right click, and I'm just going to drag this up. Now many of these graphics option are within the texture tab, and glow is too. So I can set glow. OK, the object is glowing.

I just move these little. They're called spinners, these little arrows here, spinners. And I can set it to high. Let's see if that makes a visible difference for us. It may be easier to see this in the dark, since it's glowing. Maybe not. We can set the glow higher. Let's see, glow to high. There's only two settings there. It's subtle. So, see how that goes for you.

Ah, mesh detail. So, I'm looking at a detailed mini map of sorts. Not the same as this mini map, but it's right out here in the open. It's got sculpted prims. It's got a fair amount of very small and detailed geometry. So this is a good candidate for preferences and the mesh detail objects, because when I set it to low, it will reduce the number of polygons, which means that objects will look crappier, but they wouldn't impose as much of a rendering burden.

Notice that? OK. So, now they look very, very, they don't look the same as before, and notice how the round things, they look more like hexagon platforms. If you scale it up to maximum, the high, then it gets better looking. Sometimes stuff may still look residually artifacted, I mean, degraded like that. So, move your camera in and out to adjust that. Low. High. So that's what that does.

Flexiprims. That is, OK, let me get a flexiprim here. I haven't noticed, I think there may be a bug which this, which doesn't work it is fixed. I'll create something. Let me create a flexiprim. I'll stretch up this prim. I love giving you illustrated examples of stuff. And in the features tab, you notice right here, flexible path. This makes it all wiggly. Wiggly prim! OK, I can't quite see the wiggliness yet. Let me just drag it up, and it will get wiggly when I start wiggling it. Ooo, wiggles. Now notice, it's literally a flexible prim.

This likely has an effect when there's a lot of them on the screen at once, where it should. And then it controls the smoothness of how they wiggle.

I'm going to make a few more. They're kind of like those wavy tube man guys that you see at some used car sale places. I'm just copying a whole bunch of them. I mean, I'm going to clean up after. I'm not going to be bad about this. So then we can wiggle them. Let's see if it makes a difference though. That's what I came here to show you.

So they're kind of smooth. They're moving slowly. Let's see, move to high. Does that make a difference? Low. Well, it doesn't seem to be much of an apparent difference. I'll go ahead and report it as a bug. That's still being a problem.

Let's move on. We are here at Linden World Lobby. Trees, trees, the magical food, or something like that.

Tree mesh detail controls the detail of Linden trees. And how do you know if it's a Linden tree? Well probably the easiest way is just to right click and edit. If you notice these are grayed out, then it's a Linden tree. You can't script a Linden tree, and they have a number of limits. They're strange that way. Also, it doesn't glow. Notice like other objects have a tutorial on the trouble with Linden trees.

But anyway, so you'll notice, if I move to low, from a further distance, they're probably going to look more like cardboard cutouts. And if I move it to high, they should become richer. Yeah. See. It's kind of inconsistent sometimes, but notice. Low. High. Low. They look really anemic. And they look just like flat. And then High. Of course, high will make them render slower, too, once you get closer.

Avatars. Oh, this one would probably be a good one for a crowded place. I'm just teleporting from scene to scene here. Let me go to a place with a lot of avatars, and we can see what that does, eh? Actually avatars used in correlation with avatar imposters. That will be useful. So let's save this one for a little bit later.

Terrain. Yeah, this is a good one for a bumpy place. I should show you somewhere that has... Oh, even this would do actually. Some place with curves. So when terrain mesh detail is low, terrain may look more jagged. It's not going to look as organic and flowing. But it's high, notice. High. Low. High. Low.

This becomes most apparent at mountains. Let me show you a good mountain range for that. Mountain range found and located. Notice terrain has a level of detail, meaning when you zoom in, of course it gets more detailed, more roundy. But when you're off like this and terrain is low, it looks like a 90s video game. So when I make it to high. Notice, better. Low. High. Low. High.

And by the way, I know some of you are going to ask, and I should cover this in a future video tutorial. In advanced menu and debug settings here, there are a bunch of things which one has in addition to this. Power user tweakage. So, for now, I'm just going to show the basics. If you're curious, you can watch that later. Low. High. Low. High. They're like doing the dance. I like that song.

And sky mesh detail, finally. Of all these mesh details, it just makes the sky look better, of course. If you set it to low, they're going to look blockier. This is most noticeable with some types of suns I think. If I set it to a sunset. And let's go here. Triangles in the sky. Low, so you notice. So it's not so round. It's a little bit off. High. Low. High. Low. High. And let's see here.

Let me grab a custom preset I did here. Some of my presets illustrate this really, really well. I have a lot of them here, don't I? That's crazy. OK, I think this one has this. Notice how blocky that looks? It doesn't look natural at all. Low. High. Low. High. This can be pretty taxing too, depending on your setup. So again, watch your performance. If things start to feel really slow, you can always go back. That's pretty cool.

Lighting detail. Oh my gosh! You need to know about this. This is great. This is for what they call local or point lights. These are controlled through objects that are lit in the features. Let me see here. I'll just go to a normal sort of... let me go to midnight actually. Dark.

And I'm going to res a cube again, as I often do. And in features, right here, light. This is what makes it a light prim, lit prim. Then I can zoom in, and it's not going to be lit up, because lighting detail, it's only the sun and moon. But when you turn on nearby local lights. And then it should pop open, and I mean not pop open literally, but you should see there's a light here, right? And you can change the color of the light to different things.

Important consideration, however. Only the 6 nearest lights to your avatar are you going to see. This is due to an open GL graphics protocol limit. If you've got more than that, you're not going to see the face. You'll notice theres 3, right? And then there's 3 more. We can make these, this line. You can adjust them one at a time. Well, they're all green. You can see they're clearly emanating lights, so 6. However, notice when I make another 3. See, the ones in the middle, they don't have light right now, because they're not selected. But when I deselect, only the 6 nearest to me are going to be lit. Just like that, see. And then if I move these ones closer to me, my avatar right there, then these ones aren't going to be lit.

So keep that in mind, if you're wondering... Oh darnit, I crashed. Oh my gosh. Pardon about that. After the crash, my preferences graphics here were reset. But that's OK. I can keep illustrating from various principles.

Hardware skinning. You should generally turn this on if you can. If you're on older hardware that's unsupported, this may cause problems. There's a probability of that. It's a slight acceleration for your avatar rendering. Turn it off if you think, it's doing stuff. And once that's on, notice that avatar cloth is also enabled. Avatar cloth means that you have something like notice avatar mesh.

Oh my gosh, this is a lot of boxes. Let me just turn these off. I know now I look so naked. It's not technically, you know, that's weird.

So if you're wearing mesh clothing, in appearance, keep in mind like a mesh skirt. This would be a mesh skirt right under here. Or not a shirt, I mean skirt. Then, avatar cloth, when cloth is on, it means it will ripple. Let's see if we can see an example of that.

It's off, so it's not rippling in the wind when I fly. But when I turn it on, this adds an extra touch. Maybe nice, maybe distracting. So now, avatar cloth is on. You'll now notice, look very closely, there's some rippling action there. Very subtle. Look at that. Whoa, you didn't need to see that. OK. It's kind of like my buttocks there are rippling. So, it has a good effect. It's noticeable with longer kinds of coats.

Next up. And remember, a good guideline is if you're confused, you can just click one of these. And then with custom open, it will show you all the details that went into making that. So you can say, hey, OK I know what this is roughly equivalent to and what settings, specifically, make up the high setting versus the mid setting, for example. Then you can compare and say, I want to tweak this, and this is a little bit better taste.

If you want to go all out, pig out on your graphics buffet, then ultra is the way to go. Yeesh! And speaking of ultra, in a wave, in a manner of speaking.

Hardware options. This has additional options above these, which mean increase quality even more. Click that button, and this will come up. Filtering. Anisotropic filtering. You're like, what the heck is that? You can look it up on wikipedia. The long story short, objects with textures at oblique, or not right on angles. They will look slightly sharper.

This may be kind of hard for me to show, because of the video. When I recorded video, there some deterioration that's fine details. But you can compare it on and off. Try making some objects that are in the far distance and have textures. Like say a sign with text on it. Antialiasing is more noticeable. We added this recently. This is good, because before you had to go to your graphics drivers preferences.

Now the big thing about antialiasing is it smoothes out jaggies. If you think your Second Life looks too jaggy, you can turn this up. I can go up to 16. Depends on your graphics hardware. You may not be able to attain this. Some can go even more than that. But if you disable it... Let me see if I can show you. This is one of the biggest determinants. Especially if you take photographs, a lot of snapshots in Second Life. This will impact the quality of those.

So, let's see here. You can see the edges. Look at the fine edges of this hutch thing. And let me turn off. So when I disable it, the screen will blank for a while, and it will just take a moment to switch resolution, as it says. OK, just give that some time. And I hope it doesn't kill me. There we go. And notice, I'm going to zoom in obviously on this, it's jaggier. You can see it's jaggier.

Hardware options and make it back to 4. OK. And now, smoother. So play with that. The higher, the better. What antialiasing, it renders a scene the number of multiple times it is actually shown, and it scales it down. So it obviously, it's more, it can slow things down, but for the price you're paying, it can look very nice. Make Second Life look nicer.

OK. Gamma. This and fog distance ratio are grayed out. Now the reason why is because, let me go back here. Atmospheric shaders overrides them with control of its own. If I were to disable the atmospheric shaders again. Hardware options. You'll notice I can set my gamma.

I don't find it too useful. And fog distance ratio, this contains basically how much fog is. If you set it low, then things should look foggier. But it doesn't really work too well. You'll notice, only the trees are foggier there. I think that's kind of broken. It's not working the way it should. So, I don't really bother with that. I just keep atmospheric shaders on. And you'll probably want to keep it, usually far so that things don't look weird like that.

Texture memory. This is normally auto detected to how much you have on your graphics card. If you have like SLI or ATI's crossfire, this sometimes, some occurrences may auto detect wrong. In which case you can override it. I personally have not noticed a big difference between setting it, say, lower and higher.

That much, you don't want to set it tremendously low, because you're probably going to end up with flickering textures, because they all can't get loading memory. I'd say set it to 128 and up, typically, but see what works best for you. This really depends on your specific hardware. This is why we let you override it. In the past, we didn't. Ah yes,

OK. We've got to get to avatar imposters. So let me find a club with a lot of people. T-Dub in the club, for shizzle. Haha. We are here!

Now, notice how some of these avatars, they are animating less smoothly, and they look like they have sort of fringy edges. This is because avatar imposters is on. Avatar imposters is a pretty cool feature. You may ask, "Why would you want to imposter someone? What does it literally mean to fake someone out like that?" It means avatars in the distance are going to be drawn representationally like a 2D cardboard cut-out. Think of old Nintendo games, right? Where someone had a two cycle walk.

So it means they're going to be animated and look somewhat less smooth. The tradeoff is a performance boost. I can exhibit this, and I've shown this before, but let me show you here today, since you're watching this. View menu and statistics bar. Let's compare this basic frames per second. This is 10. It's OK. If I turn avatar imposters off. Now, it should slow down noticeably.

Yes, notice how there's a slight performance hit. Now, if I turn avatar imposters back on, it raises back up. This is because, by having to render these further avatars, and thank you to Renetay Linden for the explanation. Then having using less cycles like that results in the performance gain. And if you think avatars are becoming blocky too close, this is precisely because avatar mesh detail, it correlates. So, by high, it means avatars become imposters at further distances.

If you want a greater performance boost, set avatar mesh detail to low, and avatars will become imposters at nearer distances. So again it's a tradeoff. Do what's best for you. Notice now that the avatars that are nearer, they look somewhat blocky. However, I'm experiencing a performance gain. And then remember, turning it off will slow down performance. This works great on a lot of systems. However, if you an have older, unsupported Intel integrated graphics card, it would probably be best to turn it off. You may experience some artifacts or other weirdness. And that's in line with what I recommended before.

There's a lot of crazy sounds here! So remember, the power is really in your hands. Avatar imposters is great with crowd scenes. Keep it on, and if you want people to become imposters at further distances, then set it to high. Let me go back to when we were in the club to demonstrate.

You can tweak any of these just about any time you want. If custom is off, of course it's simple. But it's good to gain an understanding of what each one of these does. Then you can fine tune your experience and maximize your enjoyment of Second Life. If you consider all these options and what each of them does, and you learn through by observation, just by seeing what each one does, and of course watching this video, thanks for watching. You'll clearly gain a better knowledge and feel more confident about using stuff.

So, that's the graphics preferences in Second Life for you. I hope you've had a good time. There's certainly more things to cover. Like I mentioned, in Advanced, there's additional hidden options. And over time we've optimized this. Like before, it used to be 3 tabs, and now it's one, making it simpler. I'm Torley Linden. I'm going to see what else is going on here. I see they're using some glow and some other techniques. All these things put together comprise what you see and enjoy and experience in Second Life.

Thanks for watching this video tutorial. Please rate, comment, favorite, and subscribe to my videos on youtube if you like them. It helps them gr-gr-grow! And if you have any questions or comments for me, go ahead and email me: torley@lindenlab.com. I'd be glad to hear about your video tutorial curiosities and inquisitions, not in the bad sense. Queries.

And I have stepped into the glow, and I'm going to, so-called, duck out for now. Stay tuned for more video tutorials.

