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Try things out before buying them?


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Hello, I am still kinda new, even thought I have this account for a while. I am trying to change the way my avatars look (skin, head, body etc.), but im feeling a bit lost in the marketplace. Is it possible to try things out before buying them?

Sorry if I also posted this in the wrong forum. This is pretty new for me and it is all a bit overwhelming. 

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Welcome to SL :)

If you look for a new thing for your avatar, let us say a skin, https://marketplace.secondlife.com/p/Aeros-Avatar-Onyx/4522964

you will see on the right under the "buy" "get the demo version". This text is clickable and takes you to the demo. A demo should be free or at least just cost 1§L. Many get confused because they "buy" the free items and then return to another page of items. This is a marketing gimmick, you have to scroll down and click "place your order". Then you come to the shopping cart and must "buy" again. 

Linden Lab does not police the Marketplace so well, sadly. Some scammers copy skins or place out empty boxes there in false stores. Beware if there is no demo. Skins, hairs, shapes, mesh clothes, mesh body parts, all have demos if the seller is genuine. 

There are exceptions of course. System clothes is one (This is more like body paint) and is applied straight on the avatar body. Gatcha items is another one. They usually are named something with "gatcha" and it's a resale item. Complicated and I assume you don't need to bother with it. Try demos and you have come a long way!

To help you find your style in SL, there are fashion bloggers. Not so many male as female. Here is one that you might be interested in: http://carthalis.com he blogs regular outfits, fantasy and roleplay avatars, houses and furniture, and adult animations. Judging from your name, you should have no issues with that he poses with another male.

Blogs almost always post links to the marketplace and slurls to inworld stores. It helps you in your shopping. Inworld stores have demos too. Same rule there, no demo, no buy.

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Yes, you most certainly can... in fact, I recommend doing so.  I also recommend keeping only that which you know you will use again and carefully organizing that which you keep.  My inventory is such a discombobulated mess that I'm certain there are many, many wonderful things buried so deep within it, never again shall they see the light of day.

...Dres

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Good, reputable sellers almost always offer demos for hair, skin, shapes, and mesh clothing. On the Marketplae, these items will usually be labelled DEMO and cost $0L. Inworld, once you've purchased the item and are trying it on, it will usually be marked in some way as a demo to prevent people from wearing the free version around and never actually buying the item. Skins, for instance, often have the word DEMO printed prominently on the skin itself in several places. Shapes may have exceptionally large hands and feet. Things like that.

Once you've found something you like, buy the full version and delete the demo version from your inventory by right-clicking and choosing "delete." Don't forget to empty your trash every now and again! Items in your trash can be restored if you decide you need them after all, so they're still technically in your inventory. They don't fully go away until you empty the trash, much like the recycle bin on a PC.

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Unless my main avatar (Marianne) is browsing the marketplace and will buy something for the other avatars... then I have to log off, log in the new avatar, buy the free demo, because Marianne can't send free demos to others.

Most times the other avatars have just a few §L and I have to log off and log in Marianne again to buy the full priced item.

Well, it is a small hassle I suppose....


Venus Petrov wrote:

Some sellers 'offer' demos for a modest 1-2L.  There is no reason to make anyone pay for a demo.

 

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Hey everyone, with sucess I bought myself a new look. Yay, but I wonder one thing. How can I make my avatar move differently. As in, when I just stand in one place, it does move a bit, but nothing else. Ive seen other avatars move a bit more, walk a small circle by just doing nothing but stand in one place.

What do I need to buy when I want to change that?

 

Also, thank you all very much for replying and helping me out here. It is very much appreciated!

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You need to buy an Animation Overide, or AO for short.  There are some free ones on the marketplace, and several stores in world as well.  Most stores in world let you try out the animations before you buy.  Tutys, Oracul and Abranimations are well known and reliable makes.  Other residents will also have suggestions, I'm sure.

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Note that you can mix and match AO animations - an animation overrider is just a scripted box that holds and runs a set of animations. Blank AOs (ie no animations included) are often available for free. Editing them can be a bit tricky for a newcomer, but it's something worth learning. Usual warnings apply: copy everything before you start poking around with it.

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There's Three steps in the try things out that way too many people never do...

- Check out its script burden

- Check out its avatar render cost

- Zoom way the heck back and see what it looks like.

