Firestorm – Use Quick Prefs to set up Lag-Blocking of graphics heavy avatars

Lag Blocking of graphics heavy avatars is coming as a default feature in Second Life. I’ve covered this several times in the past, and it has been covered by other bloggers as well.

Once enabled, this feature will render laggy people as solid colors. The term ‘jelly’ has for some reason become popular in referring to this. The end result will be to protect you from crashes or slowdowns caused by people who are just wearing way too complex of items.

There is even a test viewer out there for seeing how this feature will eventually look and work.

All of the functionality for this is actually already in the current viewers, it just isn’t yet in your graphics preferences and Linden Lab is still trying to sort out things like ‘what to name the buttons’, ‘what messages to send to people when a lot of other people can no longer see them’ and ‘what should the default be set at’.

So in other words, a feature that will dramatically reduce lag and crashing in Second Life is being help up over what messages to put on your screen when you would be causing people around you to crash, so they have auto-hidden you from view… As for the default value… for the last several releases the number has not moved off of 80,000 – so the only important part of this actually seems resolved now…

On most viewers you can go into debug settings everytime you want to adjust this and tweak one of these values:

RenderAutoMuteFunctions
set this to “7” to enable all of this functionality. Any other value is treated as ‘off’.

RenderAutoMuteRenderWeightLimit – the value at which people vanish (invisible).
RenderAvatarComplexityLimit – the value at which people turn to a solid color. This numbers on this are not correct… So setting this to “54712” is the number to get ‘Jelly’ at Complexity 80,000.

QuickPrefsIconIn firestorm you can add these to Quick Prefs so that you can easily pull it up and turn it on or off, and tweak the values, if you don’t like what is happening. I often turn it off for a moment to see what I might be missing, and then turn it back it on so I don’t have lag issues. At other times, I play with numbers just to see where I can safely set it. The more crowded a place is, the lower I’ll set it (hiding more people), on a theory of using this to reduce my lag.

QuickPref_Starting
Click the wrench icon at the bottom right of Quick Prefs to add a new one or remove an exiting one. You can see here that my list is very different from the default setup of Firestorm. This is meant as a space for you to put the things you mess with a lot, and now you know the things I mess with a lot. And oops, my Draw Distance is super high there – kind of laggy to be above 96 – I just got back from sailing on Blake Sea where you have wide empty sims… and I forgot to lower it back down before making these.

Once you’re in the edit window, you can pull up a selector with all of the various debug settings. If you start to type in the name of the one you want, it will go to close to where your typing, so you don’t have to scroll through the entire long list of them:

QuickPref_Selector

Set each of them as I have in the screenshots below. Note that I set the the RenderAutoMuteFunctions to ‘integer’ and a value between 0 and 7. That’s important, because it only uses 0 and 7, and any other value used will be treated as garbage (it will work more or less like 0, but I’ve heard it can sometimes randomly hide things if not on 0 or 7).

QuickPref_RenderAutoMute

I guess at one point they had plans for 1-6… but no more.

QuickPref_RenderAvatarComplexityLimit

This is the value at which people go invisible. In Firestorm it matches to their Avatar Render Weight. In the coming changes this value is NOT included on graphics preferences, but is still in the debug settings.

QuickPref_RenderAutoMuteRenderWeightLimit

This is the value at which people turn to solid colors (Jelly). In the official viewer this matches their Avatar Complexity. In Firestorm it is a little higher than their Avatar Render Weight – but not a consistent amount higher. So you will have to ‘wiggle the values’ a bit until you find the right number to use. Setting this to “54712” is the number to get ‘Jelly’ at Complexity 80,000.

And that is basically it. Once you have these values set like this, you can pull up Quick Prefs at any time and turn this feature on or off – to save lag or prevent yourself from crashing, or turn it on to see that laggy friend you’re trying to not say something too because they really like that one thing that they’re wearing that is melting your graphics card… /sigh…

Pretty “soon” (sometime between now and the fall of the Klingon Empire) this stuff will be added to the official viewer, and then rolled out to Firestorm and other viewers, all nice and packaged into the graphics preferences. Even once it is, it might be handy to still have quick access to it like this. I find I am tweaking these numbers all the time…

So…

Why did I do all these shots off my belleza mesh body, mesh nipplesm mesh hair, mesh ears, mesh tail, prim eyes, and even sculpty teeth the way that I did?

Because as I’ve stated several times now… a lot of the mesh out there is actually pretty low on lag. With all this on, and even with clothes as well, I am quite often the lowest ‘Avatar Complexity’ person in a place I visit. You just have to start getting smart about what you put on – demo items for their avatar complexity before buying them.

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5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Seicher Rae
    May 30, 2016 @ 13:23:11

    This is such a good article. I’m going to be returning to it often as a reference. I’ve never used the quick preferences (or knew it existed).

    Reply

    • Pussycat Catnap
      Jun 01, 2016 @ 00:22:23

      Pretty “soon” these settings will be in the default graphics preferences of Firestorm (they are not in the default graphics of the official viewer), and this article will be obsolete. However, it might still be handy for learning how to use quick preferences.

      Reply

  2. Trackback: I see jelly people… Walking around just like regular people | Serendipidy Haven’s Blog | A Kat and A Mouse
  3. Sarali
    Aug 14, 2016 @ 16:05:23

    I’m not sure the way complexity is calculated is accurate though, which is a problem. I think it uses this: http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Mesh/Rendering_weight

    Which seems off. I’m no expert, but should having an animated texture really x4 the base calculation of the mesh complexity? As well as other rather suspect calculations there.

    Reply

    • Pussycat Catnap
      Sep 25, 2016 @ 11:04:00

      Hello and sorry I neglected my blog so long it took me a month and a half to approve your comment.

      The x4 for animation is about right. Actually if you’ve ever tried to animate anything in 3D you would think this should be x1000… Animation is ‘seriously harsh’ on computer graphics…

      The real killer for complexity if the blend of animation and transparency – telling the computer to keep calculating over and over in real time a set of pixels on your screen that are constantly changing and need to have how ‘light rays’ are effecting them re-mathed as that light goes through objects.

      Now… SL isn’t using ‘ray tracing’ so the color of a wall won’t change because the light passes through an orange silk dress you have on… BUT it still needs to figure out what color the wall looks like when you look at your dress and see the wall through it…
      – And that is still an astounding amount of rapidly done math…

      This is what will cause your computer to start running hot… animation and transparency…

      So the x4 might actually be too low…

      Reply

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