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Rya Nitely

Do you have advanced lighting enabled?

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Always on, and usually shadows on as well, unless I'm in a busy place. Sometimes I TP into a busy club and my FPS drops through the floor 'cos I forgot to turn shadows off.  The one thing I always have OFF is local lights.

Edited by Matty Luminos

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16 hours ago, Arduenn Schwartzman said:

I agree with Codey Foden. Saw effects are not an Advanced Lighting issue, but an anti-aliasing issue (and a depth of view issue--when enabled, things become more blurry and less sawwy).

I have my anti-aliasing set at x4. Things look nice and clear with no AL on soon as I turn it on all edges look like chasing lights at Christmas time. As a matter of fact I see the effect on Peonys fireplace picture.

Edited by Gunner Grun

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There is something that only just occurred to me as I read this thread, or, well the replies since my own anyway.

There's nearly no reason for me to ever use AL, even if it might enhance some things, because odds are pretty damn good, I can't see them anyway lmao. I didn't even think about this, but I am willing to bet that the beautiful and amazing things you others see(with or without AL on) are things I wouldn't even see in photos much less in "person"(aka, inworld). Though I am certain there are people that claim to make use of AL in their builds, and in reality don't....it's just as likely that some of those folks I think don't, actually do, but *I* have no way of seeing it, even in others' photos.

I say this, after looking at some pictures, examples people have posted, and wondering where exactly the AL actually enhances them, because I can't see it. They look an awful lot like everything else I see, and I keep AL off most of the time unless I need it for something. 

So....I think this is one of those cases where it really is just me. I don't often run into them in sl, unless I'm building-where my lack of vision puts a gigantic damper on nearly everything I do, suppose I've found another instance now. Guess ya can't miss what ya never could see, eh?

 

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One of the more frequent questions asked when I'm helping in the Maitreya Lara Friends group is,  "Why do I all of a sudden have all these blotches on my skin?" The first response is be sure you're still wearing the body alpha to hide your system body. If that isn't the case the next response, be sure you still have AL enabled. 9 times out of 10 the problem is the person didn't have AL enabled. As soon as they switch it back on the skin looks normal. So while it's necessary to see materials properly, it's not just for materials. It also affects how mesh even without materials responds to lighting.

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7 hours ago, Blush Bravin said:

One of the more frequent questions asked when I'm helping in the Maitreya Lara Friends group is,  "Why do I all of a sudden have all these blotches on my skin?" The first response is be sure you're still wearing the body alpha to hide your system body. If that isn't the case the next response, be sure you still have AL enabled. 9 times out of 10 the problem is the person didn't have AL enabled. As soon as they switch it back on the skin looks normal. So while it's necessary to see materials properly, it's not just for materials. It also affects how mesh even without materials responds to lighting.

My skin looks perfectly fine, well non-blotchy anyway (to me, and others, now that I have asked others, since I apparently can't tell what I thought I could tell previously) with AL on or off. Any skin will look differently under different lighting conditions, but I can honestly say mine doesn't look blotchy with or without AL unless the windlight is super horrible/outdated (to me, or anyone else I asked, since I'm apparently a very bad judge of that, lol). I wouldn't consider needing AL on for skin to look good as a hard and fast rule, nor would I want a skin that needs AL on to look half decent, that seems counter productive, given the next half of my post....

Honestly, I think I have seen more people here in this thread that say they leave AL on than I have found inworld that do so, and I have actually asked, lol. I have participated in groups and places that assist people who are having issues. My personal sampling may be smaller than some others', but I'm willing to bet there are a lot more people inworld without AL on than there are with it on. Given the fact that many things can affect performance in sl, and many folks have performance issues, graphical settings are typically some of the first things adjusted/turned off. AL is one of those settings people who have performance issues turn off. Even if the issues aren't actually related to the graphic settings in the first place(many are really more linked to network issues, but I digress..) graphics are still one of the first things adjusted-and are often times enough to satisfy people.

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3 minutes ago, Tari Landar said:

 I wouldn't consider needing AL on for skin to look good as a hard and fast rule, nor would I want a skin that needs AL on to look half decent, that seems counter productive, given the next half of my post....

It's not a skin issue it's a lighting issue. It wouldn't matter which skin was applied to the body. So if you're using one of those white light windlights you most likely won't notice it.

4 minutes ago, Tari Landar said:

My personal sampling may be smaller than some others', but I'm willing to bet there are a lot more people inworld without AL on than there are with it on.

I help a lot of people in the Maitreya Lara Friends group. We have over 20k people in that group. I don't have a knee jerk response to tell anyone who presents with that problem that's it's a settings issue. But when helping someone and going through the process of elimination and we get to the point that we check if AL makes a difference, as I said 9 times out of 10 turning it on fixes the problem for the person. This doesn't mean a person has to set their graphics all the way up as you can enable AL manually at medium settings.

