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Finding and Defeating Texture Lag?

Mansur Marawi
@mansur-marawi
last year
60 posts

Hi, friends!

I have a technical question for the more enlightened SL gurus out there. A friend of mine complained of lag on my sim the other night. I have noticed that I have to play with my settings at high instead of ultra when I am in my sim. In some other sims that I frequent, I can play at ultra with no problem. The struggle is real.

So how do I identify and kill the culprit? My statistics meter says I'm fine. I have plenty of prims left and my script usage isn't too bad. The problem must be texture-related, but I've even tried to cut down on texture lag by reusing the same textures again and again, but in different arrangements. How do I find the textures that might be causing lag?




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Owner, Larl Valley:
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Larl%20Valley/145/92/22
Tatiana Dokuchic
@tatiana-dokuchic
last year
1,652 posts

Region performance is always a fascinating subject (to me anyway) though I'm afraid that I've forgotten a lot of the particulars over the years.

I don't believe that I've ever actually had a lot of lag caused by textures.  For the most part they sometimes just grey-out for a bit without effecting overall performance.  It sounds like you've been keeping a pretty close eye on them, res-using etc. so I'm wondering if it might be something else.

There use to be a problem when a region ended up sharing a server with other "over consuming" regions.  Don't know if that is still a problem but it was sometimes fixed by doing a restart that subsequently bumped it to another server.

I'm also wondering about the complexity of objects you have - you wouldn't be using a lot of sculpties or tortured prims would you?  Sculpties are/were wicked in some cases because they only counted as "one prim" even if they had a ton of vertices.

Just some thoughts off the top of my head.  Looking forward to seeing other suggestions.

Good luck!




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Proprietress of Tatiana's Tea Room ~ Co-owner of the Duché de Coeur ~ Webmistress of this site
Lady Hartfield
@lady-hartfield
last year
264 posts

It's polite to keep exterior textures to 256 and interior textures to 128 unless you really need some amazing detail, and in historical sims, of course, sometimes we do - an amaaaazing interior wall might need 256 or even 512, and a great painting might take 256. But we're all guilty of using bigger textures than required and I think that's just how it is in SL where we're (almost) all amateurs and not game design pros. You say you repeat a number of textures - look at the sizes. Somewhat following the 80/20 rule but also observations over the years in-world, I would say easily 80% of textures in a sim could be reduced at least two sizes (from say 1024 to 256, or 256 to 64), as long as the textures are on your computer or you have them full perm this is quickly done in any graphics program that has simple resizing. Try this out in a few areas and see how it looks.

I agree, if you have some older builds that you've used out of necessity, take a look at them piece-by-piece. Sculpties were a great move forward when they came but were easily abandoned for mesh because of the vertices issue (although there is still a vertices issue with much amateur mesh, it's difficult enough to learn a modelling program, learning how to reduce vertices is another step which is not often known). If you have old donuts or other tortured prims in a build that you could replace with mesh building pieces, texture to match, and then make it all convex prim, I would definitely urge that. Not always possible but the fewer vertices you have in your view, the "lighter" the drag on your system and on your visitors'.

In the end, though, what really lags us are, on the client side: Particles, and other overly high graphics preferences. I am in LOVE with the new graphics save settings, I think I have about 10 sets saved for a variety of occasions. The individual user needs to make certain that his or her settings are not so high on, say, particles or distance that he is paralyzed by lag. With the new save settings ability, you can easily switch to a lower (or higher) setting as circumstances dictate or allow. (Personally, I rarely find particle effects I find impressive and/or necessary, so I keep this setting pretty low all the time. Very helpful.)

On the server side: Avatars. Physics creates lag, so even an av wearing an invisible texture and no attachments is going to create more lag than most prims put together. And we DO want people in our sims ... sooo that's just something we're going to have to live with. Does that mean it's not worthwhile to make builds clean and trim textures down? I don't think so. I think that's just good building practice.

It does sound like textures here, if most of your textures are at 512/1024. Good luck, I hope this helps somewhat!

Mansur Marawi
@mansur-marawi
last year
60 posts

Thank you, Lady Hartfield.




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Owner, Larl Valley:
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Larl%20Valley/145/92/22
Claire-Sophie de Rocoulle
@claire-sophie-de-rocoulle
last year
112 posts

In the Firestorm Viewer...

On Developer Menu (press Ctrl-Alt-Q to get this menu)....

Select Render Metadata, then select Texture Size at the bottom of the options list

You will see texture sizes in floating text. This shows you everything at once.

To determine the size of a texture on a prim face, Edit the prim, check the Select Face option, and select the face. Then press Ctrl-Alt-Shift-T. The texture size appears in the lower left corner of your screen.

Also article on using textures in SL http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Texture_Usage

Hope that helps Manny

Tatiana Dokuchic
@tatiana-dokuchic
last year
1,652 posts

Two things I keep meaning to mention.

One - IMHO not all 1024 textures are evil.  Whenever I can I merge 4 x 512s into one 1024 I do it under the assumption that they take the same amount of space with fewer server calls.

Two - Full perm mesh creators have a habit of making every texture for every face (max 8) on their meshes a 1024x1024 - ugh - that's a lot of large textures on one mesh unit.  Add in textures for materials and things really get crazy.  I end up redoing all those textures/faces, combining when I can and downsizing if at all possible.  It takes me ages but well worth it.




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Proprietress of Tatiana's Tea Room ~ Co-owner of the Duché de Coeur ~ Webmistress of this site
Tiamat Windstorm von Hirvi
@tiamat-windstorm-von-hirvi
last year
326 posts

I wish some full-perm mesh clothing template makers would build in more faces that could be independently textured! I have a couple of gowns that I have to fight with when I want a new fabric for them. If the texture sits properly mid-chest, it warps outwards unattractively over the bottom...Of course, as a complete amateur, I don't create my own textures tailored to the template; I just edit the texture inworld. Given my highly simplistic skills, it would help if skirt, bodice and sleeves could more often be given textures independently.




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Antiquity Hedgewitch
Mansur Marawi
@mansur-marawi
one month ago
60 posts

Reviving an old thread here to say that, in addition to slowly working on optimizing textures, I have also been utilizing skyboxes and rezzers to help reduce lag.

So... mesh creators have a terrible tendency to load their objects with multiple 1024 textures. This has already been discussed. One of the things I've done is utilize a system of skyboxes and rezzers to get as many of those large-texture items as possible up and out of the user's viewing range. That way, the computer isn't trying to read all of those textures that should be off behind closed doors, behind walls, a hundred meters away, and generally not visible to the character, anyway. Also saves on prims.




--
Owner, Larl Valley:
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Larl%20Valley/145/92/22
Tatiana Dokuchic
@tatiana-dokuchic
one month ago
1,652 posts

Glad to hear you're still fighting the good fight, Mansur!




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Proprietress of Tatiana's Tea Room ~ Co-owner of the Duché de Coeur ~ Webmistress of this site