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Phototools


See here for video tutorials.

This is a powerful set of tools for SL photographers and machinima makers. It combines a large number of settings from many places, into a single, multi-tabbed window.

This is accessed via a button on the button bar. If you do not have the button visibile, right click any button on the button bar, and select Toolbar Buttons; the Toolbar Buttons window opens. Locate the Phototools button there, and drag it onto any of the button bars (bottom, left or right). Alternately, you can access via top menu, World → Photo and Video → Phototools.


NOTE: If an input field has a 'D' button to the right, click this to restore the default value.

WL (Windlight)

Phototools - WL

This tab controls many windlight features.

Windlight Settings

  • Basic Shaders: This should always be left on, unless you have a very low end computer or specifically need it disabled for some other reason.
  • Enable Atmospheric Shaders: Enables full Windlight features. This needs to be on to take full advantage of the settings on this tab.
    If this is greyed out, make sure you have Basic Shaders enabled (bottom of the tab).
  • Use Region Windlight: Force the use of the region's windlight settings.
    Same as top menu, World → Environment Editor → Environment Settings → Use region settings.
  • WL Sky: A drop down menu from which you can select a different Windlight sky preset. Much like the one available in the QuickPrefs window.
  • WL Water: You can select a different preset to apply to water.
  • Day Cycle: Here you can select from one of several different day cycles. These use winlight settings that are different from the default.

Below these is a time of day slider. However, this slider will revert to Windlight Sky to Default. Currently, to change the time of day for a specific sky preset, you need to edit the preset.

  • Quick Windlights: An easy way to select default time of day. Same as going to the top menu -> World → Sun Position.

Water Reflection Settings

  • Type: This drop down allows you to select what water will reflect. Note that the more you enable, the lower the viewer performance (ie, the higher the client lag).
    This setting can also be accessed via PreferencesGraphics -> General.
  • Resolution: Select the quality of water reflections. Note that anything above “Good” requires that Lighting and Shadows be enabled in the Light tab. If you change setting here, then toggle the Basic Shaders setting off, then back on, for the change to take effect.
    As above, increasing quality results in lower performance.
  • Transparent Water: If disabled, water will always be opaque.

Light

Lights and Shadows Settings

Phototools - Light

  • Enable Lighting and Shadows: This allows a variety of additional features, beyond shadows, to be enabled and used, such as Depth of Field.
    This can also be accessed via PreferencesGraphics -> General → Lighting and Shadows.
  • Enable Screen Space Reflections: This produces simple reflections on surfaces that are set to shiny.

This setting requires that these be enabled first, all in PreferencesGraphics -> General: Atmospheric shaders, Advanced Lighting Model, Hardware Skinning, Shadows.