 

The first of these two will determine whether or not the item contributes to slowing down your SL, maybe randomly crashing you or others, and so on... ie: client-side appearance of lag that is actually your video card freaking out...

The second one is about how well they optimized stuff.

 

Ideally you should have your 'renderVolumeLOD' debug setting at either default or 2. NEVER the commonly recommended 4, because at 4 you have disabled SL's optimization code... slowing down your experience and creating... client side lag...

But once you drop to 2, and zoom back, you quickly learn how badly some stuff is made...

So here are some screenshots showing how to check and set all of these:

 

Checking the script cost of things (this is not perfect, as this figure is the 'allocation' rather than the 'used', but if high it tends to indicate something that will slow you and everyone in the same sim, and any other sims on the same server, as you down):



- So yeah, if those numbers get high, stuff gets bad. Older items tend to be very bad about this. Many older items have been repackaged as freebies... so always check this if you get a freebie...

 

Avatar Render Cost:



And not the 74,000 number over my head there - that is just high enough to start causing lag. People are often way over this. If you bust past 100,000 to 200,000 or so - you can start causing random peolpe around you, or yourself, to crash...

I don't tend to wear that hair anymore as a result...

Now on to rendrvolumeLOD:





Notice the 4 in that image. That's an old screenshot. Many people, self included, used to recommend 4. I actually used to recommend 9... I don't know why... It was BAD ADVICE.

Remember that at 4 or higher you have disabled SL's optimization code... so SL will lag a LOT more at 4 than at a lower setting. You want it at the default (1.25), 2, or at most 3...

And you want to do this BEFORE testing items so that you can wear them, zoom back, and see if they "break". If they do - its a badly optimized item. Buy something else.

 

So that... is what you look for, beyond th obvious "do I like it", when testing stuff...

 

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Cleaned that post up, expanded it a lot, and turned it into a blog entry:

https://catnapkitty.wordpress.com/2015/12/05/how-to-not-buy-bad-stuff-in-sl/
- 3 tests you want to perform on every demo and rezzed-in-world item you are about to buy, before you buy them, and why this is vital to keeping your SL experience running fast and lag free.

 

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Pussycat Catnap wrote:

Ideally you should have your 'renderVolumeLOD' debug setting at either default or 2. NEVER the commonly recommended 4, because at 4 you have disabled SL's optimization code... slowing down your experience and creating... client side lag...

I find this tidbit of information quite interesting.  Upon Googling it, I could find no reference about it besides what you yourself have written.  Which leads me to ask you this directly... to which SL optimization code are you referring?  Since you mentioned client side lag, my first assumption would be that you're referencing some code in the viewer itself.  If not, I can't imagine what code that would be.

Also, since the lag of which you wrote is client side, why recommend NEVER setting it to 4 when, dependent on a user's computer, it's quite possible to do just that without any discernible detriment to that user's experience?

And one more thing... the common recommendation is not to set LoD above 4 rather than to set it to 4... there is a distinction.

...Dres

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http://modemworld.me/2014/05/20/may-17th-firestorm-meeting-audio-and-transcript/

 

12:02 JL: If you turn-up your LOD, you’re going to see things really nice … it’s also more complex because your video card is
… So if you want to take really nice pictures in SL, crank up your LOD; but it’s going to have an effect on the performance of your viewer.

12:55 JL: So what a lot of content creators do – and if you’re one of the content creators that do this, yes I’m pointing at you … is they want their stuff to look really good, so they’ll have their LOD cranked up really high …. and then they’re making their necklace or their shoes … and it looks really great to them, it looks really perfect and they package it up and they send it out. And people who don’t have their LOD cranked up, get that item and it looks like crap. And then the content creators says, “Oh, it’s because you have your LOD down too low; turn up your LOD and it’ll look fine.”

13:40 JL: Let me tell you something. If you’re that content creator, if you’re that person,
you
are doing it wrong. You make your content at a low LOD, and you make it look good at a low LOD level, and it is guaranteed to look good at a higher level … That’s the way to do it, because that’s how you make sure it looks good for everybody. not be making it to settings most people can’t use … you make your content based on a low LOD level, and that makes sure it’s going to look good on a low LOD level and on a high LOD level.

