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Performance Improvements

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Whirly Fizzle wrote:

I agree with Theresa.

It looks like you have Advanced Lighting Model enabled on the Linden viewer but disabled on Firestorm.

When ALM is enabled, the scene will not look as "crisp" because it does antialiasing in a different way. If you keep ALM enabled all the time, you get used to that slightly more "blurry" look though.

Yes ALM is disabled in FS.  I do prefer crisp over soggy.

The only setting I have changed is LOD, set to 4 because at last for me it is a huge improvement in the way many objects render and I have not noticed any negative side effects.

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There are no rendering changes between this viewer and its predecessor; any differences you're seeing are for other reasons.  All this changes are how we download textures, mesh data, and inventory.

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Ai Austin wrote:

I read the tech paper from HighWinds on the CDN.. and with all the caching and proxies I wonder if it will work well when there are rapidly changing assets such as presentation screen content, moving objects meant to be seen synchronously by others, and changing clothing and hence baked textures for avatars. Does this get pushed quickly to all cache copies? May be worth a test and see if its more delayed than before?

Texture and mesh assets don't change... what you're seeing when the appearance changes is that one asset is being replaced by another, so the cache for each (whether in the CDN or in your local viewer cache) remains valid.

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SaraCarena wrote:


Perrie Juran wrote:


..... I get so tired of tweaking settings.......


Totally agree with that and graphics themes for for different situations would be a big shiny.


I do change my settings depending on where I am though most of the time I run at default Med/High.

Firestorm does have it's "back up settings" function.  If that could be tweaked so you could chose which 'back up' to restore to that could possibly work.

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I will keep an eye out. Today just before I saw this post, I asked in the Singularity group if anyone else was experiencing the invisible mesh bug. Not only was all mesh invisible but on one of my sims, the land was invisible. I relogged and it was all back.

Tonight what I notice is quite a few textures going blurry, then sharp, then blurry -- like loading and reloading.

 

I have no idea if any of this has anything to do with changes but I will report my observations here.

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Anyone suddenly complaining that all rigged mesh is invisible, make sure they are not using the new 14.9.2 beta AMD Catalyst graphics drivers - this driver version will not render any rigged mesh unless hardware skinning is disabled - see BUG-7653

As for the problem of textures constantly going blurry then sharp then blurry over and over until you relog, you were probably out of texture memory - see BUG-2514 for a discussion about that.

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To the initial question: Overall SL is certainly on a downward trend for me. I haven't really noticed any change in rez times, loading, or anything that would be related to the latest performance improvements. What I have noticed is a marked decline in the ability to successfully teleport, login easily and generally script, build, or interact in the world. My entire group has been noticeing a steady decline in overall performance lately - I wonder if these new enhancements have come with other costs?

 

In any regard - the overall user experience is much worse for us then it has been. It could be a fluke but it certainly doesn't seem that way - too many are affected. Group communications seem worse then ever and this new inability to TP without crashing is an entirely new thing.

 

All the performance goals sound great though - I applaud LL for working on this. But I can't attest to an overall improvement - the net change is a negative one - sorry.

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Whirly Fizzle wrote:

Anyone suddenly complaining that all rigged mesh is invisible, make sure they are not using the new 14.9.2 beta AMD Catalyst graphics drivers - this driver version will not render any rigged mesh unless hardware skinning is disabled - see

As for the problem of textures constantly going blurry then sharp then blurry over and over until you relog, you were probably out of texture memory - see
for a discussion about that.

Thanks I read the second bug report. Not sure what to do about it, but really I am so used to odd things like that it does not perturb me much.

 

The mesh that has been going invisible lately is both rigged and non rigged. I am on an iMac and an ATI 6970, so I have resigned myself to being SOL when it comes to optimum performance in SL. 

I do crash a lot so I will have many opportunities to see how fast things load.

 

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I like invisible mesh. You get to see lots of naked people who don't realise they are not wearing their expensive mesh clothing. Unless of course they have a mesh avi too in which they are risking me walking straight through them.

