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Some objects not rezzing properly until close-by


memyselfandi2
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Items that are showing up only as triangles are mesh items (and a few leftover sculpties). You are seeing their low-LOD versions. LOD (Level Of Detail) is designed to minimize the amount of work that your graphics system has to do. Normally, you only see high-LOD versions of objects when you are very close to them.  The farther away you are, the less detail you need to see, so your graphics system only presents lower-LOD versions.  So, some of the behavior you are seeing is exactly what you should expect.

So much for "normal".  In addition to what I just said, low-LOD versions are always the first to render at any distance, because they are simplest versions -- the default.  If your computer is not designed for gaming -- especially if you are on a laptop or notebook that was really intended for lightweight use (web browsing, handling e-mail, watching YouTube videos ... ) -- it may have a hard time with the heavy load that SL puts on it.  The higher-LOD versions will take a while to render, or they might never render unless you zoom in on them or just get closer and force your graphics system to work harder.

For more detaiol than you probably wanted about LOD, read http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Mesh_and_LOD

 

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Just to add a bit to Rolig's explanation.

Mesh disintegrating into triangles or becoming too noticeably distorted at a distances is faulty mesh and the ideal solution is to replace those items with properly made ones but that's not always an option of course.

A lot of the content in Second Life is created by amateur builders who build for their own pleasure and it wouldn't be fair to expect professional quality from them. Unfortunately, even more content is created by people who think of themselves (and market themselves) as skilled builders even though they don't have the basic technical understandings and skills needed to do a proper job. The result of this is inefficient, laggy content and the dreaded breakdwon-at-a-distance effect you mention.

There is a cheat that may help. The viewer has a function called "Object Details" or "LOD Factor" or "RendeVolumeLODFactor" that allows you to override the LoD system and force everything to be rendered at a higher level of detail. That seems like a good idea at first but it comes at a high cost. Increasing the amount of details adds a lot of work to your computer's graphics processor causing a significantly increased lag. If you set it very high it may even backfire and make the problem with disintegrating mesh even worse. As Rolig said, the viewer always starts with the lowest LoD model and then moves up through the models until it reaches the one it's supposed to use and if the graphics processor is too overloaded, it may never actually get to the end of that process and everything get stuck at a low LoD level. You can check if graphics overload is the cause of your problems simply by reducing the graphics settings and see if that helps.

As Alwin said, a poor connection can also cause similar problems. What happens in those cases is that the data for the model is lost in transfer. I doubt that is the cause in your case sicne you say they items do render properly when they are close enough but yes, you should check that too.

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As Rolig explained LoD is the most likely reason for what you are seeing.

There is a Debug Setting (renderVolumeLODFactor) you can change. But, it degrades your viewer's performance and places more load on the region servers. We prefer you NOT max out that setting except for special reasons, like getting a photo at distance.

If you see objects changing 'drastically' as you approach, the designer of the item did a poor job of designing it. Some change is unavoidable, even in the best designed things. But, the Hi-Def and second down versions should show barely noticable change. The change in the last 50m, approximately, is where items change from LoD 2 to the higher def LoD 1. 

Some designers hammer on the polygon count for LoD 2 to reduce the Land Impact cost. These are likely the items you see not chaning until you are within 5 or 10m.

There is a complicated relationship between reducing Land Impact and inducing peple to bump up their viewer's LoD setting. Those that care about others and understand LoD tend to leave their viewer setting at or near the default 1.00. Those ignorant of LoD, whether they care about lag or not, turn their viewer's setting up to clear the problem. Then wonder why the Lab has decided not to provide VR capable viewers for SL.

The Firestorm peolpe used 2.00 for their default for a time. That created a controversy. But, it would likely reduce or solve your problem. I use 1.25 in my Linden Viewer and Firestorm. In the presets I have some sets where I use 4.00 (the max - you can put in larger numbers but the system doesn't behave different above 4) for photography and video.

This was hot at 2 and 4 

This was shot at 2 

I see very little difference, but, I think the Dragons exhibit was VERY well done. There was almost no frame fropping/stutter. In Magical if you are watching close in the various parts you will see LoD changing. The fly through was done using 4. The system was dropping frames at 4, which is why the speed changes after going through the mountain. Quite a bit of stutter, some I editied out.

Play with the setting and see what works for you. Please be considerate of others and set yours as low as you can tolerate. If you buy stuff, like a house, check that is well made before puchasing.

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Connection problem... I doubt this is the problem. SL has changed over to HTTP protocol for downloading mesh items. HTTP has an error correcting process. So, you will always get the full complete download without missing parts.

The connection may be slow and if packets are dropping, really slow. A scene will take longer to render in such cases.

If you are close to something and it is still adding detail after a minute or so, it could be a connection issue. To test that, zoom the camera out and in on the object after it has fully rezzed. You can see its behavior after it has complete downloaded. If it behaves differently than when you first approached it, consider connection. If not, it is just poorly made LoD.

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