Linden Lab is definitely spoiling us. One day after the release of a new Release Candidate with the awesome in-world Search, Linden Lab released a new WindLight client!
We all knew that they had it “almost finished” for previewing and gathering data, but I guess it was a surprise to have it released just a day after we got a new release candidate to play with! Fortunately for us, they’ve released WindLight with the new search, too, so you can experiment with both at the same time if you wish!
It’s pointless to list all the features that this new release of the WindLight client has. Sadly for some (hopefully only on Mac users), it comes with a very heavy performance penalty — in my case, my 6-month-old iMac lost two thirds of its performance to WindLight, way too much to make it enjoyable. But it looks terrific. In fact, the interesting bit is that good buildings suddenly look much better — they seem to become photo-realistic, specially when near water! — while mediocre or low-quality buildings will now look very strange under the realstic lighting system of WindLight: they’ll become terribly “cartoonish”, since the light is so realistic now.
It takes some getting used to. But nothing beats WindLight for doing amazing virtual photography. Machinimas, at least on my iMac, need to wait for further releases, as Linden Lab works to improve the performance of WindLight — since as for features, there are plenty to keep us happy 🙂