Second Life: Third Party Viewer UG 2016 w38

Oz Linden reviewed the status of viewer development. He pointed out that the Visual Outfit Browser (VOB) is now in the main release version of the Linden made SL Viewer.

They updated the VLC RC and Bento RC viewers with VOB.

✧◦ Waldelfen ◦✧

✧◦ Waldelfen ◦✧

Both RC viewers are doing well in the crash rate stats. Oz expects the VLC version to release to main viewer in week 39. That will leave the Bento RC as the only RC. Seems like the pipeline is emptying out…

Oz pointed out the Lab did block a few old viewer versions. Saying, ‘Only a few thousand users…’ would be affected. That number can sound bad. But, as a percent of SL users it is way small, likely way less than 1%.  Continue reading

Second Life: Jelly Babies Grow Up

That little baby girl grew up into the cutest DOLL… that is sort of what has happened with Second Life™ Jelly Babies. Earlier I wrote about the name Jelly Babies being trademarked. So, the Lab is not going to use that term for muted avatars. And I certainly am not going to call muted avatars muted avatars… ugh. That give no one an intuitive sense of what is being talked about.

JellyDoll and Fully Rendered Avatar.

JellyDoll and Fully Rendered Avatar.

I follow Mesh Body Addicts, a blog by LilDaria resident, Daria for short, which is all about mesh bodies and clothes. Love it. Daria is using the term JellyDolls in place of the trademarked Jelly Babies, which I like. So, we may have a new name for them.  Continue reading

Are Second Life’s Jelly Babies Breaking SL?

As I have pointed out more people are talking about Jelly Babies and the coming RC Second Life Quick Graphics Viewer version 3.8.6.305942 movement toward being the main viewer. Of course some know what they are talking about and others don’t.

erratic / ava sweater & meg leggings

erratic / ava sweater & meg leggings
High or low ACI?

I think – Jelly babies will take over SL soon (AKA how linden lab is planning to break second life) – falls in the ‘doesn’t’ category. utilizator404, the author, believes the Lab is breaking SL by introducing the Avatar Complexity Information (ACI) feature. I disagree, but I can see how some may consider the appearance of Jelly Babies as a problem. The opinion that Jelly Babies breaks SL is as valid an opinion as any. I just don’t agree with it. So, I’ll rebut it.

In the article an assumption is expressed that the Lab is not fixing the root causes of lag; failure to optimize the viewer, not changing how the viewer uses video memory, failure to use all the features of new video cards, and no use of Direct3D (a Windows only graphics render engine).

Most of 2014 and 2015 has been spent optimizing features of the viewer and SL servers. If you follow Inara’s or my blog you already know that. If you have only read the release notes of the Linden and third party viewers as they are released,  you know that numerous fixes for how the viewer use memory have been made. From the Third Party Dev’s meeting we know more are in progress.

Continue reading

Second Life’s Render Complexity – Discussion Starting

We have been here before. A feature like the old Avatar Render Cost (ARC) was used by what became known as ARC Nazis to abuse people. You see a type of person that has basic authority issues, control issues, or a bullying nature adopt a fascist mentality and start telling people what they can do. Some in those groups start trying to enforce their will on others. Abuse, shame, hate, anger… and more is called into service in attempts to enforce their will on others.

Geisha Shadows

Geisha Shadows – Think this gorgeous outfit has a high ACI?
If it does, is that good or bad?

We could call this politics… In SL it is more often called drama. But, whichever we call it, it has the same source: human nature. Humans are different, unique. But, we all have the same basic traits, just in different degrees and we learn to cope with issues in different ways. We call the result character.  Continue reading

Second Life’s Jelly Babies – BUG?

The coming Quick Graphics Viewer now in RC has some odd behaviors. Well, it is an RC version, so no surprise. One of the ideas with this viewer is to reduce render lag by telling the viewer to avoid rendering complex avatars. These are avatars with lots of high polygon count attachments and large textures that require lots of computer power to render.

