After Shoshana Epsilonmentioned not liking Avatar Impostors showing up in stead of normal avatars starting at a distance of 10 meters, the Watermelon God decided upon enlightenig us on the Avatar Imposters system. He chose to do so in the comments, so for the benefit of this valuable piece of information not getting lost, I’ll recap here that here.
But first we need to know what the avatar imposter system is. According to the wikipedia:
Impostor is a term used instead of billboard if the billboard is meant to subtly replace a real 3D object.
And a billboard is yet another word for a sprite,a three-dimensional image that is used to replace objects that might normally be modeled using texture mapped polygons, such as our avatars. As most 3D rendering engines can process “3D sprites” much faster than other types of 3D objects, this means a serious performance gain. Linden Lab claims this will even go up to a 40% better frame rate when visiting crowded area’s. They are called billboards, because they will always face your camera, just as billboards do with your car on the highway. So no more avatars turning their backs on you! ;)
And now we know what the avatar imposter system is all about, let’s get to business and tweak it!
How to control your Avatar Impostors distance:
Go into File > Preferences and choose the Graphics tab. If you are wearing your WindLight client, it should look like the screenshot on your right. To be able to control the avatar imposters settings yourself*, on the right next to Quality and Performance, check custom.
Under Avatar Rendering, check Avatar Imposters if you want it on, uncheck if you want no avatar imposters. Yeah, I know: duh!
Under Mesh Detail, find the Avatar slider. If you slide it to the right, you will increase the distance at which avatars become impostors, if you slide it to the left, that distance will decrease.
Finish this tough decision - graphics quality/enjoyment ft. performance - off by pressing ‘OK’. (Don’t need me to tell you where that button is, now do you? ;))
*You can also set quality to either low, mid, high or ultra, which will result in different Avatar Mesh Detail, and thus in a different distance at which avatar impostors start to occur. But with the Second Life client graphics settings, I suggest to experiment to see what works best for you and your - beloved, I trust - graphics card.
Torley Linden’s classy video compliment to my text tutorial:
Sell WindLight settings?
Mr. Torley ‘Watermelon’ Linden also says in the comments that they will be working on making the WindLight settings a sharable inventory item. This means you will be able to share, sell, trade, whatever you can do with iventory objects now. Sadly enough, this will not happen until WindLight makes it to be the main viewer, and the server side controls for this are ready. Maybe they’ll let it be controlled by scripts too? ‘Click here for a beautiful sunset!’ does sound nice, no?
High-res snapshots dislike WindLight
‘There IS a known (at least internally, haven’t seen it on public Issue Tracker yet but will link it up if I do) bug with taking high-res snapshots & glow, and high-res snapshots having seams (particularly noticeable through water). ‘
Ah well, for me that already occured sometimes when shooting with the old client and RenderGlow set to True in the debug menu. So I guess indeed the glow is to blame? But - again - for me, it’s causing less trouble then with the OldLook and I’m already used to it. Will cope with it until they fix those seams. As long as they do not take WindLight away from me, I’ll be fine.