Windlight to EEP - Making a Day Cycle
The Environmental Enhancement Project is still in the future for some of us. And for others it is part of their Second Life day. It all depends on our viewers of choice.
I am still happily putting off change. There are some nice features in EEP such as defining your own skies at different levels of our parcel, but there are still way too many bugs along with missing features for me to embrace the newness. Happily the Firestorm folk agree and the latest viewer update was a "beta" and not a regular release -- meaning that it will not count in the viewer retirement program.
But eventually resistance will no doubt be futile and we will all have EEP whether we want to or not. Being prepared and thinking ahead to that time is wise and appropriate. To that end I did some experimentation and made an EEP day cycle using my favorite Windlights as the starting point. The reason I used this plan will become clear as we progress (wink).
One of the biggest problems that I have with EEP is that it is missing a way to adjust contrast. Many skies just look flat and boring. You can have drama for sure with large sunlit skies and custom clouds, but somewhere the basics got lost along the way. I discovered early on that if I wanted a setting that resembled my favorites and my style I would need to import my Windlight settings into EEP. Happily that is fairly easy.
The first step is to find a base sky for your day cycle. My sim is set a bit before 9 AM. I wanted a new day cycle skies that were exactly 9 AM, 12 PM, 3 PM etc; these would be imported into my EEP day cycle .
With my viewer set to use the region default I chose World - Environmental Editor - Sky Presets - New Preset. I adjusted the TIME for the various sun positions and saved each under its own time designation.
Here I set the time to 3 PM and saved the sky with that name.
It is then listed in the sky setting. I always use the Quick Preference Panel to pick out my Windlights, but use whichever method is handy.
Daytime settings were easy to make this way. The light changes realistically and the shadows move according to the sun angle. Perfect.
But then came the nighttime settings.
Remember this is using a NON- EEP viewer to make our Windlights -- hence they are still Windlights and not EEP settings. But it is obvious that we cannot use the time slider to make our appropriate night. That's OK. We will work it out.
Exit out of Firestorm or your other non-EEP viewer.
Log into the Linden viewer OR (sometime in the future) to the official release of the Firestorm viewer (hopefully with many bugs fixed).
Next we import our Windlight skies using the EEP viewer. First off we need to FIND our homemade skies in our file manager.
Mine are at this path:
Next we will import our various Windlights -- one at a time -- into the EEP viewer. Here are the instructions for that:
Instructions for uploading taken from the EEP wiki under the CC3 share alike designation.
Save your skies as settings in the EEP viewer. Note that you will need to use SAVE AS and not SAVE as mentioned in the instructions above.
So far, so good but what about night time? You CAN make a night time setting within the Linden EEP viewer by turning down gamma to almost nothing. I don't love the look of this though. I was lucky and had a favorite night time Windlight. There are likely some night skies in the extra settings that come in the viewer too. You can even use the standard Linden day cycle night if you want.
This is a night sky that I made for my dual sim build at SL15B. The sim's name was Dazzle or one of them anyway and that became the name of this Windlight. I imported it along with all the day settings that I made in the non-EEP viewer.
Making the Day Cycle
If you want to make a day cycle for your land or simply to look at personally or for filming, the steps are pretty easy.
Go back into the environments pane. This time instead of clicking on the + sign and choosing New Sky, we want to choose New Day. Then double click on the default day (at this point still just named "New Day") and you will find the pane below.
The Edit Day Cycle pane has a few tabs with various setting and you can use it to make skies from scratch. But we are simply going to use the skies that we made in the non-EEP viewer.
Click on one of the dots along the timeline and choose Load Sky. Find the sky that fits in that time slot. Move on to the next time and load that sky etc. you can play through the day cycle with the forward and back buttons. You cannot tweak your skies when you are loading them. So make sure you are happy with the skies before starting the Day Cycle process. Save your Day Cycle with an appropriate name.
You can make several Day Cycles and use them at different altitudes on your land.
You can of course make a Day Cycle using only the sliders within the editor.
So many choices.