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Vulpinus

TP'ing and texture thrashing in Firestorm

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I've been seeing this now for months, and just seen it again today so obviously that I thought it time to mention it...

I occasionally get texture thrashing: continual blurring and re-sharpening of textures, that are right in front of me even when I'm just standing still looking at them. This nearly always seems to happen when I have just telepoprted into a place, which is often back to my home parcel but it is not limited to there.

The odd thing is that when it happens, I have found that doing a quick double-click-on-the-ground TP stops the texture thrashing immediately. I mean just TP'ing a few meters, not out of the region or anything like that. This has been going on repeatedly for months, with the quick TP fix working (I think) every time. Before that I was TP'ing out of the region or just relogging to stop the thrashing.

Today, I had only been logged in for twenty minutes. I logged in, visited a shop that has a few of those lucky chairs, and TP'd back home again. Then I went back to the store and the texture thrashing started. I was looking at all four chairs, and every texture on them was flickering in and out like crazy. A quick double-click TP and it stopped.

To me it seems like there is an issue with Firestorm (maybe LL viewer too - I don't use it) that causes this thrashing when TP'ing somewhere new. There is clearly a link between the thrashing and TP'ing; it has happened too often not to be.

This has happened with the previous, and the very latest version of FS, my OS has been reinstalled clean (and latest drivers put on) in the middle of it, and everything else seems to work fine.

Anyone got any thoughts on this?

 

My FS/About:

Firestorm 4.7.7 (48706) Mar 5 2016 00:13:45 (Firestorm-Releasex64) with OpenSimulator support
Release Notes

CPU: Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-2600K CPU @ 3.40GHz (3392.32 MHz)
Memory: 16368 MB
OS Version: Microsoft Windows 7 SP1 64-bit (Build 7601)
Graphics Card Vendor: NVIDIA Corporation
Graphics Card: GeForce GTX 970/PCIe/SSE2

Windows Graphics Driver Version: 10.18.0013.6143
OpenGL Version: 4.5.0 NVIDIA 361.43

RestrainedLove API: RLV v2.8.0 / RLVa v1.4.10a
libcurl Version: libcurl/7.38.0 OpenSSL/1.0.1i zlib/1.2.8
J2C Decoder Version: KDU v7.7.1
Audio Driver Version: FMOD Ex 4.44.61
LLCEFLib/CEF Version: 1.5.3.FS6-(CEF-WIN-3.2526.1366.g8617e7c-32) (Chrome 47.0.2526.80)
Voice Server Version: Not Connected
Settings mode: Viewer 3
Viewer Skin: StarLight (Mono Teal)
Font Used: Deja Vu (96 dpi)
Font Size Adjustment: 0 pt
UI Scaling: 1
Draw distance: 168 m
Bandwidth: 3000 kbit/s
LOD factor: 4
Render quality: High-Ultra (6/7)
Advanced Lighting Model: Yes
Texture memory: 1024 MB (1)
VFS (cache) creation time (UTC): 2016-4-1T21:48:50
Built with MSVC version 1800

 

P.s. the draw distance above is higher than I usually have, which is usually 120m. I've fiddled with the settings in the past to try and solve the thrashing but never seen any difference (not at usable settings, anyway)

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Have seen this in other viewers (Catznip R9 specifically, can't recall if it persists in R10) and can vouch for your experiences.

Haven't tried double-click-TP to resolve, will attempt it next time.

Wild stab in the dark would be that this is interest list related, is when I first spotted it. I don't play with pJIRA, but I expect it's a reported issue somewhere.

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Thanks for the confirmation; at least I know I'm not losing the plot myself.

I did start noticing this specific aspect of thrashing around the time that I also read about interest list improvements (a couple of FS versions ago) but I took some time out of SL around then too, so can't definitely link to a specific point in time.

 

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Vulpinus wrote:

 

To me it seems like there is an issue with Firestorm (maybe LL viewer too - I don't use it) that causes this thrashing when TP'ing somewhere new. There is clearly a link between the thrashing and TP'ing; it has happened too often not to be.


That's not suprising that the texture thrashing will start after a TP into a new area. Texture thrashing generally happens when you have run out of texture memory, so movng to a new area with lots of new textures can easily tip you over the edge.


Vulpinus wrote:

 

The odd thing is that when it happens, I have found that doing a quick double-click-on-the-ground TP stops the texture thrashing immediately. I mean just TP'ing a few meters, not out of the region or anything like that. This has been going on repeatedly for months, with the quick TP fix working (I think) every time. Before that I was TP'ing out of the region or just relogging to stop the thrashing.


Hmm that's really quite strange a double click TP would fix it.

It doesn't fix it for me - I lowered texture memory to 64MB to kick off texture thrashing & double click TP close by didn't change anything.

When textures are thrashing though, whatever texture your mouse hovers over will have loading priority and should sharpen, so whatever object you double clicked on will sharpen, but nearby textures are still thrashing for me.

