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Rohan Dockal

Why is Second Life so laggy now compared to the past?

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Posted (edited)
15 minutes ago, KanryDrago said:

You maybe happy with cartoons. Most people arent

I guess that depends on what side of SL you're on when it comes down to it. I will admit I do have a bit more favor towards toonier/stylized. I would love if there was more selection for human avatars that have a style closer to what you'd see in games like Overwatch and Wildstar. But alas, there's a bit of a gap in the market for human stuff like that. It's anime on one side, and realisticish humans on the other

Edited by Digit Gears

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2 hours ago, KanryDrago said:

No it still fell short, learn to read maybe

You need to get outside of the house if you think the pic of your avatar looks more realistic. Seriously, either you are not arguing in good faith or...wow. Just wow.

 

1 hour ago, KanryDrago said:

It doesnt matter which of the avatars. You are confusing avatars built to work with maybe 50 animations and 6 or 7 hairstyles etc where it can all be tested and modified before hand to make sure it looks right with avatars that have to work with 1000's of animations 1000's of hair styles etc.

Wow. Seriously.

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1 hour ago, JeanGenie1 said:

Yes a better Avi, but can you say that this would be less taxing on the lag.. the beauty of sl is that you can add to your avi.. clothing, tattoos, facial features that move and hands that move by themselves.. its not just a static avatar in sl. If all of that was added to this it would still be taxing on the pc, and create lag.

Except you're wrong and that's the point Digit was making. See, this is why LL needs an official content creation blog that explains, in layman's terms, what causes lag and what doesn't.

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1 minute ago, Penny Patton said:

Except you're wrong and that's the point Digit was making. See, this is why LL needs an official content creation blog that explains, in layman's terms, what causes lag and what doesn't.

LL could "borrow" this page from FS. 

https://wiki.firestormviewer.org/lag

That still leaves the problem of how to get people to actually read it and, at least, get the gist of it. On the other hand, I wouldn't put it past LL to locate it in some obscure portion of the website that isn't easily visible or found. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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Posted (edited)
18 minutes ago, Penny Patton said:

You need to get outside of the house if you think the pic of your avatar looks more realistic. Seriously, either you are not arguing in good faith or...wow. Just wow.

 

Wow. Seriously.

Except I have played the sort of games those avatars come from games like skyrim and I have played SL and I know which avatar seems more natural and realistic. You have your opinion I have mine and as I said the pic I posted was one that had been altered for a profile pic not a direct screenshot. The fact remains that if you believe that an avatar that can be customised to work with a handful of preknown outfits and animations will work just as well for 1000s of unknown animations and outfits without multiple glitches then its you that is wrong. That is precisely why you need more polygons.

Thankfully however it doesn't matter because I don't believe that the lab will go with digit's ideas for a moment

Edited by KanryDrago

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Posted (edited)

Quite certain games with character customization are often made in similar ways we do them on SL[And often better]. And they aren't made with 'known' outfits at the time, maybe one outfit  that's part of the initial character design at best and then the rest come after, working around the model, much like we do in SL, people make clothes to work with the model, not the other way around. They also will sometimes have the bodies sliced up into chunks, so they can more easily be hidden away under the clothes eventually made for it. Sometimes they got parts of the body attached to the outfit if it's not fully tailored to a specific cutoff point, so they can have it more selectively sliced out under neath and just plug it back in with the rest.

 

We don't need more polygons, there's already too many of em, more polygons doesn't mean it's gonna look better or work better, it won't matter how many millions of polygons your ass has, it'll still cave in when sitting because we only got like three or four bones down there to use. Movies and the like can get away with that because they have animation rigs with possibly hundreds of bones to account for all those sort of different ways the body moves and bends in motion, and massive rendering farms to calculate ever frame of those butts, but we only got the basics to work with. I always try to account for every possible twist and bending the rig can do when weight painting, but there's only so much we can account for in the end. And the same goes for LL, they can only cover for such much if there's a large chunk of content makers who just refuse to help improve the game.

Edited by Digit Gears
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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Selene Gregoire said:

Gentle reminder that some of us simply can't afford to upgrade or buy a new pc (or hardware) every 2-3 years to keep up with the software demands.

Since bandwidth is essential too, we should also keep in mind that high speed connections simply aren't available everywhere, no matter how much you are willing and able to pay (and often no matter what your ISP promises).

