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Slayora DeSantis

Mesh & Lag

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Hi All:

Is it just me, or does mesh seem to create more lag? I've noticed that the more mesh buildings, caves, etc, that there are on a sim, the more the lag spikes.

Plus, I own a 1024 parcel, and I was using a mesh wall (I put up like 6, at 1 prim each) that basically ate up all of my prim count.

Personally, for me, I rather like the old prim/sculpty creations, since it seems like there is less lag and such. 

I'm also beginning to think that NO ONE really builds anymore, because there are so many mesh creations. All a mesh creator has to do, is basically upload their build to see if it will rez...as far as I know, that is. 

Any thoughts?

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10 minutes ago, Slayora DeSantis said:

Is it just me

Yes...

11 minutes ago, Slayora DeSantis said:

I was using a mesh wall (I put up like 6, at 1 prim each) that basically ate up all of my prim count.

I have no idea what you did wrong without looking at the problem personally, but rest assured if 6 mesh sections with an LI of 1 each ate your LI allowance on a 1024, you messed up BAD.

12 minutes ago, Slayora DeSantis said:

Personally, for me, I rather like the old prim/sculpty creations

Feel free to continue using it on your 1024, just don't try adding 'materials' to them as the LI will explode though the roof and they will get auto returned. As long as you keep your traditional builds 2006 compatible, I'm sure you'll be fine.

14 minutes ago, Slayora DeSantis said:

I'm also beginning to think that NO ONE really builds anymore

We still build, we just build differently, currently I'm building a large (1/4 sim area) tunnel maze using a mesh construction kit and various mesh 'primitives' (cubes planes etc.). I'm using mesh components because they rez faster, look better and can use sl materials in Advanced lighting Model' that make old prim builds look like... 2006.

17 minutes ago, Slayora DeSantis said:

I've noticed that the more mesh buildings, caves, etc, that there are on a sim, the more the lag spikes

Usually that's not a 'Mesh' problem but a 'Texture' problem, people using too many 1024 textures, or too damn much alpha blend, or glow, or other bad building techniques, and rest assured, people who use bad build methods with mesh will use them with prims too since many of the worst practices originate in old prim builds (like using alpha blend to 'draw' windows' rather than actually building them).

20 minutes ago, Slayora DeSantis said:

All a mesh creator has to do, is basically upload their build to see if it will rez...as far as I know, that is.

Any thoughts?

"If wishes were dishes... We'd all eat like Kings..."

If only creating mesh building components were as simple as you falsly think. ;) 
 

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It's hard to know exactly how to respond, because I'm not sure what you mean by lag.  There are just too many definitions and too many causes.  I am going to guess that you are concerned about the time that it takes for objects to render properly on your screen.  If so, you may be worrying about LOD (Level of Detail) switching.  All objects -- mesh, sculpties, prims -- are rendered at four separate levels by your graphics card.  Each level contains more detail -- that is, more vertices and more triangles -- that the next lowest level.  When you see any object, your card renders the lowest LOD first because that's the least complex and requires the least effort.  The closer you are to the object and the longer you wait, the more LOD levels are visible to you. 

The way objects are handled now, their land impact (L.I.) is a function of how much complexity there is in all four LOD levels.  Naturally, a creator wants to provide the best model possible with the lowest L.I.  One cheap way is to provide as little information as possible about the lowest LOD -- essentially reducing them to extremely simple shapes.  That is a poor solution, because it means that's all that many people will ever see, especially if they are not right next to the models.  So, it's not lag in the normal sense, but lousy rendering.  Creators with more skill put efforts into making better low LOD, so their models look much nicer in world.

You are right that fewer people are selling prim creations now that mesh is an option.  Mesh is more efficient and makes it possible to create much more complicated shapes with lower L.I. than prims can. Unfortunately, it also requires a higher level of skill and more time, so it's beyond the reach of many SL residents.  It's an uncomfortable tradeoff, but inevitable.

