NOTE: Photographers can access and change many of the settings quickly and conveniently via the Phototools Window.


  • Preset in use: Shows the name of the graphics preset in use.
  • Quality and speed: Allows you to adjust the graphics quality (lower is faster). Many options are changed based on this setting.
    • Reload Defaults: The circular arrow to the right of the Quality and speed slider (above) will revert all graphics settings to default values. Use this if you have made changes that have a negative impact on the veiwer and cannot remember what you changed.
  • Fullscreen Mode (requires restart): Enable this if you want to run Firestorm in full screen mode, as opposed to windowed.
  • Shaders:
    • Transparent water: Allows water to look transparent instead of opaque. Enable this (if it isn't already) if you exeprience glowing water while wearing rigged mesh.
    • Bump mapping and shiny: Enables the rendering of shiny and bump mapped surfaces.
    • Local Lights: Globally enables/disables local lights.
    • Basic shaders: Allows rendering of high-quality water, basic lighting, and other graphical effects.
    • Atmospheric shaders: Enables advanced atmospheric and lighting.
    • Advanced Lighting Model: Check this to allow shadows and other features to be enabled. Note that enabling this can cause instability and performance issues; click here for known specifics. For more how shadows behave, see this SL wiki page.
    • Ambient occlusion: Checking this enables more realistic shadows; the stability and performance note above also applies here.
  • Shadows: Lets you choose what light sources cause shadows; this is available only if the Advanced Lighting Model option above is enabled).

    • none
    • sun/moon
    • sun/moon and projectors
  • Avatar Shadows: controls whether and how avatars cast shadows. The higher the setting, the more client lag it will cause.
    • None
    • Simplified
    • Optimized
    • Complex
  • Water Reflections: Allows water to reflect terrain, objects, and avatars.
  • Point Lighting: Affects the number of rendered light sources when Advanced Lighting Model (above) is disabled. A viewer restart is needed if this setting is changed.
  • Draw distance: Affects how far out from your viewpoint objects will be rendered in the scene.

  • Max particle count: Sets the maximum number of particles you are able to see on your screen at once.
  • Maximum complexity: Controls at what point a visually complex avatar is shown as a jellydoll. 1) Current defaults are:
    • Low: 35,000
    • Low-Mid: 100,000
    • Mid: 200,000
    • Mid-High: 250,000
    • High: 300,000
    • High-Ultra: 350,000
    • Ultra: 350,000
  • Max # of non-imposter avatars: Sets the number of avatars that will be fully rendered. See Avatar impostors below.
  • Post process quality: Determines the resolution with which glow is rendered. A lower setting will cause glow to look slightly pixelated.
  • Avatar Physics: Affects the detail of avatar physics. Set to 0 to disable avatar physics entirely.
  • Level of Detail (LOD) Distance Factors:

    • Objects & Sculpts LOD: Determines the amount of detail the viewer will use in rendering object shapes; a lower setting causes objects to appear more angular and polygonal.
      Setting this higher than 4 via Debug Settings is not recommended. Please see here for details on why high values are not recommended.
    • Flexiprims: Determines the amount of detail the viewer will use in rendering flexible object shapes.
    • Trees: Determines the amount of detail the viewer will use in rendering (Linden) tree shapes.
    • Avatars: Determines the amount of detail the viewer will use in rendering avatar shapes.
    • Terrain: Determines the amount of detail the viewer will use in rendering terrain.
    • Sky: Controls the detail with which windlight skies are rendered. Higher values mean better quality but lower performance.
  • Avatar Rendering:
    • Avatar imposters: Allows far-away avatars to be subtly rendered as two-dimensional images in order to improve your frame rate in crowded areas.
    • Hardware skinning: This allows some aspects of avatar rendering to be handled by your graphics card to improve performance.
    • Avatar cloth: Allows the rendering of flexible cloth on avatar clothing, such as shirts and flared pants.
  • Terrain Detail: Choose the amount of terrain detail you would like to see. Setting this option to Low replaces the ground texture with a low-resolution ground texture.
    This option is not available (ie, it is greyed out) if Basic Shaders is enabled, in which case it is always set to High.
  • Presets: Three buttons which allow you to save, load or delete graphics settings presets.
    • To create a preset, set your graphics settings as you like. Click “Save” and give the preset a name.
    • To load a preset that you have created, click “Load” and choose the preset to load.
    • To delete one, click “Delete” and choose the preset to delete.
    • The presets can be accessed either from Preferences → Graphics → General or from the presets button in the upper right of the viewer, near the media and sound controls.

