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Chic Aeon

Firestorm's New INSPECT pane and "texture lag"

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I spend most of my time over on the MESH forum but wanted to start a thread here about textures. 

Historically I have used (what I THOUGHT) were fairly large textures on items. Like a 1024 for a wardrobe closet say. Well it turns out that I wasn't even NEAR the record breaking line of overly abundant textures.  While it was possible to check on texture size previously, the new version of Firestorm's Inspect Objects tab let you do that easily. 

We talk a LOT (a whole lot) about low poly game asset mesh on the MESH forum, but let's not forget about the texture part of the equation.  

Below are two example's of texture use. This first one (not even a HINT of the object in the background purposefully) is a VERY small bench -- about a meter in size:

5a8ebcf1e8020_texturememory.PNG.8f6123bbdf95148e06792efcbed3179b.PNG

OMG!

and this is my 40 x 23 building for Fantasy Faire:

5a8ebd81745ab_texturememory2.thumb.PNG.f4f72e27ea93b36e36ef3cc737db84bf.PNG

Now the Fantasy Faire building is not my norm either :D but was purposefully made to help keep the lag down and that it does very well. 

This disconcerting revelation came about as I was teleporting back and forth filling up my mock shop to see if the smallest building would be big enough for me (yep, plenty). Every time I TPed back in the bench (gorgeous bench by the way) was gray for a LONG time.  My computer doesn't normally see gray ^^. Eventually I really wanted to know what was going on and so I did a quick inspection (thanks you dev that added this) and had an Oh My moment. I deleted the bench. 

So when people are complaining that their home or sim is laggy, it is very likely a COMBINATION of dense mesh and too many large textures.  So let's all think about that now and then :D.

 

:SwingingFriends:

Edited by Chic Aeon
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TL;DR: Nods, nods, yes, yes. Ditto what she said ~points up to the OP~

I have been complaining about "sloppy creator work causing computer lag" for 10 years and in those complaints, I've always ever directed my wrath at oversized textures. Most creators don't have a clue. Body Skin? Sure - go for that 4K, but everything else? should be optimized for 1200 Baud Modem download. Seriously.

When I used to have in-world merchant shop in a mall my stuff always rezzed 4x faster than everyone else's because I'd upload a 512x512 image, split into four images (each corner a different product). Then adjust the vendor box to display only 1/4 of the picture (the appropriate product). And people always wondered how I made my vendors rez so fast (rez one 512 texture and four vendors were visible).

People think high-rez textures are what is needed, where in truth 1/4 the size of what most people are using will suffice just fine. All that's needed is a quick "Sharpen" filter pass before exporting and do TGA, rather than PNG, and PNG rather than JPG.

But I digress.  LOL

Edited by Alyona Su
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Some food for thought:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Display_resolution#Common_display_resolutions

To sum it up:

  • Most people on the internet don't axctually have a monitor big enough to display a 1024x1024 pixel texture.
  • Most people on Steam do have a monitor big enough to view a 1024x1024 in all its glory but only barely so, there won't be room for much else on the screen.
  • Even a 4K Ultra High Definition Television screen isn't quite big enough to display eight 1024x1024 pixel textures at the same time.
Edited by ChinRey
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6 minutes ago, ChinRey said:

Some food for thought:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Display_resolution#Common_display_resolutions

To sum it up:

  • Most people on the internet don't axctually have a monitor big enough to display a 1024x1024 pixel texture.
  • Most people on stem do have a monitor big enough to view a 1024x1024 in all its glory but only barely so, there won't be room for much else on the screen.
  • Even a 4K Ultra High Definition Television screen isn't quite big enough to display eight 1024x1024 pixel textures at the same time.

What is “stem”? Steam?

