Viewerhelp:2.7.1/Preferences - Graphics

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Controls the settings and quality of the Viewer's graphics.

Quality and speed

  Choose among four preset graphics levels, with increasing level of detail and more computer power needed: Low, Mid, High, and Ultra. For High and Ultra, you need a computer that meets or exceeds the System Requirements.


  • Apply to make your selections take effect. The Viewer will remember them when you next log in.
  • Reset to go back the recommended Quality and speed setting, based on your graphics card.
  • Advanced to show Advanced graphics settings.
  • Hardware to display the Hardware Settings window.

Advanced graphics settings

Shaders - Enables or disables various types of pixel shaders

Transparent Water   Whether water reflections appear.
Bump mapping and shiny   Depth and shine effects which are found on various inworld creations.
Local Lights   Display the six closest point light sources (in addition to sun and moon).
Basic shaders   Provides more depth and realism.
Atmospheric shaders   Realistic sky and water appearance. Basic shaders must be on for this to be enabled.

When Atmospheric shaders is checked, and your systems supports it, the following options are available:

Lighting and Shadows   Check to display shadows and the effects of projector lights. See also Lighting and shadows.
Ambient Occlusion   Check to show a subtle darkening of nooks and crannies in shapes and in shadows. You may use this with any Shadows setting.
Depth of Field   Check to make objects far from the focal distance appear fuzzy or out-of-focus.
Shadows   Select the type of shadows to display:
  • None - do not display shadows; equivalent to turning off Lighting and shadows, with some subtle differences.
  • Sun/Moon - Check to cause all qualifying objects to cast shadows and have shadows cast upon them.
  • Sun/Moon + Projectors - Check to have objects cast shadows from the light of the sun and the moon and up to two projector light sources.
Water Reflections

  Sets the types of elements that water reflects. When set to Everything, this is a particularly taxing feature and requires a fast graphics card to use effectively.
Avatar Physics

  Controls the frequency of display updates for enhanced avatar physics:
  • To make avatar physics movement smooth, move the slider to a high setting.
  • To make avatar physics less taxing for your computer, move the slider to a lower setting. Avatar physics movement will be less smooth, and you will not see avatar physics movement of avatars who are far away.
  • To turn off avatar physics, move the slider to the lowest setting.
Draw Distance

  Affects how far out from your viewpoint objects are rendered in the scene. Increasing this can substantially slow down your performance in dense areas, so experiment to find the right balance.
Max Particle Count

  Sets the maximum number of particles you're able to see at once.
Max # of non-impostor avatars

  Sets the maximum number of avatars that are displayed in 3D instead of 2D. Decreasing this number can increase performance, but can also make more avatars around you look less realistic.
Post process quality

  Sets the resolution with which glow effects are rendered, which tends to be a minimal difference

Mesh detail - Sets the amount of detail used in rendering certain elements. A higher value takes longer to render, but provides more detail.

Objects   More detail is especially noticeable with curved objects which require many triangles to render like "sculpties" (sculpted prims), spheres, and wheels.
Flexiprims   Controls the smooth motion of flexible primitive objects, as commonly used in avatar hair, skirts, capes, and so on. More noticeable when there are many flexiprims onscreen.
Trees   Affects the detail of Linden "system" trees, not to be confused with Resident-trees made using objects.
Avatars   In addition to rendering avatars more realistically, this also sets the distance at which avatars become Avatar impostors. Lower this to make them become impostors nearer, which looks worse but results in faster performance.
Terrain   Increasing this makes the ground mesh look more organic and curvy.
Sky   Only changes the sky's detail when Atmospheric shaders is on. Lower settings can make the sun and cloud formations look blocky.

Avatar Rendering

Avatar impostors   Renders distant avatars cheaply, often resulting in substantial performance gains in large crowds. Unless you dislike the way it looks or have other problems, leave it on.
Hardware skinning   Provides a slight performance boost. This is incompatible with some hardware, so if if it's not already grayed out yet avatars appear jagged or deformed, try turning this off.
Avatar cloth   Makes your avatar mesh clothing ripple in the wind. Not available on all hardware, notably Mac OS.
Terrain detail

  High is possible on supported systems, Low makes the ground look fuzzy but renders faster.