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Rohan Dockal

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

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Da5id Weatherwax said:

This is incorrect. A point light created in this way NEVER casts shadows. That's why it shines through walls. The only things that can cast shadows in SL are the sun/moon and projector lights. Objects with the light emitting property and no projector texture set as you refer to below are simply a ranged light source with no consideration about whether that light is occluded by anything and no participation in generating shadows.

You can't set "everything" - the most you can choose is "sun moon and projectors" - light-emitting objects without a projector texture will still never cast shadows even at the highest setting. Not even in Black Dragon, which is my regular viewer.

Shadows == "none": Daylight and moonlight come through your roof and walls lighting up your interior. Projector lights pass through objects, lighting up everything to their max range. Point lights pass through objects, lighting up everything to their max range.

Shadows== "sun/moon": Daylight and moonlight don't pass through roof and walls -You will need to light up your interiors. Projector lights pass through objects lighting up everything to their max range. Point lights pass through objects lighting up everything to their max range.

Shadows == "Sun/moon + projectors": Daylight and moonlight don't pass through roof and walls -You will need to light up your interiors. Projector lights are occluded by objects and cast shadows. Point lights pass though objects lighting up everything to their max range.

When building and designing you should always plan for all three, because you don't know how the user seeing it has their viewer set. To account for lower graphics settings you will want to bake in a small amount of light-based shading, but any time you bake in more than a little ambient occlusion shading you're making your object look worse at higher graphics settings which is probably not what you intend.

 

^^ Yep.

In GTA V, for instance (yes, I build in there too), I found a special light-blocking material. Would sure be nice if we could stick that inside an SL wall, for instance. :) But yeah, that point is kinda moot, as the point-light system simply can't accomodate for that to begin with. 

One thing, though, when you say "Daylight and moonlight don't pass through roof and walls." that's not entirely true, actually. Such light will pass thru, provided the outward faces of the wall/roof are (somewhat) transparent. May not seem all that useful for your typical standalone home, but for a huge 3d sky-environment, however, it's most relevant, as that way you can have your 3D envo, and still enjoy day/moon light inside your home therein. :) 

Edited by kiramanell
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It is slow, and it is the avatars. I film weddings and with 20+ avis (quite often, 50+ avis) and all lighting modes activated (cause wedding videos gotta be pretty!) i am lucky if the camera is pointed to the guests to get 2 or 3 FPS.  Next time you are at Fogbound go to World>Show Friends Only and watch your FPS skyrocket

Really not a heck alot we can do. I keep my shaders and shadows off for normal everyday use, and in a place like fogbound, just set it to midnight with local lites on. Good enuf! I keep max complexity at about 135k so any jelly dolls get the big fat derender! and lowering the max amount of avatars helps, but hey, you're there to enjoy the place and people, so......

My computer, while I built it in 2014, is still pretty competent for SL

100mbs download on a wired LAN

core i7@3.8 ghz

32 gig RAM

Nvidia GTX 970 with 4 gig memory

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Posted (edited)
41 minutes ago, kiramanell said:

One thing, though, when you say "Daylight and moonlight don't pass through roof and walls." that's not entirely true, actually. Such light will pass thru, provided the outward faces of the wall/roof are (somewhat) transparent. May not seem all that useful for your typical standalone home, but for a huge 3d sky-environment, however, it's most relevant, as that way you can have your 3D envo, and still enjoy day/moon light inside your home therein. :) 

Technical correction accepted.

Edited by Da5id Weatherwax
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47 minutes ago, kiramanell said:

a special light-blocking material

Try six simple point lights emitting black.

(That's gotta lag, though, huh?)

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Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, Qie Niangao said:

Try six simple point lights emitting black.

(That's gotta lag, though, huh?)

 

LOL, I never even tried fully black light. :) Would that even show up?! But you have a very interesting idea here, if the black could function to block the white! Need to go inworld now, and check it out.

 

EDIT: Yeah, as expected, black light does nothing.

Edited by kiramanell

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Kyrah Abattoir said:

I don't think Sansar is built from lessons learned, everyone who actually founded the bases SL rests upon is gone, and the new people seem either unable to bring Sansar to part, or refuse to go down "that path".

It most certainly is and LL have stated as much. Go play in Sansar .. everything you can't do there that you can do here is by design.