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13 hours ago, ChinRey said:

Some food for thought:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Display_resolution#Common_display_resolutions

To sum it up:

  • Most people on the internet don't axctually have a monitor big enough to display a 1024x1024 pixel texture.
  • Most people on Steam do have a monitor big enough to view a 1024x1024 in all its glory but only barely so, there won't be room for much else on the screen.
  • Even a 4K Ultra High Definition Television screen isn't quite big enough to display eight 1024x1024 pixel textures at the same time.

That's an interesting link. Thanks! 

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On 2/22/2018 at 7:59 AM, Chic Aeon said:

I spend most of my time over on the MESH forum but wanted to start a thread here about textures. 

Historically I have used (what I THOUGHT) were fairly large textures on items. Like a 1024 for a wardrobe closet say. Well it turns out that I wasn't even NEAR the record breaking line of overly abundant textures.  While it was possible to check on texture size previously, the new version of Firestorm's Inspect Objects tab let you do that easily. 

We talk a LOT (a whole lot) about low poly game asset mesh on the MESH forum, but let's not forget about the texture part of the equation.  

Below are two example's of texture use. This first one (not even a HINT of the object in the background purposefully) is a VERY small bench -- about a meter in size:

5a8ebcf1e8020_texturememory.PNG.8f6123bbdf95148e06792efcbed3179b.PNG

OMG!

and this is my 40 x 23 building for Fantasy Faire:

5a8ebd81745ab_texturememory2.thumb.PNG.f4f72e27ea93b36e36ef3cc737db84bf.PNG

Now the Fantasy Faire building is not my norm either :D but was purposefully made to help keep the lag down and that it does very well. 

This disconcerting revelation came about as I was teleporting back and forth filling up my mock shop to see if the smallest building would be big enough for me (yep, plenty). Every time I TPed back in the bench (gorgeous bench by the way) was gray for a LONG time.  My computer doesn't normally see gray ^^. Eventually I really wanted to know what was going on and so I did a quick inspection (thanks you dev that added this) and had an Oh My moment. I deleted the bench. 

So when people are complaining that their home or sim is laggy, it is very likely a COMBINATION of dense mesh and too many large textures.  So let's all think about that now and then :D.

 

:SwingingFriends:

This is so helpful to see.  I just finished a large house with two sides wings and a main wing.  38 wide by 20 meters It came to 86,000.   I am not sure if that is acceptable for a large house (at least it's not a bad as the "bench mark" hah!

I have already reduced down textures for the build but guess I need to go even further.  I have been doing a little trick using the raw filter in photoshop to bring up some detail on lower sized textures and finding it comparable.    But something I did notice, I reused the same textures multiple times as I had "thought" that would be more efficient as a graphics cards would recognise it and only "rez' once (you can tell I am totally NON technical).   However in the count above each are counted on their own basis so that one texture applied to different parts of the mesh is using double or triple the vram (so to speak).

Does anybody have any other idea how to further optimise in reuse of textures?

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1 hour ago, Charlotte Bartlett said:

This is so helpful to see.  I just finished a large house with two sides wings and a main wing.  38 wide by 20 meters It came to 86,000.   I am not sure if that is acceptable for a large house (at least it's not a bad as the "bench mark" hah!

I have already reduced down textures for the build but guess I need to go even further.  I have been doing a little trick using the raw filter in photoshop to bring up some detail on lower sized textures and finding it comparable.    But something I did notice, I reused the same textures multiple times as I had "thought" that would be more efficient as a graphics cards would recognise it and only "rez' once (you can tell I am totally NON technical).   However in the count above each are counted on their own basis so that one texture applied to different parts of the mesh is using double or triple the vram (so to speak).

Does anybody have any other idea how to further optimise in reuse of textures?

It is a complex subject for sure and there are of course differences of opinion.  I have been under the impression also that 'once in the viewer cache the textures don't count again'.  I am not techie enough either to back up what I have been told with facts LOL, so no help there. 

