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Penny Patton

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  1. Penny Patton

    Why is there so much high-poly mesh in SL?

    Context is important. Your question is loaded with these assumptions.
  2. Penny Patton

    Why is there so much high-poly mesh in SL?

    Whoa, whoa, whoa. I never said AAA games look bad when standing still. Again, you're applying that zero sum logic, "Well, Penny said optimized games look better in motion, that MUST mean they look worse in still shots." And "optimization" is a technical term used universally across the CG modelling industry and communities. SL being the exception, a bubble community of people whose experience with CG modelling begins and ends with SL. And here again you're falling into that zero sum logic, if content is optimized to render better in a realtime environment, it MUST look worse in still renders/screenshots.
  3. Penny Patton

    Why is there so much high-poly mesh in SL?

    Lot of assumptions here. First, the assumption that since many SL users wish to have a private space for themselves means that these people NEVER, EVER leave those security orb laden skyboxes. Then there is the assumption that SL users represent the entirety of the market for virtual worlds. If someone is not in SL, they must have zero interest in any sort of virtual world. The SL userbase is it. This in turn relies on the assumption that SL is perfect. It has no flaws that push users away, none that another virtual world could avoid. SL has successfully attracted and held on to everyone who holds any interest in virtual worlds. It has never lost a single user beyond those who were never interested in virtual worlds in the first place. I'm not saying SineSpace will be a hit, I have no experience with it. Like Blue Mars and other failed attempts to enter the arena it could have it's own crippling flaws that prevent it from taking off with users. I just don't think it's an aversion to "big worlds" that is the problem.
  4. Penny Patton

    Why is there so much high-poly mesh in SL?

    Ummm, ok? Not sure what you're getting at here. You still seem to be saying that if SL can be made to look better in motion, then the SL Photography community must somehow suffer, without explaining why this must be. It is not a zero sum game.Most SL content can look just as good but without the performance hit. In the extremely rare cases where excessively high-res textures and high poly are needed for photography props, environments, whatever, you could still do that, but I'm saying there should be some sort of discouragement from using that photo-specific content for everyday/non-photo environments/avatars so people aren't using such content where the extra resource use has no benefit and only serves to drag down the experience for everyone.
  5. Penny Patton

    Why is there so much high-poly mesh in SL?

    No, if that were the case I'd have no problem with it. She's using "tail wagging the dog" arguments to say things like this: There is no truth to Theresa's statment. None, whatsoever. She's fallen for the misguided idea that this is somehow a zero sum game when it absolutely is not. Improving SL's content optimization issues would not ruin SL for anyone who enjoys SL now. (Except possibly the content thieves. Anyone want to stick their neck out for them?) Kyrah is hitting the nail on the head here. Theresa would have you believe that optimized content must look worse, therefore it would push those who use SL for Photography away. That is absolutely not the case. The bulk of poor optimization in SL is waste. 1024x1024 textures where over half the texture is empty unused space. Huge textures on tiny objects that you won't even see in those heavily edited Flickr photo albums. High poly models that look no better than a low poly version properly utilizing spec and normal maps. Things that could be fixed easily and the only reason any current content creators might not know how to do it is because they've never seen any need to learn how, but they could pick it up very easily if they needed to.
  6. Penny Patton

    Why is there so much high-poly mesh in SL?

    This is only true if you believe that those who currently enjoy SL would be put off if SL looked better and ran better for them, and at the same time you must also believe an SL that looks and runs great would fare no better in drawing in users. If LL had addressed the content optimization issue at any point in the past, the people Theresa brings up would at worst enjoy SL just as much as they do now. At worst. And on top of them, and the revenue they provide to both SL merchants and Linden Lab, there would be many more users adding to that.
  7. Penny Patton

    Why is there so much high-poly mesh in SL?

    But SL users will only ever be able to appreciate that detail in heavily photoshopped still screenshots on Flickr. The rest of the time they'll be running SL at low quality graphics settings just to maintain double digit framerates. Meanwhile, those triple A games always look better in motion. Content creators aren't going to police themselves, and the average user doesn't have either the tools or the knowledge they would need to tell good content from bad. If there's ever going to be any real improvement in terms of content optimization, it has to be lead by Linden Lab. Specifically, LL needs to provide: Better tools, to nudge people towards better content creation habits. Better education. LL has everything from their blog and wiki, to the login screens every user sees every day, they can use all of these to promote better content creation habits, and make people aware of what sort of content issues drag down performance. Some method of reigning in the use of resource intensive content by pushing content creators to better optimize their work moving forward, without taking away existing content from the userbase. SL has been around for 15 years, and unless LL really manages to screw something up, it will probably be around another 15 years. If LL can get content creators to start making better content now, the issue will resolve itself with time. And LL has plenty of ways to go about doing this. And it goes beyond simply telling people "too many textures eats up all your system's memory" or "SL isn't built to handle that many polygons in a scene". LL needs to be pro-active. Whenever LL does create content, it should be done by people with not just the talent, but also the skill to make content that looks great and doesn't kill your framerates. When LL releases a new monthly Premium Gift it should be a showcase of good content creation habits. They should release a blog post showcasing the item, showing how it was made and why it was made that way. They should do the same whenever they showcase a new Premium Sim, or any other public content, like the SL games they've been producing over the years. LL should regularly be holding contests challenging people to create better content. From avatars, to vehicles, to full sim builds. Rewarding content creators that are employing good habits to build content that both looks amazing and is light on the performance cost. These are all positive ways to approach the issue.
  8. Penny Patton

    Texturing Resources?