Quote

Every single problem SL has is due to the lack of reasonable limits on what is fair ressource consumption. I can put thousands of scripts in a single prim... why?

No it's significantly more fundamental. Put all the resource limits in you like .. go build something with resource limited content and look at the frame rate .. and then do that same content in unity. SL will be orders of magnitude slower on the same hardware.

28 minutes ago, Qie Niangao said:

Try six simple point lights emitting black.

You could only have 6 local lights back before ALM was a thing

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Edit .. forgot to add .. black lights emit no light.

Edited by CoffeeDujour
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1 hour ago, CoffeeDujour said:

You could only have 6 local lights back before ALM was a thing

Oh sure enough. I thought it was still a thing because of this funkiness triggering at six local lights even in a viewer with ALM enabled.

Pretty confident the ability to block point lights like this used to work because it was how I managed to tolerate a Mainland neighbor for a few years. Maybe the blocking emitters weren't quite black -- this was years ago so I can't be sure. I remember being surprised that the "nearest six" was based on distance from the avatar rather than the cam.

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5 minutes ago, Qie Niangao said:

Oh sure enough. I thought it was still a thing because of this funkiness triggering at six local lights even in a viewer with ALM enabled.

Pretty confident the ability to block point lights like this used to work because it was how I managed to tolerate a Mainland neighbor for a few years. Maybe the blocking emitters weren't quite black -- this was years ago so I can't be sure. I remember being surprised that the "nearest six" was based on distance from the avatar rather than the cam.

 

I tried it. It didn't block. Like CoffeeDujour said, black light simply emits nothing.

Pre-ALM, though, I venture to guess simply the mere adding of lightsources (beyond six), would existinguish others. And in such a manner, that the light sources closest to you remain lit. So, on your mainland, adding a few black light sources on your own parcel would then assuredly have the effect of nullifying lightsources farther away. Where 'black' doesn't really matter (but was convenient nonetheless, as it counts as an 'on' light source, without actually emitting any visible light).

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Da5id Weatherwax said:

This is incorrect. A point light created in this way NEVER casts shadows. 

You are correct, my mistake. Re-reading what I wrote it seems posting at 2am in the morning is not the wisest thing, but here I am doing it again. Fingers crossed I do it right this time. What the line about point lights should have said was:

Quote

"This method will cast a light on everything even through walls in some cases which, in a realistic environment as well as a typical game engine environment just doesn't happen. This means you cant control the amount of shadows or the performance hit as it affects the rendering of shadows for everything in a 10m radius.

Part of that line doesn't even make sense after re-reading .. shadows cant go through walls, light can though, spooky if you could though. lol.

My not so well explained point was basically that it is better to use projection lights as you can direct the light to cast shadows on the right areas where as if you use a point light it will wash out the shadow effect and result in potentially more projection lights being added to create a better shadow effect.

By everything I just meant all shadow producing lights. Not all lights.

I hope that makes sense this time.

Edited by Drayke Newall

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Posted (edited)
36 minutes ago, kiramanell said:

Pre-ALM, though, I venture to guess simply the mere adding of lightsources (beyond six), would existinguish others. And in such a manner, that the light sources closest to you remain lit.

That is precisely how it was. You would never see more than 6 lights on at a time no matter how close they were to your avatar.

 

There are 4 lights!

Edited by Selene Gregoire

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2 minutes ago, Selene Gregoire said:
37 minutes ago, kiramanell said:

Pre-ALM, though, I venture to guess simply the mere adding of lightsources (beyond six), would existinguish others. And in such a manner, that the light sources closest to you remain lit.

That is precisely how it was. You would never see more than 6 lights on at a time no matter how close they were to your avatar.

I took advantage of this limitation on my old tropical island, placing local lights along paths. They'd come on as you approached and extinguish as you passed. I had to be careful about placement, but it was pretty neat. Now I'd have to litter the landscape with lights containing sensor scripts.

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, Madelaine McMasters said:

I took advantage of this limitation on my old tropical island, placing local lights along paths. They'd come on as you approached and extinguish as you passed. I had to be careful about placement, but it was pretty neat. Now I'd have to litter the landscape with lights containing sensor scripts.

