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Alyona Su

🎁👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 TIP: Viewer Settings for Crowds and Events

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Okay, just finished slicing through the Winter Shop and Hop LL Event.

I kept finding myself cringing at the complaints over and over and over about how laggy it is and what a mess it is. I was able to run through it all like a roller-skate flyer with an average of 35 agents (avatars) in each region! So I thought I'd share how I do it and I put it into the SECOND LIFE VIEWER forum because it's all about your viewer settings.

All the viewers now include the ability to save graphic presets. So create a new preset and call it whatever you want. I call mine "Crowd Control". Go to your graphic setting settings and play with these. These are my settings, you can start with these then tweak as desired. I use the Catznip viewer and these settings are very close to the same layout as the Linden Viewer, but all are generally the same in all viewers, though layout may vary. So I will start from top and work my way down:

MAIN SETTINGS:

  • QUALITY LEVEL -> LOW (All the way to the far left on the slider.)
  • DRAW DISTANCE -> 96 M (It's not necessary to have anything higher than this!)
  • AVATAR MAXIMUM COMPLEXITY -> 80,000 (Just because I like to ogle, but you can set this to zero, too)

ADVANCED SETTINGS (All sliders full to the left unless noted):

  • Draw Distance: 96
  • Max Particle Count: 0
  • Post Process Quality: LOW
  • Maximum Complexity: 0 (or a *very* low number)
  • Detail: LOW
  • Physics: LOW
  • Texture Memory: MAXIMUM (Full Right Slider)
  • Fog Distance Ratio: 4.0
  • Gamma: 0.00
  • Anisotropic Filtering: NO (Checkbox is not checked))
  • Enable OpenGL Vertex Buffers: ON (Checkbox is checked)
  • Enable Texture Compression: OFF (Checkbox is not checked)
  • Anti-Aliasing: Disabled (In truth this one doesn't matter too much, but no more than 2x)
  • Terrain Mesh Detail: LOW
  • Trees: LOW
  • Objects: HIGH
  • Flexiprims: LOW

Now turn ALL "Shaders" to OFF (Uncheck all of the following):

  • Transparent Water: OFF
  • Bump Mapping and Shiny: OFF
  • Local Lights: OFF
  • Basic Shaders: OFF

Everything else should be dimmed and unelectable.

Now click the OK button to activate these settings, then open Graphic Settings and again and SAVE AS A PRESET. Now you will not experience any computer-lag. Any lag left is all at the Linden Lab server-side (it's the best we can all do.)

Now whenever you go to any crowded location, use this preset before going there. You will be able to move though the area with maximum Frame-rate, and basically slice through like a hot knife through butter. If there is movement lag because of sim-load, you'll still be able to move more quickly than others and your frame rate will remain high. If at a club or party, etc., this allows you to get to wherever you plan to be (dance floor, whatever) then once in position, go back to your main preset.

If at a very crowded event, such as shopping (like the Winter Shop and Hop, etc.) - enter the region, stand still, and alt-cam your way through. You will have very little "camera lag" (moving your camera around) and textures and vedors will rez quickly and fully so you can shop as though no one else were there. Almost. Though keep in mind when clicking scripted items like gift boxes and vendors, there may be some lag in the reply as that is simulator-side and not viewer-side lag.

But, in short, this is how you SHOP LIKE A PRO and EVENT LIKE A BOSS!!!

If you have any other pro-tips for scenarios like these, please share!

Edited by Alyona Su
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I'd recommend setting everything beyond max. Pull up everything so high the Viewer keeps crashing, more crashes = less people = better for everyone.

jk

 

but seriously now, if you need to toggle even basic shaders and turn down trees, TREES. TREES! You might want to close the Viewer and do something in real life instead, or simply don't visit these events because if these settings honestly make a difference for you still then i wonder how you can even have these things on.

Edited by NiranV Dean
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11 minutes ago, NiranV Dean said:

I'd recommend setting everything beyond max. Pull up everything so high the Viewer keeps crashing, more crashes = less people = better for everyone.

jk

 

but seriously now, if you need to toggle even basic shaders and turn down trees, TREES. TREES! You might want to close the Viewer and do something in real life instead, or simply don't visit these events because if these settings honestly make a difference for you still then i wonder how you can even have these things on.

We do not all have $55.000 Mac Pro computers. LOL

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Mac.

*AUTISTIC SCREECHING*

Self-built PC only.

