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This is going to be interesting, lots of people have already complained about Quick Graphics. Not everybody accepts that they can't both have their cake and eat it. ;)

I always liked to think of myself as lag conscious but I never checked the render complexity for all my outfits. Quite a few unpleasant surprises there, lots of very similar items with very different render weights. From now on it's no outfits with higher wieght than 80 000 for me! That means no more hair from my favorite hair maker but oh well, I've already found other makers who make just as good and less laggy hair.

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What is a good Complexity rating?

By default the number you're trying to be under is 80K.

 

If you're OVER 80K and are confused as to why here's a quick guide:

#1 Old sculptie items:   If you're wearing things that are made out of sculpts and not mesh, chances are taking it off will practically halve your complexity rating. Old Sculptie hair is terrible.  Also old sculptie Shoes, even (especially) the really fancy ones like Moodys.

#2 Just wearing too much stuff :  I often see avatars with jewelry everywhere.  Their wrists, waist, ankles , a dense cluster of earrings and 2-3 necklaces, clusters of rings on every finger.  Add on top of that a mesh body, mesh head, three or four a little animated shoulder pets,  An animated tail, some huge wings, horns on their head, jewelry on those horns ~ etc etc etc.   While that look can be done with a low avatar render complexity rating, it rarely is.  You might need to find some different designers for your look.  Which brings us to #3.

#3 Wearing mesh from inexperienced designers:  This is where it gets a bit difficult to tell the "how and why".  Some mesh is bad for SL, other mesh looks absolutely fantastic and has really low cost.  The thing is ~ when you're just looking at an item in the store, they both look the same.  This is where the best advice I can give you is TRY DEMOS.  Demos will give you a good idea of how complex an item is.  As a general rule, if a single item adds over 30K to your complexity score. You should probably find an alernative.  ( Most well made items add 2-9K each )

 

Lastly ~ a lot of people have complained that the new feature punishes people for other designers mistakes.  "Why should I be de-rendered because a designer made something with 60K complexity and I bought it?"

This is sadly the down-side to this new feature.  The hope is that designers AND residents alike will both become more aware of the impact that they have on causing lag in SL and will create better (less laggy ) things to wear and enjoy.

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I know Black Dragon has already adopted the Jelly based auto-derendering thing.

 

I imagine Firestorm will~ with a modification here or there soon enough as well.  I can't speak to their actual release schedule, but I imagine you'll be seeing this in most major viewers ( Firestorm included ) by the middle of June or early July.  Possibly even earlier than that!

 

http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Third_Party_Viewer_Directory 

 

As for multi-layered onion avatars.  The well made ones ( Slink and Maitreya ) are actually surprisingly only 5-7K ARC each. 

Some of the more poorly designed ones will probably run aground the jelly-AV de-render, but that's what this system is supposed to help do, help people understand what content causes lag, and what content is well designed!!

So far the hardest hit avatars are sadly the old sculptie based Furry type avatars.  Fortunately, good news for them.  Bento is on it's way soon!! 

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polysail wrote:

#1 Old sculptie items: 
  If you're wearing things that are made out of sculpts and not mesh, chances are taking it off will practically halve your complexity rating.
Old Sculptie hair is terrible.

That's a good point but not quite true. A single untextured sculpt only has 1024 vertices and a base render complexity of 688. There are certainly mesh werables with much more than that around. As with everything else it depends a lot on the creator's skills. I did some tests with old sculpt-and-flexi hairs from different makers and the render complexity varied a lot even with hair of similar quality and styles - anything from 10 000 to over 60 000. 10 000 is quite high too of course but manageable if you don't wear too many other heavy items.

To add to Polysail's list:

#4 Shoes:  It's amazing how many tiny little details nobody will ever see some shoe creators manage to add to their works. I have shoes with render weigth over 80 000 all on their own and they don't look any better than the (relatively) low weight ones I usually use.

#5 Mesh bodies:  No, a well made mesh body doesn't add that much to the calculated render weight on its own, typically about 3500-5000. (Actual render load seem to be quite a lot higher but still manageable and not what we're discussing here anyway.) But there are some really heavy weight on the market and even the lightest mesh body can get quite heavy if you fill it up to capacity with high res skin, tattoo and clothes textures.

#6 Textures:  Every single surface on every single item we wear has a texture on it and it's quite common among creators of wearbles to use way to high resolution and too many textures. A single 1024x1024 resolution texture adds 392 to the render complexity, a low resolution 128x128 adds 273. That doesn't sound like much but multiply by 10, 20, 30, 40, 50... how many texture can an avatar wear at the same time? Is there a known limit at all? Oh, and to put it into perspective: to actually see all the details of a 1024x1024 resolution texture, you'd have to scale it up to fill an entire fairly big computer screen,

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Ahh shoes are another good point.  Especially Sculpted shoes. I'll add that in.