Version 2 - ARQ4J4TLTPBNC

Amicable salutations. It’s me, Torley Linden of course. I’ve gone shopping it seems, thanks to [ ??? Clacksen ] who made this avatar. If you’re wondering, where are the watermelons? Look closely. There’s green and pink right there. And there’s more melons… Anyway let’s get started. In today’s Tip of the Week I’m going to cover the Graphics Preferences. What you need to know, a guided tour showing you what just about everything in there is. Follow me and let’s come along. Edit Menu and Preferences and Graphics. Now by default it’s a simple slider and normally if you click it, recommended settings it’ll optimize, depending on your hardware. If you have supported hardware, and I highly do recommend that, meet the system requirements or meet the system recommendations, even better, then you should be able to enjoy all of the graphics options in their glorious entirety. Otherwise you may not be able to turn some of them on. I also advise you to upgrade your graphics drivers to the newest stable versions, whether you’re running Videa or ATI. Now enough of that talk. There’s time for more show. So custom. This button, it enables all these options under here. Because normally you can one-click set it, right? Like set it to mid, for example, set it back to low. And custom will give you more granular control. There we go. A lot of options. And you may say, “Oh, my gosh! This looks complicated.” Well there are a few simple principles which you should remember. For example, sliders to the left will mean that they are faster, the performance will be faster and the quality will be less. Such as Mesh Detail for Objects, you turn to the left, it’ll be low, to the right, it’ll be high. This principal is true for all of them. Generally also checking things will turn on options and make thing slower, with some exceptions. Such as Avatar Imposters, which I shall show you later, it’s one of my favorite viewer optimizations. Boosts your frame rate. Okay. So let’s start right here in the shadiest part. That’s a nice starting place. Bump mapping and Shiny. We may remove this in the future, just about everyone can have this turned on, okay? So if I’m going to rez a cube right here, with that off, zoom in, texture shiny. See? Does nothing. But when I turn this on, now it has shiny. I move my camera. Shiny, shiny, shiny and the Bump Mapping refers to this bumpiness. We don’t yet have support for custom Bump Maps in normal maps but we will hope to in the future with materials, that’s our key word for having a versatile system of objects that can get beyond this. But right now you see you can add extra def, make it look more 3-D with these Bump Maps. Okay? So you can combine those and it looks pretty cool that way. Sort of. The sky’s not supposed to be white that way. I think there’s something buggy with that. Not supposed to blink on and off. That is though because I don’t have Basic Shaders even on. If I’m going to turn Basic Shaders on – let me turn that off – then the world is going to look more beautiful. So let me just angle up there. And then turn Basic Shaders. There should be subtle differences and the terrain should also get sharper. By the way, if the terrain looks splotchy set it to high. See? Crisper detail right there. This would normally be grayed out on higher-end configurations. When I turn on the Basic Shaders, there we go, see right there? I meant the water looks nicer already. Notice with it off? Ew. The water’s like inky and, with it on, it’s going to get better. Now. Atmospheric Shaders. If you’ve heard of WindLight, that’s the code name for our atmospheric rendering technology providing physically accurately modeled atmospheres and environments. So, when I turn this on, notice the sky, it’ll light the ground. It’ll have a greater dynamic range. It’ll just look more realistic, put it that way. And the sky will have nicer clouds and stuff. It’s more noticeable at some times of day. Like if I was to go to World Menu, Environment settings and Sunrise. Note how the sun looks. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. And if I turn off those Shaders then see. Now look. They look not so beautiful the clouds have gone away it’s just fading out, it’s kind of pale. It’s flashing at me. that seems buggy. If you can possibly turn that on, if your card GPU graphics card has X-9 or higher shader support, you should be able to. And next. Water reflections. This does what you think it should do however, it is rather taxing and may cause a severe performance hit. This does what you think it should do depending on your system. On higher-end systems not so much, but the best way to find out? Try it, right? I hear the sound of dropping boxes or something. Let me go back to mid-day and we don’t have reflections over the water so it looks quite nice. So I turn them on. That was a subtle change. Did you notice that? If I put something over the water. Oh, this is probably very recognizable. It has levels, okay? So terrain and trees, this means linden trees not resident created ones out of prims so notice those aren’t going to be reflected. But static objects, you can move these go up and cumulatively, successively I mean then you start to turn on extra details. Let me get my avatar on top of the water so you can see. And actually, what I can do here is I can go to World Environment settings in Environment Editor, I want to change the water and make it glassy. That way you can easier see the reflections. Because it’s glassy. Like Philip Glass. Now I will turn on all avatars and objects. And there. There you see, my avatar’s a reflection. Before I was a vampire or something like it and now I’m not, see? Then it adds that. Terrain. All static objects. All avatars and objects. And now everything. Everything has a benefit also of, you may not have noticed a difference there but if there were things like particles that would have shown up…oh, let me show you quickly actually, there’s a particle…I think there’s a Waterfall…A Waterfall Particle System. Just quickly do this. Don’t mean to rush you. But just to show you a quick demonstration, I know you don’t have a lot of times sometimes and want to get this information nice and quick. Let me just copy that, just paste it in there. Oh, it’s going slow. That’s not my library. It’s confusing. It’s kind of moving slowly. There we go. Okay. So Waterfall Park, this is just a particle system. It’s emitting a fine mist. Let me put it over the water like that. And then, as you can see, the particles are also reflected. Normally if you don’t have that everything, then they’re not going to be. So it adds extra detail. Sometimes adds things at night, I think. Let me just check this. You notice the stars? If you look very closely the stars are also reflected in the water. Kind of hard to see that, but it’s beautiful. That’s what you need to be. Beautiful. Okay. Well before we…Avatar Imposters is the tour de force here. I’ll get to that, I promise. Draw Distance. How far you can see off into the distance as it says. You turn this up higher and it will let you see further. So 64 is the lowest and you crank it up and you can see further. You notice there’s trees and there’s going to be other things. Keep in mind the higher you set it, the slower Second Life will be because it needs to render all these objects and if you’re looking at a very far way away that’s going to be a lot more resource usage but you see there’s parts of this building appearing here. Slide it back down. Usually 128, 192 is typical, see how it works for you though. That’s what it is though, right? Max Particle Count. Oh this is a good one since we have a particle emitter right here. You can control how many particles you see on screen at one time. Too many may be so-called laggy. So if you turn them all the way off you’re not going to have any. And you can turn them all the way up then you’re going to see more on the screen at one time. Typically you can set this about 4096, that’s the typical number. Post Process Quality. Okay. You’re like, “What is that?” And by the way, there’s this question mark here. You can always click this to get “help”. So, like it says “sets the resolution with which glow is rendered”. Now let’s have a look at glow. Right click and just going to drag this up. Now many of these graphics options are within the texture tab. And glow is too. I just move these little spinners, these little arrows here, spinners. And then I can set it to high, see if that makes a visible difference for us. May be easier to see this in the dark since it’s glowing. Or maybe not. We can set the Glow higher. Let’s see. Glow to high. There’s only two settings there. It’s subtle, so see how that goes for you. Mesh Detail. So I’m looking at a detailed mini-map of sorts, not the same as this mini-map, but it’s right out here in the open. It’s got sculpted prims. It’s got a fair amount of very small and fairly detailed geometry. So this is a good candidate for Preferences and the Mesh Detail Objects because when I set it to low it will reduce the number of polygons, which means objects will look crappier but they won’t impose as much of a rendering burden. Notice that? So now they look very, very…they don’t look the same as before and notice how the round things they look more like hexagon platforms. When we scale it up to maximum, the high, then it gets better looking. And sometimes stuff may still look residually artifacted, I mean degraded, like that. So move your camera in and out to adjust that. Low. High. So that’s what that does. Flexiprims. That is…okay, let me get a flexiprim here. I think there may be a bug with this which it doesn’t work unless that was fixed. If I create something. Let me create a flexiprim, stretch out this prim. I love giving you illustrated examples of stuff and in the features tab, you notice right here, flexible path -- this makes it all wiggly. Wiggly prim. Okay, we can’t quite see the wiggliness yet. Let me just drag it up and it will get wiggly when I start wiggling it. Wiggles. Now notice it’s literally a flexible prim. This likely has an effect when there’s a lot of them on the screen at once where it should and then it controls the smoothness of how they wiggle. I’m going to make a few more. They’re kind of like those wavy tube men guys you see at some used car sale places. I’m just copying a whole bunch of them. I mean I’m going to clean up after! I’m not going to be bad about this. A lot of them. Let’s see if it makes a difference though. That’s what I came here to show you. They’re kind of smooth. They’re moving slowly. Let’s see if we move it to high does it make a difference. Low. High. Hmm. Well doesn’t seem to be much of an apparent difference. [ ??? } reported it as a bug. May still be a problem. Let’s move on. We are here at Linden World Lobby. Trees, trees the magical food or something like that. Tree mesh detail controls the detail of linden trees. And how do you know if it’s a linden tree? Well, probably the easiest way is just to right click and edit and if you notice these are grayed out then it’s a linden tree. You can’t script a linden tree and they have a number of limits. They’re strange that way. Also it doesn’t glow notice like other objects. I have a tutorial on the “Trouble with Linden Trees”. But anyway, so you’ll notice if I move it to low from a further distance they’re probably going to look like cardboard cutouts and if I move it to high they should become richer. Yeah, yeah. See? It’s kind of inconsistent sometimes. But notice: high. Low. They look really anemic. They look just like flat. And then high. Of course high will render slower too as you get closer. Avatars. Oh this would probably be a good one for a crowded place. I’m just teleporting from scene to scene here. Let me go to a place with a lot of avatars and see what we can show you that that does, eh? Actually avatars used in correlation with Avatar Imposters, that’s a good one. So let’s save this one for a little bit later, okay? Terrain Mesh Detail. This is a good one for a bumpy place. I should show you somewhere with…even this would do actually. Someplace with curves, okay. So when Terrain Mesh Detail is low, terrain may look more jagged, it’s not going to look as organic and flowing. When it’s high, notice: high. Low. High. Low. This becomes most apparent at mountains. Let me show you a good mountain range for that. Mountain range found and located. Notice terrain has a level of detail meaning when you zoom in of course, it gets detailed, more roundy. But when you’re off like this and terrain is low…It looks like a ‘90’s video game. So when I make it to high, notice? Better. Low. High. Low. High. And by the way I know some of you are going to ask, and I should cover this in a future video tutorial, an advanced menu and debug settings here there are a bunch of things which will enhance your quality in addition to this. Power user tweakage. So for now I’m just going to show the basics. If you’re curious you can watch that later. Low. High. Low. High. They’re like doing the dance… And Sky Mesh Detail, finally, of all these mesh details it just makes the sky look better of course. If you set to low they’re going to look blockier. This is most noticeable with some types of suns I think. If I set it to a sunset. Let’s go here. Triangles in the sky with the low, see, notice? So it’s not so round, it’s a little bit off. And high. Low. High. Low. High. And let’s see here. Let me grab a custom pre-set I did here. Some of my pre-sets illustrate this really, really well. I have a lot of them, don’t I? I think this one has this. Notice how blocky that looks? Doesn’t look natural at all. Low. High. Low. High. Low. High. Low. High. This can be pretty taxing too depending on your setup so again watch your performance; if things start to feel really slow you can always go back. That’s pretty cool. Lighting Detail. Oh my gosh! You need to know about this. This is great. This is for what they call local or point lights. These are controlled through objects that are lit in the features. Let me see here. I’ll just go back to a normal sort of…let me go to midnight actually. It’ll be dark. And I’m going to rez a cube again, as I often do, and it features right here, light. This is what makes it a light prim. Okay? And I can zoom in. And it’s not going to be lit up because lighting detail is only the sun and moon but when you turn on nearby local lights and then it should pop open, I mean not pop open literally, but you should see there’s a light here. And you can change the color of the light to different things. Important consideration, however, only the six nearest lights to your avatar are you going to see. This is due to an open GL – graphics protocol limit – if you’ve got more than that you’re not going to see them. So notice there’s three. Right? We can make this line. You can adjust them one at a time. Well, they’re all green, you can see they’re clearly emanating light. So six. However notice, if I make another three, see? The ones in the middle they don’t have light right now because they’re not selected but when I deselect only the six nearest to me are going to be lit. Just like that, see? And then if I move these ones closer to me, my avatar right there, then these ones aren’t going to be lit. So keep that in mind if you’re wondering…Oh! Darn it! I crashed! Pardon about that! After the crash my preferences graphics here were reset. But that’s okay I can keep illustrating various principles. Hardware skinning. You should generally turn this on if you can. If you’re on older hardware that’s unsupported this may cause problems. There’s a probability of that. What it does is a slight acceleration for your avatar rendering. Turn it off if you think it’s doing stuff. And once that’s on notice that Avatar Cloth is also enabled. Avatar Cloth means that we have something like, notice…my gosh, this is a lot of boxes. Let me just turn these off. I know now I look so naked. It’s not technically, you know… that’s weird. So if you’re wearing mesh clothing in appearances, keep in mind like a mesh skirt, this would be a mesh skirt right under here… or not a shirt, I mean skirt. Then Avatar Cloth, when Cloth is on, it means it’ll ripple. Let’s see if we can see an example of that. It’s off, so it’s not rippling. It’s not rippling in the wind when I fly. But when I turn it on, this adds an extra touch. May be nice, may be distracting. So now Avatar Cloth is on. And now notice. Look very closely. There’s some rippling action there. Very subtle. Look at that. You didn’t even see that. Okay. See? It’s kind of like my buttocks there are rippling. So, it has a good effect. It’s noticeable with longer kinds of coats. Next up. And remember a good guideline is if you’re confused, you can just click one of these and then with Custom Open it’ll show you all the details that went into making that. So you can say, “Hey, okay. I know what this is roughly equivalent to and what settings, specifically, make up the high setting versus the mid setting”, for example. then you can compare it and say “hmm... I want to tweak this. And this is a little better to taste.” If you want to go all out, pig out on your graphics buffet then Ultra’s the way to go. And speaking of Ultra, in a manner of speaking, Hardware Options. This has additional options above these which may increase quality even more. Click that button and this will come up. Filtering. Anisotropic Filtering. You’re like “what the heck is that?” You can look it up on Wikipedia. The long story short, objects with textures at oblique, or not right on angles, they will look slightly sharper. This may be kind of hard for me to show because of the video, when I record the video there’s some deterioration, it’s fine details. But you can compare it on and off. Try making some objects that are in the far distance and have textures. Like say a sign with text on it. Antialiasing is more noticeable. We added this recently. This is good because before you had to go to your Graphics Drivers Preferences. Now the big thing about Antialiasing is it smoothes out jaggies. If you think Second Life looks too jaggy, you can turn this up. I can go up to 16, depends on your graphics hardware. You may not be able to attain this, some can go even more than that. This is one of the biggest determinants especially if you take photographs, a lot of snapshots in Second Life, this will impact the quality of those. So let’s see here. You can see the edges, look at the fine edges of this hut thing. And let me turn off, okay, so when I disable it and, okay, the screen will blank for a while, and it will just take a moment to switch resolution, as it says, just give that some time and there we go. And notice, look. I’m going to zoom in obviously on this, you can see it’s jaggier. You can see it’s jaggier. Hardware Options and make it back to four. Okay. And now, smoother. So play with that. The higher the better. What a does it renders a scene the number of multiple times it’s actually shown and it scales it down. So it obviously can slow things down but for the price you’re paying it can look very nice. Make Second Life look nicer. Okay. Gamma. This and Fog Distance Ratio are grayed out. Now the reason why is because, let me go back here, Atmospheric Shaders overrides them. If I were to disable that, Atmospheric Shaders, again, Hardware Options, you’ll notice I can set my Gamma, I don’t find it too useful. And Fog Distance Ratio this contains basically how much fog, if you set it low then things should look foggier. But it doesn’t really work too well. You notice only the trees are foggier there. I think that’s kind of broken. It’s not working the way it should. So I don’t really bother with that. I just keep Atmospheric Shaders on. You probably want to keep it usually far so that things don’t look weird like that. Texture Memory. This is normally auto-detected to how much you have on your graphics card. If you have like SLI or ATI’s Crossfire sometimes some occurrences may auto detect wrong in which case you can override it. I personally have not noticed a big difference between setting it, say, lower than higher. That much. You don’t want to set it tremendously low because then you’re probably going to end up with flickering textures because they all can get low in memory. I’d say set it to 128 and up typically but see what works best for you. This really depends on your specific hardware. This is why we let you override it. In the past we didn’t. Ah, yes. Okay. We’ve got to get to Avatar Imposters. So let me find a club with a lot of people. We’re here now. Notice how some of these avatars, they’re animating less smoothly and they look like they have sort of fringy edges. This is because Avatar Imposters is on. Avatar Imposters is a pretty cool feature. You may ask, “Why would you want to imposter someone?” Well it doesn’t literally mean you’re going to fake someone out like that. It means avatars in the distance are going to be drawn representationally like a 2-D cardboard cutout. Think of old Nintendo games right, where someone had a two-cycle walk. So it means they’re going to be animated and look somewhat less smooth. The trade off is a performance boost. I can exhibit this, and I’ve shown this before, but let me show you here today since you’re watching this, View menu and Statistics Bar. Let’s compare this basic frames per second, okay? And if I turn Avatar Imposters off, now, it should slow down noticeably. Yes. Notice how there’s a slight performance hit? Now if I turn Avatar Imposters back on, it raises back up. This is because by having to render these further avatars, and thank you to [INAUDIBLE] for the explanation, then using less cycles like that results in a performance gain. And if you think avatars are becoming blocky too close, this is precisely because Avatar Mesh Detail it correlates. So by high it means avatars become imposters at further distances. If you want a greater performance boost set Avatar Mesh Detail to low and avatars will become imposters at nearer distances. So again it’s a trade off. Do what’s best for you. Notice now he avatars that are nearer look somewhat blocky, however I’m experiencing a performance gain. And then remember, turning it off will slow down performance. This works great on a lot of systems, however if you have older, unsupported Intel integrated graphics card, it’s probably best to turn it off. You may experience some artifacts or other weirdness. And that’s in line with what I recommended before. There’s a lot of crazy sounds here. So remember, the power is really in your hands. Avatar Imposters is great with crowd scenes. Keep it on and if you want people to become imposters at further distances then set it to high. Let me go back in there to the club to demonstrate. You can tweak any of these just about any time you want. If custom is off, then of course it’s simple but it’s good to get an understanding of then you can fine tune your experience and maximize your enjoyment of Second Life. If you consider all these options and what each one of these does, and you learn time by observation just by seeing what each one does and of course, watching this video, thanks for watching, you’ll clearly gain a better knowledge and feel more confident about using stuff. So that’s the Graphics Preferences in Second Life for you. I hope you’ve had a good time. There’s certainly more things to cover, like I mentioned in Advanced there’s additional hidden options, and over time we’ve optimized this. Like before it used to be three tabs and now it’s one, making it simpler. I’ve been Torley Linden. I’m going to see what else is going on here. I see they’re using Glow and some other techniques. All these things put together comprise what you see and enjoy in Second Life. Thanks for watching this video tutorial. Please rate, comment, favorite and subscribe to my videos on YouTube if you like them. It helps them grow. And if you have any questions and comments for me, go ahead and email me. torley@lindenlab.com I’d be glad to hear about your video tutorial curiosities and inquisitions, not in the bad sense, and queries. And I have stepped into the glow and I’m going to, so-called, duck out for now.

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Torley Linden: Amicable salutations! It's me, Torley Linden, of course! And, oh, I've gone shopping it seems, thanks to Tutu Clarkson [sp],who made this avatar. If you're wondering where are the watermelons? Look closely, there's green and pink right there and there's more melons. Anyway, let's get started. In today’s Tip of the Week, I'm going to cover the Graphics Preferences, what you need to know. A guided tour showing you what just about everything in their desk. Follow me, let's come along. Edit Menu and Preferences and Graphics - now by default, it's a simple slider and, normally, if you click at Recommended Settings, it will optimize depending on your hardware. If you have supported hardware--and I highly do recommend that--meet the system requirements or meet the system recommendation is even better, then you should be able to enjoy all of the Graphics Options in their glorious entirety. Otherwise, you may not be able to turn some of them on. I also advise you to upgrade your graphics drivers to the newest stable versions, whether you're an Invidia or ATI. Now, enough of that talk, there's time for more show. So Custom, this button, it enables all its options under here because, normally, you can one-click set it. Like you set it to mid, for example; set it back to low, and Custom will give you more granular control. There we go, a lot of options, and you may say, “Oh, my gosh! This looks complicated.” Well, there are a few simple principles which you should remember. For example, slide your [xx] to the left will mean that they are faster, the performance will be faster and the quality will be less. Such as Mesh Detail Objects, you turn left, it will be low; to the right, it will be high. This principle is true for all of them. Generally also, checking things would turn on Options and make things slower with some exceptions such as Avatar Impostors--which I'll show you later, it's one of my favorites--Viewer Optimizations boost your frame rate. OK, so let's start right here at the Shaders part, that’s a nice starting place. Bump Mapping and Shiny - we never move this in the future just so that everyone can turn on. So if I'm going to res [sp] a queue right here, with that off, Zoom in, Texture, Shiny. See? It does nothing. But, when I turn this on, now it has shiny…I move my camera, shiny, shiny, shiny. You can set the shiny high and the bump mapping refers to this bumpiness. We don’t yet have support for Custom bump maps, normal maps, but we will hope to in the future with Materials. That’s our keyword for having a versatile system of objects that can--woo!--get beyond this. But right now, you see, you can add extra depth; make it look more 3D with this bump maps. OK, so you can combine those and it looks pretty cool that way. The sky is not supposed to be white that way. I think there's something buggy with that. That supposed to blink on and off. That is, though, because I don’t have Basic Shaders even on. If I'm going to turn Basic Shaders on, then the world--let me just close that--it’s going to look more beautiful. So let me just angle up there and then turn Basic Shaders. OK, there should be subtle differences and the terrain should also get sharper. By the way, if the terrain looks blotchy, set it to high. See? Crisper detail right there. This would normally be great out on high ranking configurations. When I turn on the Basic Shaders, there we go, you see right there where the water. The water looks nice already. See? Notice when it's off, ooh, the water is like inky, then when on, oh, it's going to get better. Things going to get better and better all the time. OK, now, Atmospheric Shaders - if you’ve heard of Windlight, that’s the codename for our atmospheric rendering technology providing physically, accurately modeled lighting effects and atmospheres and environments. Woo! So, when I turn this on, notice the sky. It’ll light the ground. It will have greater dynamic range. It’ll just look more realistic. Put it that way and the skies will have nicely clouds and stuff. Yes! There we go. See? So now, you got this. It's more noticeable at day and sometimes [xx] was to go to World Menu, Environment Setting and Sunrise. OK, note how the sun looks. Woo, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. And if I turn off those shaders, then it’ll look more beautiful. The cloud has gone away, I mean, it’s just fading out. Ah, it's not supposed to turn like a white like that. Oh, there we go. Yes, it's kind of pale. Hm, it's flashing at me. That seems buggy, but I will just turn it back on. If you can possibly turn that on, if your GPU graphic card has DirectX9 or higher, the Shaders support, you should be able to. And next, Water Reflections - this does what you think it should do. However, it is rather taxing and may cause a severe performance hit depending on your system. On higher systems, not so much, but the best way to find out, try it. Ooh, I hear the sound of dropping boxes or something. Let me go back to midday and I'll turn it on and off to show you. So I'm with the waters, and we don’t have reflections over the water, it looks quite nice. So I turn them on. OK, that was a subtle change. Did you notice that? If I put something over the water--oh, this is probably very recognizable. OK. Oh, it has labels. OK, so terranian trees, this means Linden trees, not Resident created ones out of prims. So notice those can be reflected. But static objects, you can move these go up successively and then you start to turn on extra details. Let me get my avatar on top of the water so you can see. And actually, what I can do here is I can go to World Environment Settings in Environment Editor. I want to change the water and make it glassy. That way, you can easier see the reflections, that’s glassy, like feel of glass. OK. Now, I would turn on all avatars and objects and there, there you see? My avatar reflections, before I was a vampire or something like it, but now I'm not. See? Then it adds that. So terrain, all static objects, all avatars and objects, and now everything. Everything has a benefit also of--you may not have noticed the difference there, but if there were things like particles, that would have shown up. Oh, let me show quickly, actually there's a particle. I think there's a waterfall, not a wayfall; waterfall particle system. We just quickly do this, don’t mean to rush you but just to show you a quick demonstration. I know you don’t have a lot of time sometimes and want to get this information nice and quick. Let me just copy that, just paste it in there. Oh, it's going slow. That’s not my library. It's confusing (hums). It's kind of moving slowly. There we go, there we go. OK, so waterfalls. Right? I mean, waterfall particle, this is just a particle system. It's a [xx], it's a fine mist and we put it over the water like that. OK. And then as you can see, the particles were also reflected. Normally, if we don’t have that [xx] thing, then they're not going to be. So that’s extra detail. Sometimes there's things like night, I think, let me just check this to. Yes, you notice the stars, if you look very closely, the stars were also reflect in the water. It's kind of hard to see that but it's beautiful! That's what you need to be, beautiful. OK, well, before we--Avatar Impostors is right there, the tour of force here. I’ll get to that, I promise. Draw Distance - how far you can see off in the distance as it says. You turn this up higher and it’ll let you see farther. So 64 is the lowest, and you crack it up and you can see farther. You know, there's these trees and there's going to be other things. Keep in mind, the higher you set it, the slower Second Life will be because it’ll need to render all these objects. And if you're looking very far way away, that’s going to be a lot more resource usage--oh, it's [xx]--but you see, there's these parts of buildings appearing here. Slide it back down. Usually, 128, 192 is typical. See how it works for you, though. That’s what it does, though. Max. Particle Count - oh, that’s a good one because we have a particle in the middle right here. You can control how many particles you see on screen at one time, too many maybe so called “laggy.” So if you turn them all the way off, you're not going to have any. And if you turn all the way up, then you're going to see more on the screen at one time. Typically, you can set this at about 4,096, that’s the typical number. Post Process Quality - OK, what is that? And by the way, there's this question mark here. You can always click this to get help. So like it says, “Sets the resolution with which Glow is rendered.” Now, let's have a look at Glow. Right click and I'm just going to drag this up. Now many of these graphics options are within the Texture tab, and Glow is, too. So I can set Glow. OK, you can see it's glowing. I'll just move this little card spinner, this [xx] here, and then I can set it to high. Let's see if that makes a visible difference for us. Maybe it's easier for us to see this in the dark since it's glowing, OK, or maybe not or we can set the glow higher. Let's see, Glow to high. There's so many settings there. Yes, there's a saddle [sp], it's the saddle. So see how that goes for you. Mesh Detail - so I'm looking at a detailed mini-map of sorts. It's not the same as this mini-map but it's right out here in the open. It's got a sculpted prim. It's got a fair amount, a very small and detailed geometry. So this is a good candidate for Preferences and the Mesh Detail Objects because when I set it to low, it will reduce the number of polygons. Which means objects will look crappier but they won't impose as much of a rendering burden. Notice that? OK, so now, they look very, very--they don’t look the same as before, and notice how the round things, they look more like kind of hexagon platforms. When we scale it up to maximum, to high, then it gets better looking. And sometimes, stuff may still look residually artifacted. I mean, they're created like that, so move your camera in and out to adjust that. Low, high. So that’s what that does. Flexy Prims - that is--OK, let me get a flexy prim here. I haven’t noticed, I think there may be a bug with this which she doesn’t work unless that was fixed like create or something. Let me create a flexy prim. Stretch out this prim. I love giving you illustrated examples and stuff. And in the Features tab, you know, it's right here, Flexible Path. This makes it all wiggly, wiggly prim. OK, we can quite see the wigglyness yet. Let me just drag it up and I'll get wiggly, when I start wiggling at, oh, wiggles. Now, notice it's literally a flexible prim. This likely has an effect when there's a lot of them on the screen at once where it should and then it controls the smoothness of how they wiggle. I'm going to make a few more. They're kind of like those wavy tube men guys you see at some used car sale places. OK, let's see. I'm just cropping a whole bunch. I mean, I'm going to clean up after. I'm not going to be bad about this. A lot of this. OK. So then we can wiggle them. Let's see if makes a difference though, that’s what I came here to show you. OK. So they're kind of smooth, they're moving slowly. Let's see if we move to high if that makes a difference. To low. Well, it doesn’t seem to be much of an apparent difference [xx] reported as a bug, this will be a problem. Let's move on. We are here at Linden World Lobby. Trees, trees, the magical fruit or something like that. Tree Mesh Detail controls the detail of Linden trees. And how do you if it's a Linden tree? Well, probably the easiest way is just to right click and edit. And if you notice, these are grayed out, then it's a Linden tree. You can't script a Linden tree and they have a number of limits. They're strange that way. Also, it doesn’t glow, notice like other objects. At the tutorial, on to trouble with Linden trees. But anyway, so if you notice, if I move to low, from farther distance, they're probably going to look more like cardboard cutouts and when I move it to high, they should become richer. Yes, yes, see? It's kind of inconsistent sometimes, but notice, “Low,” “High.” Low, they look really anemic, they look just like flat. And then high, and of course, high will make them render slower, too, as you get closer. (Hums). Avatars - this would probably be a good one for crowded place. I'm just teleporting from scene to scene here. Let me go to a place where there's lot of avatars and see if what we can show you what does that. Actually, avatars used in correlation with Avatar Impostors, that will be useful. So let's save this one for a little bit later. Terrain - yes, this is a good one for a bumpy place. I should show you somewhere that has--even this would do actually, some place with curves. So when Terrain Mesh Detail is low, the terrain may look more jagged; it's not going to look as organic and flowing. When it's high, notice, do you high or low, high or low, this becomes most apparent at mountains. Let me show you a good mountain range for that. Mountain range, found and located. OK. Notice terrain has a label of details, meaning when you zoom in, of course, it gets more detailed, more roundy. But when you're off like this and Terrain is low, it looks like a Noddy’s video game. So when I make it to high, notice? Better. Low, high; low, high. By the way, you going to ask and I should cover this in the future video tutorial, in Advanced Menu and Debug Settings here, there are a bunch of things which will enhance the quality in addition to this power user tweak it. So for now, I'm just kind of show you the basics. Of course, you can watch that later. Low or high, low or high, they're like doing the dance. Oh, I like that song. Sky Mesh Detail - finally, of all these mesh details, it just makes the sky looks better, of course. If you set it to low, they're going to look blockier. This is most noticeable with some types of suns, I think. If I set it to sunset--then let's go here. Triangles in the sky, low. See? Notice? So it's not so round, it's a little bit off. Then high; low, high; low, high. And let's see here. Let me grab a custom pre-setted. Some of my presets illustrate this really, really well. OK, I have a lot of them, don’t I? Oh, it's crazy. OK, I think this one has, yes. OK, notice how that blocky looks? It doesn’t look natural at all. Low, high; low, high; low, high. This can be pretty taxing, too, depending on your set up. So again, watch your performance. If things start to feel really slow, you can always go back. That’s pretty cool. Lighting Detail - oh, my gosh, you need to know about this. This is great. This is for what we call local or point lights. These are controlled through objects that are lit in the Features. Let me see here, I'll just go back to a normal--let me go to midnight, actually, that will be dark. And I'm going to raze [sp] a cube again as I often do and it features right here “Light.” This is what makes it a light prim. OK? And then I can zoom in, and it's not going to be lit up because lighting details only the sun and moon. But when you turn on “Nearby Local Lights,” and then it should pop open, I mean not pop open literally but you should see there's a light here. And you can change the color of the light to different things. Important consideration, however, only the six nearest lights to your avatar you're going to see. This is due to an open geographics [sp] protocol limit. If you’ve got more than that, you're not going to see them in case. So if you notice, there's three. And then there's three…I wonder if we can make this line, just one at a time. Well, they're all green. You can see they're clearly emanating lights, so six. However, notice if I make another three--oh, see? The ones in the middle, they don’t have lights right now because they're not selected. But when I deselect, only six nearest to me are going to be lit. Just like that, see? And when I move these ones closer to me--my avatar right there--then these ones aren’t going to be lit. So keep that in mind, if you're wondering, Oh, darn it, I crashed. Oh, my gosh. Pardon about that. After the crash, my preferences and graphics here were reset, but that’s OK. I can keep illustrating various principles. Hardware Skinning - you should generally turn this on if you can. If you're on an older hardware that’s unsupported, this may cause problems. There's a probability of that. What it does is it's a slight acceleration for your avatar rendering. Turn it off if you think you're doing stuff, and once that’s on, notice that Avatar Cloth is also enabled. Avatar Cloth means that you have something like--notice Avatar Mesh? Let me--my gosh, this is a lot of boxes, let me just turn these off. Now, I look so naked. It's not technically, you know. That’s weird. So if you're wearing mesh clothing and your appearance is--keep in mind like a mesh skirt--this will be a mesh shirt right under here. Or not a shirt, I mean, skirt. Then Avatar Cloth, when Cloth is on, it means it will ripple. OK, let's see. Let's see an example of that. It's off, so it's not rippling. It's not rippling in the wind when I fly. But when I turn it on, this has an extra touch--maybe nice, maybe this graphic. So now, Avatar Cloth is on. And now notice, look very closely, there's some rippling action there. Very subtle, look at that. Oh, you didn’t mean to see that. OK, see? It's kind of like my buttocks there are rippling. (laughs) It has a good effect. It's noticeable with longer kinds of coats. Next stop--and remember, a good guideline is if you're confused, you can just click one of these and then with Custom open, it will show you all the details that went into making that. So you cay say, “Hey, OK, I know what this is roughly equivalent to in what settings specifically make up the high setting versus the midsetting,” for example. Then you can compare and say, “Hm, OK, I want to tweak this. This will be better to taste.” If you want to go all the way pig out on your graphics buffet, then Ultra is the way to go. And speaking of Ultra, in a way and a matter of speaking, Hardware Options. This has additional options above this which may increase quality even more. Click that button and this will come up. Filtering, Anisotropic Filtering. You're like, “What the heck is that?” You can look it up on Wikipedia, the long story short, objects with textures at oblique or not right on angles, they will look slightly sharper. This may be kind of hard for me to show because of the video, when I recorded the video, there's some deterioration in it's fine details. But you can compare it on and off. Try and make some objects that are in the far distance and have textures like see a sign with text on it. Antialiasing is more [xx], we added this recently. This is good because before, you had to go to your Graphics Drivers Preferences. Now, the big thing about antialiasing is it smooths out jaggies. If you think Second Life looks jaggy, you can turn this up. I can go up to 16, it depends on your graphics hardware. You may not be able to attain this, some can go even more than that. But if you disable--let me see if I can show you this. This is one of the biggest determinants especially if you take photographs--lots snapshots in Second Life--this will impact the quality of those. So let's see here. OK, you can see the edges. Look at the fine edges of this [xx] thing, and let me turn off. OK. So when I disable it and OK, the screen will black for a while and it will take just a moment to switch resolution as it says. OK, just give that some time and hope it doesn’t kill me. There we go. And notice--look, I'm going to zoom in obviously on this, there's jag here. You can see its jaggy here. Hardware Options and make it back to four. OK. And now, smoother, so play with that, the higher the better. What antialiasing does, it renders a scene the number of multiple times than it actually shown and it scales it down. So obviously, it can slow things down, but for the price you're paying, it can look very nice, make in Second Life look nicer. OK, now Gamma, this and Fog Distance Ratio are great out. Now, the reason why is because--let me go back here--Atmospheric Shaders overrides them, with controls of its own. If I were to disable that Atmospheric Shaders again in Hardware Options, you'll notice I can set my Gamma. I don’t find it too useful. And Fog Distance Ratio, this contains basically how much fog is. If you set it to low, then things should look foggier. Yes. But it doesn’t really work too well. It's only the trees are foggier there. I think that’s kind of broken, it's not working the way it should. So I don’t really bother with that, I just keep Atmospheric Shaders on. You probably want to keep it usually far so that things don’t look weird like that. Texture Memory - this is the one we autodetected to how much you have on your graphics card. If you have like SLI or ATI’s Crossfire, there's sometimes, some occurrences may autodetect wrong. In which case, you can override it. I personally have not noticed a big difference between setting it, say, lower and higher that much. You don’t want to set it tremendously low because then, you'll probably going to end up with flickering textures because they all can't get loaded in memory. I'd say, you set it to 228 and up, typically, but see what works best for you. This really depends on your specific hardware. This is why we let you override it. In the past, we didn’t. Ah, yes, OK. We got to get to Avatar Impostors. So let me find a club with a lot of people. To the club [xx] club we’re here. Now, notice how some of these avatars, they're animating less smoothly and they look like they have sort of fringy edges. This is because Avatar Impostors is on. Avatar Impostors is a pretty cool feature. You may ask, “Why would you want to impostor someone? What does it literally mean to fake someone out like that?” It means avatars in the distance are going to be drawn representationally like a 2D cardboard cutout. Think of old Nintendo games where someone had a two-cycle walk. So it means they're going to be animated and look somewhat less smooth. The trade off is a performance boost. I can exhibit this--and I've shown this before--but let me show you here today since you're watching this, View Menu as Statistics Bar. Let's compare this basic frames per second. This is 10, it's OK. If I turn Avatar Impostors off, now it should slow down noticeably. Yes. Notice how there's a slight performance hit? Now I turn Avatar Impostors back on, it raises back up. This is because by having to render these further avatars--and thank you to [xx] Linden for the explanation--then using less cycles like that results in the performance gained. And if you think avatars are becoming blocky too close, this is precisely because Avatar Mesh Detail, it correlates. So by high, it means avatar has become impostors at farther distances. If you want a greater performance boost, set Avatar Mesh Detail to low and avatars would become impostors at nearer distances. So again, it's a trade off. Do what is best for you. Notice now avatars that are nearer, they look somewhat blocky. However, I'm experiencing a performance gain and, remember, turning it off will slow down performance. This works great on a lot of systems. However, if you have older, unsupported Intel integrated graphics card, it probably best to turn it off. You may experience an artifacts where other weirdness and that’s in line with what I recommended before. There's a lot of crazy sounds here! So, remember, the power is really in your hands. Avatar Impostors is great with crowd scenes, keep it on. If you want people to become impostors at farther distances, then set it to high. Let me go back in there in the club to demonstrate. You can tweak any of these, just about anytime you want. If Custom is off, of course, it's simple, but it's good to gain understanding of what each one of these does. Then you can fine tune your experience and maximize your enjoyment of Second Life. If you consider all these options and what each one of them does, you learn to by observation just by seeing what each one does and, of course, watching this video--thanks for watching--you'll clearly gain a better knowledge and feel more confident about using stuff. (laughs) So that’s the Graphics Preferences in Second Life for you. I hope you had a good time. There's certainly more things to cover like I mentioned in [xx] additional hidden options and overtime, we've optimize this. Like before, you use three tabs and now it's one, making it simpler. I've been Torley Linden. I'm going to see what else is going on here. I see they're using some glow and some other techniques. All these things put together comprise what you see and enjoy and experience in Second Life. Thanks for watching this video tutorial. Please rate, comment, favorite, and subscribe to my videos on YouTube if you like them, it helps them grow. If you have any questions and comments for me, go ahead and email me, Torley@LindenLab.com. I'd be glad to hear about your video tutorial curiosities and inquisitions--not in the bad sense--inquiries. Woo, and I have stepped into the glow and I'm going to so called “duck out” for now. Stay tuned for more video tutorials.