Ryzen 3600 @ ~200€

GTX 1060 6GB @ ~200€

64gb 3200 DDR4 RAM @ ~150€

R470 Mainboard (for the Ryzen) @ ~150€

That's like 700€ total. Not exactly $55.000. This is not even anywhere near 1000. And that's pretty recent hardware, my previous hardware with an AMD FX 6200 and 16GB RAM and an old mainboard cost easily 300€ less and it ran SL fine for the past 7 years. A PC that can handle absolutely everything even outside SL doesn't even require 500€ and thats with pricing calculated from the time i bought them (7 years ago) today you basically get these for free.

Seriously if people bought hardware rather than a stupid name that stood for inventing basic features that have been there for 15 years already they would get so much more bang for their buck.

Edited by NiranV Dean
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Some viewers that allow you to set texture memory >512MB will let you set it to use more memory than your video card actually has in some configurations. So before jamming it all the way up, make sure your card actually has enough memory to do it. If turning basic shaders off makes SL run faster, it’s time for a new video card. Turning basic shaders off will slow down a halfway decent GPU.

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In my case, disabling ALM (which happens when the shaders are turned off) actually lowers my FPS significantly. If I get to an event and find that my FPS drops to single digits with ALM enabled, my options are to use Ctrl-Alt-Shift-4 to not render characters (avatars) or to go find another place in SL to visit.

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3 hours ago, NiranV Dean said:

Mac.

*AUTISTIC SCREECHING*

Self-built PC only.

Ryzen 3600 @ ~200€

GTX 1060 6GB @ ~200€

64gb 3200 DDR4 RAM @ ~150€

R470 Mainboard (for the Ryzen) @ ~150€

That's like 700€ total. Not exactly $55.000. This is not even anywhere near 1000. And that's pretty recent hardware, my previous hardware with an AMD FX 6200 and 16GB RAM and an old mainboard cost easily 300€ less and it ran SL fine for the past 7 years. A PC that can handle absolutely everything even outside SL doesn't even require 500€ and thats with pricing calculated from the time i bought them (7 years ago) today you basically get these for free.

Seriously if people bought hardware rather than a stupid name that stood for inventing basic features that have been there for 15 years already they would get so much more bang for their buck.

I rest may case LOL

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5 hours ago, Alyona Su said:

Okay, just finished slicing through the Winter Shop and Hop LL Event.

I kept finding myself cringing at the complaints over and over and over about how laggy it is and what a mess it is. I was able to run through it all like a roller-skate flyer with an average of 35 agents (avatars) in each region!

Of all the events i've been to lately Shop and Hop was the least laggy with the exception of the region "Golden" yesterday and one stores booth where performance tanked. All i did was set my viewer to "show friends only" turn off water rendering in the advanced menu and drop draw distance to 64m which for me at least seems to be the optimum draw distance for events to get best performance

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10 hours ago, Lyssa Greymoon said:

Some viewers that allow you to set texture memory >512MB will let you set it to use more memory than your video card actually has in some configurations. So before jamming it all the way up, make sure your card actually has enough memory to do it. If turning basic shaders off makes SL run faster, it’s time for a new video card. Turning basic shaders off will slow down a halfway decent GPU.

 

5 hours ago, Claireschen Hesten said:

Of all the events i've been to lately Shop and Hop was the least laggy with the exception of the region "Golden" yesterday and one stores booth where performance tanked. All i did was set my viewer to "show friends only" turn off water rendering in the advanced menu and drop draw distance to 64m which for me at least seems to be the optimum draw distance for events to get best performance

This is exactly what i meant.

Any non-pocket calculator hardware will not benefit from turning off shaders or ALM, i see the same, turning off ALM reduces my framerate as well.

But there's a reason for it too, given you have hardware with a decent hardware you basically shift some of the required cycles from CPU to GPU with shaders, you essentially free up extremely valuable CPU cycles which result in better framerates even though you are rendering "more".

Edited by NiranV Dean

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OK, since this seems to have wandered about a bit anyhow, and there are knowledgeable people in the thread, I have a stupid question:

I go to sims quite often (a great deal of the time busy shopping or event sims) and even though I have decent framerates, say 30 or so, I experience massive lag: walking in place, mostly, but also walking very very slowly and the classics like walking then jumping back or walking after I stop trying to walk. What gives?

