[Update 20090601: Added settings page setup]
Opensim and Second Life have no mirrors. Oracolo Janus found a way to tweak the Windlight parameters of water to get a near-mirror effect, which I’ve been using creatively.
(See my “Trompe l’oeil” set in Flickr for more examples)
I published Oracolo’s preset in my Flickr stream to help other people that wanted to try it, but Oracolo’s preset, as I published it, has two problems: 1) not everybody knows how to create an .xml file in Windows, and 2) this only works for Second Life, not for the Opensim-based grids (since it is using the UUID of the image, and this UUID can’t be the same on the Opensim grids). Therefore, I’m writing this step-by-step guide to install and use Oracolo’s original “Still Water” preset. This guide can be used both by Opensim and Second Life users.
Mirror Water – Step-by-step guide
1. Download the following image (the “normal map”) using your browser (Windows: right click on the image and select “Download image”). Rename the downloaded image “Mirror Water” (“Mirror Water.jpg” if you are showing file extensions — if you don’t know what this is, this doesn’t affect you).
2. Open your Second Life/Opensim client, and upload the image you just downloaded.
3. Now go to World -> Environment Settings -> Environment editor, a panel will appear, press the “Advanced water” button. You’ll get a panel similar to the following one.
4. Press the “New” button. You’ll be asked to enter a name. Enter a name you’ll remember (“Mirror water”, or “Still water”; in the example figure, it’s “StillWater”). Move all the sliders so that they show exactly the values shown in the image.
5. Now select the “Image” tab, and press the “Normal map” image. Select the image you uploaded in step 2 (i.e., “Mirror Water”). Move all the sliders so that they show exactly the same values as in the image.
6. Now press the “Save” button.
7. Go to “Edit -> Preferences -> Graphics”, check “Custom”, check all shaders, set “Reflection Detail” to “Everything”.
8. You’re done! Your “Advanced water” button (in World -> Environment Settings -> Environment Editor) will show a new preset called “Mirror Water” (or the name you’ve used in step 4). Enjoy!