4 minutes ago, Tari Landar said:

Given the fact that many things can affect performance in sl, and many folks have performance issues, graphical settings are typically some of the first things adjusted/turned off

There is more than one way to boost performance and turning off AL is not the only way. Perhaps it's not even the best way, IMO.

4 minutes ago, Tari Landar said:

AL is one of those settings people who have performance issues turn off. Even if the issues aren't actually related to the graphic settings in the first place(many are really more linked to network issues, but I digress..) graphics are still one of the first things adjusted-and are often times enough to satisfy people.

In most of the cases I've dealt with, AL hadn't been intentionally turned off. The people had either crashed and their settings were affected or they had turned it off and forgotten to turn it back on. In situations where the person just couldn't run AL for truly performance issues, a rarity,  my suggestion has been to go with a windlight that was more favorable to their system. 

Personally, I run the default windlight nearly all the time. It is my preference. I run full shadows and AL along with ambient occlusion. I only use special windlights for photography reasons. The way I like to experience SL means I need AL enabled at all times. But that's how I like it.

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40 minutes ago, Blush Bravin said:

It's not a skin issue it's a lighting issue. It wouldn't matter which skin was applied to the body. So if you're using one of those white light windlights you most likely won't notice it.

I help a lot of people in the Maitreya Lara Friends group. We have over 20k people in that group. I don't have a knee jerk response to tell anyone who presents with that problem that's it's a settings issue. But when helping someone and going through the process of elimination and we get to the point that we check if AL makes a difference, as I said 9 times out of 10 turning it on fixes the problem for the person. This doesn't mean a person has to set their graphics all the way up as you can enable AL manually at medium settings.

There is more than one way to boost performance and turning off AL is not the only way. Perhaps it's not even the best way, IMO.

In most of the cases I've dealt with, AL hadn't been intentionally turned off. The people had either crashed and their settings were affected or they had turned it off and forgotten to turn it back on. In situations where the person just couldn't run AL for truly performance issues, a rarity,  my suggestion has been to go with a windlight that was more favorable to their system. 

Personally, I run the default windlight nearly all the time. It is my preference. I run full shadows and AL along with ambient occlusion. I only use special windlights for photography reasons. The way I like to experience SL means I need AL enabled at all times. But that's how I like it.

I didn't say it was the only way to boost performance, lmao. I said that graphic settings are some of the first adjustments made when people have performance issues. That is a fact, not just an opinion. Are they THE first, or only? No, but they are some of the first. I also never said turning AL off would have any affect whatsoever, let alone that it's the best way, lol. It just so happens that AL is in graphics preferences and is, again, one of the first things people turn off when having performance issues EVEN IF it's not actually the graphic settings at all that are causing an issue. They very well may turn it back on..who knows...it's still something people turn off when their performance takes a hit-along with several other things. 

I use all kinds of windlights, and when I ask people to tell me how things look, because I'm visually impaired and my judgement can be way off(especially now), I ask them to use multiple different windlights too. I do this for good reason, because the people of sl will use all different kinds of windlight and while ya can't cater to them all, it helps to cater to as many as possible, especially more commonly used ones. If a skin looks blotchy it could be for a number of reasons, including windlight/lighting, and a crappy made skin. I still, personally, would not WANT a skin that absolutely needs AL on to look good.....your mileage and others' may vary, that's my preference. I prefer things that are made well enough to look good even under poor graphic settings(even if mine aren't AT lower levels..it speaks highly of the creator, to me, if their objects still look good under "lesser"(lack of better terminology on my part) settings).  Again though, others' mileage may vary...this part is merely my opinion. 

None of this changes my belief that more people use sl with AL off than people that use it with AL on-despite this thread suggesting otherwise, as has been my experience both personal and helping others as well. 

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22 hours ago, Tari Landar said:

I say this, after looking at some pictures, examples people have posted, and wondering where exactly the AL actually enhances them, because I can't see it. They look an awful lot like everything else I see, and I keep AL off most of the time unless I need it for something.

I took two snapshots in my house, exactly the same Windlight in both. First one ALM ON & shadows on, second one ALM OFF (shadows not possible). Both are raw snapshots inworld, no editing done to them. I don't know can you see any difference in them. For me there is a huge difference. I prefer the first picture.

1.  ALM ON + shadows ON
Direct sunlight comes in only through the windows. And there are dynamic shadows inside the house. They move as the sun moves. Local projector lights inside the house create shadows too. No need to have fake static shadows under furniture, plants and what not. I have many local projector lights and the effect is really nice. The lighting and shadows look very similar how like they do in real life. I really like how ALM enhances any view in Second Life.