Edit:

Even if you have a fast local connection, unless you happen to live close to the SL servers, the data has a long way to travel with many bottlenecks on the way. I just checked my connection to Tucson, AZ, the Ookla server closest to the SL servers and got 4.98 Mbps download speed. That's about half of what it was las time I checked and there's nothing neither I nor LL can do about it. (Come to think of it, last time I checked, USA still had net neutrality, I wonder if there's some connection there...)

Edit 2:

Yep, definitely net neutrality or some other US issue. I tried a Candaian Ookla sever and got 16.59 Mbps. And I tried Tucson again and got 3.53. Not only is international connection from the west of the USA slow, it's also very unstable.

Edited by ChinRey

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5 hours ago, Lyssa Greymoon said:

It's a mess of nonsense. The minimum requirements won't even load SL properly under Windows 10, much less run it.

I'm not surprised and it illustrates my point very well. Nobody's answered my question and I didn't really expect anybody too since it is a tough one. But right now SL is trying to be Sims Online and Blue Mars at the same time and the result is that it falls between two chairs. It can't go on like that in the long run.

 

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38 minutes ago, ChinRey said:

 ... right now SL is trying to be Sims Online and Blue Mars at the same time and the result is that it falls between two chairs. It can't go on like that in the long run.

i tend to diasgree that it can't be both. In the same way that a website can be configured to adapt itself to different client machines. Phone, tablet, console, desktop, etc

LL have done some work that lends itself to client configuration. On startup the client works out a default setting for itself. While  auto-configuration methods can always be improved, it is how this is done. Even if at this time the SL client auto-configuration method is pretty primitive, and the server side handling of client interest lists still needs more work

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1 hour ago, ChinRey said:

I'm not surprised and it illustrates my point very well. Nobody's answered my question and I didn't really expect anybody too since it is a tough one. But right now SL is trying to be Sims Online and Blue Mars at the same time and the result is that it falls between two chairs. It can't go on like that in the long run.

Knowing that SL's user base is using would make the question a lot easier to answer. I suspect there are a whole lot of users are running on non-gaming laptops.

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10 minutes ago, Mollymews said:

i tend to diasgree that it can't be both. In the same way that a website can be configured to adapt itself to different client machines. Phone, tablet, console, desktop, etc

That's not an easy task even for a relatively simple web page and it would be far more complicated for a complex 3D environment. There's a reason why it's usually left to professional web designers. It's not done automatically either, you have to create all those darned css fiels for different environments. Even then you can only take it so far, just look at the disaster zones that are Facebook's and Blogspot's desktop/laptop copmuter interfaces.

It would certainly require a completely different approach to content creation. Forget about old fashioned polylist meshes; tesselation, displacement maps, fractals and algorithmic content are what you'd need for this.

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Just now, ChinRey said:

That's not an easy task ...

.... Forget about old fashioned polylist meshes; tesselation, displacement maps, fractals and algorithmic content are what you'd need for this.

yes and yes

should LL pick a next big project then I would vote for tessellation. The first place they could start this with, is Linden water. Waves for high-end machines, flat (same) water for low-ends

more stars in the EEP night sky also please LL, and light reflection on the Linden water pretty please

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10 minutes ago, Lyssa Greymoon said:

Knowing that SL's user base is using would make the question a lot easier to answer. I suspect there are a whole lot of users are running on non-gaming laptops.

I don't know if LL or any of the TPV developers collect such data but there's no way for anybody else to know. There's a lot of peer pressure going on here. Who wants to hear that "buy a better computer" snide remark? Even so, I've still had a lot of people telling me that their computers are struggling to cope with SL - not only regular users, Lindens and Moles too - but usually they only say that to people they really know and trust.

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5 minutes ago, Mollymews said:

yes and yes

should LL pick a next big project then I would vote for tessellation.

But that would mean a total revamp of SL's rendering software and although it's relatively easy in principle to tesselate prims, system vegetation and the system avatar, there's no way it can be done to the existing meshes and sculpts.