Several people had done that that I know of. I loved the effect. Motion sensors without the motion sensors. I sometimes wonder if the new features that eliminate being able to do such things without using a ton of scripts are really worth losing some of the ways we've found to work around limitations.

Edited by Selene Gregoire
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6 hours ago, kiramanell said:

Sigh. Kyrah, you seem to be conflating a great many separate issues, and then draw conclusions that belong to one set of criteria, and apply them to another. That makes your arguments rather confused.

I'm not cherry picking. You are dead set on the idea that some things are simply not your problem and this irrational "zero sum game" that you won't be able to enjoy SL to its fullest with your fancy hardware if creators where forced to be more reasonable.

My position is that SL doesn't incentivize good content, there is no real mechanic in place that forces creators into the balancing act that should be expected from them. I see it pretty much every day on the different content creation groups I am part of: mistakes and bad behaviors that you should never see, perdure because ressource accounting is broken or non-existant, and your advice is typically not wanted if it results in more work.

It's also why animesh has such a low penetration rate so far (it's not the only reason obviously): The additional restrictions that come with animesh are a brick wall for many creators who, essentially, don't want to worry about limits.

 

 

5 hours ago, CoffeeDujour said:

It most certainly is and LL have stated as much. Go play in Sansar .. everything you can't do there that you can do here is by design.

And they wonder why it holds no appeal. I guess at this point SL must be such an engineering nightmare that they have developed PTSD about it :). But if I was not able to just "walk" from one side of the mainland to the other to see what's "there" I wouldn't have stuck to SL in 2004. It was magic and simply unlike anything else.

 

I came from there.com, and while this world was fairly large compared to a 2004 SL grid, it was mostly a pre-built experience with gigantic swathes of emptyness.

Content creation on there.com was very primitive, but one big difference with SL was that the there.com creators where very aware of the limitations of what they created, and when the ability to create custom models was introduced, it was under very strict guidelines that simply prevented creators to create anything that would be more taxing than the reference content: They told you how many textures to use, how big they could be, down to how many triangles where allowed for each LOD.

Despite the horrible exploitative business practices of the company, people stayed because the social elements where huge, and the experience was almost always very smooth. There.com was designed as a place where you could have virtual excursions, adventures, and make friends... And then SL came and literally dwarfed it, it was bigger and better on every front, excepted smoothness.

 

If SL was like Sansar or IMVU, it wouldn't have been anything special. IMVU's popularity kinda soared when SL users began shifting secondlife from a "main focus" application to something you keep running in the background "in case something comes up".

 

And yeah, SL will never run like something created by a game studio could, that's a fair and reasonable expectation there. But before throwing the towel and going "well I guess there is nothing that can be done", why not try to reign content to correspond to what is expected from a real game? It's not going to give a solid 60 fps and smooth region crossings to people using toasters, but regardless of how puny or mighty your computer is, why wouldn't you want SL to run better?

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Kyrah Abattoir said:

Content creation on there.com was very primitive, but one big difference with SL was that the there.com creators where very aware of the limitations of what they created, and when the ability to create custom models was introduced, it was under very strict guidelines that simply prevented creators to create anything that would be more taxing than the reference content: They told you how many textures to use, how big they could be, down to how many triangles where allowed for each LOD.

EA/Maxis does something similar with the Sims for the same reason(s) and the custom content created for it and it's not even online. Been that way since 2005.

Frankly, it's a smart thing to do and one of the reasons LL has such a hard time keeping things balanced is because they don't.

Edited by Selene Gregoire
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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Kyrah Abattoir said:

My position is that SL doesn't incentivize good content, there is no real mechanic in place that forces creators into the balancing act that should be expected from them.

If anything it encourages the very worst content, either because 'looks sell' or for every limitation that does exist there's a hacky way to bypass it.

Quote

It's also why animesh has such a low penetration rate so far (it's not the only reason obviously): The additional restrictions that come with animesh are a brick wall for many creators who, essentially, don't want to worry about limits.

I think it's more about the rezzed cost keeping demand low. Rezzed animesh is painfully hard to justify, especially if you're decorating a linden home (or something with similarly tight budget).

Quote

I guess at this point SL must be such an engineering nightmare that they have developed PTSD about it :).

When Linden's say "we're amazed daily by the things people do with our service" .. I don't think they're talking about the good stuff.