Version 3 - A2ZUF8VBA03IV2

Transcriber NOTE: I couldn’t make out the name of a Linden avatar you mentioned—I’ve highlighted a question mark in red in the middle of page 7, in case that’s relevant content. I’ve included some of your explanations of what was going on onscreen, as well: most of them are bracketed in case they need to be removed, depending on your preference. I have also done some minor grammatical/word order cleanup, but I’m confident I’ve not degraded the meaning at all. Hope this transcription is satisfactory!

Amicable salutations!

It’s me, Torley Linden of course. And I’ve gone shopping it seems, thanks to Tooter Claxton, who made this avatar.

If you’re wondering where the watermelons are, look closely—there’s green and pink right there, and there’s more… melons!

Anyway, let’s get started.

In today’s tip of the week, I’m going to cover the Graphics Preferences. What you need to know: a guided tour showing you what just about everything in there does. Follow me, let’s come along.

Edit Menu > Preferences > Graphics.

Now by default, it’s a simple slider. Normally if you click Recommended Settings, it will optimize depending on your hardware.

If you have supported hardware (and I do highly recommend that: meet the system requirements, or meet the system recommendations—even better), then you should be able to enjoy all the graphics options in their glorious entirety. Otherwise, you may not be able to turn some of them on. I would also advise you to upgrade your graphics drivers to the newest stable versions, whether you run NVIDIA or ATI.

Now enough of that talk, it’s time for more show.

“Custom:” this button enables all the options under here. Ordinarily you can one-click set [the slider] to mid, low, etc. Custom will give you more granular control. There we go! A lot of options.

You may say, “Oh my gosh, this looks complicated!” Well, there are a few simple principles which you should remember.

For example: sliders to the left will mean the performance will be faster, and the quality will be less. Such as, Mesh Detail for Objects: slide it to the left and it will be low, slide it to the right and it will be high. This principle is true for all of them.

Generally, checking things will turn on options and make things slower, with some exceptions; such as Avatar Impostors, which I will show you later. (That’s one of my favorite viewer optimizations: it reduces your frame rate.)

Let’s start right here, at the Shaders part—that’s a nice starting place. Bump Mapping and Shiny—we may remove this in the future, just about everyone can have this turned on.

So, if I’m going to rez a cube, with that off (zoom in, Texture > Shiny), it does nothing. But, when I turn this on: now it has “Shiny” (Shiny > High).

The Bump Mapping refers to this bumpiness. We don’t yet have support for custom bump maps, but we hope to in the future with Materials: that’s our keyword for having a versatile system of objects that can get beyond this. But right now, you can add extra depth, and make it look 3D with these bump maps.

You can combine those, and it looks pretty cool that way.

The sky is not supposed to be white like that, I think there is something buggy with that; it’s not supposed to blink on and off.

That is because I don’t even have Basic Shaders on. If I turn Basic Shaders on, then the world is going to look more beautiful. There should be subtle differences, and the terrain shells will look sharper.

By the way, if your terrain looks splotchy, set it to high. See, crisper detail, right there. This [Terrain Detail > Low] will normally be grayed out on higher end configurations.

When I turn on Basic Shaders… there we go: see, the water looks nicer already. Notice that with Off, the water is inky; and with On, it’s going to get better.

Now, Atmospheric Shaders. If you’ve heard of “WindLight,” that’s the codename for our atmospheric rendering technology, providing physically accurately modeled lighting effects, atmospheres, and environments.

When I turn this on, notice the sky: it will light the ground, it will have a greater dynamic range. It will look more realistic; the sky will have nicer clouds. Yeah, there we go! It’s more noticeable at some times of day; if I were to go to World > Set Home Menu > Environment Settings > Sunrise, note how the sun looks. Beautiful! And if I turn off those Shaders… not so beautiful. The clouds have gone away, and it just looks anemic.

It’s not supposed to turn white like that, that seems buggy.

If your graphics card has DirectX 9 or higher Shader support, you should be able to turn those on.

Next, Water Reflections. This does what you think it should do; however, it is rather taxing and may cause a severe performance hit, depending on your system. On higher end systems, not so much--but the best way to find out is to try it, right?

Let me go back to midday, and I’ll turn it on and off to show you. So, I turn them on—that was a subtle change, notice that? If I put something over the water, it will be very recognizable.

It has levels, as well. (Reflection Detail) Terrain and Trees—this means Linden trees, not resident-created ones out of prims. So notice, those aren’t going to be reflected. These levels go up successively, and you start to turn on extra details.

Let me get my avatar on top of the water, so you can see. Actually, what I can do here is go to World > Environment Settings > Environment Editor; I want to change the water and make it Glassy. That way you can more easily see the reflections.

Ok, now I will turn on All Avatars and Objects. There, now you can see a reflection. So, Terrain, All Static Objects, All Avatars and Objects, and now Everything.

Everything also has the benefit of reflecting particles. Let me show you: there’s a Waterfall particle system. (Let me give you a quick demonstration; that’s not my library, that’s confusing… it’s kind of moving slowly…) There we go! So, waterfall particles.

This is just a particle system, it’s emitting a fine mist. I’m going to put it over the water… and as you can see, the particles are reflected. If you don’t have it on Everything, then they’re not going to be; it adds extra detail. Sometimes there are things at night… notice the stars are also reflected in the water. It’s beautiful, and that’s what you need it to be.

Draw Distance is how far you can see off into the distance, as it says. Turn this up higher, and it will let you see further. 64 is the lowest, and as you crank it up higher you’ll notice there are trees, and there are going to be other things.

Keep in mind, the higher you set it the slower Second Life will be, because it needs to render all these objects. And if you’re looking a very long way away, that’s going to be a lot more resource usage. You see, there are parts of this building appearing here. Usually 128-192 is typical—see how it works for you, though.

Max. Particle Count. This is a good one, since we have a particle emitter right here. You can control how many particles you see onscreen at one time. Too many may be so-called “laggy;” if you turn them off, you’re not going to have any. If you turn them all the way up, you’re going to see more onscreen at one time. Typically you can set them about 4096.

Post Process Quality—ok, you’re like, “What is that?” By the way, there is this question mark here—Help! So, like it says: Sets the resolution with which Glow is rendered. Now, let’s have a look at Glow.

Now, many of these options are within the texture tab, and Glow is too. Now the object is glowing. Use the Spinners: these little arrows are called Spinners. Then, I can set it to High—see, that makes a visible difference to us. It may be easier to see this in the dark, since it’s glowing… or maybe not. We can set it a little higher. Let’s see, Glow to High—there are only two settings there. It’s subtle, so see how that goes for you.

Ah, Mesh Detail. So, I’m looking at a detailed mini-map of sorts (not the same as this Mini Map), but it’s right out here in the open. It’s got sculpted prims, it’s got a fair amount of very small and detailed geometry.

This is a good candidate for Preferences > Mesh Detail > Objects, because when I set it to Low it will reduce the number of polygons: which means objects will look crappier, but they won’t impose as much of a rendering burden.

Notice that? Now, they don’t look the same as before—and notice how the round things look more like hexagon platforms. When you scale it up to High, it gets better looking. Sometimes stuff may look residually degraded, so move your camera in and out to adjust that.

Flexiprims: let me get a Flexiprim here. I think there is a bug with this, so it doesn’t work unless that was fixed. Let me create a Flexiprim…stretch out this prim, and in the Features tab, notice Flexible Path—makes it all wiggly. [Wiggliprim!!] You can’t quite see the wiggliness yet, let me just drag it up and it will get wiggly when I start wiggling it. Now notice, it’s literally a flexible prim.

This likely has an effect when there are a lot of them on the screen at once—it controls the smoothness of how they wiggle. I’m going to make a few more.

[They’re kind of like those wavy tube-man guys you see at car dealerships. I’m just copying a whole bunch of them. I’m going to clean up after, I’m not going to be bad about this! Let’s see if it makes a difference though, that’s what I came here to show you. Kind of smooth, they’re moving slowly… let’s see, High… Low… there doesn’t seem to be much of an apparent difference. A while ago I reported it as a bug; it may still be a problem. Let’s move on.]

We are here at Linden Road Lobby! Trees, trees, the magical food… or something like that. Tree Mesh Detail controls the detail of Linden trees.

How do you know if it’s a Linden tree? Probably the easiest way is just to Right Click > Edit, and if you notice these [tabs] are grayed out, then it’s a Linden tree. You can’t script a Linden tree, and they have a number of limits; they’re strange that way. Also, it doesn’t glow like other objects. I have a tutorial on “The trouble with Linden trees.”

But anyway, you’ll notice if I move [Tree Mesh Detail] to Low, from a further distance they’re going to look more like cardboard cutouts; and if I move it to high, they’re going to become richer. It’s kind of inconsistent sometimes, but notice [toggling High-Low] at Low they look really anemic. Of course, High will make them render slower, too.

Avatars: this would probably be a good one for a crowded place. I’m just teleporting from scene to scene here; let me go to a place with a lot of avatars, and we can see what that does. Actually, Avatars [Mesh Detail] used in correlation with Avatar Impostors—that would be useful, so let’s save this one for a little bit later.

Terrain [Mesh Detail]: this would be a good one for a bumpy place. (This would do, actually—someplace with curves.)

When Terrain Mesh Detail is Low, terrain may look more jagged: it’s not going to look as organic and flowing. When It’s High, notice--[toggling High-Low]. This becomes most apparent at mountains. Let me show you a good mountain range for that.

Notice terrain has a level of detail—when you zoom in, it gets more detailed, more rounded; but when you’re far away and Terrain is Low, it looks like a ‘90’s video game. So, when I make it High, notice—better! [Toggling High-Low]

And by the way, I know some of you are going to ask, and I should cover this in a future video tutorial: in Advanced Menu > Debug Settings, there are a bunch of things which will enhance your quality in addition to this. (Power User Tweakage!) So for now, I’m just going to show the basics; if you’re curious, you can watch that later. [Toggling High-Low]

Finally, Sky Mesh Detail. It makes the sky look better, of course. If you set it to Low, [things in the sky are] going to look blockier. This is most noticeable with some types of suns.

If I set it to a sunset… triangles in the sky at Low, notice? It’s not so round, it’s a little bit off. Then, High… [toggling High-Low]. Let me grab a custom preset I did—some of my presets illustrate this really well. (Ok… I have a lot of them, don’t I?)

Ok, notice how blocky that looks? It doesn’t look natural at all. [Toggling High-Low] This can be pretty taxing, too, depending on your setup; so again, watch your performance. If things start to feel really slow, you can always go back. [Toggling High-Low]

Lighting Detail: oh my gosh, you need to know about this, this is great. This is for what they call “local” or “point” lights. These are controlled through objects that are lit in the Features. Let me go to midnight; that will be darker.

And I’m going to rez a cube again, as I often do. And in Features > Light: this is what makes it a lit prim. [This one] is not going to be lit up because Lighting Detail is on Sun and Moon Only. But when you turn on Nearby Local Lights… then you should see, there’s a light. And you can change the color of the light.

One important consideration, however: you are only going to see the 6 lights nearest your avatar. This is due to an open GL (graphics protocol limit). If you’ve got more than that, you’re not going to see them.

Notice, there’s 3… then there’s 3 more. You can make this line, or you can adjust them one by one. They’re all green, and they’re clearly emanating light. However, notice if I make another 3—the ones in the middle don’t have light, because they’re not selected. When I deselect, only the 6 nearest to me are going to be lit. If I move these ones closer to me, then these [other] ones aren’t going to be lit.

(Oh darn it, I crashed!) (Pardon about that, after the crash my Graphics Preferences were reset. But that’s ok, I can keep illustrating various principles.)

Hardware Skinning: you should generally turn this on, if you can. If you’re on older hardware that’s unsupported, this may cause problems; there’s a probability of that. It is a slight acceleration for your avatar rendering.

When it says On, notice that Avatar Cloth is also enabled. If you’re wearing mesh clothing—in Appearance, this [selects] would be a mesh skirt—when Avatar Cloth is On, it will ripple.

Now it’s Off, so it’s not rippling in the wind when I fly. But when I turn it On, it adds an extra touch. It may be nice, or it may be distracting.

Now Avatar Cloth is On, and notice—if you look very closely, there’s some rippling action there. Very subtle. It’s noticeable with longer kinds of clothing.