There is some discussion about the texture thrashing problem on https://jira.secondlife.com/browse/BUG-2514 and on Torley's feed: https://my.secondlife.com/torley.linden/posts/5440cf6176286532390000ad

If you look in your texture console when you see the texture thrashing, is the bias stuck at 5?

After you double click TP, does the bias drop under 5?

You can access the texture console under Develop -> Consoles -> Texture Console.

There is an explanation about how to read the texture console here: http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Texture_Console

 

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I'll have to check later when I'm back on my main PC and see if I can provoke the issue. I've used the texture console before when I had an unrelated problem that turned out to be a failing NIC.

I know the double-click TP fix seems odd. That's actually why I've not mentioned it before, assuming it was just coincidence for a while. I know about holding the cursor over a texture to give it priority and often move it around to do so, but this is definitely something different. I just double-click on the ground a few paces in front of me to do the TP, and it works almost every time like I said. It is an instant fix for all the thrashing textures. Eventually, I have to conclude that it cannot be coincidence.

The only unusual thing about my setup is that I use a spacemouse and frequently use flycam mode to look around followed by having to press Escape to get my cam back to me when I TP somewhere else. So, more often than not the issue happens while I'm doing that but I'm fairly sure it happens when not and my cam is 'attached' to me. I'll make sure though. This might be nothing to do with it anyway.

I'll report back when I have an answer on the bias.

 

ETA: Regarding running out of texture memory: I used to get thrashing more often before FS got the increased memory limit slider. I never got it with Black Dragon which has an even higher limit. In the incidence in my OP though, I had only been to my own parcel and the one shop, nowhere else, in that 20 minutes. I actually was using blender*** instead of doing anything in SL. Sometimes I get the texture thrashing when I've obviously been to texture-heavy places, but sometimes I'm quite certain that it really should not be the case, like today.

***ETA2 - yup - I've just realised that Blender was probably using some texture memory itself, although it was only a small model and I do have 4GB on the card. Hmm.

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Right, I'll note my current findings before I forget.

I logged in today, having just restarted my PC so no other programs had run, and turned on the texture console. My texture memory slider was set at 1GB.

It took two TP's between home and yesterday's shop to see the texture thrashing start at the shop. I could see even before the thrashing started that there was going to be a problem as the Bias was jumping around between 3 and 5, and the green Total and Bound bars were jumping up too.

The thrashing started after a few seconds, with Bias at 5. I let it continue for a good few seconds like that; it didn't stop. I did my TP trick and immediately the thrashing stopped and the Bias dropped to zero (well, within a second anyway, as quickly as I could look at it). Textures that were not loading finished to load at full resolution and everything was fine.

After that, I TP'd several more times home and back to the shop, with no problems and the Bias only once went above zero momentarily, to 0.25. After about five minutes of doing this, everything was still fine with the Total and Bound bars less than half way and Bias at zero.

...

After that, I tried dropping my texture slider to 256MB. My home is texture-heavy so I knew that would cause issues, and it did. After spinning around a few times I managed to provoke some thrashing, again the Bias was at mostly at 5, although not 'stuck' there, like before it jumped around a little. The double click TP seemed to work there too, with the Bias dropping to zero and thrashing stopping. At least until I turned around again and looked the other way. I could not get the TP trick to work again like this though; it did not subsequently seem to stop the thrashing. So, inconclusive there really.

...

I get the feeling that the TP trick works when really there should not be a problem in the first place, as I have often thought when I get this rapid texture thrashing and I'm pretty sure (sometimes absolutely certain) that I haven't been anywhere 'heavy'.

...

After typing the above, I moved my texture memory slider back up to 1GB, relogged and started TP'ing between home and that shop again, watching the texture console. The thrashing so far hasn't happened again and not once has the Bias gone above zero and both Total and Bound use have stayed below the thresholds. Only once, briefly, did the Total bar turn yellow. That's about ten minutes now and no problem.

Again, It feels like sometimes (often enough to be a problem) something goes wrong when TP'ing to a new place, and causes some failure in the texture loading. That is when my TP trick works every time.

...

Whirly, I'm happy to PM you my home location and the shop I've been using, although it is in no way limited to those locations. The shop is a moderately 'heavy' place, nowhere near as bad as some where I can visit and spend literally five minutes waiting for all the textures to download at 20Mbps. Even those places don't usually cause problems like texture thrashing for me.

...

ETA:

A while later now, a different account logged in for about ten minutes. I've been moving around a little, nowhere busy, and just had the texture thrashing again when I TP'd back to the shop I used above. I didn't have the Texture Console open (I wasn't doing testing) but when I opened it the GL Total bar shot up and went red (I didn't see the number) but the Bound bar was only at about 15-20% and green. It didn't get any higher. The Bias was jumping around 3 to 5. There were far fewer avatars about, only two (earlier there were eight to twelve as people popped in and out).

I didn't get chance to try my TP trick as by the time I had checked the above, the thrashing actually subsided on its own and everything went back to normal (this is a very rare occurrence - it usually stays thrashing once it starts). It lasted perhaps ten seconds after TP'ing in.

