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A Thread - All About LOD


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I don't really bother with it, because i'm sure a lot of users don't either..  If I'm getting things for around my house or myself to wear or whatever.. I'm sure gonna want most everyone to see things rather than not..

I might toy with it when taking pictures, but otherwise just leave it where it's at which is usually 2.0 when I'm running around and if I'm in ultra, it's 3.0.

If I'm shopping I'm usually gonna be at 2.0, so if something is getting wacky too soon, I'll probably just walk on by, unless I'm just getting it for a setup for a picture and gonna take it down only until I need it again..

 

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12 hours ago, wesleytron said:

I think it's really cool that all the people who like to wander around with their LODS set permanently on 4 don't care what their avatars look like and don't mind that they might look bald and naked to the rest of us.

Can someone -- anyone -- explain what this is supposed to mean for those of us with a fairly basic understanding of how LOD works?

12 hours ago, wesleytron said:

I think it's really cool that all the people who like to wander around with their LODS set permanently on 4 don't care what their avatars look like and don't mind that they might look bald and naked to the rest of us.

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9 minutes ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

Can someone -- anyone -- explain what this is supposed to mean for those of us with a fairly basic understanding of how LOD works?

You have your LOD level in the viewer set to 4. You will see the high-poly models for a much greater distance than others will. You have believed the creator and set a high LOD value in the viewer "to see the item at its best" The items where the creator said that are your hair and clothes....

Along comes somebody else with THEIR viewer set to 1.25, the default in the official viewer. To THEM, your hair and your clothing has collapsed into a few tris because it wasn't made with good LOD models, but your body hasn't collapsed because either it's "mole mesh" with high poly models in every LOD or it was actually designed well. They will see you naked and bald until really close in to you.

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3 minutes ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

Can someone -- anyone -- explain what this is supposed to mean for those of us with a fairly basic understanding of how LOD works?

What they are implying is people that set their LoD to 4 never see an item they wear degrade to a few polygons they never know how those using a lower LoD for performance see them. But LoD doesn't have all that much affect on avatars. Other settings in the viewer have more affect on avatar appearance.

FYI: I have never seen hair degrade due to LoD. Some clothes do. But, there is no Land Impact cost for anything attached to the avatar. So, a designer can use the hi-poly count model for all LoD levels and people don't seem to mind.

I have my viewer LoD set to 1.5 or 2... I forget. I see JellyDolls way before I see any LoD break down. LoD impacts stuff around me. I have a graphics preset for taking panoramic pictures with the LoD set at 4. That forces the stuff way over in the other regions to rez and complete the picture.

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yep, as @Nalates Urriahsaid, my post was an oversimplification because attachments are a bit of a special case, but that's the (slightly tongue in cheek) gist of the post being asked about.

Just because something looks good to you at the creators "suggested LOD" doesn't mean your lovingly created look, or scene, or landscape, will look that way to anyone else with a different LOD setting.

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9 minutes ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

Can someone -- anyone -- explain what this is supposed to mean for those of us with a fairly basic understanding of how LOD works?

I assumed it was intended to highlight that maxing out your own LOD doesn't have any effect on what others see, and that those with high LOD settings may not be aware that the clothes and hair their avatars are wearing suffers from inadequate lower LOD models.

I suppose there are some who would be appalled to discover that other people can't see their avatar in all its finery and others who feel that as long as they can see their avatars properly it doesn't matter what other people see. 

Personally I tend not to worry about what other people see on their screens when dressing my avatar but who knows, perhaps we have a social/moral obligation to care more than we do since our appearance & behaviour can have a direct effect on the user experience of those around us?

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46 minutes ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

Can someone -- anyone -- explain what this is supposed to mean for those of us with a fairly basic understanding of how LOD works?

Huddles with Scylla in the corner with the other folks who skipped this class that day to go listen to music and possibly have adult beverages.

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I'll have a go at trying to explain what LOD is.

Things in SL are made from meshes - even the prims are made from mesh (and don't let anti-prim snobs tell you they aren't, because they really are mesh!)

In fact "prim" is short for Primative Mesh, a primative version of mesh that LL invented as basic ready-made mesh building blocks which the SL user could link together, twist, cut, hollow, shrink, enlarge, texture, recolour etc -  to make the inworld objects in SL.

Why primative mesh instead of actual mesh? Because way way back in 2002, the average home PC's used in SL were not yet sufficiently capable of supporting proper mesh objects - until around 2010/11, when uploading mesh objects to SL first became possible.

Meshes are made from triangles, sometimes called polygons. The more triangles or polygons there are in a mesh, the higher the land impact. But the higher the land impact, the laggier a sim region becomes and the quantity of objects allowed in the sim decreases too. And back in those earlier years of SL, sim region capacity was also lower than it is now. Which is why primative meshes were invented, as low LI building blocks, instead of full mesh.

