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Real-time lighting/shadow code has been hanging around in the Second Life viewer code-base for quite some time now, marked as an experimental feature with no sign that it would eventually be developed and/or released. Today’s release of viewer 2.7.1 adds that in for supported cards – and finally supports the nVidia GTS 450, it seems.

That’s not the best part, though.

For my money, the big feature here is the depth-of-field setting. Depth-of-field makes objects a bit fuzzier based on distance, and … well, generates an impression of more depth. It’s a very effective visual effect and probably delivers the most bang-for-the-buck in visual verisimilitude.

Click for a larger version.

Being that I make comics, I’d hardly ever have lighting and shadows on routinely – but depth of field, well, that’s another matter. I think I can still work with that.

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