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1 hour ago, CaerolleClaudel said:

OK, since this seems to have wandered about a bit anyhow, and there are knowledgeable people in the thread, I have a stupid question:

I go to sims quite often (a great deal of the time busy shopping or event sims) and even though I have decent framerates, say 30 or so, I experience massive lag: walking in place, mostly, but also walking very very slowly and the classics like walking then jumping back or walking after I stop trying to walk. What gives?

Exactly what you said. You're lagging. Most likely because you and/or others are dragging the region down with heavily scripted items.

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4 minutes ago, NiranV Dean said:

Exactly what you said. You're lagging. Most likely because you and/or others are dragging the region down with heavily scripted items.

I guess I am confused. I thought you would also have low frame rates if you were lagged? Are frame rate and actually being able to do anything unrelated, or only loosely related?

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33 minutes ago, CaerolleClaudel said:

I guess I am confused. I thought you would also have low frame rates if you were lagged? Are frame rate and actually being able to do anything unrelated, or only loosely related?

That’s server side lag, and your graphics settings won’t really change that. You can get great frame rates, but on really crowded regions, the servers may not be able to keep up with everyone’s avatar, scripts and physics enabled objects. On the other hand, you’ve probably also been to graphically heavy places where you get a terrible frame rate, but can walk around without rubber banding. 

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32 minutes ago, Lyssa Greymoon said:

That’s server side lag, and your graphics settings won’t really change that. You can get great frame rates, but on really crowded regions, the servers may not be able to keep up with everyone’s avatar, scripts and physics enabled objects. On the other hand, you’ve probably also been to graphically heavy places where you get a terrible frame rate, but can walk around without rubber banding. 

Thanks, Lyssa. Funny how I once thought that in a couple of years SL would fix the lag (that was over 12 years ago...~).

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1 hour ago, NiranV Dean said:

Exactly what you said. You're lagging. Most likely because you and/or others are dragging the region down with heavily scripted items.

Oh, and btw:

You are running 14 scripts, using 0.9MB memory.
You have less than 50 scripts, this is an excellent and light amount.

Is that what you would consider heavy? I guess none is best, really...

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1 hour ago, CaerolleClaudel said:

Oh, and btw:

You are running 14 scripts, using 0.9MB memory.
You have less than 50 scripts, this is an excellent and light amount.

Is that what you would consider heavy? I guess none is best, really...

14 scripts and 0.9MB is not much, sadly neither script count nor memory usage are worth jack *****.

A single lightweight script can lag a SIM to near-death and potentially even crash it if we count fatal bugs. It really depends on what you do with said scripts.

2 hours ago, NiranV Dean said:

Most likely because you and/or others are dragging the region down with heavily scripted items.

As stated here, you and/or others, it might be you, you and other people, or just other people. Generally speaking (and i know this will sound quite racist) but you're a human, your stuff isn't exactly "good", infact it is in rare cases only. Most human focused stuff is laggy and performance heavy because the content creators creating these don't know or don't care much, sadly, neither does most of SL's userbase. Everyone just complains but when you tell them they shut the doors and ignore you. Sadly as normal user you cannot find out whether it is your stuff or that of others or a combination of both, at least not without help. If you find one of these boards that show script count and memory usage, try those, most of them also show script time (besides memory usage that's the most important part), you want to keep your script time as tiny as possible.

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30 minutes ago, NiranV Dean said:

14 scripts and 0.9MB is not much, sadly neither script count nor memory usage are worth jack *****.

A single lightweight script can lag a SIM to near-death and potentially even crash it if we count fatal bugs. It really depends on what you do with said scripts.

As stated here, you and/or others, it might be you, you and other people, or just other people. Generally speaking (and i know this will sound quite racist) but you're a human, your stuff isn't exactly "good", infact it is in rare cases only. Most human focused stuff is laggy and performance heavy because the content creators creating these don't know or don't care much, sadly, neither does most of SL's userbase. Everyone just complains but when you tell them they shut the doors and ignore you. Sadly as normal user you cannot find out whether it is your stuff or that of others or a combination of both, at least not without help. If you find one of these boards that show script count and memory usage, try those, most of them also show script time (besides memory usage that's the most important part), you want to keep your script time as tiny as possible.

Thanks! And honestly, I am beyond clueless when it comes to scripts and stuff... :)

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A lot of things have to go right for a walk in Second Life to be a comfortable experience.  If any one thing that is involved interferes in the end result people complain of "lag".  Sorry it's complicated.  Sorry one has to look at a lot of data in statistics to see what part of the process is being affected.  This complexity is why I stopped trying to help when people say "lag".