 

As for the rest of the mechanical explanations of the 'why' ~ that's way too in depth for a simple "quick simple reference".  I was trying to explain it in 2 paragrahs or less.

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Like someone else noted, it's what people do with the onion skins that are the more frequent problem. And it's not just what they do with their onion skins, it's things like high ARC shoes over Slink feet over mesh body feet, or even boots over Slink feet cause the wearer can't be bothered to take off the feet. (I have seen a surprising number of people say they do this in group chats.) And that anklet they forgot. And the toe rings. :matte-motes-smile: It's easy to over do in a very grand fashion these days.

My comment was more than a little tongue in cheek and about bad practices in general, not specific to any one type in particular. I have definitely been in situations where a few high ARC avs have made for difficulties getting around (like sales shopping, events and MM boards). If someone handles their layers and layers of clothing and textures well and it doesn't affect others, superb. For those who don't, now it really is just their choice.

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Non human mesh avs blow 80K out of the water..

these images are the base bodies, no add ons, no clothing, no hair, no ... parts.

the only one to beat 80k and be wearable on a G sim is the Ukko minotaur at 21976.



Niramyth Aesthetic no mesh head 11240



Slink male, system head 16214



Niramyth Wolfkin 136790



a simple mesh hair jump up the arc by almost 40..

My question is simple.. Is this really that big of a problem? I have a nvidia 650ti card. Draw distance is at 128 and i rarely have any issues rezzing a crowd of people. I was just at a store full of people well over 150K and had no issues. Probably 20 -30 people there. A decent card and knowing how to properly set your graphics inworld is the key. You do not need to be running at ultra when you are walking around a mall.. Taking pictures, exploring some beautiful sims, yes. Crank it up. but for everyday use.. medium is fine.

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Chimney, I am curious to know where you got those numbers and if there is a more detailed explanation anywhere for how the ARC Is calculated. The reason I am curious is because I have seen a comparison of mesh bodies and heads where the ARC value is very different from the complexity of the mesh measured by the number of vertices. The relationship between the two figures was the inverse of what you would expect.

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Drake, you will always see yourself and depending on how you set your limit will depend on how many others you see rendered. The problem for someone with a high complexity is that others who have limits of around 80,000 or so will only that person as a jellydoll/jellybaby unless they decide to right click and render you.

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If my computer/connection are struggling to download complex avatars, what does this setting do for me that turning down the setting max number of avatar non-imposters (or whatever the setting is called) didn't already do?    

Personally, if I'm a crowded club I'd rather see avatar imposters than jelly dolls (as I think we're supposed to call them) but à chacun son goût.

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I'm not sure of the technical details but as the jellydoll is a featurelss cardboard cutout, I image the performance improvement is more than that of an impostor but I really don't know. The advantage of jellydolls is that I can choose to render friends who may be above my complexity limit while leaving others as jellydolls. This is not an option with impostors as you can't choose who is fully rendered or not.

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Aethelwine wrote:

Chimney, I am curious to know where you got those numbers

Determing the SRC for an item is easy, just switch rdner weight display on, wear the item and see how the number change. It's not exact, the render weight display is calculated by the viewer using a slightly simplified forumla, but it's clsoe enough the difference has no real significance.

The render weight for textures are according to the official formula.


Aethelwine wrote:

and if there is a more detailed explanation anywhere for how the ARC Is calculated.

http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Mesh/Rendering_weight

Now, that page can be a buit confusing since it seems to be about mesh objects at first but then it suddenly starts to talk about avatars and only avatars. However, countless tests done by countless people have confirmed that this is the formula used to calculate render complexity/render weight/draw weight/ARC/whatever-you-call-it for all avatars and for all worn or rezzed objects in Second Life. (There is one minor error on that page btw, it shouldn't be relevant in this particular context but particles add 100 per particle, not per prim.)

The formula is rather outdated by now and has several weaknesses, some inevtiable, some that should have been fixed. But it's the one LL uses, it's the best we have and usually it gives a fairly good estimate of an item's actual rendering load.


Aethelwine wrote:

Chinrey sorry about your name in my previous post. Autocorrect and on my mobile or I would go back and correct it

NP. I've been called worse things than that. ^_^

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Innula Zenovka wrote:

If my computer/connection are struggling to download complex avatars, what does this setting do for me that turning down the setting max number of avatar non-imposters (or whatever the setting is called) didn't already do?  

It adds the ability to filter out the higher cost avatars and leave the lower ones.  Also, you can slide the weight down to encompass almost ever avatar and then "whitelist" your friends.  So in a crowded club you can always see each other no matter how many people are between you.