  • Enable All Local Lights: Enables light sources other than sun/moon.
    This can also be accessed via PreferencesGraphics -> General → Local Lights.
    • Enable attached Lights (Face Lights): With this on, you will also see local lights which are attached to avatars.
      Normally, this option would be accessed via the top menu -> Develop → Rendering → Render Attached Lights.
  • Shadow Types: Select what types of shadows you want to be cast. Point light (lights that do not have the projection feature enabled) will always create a sense of shadows, yet they will not cast them upon any surface. It is important to note that regardless of the setting you choose here, textures projected from projection lights will still be enabled.
  • Shd. Res (Shadow Resolution): This determines the quality of the shadows. It also is very demanding of computer resources. It is a good idea to leave this setting as LOW as possible when you are not shooting. When you are shooting, set it to 1.0 while preparing your shot. When you are ready to take your shot, slowly raise the slider bar to the right. You need to be careful of your framerate while you raise this setting. It is helpful to turn on the Statistics Bar (under Aids) when you do this for the first few times so you can be familiar with the level of shadows that works best with your system.
    NOTE: Setting this too high or moving it too fast will cause viewer crashes.
  • Shd Clarity: This is a VERY important setting. It essentially determines how clear the Sun/Moon shadows are drawn overall. This setting should be set first before adjusting the setting below. With the value of 'Shd. Res' above set to 1.0, slide the value for 'Shd. Clarity' until the sharpest possible result is achieved.
    Please note, the clarity of shadows is directly related to the position of the camera and Sun/Moon. Every time you move either the camera or the Sun/Moon, it is best to adjust this value again. In addition, in order to make adjusting this value easier, it is helpful to set 'Shd. Blur' to 0.0 first.
  • Shd. Blur (Shadow Blur): The higher the number, the softer the shadow edges. Set to '0' for the sharpest shadows possible. This setting is directly related to the one below it as well. It allows you to set the overall possible amount of shadow blur. If set to 4.00, you can use Shadows Soften to adjust the shadow blur independent of the ambient occlusion. PLEASE NOTE: Ambient Occlusion must be enabled for this setting to work.
  • Shd. Soften: Controls the softening effect of Sun/Moon shadows. One simple way to set this value for your specific needs is to first set the 'Shd. Blur' value above to around 3.0. Then the slider here to soften the AO to your liking. Please note, a value of 0.0 will effectively turn off all Sun/Moon shadows. In addition, this has no effect of shadows the caused by projector lights.
  • Blur. Dist. (Blur Distance): This will determine the point at which the shadows will begin to blur relative to the camera. The lower the value the closer the point of shadow blur will begin.
    PLEASE NOTE: Ambient Oclussion must be enabled for this setting to work.
  • FOV Cutoff: This determines the Field Of View cutoff at which the viewer will switch between ortho instead of perspective projection. If you are getting shadows that are 'jaggedy' try adjusting this setting for improvement. Also, adjusting the XYZ values for the debug setting RenderShadowSplitExponent can be very helpful.
  • Show Bounding Boxes for All Lights in Scene: Will show wireframe boxes for all lights within a scene.
  • Show Light Radius for Selection: Shows the circular light casting of any selected light(s).

Ambient Occlusion

  • Enable Ambient Occlusion: Ambient Occlusion adds shading to all objects. It is most effective when the Effect and AO Soften settings below are used. It can add a high level of realism to the image. This is especially true when images are made at resolutions of 2048 pixels or above. For further details, see here.
    This can also be accessed via PreferencesGraphics -> General → Ambient Occlusion.
  • Scale: Controls the sampling region; larger regions are more accurate. It can be helpful to set these values high and then add a bit of shadow blur to soften their effect.
  • Max Scale: Controls the maximum screen radius from which to sample from, to avoid graphics card cache misses and associated large performance penalty. It can be helpful to set these values high and then add a bit of shadow blur to soften their effect.
  • Factor: Scaling factor for the effect (larger is darker). It can be helpful to set these values high and then add a bit of shadow blur to soften their effect.
  • Effect: Controls the overall darkening effect of Ambient Occlusion. The default value of 0.8 produces an almost imperceptible effect. Values of 0.0 and below provide a more realistic result. Please note that the Ambient Occlusion produces a noise like effect and this can be softened using the 'AO Soften' controls below. In addition, the standard mesh avatar can look less than appealing with high Effect values due to the low quality geometry of the avatar. Please Note: The lowest value you can set in the slider is 0, while in the spinner you can enter negative values of up to -10000.
  • AO Soften: Controls the softening of the Ambient Occlusion effect. One simple way to set this value for your specific needs is to first set the 'Shd. Blur' value above to around 4.0. Then the slider here to soften the AO to your liking. Please note, a value of 0.0 will effectively turn off Ambient Occlusion rendering.

Dof/Glow

Phototools - DoF/Glow

Depth of Field

Depth of field simulates real life blurring that occurs when things are not in focus. For example, if you are taking a photo of a person, then typically, things in the background will be blurred; the futher away, the more blurred. If you shift your focus to a tree behind the person, then the person will, in turn, become blurred.

For more information, refer here.

Many of the settings below are also found in PreferencesGraphics -> Depth of Field.