Since we see advice OFTEN and from the PROS that stacking  textures (the same area on the texture plane becomes -- say EIGHT drawer handles rather than eight DIFFERENT drawer handles  there is that part of the equation. Sometimes this works for me personally (about half the time it seems) and other times I can't deal with the repetition that is sometimes oh so not realistic. I know you can make four boards and then make an array of those four boards and that often works OK. But sometimes not so much. So for me it is a "by project" decision.

You CAN for sure get overzealous with lowering the texture download for the viewer. I tried recently to make a lot of small pots into a 512 texture. I baked them at 500 and they still looked (well BAD is a good politically correct word but not the one I am thinking of). So, I had to redo everything with larger textures. At 512 I wouldn't have purchased it and I certainly didn't LIKE it. 

After being in Opensim for a couple of years I came away with the idea that my textures were just way to heavy. (Not the mesh, just the textures.)   But again,  the folks that were arguing that were making things that I would never use -- even in the freeness of Opensim. So there has to be a meeting place and I think that differs with the creator. We do get to make our own choices -- and we find our audience. 

I am in the middle ground in pretty much all areas except maybe LODS where I have been going for distance for a long while -- and that works for me. Since my "fanbase" seems to be growing greatly this year I have to assume that the middle ground is a good place to be. 

 

I know we make very different types of houses but here is what I just finished today.  It is 22 x 12 and 27 land impact.  It will be the RARE in an upcoming gacha so will have accouterments as part of the other things to win. I took a very middle of the road for me route so far as textures were concerned. Two textures for inside walls (there is a bedroom there so some extra walls),one for the roof and some trim, one for the front wood area and windows.    I am happy with the clarity; hopefully others will be too.  

5a9e06f92ee83_solarhouse.thumb.JPG.05b5fe565dc44a26809f83355db2078d.JPG

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31 minutes ago, Chic Aeon said:

It is a complex subject for sure and there are of course differences of opinion.  I have been under the impression also that 'once in the viewer cache the textures don't count again'.  I am not techie enough either to back up what I have been told with facts LOL, so no help there. 

Since we see advice OFTEN and from the PROS that stacking  textures (the same area on the texture plane becomes -- say EIGHT drawer handles rather than eight DIFFERENT drawer handles  there is that part of the equation. Sometimes this works for me personally (about half the time it seems) and other times I can't deal with the repetition that is sometimes oh so not realistic. I know you can make four boards and then make an array of those four boards and that often works OK. But sometimes not so much. So for me it is a "by project" decision.

You CAN for sure get overzealous with lowering the texture download for the viewer. I tried recently to make a lot of small pots into a 512 texture. I baked them at 500 and they still looked (well BAD is a good politically correct word but not the one I am thinking of). So, I had to redo everything with larger textures. At 512 I wouldn't have purchased it and I certainly didn't LIKE it. 

After being in Opensim for a couple of years I came away with the idea that my textures were just way to heavy. (Not the mesh, just the textures.)   But again,  the folks that were arguing that were making things that I would never use -- even in the freeness of Opensim. So there has to be a meeting place and I think that differs with the creator. We do get to make our own choices -- and we find our audience. 

I am in the middle ground in pretty much all areas except maybe LODS where I have been going for distance for a long while -- and that works for me. Since my "fanbase" seems to be growing greatly this year I have to assume that the middle ground is a good place to be. 

 

I know we make very different types of houses but here is what I just finished today.  It is 22 x 12 and 27 land impact.  It will be the RARE in an upcoming gacha so will have accouterments as part of the other things to win. I took a very middle of the road for me route so far as textures were concerned. Two textures for inside walls (there is a bedroom there so some extra walls),one for the roof and some trim, one for the front wood area and windows.    I am happy with the clarity; hopefully others will be too.  

5a9e06f92ee83_solarhouse.thumb.JPG.05b5fe565dc44a26809f83355db2078d.JPG

Less total textures means lower server usage / total lag, right?

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25 minutes ago, Love Zhaoying said:

Less total textures means lower server usage / total lag, right?

