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Deedee Jhamin

Outfit Gallery

Question

The images in my outfit gallery are fuzzy.  How can I fix this?!  I just got a brand new MAC with lots of RAM and power.....  Any ideas welcome!  The image gallery is a feature in both the SL standard viewer and in the beta SL viewer with Bento capabilities.  It's just taking forever to rez the images.  

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On 18.12.2016 at 0:35 AM, Deedee Jhamin said:

The images in my outfit gallery are fuzzy.  How can I fix this?!  I just got a brand new MAC with lots of RAM and power.....  Any ideas welcome!

There is of course one very simple solution. Ignore the whole outfit gallery, save the images on your coputer and open them with Preview or whatever image program you like. Saves you the uplaod fee too.

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This is one of the few occasions where a cache cleaning may be the solution. In the standard viewer: Me->Preferences->Advanced click on "Clear Cache". And while you're there, check that the cache size is set to 9984. The two most likely causes are corrupted cache files or not enough cache space.

If that doesn't help, check the images themselves. How many pictures do you have there and what resolution are they? It doesn't take that many 1024x1024 resolution images to overload even the strongest graphics card. Remember, the otufits gallery is not a photo album and not meant to be a photo album, it's just a set of thumbnail images to help you remember how the outfits look.

Also, check if the image files themselves are corrupted. After you've logged on and before you open the Outfits Gallery, open your inventory and locate and open one of the images there. Does it still look fuzzy? If so, it's the file that's been corrupted and the only solution is to take a new picture.

 

Edit: While I completely agree with Nalates' warnings about cache clearing, in a case like this there are two possible causes than can only be fixed that way. Each texture and other asset that is cached is flagged as such and the viewer uses the cache file from then on rather than download again every time that asset is needed. Unfortunately, sometimes that flag is triggered to early so the cache ends up with only the low resolution preview, whilst the viewer belives it's the complete picture. When that happens (and that's a when, not an if), the only solution is to clear the cache to force the viewer to download a fesh and (hopefully) complete copy. Cache files can also get corrupted over time and the viewer doesn't always notice when that happens. It's very unlikely corrupted cache files are the problem here but incomplete downlaods may well be.

But yes, I shouldn't have mentioned it first because it is the last thing to try if everything else fails. You still should open the preferences and check the cache size though. the more room there is there, the better.

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How you created the image for the gallery matters. For starters, you need a square image. The viewers will change the porprotions of a gallery image to make it square. So, if you take a full screen 16:9 ratio image and upload it, it will be fuzzy.

SL does a number of things to images you upload. All  mages are resized to use the dimension closest to; 1024, 512, 128, 64, 32, 16, 8, 4, or 2. Additonally the images are converted to a JPEG2000 format. 

What this means is if you upload a JPG that is 1920x1080 that already compressed image will be recompressed degrading quaility and then sized to 1020x1024 degrading event further. You get the best image resizes outside the viewer, like Photoshop, GIMP, or Paint.Net.

Try capturing a 512x512 or 128x128  image and saving it as a PNG (no compression). You can use the Snapshot panel and create custom sizes. Or take the image from the option in the gallery. It will set the best size by default.

Using a larger image is the intuitive answer. Unfortunately that is the wrong solution for SL. You get best results from a correct sized and porprotioned image. If it will display on screen as 128x128 then start with a 128x128 for best results. The more the viewer has to resize an image to get it on screen the worse it looks.

Clearing the cache to correct fuzzy images is a way bad idea. Because images are stored in the SL servers as JPEG2000 there are various levels of download, that is the advantage of JPEG2000. The final high-rez part of the file is the last to download. Clearing the cache restarts that particular image's download of the really low rez image and continues on through the other levels to the final hi-rez. That all takes time and is a pain for the CDN servers.

This month numerious people are complaining of network performance showing as poor download speeds and poor CDN performance. If your network channel is having problems a cache clear will aggrevate the problems.

And remember... it isn't how good your Internet connection is, it is how good is your connection tot he SL servers? http://blog.nalates.net/2011/10/26/troubleshoot-your-sl-connection/

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On 12/17/2016 at 6:35 PM, Deedee Jhamin said:

The images in my outfit gallery are fuzzy.  How can I fix this?!  I just got a brand new MAC with lots of RAM and power.....  Any ideas welcome!  The image gallery is a feature in both the SL standard viewer and in the beta SL viewer with Bento capabilities.  It's just taking forever to rez the images.  

