Apprentice's Notes: About Light in Second Life


One of the common questions I get is

“Why do X and I see different lighting?”, or “The lighting on X build is not working”

    SL can only display 3 light sources at once besides moon and sun. That is, the 3 light sources closest to your av. If your av is wearing any kind of attachment that radiates light, it counts towards these 3 light sources. This is calculated for each AV. Each av sees his own version of world lighting so to speak.
     So, for example, you are wearing hair that has face-lights (usually 2, even 4). That means you will never be able to see other light sources because your face-lights are constantly the closest to you.
    Other example is putting too many light sources together. The light sources will “flicker” in and out of the 3 maximum limit as you move around.   The trick is to never put more than 3 light sources (you can see the range of the light by checking the “Show Light Radius Selection” option on your viewer) in direct contact with each other. Or making their radius specific to when you want the light to kick into effect. This last one is effective on low radius lights nested withing larger light spheres.

-So, some advice:

*Minimize unnecessary body lights. Light has a purpose in landscaping and can be very drammatic in effect, even limited to 3 light sources. Don’t wear face-lights just so everybody can see your beautiful face, or if your av has a reason for glowing, try having one active only.  Having lots of light sources on yourself, besides creating “light pollution”, will minimize your enjoyment of the lightscaping many designers do.

*Always take into consideration the Three Light Sources rule when landscaping. This might change or not on the future. But as for now, remember 3 lights plus sun or moon at the same time is the most that SL viewer can display at any given time. Take this into consideration when setting light radius and position.

*Environmental Light Color Blends- If two (or three) light radius spheres overlap, the objects within will show a chromatic mix of the lights, with more emphasis depending of the strength, distance and radius of the light. Use this for dramatic lighting of lanscaping features.

I hope this if of help to you all!