Second Life & Virtual Reality

We are getting closer to hands on. The Oculus Rift is to release in the first quarter of 2016. At this point I think the first round of pre-release technical challenges has been met. So, any possible delay would be from manufacturing and supply problems.

Now that the Samsung Galaxy S6 is in production the supply of display screens for the Oculus should be adequate.

Unity and Unreal, game engine platforms, are both announcing support of HTC RE Vive. This means game developers can move away from having to develop support for the various VR headsets and use the support provided by Unity and Unreal. This saves developer’s time and means new games will move through the development pipeline faster.  Continue reading

Second Life: Mesh Body Revolution

Strawberry Singh has a meme called What’s Your Digits? It is about shape and mesh bodies. So, what can I add to that?

My Digits 4/2015

My Digits 4/2015

If your new to Second Life™ you may not know the viewer’s appearance editor reports the wrong height for avatars. You can check this yourself by rezzing a cube and stretching it to whatever height you think you are. Make it phantom and walk into it. Continue reading

Second Life: The Jelly Babies Are Coming

I went to the Open Source UG Meeting this morning. Not something I usually do. I had some questions and this UG is a good place to get certain questions answered.

So… what is a jelly baby? The picture explains it better than words.

Render Muting Effect

Render Muting Effect

The solid color avatars in the image are what we call jelly babies. I first heard Whirly Fizzle use the term. I like it. I’ve also heard avatars rendered this way called Gumby or Gummies. I talked about this in: Second Life Performance: Render MutingContinue reading

Avatar Render Cost 2015-07

Penny Patton writes about reducing her avatar’s render cost. (See: Draw Weight.) Kay Jiersen picked up on the article and wrote an article too. (See: Render weight best practices for Second Life.) Some time ago I wrote: Second Life Performance: Render Muting, which is about the same subject.

Penny Paton's Example of Dense High ARC Mesh

Penny Patton’s Example of Dense High ARC Mesh

Penny is pointing out there is a bit we can do to change our render cost with only a minimal change in appearance. Kay suspects few people are even aware of the Avatar Render Cost (ARC) feature in the viewer and have no clue they need to do anything. I agree with Kay. But, she goes on to recommend changes to Second Life, which is where I disagree.

Kay made field trips to various places in Second Life where she recorded the ARC values of avatars in the regions. Kay points out that only 81 of 190 (42.6%) avatars would render using a setting of 80,000 for Render Muting. That means 109 or 57.3% of the avatars would not render .

The horrible frame rates (FPS) I am getting have me looking at a new computer and a better video card. But, I actually have little hope that will help FPS in regions populated with 30+ avatars.

On an empirical basis Kay found that jewelry is a major culprit in high ARC.  Continue reading

Second Life Performance: Render Muting

We have and are hearing lots of complaints about how some number of avatars lag our Second Life™ experience. If you open up the Viewer Stats (Ctrl-Shift-1) and look at server performance (Simulator: Time Dilation, Sim FPS, Physics FPS, and others), you often find the region server performing well; TD=0.999, Sim FPS=44-45, Physics=44=45. Even with lots of avatars in a region. So, it isn’t region/simulator lag that is the problem. Over the last year large steps in reducing simulator lag have been taken with CDN being the most recent. The lag is now in our viewer.

Render Auto Muting

Render Auto Muting

There is a value the viewer displays labeled Avatar Render Cost (ARC). In November 2011 I wrote about ARC and how to use it, as it had recently changed. (See: #SL ARC Replaced) Things have changed since then. We now find the value displayed in two different ways. Try: Top Menu->Advanced (press Ctrl-Alt-D if you do not have that menu item)->Performance Tools->Show Draw Weight for Avatars. This will display a colored text above avatars showing their ‘render cost’. This does clutter the screen, but makes it easy to see which avatar has what ARC.  Continue reading