Photography, Second Life
Comment 1

Yes.. you CAN take great snapshots with a basic graphics card.

Windlight London 2026

     So, I’ve been asked to do a quick blurb about taking snapshots without having Shadows (Atmospheric or Lights/Shadows) enabled. Meaning these are grayed out on the SL Client and your computer’s graphics card is unable to  support shadows. There are many tutorials out there some of which I will be linking that are relevant to me. Mostly I’ll just bullet point what I do when preparing for a photo-shoot and hopefully its not a big jumbled mess by the end lol.


  • Find my source of inspiration.. sim, clothing, jewelry, a song, mood.. maybe something I ate?
  • Location and Setting… Will I be in the studio or heading out?  If I choose to go on location, is it a region where I can rez a photo stand HUD? Will I need props in studio? What kind? (This is usually an ‘organic’ process lol)
  • Set Viewer to take ‘High-res’ Snapshots (found in the advanced tab.. Use the Control Alt D command to show your Advanced Tab at the top of your viewer)
  • Strike a pose (and preferably a pose that doesn’t have any parts of your body cut off under mesh clothing, hair ‘in’ your body..etc)

I’m done setting up, now what?

  • Click the Control P command to bring up the Preferences Window… and Set the graphics slider to High or Ultra (remember this post is meant for SLers who DO NOT have Atmospheric Shaders or Lights/Shadows enabled on their viewer)
  • Check the ‘custom’ box, next to the Graphics Slider,  to open up the ‘more’ option (if that is not already opened)
  • Slide Level of Detail sliders (all of them) to High
  • In the same window, click on the Hardware tab, and check off  the Anisotropic Filtering box…
  • Click the Antialiasing drop down menu and set to 4x (THIS is importante) Click here for an in depth tutorial.  (Some of the steps in the tutorial you can skip because we’re just talking about photos without Lighting and Shadows.) Antialiasing helps lessen that jagged pixelated look around your avatar or objects. (wait for your viewer to refresh, it might go dark or flicker for a bit if you have an older computer)
  • Go to Debug Settings (Under the  Advance tab) and type rendervolumeLODfactor (it will autocomplete for you). Set the number to 4.0 (I usually go buck wild and use 4.5). Exit that window.
  • Find your viewers Environment Settings (usually under World for me) and select Environment Editor.
  • Click the Advanced Sky button. This is where you can mess around with Windlight! Click here for tutorial and here too.
  • Find your ideal camera angle Click here for proper Zoom tutorial

learning to crop properly

It’s Kodak time baby!

  • Use Control -Shift-S to bring up your snapshot window (or use your mouse to click the Snapshot button)
  • Set your ‘Target size to ‘Custom’. Your viewer might say something else but most will have this.
  • Set the width and height to a higher resolution|number. (Keep in mind that if your graphics slider is set to High, you are already at 2x your resolution!) What this will do is give your picture more detail than if it is set to whatever the viewer’s default is.
  • I take my snapshots 4x my screen resolution. Most of the TPV viewers I have tried will give you gridlines. Click here to see a viable solution. 
  • Other than that, to reduce gridlines, try to choose a windlight that doesn’t have clouds or stop your clouds from scrolling if you can.
  • Click the Refresh button to refresh the picture/window viewer.. and if you are happy with the camera angles, windlight, etc, click Save 🙂
  • FYI, I usually leave the ‘Target aspect Ratio’ to Default.
  • Another FYI lol…. these settings and steps may cause lag  so be sure to pack some patience along if you’re out and about.

And there we go. These are the steps I take when I am using a computer that has a very basic graphics card, meaning, Atmospheric Shaders are grayed out/disabled.. and Lighting/Shadows are grayed out/disabled.

For me, blogging has been a learning experience where I thought my photo-editing ‘skillz’ were already decent. Eating humble pie never tasted so, bad!

Thanks for stopping by, and if you’re still around reading this, do visit the links I’ve pasted throughout the post, or you can click here to see a short list of where I frequent for SL Photography help. Aloha 🙂

When working with a TPV, you have a 95% chance of taking snapshots with gridlines, at a higher resolution. I’m using Singularity here at 4000×2029 res. And there is a gridline running through the reflection 😀

I am using a very basic graphics card with no shadows enabled.. not even Atmospheric Shaders.


Dress> lasstitude & ennui Patience Dress Available @ The Zodiac-Taurus


  • Necklace, Bracelet, R ring> KOSH Nebula Set
  • L Ring> KOSH Raised Moon Ring

Hairdid>MINA’s Gaia in Black Available @ My Attic/The Deck

Skin>Glam Affair’s Margot in America Available @ Collabor88

Eyes>Tableau Vivant Galaxy Eyes Available @ The Gallery Gift Shop

Poses> Img. 1 aDORKable’s Ella Available @ My Attic/The Deck

Img. 2 Posesion Simple Woman 5

Img. 3 Ma Vie Revealed 06

Img. 4 Ma Vie Basic 02

Location> KOSH @ Rain


1 Comment

  1. Pingback: Exploring Second Life Meme | Cozey SL

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