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3 hours ago, Slayora DeSantis said:

Hi All:

Is it just me, or does mesh seem to create more lag?

Mesh builds in SL tend to be laggier than prim and sculpt ones, yes, but it's not an absolute rule and it's not right to say that mesh is inherently laggier.

I've done quite a lot of tests on the impact various items have on the frame rate. Very roughly and very simplified, if we rate objects' lagginess on a scale from 1 to 10 where 1 is the lowest lag:

  • Meshes can be anything from 1 to 10
  • Prims are usually 2 to 4 but can be higher
  • Sculpts ... 5 to 6

Mesh gives you far more control over how an object is made and that means if you know what you're doing you can optimize it for better performance than prims and sculpts. But it also means there are far more ways to mess things up so the technical skills of the mesh maker becomes important. Unfortunately, although things have improved a lot recently, technical skills are still in short supply among mesh makers in Second Life so SL mesh in general do tend towards the laggy end of the scale.

---

When it comes load time and reliability - how long it takes for an item to appear in the first place and how high the risk for render failure is:

  • Prims load faster and are less prone to render failure than mesh or sculpts
  • Mesh loads considerably faster than sculpts
  • Sculpts seem to be less prone to render failure than mesh but if so, there's very little difference.

---

Textures are at least as important as the basic geometry for an item's lagginess.

Without going into details, there is a very strong tendency among mesh makers today to use texturing methods that require more and higher resolution textures than the methods traditionally used by prim and sculpt builders. That can be a very significant factor and it may well be the main reason why modern mesh builds in SL tend to be laggier than similar looking traditional prim and sculpt ones.

Edited by ChinRey
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Sorry about posting two replies, I should have read the OP more thoroughly before submitting and since Rolig already has given me a like, I don't don't want to edit to add, since she may not like this:

4 hours ago, Slayora DeSantis said:

Plus, I own a 1024 parcel, and I was using a mesh wall (I put up like 6, at 1 prim each) that basically ate up all of my prim count.

That's technical skills again. If you understand how land impact is calculated and how to control it, you can always reduce it down to a fraction of the prim count a similar traditional build would have had. If you don't know what you're doing, anything can happen. This applies to traditional prim/sculpt builds too, not just mesh, since they too can often use the land impact system and if done right they nearly always benefit from it.

 

4 hours ago, Slayora DeSantis said:

Personally, for me, I rather like the old prim/sculpty creations, since it seems like there is less lag and such.

Apart from the lag issue, think of it as poetry.

Prim building is haiku. It's a very strict framework and it seems there's not much you can do within it. But if you are really good at it and are able to use the frame not as a limitation but as a trigger for your creativity, you can work miracles.

Mesh building is modern poetry. Anything goes and it can be very hard to tell what is artistically good or bad.

Sculpts are somewhere inbetween - pop song lyrics perhaps. It can be good, it can be bad and it's usually easy to see the difference.

 

4 hours ago, Slayora DeSantis said:

I'm also beginning to think that NO ONE really builds anymore

Oh yes, there are. Not as many as there used to be perhaps but there still are.

 

4 hours ago, Slayora DeSantis said:

All a mesh creator has to do, is basically upload their build to see if it will rez...as far as I know, that is.

There's more to it than that, much, much more. Unfortunately far too many people who believe they are mesh creators and/or manage to trick others into believing they are, seem to believe the same as you do.

Edited by ChinRey
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Thanks for everyone's thoughts and inputs. It's probably my graphics card :P

As far as the texture rendering on mesh, I can see how that can lag a sim, if you're using 1024's on everything.

I don't know a lot about mesh (obviously). The mesh wall I acquired was from the SL marketplace, so I didn't really know anything about the impact it would make. It was textureless, and I added a texture to it, and after that, I just placed 4 of them. stretched out. Meh.