Edited by CoffeeDujour
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5 hours ago, CoffeeDujour said:

If anything it encourages the very worst content, either because 'looks sell' or for every limitation that does exist there's a hacky way to bypass it.

In some cases it can, but in others I would say no. Firstly putting limitations helps ensure that everyone can have a better experience and produce better quality and optimised content. Secondly, restrictions encourage innovation. Many things are created better because the restrictions placed on creators and designers has forced them to think outside the box. Architecture is one of the primary examples of this in RL.

Even without restrictions people are going to find a way to bypass something so it makes no difference introducing them other than encouraging content creators to create a certain way. Your always going to get a few bad apples that don't conform. 

You also say "there's a hacky way to bypass it" whilst yes that is true, in the majority of cases if it goes against the restrictions it would be a simple patch needed for Lab to fix it. That said, without those very restrictions or people finding "hacky ways" we would never have had mega prims, sculpties, fitted mesh, animesh, etc. Some of these were introduced as a way to resolve those very hacks and others kept because even as hacks they worked. Sure some of the hacks impacted on performance such as sculpties, texture flicking movement etc., at the time and in some cases now, but they allowed the SL world to change considerably, flourish and be innovative. Keeping user retention.

Quote

I think it's more about the rezzed cost keeping demand low. Rezzed animesh is painfully hard to justify, especially if you're decorating a linden home (or something with similarly tight budget).

But there is the problem. Well created content, that has a low polygon count and uses better optimised textures would allow for more sim resources to go to animesh. The situation we have now is that there is a hard restriction placed on animesh that forces sim creators to not put many down due to the cost. This however is counteracted by having very lax or abused restrictions on other content creation whereby, a house can have a land impact of 1000 solely due to poor optimisation. This leaves less space for other content such as animesh that makes it hard for a person who doesn't know how to rig or mesh and is at the mercy of poorly optimised content creators taking up the space making it hard for them to justify that extra 30Li.

As far as justification in other areas go for rezzed animesh, it certainly can be justified through the use of animesh as NPC's in any circumstance especially RP and gaming. The trouble now is, per above, one type of creation restricts the use of the other and people also are not optimising the animesh. This is what is keeping demand low as .

Animesh could be a gamechanger for second life but, if its adoption rate is poor simply due to ALL content not being optimised (even through restrictions), it could crash and burn any positives both inworld and to potential other users.

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3 minutes ago, Drayke Newall said:

In some cases it can, but in others I would say no. Firstly putting limitations helps ensure that everyone can have a better experience and produce better quality and optimised content. Secondly, restrictions encourage innovation. Many things are created better because the restrictions placed on creators and designers has forced them to think outside the box. Architecture is one of the primary examples of this in RL.

I don't disagree.

However for every meaningful limitation you can dream up, I will be able to give you workaround that is is objectively worse than whatever the limitation was attempting to prevent.

3 minutes ago, Drayke Newall said:

Even without restrictions people are going to find a way to bypass something so it makes no difference introducing them other than encouraging content creators to create a certain way. Your always going to get a few bad apples that don't conform. 

The default avatar is limiting. The work around is onion skinned heads and bodies.

3 minutes ago, Drayke Newall said:

Animesh could be a gamechanger for second life but, if its adoption rate is poor simply due to ALL content not being optimised (even through restrictions), it could crash and burn any positives both inworld and to potential other users.

Low poly animesh is still very expensive to rez.

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49 minutes ago, CoffeeDujour said:

The default avatar is limiting. The work around is onion skinned heads and bodies.

"You have reached your avatar polygon quota."

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Posted (edited)
56 minutes ago, CoffeeDujour said:

I don't disagree.

However for every meaningful limitation you can dream up, I will be able to give you workaround that is is objectively worse than whatever the limitation was attempting to prevent.

Ture, however an architect in RL can come up with numerous work arounds to the Development plans of governing bodies. Does this mean its necessarily bad? No. All it means is that if it goes to harshly against the development regulations its refused and in the next iteration of the Development Plan a clause preventing that workaround is put in place. On the other hand if it adds to the community or has little detrimental effect, it is approved to stay. This is how we get buildings designed to the extreme from starchitects like Frank Gehry.