Remember: a good guideline is, if you’re confused you can just click one of these, and with Custom open, it will show you all of the details that went into making that. So you can say, “Hey, I know what this is roughly equivalent to;” and see what settings specifically make up the High setting versus the Mid setting, for example. Then you can compare, and say “Hmm, I want to tweak this, and this.” If you want to go all out—pig out on your graphics buffet—then Ultra is the way to go.

And speaking of Ultra, Hardware Options: this has additional options above these which may increase quality even more. Click that button, and this will come up.

Filtering: Anisotropic Filtering. (You’re like, “What the heck is that?” You can look it up on Wikipedia.) Long story short, objects at oblique (not right-on) angles will look slightly sharper. This may be kind of hard for me to show, because when I record a video there is some deterioration of fine details. But, you can compare it On and Off. Try it with some objects that are in the far distance and have texture, say like a sign with text on it.

Antialiasing is more noticeable. We added this recently; this is good, because before you had to go to your graphics driver preferences.

Now, the big thing about Antialiasing is it smoothes out jagged edges. If you think Second Life looks too jaggy, you can turn this up. I can go up to 16x: it depends on your graphics hardware, you may not be able to attain this. Some people can go even more than that. This is one of the biggest determinants, especially if you take a lot of photographs, a lot of snapshots in Second Life—this will impact the quality of those.

Look at the fine edges of this hut thing, and let me disable Antialiasing. The screen will blank for awhile and it will just take a moment to switch resolution, as it says. And notice, it’s jaggier.

Now Hardware Options, and Antialiasing back to 4… And now, smoother! So play with that--the higher, the better. What Antialiasing does is, it renders a scene the number of multiple times that is shown (e.g. 4x, 16x) and it scales it down. So obviously it can slow things down; but for the price you’re paying, it can make it look very nice.

Gamma: this and Fog Distance Ration are grayed out. The reason why is because Atmospheric Shaders overrides them: it controls them on its own. If I were to disable Atmospheric Shaders, you’ll notice I can set my Gamma. (I don’t find it too useful.) And Fog Distance Ratio controls the amount of fog—if you set it Low, things should look foggier.

It doesn’t work too well, you’ll notice that only the trees are foggy there—it’s not working the way it should. I don’t really bother with that—I just keep Atmospheric Shaders on. You’ll probably want to keep Fog Distance Ratio far, so that things don’t look weird.

Texture Memory: this is normally auto-detected to how much you have on your graphics card. If you have SLI or ATI’s Crossfire, this sometimes may auto-detect wrong, in which case you can override it.

I personally have not noticed a big difference between setting it lower or higher. You don’t want to set it tremendously low, because then you’re probably going to end up with flickering textures because they all can’t get loaded memory. I’d say set it to 128 and up, typically—but see what works best for you, this really depends on your specific hardware. This is why we let you override it; in the past, we didn’t.

Ah yes, we’ve got to get to Avatar Impostors. Let me find a club with a lot of people.

Now, notice how some of these avatars are animating less smoothly, and they look like they have fringy edges. This is because Avatar Impostors is On.

Avatar Impostors is a pretty cool feature. You may ask, “Why would you want to impostor someone?” Well, it doesn’t literally mean you’re going to fake someone out—it means avatars in the distance are going to be drawn like a 2D cardboard cutout. (Think of old Nintendo games, where someone had a two cycle walk.) So it means they’re going to be animated—and look—somewhat less smooth. The tradeoff is a performance boost.

I can exhibit this through View Menu > Statistics Bar… let’s compare this Basic Frames Per Second—this is 10; it’s ok. If I turn Avatar Impostors off, it should slow down noticeably. Yes, notice how there is a slight performance hit? Now, if I turn Avatar Impostors back on, it raises back up. This is because not having to render those further avatars (and thank you to __?__ Linden for the explanation) and using less cycles results in a performance gain.

If you think avatars are becoming blocky too close, this is precisely because Avatar Mesh Detail correlates: at High, avatars become impostors at further distances. If you want a greater performance boost, set Avatar Mesh Detail to Low, and avatars will become impostors at nearer distances.

So again, it’s a tradeoff: do what’s best for you. Notice now, the avatars that are nearer look somewhat blocky—however, I’m experiencing a performance gain. And remember, turning Avatar Impostors off will slow down performance.

This works great on a lot of systems; however, if you have an older unsupported Intel integrated graphics card, it’s probably best to turn it off. You may experience some artifacts or other weirdness.

So remember, the power is really in your hands. Avatar Impostors is great with crowd scenes, keep it on--and if you want people to become impostors at further distances, then set Avatar Mesh Detail to High.

You can tweak any of these, just about any time you want. If Custom is off, of course, it’s simple—but it’s good to gain an understanding of what each of these does. Then you can fine-tune your experience and maximize your enjoyment of Second Life.

If you consider all these options and what each one of them does, and learn through time by experimentation-–and of course, watching this video—you’ll clearly gain a better knowledge, and feel more confident about using stuff.

So, that’s the Graphics Preferences in Second Life for you--I hope you had a good time! There’s certainly more things to cover—like I mentioned, in Advanced there are additional hidden options; and over time we’ve optimized it (before there were 3 tabs, and now there’s one), making it simpler.

I’ve been Torley Linden. I’m going to see what else is going on here—I see they’re using some glow and some other techniques. All these things put together comprise what you see and enjoy and experience here in Second Life.

Thanks for watching this video tutorial!

Please rate, comment, favorite, and subscribe to my videos on YouTube, if you like them; it helps them grow. And if you have any questions for me, go ahead and email me: torley@lindenlab.com. I’d be glad to hear about your video tutorial curiosities and inquisitions (not in the bad sense—inquiries!).

I have stepped into the glow, and I’m going to so-called “duck out for now.”

Stay tuned for more video tutorials!

Version 4 - A16D3RBFGNRKL8

Amicable salutations, it's me, Torley Linden, of course. And, ohh, ho, ho, I've gone shopping, it seems, thanks to Tudor Claxton, who made this Avatar. If you are wondering where are the watermelons, look closely, there's green and pink right there and there's more melons, ha, ha. Anyway, let's get started. In today's tip of the week, I'm going to cover the graphics preferences. What you need to know a guided tour showing you what just about everything in there does. Follow me and let's come along. Edit menu and Preferences and Graphics. Now, by default, it's a simple slider and normally, if you click recommended settings, it'll optimize depending on your hardware. If you have supported hardware, and I highly do recommend that, meet the system requirements, or meet the system recommendations, even better and you should be able to enjoy all of the graphics options in all their glorious entirety, otherwise you may not be able to turn some of them on. I also advise you to upgrade your graphics drivers to the newest stable versions whether you run Nvidia or ATI. Now enough of that talk, there's time for more show. Hah, so, Custom, this button, it enables all these options under here, 'cause, normally you can one-click set it, right, like set it to Mid, for example, set it back to Low, and Custom will give you more granular control. There we go. Lot of options, and you may say, "Oh my gosh, this looks complicated." Well there are a few simple principles which you should remember, for example, sliders to the left means that they will be faster, that the performance will be faster and the quality will be less, such as mesh detail for objects, you turn it to the left it will be Low, to the right it will be High. This principle is true for all of them. Generally, also checking things will turn on options makes things slower. With some exceptions, such as Avatar Imposters, which I shall show you later, it's one of my favorite viewer optimizations, boosts your frame rate. Okay, so let's start right here, the Shaders part, that's a nice starting place. "Bump Mapping and Shiny", we may remove this in the future, just about everyone can have this turned on, okay. So, if I'm going to res a cube, right here, with that off, zoom in, "Texture - Shiny", see does nothing, but when I turn this on, now it has shiny. I move my camera; it has shiny, shiny, shiny, set it to shiny High. And the bump mapping refers to that Bumpiness. We don't yet have support for that custom bump maps, normal maps, but we will hope to in the future with materials, that's our keyword for having a versatile system of objects that can - whoo- can get beyond this, but right now, as you see you can add extra def, make it look more 3D with these bump maps. Okay, so you can combine those and it looks pretty cool that way, sorta. The sky's not supposed to be white that way, I think there's something buggy with that, it's not supposed to blink on and off. That is, though, because I don't have Basic Shaders even on. If I'm going to turn Basic Shaders on, then the world, let me just close that, is gonna look more beautiful. So let me just angle up there, and then turn Basic Shaders. Okay, there should be subtle differences, and the terrain should also get sharper. By the way, if your terrain looks splotchy, set it to High. See? Crisper detail right there. This would normally be grayed out on higher end configurations. When I turn on Basic Shaders, there we go, see right there. Well, the water I mean, I meant the water looks nicer already, see. Notice with it off, oooh, the water is like, inky and when on, whoo, it's gonna get better. And it's gonna get better, gettin' better all the time.

Okay, now Atmosphere Shaders, if you have heard of "WindLight", that is the codename for our atmospheric rendering technology providing physically accurately modelled lighting effects in atmospheres and environments. Whooo, so, when I turn this on, notice the sky, it'll light the ground, it'll have greater dynamic range, it'll just look more realistic. Put it that way. And the sky will have nicer clouds and stuff. Yeah, there we go, see, so now I've got this. It's more noticeable at some times of day, like if I was to go to World Menu, Environment Settings and Sunrise, okay, note how the sun looks, ooh, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, and if I turn off those Shaders, then it's going to look not so beautiful. The clouds have gone away, it looks naked, it's just fading out it looks - it's not supposed to turn white like that. Oh there we go, yeah, it's kind of pale. It's flashing at me, that seems buggy, but I'll just turn it back on. If you can possibly turn that on, if your card, GPU graphics card has DirectX9 or higher shader support, you should be able to.

And next, Water Reflections. This does what you think it should do, however it is rather taxing and may cause a severe performance hit depending on your system, on higher end systems, not so much, but the best way to find out - try it, right? Ooh, I hear the sound of dropping boxes or something. Let me go back to midday and I will turn it on and off to show you. So I'm with the waters, and we don't have reflections over the water, looks quite nice. So I turn them on, okay, that was a subtle change, did you notice that? If I put something over the water, oh this is very, probably very recognizable, okay. Oh, it has levels, Terrain and Trees, it means Linden Trees, not resident created ones out of Prims so notice those are not going to be reflected. But Static Objects, you can move these cumulatively, successively, I mean, and then you start to turn on extra details. Let me get my Avatar on top of the water so you can see. And actually, what I can do here, I can go to World, Environment Settings, Environment Editor, I want to change the water and make it glassy, that way you can easier see the reflections, cause it's glassy. Like Philip Glass, da, da, da, da, da, da. Okay, now I would turn on all Avatars and Objects and there you see? My Avatar's reflections, before I was a vampire, or something like it, but now I'm not. See then it adds that, so Terrain, All Static Objects, All Avatars and Objects and now Everything. Everything has the benefit also of, you may not have noticed the difference there, but if there were things like particles, that would have shown up. Oh, let me show you quickly, actually, there's a particle, I think there's a waterfall particle system. You just quickly do this, don't mean to rush you, but just to show you a quick demonstration, I know you don't have a lot of time sometimes and you want to get this information nice and quick. Just copy that, just paste it in there. Oh, it's going slow, that's not my library, it's confusing, it's kind of moving slowly. There we go, okay, so, waterfall particle system. It's emitting a fine mist, we put it over the water like that and then as you can see, the particles are also reflected. So normally if you don't have that Everything then they are not going to be. So that adds extra detail. Sometimes there are things like, let's see, Night, I think, let me just check this to be quick. Yeah, you notice the stars, if you look very closely you notice the stars reflected in the water. It's kind of hard to see that, but it's beautiful. That's what you need to be - beautiful!

Okay, well, before we... Avatar Imposters is like the tour de force here, I'll get to that, I promise.

Draw Distance, how far you can see off into the distance as it says. You turn this up higher and it will let you see further, so 64 is the lowest, you crank it up and you can see further. You know, so there are trees and there are going to be other things. Keep in mind the higher you set it, the slower Second Life will be because it needs to render all these objects and if you are looking a very far way away, that's going to be a lot more resource usage, ooh. But you see, there are parts of this building appearing here, slide it back down. Usually 128/192 is typical, see how it works for you though. That's what it does though.

Max. Particle Count - Oh, this is a good one since we have a particle emitter right here. You can control how many particles you see on a screen at one time. Too many may be so called laggy, so if you turn them all the way off, you're not gonna have any. And if you turn them all the way up, then you're gonna see more on the screen at one time. Typically you can set this at about 4,096, that's the typical number.

Post Process Quality - Oh, you are like, what is that? By the way, there is this question mark here, you can always click here to get help. So, like it says, sets the resolution with which Glow is rendered. Now, let's have a look at Glow. Right click and I'm just going to drag this up, now many of these graphics options are within the Texture tab and Glow is too. So I can set Glow, I move these little objects, they are called spinners, these little arrows here. Spinners. Then I can set it to High, let's see if it makes any visible difference for us. It may be easier to see this in the dark, since it's glowing. Okay, or maybe not. Well, we can set the Glow Higher. Let's see, Glow to High, there are only two settings there. Yeah, it's subtle, so see how that goes for you.

Ah, Mesh Detail. So I'm looking at a detailed minimap, of sorts. Not the same as this Mini-Map, but it's right out here in the open. It's got sculpted Prims, it got a fair amount of very small and detailed geometry so this is a good candidate for preferences and the Mesh Detail Objects because when I set it to Low it will reduce the number of polygons which means objects will look crappier but they won't impose as much of a rendering burden. Notice that? Okay, so now they look very, very, they don't look the same as before and notice how the round things they look more kinda like hexagon platforms. When we scale it up to maximum, to High, then it gets better looking and sometimes stuff may still look residually artifacted, I mean, degraded like that, so move your camera in and out to adjust that. Low, High. So that's what that does.

FlexiPrims - that is, okay, so let me get a FlexiPrim here. I haven't noticed, I think there may be a bug with this which doesn't work unless it's fixed. Here, let me create something, let me create a FlexiPrim. I'll stretch out this Prim, I love giving you illustrated examples of stuff. And in the Features tab right here, you will notice, Flexible Path, this makes it all wiggly. Wiggly Prim. Okay, we can't quite see the wiggliness yet, let me drag it up and it will get wiggly when I start wiggling it. Oh, wiggles. Now notice that it is literally a flexible Prim. This likely has an effect, when there are a lot of them on the screen at once where it should and then it controls the smoothness of how they wiggle. I'm going to make a few more. I kind of like those wavy tube men guys you see at some used car sales places. Okay, I'm just copying a whole bunch of them, I mean, I'm going to clean up after , I'm not going to be bad about this! A lot of these, okay, so then you can wiggle them, let's see if it makes a difference though. That's what I came here to show you. They're kind of smooth, they're moving slowly. Move this to High, does it make a difference? Low? Hmm. Well doesn't seem to be much of an apparent difference. Widely reported as a bug, there might still be a problem. Let's move on.

We are here at Linden Road Lobby, trees, trees, the magical food or something like that. Tree Mesh Detail controls the detail of Linden Trees. And how do you know if it's a Linden Tree? Well, probably the easiest way is to right click and Edit. And if you notice that these are grayed out, then, it's a Linden Tree, you can't script a Linden Tree and they have a number of limits. They are strange that way. Also it doesn't glow, notice, like other objects. I have a tutorial on "The Trouble With Linden Trees." But anyway, so you will notice that if I move to Low, from a further distance, they are probably going to look like cardboard cutouts. And if I move it to High they should become richer, yeah, see. It's kind of inconsistent sometimes, but notice, Low - High - Low, they look really anemic. They look just like flat and then High. Of course, High will make them render slower too. Once you get closer - da, da, da, da, da, da, da. Avatars - oh this one would be a good one for a crowded place, I'm just teleporting from scene to scene here. Let me go to a place with a lot of Avatars and see what I can show you what that does, eh? Hmm, actually, Avatars used in correlation with Avatars Imposters, that would be useful. So let's save this one for a little bit later, okay? Uh, Terrain, yeah, this is a good one for a bumpy place, I should show you somewhere that has, oh, even this would do actually, someplace with curves. Okay. So when the Terrain Mesh Detail is Low, the terrain may look more jagged, it's not going to look as organic and flowing. When it's High, notice, High, Low, High, Low. This becomes most apparent at mountains, let me show you a good mountain range for that. Mountain range found and located. Okay notice Terrain has a level of detail. Meaning when you zoom, then of course it gets more detail, more roundy. But when you are off like this and terrain is Low, it looks like a 90's video game, so when I make it High, notice? Ooh, better. Low, High, Low, High. Oh, by the way, some of you are going to ask and I should cover this in a future video tutorial, in Advanced Menu and Debug Settings here there are a bunch of things that will enhance your quality in addition to this (power user tweakage). So for now I'm just going to show the basics, if you are curious, you can watch that later. Low, High, Low, High, they are, like doin' the dance, da, da, da, da, da, oh, I like that song. And Sky Mesh Detail, finally, of all these details, it just makes the sky look better, of course. If it's set to Low, they're just going to look blockier. This is most noticeable with some types of suns, I think. If I set it to Sunset. Let's go here - triangles in the sky, see notice? So it's not so round, it's a little bit off. And High; Low, High, Low, High. And let's see here, let me grab a custom preset I did, some of my presets illustrate this really, really well. Okay, I have a lot of them, don't I? Okay, I think this one has... notice how blocky that looks? It doesn't look natural at all. Low, High, Low, High, Low, High. This can be pretty taxing too depending to your setup, so again, watch your performance, if things start to feel really slow you can always go back, that's pretty cool.

Lighting Detail, oh my gosh, you need to know about this. This is great. This is for what they call local, or point, lights. These are controlled through objects that are lit in the features, let me see here. I'll just go to a normal sort of, let me go to a midnight actually, it will be dark. And I'm going to res a cube again, as I often do. And it features, right here, Light. This is what makes it a LightPrim, LitPrim. Okay, I can zoom in. It's not going to be lit up because Lighting Detail is only the sun and moon, but when you turn on Nearby Local Lights and then it should pop open. I mean, not pop open literally, but you should see there's a light here, right? And you can change the color of the light to different things. Important consideration, however, only the six nearest lights to your Avatar you are going to see. This is due to an open GL Graphics Protocol Limit. If you've got more than that you are not going to see them, okay. Because here's three and there's three more. You can make this line, you can adjust them one at a time, well, they are all green, you can see they are clearly emanating light, so six. But notice, if I make another three, look, the ones in the middle don't have light right now, because they are not selected, but when I deselect only the six nearest to me are going to be lit. Just like that, see. And when I move these lights closer to me, to my Avatar, right there, then these ones aren't going to be lit. So keep that in mind if you are wondering ... oh, darnit I crashed. Oh my gosh.

Pardon about that. After the crash. My preferences graphics, here were set, but that's okay, I can keep illustrating various principles.

Hardware Skinning. You should generally turn this on if you can. If you're on older hardware that is unsupported this may cause problems. There is a probability of that, but it is a slight acceleration for your Avatar rendering. Turn it off if you think, oh, doing stuff. And once that's on notice that Avatar Cloth is also enabled. Avatar Cloth means that, we have something like, notice Avatar Mesh, let me, oh my gosh this is a lot of boxes. Let me just turn these off. Oh no, now I look so naked. It's not technically, you know, it's weird. If you are wearing mesh clothing, in Appearances, keep in mind, like a mesh skirt, this would be a mesh skirt right under here, then Avatar Cloth, when it is on, it means it will ripple. Let's see. Let's see if I can get an example of that. Oh, it's off, so it's not rippling. It's not rippling in the wind when I fly. But when I turn it on, it adds an extra touch. It may be nice, it may be distracting, so now Avatar Cloth is on and now notice. Look very closely, there is some rippling action there. Very subtle. Look at that. Oops, you didn't need to see that. Okay. See it's kind of like my buttocks there and yeah, so it has a good effect. It's noticeable with longer kinds of coats.

Next up, and remember a good guideline is if you get confused you can just click one of these and then with Custom open it will show you all the details that went into making that. So you can say, "Hey, okay, I know what this is roughly equivalent to", and what settings specifically make up the High setting versus the Mid setting, for example. Then you can compare and say, "Hmm, okay I want to tweak this and this is a little bit better taste. Then, if you want togo all out and pig out on your graphics buffet, then Ultra is the way to go. Yeesh. And speaking of Ultra, in a way, in a manner of speaking ...

Hardware Options - This has additional options above these which may increase quality even more. Click that button and this will come up. Filtering. Anisotropic Filtering, you're like, what the heck is that? You can look it up on Wikipedia, but long story short, objects with textures at oblique (or at not right on angles) will look slightly sharper. This will be kind of hard for me to show because of the video. When I record a video there is some deterioration of its fine details. But you can compare it on and off. Try making some objects that are in the far distance have textures, like say a sign with text on it. Antialiasing is more noticeable. We added this recently. This is good because before you had to go to your graphics driver's preferences. Now the big thing about Antialiasing is that it smoothes out jaggies. If you think Second Life looks too jaggy, you can turn this up. I can go up to 16. Depends on your s hardware, you may not be able to attain this. Some can even go more than that. But if you disable it, let me see if I can show you. This is one of the biggest deterrents especially if you take photographs, a lot of snapshots in Second Life; this will impact the quality of those. So, let's see here. You can see the edges, look at the fine edges of this hut thing. And let me turn off. Okay, so, when I disable it, and OK the screen will blank for a while and it will just take a moment to switch resolution, as it says. Okay, just give that some time, and I hope it doesn't kill me. There we go and notice, look, I'm going to zoom in, obviously, on this. This looks jaggier right, you can see it's jaggier. Hardware options, make it back to four. OK. And now ... smooooother! So, play with that. The Higher the better. What Antialiasing does, it renders a scene the number of multiple times that it actually is shown and it scales it down. It obviously is more, it slows things down, but for the price you're paying it can look very nice. It can make Second Life look nicer.

