Second Life’s New Bake Fail

Update: 2013-08-26

The Sunshine Project has greatly reduced the number of bake fails users experience. The goal of SSA was to improve the reliability of avatar baking. That goal was met. Remember. It was never believed that the SSA project would solve all avatar baking problems. The process is dependent on many aspects of the viewer, your hardware, your connection to SL (which is NOT the same as your general Internet connection), the state of your inventory, the load on SL inventory systems, and much more.

Odd Bake Fail w/SSA

Odd Bake Fail w/SSA

There was never the possibility of getting all these systems to work perfectly 100% of the time. So, from time to time, we will see bake fail. Way fewer people see tenuous bake fail now.

Problems

The problem where some textures just don’t download also seems to affect the SSA bake. The SSA ovens bakes 3 textures; head, upper body, and lower body. I’ve seen a texture for my upper body refuse to download. The head and lower body rendered quickly. Five minutes later I still had a gray torso. Doing a clothing change solved the problem.

There are reports of people remaining grey even when using the newer viewers. Others usually see them normally. I suspect this happens because the user with the problem has a poor connection to Second Life™, which is very different from having a good general connection to the Internet. 

In other reports other people see the grey avatar oddly too. This could still be a bad connection to SL. In which case the appearance information is not making it to the SSA servers from the grey avatar’s viewer.

The servers need a list of what you are wearing so they can pull the assets from the Asset System’s servers and build your appearance. I think the viewer is sending information about your appearance to the Inventory System’s Current Outfit Folder as you change clothes. At some point the viewer sends a signal you have exited appearance edit or may be the SSA servers or viewers only wait so long. Then either the viewer triggers a new bake or the SSA system times out and bakes a new appearance, which is then sent out to you and everyone that can see you.

Inventory Problem

There is the possibility a user has an inventory problem. The viewer does cache the Inventory List on the local computer. There is a primary list of your stuff in the SL Inventory System. With a weak connection those can get out of sync. The quick fix is to visit a deserted region; Pooley or Furball, relog, and do inventory searches to force inventory to fully load.

A more extensive fix for tenacious problems is to clear the cached Inventory List from the viewer’s cache. This has to be done manually. You’ll find the Inventory List in this folder:

  • Windows XP: C:\Documents and Settings\[USERNAME]\Local Settings\Application Data\SecondLife
  • Windows Vista: C:\Users\[USERNAME]\AppData\Local\SecondLife
  • Windows 7: C:\Users\[USERNAME]\AppData\Local\SecondLife
  • Mac: ~/Library/Caches/SecondLife
  • linux: ~/.secondlife /cache

Look for the file named with your avatar’s UUID that looks like this: ba2e564a-f0f1-4c82-9c61-b7520bfcd09f.inv.gz. Delete it. Be sure you get the correct avatar if you have more than one. See: Firestorm Considerations for details on getting your avatar’s UUID. The information is about 2/3’s of the way down the page.

COF

Some users have two Current Outfit Folders (COF). They can often self-fix if they can move one of the folders to Trash and empty it. Relog and the problems clear up.

Those that have more than one COF and cannot move a COF to Trash should file a Trouble Ticket with support. The rumor is they often have the problem fixed within 24 hours. If you are on a the free basic account, file the trouble ticket. Support knows this is a Linden problem and they will help. That is NOT guaranteed. But, reports are support has been handing it.

If you file a trouble ticket, class it as Avatar Problem and reference SUN-99 (the JIRA Bug Report for 2 COF’s) and Multiple COF.

Choked HTTP

Users tweaking their Debug Settings may be choking their connection, which can result in apparent bake fail. The setting that may contribute to the problem are;

List: TextureFetchConcurrency, CurlMaximumNumberOfHandles, CurlRequestTimeOut (reduced values add to choking), MeshMaxConcurrentRequests (the main problem), PrimMediaMaxRetries, RenderAvatarMaxVisible, TextureFetchConcurrency (default=0 – unlimited?), TextureFetchUpdateMaxMediumPriority, ThrottleBandwidthKBPS, UpdaterMaximumBandwidth, and XferThrottle.

If you have increased these settings you might resolve your avatar bake issues by reducing the settings below the default values or at least returning them to the default values.

Turning off ImagePipelineUseHTTP (SL Viewer) more commonly known as HTTP Texture Get can resolve the avatar bake issues. Consider this a temporary fix. Once the coming additional HTTP protocol upgrades arrive, you will want to be using HTTP Get for textures.

Reducing the vales of some of the other settings may help reduce bake fail.

Corrupt Alpha Problem

Another cause for grey avatar’s is a corrupt alpha layer. You can check whether this is your problem by changing alpha layers. If that fixes the problem, you do not need to try to figure out if it is your cached copy of the texture or the SL asset. It is the asset on the SL side. If it wasn’t, everyone else would see you correctly.

If you really want to test whether it is you local copy or not, change to another viewer. If you local copies are corrupt from a weak connection, clearing the cache and reloading will likely make things worse. With a weak connection to SL, avoid doing anything that increases your download demand, put more load on the connection.

Cloud Avatar

Some people are remaining a particle cloud. No one is yet sure why this happens. I suspect connection and inventory problems, but I don’t have to fix the SL system.

There is a fix. The simple fix is to change your outfit.

Change to the opposite sex test avatar. Top menu: Deveop (Ctrl-Alt-Q to enable menu item)->Avatar->Character Tests-> then select Test Male or Test Female.

Shapes Not Loading

I am hearing of this problem. But, have yet to learn much about it. Reportedly, you see yourself well rendered. Others see you in a Ruth shape. Sometimes males are feminized, avatars are too tall, too short, lumpy…

The Lindens have no information about this problem as of 2013/08/23. So, if you are experiencing it please file a JIRA bug report.

Mesh Clothes in the Wrong Place

Another problem with mesh clothes is there appearing in the wrong place. If the clothes have ever been in the right place, and suddenly appear in the wrong place, the mesh item did not fully download.

The fix is to take it off, wait a few minutes, and put it back on. You do not need to change your attachment point. If the problem persists, you may need to avoid wearing the item for a few hours. You can also tp to a different region and try wearing it.

There is currently (Aug 2013) a problem where some things; textures, mesh prims, and sculpties just do not download from a region. In a couple of hours they will download just fine. Avoid going nuts until you are sure it is not a transient network or server issue.

There is a griefer trick that can block attachments and prevent them from rezzing. So, before getting crazy, try another region.

Leaving Attachments Behind

This is an old problem that seems to have returned. You see it when you login or tp to a different region. One of your attachments is stuck in space. As you walk away, it stays behind, you sort of walk out of it.

The fix is to open inventory or appearance and detach then re-wear/add the item. Avoid right-clicking and detaching. That seems to Bork the system and you’ll never get it fixed.

Or… just ignore it. You have not really left anything behind. Your viewer is rendering it incorrectly. Often the next tp will correct the problem. It may be hard to ignore leaving your hair behind…

Summary

As time passes I’ll learn more about bake fail and other avatar render problems. When I do, I’ll add information to this post.

10 thoughts on “Second Life’s New Bake Fail

  1. About the cloud that stays: didn’t you tell us once that it happened to people who didn’t have a folder “Current outfit”? (a result of using V1 viewers forever, then switching to a new viewer).

    • No. The COF is created server side. A problem develops when people using older viewers edited the folder or moved it.

  2. I find that if I try to log in using the SL viewer, I crash immediately. I have made sure that my video drivers are the latest available, and I am using the most recent SL viewer. Firestorm works fine for me. Anyone else having this problem?

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