Second Life: Mesh Bodies

Coventina Dalgleish posted in the SL Forum: General Observations On Mesh Bodys – 4/6/15. Coventina came across a mesh body that has 2 million faces. OMG!

BA - angel daydreams

BA – angel daydreams by ~ Boudicca ~, on Flickr

The question asked is, don’t the Lindens have a limit on the size of mesh uploads? Well, yeah. They do. But a body is often 3 items, the hands 1 or 2 more items, the feet also 1 or 2 items, and the head another item. So, while it isn’t easy it is possible to get to 2 million faces without exceeding the Linden upload limits per mesh part, just make lots of parts with lots of materials. 

So, if you wonder why some mesh items take forever to render, now you have a clue. A file with 2 million triplets (X, Y, Z coords) is going to be a huge file.

There is little we can do about designers creating these render expensive items other than refuse to buy such products, which is highly effective. The problem now is finding out the render cost.

As it is now merchants don’t post Land Impact or Render Cost information for avatar accessories, things worn or attached to the avatar, because there is no Land Impact Cost for what you wear. So, unless someone rez’s the item on the ground for some reason, they may never notice the render cost of an item.

Supposedly a possible fix is coming that will get the render cost of new items in our face as we put them on. That would allow us to try a demo and be given feedback on render cost. When will we see that feature or how it will work is unknown. And we may never get such a feature, but I’m betting we will as it has significant potential to improve SL’s performance.

For now all we can do is press Ctrl-Shift-R to engage the wire frame view and see the mesh matrix. We can visually tell if an item is using too many faces, meaning triangles. If the triangles are smaller than the triangles making up the avatar, then it is probably too costly render-wise to wear. But, this ‘too costly’ is not a sharp black and white line, but a VERY WIDE fuzzy gray line. And personal choice has a lot to do with where each person draws their line.

An avatar with triangles half the size of the current avatar would be possible with 14,000 triangles. That isn’t all that bad/costly. But, 2 million is beyond ridiculous.

I would love to see the fashion sites including information on Render Cost of mesh items. We can go into the top menu item: Advanced (Ctrl-Alt-D) ->Performance Tools->Show Draw Weight for Avatars. This gives us a numeric read out of the render cost over the avatar’s head. The number is meaningless for anything other than relative comparisons. But, it is something.

I have a set of Slink compatible wedges that have a cost of 5,500 per shoe. Both of my Slink high-feet only cost 4,716 or 2,358 per foot. They are nice shoes, but twice as render costly as the feet. Still, I love ‘em.  But, they could have been made more render efficient.

If you are into activism, you could ask your designer what the render cost of an item is before buying it. If enough people are doing that, designers will include the information in their promotional material just so they can stop answering the questions.

4 thoughts on “Second Life: Mesh Bodies

  1. 2 million.. woooot.

    It made me remember a heated discussion i had on the forums a couple of years ago. It about a 40k avi having issues being rezzed. Seems the situation haven’t changed much since then, it is also sad to see the Show Draw Weight tool is as inconsistent now as it was then:

    • Avatar Render Weight is a confusing and it has been inconsistent. The human race doesn’t change…

      The tool has changed and more changes are coming. I am hoping for something that will help with the problem. Oz is giving me hope.

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