    I've been meaning to knock out a basic texturing tutorial, mainly demonstrating good habits in texturing for SL and why they're important. To put it simply; Keep texture use as low as possible while achieving the desired effect. In other words, don't use five 1024x1024 textures when using a single 512x512 will look pretty much the same unless you zoom in closer than anyone will. Also, don't use multiple slightly different textures when using a single texture will look more or less the same. Don't use wasteful textures that are mostly memory hogging empty space. Set up your UV maps so as much of the texture as possible is used. If you have a dozen textures for your model, each using a small amount of the overall canvas, combine them into a single texture, using all of that empty space. Remember, from a practical standpoint there is very little difference between SL and a videogame when it comes to how rendering content works. And in SL you don't have the benefit of a single art team working together to keep resource use in line, so it's good to compare SL content to art assets from games like Skyrim and Fallout 4 (the base games, not the framerate killing 4k texture mods) in terms of how you should be texturing. Maybe not exactly what you're looking for, but these tips are important because every computer has a limited amount of memory for textures. That same memory is shared with other features, like shadow maps. What's more, SL won't even use all of your texture memory properly. Excessive texture use has become one of SL's more prominent performance issues.
  9. Penny Patton

    This is why we can't have nice things.

    Which takes longer to get told if your bandwidth is clogged with gigs of textures. I never knew it was even a problem until I started to see people complaining about it and tested it in some texture heavy sims. If you're trying to download a whole bunch all at once, everything takes longer to download.
  10. Penny Patton

    This is why we can't have nice things.

    Your computer has a limited amount of memory, even moreso since SL will not use all of your available memory. Textures are stored in that memory while being displayed on your screen. If that memory is filled, several things happen: Sharp decline in framerate Texture thrashing (when textures keep derezzing due to being shuffled in and out of memory) Stuttering (where SL freezes up as you try to move the camera around, because it's desperately trying to move textures in and out of memory) There are objects, from tiny attachments to larger environmental objects, that use hundreds of MB worth of textures. To the point where it's not uncommon to see avatars using a couple hundred MB to nearly a full GB of textures. In addition, textures need to be downloaded, and you have a limited amount of space dedicated to your SL texture cache. This means excessive amounts of bandwidth are used not just to download all these textures, but to repeatedly redownload them. This results in several issues: Excessive bandwidth use Excessively long rez times That problem where rigged mesh bodyparts appear floating around the space where your avatar should be for several minutes before finally snapping to your avatar Despite what some people think, there is no way we're going to see some magical software fix that allows for unlimited texture detail. Seriously, if anyone could figure how to pull that literal miracle off and patent it, they'd be rich. Every videogame developer in the world would be licensing it off of them. If there were an existing method to do this, then videogames would employ this miracle rather than carefully managing texture use (which is what they actually do). There are technologies employed to manage or reduce the memory use of textures where possible, but these technologies are always paired with efficient use of textures, not as a replacement for it.
  11. With all of the talk lately about how any effort to get content creators to optimize their work might "force content creators out of SL" I thought I'd make some tutorials showing just how easy optimization can be. So for this first tutorial, I'm tackling LOD. Here is the link to the tutorial. I hope you find this information useful.
  12. Penny Patton

    What the fitmesh LoD bug actually means

    When someone is clearly making stuff up, and making no attempt to even hide that that's what they're doing, it's pretty obvious that they're trolling.
  13. Penny Patton

    What the fitmesh LoD bug actually means

    I disagree, to a point. I understand what you're saying, and I even understand the concern among people who don't understand enough about content creators to see that trolls are just trying to deliberately muddy the issue because they enjoy stirring up trouble on forums. LL cannot rush out any changes to content creation that will immediately cause people to lose content. That would be a disaster. Some good roadmaps have been put forward on how LL could reign in the worst habits among content creators, again without disrupting the average SL user's enjoyment of the platform, avoiding the worst case scenarios people have raised concerns about. And it's been demonstrated in-world that it doesn't take a whole lot to see some shocking levels of improvement. Content creators don't have to be held to strict levels of professional quality optimization, they just need to be guided away from the worst habits. Sure, a lot of what LL should have done in the beginning, they can't do now, and to achieve what they should do they now have to take the long way around, but there is still plenty they could, and should, do. HARD disagree here. Correcting people on their misconceptions about content creation, what causes lag, etcetera will not cost them any users. Not a single one. And, in fact, I'd argue it's even more to their benefit to be up front and proactive about correcting these misconceptions precisely because they now have to take a longer, more careful approach to reigning in the lack of optimization we currently see. They should be chiming in on threads like these, just to drop in a point of fact now and then. Patch should have an official content creation blog, sharing best tips, explaining how to create better content, and showing how to get the most out of the tools LL provides. A big part of why the myths and misconceptions are so prevalent is due to LL's silence outside of office hour meetings that very few SL users attend or watch. There is absolutely no benefit in LL catering to it. It's also worth noting that LL has stated, multiple times, that changes are coming to LI calculations to make them more effective. If LL wants that change to go smoothly, they need to start educating people now, long before any such changes go into effect.
  14. Penny Patton

    What the fitmesh LoD bug actually means

    Are you sure you're not confusing the lag and unoptimized content with some positive aspect of SL you might believe those drawbacks are intrinsically a part of? Remember, these problems are not some unavoidable consequence of creative freedom or the freedom every SL user has to personalize their appearance or build on their own land or any other positive part of SL you might be attributing them to. You can have all that without the lag, low FPS, etc.
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