Okay Gamma. This and Fog Distance Ratio are Grade 0. The reason why is because Atmospheric Shaders overrides them with controls of its own. If I were to disable Atmospheric Shaders, again, Hardware Options, you will notice I can set my Gamma. I don't find it too useful. And Fog Distance Ratio, this contains basically how much fog is, if you set it Low, then things will look foggier. Yeah, but it doesn't really work too well. It's only the trees are foggier there. That's kind of broken, it's not working the way it should. So I don't really bother with that, I just keep Atmospheric Shaders on. You probably want to keep it, usually far, so that things don't look weird like that.

Texture Memory This is normally auto detected to what you have on your graphics card. If you have SLI or ATI's Crossfire, sometimes, in some cases, it may auto detect wrong, in which case I would override it. I personally have not noticed a big difference between say in setting it Lower or Higher that much. You don't not want to set it tremendously Low because then you'll probaby have flickering textures cause they all can't get loaded in memory. I would say set it to 128 and up typically, but see what works best for you, this really depends on your specific hardware. This is why we let you override it. In the past, we didn't.

Ah, yes, okay, we've got to get to Avatar Imposters. So, let me find a club with a lot of people. (unintelligible) We're here. Now, notice how some of these Avatars, they're animating less smoothly and they look like they have sort of fringy edges. This is because Avatar Imposters is On. Avatar Imposters is a pretty cool feature. You may ask, "Why would you want to imposter someone?" Well it doesn't literally mean that you are going to fake someone out like that, it means that Avatars in the distance are going to be drawn representationally, like a 2D cardboard cutout. Think of old Nintendo games, right, where someone had a two cycle walk. So it means they are going to be animated and look somewhat less smooth. The tradeoff is a performance boost. I can exhibit this, and I've shown this before, but let me show you here today since you are watching this. View menu and Statistics Bar, let's compare this Basic Frames Per Second, okay? This is 10 and it's okay. And if I turn Avatar Imposters Off, now it should slow down noticeably. Yes, notice how there's a slight performance hit? Now I turn Avatar Imposters back On, it raises back up. This is because by having to render these further Avatars (thank you to Renatay Linden for the explanation) then using less cycles like that results in the performance gain. And, if you think Avatars are becoming blocky too close this is precisely because Avatar Mesh Detail, it correlates, so by High it means Avatars become imposters at further distances. If you want a greater performance boost set Avatar Mesh Detail to Low. And Avatars will become imposters at nearer distances. So again it's a tradeoff. Do what's best for you. Notice the Avatars that are nearer, they look somewhat blocky. However, I'm experiencing a performance gain. And then remember turning it off will slow down performance. This works great on a lot of systems, however, if you have older unsupported Intel integrated graphics card, it will probably be best to turn it off. You may experience artifacts or other weirdness. And that's in line with what I recommended before. There's a lot of crazy sounds here. So remember, the power is really in your hands. Avatar Imposters is great with crowd scenes, keep it on. And if you want people to become imposters at further distances, let me set it to High, let me go back there in the club to demonstrate. You can tweak any of these just about anytime you want. If Custom is Off, of course, it's simple. But it's good to gain an understanding of what each of these does. Then you can fine tune your experience and maximize your enjoyment of Second Life. If you consider all these options and what each one of them does and you learn through time by observation just by seeing what each one does and, of course, watching this video. Thanks for watching. You will clearly gain a better knowledge and feel more confident about using stuff. So, that's the Graphics Preferences in Second Life for you. I hope you've had a good time. There are certainly more things to cover as I've mentioned. In Advanced there are additional hidden options and over time we've optimized this. Like before there used to be three tabs and now it's one making it simpler. I've been Torley Linden. I'm going to see what else is going on here. I see they are using some Glow and some other techniques. All these things put together comprise what you see and enjoy and experience in Second Life. Thanks for watching this tutorial. Please rate, comment, favorite and subscribe to my videos on YouTube if you like them. It helps them gr-gr-grow! And if you have any questions or comments for me, go ahead and email me at torley@lindenlab.com. I'd be glad to hear about your video tutorial curiosities and inquisitions, not in the bad sense, inquiries. Whoo, and I have stepped into the Glow and I'm going to, so-called, duck out for now. Stay tuned for more video tutorials.

Version 5 - A1AMGHYG5PT0L2

Narrator:

Amicable, salutations! It’s me! Torley Lindor here, and oh, hoo hoo, I’ve gone shopping it seems, thanks to Tudor Klaxon who made this avatar. And if you’re wondering “where are the watermelons?” Look closely, there’s green and pink right there. And there’s more melons! Ha ha!

Anyway, let’s get started. In today’s tip of the week, I’m going to cover the “Graphics Prefences: what you need to know”, a guided tour showing you just about everything in there is. Follow me. Let’s come along. Edit menu and preferences, and graphics. Now by default, it’s a simple slider. If you click “recommended settings” it will optimize depending on your hardware. If you have supported hardware (and I highly do recommend that), meet the system requirements, or meet the system recommendations (even better) then you should be able to enjoy all the graphics options in their glorious entirety. Otherwise, you may not be able to turn some of them on. I also advise you to upgrade your graphics drivers to the newest, stable versions, whether you run in VIDIA or ATI.

Now enough of that talk, there’s time for more show. So “Custom”. This button, it enables all these options under here. Because normally you can one click set it. Set it to “mid” for example. Set it back to “low”. “Custom” will give you more granular control.

There we go! Lot of options! And you may say “oh my gosh, this looks complicated”. Well, there are a few simple principles which you should remember. For example, sliders to the left will mean that they are faster, that the performance will be faster and the quality will be less. Such as “Mesh Detail” for objects, you turn it to left it’ll be low, if you turn it to the right, it’ll be high. This principle is true for all of them. Generally, also checking things will turn on options and make things slower, with some exceptions such as; Avatar Imposters which I shall show you later. It’s one of my favorite viewer optimizations. Boosts your frame rate.

OK, so let’s start right here at the Shaders part. That’s a nice starting place. “Bump Mapping and Shiny”. We may remove this in the future just about everyone can have this turned on. So, if I’m going to rez a cube right here with that off. Zoom in, texture “Shiny”, see, it does nothing! But, when I turn this on, now it has shiny. If I move my camera, shiny shiny shiny . You can set the shiny high. And the “Bump mapping” refers to this bumpiness. We don’t yet have support for custom bump maps, normal maps, but we will hope to in the future with “materials”. That is our keyword for having a versatile system of objects that can get beyond this.

But, right now you see you can add more depth, make it look more 3-d with these bumpmaps. OK, so you can combine those and it looks pretty cool that way. Sorta. The sky’s not supposed to be white that way. I think there’s something buggy with that. It’s not supposed to blink on and off. That is because I don’t have “Basic Shaders” even on. If I’m going to turn “Basic Shaders” on, then the world (let me just close that) is going to look more beautiful. So, let me just angle up there. And then turn “Basic Shaders”. There should be subtle differences and the terrain should also get sharper. By the way, if the terrain looks splotchy, set it to high. See, crisper detail right there. This would normally be great on higher end configurations.

When I turn on the “Basic Shaders” . There we go, see right there, the water I mean. I meant the water looks nicer already. Notice with it off, the water’s like inky. And with it on, oooh, it’s gonna get better. And it’s gonna get better, getting better all the time. OK, now “Atmospheric Shaders”. If you’ve heard of “Windlight”, that’s the codename for our Atmospheric rendering technology providing physically, accurately modeled effects in atmosphere and environments. Wooh! So, when I turn this on, notice the sky. It’ll light the ground. It will have greater dynamic range. It will just look more realistic. We’ll put it that way. And the sky will have nicer clouds and stuff. Yeah! There we go! So now I got this. It’s more noticeable sometimes at day. Like if I was to go to World Menu, “Environments” and “Sunrise”. Ok, note how the sun looks. Oh, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.

And if I turn off those shaders, then it’s gonna look not so beautiful. The clouds have gone away and it looks anemic and it’s just fading out and ah! It’s just not supposed to turn white like that. Oh, there we go. Yeah, it’s kind of pale and it’s flashing at me! That seems buggy. I’ll just turn it back on. If you can possibly turn that on, if your GPU graphics card has DirectX9 or higher shader support, you should be able to. And next, “Water Reflections”. This does what you think it should do. However, it is rather taxing and may cause a severe performance hit depending on your system. On higher end systems, not so much. But, the best way to find out, try it, right?

Ooh! I can hear the sound of dropping boxes or something. Let me go back to mid-day and I’ll turn it on and off to show you so I’m with the waters. And we don’t have reflections, although the water looks quite nice. So I turn them on. OK, that was a subtle change. Did you notice that? If I put something over the water. Oh, this is probably very recognizable. Oh it has levels. Levels. Ok, so “terrain and trees”. This means Linden trees, not resident created ones out of prims. So notice, those aren’t going to be reflected. But static objects, you can move… these go up cumulatively, successively, I mean. And then you start to turn on extra details.

Let me get my avatar on top of the water so you can see. And actually, what I can do here is, I can go to “World”, “Environment Settings”, “Environment Editor”. I want to change the water and make it glassy. That way you can easier see the reflections! Cuz it’s glassy like Phillip Glass.

Now I will turn on “All Avatars and Objects” and there! Now you see my avatar’s reflection! Before I was a vampire or something like it, but now I’m not. See, then it adds that. So “Terrain”, “All Static Objects”, “All Static Avatars and Objects” and now “Everything”. “Everything” has a benefit also, of, you may not have noticed a difference there, but if there were things like particles that would have shown up. Oh, let me show you quickly, actually, there’s a part of, I think there’s a waterfall. Not a wayerfall! Waterfall. Waterfall particle system. Just quickly do this. Don’t mean to rush you, just to show you a quick demonstration. I know you don’t have a lot of time sometimes, and you want to get this information nice and quick. We’ll just copy that. Just paste it in there. Oh, it’s going slow. That’s not my library. That’s confusing. It’s kind of moving slowly. There we go. There we go, ok so waterfalls, right? I mean waterfall particle. This is just a particle system. It’s emitting a fine myst.

Let me go put it over the water like that. And then, as you can see, the particles are also reflected. Normally if you don’t have that “Everything” then they’re not going to be. So it adds extra detail. Sometimes there’s things that, let’s see “night” I think. Let me just check this to be.. yeah, you notice the stars. If you look very closely you’ll notice the stars are also reflected in the water. It’s kind of hard to see that, but… it’s beautiful! That’s what you need to be beautiful!

OK, before we… Avatar Imposters is like the Tour De Force here. I’ll get to that I promise. “Draw Distance”, how far you can see off into the distance, as it says. You turn this up, higher and it’ll let you see further. So 64 is the lowest, and you crank it up and you can see further. You;ll notice there’s trees and there’s going to be other things. Keep it in mind, the higher you set it, the slower Second Life will be because it needs to render all these objects. And if you’re looking way far away, that’s gonna be a lot more resource usage. It’s already kind of… see, there’s parts of building appearing here. Slide it back down, usually 128, 192 is typical, see how it works for you though. That’s what it does though, right.

“Max Particle Count”. Oh, this is a good one, since we have a Particle emitter here, you can control how many particles you see on screen at one time. Too many may be so called “Laggy”. So, if you turn them all the way off, you’re not gonna have any. And if you’re gonna turn them all the way up, then you’re gonna see more on your screen at one time. Typically you can set this at about 4096. That’s the typical number.

“Post Process Quality”. Ok, you’re like “what is that?” And, by the way there’s this question mark here. And I’ll just click this to get help. So like it says. “Sets the resolution with which Glow is rendered”. Now, let’s have a look at glow. Right click and just gonna drag this up. Now many of these graphics options are within the texture tab. Glow is too. Like I said, Glow, object is glowing. I just move these, they are called Spinners, these little arrows here, Spinners. Then I can set it to high, let’s see if that makes a visible difference for us. Maybe it will be easier to see this in the dark since it’s glowing. Maybe not. We can set the glow higher. Glow to high. There’s only two settings there. Yeah, it’s subtle. So, see how that goes for you.

Ah! Mesh Detail. So, I’m looking at a detailed mini map of sorts, not the same as this mini map. But, it’s right out here in the open. It’s got sculpted prim. It’s got a fair amount of very small detailed geometry. So this is a good candidate for preferences and the Mesh Detail objects. Because, when I set it to low, it will reduce the number of polygons which means objects will look crappier, but they won’t impose as much of a rendering burden. Notice that? Ok so now they look very… very… they don’t look the same as before and notice how the round things, they look more like a hexagon platform. When we scale it up to maximum, the high, then it gets better looking. And sometimes the stuff may still look residually artifcacted, I mean degraded like that, so move your camera in and out to adjust that. Low. High. So, that’s what that does.

Flexiprims. That is, ok, let me go get a Flexiprim here. I have noticed… I think there might be a bug with this, which it doesn’t work. unless it was fixed if I create something… let me create a Flexiprim. Stretch out this prim. Ah, I love giving you illustrated examples of stuff. And in the features tab, you’ll notice right here, “Flexible Path”, this makes it all wiggly! Wiggly Prim. OK, we can’t Flexi the wiggliness yet, let me just drag it up and it’ll get wiggly when I start wiggling it! Ooh wiggles! Now notice it’s literally a flexible prim. This likely has an effect when there’s a lot of them on the screen at once or it should. And then it controls the smoothness of how they wiggle. I’m gonna make some more. They are kind of like those wavy chute men you see at some used car sale places. Let’s see. I’m just copying a whole bunch of them. I mean, I’m gonna clean up after, I’m not gonna be bad about this. A lot of these, ok. So then it can wiggle them. Let’s see if it makes a difference though, that’s what I came here to show you. They’re kind of smooth. They are moving slowly. Let’s see, if I move it to high, does it make a difference? Low? Hm. Well, it doesn’t seem to make an apparent difference. I’ll go report it as a bug. It’s still a problem. Let’s move on.

We are here at Linden Grove Lobby. Trees, trees the magical food or something like that. Tree Mesh detail controls the detail of Linden trees. And how do you know if it’s a Linden tree? Well, probably the easiest way is just to right click on it and hit edit. And if you notice, these are grayed out, then it’s a Linden tree. You can’t strip a Linden tree and they have a number of limits. They’re strange that way. Also, it doesn’t glow. Notice like other objects have. A tutorial on the Trouble with Linden Trees. Anyway, see you’ll notice if I move to low, from a further distance they’re probably gonna look more like cardboard cutouts. And if I move it to high, they should become richer. Yeah, see. It’s kind of inconsistent some times, but you’ll notice low, high. Low they look really anemic, just like flat. And then high. Of course high will make them render slower too, as you get closer.

Avatars, oh, this would probably be a good one for a crowded place. I’m just teleporting from scene to scene here. Let me go to a place with a lot of avatars and see.. well, we can show you what that does, eh? Actually, Avatars used in correlation with Avatar Imposters, that would be useful. So let’s save this one for a little bit later, ok?

Terrain, this is a good one for a bumpy place. I should show you somewhere that has… oh! Even this would do, actually., some place with curves. Ok. So when Terrain Mesh Detail is low, terrain may look more jagged. It’s not going to look organic and flowing. When it’s high…notice… high low… this becomes more apparent at mountains. Let me show you a good mountain range for that. Mountain range found and located. Notice terrain has a level of detail. Meaning when you zoom in, it gets more detail, more roundy. But when you’re off like this and terrain is low, it looks like a nineties video game. So, when I make it high, notice… better. Low, High, low, high!

And by the way, I know some of you are gonna ask, and I should cover this in a future video tutorial. In “Advanced Menu” and “Debug Settings” here, there are a bunch of things that will enhance your quality in addition to this. Power user tweakage. So, for now I’m just gonna show the basics , if you’re curious you can watch that later. Low high… they’re like doing a dance. Oh I like that song.

And “Sky Mesh Detail” finally, out of all these mesh details. It just makes the sky look better, of course. If you set it to low, they’re gonna look blockier. This is most noticeable with some sets of suns I think. If I set it to a sunset, and let’s go here. Triangles in the sky, if we go low, you’ll notice. See, it’s not so round, it’s a little bit off. And high… low high low high. Let’s see here. Let me grab a custom preset I did. Some of my presets illustrate this really really well. Ok, I have a lot of them, don’t I? Oh, crazy. Ok, I think this one has… yeah. Notice how blocky that looks? It doesn’t look natural at all. Low… High. Low… High. This can be pretty taxing too, depending on your set up, so again watch your performance. If things start to feel really slow, you can always go back. That’s pretty cool.

“Lighting Detail”. Oh my gosh, you need to know about this. This is great. This is for what they call local or point lights. These are controlled through objects that are lit in the features, let me see here. I’ll go back to a normal sort of… let me go to midnight actually. Dark. And I’m gonna rez a cube again, as I often do. And it features, right here, light. This is what makes it a lit prim. Ok, then I can zoom in and it’s not going to be lit up because Lighting Detail’s only the sun and moon, but when you turn on “Nearby Local Lights” and then it should pop open. I mean, not pop open literally, but you should see there’s a light here. Right, and you can change the color of the light to different things.

Important consideration however, only the 6 nearest lights to your avatar you’re gonna see. This is due to an open GL graphics protocol limit. If you’ve got more than that, you’re not gonna see them, K? So, there’s three and then there’s three more. You can, this line , adjust them one at a time. Well, they’re all green and you can clearly see they are emanating light. So six, however notice if I make another three, see the ones in the middle, they don’t have light right now because they are not selected. But when I deselect, only the six nearest to me are going to be lit. Just like that, see. And then when I move these ones closer to me, my avatar, right there… then these ones aren’t going to be lit. So keep that in mind if you’re wondering. Oh! Darkness! I crashed! Pardon about that, after the crash my preferences graphics here, were reset. But that’s ok I can keep illustrating various principles.

“Hardware Skinning”. You should generally turn this on if you can. If you’re on older hardware that’s unsupported, this may cause problems. There’s a probability of that. What it does is that it’s a slight acceleration for your avatar rendering. Turn it off if you think it’s doing stuff. And once that’s on, notice that “Avatar Cloth” is also enabled. “Avatar Cloth” means that, you have something like… notice an avatar mesh. Let me, oh my gosh this is a lot of boxes, let me just turn these off. I know, now I look so naked! It’s not technically… it’s weird. So, if you’re wearing mesh clothing… in appearances, keep in mind, like a mesh skirt. This will be a mesh skirt right under here. Oh not a shirt, I mean, a skirt. Then “Avatar Cloth” when cloth is on, that means it will ripple. Ok, let’s see if you can see an example of that. So it’s not rippling. It’s not rippling in the wind when I fly. But when I turn it on, this adds an extra touch. It may be nice, it may be distracting. So now, “Avatar Cloth” is on. Now notice, see, and look very closely. There’s some rippling action there. Very subtle, look at that. Woah, you didn’t need to see that. It’s kind of like my buttocks there are rippling… and yeah, it has a good effect. It’s noticeable with longer kinds of coats.

Next up, and remember, a good guideline is, if you’re confused you can just click one of these and then with custom open, it will show you all the details that went into making that. So you can say hey, I know roughly what this is equivalent to. And what settings specifically make up the high settings versus the mid setting for example. Then you can compare and say “hm, well I want to tweak this” and this is a little bit better taste. If you want to go all pig-out on your graphics buffet, then Ultra’s the way to go.

And speaking of Ultra in a matter of speaking, “Hardware Options”. This has additional options above the use, which may increase quality even more. Click that button and this will come up. Filtering. “Anisotropic Filtering”. You’re like, what the heck is that. Well, you can look it up in Wikipedia, but long story short, objects with textures at oblique, or not right on angles, they will look sharper. This may be kind of hard for me to show because of the video. When I record video, there’s some deterioration. It’s fine details, but you can compare it on or off. Try making some objects that are in the far distance and have textures, like a sign with text on it.

“Antialiasing” is more noticeable. We added this recently. This is good because before you had to go to your graphics drivers preferences. Now the big thing about Antialiasing is it smoothes out jaggys. If you think Second Life looks too jaggy, you can turn this up. I can go up to 16. Depends on your graphics hardware. You may not be able to tame this. Some can even go more than that. But, if you disable it, let me see if I can show you. This is one of the biggest determines, especially if you take photographs, a lot of snapshots in second life. This will impact the quality of those. So, let’s see here. You can see the edges; look at the fine edges of this hut-thing. And let me turn off. Ok, so when I disable it and ok, the screen will blank for awhile and it will just take a moment to switch resolution as it says. Just give that some time, and I hope it doesn’t kill me. There we go. And notice, look, I’m gonna zoom obviously on this, it’s jaggier, right. You can see it’s jaggier. Hardware options, and make it back to four. OK, and now, smoother. So play with that. The higher the better. What Antialiasing does is it renders a scene the number of multiple times that it actually is shown, and it scales it down. So, it obviously… it’s more… it can slow things down, but for the price you’re paying it can look very nice. Make Second Life look nicer.

OK, “Gamma”. This and “Fog Distance Ratio” are grayed out. Now the reason why, is because, let me go back “Atmospheric Shaders” overrides them with controls of its own. If I were to disable the Atmospheric Shaders again… Hardware Options. You’ll notice I can set my gamma. I don’t find it too useful. And “Fog Distance Ratio” this contains basically how much fog is… if you set it low, then things should look foggier. But it doesn’t really work too well. If you’ll notice only the trees look foggier there. I think that’s kind of broken, it’s not working the way it should. So I don’t really bother with that. I just keep Atmospheric Shaders on. And you probably want to keep it, usually far, so things don’t look weird like that.