JL: Don’t tell people to turn their LOD up … it’s not good for them … because they forget they’ve turned it up and then they have really bad performance because they go to a region full of all kinds of prims and avatars with mesh and all these things, and their viewer performance is just utterly crap And they come to us and say, “Firestorm is a piece of crap. I just ran Singularity in the same situation and Singularity runs really well in the same situation!” But it’s not the same situation, because the LOD isn’t turned-up on Singularity …

JL: And that’s very common. People will compare one viewer with another viewer, not realising that they’ve changed a setting in one viewer that they haven’t in the other, and that setting has a huge impact on performance … Just leave the LOD alone in the viewer.

15:36 EM: The ideal setting for most people is between 2 and 4, which is why our LOD slider only goes to 4.

15;44 TS: And in fact, LOD is restricted in the viewer, there is an upper bound above which, no matter how high you set it, won’t make any difference anyway. My fuzzy memory tells me that number is four, but i could easily be wrong. i haven’t looked at that chunk of code in quite some time.

16:03 JL: If you want to do pictures, go into Preferences and crank-up your LOD. But when you’re done taking pictures, bring it back down again. Or just jiggle the graphics slider, because the LOD is affected by what setting you have in the performance slider. So if you choose low, it’ll have a lower LOD, and if you choose Ultra it will have the highest LOD that we would possibly recommend. But for content creators, drop your LOD when you make your content, make it look good on a low LOD and you’re going to be putting out a really good product.

16:57 TS: Which is why the defaults are good choice, because they’ve been tweaked pretty well … for most systems.

17:38 JS: Just generally speaking, we have had arguments, big arguments, internally on the team on what we should make default LODs. We try to follow along with Linden Lab, although seldom do we agree with Linden Lab’s defaults. We’ve spent a lot of time trying to choose what we feel are the safest LOD levels for each quality setting on the slider.

16:13 TS: Linden Lab has a lot more tolerance for low frame rates than we do and what our users tend to do.

As to 4 vs not over 4... I've never seen "not over 4", I've always seen "4". But its a distinction is trivial. If one blog says one thing and another says another - I suspect new users, not aware of the meaning of the setting, would react the same to either statement.

 ***

So they say from 2 to 4. The default is actually 1.00 (in the official viewer, I just clicked set to default to confirm that). Why did I pick 2? Well, a bit of intuition really… I’ve been trying to get it lower and lower over time and trying to find the point where lowering it isn’t helping me anymore, but is instead breaking too many things. I think that is 2…

Most quality mesh still holds up at 2… so I’d rather not go any higher, because I want to maximize every last piece of performance gain I can get…

4 though… at 4 NOTHING breaks no matter how far I go out. That’s a pretty good indication that the optimization is no longer in play… So 4, 4 is too high. And at 2 – yes, you will see a performance gain.

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Oh okay, I must have missed that meeting.  I haven't been staying on top of them like I used to.

 


Pussycat Catnap wrote:

As to 4 vs not over 4... I've never seen "not over 4", I've always seen "4". But its a distinction is trivial. If one blog says one thing and another says another - I suspect new users, not aware of the meaning of the setting, would react the same to either statement.

I was simply remember back when the inworld Firestorm Support group started telling everyone not to set it above 4, over and over again.  It's easy to see how some people could have bastardized what they were actually advising people to do... or not do, as it were.

 


Pussycat Catnap wrote:

So they say from 2 to 4. The default is actually 1.00 (in the official viewer, I just clicked set to default to confirm that). Why did I pick 2? Well, a bit of intuition really… I’ve been trying to get it lower and lower over time and trying to find the point where lowering it isn’t helping me anymore, but is instead breaking too many things. I think that is 2…

Most quality mesh still holds up at 2… so I’d rather not go any higher, because I want to maximize every last piece of performance gain I can get…

4 though… at 4 NOTHING breaks no matter how far I go out. That’s a pretty good indication that the optimization is no longer in play… So 4, 4 is too high. And at 2 – yes, you will see a performance gain.

I don't feel as if there's much of a performance hit from my having it on 4, but you could be right.  I'll have to give it a try.

If I'm not mistaken, the default setting for LoD in the LL viewer is lower than in Firestorm.  The over day I used the LL viewer for the first time in a while and found the default LoD settings to be woefully lacking.  But that's probably a good thing because, at the time, I was testing a mesh baluster I made to see what it looked like to someone using the LL defaults.  I learned very quickly that I really needed to create my own lower level LoD models... the default ones created by the mesh uploader were simply unacceptable.

...Dres *still has a lot to learn*

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