Anyway, I DO like all of the mesh creations. I just have to learn to do the mesh...someday...I'm currently learning Blender...it's slow...but I'll get there! :)

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9 minutes ago, ChinRey said:

Apart from the lag issue, think of it as poetry.

Prim building is haiku. It's a very strict framework and it seems there's not much you can do within it. But if you are really good at it and are able to use the frame not as a limitation but as a trigger for your creativity, you can work miracles.

Mesh building is modern poetry. Anything goes and it can be very hard to tell what is artistically good or bad.

Sculpts are somewhere inbetween - pop song lyrics perhaps. It can be good, it can be bad and it's usually easy to see the difference.

Interesting analogy.  Having written a fair amount of poetry, I can tell you that form is always both limiting and liberating.  That's the case with SL building styles also.  Constraints of meter and rhyme can make writing a sonnet more limiting than some modern poetry.  At the same time, those constraints can force a poet to think more deliberately about the sound of a sonnet, to be more conscious of its rhythm.  I find it more challenging to develop the same feel for rhythm and tonality in free verse, where I don't have the advantage of structure. Both styles, done well, can be effective vehicles for metaphor and artistic expression.

Prims offer a similarly liberating constraint to builders, forcing them to be more aware of how to create complex shapes by the most efficient use of a very small set of basic building blocks.  (If you want to see how a skilled creator can use lessons from prim building, visit a Primtionary contest sometime.)  By contrast, the seemingly unconstrained flexibility of mesh is incredibly liberating but opens unlimited ways to make objects that have the visual balance and appeal of a mud pie.  As with poetry, it's not the form that dictates how satisfying the end product is.  It's the creator's ability to use the form's limitations and advantages to express an artistic vision.

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Mesh is something that we should do
Mesh is something for me and you
Mesh is natural, mesh is good
Not everybody does it, but everybody should
Mesh is natural, mesh is fun
Mesh is best when it's one ... err land impact.^_^

Edited by arton Rotaru
RIP George
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11 minutes ago, Slayora DeSantis said:

Thanks for everyone's thoughts and inputs. It's probably my graphics card :P

As far as the texture rendering on mesh, I can see how that can lag a sim, if you're using 1024's on everything.

I don't know a lot about mesh (obviously). The mesh wall I acquired was from the SL marketplace, so I didn't really know anything about the impact it would make. It was textureless, and I added a texture to it, and after that, I just placed 4 of them. stretched out. Meh.

Anyway, I DO like all of the mesh creations. I just have to learn to do the mesh...someday...I'm currently learning Blender...it's slow...but I'll get there! :)

There is/was a thing on the MP, a freebie, full perm, called 'Building Blocks 2.0'.

It's a collection of mesh bits you can use to 'build with', theres basically no EULA restrictions, etc, and if you are used to prim builds, in this age it's damn useful. The pieces have low low land impact, especially when linked, the mesh cubes can be made into floor slabs you can rez on (my work slab is one of the cubes from this set).

I needed some 'wooden decking' for something, with beams under neath to support the planks, if i'd made it of prims the LI would have been 6, unless I convex-hulled it, down to 3. Making it out of mesh cubes, basic LI is 3. The real difference is that then I textured it with materials, plankls with a normal map to make them look 'plankier'. Do that to prims, and theres a danger the LI would climb well above 6, materials on mesh, no LI change.

Leaner than prims, looks better than prims, and just as easy to work with for quick floors, walls, piers, decking, porches, fences, whatever.

Think of it as a way to get used to working with mesh inworld before spending time and money trying to create and upload your own.
 

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20 minutes ago, arton Rotaru said:

Mesh is something that we should do
Mesh is something for me and you
Mesh is natural, mesh is good
Not everybody does it, but everybody should
Mesh is natural, mesh is fun
Mesh is best when it's one ... err land impact.^_^

 

A scripter once went to Sansar
to make the most wonderful car.
It looked like a dream,
was featured on Steam,
but never could get very far.

