Viewerhelp:Preferences - Graphics

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KBcaution.png Important: This article has been translated. The translation was imported on Feb 17. Any changes will require re-export for incremental translation.

Controls user interface size and the quality of the Viewer's graphics.

UI size

  Scales the user interface to be larger or smaller.
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 Recommendations.

  Apply UI size settings. Other graphics settings preview live as you change them.

  Reverts to the recommended preset, based on what Second Life detects your graphics card to be, on the Quality and speed slider.

  Shows Advanced graphics settings.

  Shows the Hardware Settings window.

Advanced graphics settings


  Enables or disables various types of pixel shaders:
  • Bump mapping and shiny - Depth and shine effects which are found on various inworld creations.
  • Basic shaders - Makes inworld look less "flat".
  • Atmospheric shaders - Realistic sky and water appearance. Basic shaders must be on for this to be enabled.
  • Water reflections - Whether water reflections appear.
Reflection detail

  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 rendering

  Sets options that affect how the Viewer renders avatars:
  • 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 Macs because of Apple's drivers.
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.
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 or number of triangles used in rendering certain elements. A higher value takes longer to render, but makes these objects appear with 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.
Lighting detail

  Selects what types of lights to render. On supported graphics cards, up to the six lights nearest to your avatar or flycam viewpoint can be seen, in addition to the sun and moon.
Terrain detail

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