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7 minutes ago, ChinRey said:

But that would mean a total revamp of SL's rendering software and although it's relatively easy in principle to tesselate prims, system vegetation and the system avatar, there's no way it can be done to the existing meshes and sculpts.

yes this is true

i would still start with water though if was up to me.  Then once have some tessellation basics in the code base then look at introducing a new additional mesh type, different from old mesh.  SL development is a incremental process, and I don't think that should change.  Old mesh can still be made and uploaded, but over time people will move to the new mesh because of the advantages that it would offer 

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50 minutes ago, ChinRey said:

I don't know if LL or any of the TPV developers collect such data but there's no way for anybody else to know. There's a lot of peer pressure going on here. Who wants to hear that "buy a better computer" snide remark? Even so, I've still had a lot of people telling me that their computers are struggling to cope with SL - not only regular users, Lindens and Moles too - but usually they only say that to people they really know and trust.

What I'd like to know is what they're running and what they consider "struggling". I think from reading this thread there's a wide divide in people's expectations and standards. The computer I'm quite fine with running SL on clearly falls well below what others consider the minimum requirements.

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1 hour ago, ChinRey said:

I don't know if LL or any of the TPV developers collect such data but there's no way for anybody else to know.

The viewer collects some performance data and sends it to the server once a minute or so. You can see this in the Firestorm log. What LL does with the data we don't know much about.

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, Digit Gears said:

How bout this guy then, surely this can't be less realistic than ye olde gruff vampire SL man.

Model quality is pretty much the same as the gal I posted above with a maybe stronger lean to realisim in the overall style.

[I'd link the source, but it seems to be a dead end, all I could get was the image link to open]

image.png.e3830d4a6a7698c63a3935c70f6085dc.png

This is a fairly decent looking avatar -- it strikes me that a big difference between this and the two others (which were definitely subpar compared to high quality SL avatars) is the texturing, which probably hides a multitude of sins.

So, I have questions. Questions questions questions.

-- How does the number of polygons or whatever we're using to measure this compare with the SL system avatar?

-- Alternately, how does it compare with, say, a Maitreya Lara and Catwa mesh head combo (which is probably a pretty common one)?

-- Does reducing ("optimizing"?) the number of triangles reduce the degree of customization you can introduce using sliders? Or is that just impacted by the avatar bones?

-- Does optimizing impact on the quality of the textures (i.e., skins) that you can apply?

So, this is what I can currently do in SL:

Not-So-Happy-Blank.thumb.png.29fc15e5b549b1f71c26f93c0ac33e69.png

That particular outfit -- Slink body, Genus head, Vista hands, hair, dress, and boots -- currently costs me about 53,000 in complexity. How much would an avatar like the one you show degrade this kind of detail, and how much would I "save" if I used it?

ETA: I'm not sure how this all relates to "complexity," which I know is, in any case, a somewhat faulty metric, but in my experience it's my hair that tends to kick it up. With a simpler (but still good looking) hair than this one, I could do this same outfit for under 30,000 complexity.

Edited by Scylla Rhiadra
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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

This is a fairly decent looking avatar -- it strikes me that a big difference between this and the two others (which were definitely subpar compared to high quality SL avatars) is the texturing, which probably hides a multitude of sins.

So, I have questions. Questions questions questions.

-- How does the number of polygons or whatever we're using to measure this compare with the SL system avatar?

-- Alternately, how does it compare with, say, a Maitreya Lara and Catwa mesh head combo (which is probably a pretty common one)?

It's hard to say for sure but this avatar seems to have about 10,000-15,000 triangles, maybe a little bit more but not much. The SL system avatar has  7,186 triangles, the Maitreya/Catwa combo probably somewhere between 150,000 and 200,000 triangles, maybe more and certainly not less. Maitreya and Slink are "best in class" when it comes to performance, most mesh bodies seem to have far more triangles than them.

To get the resolution in KanryDrago's picture, you'd probably need something between 30,000 and 40,000 triangles. If SL had a LoD system for avatars (which it doesn't) we could easily have had avatar triangle counts as high as that with an effective load only marginally higher than the current system avatars.

 

2 hours ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

-- Does reducing ("optimizing"?) the number of triangles reduce the degree of customization you can introduce using sliders? Or is that just impacted by the avatar bones?

That's mainly about the bones but you do get deformations if the vertice number is too low. We do have such issues with the system avatar but double the vertice/triangle count and there shouldn't be any such problems.

 

2 hours ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

-- Does optimizing impact on the quality of the textures (i.e., skins) that you can apply?

No. Well, in theory yes but even the system body has more than enough triangles and vertices to eliminate any such issues.