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Let's put some limits on avatars like you do on land. I saw shoes where each foot carries draw weight of 50000 (yes fifty thousand), where the makers put their meshed logos on the bottom of the shoe and that logo has more triangles than the whole house I just made. It is ridiculous! Let's do something about it.

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Another small note about what this does and does not affect...

The CDN (and HTTP in those viewers that have them) improvements for texture and mesh data are improvements to how long it takes to download the the data. Once they've been downloaded, your viewer caches them locally so the next time you need that data it doesn't need to download them at all. What that means is that these improvements mostly affect how quickly you see new things: places and objects you've never seen before. You probably won't see a big difference in familiar places because your viewer should be using cached data for those.

So... now's the time to try checking out places you've never seen before!

The use of pipelined HTTP for the initial load of your inventory when you log in matters every time, since while we cache some inventory data locally we always make sure it's correct by loading it all at the beginning of your session. 

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Thanks, and I did several tests of two viewers on separate computers with two avatars next to each other, and involving some pretty complex outfit changes with lots of attachments and layers.  I observe faster outfit changing than I have seen before (in UK). Thanks folks. #SLLooksGoodToday

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To stop the light blue water in adjacent regions flickering I always have to use Develop -> Render -> Object-Object Occlusion turned off in both LL and Firestorm viewers and have done for some time.. as I like to use Ultra settings with Ambient Lighting effects and other things on my Nvidia GTX680 rig.  I am not so keen on the depth of field bluring, but that can be good for some SL photograophers.

The LOD setting is important.  I have a lot of mesh on our regions, so like to set this to 4.0 or things drop out too quickly in the viewer.  Firestorm has that set by default to 3.0 I think, whereas LL set it very low indeed at 2.0 I think.  In LL viewer it can be changes in Advanced -> Show Debug Settings and they type RenderVolumeLODFactor and set it up to a level you want.

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Linden Lab wrote:

There have been some major performance improvements made that you can read about in our
 blog. 

In addition to the high level changes overview there, a more technical look at the specifics of the CDN changes can be found in this 
 blog.

We would love to hear how these improvements are working for you, and invite you to let us know in this forum thread.

Please be sure you're using the
 to experience these improvements. 

When arriving at certain regions there will be a very long period where it appears nothing is loading, then all the textures and meshes will arrive very quickly. It's particularly noticeable in regions with a lot of custom mesh, such as the Haru Motors main store that sells mesh cars. I'm guessing this is a case of the region not being loaded into the CDN node yet when my viewer requests the data so I have to wait for the node to cache it before it can send the data.

I understand that this will happen this week as literally thousands of regions are being loaded into the CDN system that weren't previously but I'm wondering if the CDN system can cache essentially all the rezzed information of the "world" or if various regions will be dropping out of the cache as others are loaded. When the region isn't loaded it may technically all end up at the viewer in the same amount of time because the data shows up very quickly once its loaded but the long "dead" period is bad for the user experience because there's not much you can do while you're waiting.

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Maybe if LL can find a way to store scaled down versions of each texture in the servers and modify the viewer, so that it asks for a scaled down version, in a smart way, depending on the item size and distance, it would reduce considerably the problem with too large textures that fill the graphic memory and make you see the texture blurring, then sharp, then blurring.

All you can do, is to check the textures in your items. Right click an item and hit Ctrl+Alt+Shift+T. if you see many 1024x1024, you have a very poorly optimized item. Even good makers use big textures, sometimes, but if they do that, they optimize the texture to cover multiple faces and they will scale down the textures for the smaller parts. Instead I see too many makers not caring for optimization (or not knowing), they use many 1024x1024 textures, one for each face (sometimes they are just textures bought on the marketplace) and even for tiny items that get no visual improvement at all with huge textures. They only slow down rezzing, stuff stay gray longer and you experience texture blurring/trashing and even crashes. It is a similar problem to the one reporded by Hatris ("I saw shoes where each foot carries draw weight of 50000 (yes fifty thousand), where the makers put their meshed logos on the bottom of the shoe and that logo has more triangles than the whole house I just made. It is ridiculous!")