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1 hour ago, Klytyna said:

There is/was a thing on the MP, a freebie, full perm, called 'Building Blocks 2.0'.

There's a lot of mesh prefabs on the market, some good, some bad, some requiring special texturing skills, some geared towards the traditional reim builders.

I make and sell some of the good stuff geared towards traditional prim builders myself so I may be blowing my own trumpet here but I honestly don't see that as significantly different from prim building. And it certainly isn't significantly different from building with sculpts using bought sculpt maps.

I sometimes get to see what some of my customers make from my prefabs (and even from my presumably complete builds) and I'm often amazed by the creativity and ingnenuity they show. Very often they've found some brand new uses for my meshes that I wouldn't have dreamed of myself. If what they don't do isn't good, honest inworld building, I don't know what is.

Edited by ChinRey
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1 minute ago, ChinRey said:

And it certainly isn't significantly different from building with sculpts using bought sculpt maps.

Exactly, except now we have ALM and materials, working with mesh prefabs doesn't leave a 3 LI object reporting 2200 LI the moment you apply a texture with a normal map to it, or add specular shine, like a certain prim & sculpt dog bowl I encountered recently. ;) 

I may be a pro-mesh person, but I learned building from a 2003 rez date friend, before mesh was widely available, mesh is just another tool in the toolbox, and a damn useful one at times.

I often scour the mp for low cost full perm mesh bits and pieces that I might find a use for, seek out freebies at the FP Fair, etc.
 

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9 hours ago, Slayora DeSantis said:

 I just placed 4 of them. stretched out. Meh.

Sounds like you've stumbled into a really important aspect of mesh - changing size can change the LI (land impact = 'number of prims'). It involves things like the geometry of the item and choices the creator made while uploading the mesh into SL.

In the edit box, look for the LI number of a newly rezzed wall. Then stretch your wall out and check again. If there's a big difference between the two, try building your wall by linking unstretched sections. Or there might be a compromise between the two - try stretching the wall section to see where the spike in LI occurs.

Did you link anything else to it? Scripts, sculpts and tortured prims can make LI jump.

About rezzing speed - sources I trust say that prims are standardised, which means less information to be sent to your computer, and (the untortured ones at least) tend to rez sooner than mesh. That fits with my experience, especially when my internet is playing up and everything is slower.

But mesh doesn't necessarily cause lag after that. If things disappear or go blurry, it could be a graphics card matter where the graphics memory fills up, dumps some stuff and then has to download the information again. The cause of that could be some combination of complicated mesh, lots of large textures, a long draw distance, or the sheer quantity of items in the area. Lowering draw distance is usually a quick way to help with that.

Edited by Bitsy Buccaneer
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Building well with Mesh used to be a secret.  But thanks to the good guys here, it's secrets are out.

Probably just in time for all you Windows losers to desert SL for Sansar......

 

Edited by anna2358

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23 hours ago, anna2358 said:

Building well with Mesh used to be a secret.  But thanks to the good guys here, it's secrets are out.

Probably just in time for all you Windows losers to desert SL for Sansar......

 

lol, but Sansar is not too much like SL right?  At least not anytime soon, or maybe ever, it wont have but a tiny fraction of the abilities and features, SL is mature, and will more likely benefit from back-porting some of the Sansar development than be replaced by it.

 

To the OP, I would recommend the Zimberlab kits too, makes mesh mostly an in-world paradigm, and its all full perms.  I have most of them but actually prefer using blender for constructing builds myself, I will mix in some zimberlab stuff here and there tho, love their doors, stairs, and the convenience of the wall kits for making interior floorplans and such.  I built a bunch of different things with it before deciding to go 99% blender.  Blenders toolset is awesome, you can squeeze out prim usage and have amazing control over details, baking normals for added detail, creating your custom LOD, and so much more.  Good luck on your blender studies!

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