“Texture Memory”. This is normally auto detected to how much you have on your graphics card. If you have like SLI, or ATI’s crossfire sometimes, some occurrences may auto detect wrong in which case you can over ride it. I personally have not noticed a big difference between setting it say lower and higher that much. You don’t want to set it tremendously low because then you’re probably going to end up with flickering textures because they all can’t get loaded memory. I’d say set it to 128 and up, typically, but see what works best for you. This really depends on your specific hardware. This is why we let you override it. In the past we didn’t.

Ah yes, ok we gotta get to “Avator Imposters”. So let me find a club with a lot of people. TDub in the Club Fashizzle. We’re here. Now notice how some of these avatars they’re animating less smoothly, and they look like they have sort of fringy edges. This is because Avatar Imposters is on. Avatar Imposters is a pretty cool feature. You may ask, why would you want to imposter someone? Well, it doesn’t literally mean you’re gonna fake someone out like that. It means Avatars in the distance are going to be drawn representationally like a 2-D cardboard cutout. Think of old Nintendo games, where someone had a two cycle walk. So it means they are going to be animated and look somewhat, less smooth. The tradeoff is a performance boost. I can exhibit this, and I’ve shown this before. But let me show you here today, since you’re watching this. “View” “Menu” and “Statistics Bar”. Let’s compare this Basic Frames per Second. This is ten. It’s ok. If I turn “Avatar Imposters” off. Now it should slow down noticeably. Yes, notice how there’s a slight performance hit? Now if I turn “Avatars Imposters” back on, it raises back up. This is because by having to render these further avatars and thank you to [xx] Linden for the explanation, then using less cycles like that results in a performance gain. And if you think avatars are becoming blocky too close this is precisely because Avatar Mesh Detail, it correlates. So by high, it means avatars become impostors at further distances. If you want a greater performance boost, set Avatar Mesh Detail to low. And Avatars will become Imposters at nearer distances. So again it’s a tradeoff. Do what’s best for you. Notice now that the avatars that are nearer they look somewhat blocky, however I’m experiencing a performance gain. And then remember turning it off will slow down performance.

This works great on a lot of systems, however if you have older unsupported Intel Integrated graphics card, it’s probably best to turn it off. You may experience artifacts or other weirdness. And that’s in line with a lot of what I recommended before. There’s a lot of crazy sounds here.

So remember, the power is really in your hands. Avatar Imposters is great with crowd scenes, keep it on, and if you want people to become imposters at further distances, then set it to high. Let me go back there in the club to demonstrate. You can tweak any of these just about any time you want. If custom is off, of course it’s simple. But it’s good to gain an understanding of what each one of these does. Then you can fine tune your experience and maximize your enjoyment of Second Life. If you consider all these options and what each one of them does, you learn through time, by observation, just by seeing what each one does and of course watching this video. Thank s for watching! You clearly gain a better knowledge and feel more confident about using stuff.

So that’s the Graphics Preferences in Second Life for you. I hope you’ve had a good time. There’s certainly more things to cover. Like I mentioned, in Advanced there’s additional hidden options and over time we’ve optimized this. Like before it used to be three tabs and now it’s one making it simpler. I’ve been Torley Linden. I’m gonna see what else is going on here, they’re using some glow and some other techniques. All these things put together comprise what you see and enjoy and experience in Second Life. Thanks for watching this video tutorial. Please, rate, comment, favorite and subscribe to my videos on Youtube if you like them. It helps them grow. And if you have any questions or comments for me, go ahead and email me at torley@lindenlab.com. I’d be glad to hear about your video tutorial curiosities and inquisitions (not in the bad sense), inquiries. Ohh and I’ve stepped into the glow and I’m going to so called duck out for now. Stay tuned for more video tutorials!

Version 6 - A1ODZBZHBEQFDL

Amicable salutations! It’s me, Torley Linden, of course. And I’ve gone shopping, it seems, thanks to Tooter Claxton who made this avatar. If you’re wondering, “Where are the watermelons?” look closely. There’s green and pink right there and there’s more melons. Anyway, let’s get started.

In today’s tip of the week, I’m going to cover the Graphics Preferences. What you need to know. A guided tour showing you what just about everything in there does. Follow me and let’s come along.

Edit menu>and Preferences> and Graphics- Now, by default it’s a simple slider and, normally, we click it.

Recommended settings- It will optimize depending on your hardware. If you have supported hardware, and I highly do recommend that, meet the system requirements or, meet the system recommendations, even better, then you should be able to enjoy all the graphics options in their glorious entirety. Otherwise you may not be able to turn some of them on. I also advise you to upgrade your graphics drivers to the newest stable versions whether you’re NVIDIA or ATI.

Now, enough of that talk. There’s time for more show. So,

Custom-This button enables all these options under here because normally you can one-click set it, right? You can set it to mid, for example, and set it back to low. Custom will give you more granular control. There we go! A lot of options. You may say, “Oh my gosh! This looks complicated.” Well, there are a few simple principles which you should remember. For example, sliders to the left will mean that they are faster. The performance will be faster and the quality will be less, such as, Mesh Detail for Objects. You turn it to the left and it will be low, to the right and it will be high. This principle’s true for all of them. Generally, checking things will turn on options and make things slower with some exceptions, such as, Avatar Imposters which I shall show you later. It’s one of my favorite viewer optimizations. It boosts your frame rate.

Let’s start right here. The Shaders part. That’s a nice starting place.

Bump Mapping and Shiny-We may remove this in the future. Just about everyone can have this turned on. So, if I’m going to “res” a cube with that off it does nothing. But, when I turn this on, now it has shiny. I move my camera. ..Shiny, shiny, shiny… You can set the Shiny high. The bump mapping refers to this bumpiness. We don’t yet have support for custom Bump Maps and Normal Maps but, we hope to in the future with Materials. That’s our keyword for having a versatile system of objects that can get beyond this. But, right now you see you can add extra depth, make it look more 3D, with these Bump Maps. So, you can combine those. And, it looks pretty cool that way, sort of. The sky’s not suppose to be white that way. I think there’s something “buggy” with that. It’s not suppose to blink on and off. That is because I don’t have Basic Shaders on. If I’m going to turn Basic Shaders on then the world….let me just close that…is going to look more beautiful. So, let me just angle up there and then turn Basic Shaders. There should be subtle differences and the terrain should also get sharper. By the way, if the terrain looks splotchy, set it to high. See? Crisper detail right there. This will normally be grayed out on higher configurations when I turn on the Basic Shaders….there we go. You can see right there. The water, I mean. I meant the water looks nicer already. See? Notice: With it off the water’s inky and with it on it’s going to get better. It’s going to get better, getting better all the time. OK now.

Atmospheric Shaders- If you’ve heard of “WindLight”, that’s the code name for our Atmospheric rendering technology providing physically accurately modeled lighting effects and atmospheres and environments. Whew! So, when I turn this on, notice the sky. It’ll light the ground. It’ll have a greater dynamic range. It will just look more realistic. And the sky will have nice clouds and stuff. There we go. See? It’s more noticeable at some times of day. If I were to go to World Menu>Environment Settings>and Sunrise… Note how the sun looks. Ohhh… beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. And, if I turn off those Shaders then it’s going to look not so beautiful. The clouds have gone away. It looks anemic and it’s just fading out. It’s not supposed to turn white like that. It’s kind of pale. It’s flashing at me. That seems “buggy”. But, I’ll just turn it back on. You can possibly turn that on if your card, GPU graphics card, has DirectX 9 or higher shader support. You should be able to. And Next:

Water Reflections- This does what you think it should do. However, it is rather taxing and may cause a severe performance hit depending on your system. On higher end systems, not so much but, the best way to find out is to try it, right? Ooh….I can hear the sound of dropping boxes or something. Let me go back to Midday and I’ll turn it on and off to show you. So, I’m with the waters and we don’t have reflections over the water. It looks quite nice. So, I turn them on. That was a subtle change. Did you notice that? If I put something over the water… this is probably something very recognizable… OK it has levels.

Terrain and Trees- This means Linden trees not resident created ones out of prims. Notice those aren’t going to be reflected. But, static objects you can move these cumulatively, successively, I mean. Then you start to turn on extra details. Let me get my avatar on top of the water so you can see. And actually what I can do here is I can go to World >Environment Settings>Environment Editor. I want to change the water and make it glassy. That way you can easily see reflections because there’s “glassy”. Like Phillip Glass. Now I will turn on All Avatars and Objects. And there you see my avatar’s reflection. Before I was a vampire or something like it but now I’m not. So, Terrain, All Static Objects, All Avatars and Objects and now Everything. Everything has a benefit also of …you may not have noticed a difference there but, if there were things like particles, that would have shown up. Let me show you quickly, actually. There’s a waterfall particle system. Just quickly do this. I don’t mean to rush you. But, just to show you a quick demonstration. I know you don’t have a lot of time sometimes and you want to get this information nice and quick. Let me just copy that. Just paste it in there. Oh it’s going slow. That’s not my library. It’s confusing. It’s kind of moving slowly. There we go. OK. So, waterfalls. I’m in waterfall park but this is just a particle system. It’s omitting a fine mist. Let me put it over the water like that. And then, as you can see, the particles are also reflected. Normally if you don’t have that Everything then they’re not going to be. So, it adds extra detail. Sometimes there are things like Night, I think. Let me just check this. Notice the stars? If you look very closely the stars are also reflected in the water. It’s kind of hard to see that but it’s beautiful. That’s why you need to be beautiful. Avatar Imposters is like the tour to force here. I’ll get to that I promise.

Draw Distance – How far you can see off into the distance, as it says. You turn this up higher and it’ll let you see further so, 64 is the lowest. You crank it up and you can see further. You notice there are trees and there’s going to be other things. Keep in mind, the higher you set it, the slower Second Life will be because it needs to render all these objects. And, if you’re looking very far away that’s going to be a lot more resource usage. You see, there are parts of the building re-appearing here. Let’s just slide it back down here. Usually 128,/192 are typical. See how it works for you though. That’s what it does.

Max Particle Count- This is a good one since we have a particle omitter here. You can control how many particles you can see on the screen at one time. Too many can be, so called, “laggy”. So, if you turn them all the way off you’re not going to have any. And you can turn them all the way up and you’ll see more on the screen at one time. Typically you set this at about 4,096. That’s the typical number.

Post Process Quality- OK. You’re like, “What is that?” And, by the way, there’s this question mark here. You can always click here to get help. So, like it says, “Sets the resolution with which Glow is rendered.” Now let’s have a look at Glow. Click and I’m just going to drag this up. Many of these graphics options are within the Texture tab and Glow is too. I can set Glow. I’ll just move these little spinners here. These arrows are called spinners. And then I can set it to high. Let’s see if that makes a visible difference for us. Maybe it will be easier to see this in the dark since it’s glowing. Well, maybe not. We can set the Glow higher. Let’s see, glow to high. There are only two settings there. It’s subtle. See how that goes for you.

Mesh Detail- I’m looking at a detailed mini map, of sorts. Not the same as this mini map but, it’s right out here in the open. It’s got stopted prims [?]. It’s got a fair amount very small and detailed geometry. This is a good candidate for preferences and the Mesh Detail Objects. Because when I set it to low it will reduce the number of polygons which means objects will look crappier but they won’t impose as much of a rendering burden. Notice that? Now they look very, very….they don’t look the same as before and notice how the round things…they look more like hexagon platforms. When we scale it up to maximum, the high, then it gets better looking. And sometimes stuff may still look residually degraded like that so move your camera in and out to adjust that. Low, High. So, that’s what that does.

Flexiprims- OK let me get a flexiprim here. I think there may be a bug with this which, it doesn’t work unless that was fixed. Let me create a flexiprim. We can stretch out this prim. I love giving you illustrated examples of stuff. In the Features tab you notice right here, Flexible Path. This makes it all wiggly. Wiggle prim. We can’t quite see the wiggliness yet. Let me just drag it up and it will start getting wiggly when I start wiggling it. Now notice it’s literally a flexible prim. This likely has an affect when there’s a lot of them on the screen at once. It controls the smoothness of how they wiggle. I’m going to make a few more. They’re kind of like those wavy tube-man-guys you see at some used-car-sale places. I’m just copying a whole bunch of them. I’m going to clean up after. I’m not going to be bad about this. So then you can wiggle them. Let’s see if it makes a difference though. That’s what I came here to show you. They’re moving slowly. Let’s see if I move them to high, to low…It doesn’t seem to be much of an apparent difference. A while ago I reported it as a bug. It may still be a problem. Let’s move on.

We are here at Linden Grove Lobby. Trees, trees the magical food or something like that.

Tree Mesh Detail controls the detail of Linden trees. And how do you know that it’s a Linden tree? Probably the easiest way is to right click and Edit. If you notice these are grayed out then it’s a Linden tree. You can’t script a Linden tree and they have a number of limits. They’re strange that way. Also, it doesn’t glow. Notice that other objects have a tutorial on the trouble with Linden trees. So you’ll notice if I move to low, from a further distance they’re probably going to look like cardboard cutouts. If I move it to high, they should become richer. Yeah. It’s kind of inconsistent sometimes but notice Low/High. Low, they look really anemic. They’re just flat. And then, high… Of course high will make them render slower too, as you get closer. Avatars. This would probably be a good one for a crowded place. I’m just teleporting from scene to scene. Let me go to a place with a lot of avatars and see what that does. Actually, avatars used in correlation with Avatar Imposters would be useful. Let’s save this one for a little bit later.

Terrain-This is a good one for a bumpy place. I should show you somewhere that has….even this would do, actually. Some place with curves. When Terrain Mesh Detail is low, the terrain may look more jagged. It’s not going to look as organic and flowing when it’s high. Notice: High/low, high/low. This becomes most apparent at mountains. Let me show you a good mountain range for that. Mountain range found and located. Notice terrain has a level of detail. Meaning when you zoom in, of course, it gets more detailed, more “roundy” but, when your off like this and Terrain is low it looks like a Nadys [?] video game. When I make it to high, notice? Better. Low/high, low/high. By the way, I know you’re going to ask and I know I should cover this in some future videos tutorial, in Advanced menu and Debug Settings, here, there are a bunch of things which will enhance the quality in addition to this. Power user tweekage. For now, I’m just going to show the basics. If you’re curious you can watch that later. Low/high, low/high…they’re like doing the dance. And Sky Mesh Detail finally, of all these Mesh Details, just makes the sky look better, of course. If you set to low they’re going to look blockier. This is most noticeable with some types of suns, I think. If I set it to Sunset… let’s go here. Triangles in the sky. It’s not so round. It’s a little bit off. And high/low, high/low, high. Let me grab a custom pre-set I did. Some of my per-sets illustrate this really, really, well. I have a lot of them, don’t I? OK I think this one has…yeah. Notice how blocky that looks. It doesn’t look natural at all. Low/high, low/high, low/high this can be pretty taxing, too, depending on your set up so, again watch your performance. If things start to feel really slow, you can always go back. That’s pretty cool.

Lighting Detail-Oh my gosh. You need to know about this. This is great. This is for, what they call Local or Point Lights. These are controlled through objects that are lit in the features. Let me see here. I’ll just go back to a normal sort of… Let me go to midnight, actually. It’ll be dark. And, I’m going to res a cube again as I often do and it features, right here, light. This is what makes it a light prim, lit prim. Then I can zoom in. It’s not going be lit up because lighting detail is only the sun and moon. But, when you turn on Nearby Local Lights, then you should see there’s a light here. You can change the color of the light to different things. Important consideration, however, only the 6th nearest lights to your avatar is going to be seen. This is due to an open GL, Graphics Protocol Limit. If you’ve got more than that you’re not going to see them. Notice there’s three and then there’s three more. We can make this line. You can adjust them one at a time. They’re all green. You can see they’re clearly emanating lights so, six. However, notice if I make another three, the ones in the middle don’t have light right now because they’re not selected but when I deselect, only the six nearest to me are going to be lit. Just like that, see. And if I move these closer to me, right there then, these aren’t going to be lit. So keep that in mind. If you’re wondering…..Oh. Darn it. I crashed. Oh my gosh. Pardon about that. After my crash my preferences graphics here were reset but that’s ok I can keep illustrating various principles.

Hardware Skinning- You should generally turn this on if you can. If you’re on older hardware that’s unsupported, this may cause problems. There’s a probability of that. It’s a slight acceleration for your Avatar Rendering. Turn it off if you think your avatar is doing stuff. If one set’s on, notice that Avatar Cloth is also enabled. Avatar Cloth means that you have something like…. notice avatar mesh…. let me…. oh my gosh. This is a lot of boxes. Let me just trim these off. I know, now I look so naked. It’s not technically. That’s weird. So if you’re wearing mesh clothing in appearances, keep in mind, like a mesh skirt, this would be a mesh skirt right under here. Not a shirt, I mean skirt. Then, Avatar Cloth, when cloth is on it means it will ripple. Let’s see if we can see an example of that. It’s off so it’s not rippling. It’s not rippling in the wind when I fly. But when I turn it on…this adds an extra touch. Maybe it’s nice, maybe it will be distracting. So now, Avatar Cloth is on and now notice. Look very closely. There’s some rippling action there. Very subtle. Look at that. You didn’t mean to see that. It’s kind of like my buttocks are rippling. So, it has a good effect. It’s noticeable with longer kinds of coats.

Next up….and remember a good guideline is, if your confused you can just click one of these and then it would custom open. It would show all the details that went into making that. So you could say, “Hey. OK. I know what this is roughly equivalent to and what settings specifically make up the high setting verses the mid setting for example.” Then you can compare and say, “OK I want to tweak this. And this is a little bit better to taste.” If you want to go all out, pig out on your graphics buffet, then Ultra’s the way to go. And speaking of Ultra, in a manner of speaking…

Hardware Options- This has additional options above these which may increase quality even more. Click that button and this will come up.

Filtering- Anisotropic Filtering. You’re like, “What the heck is that?” You can look it up in Wikipedia but, long story short, objects with textures at oblique or not “right on” angels, will look slightly sharper. This may be kind of hard for me to show because of the video. When I record a video there’s some deterioration. It’s fine details. But, you can compare it on and off. Try making some objects that are in the far distance and have textures like a sign with text on it. Antialiasing is more noticeable. We added this recently. This is good because before you had to go to your Graphics Drivers Preferences. Now the big thing about Antialiasing is it smoothes out jaggies. If you think Second Life looks too jaggy you can turn this up. I can go up to 16. Depends on your graphics hardware. You may not be able to attain this. Some can go even more than that. But if you disable it… let me see if I can show you. This is one of the biggest determinants especially if you take photographs, a lot of snap shots in Second Life, this wouldn’t impact the quality of those. You can see the edges. Look at the fine edges of this hut thing and let me turn it off. OK So when I disable it, the screen will blank for a while and it will just take a moment to switch resolution, as it says. Just give that some time. I hope it doesn’t kill me. There we go and notice….I’m going to zoom in on this, obviously. It’s jaggier. You can see it’s jaggier. Hardware Options… and make it back to four. OK And now smoother. So play with that. The higher the better. What Antialiasing does it renders a scene the number of multiple times that it actually is shown and it scales it down so it’s more...it can slow things down but for the price your paying it can look very nice. Make it look Second Life. Look nicer.

Gamma- This and Fog Distance Ratio are grayed out. Now, the reason why is because Atmospheric Shaders overrides them with control of its own. If I were to disable that, Atmospheric Shaders again, in Hardware Options, you’ll notice I can set my Gamma. I don’t find it too useful. And, Fog Distance Ratio contains basically, how much fog is….if you set it low then things should look foggier. But it doesn’t really work too well. You know, only the tress are foggier there. I think that’s kind of broken. It’s not working the way it should. So, I don’t really bother with that. I just keep Atmospheric Shaders on. And you probably want to keep it far so that things don’t look weird like that.

Texture Memory- This is normally auto detected to how much you have on your graphics card. If you have SLI or ATI’s Crossfire, some occurrences may auto detect wrong in which case you can override it. I personally have not noticed a big difference between setting it to, say lower and higher, that much. You don’t want to set it tremendously low because then you’re probably going to end up with flickering textures because they all can’t get loaded memory. I’d say set to 128 and up typically but, see what works best for you. This really depends on your specific hardware. This is why we let you override it. In the past, we didn’t.

We’re going to get to Avatar Impostors so let me find a club with a lot of people. We’re here. Now. Notice how some of these avatars are animating less smoothly and they look like they have sort of fringy edges. This is because Avatar Impostors is on. Avatar Impostors is a pretty cool feature. You may ask, “Why would you want to impostor someone? What does it literally mean if you were going to “fake someone out” like that?” It means avatars in the distance are going to be drawn representationally like a 2D cardboard cutout. Think of old Nintendo games where someone had a two cycle walk. So it means they’re going to be animated and look somewhat less smooth. The tradeoff is a performance boost. I can exhibit this and, I’ve shown this before, but let me show you here today since you’re watching this. View Menu>Statistics bar. Let’s compare this Basic Frames Per Second. This is ten. It’s OK. If I turn Avatar Impostors off it should slow down noticeably. Yes. Notice how there’s a slight performance hit? Now, if I turn Avatar Impostors back on it raises back up. This is because by having to render these further avatars… and thank you to Rinitade Linden [?] for the explanation…. using less cycles like that, results in a performance gain. And if you think avatars are becoming blocky too close, this is precisely because Avatar Mesh Detail. It correlates. So, by high it means avatars become impostors at further distances. If you want a greater performance boost set Avatar Mesh Detail to low. And avatars will become impostors at nearer distances. So again. It’s a trade off. Do what’s best for you. Notice now the avatars that are nearer look somewhat blocky. However, I’m experiencing a performance gain and then, remember, turning it off will slow down performance. This works great on a lot of systems however, if you have older Intel integrated graphics card, it would probably be best to turn it off. You may experience some artifacts or other weirdness. And that’s in line with what I recommended before. There are a lot of crazy sounds here.