So bad performances and crashes aren't all because of SL per se, but there is a responsibility with item makers too. It is difficult to make everyone aware, skilled and caring. So perhaps changes to the server and viewer would be the only way and the idea above I think will penalize nobody and will improve performances even with the current existing content.

And Ardy and Ai are right, "disabling Object - Object Occlusion by hitting Control + Shift + O" removes the flickering with Advanced Lighting Model enabled. If I'm not having performance issues, I prefer ALM on, to see materials and better light than the default one. If everyone was using ALM, IMHO nobody would feel the need of face lights. If you don't like the antialiasing, you can adjust or disable it in the graphic -> hardware preferences, for a "sharp" image.

As for current performances, to me the LL viewer is now noticeably better than Firestorm and I prefer it when I explore, but I still use Firestorm because of its features. I'm so glad of the improvement made to SL since the shining project.

 

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With CDN I notice a huge performance improvement here in Central Europe! Much faster loading! Almost like instant rezz! And http pipelining even adds a bit more speed on top.

Finally I can visit large stores and crowded concerts again without getting frustrated.

I also noticed the marketplace improvements. Marketplace is usable again for me and I enjoy it again.

And group chat recovered from a state of disaster. It actually works well now.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!! : )

Till now I didn't notice any new issues caused through the changes. I do notice that the viewers that use project interesting list features rather feel like a step back now: When I look around fast in a big store, and go back to a corner I was before, textures that already had rezzed before have gone completely blurry again and need to rezz fully again. That does not happen with singularity viewer (for example) which apparently does not have the interesting list features.

 

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YUP, completely agree on the faster all the time on all features you mentioned. MP was perhaps most noticeable. I have not spent enough time in group chat this past week to notice improvemnets, but will take your word for it that speed has increased.

Overall through the past several or even dozen viewer updates, I have been delighted to see how quickly even dense scenes just POP into view.

However, the reason I write is to complain about a performance enhancing feature that drives me crazy (typical I know, and I'm sorry). Since the start of the interesting code, things, or rather the surface textures on things blurs in and out of focus after any length of time in world.. say about an hour or more. The only cure is to relog, though normally I end up doing that with a sense of last resort and am ummm mad by that point.. I said drives me crazy, right. Turning on Full Res textures in develop menu will also prevent the blurring,( *thrashing* ? ) or "wonkiness" as I call it, but this seems to be too high a performance hit in other respects for some areas and definitely too high a hit for some people.

It is most noticeable standing around in a more or less empty environment and as someone who spends most of her time on a platform working closely with local textures to get things just right, having the focus of everything on screen dissolve to fuzz is soooooooo irritating. Also, it seems worse on alpha masked textures, they are almost always blobs of blur that using them feels like a deadend.

Sorry for the whine. This is the ONLY bad in what has been  a solid year or 2 of steady improvements and thoughtful little touches. Love the frequent updates, love how beautiful everything has been looking, love how well materials are working and how easy they are to use, love how scenes POP into view, love being able to spin my camera around in crowds and not crash.... just hate that the interesting code in the viewer (or whatever it is) cannot be made to HOLD STILL and stay in focus.

 Anyway, I just wish there was a way to opt out of this feature even if only temporarily, something like full res textures perhaps but only withion a close range or even a version of the viewer without it. Or maybe there could be some crazy easy fix such as it's only engaged when the avatar's position changes or something (????).  

 

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The SL System uses JPEG2000 for texture storage. It automatically sort of does what you are describing. But, as you get closer to an item it does load the larger image.

The problem is those making things for SL tend to use large textures that are not needed. Many do not understand how to optimize texture use. Many buyers do not know about the technical complications of what they are buying and so there is limited market pressure on builders to optimize.

