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LOD and the Upcoming Firestorm Release: The What and Why

The upcoming release of Firestorm Viewer 5.0.11 will contain a few changes to how the setting called Level Of Detail (LOD) Factor can be adjusted in the viewer. We’re aware that these changes may be controversial to some who are accustomed to using (or recommending that other people use) LOD Factor settings that are higher than necessary in today’s Second Life and that may contribute negatively to performance.

For this reason, we would like to discuss this setting in more depth than we usually do on the Firestorm blog, to help our users not only understand the changes but also appreciate the reasons behind them.

Parts of this post are adapted from a related and previously published post by one of our developers, Beq Janus, and used with permission. Please read her post in full for additional information.

The Problem

Firestorm, like all Second Life viewers, has a large number of configuration settings. One of the most widely misunderstood is named RenderVolumeLODFactor. It’s not at all uncommon for Second Life content creators to tell their users that this should be set as high as possible so their creations can be seen properly. Perhaps most commonly, this advice appears on notecards packaged with purchased products. The typical notecard of this kind tells you where to find the LOD Factor setting and how to change it to the value the creator recommends for viewing their objects.

The problem lies in the values some creators recommend. Many suggest a responsible, moderate LOD Factor, but others suggest values too high to be beneficial. Arbitrarily raising this setting slows your computer down without necessarily doing anything to make things look better. A detail that takes up a third of a pixel on your screen won’t be visible no matter how high you set the LOD factor, but your computer will still do extra work trying to show it.

Or put another way, the higher this LOD Factor setting, the longer it takes to draw the scene (frame) within your camera’s perspective, which means fewer frames per second (FPS). Lower FPS is a part of what many people call client-side lag. If visible content renders slowly for you, if things grind to a halt when you visit a busy region, a high LOD Factor setting might be contributing to the problem.

Furthermore, as you can read in more detail in Beq’s post, the LOD problem isn’t inherent to how Second Life works — that is, using a high, laggy setting isn’t the only solution to the issue. It can be addressed when the objects are created rather than when the objects are viewed.

The Technical Stuff

The “level of detail” of LOD refers to how much of an object’s detail the viewer will render. A higher LOD Factor means that the viewer will show the object with greater detail than a lower one. A small object rendered at a lower LOD will be shown as a simpler shape; a higher LOD will be rendered more accurately.

As already mentioned, it takes more work to render a complex object then a simpler one, and the higher the LOD required to render it correctly, the harder your computer and graphics card have to work. If there are many objects with high LOD in a scene, your computer will slow down.

The viewer manages this by determining the required LOD based, in part, on how far away you are from the object. A small, complex object 20 meters away can be rendered with a lower LOD, and you’ll never notice the difference, because it doesn’t take up enough space on your screen to show all that detail anyway. If you move yourself (or the camera) closer, the LOD will go up because the object appears larger, and the details will become visible.

RenderVolumeLODFactor controls how the viewer adjusts the LOD based on your distance from the object. It’s used in calculating the actual LOD. A higher value makes the viewer compute a higher LOD, and render objects with more detail, than a lower value would for any given object and distance.

Beq provides a great deal more explanation at her own blog here.

Changes in Firestorm 5.0.11

High LOD settings could perhaps have been somewhat (though still not totally) justified way back when sculpted prims were a common building material. Now that mesh is more widely used for new builds, however, there is little to no need for those high settings. Nonetheless, the misinformation hasn’t stopped circulating. Instead, advice to increase LOD Factor beyond useful levels is still very common, right at a time when it’s more likely to inhibit performance than improve any aspect of user experience. And the goal of the Firestorm team is and always has been to improve the user experience.

You’ll see three main categories of changes in the upcoming release that concern LOD and LOD Factor:

  • If you increase your LOD Factor beyond useful levels, you’ll receive popup messages cautioning you not to do so.
  • LOD Factor settings over 4 will not persist after relog.
  • Some new tools added to the Build/Edit window will allow you to check or fix LOD behavior in objects. More detail here.