Just as it is the same we get to keep work arounds like sculpts, megaprims and liquid mesh or we get changes to the ARC etc to stop those work arounds.

Quote

The default avatar is limiting. The work around is onion skinned heads and bodies.

That's a different case. Its not necessarily a hack. It was a necessity or byproduct of negligence. It is the fault of Linden Lab for not redoing the default avatar customisation system when they introduced mesh and even after years of people requesting its upgrade.

Edit: This negligence has also affected their pipeline whereby they have had to dedicate resources to rework inbuilt systems to help with the situation despite, if they had just updated the default body they could have just ignored. I.E, BoM

Quote

Low poly animesh is still very expensive to rez.

I have seen lots of low poly well done animesh figures around the 50Li mark. Is that high compared to a non animesh NPC of 20Li? Maybe, but if done right you can build a multi level sim wide city for 3000Li leaving well over 10000Li. Enough for 200 animish NPC's and room to spare with current Li allowances.

Edited by Drayke Newall
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Posted (edited)
20 minutes ago, Drayke Newall said:

It was a necessity or byproduct of negligence. It is the fault of Linden Lab for not redoing the default avatar customisation system when they introduced mesh and even after years of people requesting its upgrade.

So . . . I'll be something of a devil's advocate here for a moment.

Suppose LL had updated the standard avatar, and brought it up to the visual standards (at presumably less processing cost) of mesh bodies, heads, and other body parts.

What happens to the mesh body and head industry in Second Life? It has to be one of the most lucrative and thriving sectors of the SL economy now, even if the lack of standardization for rigging has introduced all sorts of unnecessary inefficiencies into the production of apparel, skin, and avatar accessories.

Do you think that residents would have found other places to spend the L$10000+ that it currently costs many of us to go mesh? Would the economy have bustled in other ways to compensate for it?

Or would that have been that much less money introduced into the economy? Speaking personally, I don't think I'd have devoted the money I spent on a mesh body, head, etc., to other stuff -- not most of it, anyway. I would be much less of a "consumer" here were I able to rely on a freely available and high-quality default avatar.

Edited by Scylla Rhiadra
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18 minutes ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

What happens to the mesh body and head industry in Second Life?

It would never have existed. Some of us have been after LL to update the avatars and it's system since 2006 or 7. Maybe even earlier. LL fell down and went boom again.

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1 minute ago, Selene Gregoire said:

It would never have existed. Some of us have been after LL to update the avatars and it's system since 2006 or 7. Maybe even earlier. LL fell down and went boom again.

Right, exactly.

So . . . that's obviously a good thing for me: it's that much less that I would have spent on my two avatars.

But . . . not so good for the SL economy. Or for LL. And, arguably, in the long run, for anyone using the platform: the SL economy is the machine that makes everything work.

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3 minutes ago, Selene Gregoire said:

It would never have existed. Some of us have been after LL to update the avatars and it's system since 2006 or 7. Maybe even earlier. LL fell down and went boom again.

Yes. As I've just said in another thread , it's too late. What's done is done. :(

 

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

Right, exactly.

So . . . that's obviously a good thing for me: it's that much less that I would have spent on my two avatars.

But . . . not so good for the SL economy. Or for LL. And, arguably, in the long run, for anyone using the platform: the SL economy is the machine that makes everything work.

 

8 minutes ago, ChinRey said:

Yes. As I've just said in another thread , it's too late. What's done is done. :(

 

Hey now, the question was asked, I gave the answer. Not my fault LL never had any foresight and ignored their customer base for over 10 years. I'm just stating the obvious.

ETA: And now I'm sitting here giggling because I'm stating the obvious. D'oh  facepalm.gif.bb00a18f5957ad83f4a0cb279fdcf2ba.gif

Edited by Selene Gregoire

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2 minutes ago, Selene Gregoire said:

Not my fault LL never had any foresight and ignored their customer base for over 10 years. I'm just stating the obvious.

What I'm sort of suggesting, though . . . although, as I say, I'm kind of playing devil's advocate . . . is that it was actually a good thing that they did. Because it created an enormously important industry in Second Life that otherwise would simply not have existed.

In fact, is it not possible that one of the reasons they don't directly take the initiative on things like this is because they understand that leaving it to SL creators is, in the long run, more profitable (if much less technically efficient)

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