This is not an answer because the same thing happens to me all the time. My images were taken by SL when making the outfit <by selecting "take a snapshot" which defaults in this case to 256x256>. An unacceptable work around is to find the images in your inventory, click on them to view them. That will cause that one image to rez correctly and then you will find that that one image is magically shown correctly in the Outfit Gallery. Of course this can be repeated for as many Outfit Gallery images you have in your inventory. After a short while, and certainly a relog, the images will be blurry again.

A far better solution would be to have the client "lock" these images in cache fully loaded. Or maybe add a "rebake textures" button on the Outfit Gallery itself to make it reload.

Blurry gallery images make the Outfit Gallery feature less than useful!

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On 6/11/2017 at 7:37 PM, JudyPowell said:

A far better solution would be to have the client "lock" these images in cache fully loaded. Or maybe add a "rebake textures" button on the Outfit Gallery itself to make it reload.

When an image is downloaded it is stored in the cache. Locking would be redundant. As long as the image is used, it remains in the cache.

JPG2000 allows the viewer to request the resolution image needed. JPG2000 does not have a set of images within the file. It has a single image encoded into levels of compression. When the viewer sees a small space to be filled with a large image it requests a low rez level of data from the image. It appears that low rez data goes into a file in the cache. When we zoom in on an image or thing and the viewer needs more image/texture data the viewer requests another level of the compressed image. I suspect that is combined with the previously downloaded info but, it may just replace the entire file with a new one with more levels of compression quality. I haven't been able to find any info from the Lindens that really describes this part of the image download, decompression, and storage. (see http://faculty.gvsu.edu/aboufade/web/wavelets/student_work/EF/applications.html)

We do know from experience that it can be a problem getting the hi-rez image to download and render. FS has a texture refresh that I think forces a new download. CDN is likely complicating the reload process. If everyone has been using only the medium-rez we have to convince the CDN to go get the full image. That can take some time.

With asset-textures delivered via HTTP it is very rare an image gets corrupted transit. Digital data on hard drives seldom corrupts these days. On SSD drives it is a near impossibility. Drives have built in error correction, spinning and solid state. So, if an image ever downloads and can be used it is unlikely to ever corrupt. If it does, you get a system notice. Age isn't a factor in corruption. 

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27 minutes ago, Nalates Urriah said:

When an image is downloaded it is stored in the cache. Locking would be redundant. As long as the image is used, it remains in the cache.

 

Thank you Nalates for your detailed reply. I appreciate your response.

My point for this particular feature, is that outfit gallery images should not be put in a cache at all. They should be stored in full resolution for the client to be able to call up rapidly whenever needed. If the cache is the only mechanism available for outfit gallery image storage, then these images should not be flushed from the cache based on usage. Having an outfit gallery feature displaying blurry photos is less than useful. It is an implementation fail.

Reading your helpful technical descriptions I now suspect that nothing special was done when implementing images for the outfit gallery. And blurry outfit gallery images suffer from the same issue that plagues profile photos and other GUI elements of the client. In my opinion, we'd be better served having profiles and outfit galleries as separate windows from the client, implemented in a web browser. At least we would be able to see them reliably all the time.

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8 hours ago, JudyPowell said:

My point for this particular feature, is that outfit gallery images should not be put in a cache at all. They should be stored in full resolution for the client to be able to call up rapidly whenever needed.

I think we need to clear up some terminology here. A storage for files to be called up rapidly whenever needed - that's exactly what a cache is. ;)

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On 18 December 2016 at 1:48 PM, Nalates Urriah said:

that already compressed image will be recompressed degrading quaility

The 'bad quality' of a jpg file is dependent on the AMOUNT to which the compression is set when it's created, set to 20% compression they look meh, set to 40% and they look how most people THINK jpg's look, set to 5% you hardly notice the difference. As for that old wives tale about jpg of a jpg, if the compression ratio of the new file is the same or less than the old, theres no appreciable difference. Jpeg2000 doesn't use the 8x8 blocks of old jpegs, so 'blocking' is less noticable. In addition Jpeg2000 offers LOSSLESS compression.