1490376029_2018-09-11_CobysPlace_ALM-ON.thumb.jpg.e8090cb27dab260dcf76aa705e0434f2.jpg


2. ALM OFF (shadows not possible)
Direct sunlight comes in through the walls and roof as if they didn't exist at all. To me this looks very bland and cartoon like scene. There is nothing dynamic lights and shadows play. So I always keep ALM and shadows on when I'm in the house or sailing and exploring out. ALM stays always on, in laggy places I turn shadows off.

448573349_2018-09-11_CobysPlace_ALM-OFF.thumb.jpg.0831876cb1a5c93af2a66c556ab8ecac.jpg

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Just now, Coby Foden said:

I took two snapshots in my house, exactly the same Windlight in both. First one ALM ON & shadows on, second one ALM OFF (shadows not possible). Both are raw snapshots inworld, no editing done to them. I don't know can you see any difference in them. For me there is a huge difference. I prefer the first picture.

 

It helps to understand when you're talking to someone with serious visual impairments, and take that into account ;) The vision I have is severely limited. 

But, aside from the obvious brightness, no, they really are not all that different to me in quality....hence why I need others to point such things out. So, nope, I suppose I don't get to enjoy sl as people assume everyone can with such settings turned on. I guess I'm just grateful for what I can enjoy :D because I surely love the way sl looks to me, even if to others it might be severely lacking. 

Though I do have to say, in any house I have ever had, I don't get light that comes through walls and roofs like they don't exist like that, generally speaking. In fact, there is little to no light at all, without an actual light source, and sometimes windows/skylights that let light in, inside buildings using most settings. There are a few I have tried which force light, or light *can be forced by adjusting them, but generally speaking, not to that extreme.

Is that your chosen windlight settings causing that, or do all windlight settings do that on your end? 

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3 minutes ago, Tari Landar said:

Is that your chosen windlight settings causing that, or do all windlight settings do that on your end? 

There are Windlights which show the effects of ALM, and there are Windlights which don't show them.

Mostly those which don't show the effects of ALM are the so called "Optimum skin Windlights". They are specifically made so that the light appears to come from all directions making the skin to look smoothly illuminated and perhaps nice. Personally I almost never use those Windlights as they make the world to look like cartoon scene, even smooth lighting all over the place. They have their use though for few specific purposes.

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1 hour ago, Coby Foden said:

There are Windlights which show the effects of ALM, and there are Windlights which don't show them.

Mostly those which don't show the effects of ALM are the so called "Optimum skin Windlights". They are specifically made so that the light appears to come from all directions making the skin to look smoothly illuminated and perhaps nice. Personally I almost never use those Windlights as they make the world to look like cartoon scene, even smooth lighting all over the place. They have their use though for few specific purposes.

Gotcha. I always use the same windlight settings for regular sl use, a couple particular ones I happen to like, depending on what I'm doing or what time of day I want it to be lol.  When I'm checking a build or project I'll check what it looks like under different windlight settings, or-and mostly-ask someone else to do it too, so I can make sure something doesn't loo like utter crap under too many windlight settings, but I always go back to my select couple for regular use. 

Maybe that's why I don't see the light come through buildings like that, not sure, but that would get annoying if I had to look at that all the time, lol. 

 

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7 hours ago, Coby Foden said:

There are Windlights which show the effects of ALM, and there are Windlights which don't show them.

Mostly those which don't show the effects of ALM are the so called "Optimum skin Windlights".

Those are the ones with the "ambient" setting way to bright...

basically, they make EVERYTHING in world luminescent, like like the numbers on an old WWII aviators watch.

This washes out all the shadows and all the specular highlights, they make these "optimal windlights" to hide the shadows under their chins, because they think it's unreasonable for their HEADS to block sunlight from reaching any part of their chin/neck/shoulders...

Using those "CAWL" windlights all the time should be a capital offence.
 

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Always on. Its very good fun fiddling with bump & gloss maps for clothing :)

I even made a rainbow, (4 colour emitter), rotating light wheel to view clothes under while dancing ???   

Edited by Maryanne Solo

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Here are examples of the "blotches" I was referring to. This is with AL disabled. Notice the cheeks of the avatar.

Barcola_002.thumb.png.479b01ae83686bb0b4806ca0fdb6b64b.png

And now with ALM enabled. The glare that was on the cheeks is now gone. The hair looks softer. The architecture is much more interesting.

Barcola_003.thumb.png.b5bd6d5339f4241937d4fd8fb930f6c6.png

As for how it affects my performance. I get 30 fps with it disabled and 22 fps with it enabled. I'll take the fps hit any day to have SL look like this.