Since the introduction of mesh uploading to SL, these meshes can be created and uploaded with various quantities of triangles/polygons in them and when uploaded to SL they can appear solid at specific viewing distances. Do not get this confused with Draw Distance, because its not the same and is a totally different thing.

Meshes can be uploaded to SL with a high Level of Detail (LOD) or a low one. Usually, High LOD meshes have more triangles/polygons in them than low LOD triangle/polygon meshes do. Higher LOD meshes have higher Land Impact (LI) and remain stable at longer viewing distances, while low LOD meshes appear to disintegrate at shorter distances, but have lower LI.

Uploading a low triangle/polygon mesh will be cheaper than uploading a higher triangle/polygon mesh too.

In the viewer preferences, the viewer LOD settings can be adjusted to boost the appearance of low LOD objects to make them appear and remain stable at further visual distances. Again, do not get this confused with Draw Distance, its not the same thing.

Increasing the viewers LOD setting is said to increase viewer lag, although in my entire 14+ years in SL, I've never experienced that.

Avatar Complexity wholely concerns the triangle/polygon count of other avatars in SL, an avatar wearing lots of high polygon meshes or complex prim objects will have a higher, laggier complexity. Thankfully, most viewers now have Avatar Complexity settings in their preferences which allows the viewer user to decide whether these very high complex avatars can be fully rezzed or not.

Edited by SarahKB7 Koskinen
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Thanks to @Da5id Weatherwax, @Nalates Urriah, and @Fluffy Sharkfin for these cogent and understandable explanations! This does indeed make sense now. I was concerned -- because it was in contradiction to everything I thought I knew about how we render ourselves and others -- that there was some way in which upping OUR LOD setting was impacting how WE rendered to others.

I'm not sure how real this concern is . . . as Nalates points out, I think avis for me tend to go jellydoll long before they are reduced to unresolvable triangles. In fact, I honestly don't remember the last time I saw someone wandering around with mesh triangles instead of clothing and hair. But I DO get the general principle now!

You Smart People Who Know Stuff and Answer Questions are great!

@Seicher Raeand I will now return to our accustomed spot behind the boy's washroom to smoke cigarettes and flirt with the jocks!

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15 hours ago, SarahKB7 Koskinen said:

Increasing the viewers LOD setting is said to increase viewer lag, although in my entire 14+ years in SL, I've never experienced that.

Neither have I.  Someone here list a public region where changing my LOD from 1.5 to 4.0 will make any difference in my "lag", fps, or graphic card power consumption.   The most change I have ever seen at 4.0 vs some crazy low LOD is about a 2 pts increase in GPU usage, and because I have a speed controlled fan, no increase in GPU temperature.  

I want to find that region from hell that causes my system to burst into flames at a 4.0 LOD.  Waiting...

BTW, the default LOD in the SL Viewer for all settings less than Ultra is 1.125, not 1.250:

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Edited by Jaylinbridges
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On 9/16/2022 at 3:13 AM, wesleytron said:

I think it's really cool that all the people who like to wander around with their LODS set permanently on 4 don't care what their avatars look like and don't mind that they might look bald and naked to the rest of us.

I just assume all those people who use SL with low LODs see everything scrunched up and ugly anyway.

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1 hour ago, Blaise Glendevon said:

I just assume all those people who use SL with low LODs see everything scrunched up and ugly anyway.

I never run above 2 and I see everything perfectly fine.  There is ONE designer whose clothing does fall apart when I view it 'hanging' at an event.  I don't buy from them anyway so it's not an issue for me personally.   I don't even turn it up when taking pics.  

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8 minutes ago, Rowan Amore said:

I never run above 2 and I see everything perfectly fine.  There is ONE designer whose clothing does fall apart when I view it 'hanging' at an event.  I don't buy from them anyway so it's not an issue for me personally.   I don't even turn it up when taking pics.  

Ah yep. gotta love the people who insist that maxing out your hardware 24/7 is normal/expected behavior as well ....

Burn your hardware out if you want folks, don't pretend that is normal.

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3 hours ago, Jaylinbridges said:

BTW, the default LOD in the SL Viewer for all settings less than Ultra is 1.125, not 1.250

This explains something I started to notice when I began to use the official viewer more, following the initial introduction of the performance improvements. That mesh rendering in it was far inferior to FS, even at reasonably high settings (not ultra: I only run that for picture taking).

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10 minutes ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

This explains something I started to notice when I began to use the official viewer more, following the initial introduction of the performance improvements. That mesh rendering in it was far inferior to FS, even at reasonably high settings (not ultra: I only run that for picture taking).