 

2 hours ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

ETA: I'm not sure how this all relates to "complexity," which I know is, in any case, a somewhat faulty metric...

If you're using a Catwa head, it's totally off. Catwa is one of the big "ARC cheaters" and you can safely multiply the figure it shows up with by ten. The Maitreya body on the other hand, is one of the most "honest" fitted mesh items on the market and the actual render load isn't that much higher than what the ARC figure says. Depending on how many layers you use and how much of the body is alpha masked, a Maitreya body may even have an actual render load lower than what the number indicates.

Edited by ChinRey
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9 hours ago, ChinRey said:

I'm not surprised and it illustrates my point very well. Nobody's answered my question and I didn't really expect anybody too since it is a tough one. But right now SL is trying to be Sims Online and Blue Mars at the same time and the result is that it falls between two chairs. It can't go on like that in the long run.

 

You forgot Daz3D, and the fact that people want to take their Daz3D avatar and take it somewhere with 40 other Daz3D avatars with different geometry that all needs to be loaded and expect things to run at the framerate of an action game. Not to mention that they feel it's wear it's necessary to wear scripts to play cartoonish porn moans and attach animated timber wolves to themselves when they're out shopping.

The great strength of Second Life is it allows you an extremely wide range of options of how to use it. This means that one of the options is to be a damn fool, and, as those using it are humans, this option will always be popular.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Theresa Tennyson said:

attach animated timber wolves to themselves when they're out shopping.

which gets me wondering: who needs high framerates and for what? Not for going out shopping, surely, but a crowded event can be prohibitively slow to load. Are we so sure it's the same underlying problem, the loading and the framerates? Cuz I kinda don't think so -- the scene settles after only a brief few seconds of flailing body parts -- and it sure "feels" as if I have plenty of spare capacity for geometry, but I can have a leisurely beverage while waiting for textures to fill in. And that's a problem because I'm only there for the vendors, your hypothetical hyperrealistic wolfman is already a sprite on my screen, so makes no difference to me.

On another tangent, I'm still a little curious about the capacity for customization and especially form-preserving animation as triangle counts reduce.

Even though I'm sure my mesh avatar is hauling around way more geometry than he needs, he still deforms ungracefully under animations that sure seem natural enough on the skeleton. But I'm no animator, so maybe I'm misreading the limiting factors.

Regarding customization, every male mesh is a separate model from a female mesh, but is the base geometry that different? I mean, given the range of "beefiness" these male meshes can assume, how many more triangles could it really take (if any) to also support full-range breast and hip sliders and whatever else it takes to be just as "feminine" as the curviest female meshes? Could "male" and "female" amount to different preset centerpoints on the sliders, operating on identical models?

Heads (specifically my experience with Catwa) seem specially engineered to completely fall apart outside a relatively narrow range of customization... but they sure don't lack for vertices. So it's clearly possible to waste fantastic amounts of geometry -- and still sell an army of copies. That's the part I think is a problem: there's simply no market incentive not to keep hanging ever more lazy geometry on an attached model that will always be attached; meanwhile, for detached models, there's every incentive to artificially manage Land Impact by cheating LoDs which ends up demanding crazy viewer settings that make even the most optimized models expensive to the scene.

And for me, this all gets serious when it gets to textures, which aren't incentivized to be efficient, attached or not.

(Also in passing: The debate over who's avatar is toonier? All those pics look pathetically toony. And at the same time so Uncanny Valley realistic to be squick-worthy. Everybody else's avatar looks like junk, but everybody's own avatar is the pinnacle of verisimilitude. Cuz we've stared at its goofy shape long enough to convince ourselves it's ready for its close-up, Mr. DeMille.)

Edited by Qie Niangao
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1 hour ago, Theresa Tennyson said:

You forgot Daz3D

I was thinking about mentioning it but decided not to. You're absolutely right of course.

 

1 hour ago, Theresa Tennyson said:

This means that one of the options is to be a damn fool, and, as those using it are humans, this option will always be popular.

Let's be grateful it's just a virtual world. Imagine how bad it would have been if people acted foolish and selfishly in Real Life too. ;)

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5 minutes ago, Qie Niangao said:

Are we so sure it's the same underlying problem, the loading and the framerates?