On 18 December 2016 at 1:48 PM, Nalates Urriah said:

You get the best image resizes outside the viewer, like Photoshop, GIMP, or Paint.Net

Irfanview, It's free, it's not laggy or bloatware, it can convert just about any damn image format you ever heard of to any other you ever heard of, and a few you havn't. And I've noticed it often does a better job of crop & resize than some big budget image butchery apps, and a lot faster. You can even use photosnob compatible filters in it, if you install the plugins pack (also free).

21 hours ago, JudyPowell said:

They should be stored in full resolution for the client to be able to call up rapidly whenever needed

We techy types call that a "texture cache"...

21 hours ago, JudyPowell said:

If the cache is the only mechanism available for outfit gallery image storage, then these images should not be flushed from the cache based on usage

If you are looking at your outfit gallery then the images are being used and stay in the cache, if you dont, they get flushed... How often do you need to use these 'previews'? Are you making so many outfits you never see most of them?

 
 

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1 hour ago, Klytyna said:

If you are looking at your outfit gallery then the images are being used and stay in the cache, if you dont, they get flushed... How often do you need to use these 'previews'? Are you making so many outfits you never see most of them?

Once again thanks everyone.

I attempt to use this feature every day to pick an outfit then click wear. I have seen that these images can be blurry for hours. And continue to be blurry across multiple logins and days. Sometimes they suddenly become perfectly rendered. Then I teleport elsewhere, look again, and they are blurry once again. Yes I look at these a lot because I am watching to see how often it breaks.

My point here is that the outfit gallery is a client side GUI element which has been poorly implemented. Amazon and eBay can show you images while browsing. There are images on this community site showing user icons. Those are never blurry. People know how to implement user interfaces and make them work.

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9 minutes ago, JudyPowell said:

My point here is that the outfit gallery is a client side GUI element which has been poorly implemented. Amazon and eBay can show you images while browsing. There are images on this community site showing user icons. Those are never blurry. People know how to implement user interfaces and make them work.

The outfit images are NOT part of the gui... they are NOT fixed and unchanging images that sit permanently on your computer, they are images streamed from a server with over a Petabyle of data, as and when needed over a very busy system, in a file format that is radically different to the jpg and png images you see in a web browser on amazon...
 

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1 hour ago, Klytyna said:

The outfit images are NOT part of the gui... they are NOT fixed and unchanging images that sit permanently on your computer, they are images streamed from a server with over a Petabyle of data, as and when needed over a very busy system, in a file format that is radically different to the jpg and png images you see in a web browser on amazon...
 

YES! Exactly my point. They should be part of the GUI but are not. The user experience would be vastly improved if they were implemented as fixed images that sit permanently on the user's computer until they are changed. The "outfit gallery" from a user experience perspective should be part of the GUI. However it was implemented like a picture on a vendor at a shop.

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10 hours ago, JudyPowell said:

YES! Exactly my point. They should be part of the GUI but are not.

Well, there's certainly no point in storing images only one user is supposed to ever see on the server, it's just a waste of bandwidth really.

So if you think it's important enough, go to: https://jira.secondlife.com and file a feature request.

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Right now, Gallery images use the snapshot feature for creating them, and that's tied into inventory, which means the images are textures on LL's servers...which in turn leads to the blurry, slow to rez issues the OP reports.  Both the OP and Chin Rey are right...the Gallery OUGHT to be local data specific to the user.  That's not the way it is, though, and besides requesting a change via the JIRA as Chin Rey suggests, the best workaround is probably to set up your own "gallery" by taking pictures of your outfits, storing them on your local hard drive, and naming them the same as you name your outfits.

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On 6/15/2017 at 7:35 PM, JudyPowell said:

YES! Exactly my point. They should be part of the GUI but are not. The user experience would be vastly improved if they were implemented as fixed images that sit permanently on the user's computer until they are changed. The "outfit gallery" from a user experience perspective should be part of the GUI. However it was implemented like a picture on a vendor at a shop.

Making an image a part of the GUI places a high priority on the image so it is held in the graphics card memory. You can see the effect of having too many images marked high-priority by wearing a bunch of HUDs with lots of large textures or enabling the avatar icons in chat. Texture thrashing is the result. So, making these images crisp by adding them to the GUI is going to make most people see the rest of SL as blurry.

In an attempt to be inclusive, the Lab has to make compromises.

 

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