I use an Intel i9-9900k running at 5GHz with 32GB of DDR4 RAM and a video card bearing an Nvidia GTX 1070 and 8GB of some fast RAM variant I forget the name of right now.  I still feel the "lag", but can usually, after years of experience banging my head against various objects, narrow it down to RENDERING, SIMULATION or COMMUNICATION.  It's when two or more of these get combined that things get really confusing.

Things I may sometimes look at to be nosey:

Turn on metadata display of object updates.   Sometimes the updates, as indicated by rising color dots, just stop arriving, which could mean a pause in simulation or a breakdown in communications.

Disable object velocity interpolation, which also disables avatar movement interpolation.  Try walking around with this interpolation disabled and you get an idea why a pause in updates makes you appear to rapidly change or reverse course.

Watch SIMULATOR statistics.

Time Dilation below 0.9 is kinda like a general indication the simulator is busy.  It's not, by itself, a sign of a defect.  It's just a ratio between the maximum SIMULATION cycles (frames) per second of 45 and the current simulation cycles per second.  Other statistics might help indicate what the cause of time dilation is.

Main Agents is the number of avatars whose location is within the region in the simulator.  There is one region per simulator and multiple simulators per host computer.  (This is not OpenSimulator, which may do it differently.)  Each agent in the region uses simulation time.  If they are standing on a rezzed object each agent uses a little more time.  If the rezzed object intersects other rezzed objects the agent uses even more time.  Some dance floor designs KILL simulator performance simply by making it busier than necessary.

Physics Details - Pinned Objects....  Short story, you have a griefer.  😉  Sometimes an object just doesn't get physical simulation time because the collection of objects being simulated is too complex.  Remove some.

Physics Details - Low LOD objects.... Again, you have a griefer!  Or, something has been identified by the simulator to be a physics problem so the simulator has simplified this object's physical shape in an attempt to continue the simulation.  Find and remove the offender.  It might be that helicopter buzzing around over there.

Active Scripts... This is a troublesome one to talk about.  Mere mention of a guideline for an upper limit here has caused flame wars that have resulted in many blistered butts and charred attitudes.  CURRENTLY there MAY be a simulator software issue that causes each script, even if it isn't doing anything, to take up time in the tight schedule allocated to running scripts.  3,800 scripts and 38 agents should be able to coexist in a full region without bogging it down in the current simulator software, Second Life Server 2019-12-04T20:29:26.533447.  More scripts or more agents and things start slipping.  Personally, I think we should be able to have way more scripts in a region than this AND 45 agents before time dilation starts slipping, given no exceptional physics issues.  I say this because I have logged events with over 9,000 scripts and 45 agents in a full region with a time dilation of 0.888, a few years ago.

 

Edited by Ardy Lay

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8 hours ago, CaerolleClaudel said:

I guess I am confused. I thought you would also have low frame rates if you were lagged? Are frame rate and actually being able to do anything unrelated, or only loosely related?

To put it in simple terms, there are many different kinds of "lag." The term is ambiguous on its own.

There's low framerate, there's delay in inputs/actions, there's slow/weak connection, etc. Some of it can be fixed by you, some of it can be fixed by LL, some of it can be your ISP's fault, and some of it can only be fixed by the people making stuff for SL.

Edited by Wulfie Reanimator
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12 hours ago, CaerolleClaudel said:

OK, since this seems to have wandered about a bit anyhow, and there are knowledgeable people in the thread, I have a stupid question:

I go to sims quite often (a great deal of the time busy shopping or event sims) and even though I have decent framerates, say 30 or so, I experience massive lag: walking in place, mostly, but also walking very very slowly and the classics like walking then jumping back or walking after I stop trying to walk. What gives?

The impact of avatars arriving and departing hasn't been specifically mentioned so far, and this is an issue that may be largely responsible for Caerolle's problems of walking on the spot or very slowly. When an avatar arrives in a region, every single scrap of information about that avatar - hair, skin, clothes and all the scripts that are attached to it, have to be received from the previous region's server, processed and actioned. This demands a fair bit of work to be done by the receiving simulator, but shouldn't really take more more than a few milliseconds. Likewise, when an avatar leaves the region, all that data has to be passed over to the new region's simulator. This shouldn't take more than a few milliseconds but, at busy places (like shopping events), avatars are arriving and leaving all the time, and this starts to present a heavy load on the simulator. The effect of three or four avatars arriving in quick succession can stall everything for several seconds sometimes.

