Hey everyone, and welcome to ‘Zero Lag Thirty,’ part two of my ‘Stylin’ Ain’t Easy’ blog series!
BLOGGERS: This is my next challenge for you! I want to see your best, least laggy outfit; help spread the word that Zero Lag can still look amazing. <3
Today we’re going to explore the challenge of trying to move around in Second Life. We’ve all fallen prey to the SL ‘Lag Monster’ and while sometimes the situation is completely out of our control, sometimes it isn’t. Sometimes we’re our own worst enemy.
So whether you’re scaling down (har har) to get ready for competitive racing like me or you’d just like to be able to cross the floor of your favourite club without rubberbanding, you might want to read on. Watch and learn, Grasshopper.
Okay! So we’re going to talk about two things in this post: LAG (which we all haaate) and something called Mesh/Rendering Weight. Everyone knows about lag; it’s what happens when a sim is packed with avatars, all wearing scripty, primmy, flexi things. Sims can be laggy on their own if they’re full of vendors and scripted objects or if they haven’t been restarted in a while. So let’s make a resolution this year to dress responsibly for our own sake as well as our neighbours’.
~ SCRIPTS & LAG ~
In many ways, this is the easiest way to control our own contributions to sim lag. If your clothing has resizers in it or any kind of texture change option, it’s very likely there’s a script controlling this.
~ Since most clothing in SL is copy/mod now, I recommend making a copy of your favourite boots (I just typed ‘goots’ because I’m still in love with my Gos equestrian and hunter boots) and removing the resizer scripts via menu whenever possible. If something fits properly, there’s no reason to have these scripts active when you’re in-world. I employ this strategy for jewelry as well.
~ HUDs! We all use them. We all love them. We may not realize how badly they can lag us, though! Even your basic AO, something you wouldn’t dream of going without, may run upwards of 20 scripts (some of them WAY more than that). Using radar HUDS, Yus/Nuu or RLV anything, MystiTool, face animators, titlers, hug/kiss/dance/etc HUDS .. all of this contributes to script lag, even when they aren’t in use. So please, if you don’t think you’re going to use a particular HUD when you’re out and about, detach it!
I’ve been using the Firestorm AO for about a week now and I just love it! If your viewer has a big ‘AO’ button somewhere in the user interface, just try loading your favourite AO animations into it. Sure, it takes a few minutes (or longer if you’re me) but the difference is profound when you’re in a laggy environment. Try it. Love it.
~ Get a script counter scale! I have a scale (this one is free on the Marketplace) rezzed beside my default pose stand. Once I’ve made sure everything fits properly (we’ll cover this in another post, I swear!) I hop onto the scale to make sure I’m not being a scripty jerk. Anything under 3MB/3072K is excellent, but I challenge you to go lower, just to see how it feels.
Other Sources of Lag:
There are a LOT of them and some have absolutely nothing to do with your avatar. If you’d like to research this issue, I highly recommend having a look at ‘Massively’s Guide to Reducing Second Life Lag.’ It’s a fantastic article.
~ MESH/RENDERING WEIGHT ~
Even when you’re running very few (or zero) scripts, your avatar can still contribute to sim lag. Your basic avatar, all your clothing and attachments, your goots (hehe) and jewelry, hair, and eyelashes may lag you up even more than your old script count!
~ To see avatar weights, open Me>Preferences… from the main menu. Under the Advanced tab, enable “Show Advanced Menu”. Back at the main menu, pick Advanced>Performance Tools>Show Draw Weight for Avatars. The number pops up over your head: green is good, red is not.
~ Every avatar on the grid has a base rendering cost of 1000. This covers your skin, hairbase, eyes, tattoo layers, and all of your system clothing. You can go ahead and call these ‘freebies.’ Use them at will; layer, play, and have loads of fun!
~ It’s too bad we all LOVE our attachments, isn’t it? The unfortunate truth is that anything you have to click to ‘wear’ or ‘add to outfit’ is going to increase your rendering weight and the primmier your attachments are, the more you’re going to lag (or your neighbours will) in a busy sim. Even your mesh items, although they tend to be lower in weight, will increase this number. Stealth Weight Offender: YOUR MESH EYELASHES!
Mesh/Rendering Weight Formulae:
I’m not going to list everything here because it’s ALL laid out on the Second Life Wiki (please read the article, it isn’t long) but I’m going to list some of the worst offenders in no particular order:
Flexi prims, shiny prims, glowy prims, alpha prims, particles, and light emitting prims.
If your clothes or attachments or whatever have one or more of these features, please check your rendering weight before you wail about being on a laggy sim.
I would never dream of telling you not to wear your favourite things (I certainly won’t stop wearing mine), but I think it’s important to consider your wardrobe choices when you’re visiting a high-traffic area (fashion shows, RP sims, busy clubs, SL events, etc). Count your attachments the way you might count calories:
“I can wear these beautiful goots today, but only if I wear system gloves instead of these scripty fingernails,” or
“Gee, I really love this flexi hairstyle – how about I go easy on the jewelry this time. No one can see my ears anyway.”
Dress responsibly, my dears, and I’ll have more tips to share with you very, very soon.
~ Portia ~
23933 Render Weight (orange/yellow), 0 scripts