  • Enable Depth of Field (DOF): Turns on the DoF feature. This function requires that Shadows and Local lights both be enabled in the Light tab.
  • Show the Current FOV of Viewer Screen: This will show you the vertical field of view for the camera. In SL is possible to change the lens length just like in RL. The smaller the FOV the longer the camera lens. A 50mm lens has a FOV of 27.0 degrees. To adjust the FOV use the zoom slider bar below.
    Please see here for a table showing the relationship between FOV and Lens Focal Length (mm).
    Rember to disable this before taking pictures, or it will show in them.
  • View angle: In real world terms this is a Zoom feature. This will change the field of view in you viewer window. It is the same as hitting Ctrl + 0 or Ctrl+8.
    NOTE: This will not function if you have flycam enabled (3D SpaceNavigator).
  • FOV (Field of View): This tells the viewer what FOV you would like to simulate for the DOF effect. Higher values will produce a more narrow depth of field.
  • f-number: Controls maximum screen radius from which to sample from. In real world terms this is the aperture setting for the lens and the lower the value the shorter the depth of field will be. The same applies to SL.
  • Foc Length (Focal Length mm): This tells the viewer what Focal Length/Lens Length to simulate for the DOF effect. Higher numbers produce a narrower depth of field.
  • Foc Time (Focus Time): This sets the time in seconds it take to the viewer to change focus from one object.
  • CoC (Circle of Confusion): This is an important setting. It determines the strength of the blur itself. It does not change the depth of field, it adjusts how much those objects outside of it will be blurry.
  • Resolution: This determines the quality of the DOF Effect. For non-photography uses '.25' is good. For setting up shots '.50' or '.70' is very nice. For shooting quality images '1.00' is best. Note that High values will slow down your FPS.
  • Aspect Ratio: This is supposed to be aspect ratio of the camera you're modelling. For example, a 35mm camera has an aspect ratio of 3:2 (1.5). Second Life will use this as a frame of reference for how field of view and focal length must be adjusted depending on window size.
    Apparently, this currently has no effect.

Glow Settings

  • Quality: This will determine the quality of the glow effect, higher is better. There is little visual difference between 8 and 10.
  • Iterations: The basic setting for how strong the glow will be. Equivalent to PreferencesGraphics -> Rendering → Render Glow - Strength.
  • Strength: Additive strength of glow. Very low values are needed to see this effect. Start low.
  • Luminance: Minimum luminance intensity necessary to consider an object bright enough to automatically glow.
  • Warmth: Amount of warmth extraction to use (versus luminance extraction). 0 = lum, 1.0 = warmth.
    Often has little or no effect.
  • Width: Glow sample size. Higher = wider and softer glow, but eventually it will become more pixelated.
  • Alpha: Basically how bright the glow is allowed to get.

Gen (General Render Settings)

Phototools - General Rendering

Many of these settings are also available via PreferencesGraphics -> General.