LOL.   Not the authority there. Seems logical for sure. I think that Charolette's question or point was that it didn't seem like "REUSING" textures was helping as she (and I) thought it would = at east according to the info panel .   I don't know the factual answer to this but hopefully someone more techie does.   

There is also the fewer large versus more smaller texture argument which seems to go in indefinitely with no definite factual answer with documentation. I would like to know the answer to that one also :D 

Edited by Chic Aeon
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1 minute ago, Chic Aeon said:

LOL.   Not the authority there. Seems logical for sure. I think that Charolette's question or point was that it didn't seem like "REUSING" textures was helping as she (and I) thought it would = at east according to the info panel .   I don't know the factual answer to this but hopefully someone more techie does.   

There is also the fewer large versus more smaller texture argument which seems to go in indefinitely with no definite factual answer with documentation. I would like to know the answer to that one also :D 

I asked because the giant club building I modded has only a few textures.

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Just now, Love Zhaoying said:

I asked because the giant club building I modded has only a few textures.

Well I can definitely say that the two sim complex I made for SL14B last year had only  -- well maybe EIGHT textures overall except for some little buildings that most folks wouldn't say. It had the fastest FPS of all the sims in the big complex. THAT was my plan. Of course there were some folks that "love lag" and wanted to " add more of our own stuff to the environment". Happily the Powers That Be are not all that into lag either it seems LOL so the colorful but minimalist build stayed as it was. :D. Tiling textures still work well for some things so if they do, no need to bake and have extra texture load -- IMHO. 

 It certainly seems like less is better. Certainly 19 textures on a tiny bench is overkill (and very laggy). 

 

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9 hours ago, Charlotte Bartlett said:

But something I did notice, I reused the same textures multiple times as I had "thought" that would be more efficient as a graphics cards would recognise it and only "rez' once (you can tell I am totally NON technical).   However in the count above each are counted on their own basis so that one texture applied to different parts of the mesh is using double or triple the vram (so to speak).

First, do not confuse the render weight figure with the actual load on the graphics card. The render weight (or render cost or display weight or ARC or whatever-fancy-new-name-they've-thought-up-this-week) is only a very rough estimate and often downright misleading.

The texture part of the render weight is calculated according to the total number of textures (and sculpt maps) in a linkset and the resolution of each. The formula for each texture is:

  • 256+(16*(x/128+y/128))

x and y are the image resolution. Normal maps and specular maps did not exist when the render weight formula was created and are completely ignored although of course they do add considerably to the actual gpu load.

Sorry about the techy talk, the effective result of this is that if you reuse a texture within a linkset, you get a render weight bonus. If you reuse textures between items that aren't linked, you won't. Here is a simple demonstration - two fresh prims:

5a9e2e058c6c2_Skjermbilde(1142).png.6aa833a2aec1823661c557106161b333.png

Each has 404 render weight. Together it's 808

If I Iink them:

5a9e2e321170b_Skjermbilde(1143).png.0e57ab380da5659a95355083fa195c20.png

the render weight drops to 424 because the calculation now takes into account that the two use the same texture.

The actual saving you get from reusing textures is somewhere in between those two figures.

 

9 hours ago, Charlotte Bartlett said:

Does anybody have any other idea how to further optimise in reuse of textures?

Save wherever you can save.

That's it, really. If it's necessary, keep it. If it isn't, throw it away.

---

Slight digression: I had to look up the render wieght formula at http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Mesh/Rendering_weight and I found this too on that page:

Quote

high render weight values may result in low visual performance on some hardware.

A true gem for anybody who appreciates the art of understatements. ^_^

 

Edit:

Here is a table of the render weights of all the common and a few not so common texture resolutions:

image.png.9a8a0e7e84c1f11df8ee9deac28adc28.png

As we can see, the formula doesn't give much significance to the image resolution and for some reason it also wants to favour quadratic textures: a 1024x256 has exactly the same number of pixels as 512x512 but the render weight is slightly higher.

Edited by ChinRey
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