There's a reason I used to state that that particular slider is nothing more than a set of highly generalized presets and that one should always do fine tuning for the best experience.

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3 minutes ago, Solar Legion said:

There's a reason I used to state that that particular slider is nothing more than a set of highly generalized presets and that one should always do fine tuning for the best experience.

You're totally right. Mostly, in fact, I do. I have a number of customized presets I use on Firestorm and BD. I just didn't have those for the Linden viewer.

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2 hours ago, Solar Legion said:

Ah yep. gotta love the people who insist that maxing out your hardware 24/7 is normal/expected behavior as well ....

Burn your hardware out if you want folks, don't pretend that is normal.

The SL viewer doesn't max out the hardware though remember?  That's one of the biggest complaints about it.

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Just now, Gabriele Graves said:

The SL viewer doesn't max out the hardware though remember?  That's one of the biggest complaints about it.

That's nice.

Note that I said nothing about the SL Viewer capabilities - at all - in my response. In fact I had a short, numbered list typed out at one point on the matter which made no mention of second Life directly either. Chose to not bother to post it, later responded to someone else with a general purpose response.

I'll state it again as well: max out your hardware all you want, don't pretend that is a normal use case. The complaint is that the Viewer does not make full use of modern hardware's capabilities. That is not the same as running it at maximum capacity all day, every day.

I'm not really in the mood to go round and round on this so if you're gonna try and rebut this ... Meh, I'd say to save it but go ahead anyway and waste the time. Maybe you'll get a further response.

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20 minutes ago, Solar Legion said:

That's nice.

Note that I said nothing about the SL Viewer capabilities - at all - in my response. In fact I had a short, numbered list typed out at one point on the matter which made no mention of second Life directly either. Chose to not bother to post it, later responded to someone else with a general purpose response.

I'll state it again as well: max out your hardware all you want, don't pretend that is a normal use case. The complaint is that the Viewer does not make full use of modern hardware's capabilities. That is not the same as running it at maximum capacity all day, every day.

I'm not really in the mood to go round and round on this so if you're gonna try and rebut this ... Meh, I'd say to save it but go ahead anyway and waste the time. Maybe you'll get a further response.

Nobody to my knowledge in this topic said they maxed out their hardware though.  In case the "you" in the above reply was literally me rather than general, I certainly didn't say I did.

Feel free not to respond :)
 

Edited by Gabriele Graves
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4 minutes ago, Gabriele Graves said:

Nobody to my knowledge in this topic said they maxed out their hardware though.  In case the "you" the above reply was literally me rather than general, I certainly didn't say I did.

Page two, post eight:

Quote

But yeah, of course you're right. Hardware is designed to run at 100% 24/7 and if it fails then it's either expected failure rates or the issue with the setup (bad cooling, bad airflow, external factors like pets etc).

Followed by a few agreeing with this.

Frankly even a single user making this claim is ... irritating to me.

Now I may have missed some intent somewhere - I long ago learned that one should not put one's hardware under anything even close to what the above snippet claims as it is undue strain. Further irritating is the blame being placed on external/other factors in the same snippet with people also agreeing with that. Yes of course if one has inadequate cooling and such, it will lessen the life of your hardware ... just as running it under maximum capacity 24/7 will.

Now I do get that people would like it very much if Second Life took more advantage of their hardware. I do not get the mentality of overworking it. your hardware should never be operating at 100% of its capacity for extended periods of time, let alone all day, every day.

Do note that here, "capacity" and "capability" are treated as quite different: "Capacity" in this instance meaning the amount of dedication to a particular set of tasks/load placed on said hardware whereas "capability" meaning .. well, what one's computer components can do. If you've got a Raytracing GPU in your machine and a program is not making use of it, that falls under "capability". if a program does make use of the full capabilities and you're expecting it to do so continually then you're looking at "capacity".

I could probably explain that better as well. Meh.

Point being that what your hardware can do, what a given program asks it to do and running it all full tilt are quite different with the latter not being "normal" behavior.

You appear to be arguing for the ability to use your hardware's full capabilities - that's fine.

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All I see in what you quoted is someone saying that hardware is designed to run at 100% 24/7 to make a point and not that they actually were running it that way.
 

2 minutes ago, Solar Legion said:

You appear to be arguing for the ability to use your hardware's full capabilities - that's fine.

Thanks, we good then? :)

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1 minute ago, Gabriele Graves said:

All I see in what you quoted is someone saying that hardware is designed to run at 100% 24/7 to make a point and not that they actually were running it that way.
 

Thanks, we good then? :)

More or less 'good'.

They were not making any sort of "point" either and even the idea that someone would do that ... Yeah, irritated is being polite as to my reaction.

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