  • Draw Dist.: This sets the furthest distance the viewer will draw anything. High values will slow your FPS.
  • Avi Count: Maximum number of non-impostor avatars to render in a scene. Very helpful for situations where many avatars are slowing your FPS.
  • Avi Detail: Sets the render quality of the avatars. Higher is better quality.
  • Avi Physics: Controls level of detail of avatar physics (such as chest physics). Higher is better.
  • Particle Cnt.: Sets the maximum number of particles to render.
  • Terr. Scale: Sets the quality of the default Linden Labs ground (terrain) texture. Requires a restart if changed.
  • Terrain Qal: Sets the quality of terrain. High numbers mean more detailed terrain in the distance.
  • Obj. Detail: Controls the detail of prims. Higher values produce greater detail for objects.
  • Flexiprims: Controls level of detail of flexible objects. Higher means more detail.
  • Tree Detail: Controls level of detail of vegetation. Higher numbers produce greater detail.
  • Sky Detail: Controls vertex detail on the WindLight sky. Lower numbers will give better performance and less than lovely skies.
  • Vig. Amount: Amount of vignette to apply. Please refer to this page for more info on the vignette feature.
  • Vig. Power: Power of the vignette.
  • Vig. Multiply: Multiply factor.
  • Enable Draw Distance: If you disable this feature the Viewer will render past your set draw distance.
  • Dynamically adjust level of detail: This enables the feature that allows the viewer to dynamically adjust the level of detail in scene as you move further away from objects. It helps improve performance, it also can reduce the quality of the objects in the scene.
  • Render only Objects Visible to the Camera: This allows the viewer only to process/draw those objects that are within the camera field of view and not hidden behind anything else. Usually this is a performance booster. Sometimes it can actually reduce performance especially when the scene/sim has few objects. Toggle to see if it helps or not.
  • Anisotropic Filtering: Enables anisotropic filtering to improve texture quality. This setting may reduce your viewer's performance. For more information see this wikipedia page.
  • Render Particles Attached to other Avatars: Enables the viewer to render any and all particles attached to/coming from other avatars.
  • Anti-aliasing: Determines how sharp and smooth the edges of objects will be. On top level graphics cards, higher values have virtually no performance impact. On lower graphics cards, higher values can slow performance significantly.
  • Texture Bumpiness: Controls the strength and resolution of normal and bump maps. You must toggle to check box below for changes to take effect.

(Interface) Aids

Phototools - Aids

Interface Aids

The settings here are, as the name suggests, user interface aids. Some of the options are normally only accessible via the Advanced or Develop menus.

  • Show Bounding Boxed for All Lights in Scene: Displays colored bounding boxes around all objects in your view which emit light.
  • Show Light Radius for Selected Light(s): If you enable this, and then edit one or more objects which emit light, an orange shpere will show, indicating the radius for the light(s).
  • Show Bounding Boxes for Objects in the Scene: Displays colored bounding boxes around all objects in your view.
  • Show the Statistics Bar: Opens the Stats bar, where you can get detailed info about viewer and region performance.
  • Show Detailed Camera Position Data: Display camera info in the lower right of the screen, in white text.
  • Show Detail Texture Loading Information: Shows details about texture load and texture memory use, in the upper portion of the screen.
  • Show RGB-I Color Values Under Cursor: Displays the Red, Green, Blue and Alpha values for whatever is under your mouse cursor. Note that the color of the light affects the color of objects; if you are trying to match colors, make sure you sure a pure white WL setting.
  • Hightlight Transparent Objects in Red: Any objects with transparency will be highlighted. Can also be activated with Ctrl-Alt-T.
  • Show the Scene as Wireframe: Switches the view to wireframe display mode; disable to switch back.
  • Show the HUD attached to your avatar: If this is disabled, any worn HUDs will not be visible. Useful for doing screen capture.
  • Slow-mo Your Avatar: Makes your movements go in slow motion (visible to you only).
  • Force Appearance Update: Rebakes your avatar; useful in cases of bake fail.
  • Set Window Viewer Size: Change the size of the viewer window.
  • Show Debug Settings Menu: Opens the Debug Settings window.

Quick Stats

This portion of the window gives a partial view of rendering statstics. It is a subset of the information shown in the Stats bar.

  • Frames Per Second:The number of times per second your computer is redrawing (or refreshing) what's on the screen. Higher values mean a smoother experience.
  • Bandwidth: How much data is being transferred between your computer and the Second Life world. This number varies wildly depending on what bandwidth settings you've used, where you are inworld, what's going on, and whether you're still loading some things (objects/textures/etc) that are in your field of view. If bandwidth is 0kbps, something may be wrong (you may be partially disconnected).
  • KTris Drawn per Frame: Computer-generated 3D objects are built out of triangles (the basic geometric shape). This is a count of the number of triangles, or “tris”, in each frame of the current scene.
  • KTris Drawn per Sec: This is a count of the number of triangles ('tris') drawn every second.
  • Total Objects: The number of objects currently in view, which includes: prims, avatars, terrain patches, trees, particle groups, and water patches.
  • New Objects: The number of objects being downloaded per second.
  • Texture Count: The number of unique textures loaded by the viewer.