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Drake1 Nightfire wrote:

My question is simple.. Is this really that big of a problem? I have a nvidia 650ti card. Draw distance is at 128 and i rarely have any issues rezzing a crowd of people. I was just at a store full of people well over 150K and had no issues. Probably 20 -30 people there. A decent card and knowing how to properly set your graphics inworld is the key. You do not need to be running at ultra when you are walking around a mall.. Taking pictures, exploring some beautiful sims, yes. Crank it up. but for everyday use.. medium is fine.


The answer to your question is - apparently it's not a problem for you. On the other hand, it is apparently a problem for enough people to cause LL to do something about it.

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It's a cumulative effect.  The 80K limit is the default.  If you personally feel your hardware is capable of handling more than that, then that's why the slider exists.  You can increase it.

 

It's true that ARC cost de-rendering hits non-human AV's particularly hard, especially older ones created from a ton of sculpties.  I would feel that this was a "nasty bias towards fur things" ~ were it not for the fact that project Bento is literally just down the road in release schedule.  And we ( the creators collaborating with the lindens on beta project bento ) deliberately planned out the new SL Skeleton capabilities pretty much exclusively with a non-human avatar in mind.  The new skeleton is literally a quadruped and all of our animation use cases took non-human avatar design into account, almost primarily over human ones.  Ease of use for non-human avatars was the primary reason for a lot of choices.  So non-human avatars are about to get a lot more impressive for a much much lower complexity cost than the presently existing ones available on the market.

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Phil Deakins wrote:


Drake1 Nightfire wrote:

My question is simple.. Is this really that big of a problem? I have a nvidia 650ti card. Draw distance is at 128 and i rarely have any issues rezzing a crowd of people. I was just at a store full of people well over 150K and had no issues. Probably 20 -30 people there. A decent card and knowing how to properly set your graphics inworld is the key. You do not need to be running at ultra when you are walking around a mall.. Taking pictures, exploring some beautiful sims, yes. Crank it up. but for everyday use.. medium is fine.


The answer to your question is - apparently it's not a problem for you. On the other hand, it is apparently a problem for enough people to cause LL to do something about it.

It would be a nice feature if this would scale according to graphics settings. If I am set at ultra why not slide it up to 250K? (or what ever is max)

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Ah... I see my question is answered in the wiki:


You can reduce the impact of drawing avatars without going all the way to the solid color outlines. The setting "Max. # of non-impostors" controls the number of avatars nearest to your camera that will be fully rendered; any avatars beyond that number will be drawn as an Impostor. An Impostor is drawn with fewer lighting and texture effects, making them look less realistic (some people describe it as looking like a cardboard cutout). Impostors are also updated less frequently (the further they are from your camera, the less frequently they are updated).

Drawing more distant avatars as Impostors does not improve performance as much as the complexity limit, but looks better.
You can use both methods together by, for example, setting your complexity limit fairly high so that it affects only the most expensive avatars while setting the non-impostor limit so that only avatars nearest you are drawn in full detail.

 

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polysail wrote:

It's a cumulative effect.  The 80K limit is the default.  If you personally feel your hardware is capable of handling more than that, then that's why the slider exists.  You 
can
increase it.

 
You don't say?

It's true that ARC cost de-rendering hits non-human AV's particularly hard, especially older ones created from a ton of sculpties.  I would feel that this was a "nasty bias towards fur things" ~ were it not for the fact that project Bento is literally just down the road in release schedule.  And we ( the creators collaborating with the lindens on beta project bento ) deliberately planned out the new SL Skeleton capabilities pretty much exclusively with a non-human avatar in mind.  The new skeleton is literally a quadruped and all of our animation use cases took non-human avatar design into account, almost primarily over human ones.  Ease of use for non-human avatars was the primary reason for a lot of choices.  So non-human avatars are about to get a lot more impressive for a much much lower complexity cost than the presently existing ones available on the market.

Really not sure what an improved skeleton has to do with the rendering cost of a mesh avatar. If the centaurs body is high now, why would a new skeleton change that? my bi-pedal mesh avs are still very complex, and will remain so after the new skeleton. They are done by some of the best in SL.

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The vast majority of non-human based avatars are presently comprised of sculpted prims or compounded "alpha layed meshes"  Both of which are easily outperformed by a rigged mesh with the new skeleton bones.  If, as a designer I want to make a minotaur out of sculpts, to do so convincingly may use somewhere between 50-160K complexity to just achieve the form of the creature, nevermind attempts to animate it.  With the new skeleton that same form can be more efficiently created, and more convincingly animated while at the same time still keeping it's complexity rating at roughly 25-30 K total.

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Rhonda Huntress wrote:It would be a nice feature if this would scale according to graphics settings. If I am set at ultra why not slide it up to 250K? (or what ever is max)

I'm not on ultra. I'm on the halfway mark between high and ultra, and the default is "No limit". That's what it says. Just below that, it's 330k. So your desire is already granted :)

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