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Advanced Lighting / Ambient Occlusion


GManB
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From what I understand if I add normal and specular  maps to a model via the Textures tab they only are used is if the viewer has Advanced Lighting (and possibly Ambient Occlusion) options enabled. Is this true? If so, do most users have these options on in their viewer? For me enabling those really reduces my fps so my guess is that they are not widely utilized but I'd like to know what others think.

Thanks,

G

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ALM enables them. The impact on you will depend a lot on the machine you are using and where the bottleneck exists. It is important to ensure that you remove shadows as a first step when you are comparing the ALM on and ALM off. 

I just did a little test for myself to demonstrate:

ALM on, AO off, shadows None 29fps

ALM off, (which disables shadows and AO anyway) 30 fps 

So a negligible change.

Enabling AO for me gave a small further reduction to about 28, though that's within the error of the reporting anyway.

Adding shadows has a far greater hit. in my case for the same indoor scene, with 3 avatars, furniture etc. that resulted in a drop to 20-21fps

One thing I noticed when testing this is that when I re-enabled ALM after this test I dropped to 13fps, but moving my camera into the distance so everything went grey and then back to the same place again restored the ALM to 29/30 level again. So be sure to move the camera around or even relog when testing to get clear results (also keep in mind that the viewer reduces you frame rate when it is not focus so typing on here my FPS will automatically drop. When testing and recording the results I often catch myself be surprise and forget that.

As for how many, in a recent discussion across a number of groups of people my estimate is that around half of users have ALM on. This is confused by the fact that some people will toggle ALM off in a busy scene and re-enable later. I'd guess (and this is a total guess) that if you assumed 40% had it on most of the time and 40% did not then the remaining 20% are in the "sometimes" group.

Ironically, one of the problems that ALM being turned off invokes is that creators resort to using mesh detail instead which of course has a further impact on performance so the argument becomes a little chicken and egg. 

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1 hour ago, GManB said:

From what I understand if I add normal and specular  maps to a model via the Textures tab they only are used is if the viewer has Advanced Lighting (and possibly Ambient Occlusion) options enabled. Is this true? If so, do most users have these options on in their viewer? For me enabling those really reduces my fps so my guess is that they are not widely utilized but I'd like to know what others think.

Thanks,

G

I am not sure that there are any statistics on who is using ALM so at best you might want to test your items visually with both on and off.  That being said EEP is here (Linden and perhaps some of the 3rd party viewers) and will become "the rule" soon when Firestorm does its update to include that feature.   

My test have shown that materials act very differently under EEP and indeed Linden Lab (I think it was Ebbe) stated that creators may need to redo their items when EEP becomes the rule.   I have seldom used materials in SL for a variety of reasons while I used them all the time in Sansar. Different platforms and different things to take into consideration. I chose (and still do) to bake "shine" and "bump" into the texture itself. Others of course disagee. 

 

My choices mean that most of my items look the same under EEP -- not that I was going to redo them all anyway.    As long as you have demos out of your items them people can see how they look in their own viewer and chose to buy based on that. Seems very fair to me.   

 

Here is the link to my test results with pictures on how different pre and post EEP can be. 

https://chicatphilsplace.blogspot.com/2020/04/eep-versus-windlight-another-new-normal.html

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  • 3 years later...
3 hours ago, Porky Gorky said:

I am trying to learn about the adoption rate of ALM. This thread is 4 years old and I am wondering if things have changed since then. Does anyone know if there is more widespread usage of ALM now? Thanks

Always on in newer viewers, I think. Shadows remain optional.

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