Cam

Phototools - Camera

Many of the settings here duplicate those found in the Phototools Camera window. However, there are also some here which are not present in that window.

3D Mouse (Joystick) Settings

Some of the more requently needed settings from the Joytsick settings window, accessed from PreferencesMove & View -> Movement.

  • Left/Right: Adjusts the sensitivity of the Left/Right movement. If you find it difficult to move with precision, use lower scale values.
  • Up/Down: Adjusts the sensitivity of the Up/Down movement.
  • In/Out: Adjusts the sensitivity of the In/Out movement.
  • Pitch: Adjusts the sensitivity of the Tilt movement.
  • Yaw: Adjusts the sensitivity of the Spin movement.
  • Roll: Adjusts the sensitivity of the Roll movement.
  • Zoom Speed: Adjusts the sensitivity of the Zoom speed.
  • Feathering: Setting the slider all the way to the right will make the camera very rigid, giving complete control to the joystick. Setting the slider all the way to the left will make the camera very fluid like the camera weighs a lot; good for fly-by shots, not good for framing.
  • Zoom Axis Mapping: Controls which mouse axis the zooming function is mapped to (set to work with).
  • Enable 3D Mouse: This turns on the 3D Mouse.
  • Enable Zoom Control: In order for the zooming control to work, you must set the 'Zoom Mapping' above to '4'.
  • Enable Auto Levelling: When enabled, the camera will always remain level.
  • Use the 3D Mouse to move the avatar: The mouse will move your avatar.
  • Use the 3D Mouse to move objects (building): Uses the 3D mouse to move objects when building and editing.
  • Show the Current FOV of Viewer Screen: This will show you the vertical field of view for the camera. In SL is possible to change the lens length just like in RL. The smaller the FOV the longer the camera lens. A 50mm lens has a FOV of 27.0 degrees. To adjust the FOV use the zoom slider bar below.
    Please see here for a table showing the relationship between FOV and Lens Focal Length (mm).
    Rember to disable this before taking pictures, or it will show in them.
  • Show Detailed Camera Position Data: Display camera info in the lower right of the screen, in white text.

Viewer Camera Menu Settings

This tab is, in turn, divided into 3 sub tabs, as follows:

Camera Movement
  • View Angle: In real world terms this is a Zoom feature. This will change the field of view in you viewer window. It is the same as hitting Ctrl + 0 or Ctrl+8.
    NOTE: This will not function if you have flycam enabled (3D SpacenNavigator).
  • Zoom Speed: Controls how fast/slow the camera will zoom in and out. Higher values produce slower and smother zoom.
  • Camera Lag: Amount camera lags behind avatar motion (0 = none, 30 = avatar velocity).
  • Camera Offset: Controls how far the camera is offset/distance from the default point of view.
  • Cam. Smoothing: Controls how smoothly the camera starts and stops. Higher values produce smoother (and somewhat slower) movement.
Mouse
  • Mouse Sensitivity: Controls responsiveness of mouse when in mouselook mode.
  • Display avatar & attachments in mouselook: Display avatar and attachments below neck while in mouselook. Default is OFF.
  • Smooth Mouselook Movements: Smooths out motion of mouse when in mouselook mode.
Misc Settings
  • Clicking your avatar keeps camera position: Normally, clicking on your avatar resets the camera position. This option removes this behavior.
  • Reset camera position after teleport: Normally, the camera position gets reset when teleporting (within a region). This option prevents this behavior.
  • Disable minimum camera zoom distance: Disable the constraint on the closest distance the camera is allowed to get to an object.
  • Allow the camera to move w/o constraints: Ignores the 'push' the simulator applies to your camera to keep it out of objects.
    Requires a restart to take effect.
  • Reset camera position on avatar movement: If this is disabled and you move your avatar, the camera will not follow it.



See this page for documentation on Firestorm 4.5.1 (38838) and earlier.

archive/phototools_menu_floater_fs467.txt · Last modified: 2014/12/10 21:32 by miro.collas