That brings up something I mentioned, connection speed. For me at least it has dropped drastically recently and it's now low enough to be a serious concern. It has also become very uneven and I have far too much packet loss. I get this sup-standard speed from servers in Arizona and California and no other location I've tested in the world (including several other US locations) so I know this has nothing to do neither with my nor LL's connection. It's the internet backbone that is broken somewhere in the middle of the USA.

Connection problems will put quite a bit of extra work on the cpu and that again may well affect gpu performance negatively. This may be part of the reason why some people struggle with lag and others don't. If your connection is routed through the same bottleneck as mine, you're likely to have problems if it isn't - well there are plenty of other possible reason for lag.

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1 hour ago, Qie Niangao said:

On another tangent, I'm still a little curious about the capacity for customization and especially form-preserving animation as triangle counts reduce.

Even though I'm sure my mesh avatar is hauling around way more geometry than he needs, he still deforms ungracefully under animations that sure seem natural enough on the skeleton. But I'm no animator, so maybe I'm misreading the limiting factors.

The ultaimate limiting factor is that both animations and body shape controllers can only move the vertices (via the bones of the skeletons of course), the triangles between them can only follow the vertices. How dense does the vertice grid have to be around the joints to avoid unwanted distortions? You dn't really need to know much about mesh or rigging to have an opinion about that.

It wouldn't actually have cost much to add finer details to these critical spots if we had a good LoD system for avatars since it would be needed for fairly close up view. Most graphics cards should be able to handle two or three 50,000 triangle and vertice avatars just fine. It's those 20 avis the gpu desperately try to render in full even though they're 20 m away that are the real problem.

 

1 hour ago, Qie Niangao said:

Regarding customization, every male mesh is a separate model from a female mesh, but is the base geometry that different? I mean, given the range of "beefiness" these male meshes can assume, how many more triangles could it really take (if any) to also support full-range breast and hip sliders and whatever else it takes to be just as "feminine" as the curviest female meshes? Could "male" and "female" amount to different preset centerpoints on the sliders, operating on identical models?

That's a very good question. The only difference between the two models is the xyz coordinates for the vertices and the gender modifier is actually an 8 bit value even thuogh the viewer UI only allows us to switch between 0 (female) and 255 (male).

Interesting tangent to the tangent. The lsl wiki descrption for llGET_BODY_SHAPE_TYPE says - among other things - " Intermediate values with visible differences are possible with manually crafted shapes." I've always been wondering about that. It implies of course either that it is possible to generate intermediate body shapes between the two standard ones or that it is possible to upload and use custom shapes for a system body.

In other words, much of the criteria needed to support intermediate body shapes is already in place and it's quite possible that it's all there under the hood and has only been nerfed away from the UI.

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LOOOONG thread, so I'm not sure whether this has been mentioned or not: the elephant in the room may be the system (Windows) itself.

I stopped using Firestorm in Favor of Catnip for the performance (able to maximize all graphic setting and keep them there, where FS I could only do 'high" and Catznip razzed faster and always had higher frame rates for me). Now I mention that so I can mention this: SL has always been, for me, equally a fast-rezzing on my Mac. Yesterday I needed to grab something from an alt so I fired up the LL Viewer on my Mac and, as usual, everything razzed five seconds or so.

Then I realized that I haven't been seeing that razzing speed in quite some time on my Windows PC (my primary SL experience at home) - even on Catznip. So I decided what the heck: Saturday, so no work required, may as well reset the PC.

Three hours later (after "Resetting" the PC (Reinstalling Windows 10 and updates, Drivers, and LL View, Firestorm, and Catznip) and Voila! Even Firestorm is screaming along at blazing speed; razzing faster than I've seen razing on Firestorm in a couple years and the LL and Catznip viewers are only marginally faster than FS now (because they all are incredibly fast).

TL;DR: Windows eats itself over time, it may be time to Reset your PC and reinstall Windows and app anew. It takes time and effort, figure three or four hours depending on your setup, but your system will feel like it did when you first unboxed it. *All* apps (not just SL Viewers) are snappy and quick just like they were when first used.

For those unfamiliar, it's easy to do:

  • Right-click the start menu, choose Setting
  • Search for Restore
  • Click the first option called "Reset this PC"
  • Read the instructions

I selected to keep my documents (that way all my FS settings and other data were all left in-tact.) When all is finished, there will be an HTML file called "Uninstalled Applications" that will list all the apps that were uninstalled and most will link to that app's web site, so redoing those are pretty easy, too.

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