Second Life project updates 26/1: server, avatar rendering

The DECADES event  - Saturday, June 27th, 2015 only - details here
The Decades event – Saturday, June 27th, 2015 only – details here

Server Deployments

  • There was no scheduled deployment to the Main (SLS) channel on Tuesday, June 23rd
  • On Wednesday, June 24th, all three  RC channels were updated with the same new server maintenance project, which included a fix for BUG-197, “Cannot See My Chat Only In My Region / Region Bad Performance” (not open to public viewing) and internal simulator fixes. As pointed out in the comments, this deploy was actually rolled back; I had forgotten to re-check the deployment page between originally drafting the first part of this article and publishing it.

The chat issue is a problem whereby a user can’t see any of their local chat on a region or parcel, and nor can anyone else due to a scripted object which is spamming chat so badly, the chat throttle kicks in, blocking their chat. However, no message would be provided to inform the user this was the case; with the change deployed on Tuesday, the user will now get a message about the chat throttle being hit, but unfortunately, the system will not identify the spammy object (so it might be removed, if you own it / the the rights to return it).

Avatar Complexity and Avatar Rendering in Busy Regions

Avatar Rendering in Busy Regions

During the Simulator User Group meeting on Tuesday, June 23rd, Simon Linden hinted that as well as the upcoming Avatar Complexity feature for which I recently gave a rapid overview, there are other options the Lab might consider in order to lighten the rendering load created by avatars:

We may experiment with a similar setting for crowds … setting a limit on the number of avatars we do any attempt at rendering.   In other words, if you were at a region with 75 people in view, and it was set for a limit of 64, you’d only get 64.  The remaining ones just wouldn’t be there in any form, similar to turning off avatars with ctrl-alt-shift-4.

He then went on:

That’s just an experimental idea now. To really make it better in a crowd, we’d probably want the server interest list to know and then it wouldn’t send you those updates.

As we’ve seen, the Interest list isn’t the easiest thing to play around with, so it’ll be interesting to see which, if either, of these ideas might be pursued.

Avatar Complexity

In terms of Avatar Complexity, questions have already been asked if the upper limit is adequate. With the test viewer, the Avatar Complexity slider runs from a value of 19,999 (which pretty much that no other avatars will render in your world view) means pretty much no other avatars will render in your field-of-view) through to 300K, above which sits “No Limit”, which means any avatar will render.

However, the suggestion has been made that the upper limit should perhaps be increased to allow for those who want to render particularly complex avatars used by friends. Responding to this, Oz Linden said, “It wouldn’t be hard to make the range somewhat wider, but at some point the control becomes too hard to use because each pixel is too big a jump.”

One issue that the new Avatar Complexity capability will not prevent (although, strictly speaking, it’s not designed to) is that it will not prevent worn mesh crashers impacting the viewer, because while the avatar is not actually rendered, the data on what is being worn still gets loaded into memory, and it is this that is used to crash things. Commenting on this, Simon linden said, “That sounds like something that should be looked at … if we can avoid loading that data, it would help everything.” Commenting on this, Oz Linden added:

There are a number of available optimisations; among them, using the complexity information from others to just pre-emptively not even fetch the appearance info for an avatar.

So again, it will be interesting to see what might come to pass in the future, should the Lab take this work up as well.

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3 thoughts on “Second Life project updates 26/1: server, avatar rendering

    1. Drat – thanks for that! I confess to having this report hanging around for 3 days, and it totally slipped my mind to double-check the deployment page between times.

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      1. This happens with copy & paste sections. 😉 To name another example: since 2 weeks you wrote in your viewer release summaries, that the current release version is 3.7.29.302599. But we are on 3.7.30.302599 for several weeks now.

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