At the end, the GL Total was reading around 800-ish/1280, Bound was 360/1024 (both varying slightly as people moved around) and Bias was zero again.

I think it knows I'm watching it... (Quantum physics - try to measure something, it changes on you and hides)

...

Another five minutes, I stayed in the shop, and suddenly the GL Total bar shot up and went red, the Bias shot up to 3+ and I got texture thrashing again. I was just standing there, and only one other person was in the place. Bound stayed low at around 300ish. I cammed around a little (thinking at first a load of people must have just arrived, but no) and GL Total number and bar jumped around all over the place, but keeping up hiigh (almost max). After a few seconds this stopped, the texture thrashing stopped, and everything calmed down again. The GL Total though stayed quite high at around 1100/1280.

This is weird - is it normal? If it is, I'll go away and stop bothering people, but it really feels wrong and has for ages. At times I can get the thrashing started just by TP'ing from my build platform down to ground level at home. The double-click TP trick stops it every time.

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Vulpinus wrote:

 

This is weird - is it normal? If it is, I'll go away and stop bothering people, but it really feels wrong and has for ages. At times I can get the thrashing started just by TP'ing from my build platform down to ground level at home. The double-click TP trick stops it every time.

It sounds like something isn't right to me.

If you can PM me your home location and that store location you are using for testing please.  I'm going to see if I can reproduce it.

If not, we can get a JIRA issue from you & get logs & do some digging.

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I've been busy for a while, but have been online for about 12 hours straight today. Still seeing the odd issue and it still seems wrong the way it happens.

@Whirly, I PM'd you the links; don't know if you've had chance to look yet. No worries if not. While the issue is irritating, at least it doen't happen as often as it used to.

Today, twice, seperated by a few hours, I was standind in my garden about half a minute after TP'ing home. Suddenly the textures started to thrash. I loaded the console. The loading textures list fulled over half the screen (on a 1200 pixel high display) and both GL Total and Bound bars were jumping around and high. Only the GL Total bar was going red thougth. That seems to be the pattern, with the Bound bar mostly staying green or yellow but the Total bar hitting the roof every time I see an issue. The Bias was at 5. After TP'ing, everything settled down with at only half or so of the limits on those numbers.

My double-click TP trick worked again, but I'm wondering if it's just because I'm TP'ing (in itself) which causes another change/event in the system, rather than it being specifically a double-click TP. I guess it is.

I also wonder how long it takes the viewer to clear the now-uneeded textures from the graphics memory when TP'ing, to make room for more. I do know that I never got any thrashing with Black Dragon, with the higher memory limit. I prefer FS though overall.

Question: If the Bound limit is hit, which (I think) would then cause the texture resolution to be lowered and the Bias to go up reflecting this, does the Bound reading then drop because of the now-lower memory use by the lower textures which (by the time I check) makes it look like it's not that high even though the Bias is reading high? If so, then my comment about the GL Total being high but not the Bound is irrelevent.

Another time I was back at that shop again, and a similar thing happened to the above. Several times in fact. That place does seem to suffer more badly than others although it's difficult to pin down why. Sometimes it's really full of avatars but I get problems even when it's quiet there. Again, as above, it's the GL Total bar which seems to mostly hit the roof, along with the Bias at 5 and again TP'ing seems to trigger it to calm down more quickly that it otherwise would.

One event at the shop was really obvious. There were aroud five avatars there plus me, and I was just fixed on the chairs. Another avatar arrived which I guess triggered some more textures to be loaded. The thrashing started with all textures in front of me flickering like mad. Double-click TP - all fixed. The GL Total and Bound again dropped down to sane levels, around 1/2 to 3/4 of the limits.

---

Anyway, I'll leave this for now. Whirly, if you do get time to take a look that would be great. Since there aren't loads of people jumping in and saying 'yeah, I get this', but just a few, I understand there are probably more pressing matters. I would hate to waste your time if it turns out to be a local problem, although I can't really see that being the case given the reinstalls and duration its survived.

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I took a few screenshots when it happened. In between each, I waited until the thrashing subsided, then just moving my cam around a little provoked it again.

After tha last screenshot I did the TP trick. Everything stopped thrashing and I could not provoke it again by moving my cam around.



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I have had the same issue with texture thrashing for months now and putting down to the sim but now i know what it is.

I dont get the problem with either Singularity or the standard SL viewer. I did a clean install and cleared all the settings and cache.

I have a GTX780 working with a 6 core i7, 32gb ram and SSD's for program and storage on Win 10 and with all the latest drivers.

One thing i did noitce is that when the thrashing started firestorm became slow affecting everything even typing in the chat boxes, this was cured by celaring the settings and all seemed good for maybe 10 mins then the thrashing started again.

I run in Ultra and high and even down to mid but it makes no difference. Tried increasing the vram limit to 1024, the slider moves but wont stick after you OK it.

Tried other things that ppl suggest but nothing works and after the clean setup and that it does not affect other viewers  i can only conclude that there is a problem with firestorm and some setups but just what i havnt a clue.

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