Now lets add a big script loading to all of these arriving/departing avatars, and things just start to get impossible! And its not difficult to carry a big script load around with you all the time - scripted hair, clothes, shoes (texture change scripts) and mesh body hud scripts are very commonly worn all the time. Some people have scripted additions to their avatars, too - collars, "personal bits"...etc, and these can all add up to a massive script load.

One day we might just get the message through to people. Why are they even wearing their "personal bits" to go shopping, for example? Can you copy that dress, make it blue for your "blue outfit", and delete the scripts? (Make sure you keep an original copy though!) Dumping unnecessary scripts will do a huge favour to everyone.

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7 minutes ago, Odaks said:

The impact of avatars arriving and departing hasn't been specifically mentioned so far, and this is an issue that may be largely responsible for Caerolle's problems of walking on the spot or very slowly. When an avatar arrives in a region, every single scrap of information about that avatar - hair, skin, clothes and all the scripts that are attached to it, have to be received from the previous region's server, processed and actioned. This demands a fair bit of work to be done by the receiving simulator, but shouldn't really take more more than a few milliseconds. Likewise, when an avatar leaves the region, all that data has to be passed over to the new region's simulator. This shouldn't take more than a few milliseconds but, at busy places (like shopping events), avatars are arriving and leaving all the time, and this starts to present a heavy load on the simulator. The effect of three or four avatars arriving in quick succession can stall everything for several seconds sometimes.

Now lets add a big script loading to all of these arriving/departing avatars, and things just start to get impossible! And its not difficult to carry a big script load around with you all the time - scripted hair, clothes, shoes (texture change scripts) and mesh body hud scripts are very commonly worn all the time. Some people have scripted additions to their avatars, too - collars, "personal bits"...etc, and these can all add up to a massive script load.

One day we might just get the message through to people. Why are they even wearing their "personal bits" to go shopping, for example? Can you copy that dress, make it blue for your "blue outfit", and delete the scripts? (Make sure you keep an original copy though!) Dumping unnecessary scripts will do a huge favour to everyone.

Great points, thanks! :)

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Someone wearing 97 scripts entered my region today.  Scripts and updates paused for approximately 3 seconds.  That's not good.  There was another, shorter, pause when they left.  Then someone with 73 scripts arrived and there was about half a second pause.  None of these people have any business here.  They just appear at 127, 127 in the center of the region.  What they do after arriving varies.  Some just stand there for a few seconds then disappear.  Others rotate for a while then disappear.  Still others take off walking in apparently random directions and leave the region walking.  A few fly up a few meters then stop then vanish a bit later.  The ones appearing at the center of the region greatly outnumber the ones flying in or walking in or appearing at other locations in the region.  There is nothing here but my house and I don't know the avatars I am talking about.  I have had this land for years.  Dunno what's going on but everybody that I know says I am seeing bots.  I would hate to sit thought what popular shopping areas have for traffic effected simulation pauses.  That has to be painful, frustrating, annoying debilitating, confusing, etc., to have all these pauses in simulation and communication when dozens come and go a minute.

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Oh poo! I really wish I took notes when I skim the technical stuff on these forums! If I remember correctly, there's an outfit call Grid Survey(?), that send bots out to collect information. There may be others too.

And, despite you having had the land for years, the "old landmark" problem still crops up. Just recently, I followed a Marketplace link to "see the item in world", and arrived in the usual un-rezzed mess. As things began to form in focus, it was obvious that I had landed in the kitchen of a house, not a store! At that point I got booted by the security, sadly before I'd had time to take any action myself. That always leaves me with an unpleasant feeling that I've done something wrong.

So here's a gentle little nudge to Market Place  traders:

UPDATE YOUR [expletive deleted] MARKETPLACE LISTINGS IF YOU MOVE OR CLOSE YOUR STORE!!!

 

(This is not the first time this has happened by any means!)

Edited by Odaks

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the ironical thing is this is 2019 pushing 2020. We have gaming on 4k monitors and game settings set to ultra and gamers are getting like 90+ fps. and in SL we have to turn everything to 'fugly' mode just in hopes of being able to move LOL

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Switching off everything may be the craptop emergency setting and even help there.

Modern hardware doesn't care about that insignificant settings (that includes ALM). That makes no difference. Shadows, draw distance and impostors. That's the only settings with a noticeable impact.

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