I'm not sure there is anyway for the Lab to compensate for builder's poor design... at least any more than they have.

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I noticed a performance increase for far away objects, textures load much faster and I can increase draw distance from 100 to 300 meters without any penalty.

That being said I think maybe the release is a bit premature:

  • I see outfits loading slower than usually
  • Mesh models load extremely much slower

View at time of arrival: (meshes are missing)

Performance improvements 1.jpg

View one minute after arrival:

Performance improvements 2.jpg

Second Life 3.7.19 (295700) Oct 20 2014 13:37:20 (Second Life Release)
Release Notes

You are at 167.6, 144.9, 20.0 in MacMorris located at sim10762.agni.lindenlab.com (216.82.56.52:13000)
SLURL: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/MacMorris/168/145/20
(global coordinates 461,480.0, 306,065.0, 20.0)
Second Life Server 14.10.17.295641
Release Notes

CPU: Intel® Core i7-2600 CPU @ 3.40GHz (3392.29 MHz)
Memory: 8174 MB
OS Version: Microsoft Windows 8.1 64-bit  (Build 9600)
Graphics Card Vendor: NVIDIA Corporation
Graphics Card: GeForce GTX 660/PCIe/SSE2

Windows Graphics Driver Version: 9.18.0013.4411
OpenGL Version: 4.4.0 NVIDIA 344.11

libcurl Version: libcurl/7.38.0 OpenSSL/1.0.1h zlib/1.2.8
J2C Decoder Version: KDU v7.0
Audio Driver Version: FMOD Ex 4.44.31
Qt Webkit Version: 4.7.1 (version number hard-coded)
Voice Server Version: Not Connected
Built with MSVC version 1600
Packets Lost: 1,973/324,403 (0.6%)

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I totally agree. Performance seems to get worse by the week. I gave up a year ago because issues. Since being back ive had hell of a time just trying to do basic things like opening textures or taking a lm. Just freeze up and get logged of. Getting boring now..

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Hey There I am using the newst download as of today, so thought I would share.

 

  • I did notice a big difference bewteen using FS and the regular, does seem faster and less laggy. On firestorm, I am nearly crippled at every turn.
  • Loading of textures still takes a while, i really dislike not having a texture refresh option with the regular SL viewer.Or sitting around for 5 minutes while textures attempt to load.
  • I noticed when I don't use the "Advanced Lighting Model", I have issues seeing mesh items and objects. They look broken and stretched. Is there a way of fixing this, without using that option ?
  • I am able to have my graphics up at Medium , or between Medium and High in most cases. Where on firestorm I am limited to low, or betewen low and medium.

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Sensuali Abonwood wrote:
  • I noticed when I don't use the "Advanced Lighting Model", I have issues seeing mesh items and objects. They look broken and stretched. Is there a way of fixing this, without using that option ?

I'm guessing you have AMD graphics.

 

There is a known problem with some rigged mesh and fitted mesh on AMD graphics cards with certain graphics settings - please see BUG-5156 and BUG-5139 for this bug.

 

If you are able to update your graphics driver to at least the 14.4 catalyst, part of this bug will be fixed.

Use the AMD autodetect tool to update your drivers: http://support.amd.com/en-us/download/auto-detect-tool

Once your driver is updated, the bug filed at BUG-5139 will be fixed and you wlll see non-fitted rigged mesh display correctly on all graphics settings.

The driver update does not fix the glitching on Fitted mesh however. You will need to change some graphics settings to fix this:

  • Go to Me -> Preferences -> Graphics -> Advanced.
  • Tick "Advanced Lighting Model" - enabling this setting may cause a drop in performance.
  • If ticking advanced lighting model does not help, then go to Me -> Preferences -> Graphics -> Advanced and untick Hardware skinning".
  • Be aware that disabling hardware skinning can cause a large performance drop on some systems.

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(Side note ---->  Whirly is a treasure to everyone who filed bug reports. She contacts me within hours of filing one, tries to reproduce them, and has them all memorized.)

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