Hardware Settings

  • Anisotropic Filtering: Enables anisotropic filtering to improve texture quality. This setting may reduce your viewer's performance. For more information see this wikipedia page.
  • Enable OpenGL Vertex Buffer Objects: VBO on modern hardware gives a performance gain. However, older hardware often has poor implementation of VBOs and the viewer may become unstable when this is enabled. VBO is explained in depth here.
  • Enable Streamed VBOs: Allows the use of streamed VBO as well as static; only works if you have VBO enabled.
  • Enable Lossy Texture Compression: If this is enabled, texture compression will be enabled for rendering. This gives improved performance, and a smaller grapics memory footprint, at the cost of lower quality rendered textures. Textures are compressed by the video card before being stored into video memory. Given that compressed textures can often end up pixellated, it is not recommended that this be enabled unless you have little video memory. Ref: SL JIRA MAINT-708.
  • Antialiasing: Smoothes jagged edges. Renders a scene the number of multiple times that is actually shown and scales it down. Choose the level of antialiasing the viewer will use (requires restart).
  • Gamma: Use the Windlight Sky Editor's Scene Gamma control on the Atmosphere/Sun tab instead of this; currently functional only if Atmospheric Shaders are disabled.
  • Viewer Texture Memory Buffer (MB): This is the amount of graphics memory the viewer will use. By default, it is set to the size of your graphics card's memory.
    • 32bit versions only. This setting is hard limited to a maximum of 512MB. Lowering this value may resolve certain texture corruption and performance issues, but under normal circumstances you should not need to alter this setting.
    • 64bit versions only. This setting is hard limited based on the VRAM available with your graphics card. It is recommended you increase the slider to use the maximum available to prevent texture thrashing.
      • GPU 1GB = up to 768MB
      • GPU 2GB = up to 1024MB
      • GPU 4GB+ = up to 2048MB
  • Fog Distance Ratio: Determines how far away Second Life's fog effect begins. Lower values = closer fog. Only used when you have Atmospheric Shaders disabled. If Atmospheric Shaders are enabled, this effect is handled by the Distance Multiplier control in the Advanced Sky Editor.


World Updating

  • Freeze updates to World (pause everything): This suspends rendering. Useful for picture taking, if you wish to capture a specific scene that might otherwise change while you are preparing.

Texture Rendering

  • Use HTTP Textures: Uses the HTTP protocol to fetch textures as opposed to the older UDP. Always on, as it is required for SL.
  • Max Texture Quality Level: If you have a poor connection, you may wish to reduce the level of texture detail. This can be set to Normal, Minimal or None.
    Naturally, setting this to anything other than Normal will result in textures displaying poorly, or not at all. Do not change unless absolutely necessary - for example, if you have a very poor connection but need to be online, and don't care if you can see textures or not.

Alpha Mask Rendering

These options control when alpha masking should be used in an attempt to mitigate the well known alpha sorting issue, in which prims behind other prims may appear to flicker in front. The two options are:

  • Render alpha masks when “Advanced Lighting Model” is not enabled
  • Render alpha masks when “Advanced Lighting Model” is enabled

Miscellaneous Rendering

  • Render Glow: If enabled, shows the glow effect on any prims that have it.
    • Strength: Controls the intensity of the glow effect. The default is 2.
  • Show avatars that haven't finished loading: Equivalent to the debug setting RenderUnloadedAvatar.
    Note that this is not a solution to a bake fail, as it doesn't actually fix anything; it merely forces the viewer to display whatever it happens to have managed to load. It is recommended that this be always left disabled.
  • Limit Framerate: Yield some time to the local host if a threshold framerate is reached. The framerate limit is set with the slider to the right.
  • Show the Scene as Wireframe: Enables wireframe display of everything. Note that this setting does not persist after a relog.
  • Enable Attached Lights (Face Lights): Enable this if you wish to see the affects of lights worn by avatars.
  • Render Attached Particles: Enable to see particles generated by worn attachments.
  • Time to delay while pre-caching before showing world: Allows the world to start caching before it is shown, at login.
  • Quality of the shadows: Adjusts the quality of shadows. Note that increasing this will significantly impact rendering speed (FPS).
  • Scale of Terrain Texture Rendering (requires restart): Indicates the scale of terrain textures, with lower values being more compressed textures.

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.

You can adjust the following settings to mimic RL camera effects.

  • Depth of Field: Enabling this causes out-of-focus objects to be blurred, depending on distance.
    • Enable while in edit mode: Normally, DoF disables when you edit something; if you enable this, DoF will remain active.
  • Camera F Number: Controls maximum screen radius from which to sample from, to avoid graphics card 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.
    The default value is 9.00
  • Camera 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.
    The default is 50.0
  • Camera FOV degs.: 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.
    The default is 60.00
  • Camera 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.
    The default is 1.50
  • DOF Focus Transition Time: This sets the time in seconds it take to the viewer to change focus from one object.
    The default is 0.50
  • DOF Rendering Quality: 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.
    The default is 0.70
Note: Normally, focus will be where ever you set it by alt left-click. However, you can have the focus follow the mouse cursor, even without having a 3D mouse installed.
  1. Go to the top menu, World → Photo & Video → Cameratools → 3D Mouse, and enable 3D Mouse. (This setting does not survive a relog if you do not have a 3D mouse installed.)
  2. Enable Depth of Field and set values as described above.
  3. To have the focus under the mouse cursor, toggle FlyCam mode on (Advanced → Shortcuts → Joystick Flycam, or Alt-Shift-F).
    Note that alt left-click will now move your avatar rather than change camera focus. So for photos, it is best to set up your shot the usual way, then go into flycam right before taking the picture, which you can do with Snapshot to Disk, Ctrl-`.

Refer to this SL wiki page for information on avatar complexity and jellydolls.
  • preferences_display_tab.txt
  • Last modified: 2018/05/25 22:29
  • by miro.collas