 

The windlight used is the default SL windlight. I didn't make a mental note of the time of day, but looking at the shadows I'd say sometime in the mid afternoon.

Edited by Blush Bravin
added windlight used
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It occurred to me upon waking this morning that I should have also done a comparison using one of those white light windlilghts. So here's one using CaIWL. This one without ALM.

916788923_CalNOALM_001.thumb.png.2854fcecb89b6fc75e06e628ee33e2a5.png

And this one with ALM enabled.

2005125890_CalALM_001.thumb.png.3dc568e3de698d935d1dd49aaef6c3c7.png

You can see there's very little difference. So for those who use these special windlights ALM makes hardly any difference. That's probably the reason they don't see a difference when testing. To get the best benefit from ALM you need the proper lighting or you simply will NOT see it.

Edited by Blush Bravin
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On 9/11/2018 at 9:55 AM, Klytyna said:

Using those "CAWL" windlights all the time should be a capital offence.

Careful what you wish for, if it weren't for those ambient only custom windlight settings a lot of people would probably still be using facelights! :P

 

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Re facelights and ALM, about a year ago I started a thread about how blended-alpha mesh "cosmetics" are lit by point lights under ALM. This problem has led me to wear a homebrew six-source "anti-facelight" (all sources emitting black) to mask my face from point lights (projected or otherwise) while ALM is enabled. It only works, though, with attached lights enabled, something I never expected to enable again.

Another passing observation about ALM: normalmaps can be rendered much more efficiently than could all the geometry a normalmap might imply. It's not ideal for everything, but when the effect works, it's very cheap to obtain. Creators who have to serve non-ALM clients, however, have no choice but to add geometry to obtain comparable detail -- boosting rendering complexity for everybody to satisfy specifically those with the least-capable machines.

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3 minutes ago, Qie Niangao said:

Another passing observation about ALM: normalmaps can be rendered much more efficiently than could all the geometry a normalmap might imply. It's not ideal for everything, but when the effect works, it's very cheap to obtain. Creators who have to serve non-ALM clients, however, have no choice but to add geometry to obtain comparable detail -- boosting rendering complexity for everybody to satisfy specifically those with the least-capable machines.

When we first got materials, I was careful to check my creations to see that they looked good with or without materials. Now, I create to get the best possible result while using the least amount of resources. So I use normal maps to indicate detail rather than geometry. I use the smallest texture size that does the job adequately. Consequently, my products may not look their best on the low performance computers, but I think the trade off is worth it to make SL more performant for everyone.

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hiya :)

I only use it on certain occasion when i am wearing the shiny latex stuff ahaha. Oh, and when i want to take a nice photo i will use it.

Otherwise i like to just stay with one consistence set of lighting.

 

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Every new creation it seem that i'm moving forther and further away from non ALM.

It's not possible to please both crowds at the same time, when you use the ALM diff/norm/spec setup you have to use as little pre baked shadows as possible because those will negatively affect how your normal mapped details look. With ALM I can typically provide better looking products with a lot less texture area and much more aggressively optimized models.

My current latex catsuit for example just looks like a flat color with some discrete variation because it's designed only for ALM rendering (all the detail work is in the normal map).

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ALM is not only for specularity and normals for objects. ALM plus shadows on have a great impact on how the scene and lighting looks. I always keep both on in my Linden home. It's easy to do so as Linden home regions never have many avatars around. The framerates stay good even with reasonable computer, no need for some very expensive gaming rig.

Here's an example of my Linden home patio. The sun is low in the west. Direct sunlight hits the wall on the left beside the patio (the sun shines from the right side of the pictures). The direct sunlight hits also the tree and the tree casts shadows on the wall. With the default day cycle the scene changes appearance as the sun moves in the sky. Colour hues change, the shadows turn darker and lighter depending on the sun's position in the sky. The scene lives which is very interesting to watch.

Wihout ALM and shadows on this scene would look very flat and uninteresting. Just default Windlight here and raw snapshot.

2018-09-20_LindenHome-Patio.thumb.jpg.807254cff9efa9d957ca7b4159cbc746.jpg

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Advanced lighting on 99.9% of the time. I'll turn if off momentarily when I'm setting up lighting to see what it looks like without ALM. Shadows always on too. I waited so long for SL to have shadows that I won't give them up now. Actually, everything except depth of field is always on. LOD is at 2 to quickly sort the wheat from the chaff when shopping. Avatar max complexity between 200K to 250K. (It would be nice if jelly dolls had brighter colors, and better if they used textures I specify). Draw distance around 300 m, though I'll reduce it to 180 m if things get slow.

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