The Candy Princess - by  Bewitched Difference @ Flickr

The Candy Princess – by
Bewitched Difference @ Flickr

There is a setting in Preferences* that lets you set a personal limit for what you want your viewer to render. Any avatar over that limit will render as a jelly baby. But, if you change the setting to NO LIMIT you’ll find there are still avatars that render as jelly babies. What’s up with that?  Continue reading

Avatar Complexity Update Week 37

Second Life™ is getting a new tool to hopefully induce people to reduce avatar generated lag; the Avatar Complexity Rating. I’ve written about it before and I am trying to play with the Project Quick Graphics Viewer version 3.8.4.304761, which adds avatar complexity settings and notices.

Complexity KB Value

Complexity KB Value

The notice that appears in the upper right of the screen just after login tells you your avatar complexity number. I suggested that it be colored, green good and red bad, just as the Show Avatar Render Complexity Information (ARC) display does.

Instead, they added a link in the notice to this SL Wiki page: Avatar Rendering Complexity.

They note the other factors that can cause avatars to be rendered a Jelly Babies;

  • total attachment surface area
  • total attachment byte size

You can change the values of these settings in Debug Settings. See:

  • RenderAvatarMaxNonImposters – The maximum number of avatars closest to your camera who may be fully rendered. Avatars beyond those will be rendered as ‘imposters’, which means that the rendering will be a little simpler and they will be updated less frequently. Increasing this value can cost you in performance if you’re in a crowd. This does not cause them to render as Jelly Babies.
  • RenderAvatarMaxComplexity – Any avatars over this complexity will be drawn as solid color outlines. Changing this value directly may cause problems; use the slider in the advanced graphics preferences floater.
  • RenderAutoMuteSurfaceAreaLimit –The limit for the total surface area of attachments before switching to solid color rendering. The default (10 million square meters) is intended to protect against deliberate abuse and should rarely be encountered.
  • RenderAutoMuteByteLimit – The limit for the total number of bytes of attachments before switching to solid color rendering. The default (10 million bytes) is intended to protect against deliberate abuse and should rarely be encountered.

As you may have guessed, the last two are mostly to stop some griefing issues. But, those settings can be used to improve viewer performance.

Changing RenderAvatarMaxComplexity in the Debug Settings doesn’t seem to be a problem. Whether I change it in the Preferences panel as the Lindens recommend or in Debug Settings the change is reflected in the other. But, getting to the Preferences setting is much easier. Whether changing the setting there affects other settings not affected by using the Debug Setting, I have no information. It is a possibility, but I have not seen anything that leads me to think that happens. But, this is a Project Viewer and it will change.

Link to more pages below…

Second Life Project Viewer version 3.8.4.304433

This is a PROJECT viewer, meaning it is more crash and bug prone than the Release Candidate viewers. I crashed and hit 100% disk use with this version of the viewer almost always in the first 15 minutes. But, I wanted to see the new features. So, I keep re-starting it. Sometimes it runs longer than other times. I have yet to pin down what I am doing different between a quick crash and longer run times.

New Complexity Information

New Complexity Information

It is important to note that during this Project Viewer time that you can provide feedback to the Lab and they are much more likely to listen and make changes. After the features are in an RC viewer they are MUCH less likely to make changes. So, if you think you may have a grip or suggestion, get it to the Lindens (JIRA Feature or Bug Report).  Continue reading

Second Life: How Fashion Reviews Can Reduce Lag

In Second Life we have way more standard size rigged mesh than fitted mesh. Every so often I find a standard size mesh something that fits me close enough I can tweak my shape and get a near perfect fit. The Iffyta  AliKat’s Groovy Bikini, shown here, is one of those things.

One of the things missing from promotional material is the Draw-Render Weight of items. Including it would help people reduce lag. Like demos help us decide if we want to purchase. Anything over L$99 without a demo is a no purchase item, as far as I am concerned.

Iffyta Swimsuit Draw Weight

Iffyta Swimsuit Draw Weight

My avatar as shown has a Draw Weight in the SL Viewer of 85,478 (red) with the suit and 82,616 without. That means the suit adds 2,862. I think that is pretty good. You can also see the polygon count in the top is pretty good. In the bottoms it looks a bit high to me. But, for less than 3,000 points I won’t complain. My prim-flexi hair has a Draw Weight of 47,000±.  Continue reading