So, remember the power’s really in your hands. Avatar Impostors is great with crowd scenes. Keep it on and if you want people to become impostors at further distances then set it to high. Let me go back into the club and demonstrate. You can tweak any of these just about any time you want. If Custom is off, of course it’s simple but it’s good to gain an understanding of what each one of these does. Then you can fine tune your experience and maximize your enjoyment of Second Life. If you consider all these options and what each one of them does and you learn through time just by observation, just by seeing what each one does and, of course, watching this video, thanks for watching, you clearly gain a better knowledge and feel more confident about using stuff.

So that’s the Graphics Preferences in Second life for you. I hope you’ve had a good time. There’s certainly more things to cover like I mentioned in Vastors additional hidden options and over time we’ve optimized this. Like before there used to be three tabs and now it’s one making is simpler.

I’ve been Torley Linden. I’m going to see what else is going on here I see they’re using some glow and other techniques. All these things put together comprise what you see and enjoy and experience in Second Life.

Thanks for watching this video tutorial. Please rate, comment, favorite, and subscribe to my videos on YouTube if you like them. It helps them grow. And if you have any questions and comments for me go ahead and email me torley@lindenlab.com. I’ll be glad to hear about your video tutorial curiosities and inquisitions, not in the bad sense, and queries. And I have stepped into the glow. I’m going to, so called, duck out for now. Stay tuned for more video tutorials.

Version 7 - A3F2PWBD8BILJE

[video begins]

Amicable salutations. It's me Torley Linden, of course. And, oh, hoo-hoo, I've gone shopping, it seems. Thanks to TooterClaxton who made this Avatar. If you're wondering, "Where are the watermelons?" Look closely, there's green and pink right there, and there's more, melons, ha ha. Anyway, let's get started.

In today's tip of the week I am going to cover the Graphics Preferences. What you need to know. A guided tour showing you what just about everything in there does. Follow me, let's come along.

Edit menu and Preferences and Graphics

Now, by default, it's a simple slider. And, normally, if you click Recommended Settings, it'll optimize depending on your hardware. If you have supported hardware, and I highly do recommend that, meet the System Requirements or meet the System Recommendations, even better. Then you should be able to enjoy all of the graphics options in their glorious entirety.

Otherwise, you may not be able to turn some of them on. I also advise you to upgrade your graphics drivers to the newest stable versions, whether you're on Invidia or ATI.

Now, enough with that talk, there's time for more show. Ah, so, Custom. This button, it enables all these options under here. Cause normally you can one click set it, right, like set it to mid, for example. Set it back to low. And, Custom will give you more granular control. There we go, a lot of options. And you may say, "Oh my gosh. This looks complicated."

Well, there are a few simple principles which you should remember. For example, sliders to the left will mean that they are faster, the performance will be faster and the quality will be less. Such as Mesh Detail for Objects you turn it to left, it will be low. To the right, it will be high. This principle is true for all of them.

Generally, also, checking things will turn on options and make things slower with some exceptions. Such as Avatar Imposters, which I shall show you later. It is one of my favorite viewer optimizations, boosts your frame rate.

Okay, so, let's start right here at the Shaders part. That's a nice starting place. Bump Mapping and Shiny. We may remove this in the future, just about everyone can have this turned on. Okay. So, if I'm going to res a cube right here. With that off. Let me zoom in, Texture, Shiny, see it does nothing. But, when I turn this on, now it has Shiny. I move my camera. Shiny, Shiny, Shiny, can you set it to Shiny High.

And the Bump mapping refers to this Bumpiness. We don't yet have support for custom Bump maps in normal maps. But we will hope to in the future with materials. That's our keyword for having a versatile system of objects that can, wooo, get beyond this. But, right now, you see, you can add extra def. Make it look more 3D with these Bump maps.

Okay, so you can combine those. And it looks pretty cool that way, sorta. The sky is not supposed to be white that way. I think there's something buggy with that. It's not supposed to blink on and off. That is though, because I don't have Basic Shaders even on. If I'm going to turn basic Shaders on, then the world - let me just close that - is gonna look more beautiful.

So, let me just angle up there and then turn Basic Shaders. Okay there should be subtle differences and the terrain should also get sharper. By the way, if your terrain looks splotchy, set it to high. See, crisper detail right there. This would normally be grayed out on higher end configurations. When I turn on the Basic Shaders, there we go. See right there, well the water I mean. I meant the water, it looks nicer already. See, notice it with it off. Ugh, the water is, like, inky. Then with it on, ooo, it's gonna get better, things gonna get better, gettin' better all the time.

Okay, now, Atmospheric Shaders. If you've heard of Windlight that's the code name for our Atmospheric Rendering Technology providing physically, accurately modeled lighting effects and atmospheres and environments. Woo! So, when I turn this on, notice the sky, it'll light the ground. It'll have greater dynamic range. It will just look more realistic, put it that way. And, the sky will have nicer clouds and stuff.

Yeah! There we go. See. So, now I got this. It's more noticeable at some times of day. Like, if I was to go to World Menu, Environment Settings, and Sunrise. Okay, note how the Sun looks. Oooo! Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. And, if I turn off those Shaders, then it seems to look not so beautiful.

The clouds have gone away. It looks anemic and it is just fading out. And, ah, it's not supposed to turn like white like that. Oh, there we go. Yeah, it's kind of pale. Mmm, it's flashing at me. That seems buggy. But, I would just turn it back on. If you can possibly turn that on. If your card, GPU graphics card has DirectX 9 or higher Shader Support, you should be able to.

And, next, Water Reflections, this does what you think it should do. However, it is rather taxing and may cause a severe performance hit depending on your system. On higher end systems, not so much. But, the best way to find out? Try it. Right? Ooo, I could hear the sound of dropping boxes or something.

Let me go back to midday. And I'll turn it on and off to show you. So, I'm with the Waters and we don't have Reflections. So the water looks quite nice. So, I turn them on. Okay, that was a subtle change. You notice that? If I put something over the water. Oh, this is very, probably very recognizable.

Uh, okay. Oh, it has levels, levels okay. So, Terrain and Trees. This means Linden trees, not resident created ones out of PRIMs. So, notice those aren't gonna be reflected. But, static objects, you can move these, go up cumulatively, successively, I mean. And, then you start to turn on extra details.

Let me get my Avatar on top of the water so you can see. And, actually, what I can do here is I can go to World, Environments Settings, and Environment Editor. I want to change the water and make it Glassy. That way you can easier see the reflections, cause it's glassy like Phillip Glass. Da-da da-da da. Okay. Now, I will turn on all Avatars and objects. And there, there you see, my Avatar is a reflection. Before I was a vampire or something like it. But now I'm not, see. Then it adds that.

So, Terrain, all static objects, all Avatars and objects, and now everything. Everything has a benefit also of - you may not have noticed a difference there - but if there were things like particles. That would have shown up.

Oh, let me show you, quickly, actually, there's a particle, I think there's a waterfall. Wha, not a weafall, waterfall. Waterfall particle system. Let me just, quickly, do this, don't mean to rush you. But, just to show you a quick demonstration. I now you don't have a lot of time sometimes and want to get this information nice and quick.

Uh, let me just copy that, just paste it in there. Oh, it's going slow. No, that's not my library. It's confusing. Uh, da-da-da-da-daa, it's kind of moving slowly. Ugh! There we go. There we go. Okay, so waterfalls, right. I mean waterfall particle. This is just a particle system. It's emitting, it's a fine mist. We put it over the water like that. Okay.

And then, as you can see, the particles are also reflected. Normally, if you don't have that airy thing then they're not going to be. So it adds extra detail. Sometimes, ah, there's things like, let's see, Light, I think. Let me just check this to be correct. Yeah, you notice the stars. You look very closely, the stars are also reflected in the water. Kind of hard to see that. But, it's beautiful! That's what you need to be, beautiful.

Okay, well, before we, Avatar Imposters is like the tour de force here. Ha ha, I'll get to that, I promise.

Draw distance, how far you can see off into the distance as it says. You turn this up higher and it'll let you see further. So, 64 is the lowest. Now you crank it up and you can see further. You notice there's trees and there's gonna be other things. Keep in mind, the higher you set it, the slower Second Life will be, cause it needs to render all these objects.

And if you're looking a very far way away, that's gonna be a lot more resource usage. Ooo, it's already killin' it. But, you see there's parts of this building appearing here? Slide it back down. Usually 128, 192, is typical. See how it works for you though. That's what it does though. Right?

Max Particle Count. Oh! This is a good one. Since we have a particle emitter right here. You can control how many particles you see on screen at one time. Too many may be so called 'Laggy'. So, if you turn them all the way off you're not gonna have any. And, you're gonna turn them all the way up, then you're gonna see more on the screen at one time.

Typically, you can set this about 4,096 that's the typical number. Post process quality. Okay, you're like, "What is that?" And, by the way, there's this question mark here. You can always click this to get help. So, like it says, it sets the resolution in with which glow is rendered. Now, let's have a look at glow. Click and just gonna drag this up.

Now, many of these graphics options are within in the Texture tab. And, glow is too. So, if I set Glow. Okay, the object is glowing. I just move these little, they're called 'Spinners', these little arrows here, Spinner. Currrrr. And then, I can set it to high. Let's see if that makes a visible difference for us. It may be easier to see this in the dark since it is glowing.

Okay, or maybe not. Well, we can set the glow higher. Do-do-doo. Let's see glow to high. There's only two settings there. Yeah, there's a subtle, it's subtle. So, see how that goes for you.

Ah, mesh detail! So, I'm looking at a detailed mini map of sorts. Not the same as this mini map. But, it's right out here in the open. It's got sculpted PRIMs. It's got a fair amount of very small and detailed Geometry. So, this is a good candidate for preferences and the mesh detail objects. Because, when I set it to low, it will reduce the number of polygons.

Which means objects will look crappier, but they wont impose as much of a rendering burden. Notice that? Okay, so now they look very, very, they don't look the same as before. And, notice how the round thing is, they look more kind of like a hexagon platforms. When we scale it up to maximum, the high, then it gets better looking.

And, sometimes stuff may, uh, may still looking, residually artifacted. I mean, degraded like that. So, move your camera in and out to adjust that. Low. High. So, that's what that does. Flexi PRIMs, that is. Okay, let me get a Flexi PRIM here. I haven't noticed. I think there may be a bug with this. Which it doesn't work unless that was fixed.

I create something. Let me create a Flexi PRIM. You stretch out this PRIM. Ah, I love giving you illustrated examples of stuff. And, in the features tab, you notice right here flexible path. This makes it all wiggly! Wiggly PRIM. Okay, we can't flexi the wiggliness yet. Let me just drag it up and it will get wiggly when I start wiggling it. Ooo, wiggles.

Now, notice it's, literally, a flexible PRIM. This likely has an effect when there's a lot of them on the screen at once. Where it should and then it controls the smoothness of how they wiggle. Gonna make a few more. Kind of like those wavy tube men guys you see at some used car sale places. Uh, k, um, bum, bum, bum.

Let's see. I'm just coping a whole bunch of them. I mean, I'm gonna clean up after. I'm not gonna be bad about this. Lot of these, okay. So, then it can wiggle them. Let's see if it makes a difference though. That's what I came here to show you. Okay, so they're, they're kind of smooth. They're moving slowly.

Let's see, if we move to high, does it make a difference? Let's see, low. Hmm. Well, it doesn't seem to be much of an apparent difference. A while ago, I reported it as a bug.. Must still be a problem.

Let's move on. We are here at Linden World Lobby. Trees, trees, the magical food or something like that. Tree mesh detail controls the detail of Linden Trees. And, how do you know if it is a Linden Tree? Well, probably the easiest way is just to right-click and edit. And, if you notice, these are grayed out then it's a Linden Tree.

You can't script a Linden Tree and they have a number of limits. They're strange that way. Also, it doesn't glow. Notice, like, other objects have a tutorial on the trouble with Linden Trees. But anyway, you'll notice if I move to low, from a further distance they're probably gonna look more like cardboard cutouts.

And, if I move it to high it should become richer. Yeah, yeah, see. It's kind of inconsistent sometimes. But, notice, low, high. Low, they look really anemic. They look, just like, flat. And then, high. Of course, high will make them render slower too, as you get closer. Da, da, daa, da-da, da, daaa.

Avatars. Oh this would probably be a good one for a crowded place. I'm just teleporting from scene to scene here. Let me go in a place with a lot of Avatars and see. Well, we can show you what that does, eh. Mmm. Actually, Avatars used in correlation with Avatar Imposters, that would be useful.

So, let's save this one for a little bit later, okay. Uh, terrain, yeah, this is a good one for a bumpy place. I should show you somewhere that has. Oh, even this would do, actually. Some place with curves, okay. So, when terrain mesh detail is low the terrain may look more jagged. It is not gonna look as organic and flowing.

When it's high, notice. High, low. High, low. This becomes most apparent at mountains. Uh, let me, let me show you a good mountain range for that. Mountain range, found a located. Okay, notice terrain has a level of detail. Meaning when you zoom in, of course, it gets more detailed, more roundy.

But, when you're off like this and terrain is low. Ugh! It looks, uh, it looks like a 90s video game. So, when I make it to high notice, wooo! Better. Low. High! Low. High! And by the way, I know some of you are gonna ask. And, I should cover this in a future video tutorial. In Advance Menu and Debug settings here, there are a bunch of things which will enhance your quality in addition to this. Power user tweakage.

So, for now, I'm just gonna show the basics. If you're curious, you can watch that later. Low. High! Low. High! They're, like, doing the dance. Da-da, da-da, da, da, oh I like that song. And, Sky Mesh Detail, finally of all these mesh details it just makes the sky look better of course. If you set to low they're gonna look blockier.

This is most noticeable with some types of Suns, I think. If I set it to a sunset. Then, let's go here. Triangles in the sky. We'll go low. See, notice? So, it's not so round, it's a little bit off. And high. Low. High! Low. High!

And, let's see here. Let me grab a custom preset I did. Some of my presets illustrate this really, really well. Okay, I have a lot of them, don't I? Ooo, that's crazy. Okay, I think this one has a, yeah. Okay, notice how blocky that looks? Doesn't look natural at all. Low. High! Low. High! Low. High! This can be pretty taxing too, depending on your set-up. So, again, watch your performance. If things start to feel really slow, you can always go back. Ch, ch, ch, ch, ch. That's pretty cool.

Lighting Detail, oh my gosh, you need to know about this. This is great. This is for what they call Local or Point Lights. These are controlled through objects that are lit, in the features. Let me see here. I will just go back to a normal sort of, let me go to midnight actually, it'll be dark. Doo, doo, dooooo.

And, I'm gonna res a cube again as I often do. Ha ha. And, it features, right here, light. This is what makes it a light PRIM, lit PRIM. Okay and I can zoom in and it's not going to be lit up. Because lighting detail is only the Sun and Moon. But, when you turn on nearby local lights, and then it should pop open and…

I mean, not pop open literally, but you should see there's a light here, right. And, you can change the color of the light to different things. Important consideration, however, only the sixth nearest lights, to your Avatar, you're gonna see. This is due to an open GL, Graphics Protocol Limit. If you got more than that you're not gonna see them.

Okay, so notice there's three, right. And, then there's like more. You can make these, this line, you can adjust them one at a time. Well, they're all green. They're clearly emanating light, so six. However, notice if I make another three. Oh! See, the ones in the middle, they don't have light right now, because they're not selected.

But, when I deselect only the six nearest to me are going to be lit. Just like that, see. And, then if I move these ones closer to me, my Avatar, right there. Then these ones aren't gonna be lit. So, keep that in mind. If you're wondering, "Oh, darn it. I crashed." Oh my gosh, pardon about that. After the crash my preferences graphics here were reset. But, that's okay I can keep illustrating various principles.

Hardware skinning. You should generally turn this on if you can. If you're on older hardware that's unsupported, this may cause problems. There's a probability of that. What it does is it's a slight acceleration for your Avatar rendering. Turn it off if you think, ah, this is doing stuff.

And once that's on, notice that Avatar cloth is also enabled. Avatar Cloth means that we have something like - notice the Avatar Mesh. Let me, oh my gosh, this is a lot of boxes. Let me just turn these off. I know, now I look so naked. Uh, it's not technically. You know, um, ha ha, that's weird.

So, if you're wearing mesh clothing, in appearances. Keep in mind, like a mesh skirt, this would be a mesh skirt, right under here. Or, not a shirt, I mean, I mean, skirt. Then, Avatar cloth, when cloth is on, it means it'll ripple. Okay. Let's see. See if we can see an example of that. It's off. So, it's not rippling. It's not rippling in the wind when I fly.

But, when I turn it on, this adds an extra touch. It may be nice. It may be distracting. So, now Avatar Cloth is on. And, now notice, look very close, see. There's some rippling action there. Very subtle, look at that. Whoa! You didn't need to see that. Okay. See. It's kind of like my, my buttocks there, are rippling. Ha ha ha ha ha! And, yeah. So, it has a good effect. It's noticeable with longer kinds of coats.

Next up, and remember a good guideline is: if you're confused, you can just click one of these. And then, with custom open, it'll show you all the details that went into making that. So, you can say, "Hey, okay, I know what this is roughly equivalent to and what settings, specifically, make up the high setting versus the mid setting for example."

Then you can compare it and say, "Hmm, okay I want to tweak this." And, "This is a little bit better to taste." If you want to go all out, pig out on your graphics buffet, then Outra the way to go. Yish! And, speaking of Outra, in a way, in a matter of speaking. Hardware Options, this has additional options above these which may increase quality even more.

Click that button and this will come up. Filtering, an Isotropic Filtering. You're like, "What the heck is that?" You can look it up on a Wikipedia. But, long story short, objects with textures at oblique were not right on angles. They will look slightly sharper. This may be kind of hard for me to show, because the video.

When I record a video there's deterioration, it's fine details. But, you can compare it on and off. Try making some objects that are in the far distance and have textures. Like, say, a sign with text on it. Anti-LSing [sp] is more noticeable. We added this recently. This is good, because before you had to go to your graphics driver preferences.

Now, the big thing about Anti-LSing [sp] is it smoothes out jaggies. If you think Second Life looks too jaggy, you can turn this up. I can go up to 16. Depends on your graphics hardware. You may not be able tame this. Some can go even more than that. But, if you disable it. Let me, let me see if I can show you. Because this is one of the biggest determinants, especially if you take photographs, a lot of snapshots in Second Life. This will impact the quality of those.

So, let's see here. Okay, you can see the edges. Look at the fine edges of this hut thing. And, let me turn off, okay. So, when I disable it and okay. The screen will blank for a while. And, it will just take a moment to switch resolution as it says. Okay, just give that some time. And hope it doesn't kill me. There we go.

And notice, look, I'm gonna zoom in, obviously, on this. This is jaggier. Right? You can see it's juh-jaggier. Hardware options and make it back to four. Okay. And, now, smoother. [laughs] So, play with that. The higher, the better. What Anti-LSing does, it renders a scene the number of multiple times that it actually is shown. And it scales it down.

So, obviously it's more. [laughs] It can slow things down. But, for the price you're paying it can look very nice. Make it look in Second Life. Look-a nice-a.

Okay, Gamma. This and fog distance ratio are grade-O. Now the reason why is because - let me go back here - Atmospheric Shaders overrides them with controls of its own.

If I were to disable the Atmospheric Shaders again, Hardware Options. You'll notice I can set my Gamma. Do, do, doo. I don't find it too useful. And, Fog Distance Ratio, this contains, basically, how much fog is - if you set it low, then things should look foggier. Yeah, but it doesn't really work too well. You know, some of the trees are foggier there.

I think that's kind of broken. It's not workin' the way it should. So, I don't really bother with that, I just keep Atmospheric Shaders on. And, you probably want to keep it, usually far so that things don't look weird like that.

Texture Memory. This is normally auto detected to how much you have on your graphics card. If you have, like, S-L-I, SLI or ATI's Crossfire. There's sometimes some occurrences may auto detect wrong. It which case you could override it. I, personally, have not noticed a big difference between setting it, say, lower and higher, that much. You don't want to set it tremendously low, because then you're probably gonna end up with flickering textures. Because they all can't get loaded in memory.

I'd say set it to 128 and up, typically. But, see what works best for you. This really depends on your specific hardware. This is why we let you override it. In the past, we didn't.

Ah, yes, okay, we gotta get to Avatar Imposters. So, let me find a club with a lot of people. T dub in the club fashizzle. [laughs] And, we're here, now. Notice how some of these Avatars, they're animating less smoothly. And, they look like they have, sort of, fringy edges.

This is because, Avatar Imposters is on. Avatar Imposters is a pretty cool feature. You may ask, "Why would you want to Imposter someone?" Well, it doesn't literally mean you're gonna fake someone out like that. It means Avatars in the distance are gonna be drawn, representationally, like a 2D cardboard cut-out. Think of old Nintendo games, right. Where someone had a two cycle walk.

So, it means they're gonna be animated and look, somewhat, less smooth. The trade-off is a performance boost. I can exhibit this, and I've shown this before. But, let me show you here today. Since you're watching this. View Menu and Statistics bar. Let's compare this basic frames per second. Okay.

This is ten, it's okay. And, if I turn Avatar Imposters off, now it should slow down noticeably. Yes, notice how there's a slight performance hit. Now, if I turn Avatar Imposters back on, it raises back up. This is because, by having to render these further Avatars. And, "Thank you" to Renate Linden for the explanation. Then, having, using less cycles like that results in a performance gain.

And, if you think Avatars are becoming blocky too close. This is precisely because Avatar Mesh Detail, it correlates. So, by high, it means Avatars become imposters at further distances. If you want a greater performance boost, set Avatar Mesh Detail to low. And, Avatars will become imposters at nearer distances.

So, again, it's a trade-off. Do what's best for you. Notice, now, the Avatars that are nearer, they look somewhat blocky. However, I'm experiencing a performance gain. And, then, remember, turning it off will slow down performance. This works great on a lot of systems. However, if you have older, unsupported Intel integrated graphics cards. It's probably best to turn it off. You may experience some artifacts or other weirdness.

And, that's in line with what I recommended before. There's a lot of crazy sounds here. [makes silly sound with mouth]. So, remember, the power is really in your hands. Avatar Imposters is great with crowd scenes. Keep it on and if you want people to become imposters at further distances, then set it to high. Let me go back in there in the club to demonstrate.

You can tweak any of these just about any time you want. If Custom is off, of course, it's simple. But, it's good to gain an understanding of what each one of these does. Then you can fine tune your experience and maximize your enjoyment of Second Life.

If you consider all these options and what each one of them does and you learn through time, by observation, just by seeing what each one does - and, of course, watching this video, thanks for watching - you'll clearly gain a better knowledge and feel more confident about using stuff. [laughs]

So, that's the Graphics Preferences, in Second Life, for you. I hope you've had a good time. There's, certainly, more things to cover like I mentioned, in Advanced. There's additional hidden options. And, over time, we've optimaized this. Like, before, it used to be three tabs and now , it's one, making it simpler.

I've been TOrley Linden. I'm gonna see what else is going on. Here I see that you're using some Glow and some other techniques. All these things, put together, comprise what you see and enjoy and experience in Second Life. Thanks for watching this video tutorial. Please rate, comment, favorite, and subscribe my videos, on YouTube, if you like them. It helps them, gr, gr, grow!

And, if you have any questions and comments for me, go ahead and e-mail me torley@lindenlab.com. I'd be glad to hear about your video tutorial curiousities and inquisitions, not in the bad sense. Inquiries! Whoo, and I have stepped into the glow and I'm going to, so called, "Duck Out" for now. Stay tuned for more video tutorials.

[video ends]

Version 8 - A3U3MEPPV0IISV

[Beginning of Recording]

Amicable salutations it’s me Torley Lindon and I’ve gone shopping I seems thanks to TooterClaxton who made this avatar. If you are wondering, “Where are the watermelons?” Look closely there is green and pink right there and there are more melons. Ha ha.

Anyway, let’s get started. In today’s tip of the week I am going to cover graphics preferences. What you need to know, a guided tour showing you what just about everything in there does. Follow me and let’s come along.

Edit Menu, and Preferences, and Graphics now by default it is a simple slider and normally if you click recommended settings it will optimize depending on your hardware. If you have supported hardware, and I highly do recommend that, meet the system requirements or meet the system recommendations, even better, then you should be able to enjoy all the graphics options and there glorious entirety. Otherwise, you may not be able to turn some of them on. I also advice you to upgrade your graphics drivers to the newest stable versions; whether you are on NVIDIA or ATI. Now enough dot talk there is time for more show.

Ah, so custom, this button it enables all these options under here; because normally you can one click set it, like set it to Mid for example. Set it back to Low. And Custom will give you more granular control.

There we go a lot of options and you may say, “Oh my gosh, this looks complicated.”

Well there are a few simple principles which you should remember. For example, slider to the left will mean that they are faster. The performance will be faster and the quality will be less. Such as, Mesh Detail for Objects, you turn it to the left and it will be low all the way to the right it will be high. This principle is true for all of the, Generally checking things will turn on options and make things slower with some exceptions, such as,

Avatar Impostors; which I shall show you later. It is one of my favorite viewer optimizations. It boosts your frame rate.

Okay, so let’s start right here at the Shader’s part. That’s a nice starting place, Bump Mapping and Shining. We may remove this in the future. Just about everyone can have this turned on. Okay, so if I am going to ras a cube right here. With that off, zoom in, Texture shiny, see it does nothing. But when I turn this on; now it has shiny. I move my camera. Shiny, shiny, shiny, set the shiny to high.

The Bump Mapping refers to this bumpiness. We don’t yet have support for custom bump maps, normal maps, but we will hope to in the future with Materials that is our key word for having a versatile system of objects that can get beyond this. But right now you see you can add extra depth. Make it look more 3D with these bump maps. So you can combine those and it looks pretty cool that way.

The sky is not supposed to be white that way I think there is something buggy with that. It is not supposed to blink on and off. That is though because I don’t have Basic Shaders even on. If I am going to turn Basic Shaders on then the world- close that- is going to look more beautiful. Fix the angle up there and then turn Basic Shaders on. There should be subtle differences and the terrain should get…By the way if the terrain looks splotchy set it to High, see crisper detail right there. This would normally be grade out on higher end configurations. When I turn on the Basic Shaders there we go. The water looks nicer already. See, notice it when off. Ew, the water is like a inky. Then when on, oh, it is going to get better. It is going to get better, getting better all the time.

Now Atmosheric Shaders, if you have heard of “WindLight” that is the code name for our atmospheric rendering technology for providing physically accurately modeled lighting effects and atmospheres and environment swoo.

So, when I turn the Atmospheric Shaders on notice the sky. It will light the ground. It will have greater dynamic range. It will just look more realistic. Put it that way. The sky will have nicer clouds and stuff. Yeah, there we go. See. So now I’ve got this.

It is more noticeable in some times of day. Like if I was to go to “world” menu “Environment” and “Sunrise”. Okay, note how the sun looks, oh beautiful beautiful beautiful.

It I turn off those Shaders then it is going to look not so beautiful. They could have gone away. It is just fading out and. Ah, it is not supposed to turn white like that. Oh, there we go. Yeah, it is kind of pale. It is flashing at me. That seems buggy, but I will just turn it back on. If you can possible, turn that on, if your card has DirectX 9 or higher. Shader Support, you should be able to.

Next, Water Reflections, this does what you think it should do. However, it is rather taxing and may cause a severe performance hit on your system. On higher end systems not so much. But the best way to find out; try it, right? I here the sound of dropping boxes or something. Let me go back to mid day and I will turn it on and off to show you. So I am with the water and we don’t have reflections on the water looks quite nice. So I turn them on. Okay, that was a subtle change did you notice that?

If I put something over the water…Oh, this is probably very recognizable. OH, it has levels. “Terrain and Trees” this means wind and trees, not resident created ones out of prims. So, most of those aren’t going to be reflected.

“All Static Objects” you can move these,. accessibly I mean. Then you start to turn on extra details. Let me get my avatar on top of the water so you can see. Actually, what I can do here is I can go to “World” “Environment Settings” and then “Environment Editor. I want to change the water and make it glassy. That way you can easier see the reflections, as they are glassy, like fill up glass. Da da da da da.

Okay, now I will turn on “All Avatars and Objects” and there you see my avatars reflection. Before I was a vampire or something like it, but now I am not, see. Then it adds that. So, “Terrain” “All Static Objects” “All Avatars and Objects” and now “Everything”.

“Everything” has the benefit of, you may not have notices a difference there, but if there were things like particles that would have shown up.

Oh, let me show you quickly. Actually, there is a waterfall- Oops, not a waiterfall a waterfall. - Waterfall particle system. Just quickly do this. Don’t mean to rush you but to just quickly show you a demonstration that I know. I know that you don’t have a lot of time sometimes and want to get this information quick.-Oh, we will just copy that. Just paste it in there. Oh, it is going slow. No, that is not my library. It is confusing. Da da da da da. This is kind of moving slowly. There we go. - Okay, so waterfalls right? Okay this is just a particle system emitting some fine mist. Let me put it over the water like that. Okay. Then as you can see the particles are also reflected. Only if you don’t have that “Everything” then they are not going to be. So it adds extra detail.

Sometimes there are things at night. Let me just check this real quick. Yeah, notice the stars, if you look really close. See the stars, what they look like on the water. It is hard to see that but it is beautiful. That is what you need to be beautiful.

Okay, before we… “Avatar Imposter” is the tour de force here. I will get to that. I promise.

Draw Distance - how far you can see off into the distance. As you turn this up higher it will let you see further. So, a 64 is the lowest. You crank it up and you can see further. You see trees and there is going to be other things. Keep in mind the higher you set it the slower life will be because it has all these objects and if you are looking very far away

that is going to be a lot more resource usage. But you see this part of the building here-slide it back down. Usually, between 128 to 192 is typical. See how it works for you though. That’s what it does though.

Max. Particle Count - and since we have a particle emitter right here. You can control how many particles you see on screen at one time. He may be so called laggy. So if you turn them all the way off you are not going to have any. If you turn them all the way up then you are going to see them all on the screen at one time. Typically you can set this at about 4096. That is the typical number.

Post Process Quality - You are like, Okay, what is that? And by the way there is this question mark here. Click this to get help. So, like it says this sets the resolution to which glow is rendered. Now let’s have a look at glow. Click and just going to drag this up. Now many of these graphic options are within the texture tab. “Glow “ is to. I can set glow. Okay. While this is glowing I just move this little thing. They are called spinners. That’s these little arrows here. spinner. Then I can set it to high. See that makes a visible difference to us. It may be easier to see this in the dark since it is glowing or maybe not. Or we can set the glow higher. Let’s see Glow to High. There is only two settings there. Yeah, it is subtle. So, see how that goes for you.

Ah, Mesh Detail - Looking at a mini detailed map, of sorts. It is not the same as this mini map but it is right out here in the open. It’s got the prims. It’s got a lot of very small and detailed geometry. So, this is a good candidate for preferences at the “Mesh Details Objects” because when I set it to low it will reduce the number of polygons; which means objects will look crappy but they will not impose as much of a rendering burden Notice that? Now they look very, very,…They don’t look the same as before and they look more like hexagon platforms. When we scale it up to maximum high then it gets better looking. Sometimes stuff may still look residually degraded like that. So move your camera in and out to adjust that. Low. High. So that is what that does.

Flexiprims - That is…Okay, let me get a flexiprim here. If you haven’t noticed, I think there may be a bug with this which requires some work; unless that was fixed. Let me create a Flexiprim. Stretch out this prim. I have given you illustrated examples of stuff. In the “Features” tab you notice right here “Flexible Path”. This makes it all wiggly; wiggly prim. Okay, we can’t quite see the wigglyness yet. Let me just drag it up and it will get wiggly when I start pulling it; oh, wiggles. Notice it is literally a flexible prim. This likely has an effect when there is a lot of them on the screen at once, which it should, and then it controls the smoothness of how they wiggle. I am going to make a few more wavy ben guys. You see how it curves in some places. Okay, I am just copying a whole bunch of them. I am going to clean up after. I am not going to be bad about this. A lot of these,

okay, so then they can wiggle. Let’s see if it makes a difference though. That is what I came here to show you. Okay, they are kind of smooth. They are moving slowly. Let’s see, if we move it to “High” does that make a difference? Low; well it doesn’t seem to be much of a difference. It was reported it as a bug. It could still be a problem. Let’s move on.

We are here at Linden Road Lobby. Trees trees trees the magical food or something like that.

Tree Mesh Detail – controls the detail of Linden trees. And how do you know if it is a Linden tree? Well , probably the easiest way is just to right click and edit. If you notice these are grayed out then it is a Linden tree. You can’t script a Linden tree and they have a number of limits. They are strange that way. Also, it doesn’t glow. You will notice other objects on the tutorial on “the trouble with Linden trees”. But anyway, you will notice that if I move to low from a further distance they are probably going to look like cardboard cutouts and if I move it to “High” they should become richer. Let’s see, it is kind of inconsistent sometimes, but notice “Low” “High”. “Low” they look really anemic. They look just like flat. Then “High”; of course high will make them render slower too, as you get closer.

Avatars – This would probably be a good one for a crowded place. I am just teleporting from scene to scene here. Let me go to a place with a lot of avatars and see what we can show you what that does. Hmm… Actually, “Avatars” is used in correlation with “Avatars Impostors”. That will be useful. So let’s save this one for a little bit later, okay?

Terrain – Yeah, this is a good one for a bumpy place. I should show you somewhere that has… Oh, even this would do actually. Someplace with curves, okay. So, when terrain mesh detail is terrain may look more jagged. It is not going to look as organic and flowing. When it is high notice – high, low, high, low- This becomes most apparent at mountains. Let me show you a good mountain range for that. Now mountain range found and located. Okay, now notice “Terrain” has level of detail: meaning when you zoom in, of course, it gets more detailed more roundy; but when you are off like this and “Terrain” is low it looks like a 90’s video game. So, when I make it high- notice, woo better, low, high.low,high

By the way I know some of you are going to ask- and I should cover this in a futures video tutorial- in Advanced menu and Debug Settings there are a bunch of things that will enhance the quality in addition to this power user tweekage. So, for now I am just going to show that basics. If you are curious you can watch later- low,high,low,high. I like doing the dance. Da dun da dun, Oh I like that song.

Sky Mesh Detail- finally of all these mesh details. It just makes the sky look better, of course. If you set it to Low they are going to look blockier. This is possible with some types of suns, I think. If I set it to Sunset then let’s go here: triangles in the sky. We will go Low, so you notice, so it is not so round it is a little bit off. Then High: Low, High, Low, High … And let’s see here. Let me grab a custom preset I did. Some of my presets

illustrate this really really well. Okay, I have a lot of them don’t I? Oh, that is crazy. Okay, I think this one has… Okay, notice how blocky that looks. That doesn’t look natural at all. Low, High, Low, High…

This can be pretty taxing too, depending on your set up. So, again watch your performance. If things seem to be pretty slow you can always go back. That is pretty cool.

Lighting Detail- Oh my gosh, you need to know about this. This is great. This is for what they call local or point lights. These are controlled through objects that are lit in the feature. Let me see here. I will just go back to a normal sort of…Let me go to Midnight. Actually, let me darken. I am going to ras a cube a cube again as I often do. In features, right here Light, this is what makes it a lit prim.

Okay, then I can zoom in. It is not going to be lit up because Lighting Detail is only the sun and moon; but when you turn on Nearby Local Lights and then it should pop open. I mean not pop open literally but you should see there is a light here, right? You can change the color of the light to different things.

An important consideration however is only the six nearest lights to your avatar are you going to see. This is due to an open GL (graphics limit). If you’ve got more than that you are not going to see them. Okay? So, you notice there is three, right? Then there is three more. We can make this line. You can adjust them one at a time. They are all there and you can see they are clearly laminating lights. There are six. However, notice if I make another three. The ones in the middle they don’t have light right now because they are not selected but when I deselect only the six nearest to me are going to be lit, just like that see.

Then when I move these ones closer to me, my avatar, right there then these ones aren’t going to be lit. So keep that in mind if you are wondering…

Oh darn it I crashed. The good part about that is after the crash my preferences graphics were set but that is okay. I can keep illustrating various principles.

Hardware Skinning – You should generally turn this on if you can. If you are on older hardware that is unsupported this may cause problems. There is a probability of that. It is a slight acceleration for avatar rendering. Turn it off if you think it is doing stuff. Once that is off notice that Avatar Cloth is also enabled.

Avatar Cloth- means that we have something…Oh my gosh this is a lot of boxes, just let me turn these off. I know now I look so naked. It is not technically. That is weird. So if you are wearing mesh clothing, for instance like a mesh skirt- This would be a mesh skirt

right under here. Or not a shirt I mean skirt.- then avatar cloth when it is on it means it will ripple. Okay, let’s see if we can for an example, that is off so it is not rippling. It is not rippling in the wind when I fly. When I turn it on this adds an extra touch. It may be nice. It may be distracting. So now avatar cloth is on and now notice, look very close, see the rippling action there, very subtle. Look at that. Whoa, you didn’t need to see that. Okay, see, it is kind of like my buttocks there are rippling. So it has a good effect. It is noticeable with longer kinds of coats.

Next up, and remember a good guide line is if you are confused you can just click one of these and then with custom open it will show you all the details that went into making that. So you can say, “Hey, okay I know what this is roughly related to and what settings specifically make up the High setting verses the Mid setting, for example” Then you can compare and say,” Hmm, okay I want to tweak this and this is a little bit better to taste.”

If you want to go all out pig out on your graphics buffet then Ultra is the way to go.

Speaking of Ultra, in a way, in a manner of speaking, Hardware Options- This has additional options above these which may increase quality even more. Click that button and this will come up.

Flitering – anisotropic filtering. You are like, what the heck is that? You can look it up in a wikipedia but long story short objects with textures at oblique or not right on angles will look slightly sharper. This may be kind of hard for me to show because of the video. When I recorded the video there is some material issue in its fine details. But you can compare it on and off. Try maybe some objects that are in the far distance and have textures. Like say a sign with text on it.

Antialiasing is more noticeable. We added this recently. This is good because before you had to go to your graphics drivers preferences. Now the big thing about antialising is it smoothes out jaggies. If you think Second Life looks to jaggy you can turn this up. I can go up to 16x. It depends on your graphics hardware. You may not tame this. Some can go even more than that but if you disable it…Let me see if I can show you. This is one of the biggest attunements, especially if you take photographs, a lot of snap shots in Second Life, this will impact the quality of those.

So let’s see here. Okay, you can see the edges. Look at the fine edges of this hut thing and let me turn off. Okay, so when I disable it the screen will blank for a while and will just take a moment to switch Resolutions as it says. Give that some time. I hope it doesn’t kill me. There we go. Notice this is jaggier. Hardware Options and make it back to 4x. Okay. Now it is smoother. So play with that, the higher the better. What antialiasing does it renders the scene the number of multiply of times that it actually is shown and it scales it down. So it obviously can slow things down but for the price you are paying it can make it look very nice.

Gamma- this and Fog Distance Ratio are great off. The reason why is because Atmospheric Shaders overrides them with controls of its own. If I were to disable the Atmospheric Shaders again, then Hardware options you will notice I can set my Gamma. I don’t find it to useful. The Fog Distance Ratio this contains basically how much fog there is. If you set it low then things should look foggier. It doesn’t really work to well. Only the trees are foggier there. I think that is kind of broke. It is not working the way it should. So I don’t really bother with that. I just keep Atmospheric Shaders on. You probably want to usually keep it Far so that things don’t look weird like that.

Texture memory- This is normally auto detected to how much you have on your graphics cars. If you have like SLI or ATI’s Crossfire sometimes this may detect wrong in which case you can over ride it. I personally have not noticed a big difference between setting it, say lower and higher, that much. You don’t want to set it tremendously low because then you are probably going to end up with flickering textures because they all can’t get loaded in the memory. I would say set it to 128 and up, typically but see what works best for you. This is why we let you override it. In the past we didn’t.

Okay, we have got to Avatar Imposters so let me find a club with a lot of people. To the club for shizzle. We are here. Now notice how some of these avatars are moving less smoothly and they look like they have sort of fringy edges. This is because Avatar Imposters is on. Avatar imposter is a pretty cool feature. You may ask, “Why would you want to imposter someone?” Well it doesn’t literally mean that you are going to fake someone out like that. Ii means avatars in the distance are going to be drawn representationally like a 2D cardboard cutout. Think of ole Nintendo games where someone had a two cycle walk. So it means they are going to be animated and look somewhat less smooth.

The trade off is a performance boost. I can exibit this. I have shown this before but let me show you here today since you are watching this. View menu and Statistics Bar

Let’s compare this Basic Frames Per Second (FPS), okay. This is ten. It is okay.

If I turn Avatar Imposters off; now it should slow down noticeably. Yes, notice how there is a slight performance hit. Now if I turn Avatar imposters back on it raises back up. This is because by having to render these further avatars. Using less cycles like that results in a performance gain. If you think avatars are walking to close this is because precisely because Avatar Mesh Detail correlates. So by High it means avatars become imposters at further distances.

If you want a greater performance boost set Avatar Mesh Detail to Low and avatars will become imposters at nearer distances. So again it is a trade off. Do what is best for you. Notice when avatars are nearer they look somewhat blocky. However, I am experiencing a performance gain. Remember turning it off will slow down performance.

This works great on a lot of systems. However, if you have an older unsupported Intel integrated graphics card it probably is best to turn it off or you may experience some artifacts or other weirdness and that is in line with what I recommended before.

So remember the power is really in your hands. Avatar Imposters is great with crowd scenes. Keep it on and if you want people to become imposters at further distances then set it to High. Let me go back to the club to demonstrate.

You can tweak any of these just about anytime you want. If custom is off, of course, it is simple, but it is good to gain an understanding of what each one of these does. Then you can find tune your experience and maximize your enjoyment of “Second Life”. If you consider all theses options and what each one of them does, and you learn through time just by seeing what each one does and, of course, by watching this video, you will clearly gain a better knowledge and feel more confident about using stuff.

So that is the Graphics Preferences in “Second Life” for you. I hope you had a good time. There is certainly more to cover. Like I mentioned, in Advanced there is additional hidden options and over time we have optimized this. Like before there used to be three tabs and now it is one, making it simpler

I have been Torley Lindon. I am going to see what else is going on. I see they have added some glow and some other techniques.

All these things put together comprise what you see and enjoy and experience in “Second Life”.

Thanks for watching this video tutorial. Please rate, comment, favorite, and subscribe to my tutorials on Youtube if you like them. It helps them to grow and if you have any questions or comments for me go ahead at email me at torleylindonlab.com.

would be glad to hear about you’re your video tutorial curiosities and inquisitions, and not in a bad sense inquiries. I have stepped into the glow and I am going to so called “duck out” for now.

Stay tuned for more tutorial.