These changes are based on the following information and recommendations for use:

  • There is no benefit to setting LOD Factor over 8 because the calculations performed by the viewer begin to conflict with each other at such high values and can create errors in rendering. This is not a new problem — it’s always been there, whether you ever happened to encounter it or not. In addition, the higher you set this setting, the less improvement you gain with each added increment, so that around 8 or 10, the improvement essentially plateaus, and any further increase is meaningless for any practical use. Settings over 8 are strongly discouraged.
  • You’ll be able to use settings from 4 to 8, but they will not persist after relog. We don’t recommend these settings for general use, but we recognize that there are lots of old and low-quality objects on the grid, and many already-existing objects are not optimized to be seen very well without such values. These values will thus be available to you on an as-needed basis and will reset when you log out.
  • Settings from 3.1 to 4 won’t automatically reset on relog, but they’re still higher than what we recommend for general use. They’re acceptable settings to use for photography and other temporary purposes, but we’d recommend reducing your setting to 3.0 or below when you’re done.
  • Our recommended LOD Factor range is from 1.5 to 3.0 for regular daily use, and if you’re comfortable with an even lower setting than that, feel free to use it. Not coincidentally, these are the default values for the seven standard settings on the Quality and Speed slider in your graphics preferences: 1.5 for low through mid, 2.0 for mid-high through high-ultra, and 3.0 for ultra. Be sensitive to your system’s needs; if you start at 3.0 but notice drops in FPS when certain objects are in your view, you may wish to experiment with a lower setting.

We’re aware that some of these changes may be annoying at first if you’re used to ramping this setting up, but our ultimate aim is to improve the user experience, among the ways we do that are by educating our user base and by calling attention to how popular misinformation stands in the way of that goal.

If you’re interested in reading more about LOD, how it works, and its effect on your experience, we refer you once more to Beq Janus’s companion piece on the topic.

  • While I understand the use of this caution, and even support the “caution not to use this high of settings for LOD” I dislike the “LOD Factor settings over 4 will not persist after relog” bit, though. I dislike being told that I am not /allowed/ to continually use these settings. What if I work regularly for a time on very old or poorly made Meshes on a project for whatever reason and therefore would like to have them persist for the week-month I may be working on them? Essentially, I totally support cautioning people not to overdue it on their systems, and education is a glorious thing, but do not become a “nanny state” for users. We are not all idiots, and those that are, deserve to have low FPS for a lack of desire to or willingness to learn. Not all of us abuse these things, and I like to see things as they are intended. I use 4 pretty much always, because my computer isn’t a potato, and while my settings WILL persist, if I preferred 5, they wouldn’t, and I dislike being punish or restricted on my not-crappy PC because of the idiocy of those who DO have crappy machines. I am sorry if this comes off blunt, my intention is not to offend, but to express my view in a direct manner.

    Bill Smit

    January 25, 2018

  • You are an lazy ass and an incompetent designer. Learn to make proper mesh dude or quit it and let the pros do it

    Desy

    January 25, 2018

  • I have to agree with you, there’s so much out there that is poor quality LOD. Why? Because flat out, there is a lot of stolen content out there. People are not making it themselves, they’re getting it somewhere else, whether they’re copy botting or whatever method they are using, it isn’t made by them and the quality is just crap.

    xziana.roxley

    May 1, 2018

  • I do agree with Bill Smit what he or she has said “I dislike being told that I am not /allowed/ to continually use these settings.” I also may add I been using High LOD setting my self for a very long time and have not had any lag problems or any other problems,you all should just left the LOD setting as it is,its our SL and our PC’s I should know how my PC handles SL and not you people,if you keep on playing around and slap our hands and say oh you cant use high LOD settings,well we just go back using Linden Labs viewer.

    SomeOne

    January 25, 2018

  • What LOD setting do you normally use?

    Whirly Fizzle

    January 25, 2018

  • That’s a selfish attitude. Like any rule they are for the benefit of all of us!

    siraskme

    January 29, 2018

  • Completely agree with Bill here. Educate, sure. Even educate annoyingly, have a warning show up on logon if the setting is higher than recommended. But gimping the viewer because older PCs can’t handle the higher (if less effective) setting could well hinder MY experience. So you’ve already failed at your stated goal where I as a user am concerned.

    As Bill said above, I also mainly use 4, because I notice a significant difference almost everywhere if I take the setting any lower. So while the change won’t affect me at the moment, if I decide I want to go higher, I will have to set the setting on every login… Or create a macro to do it for me. This is akin to many of LL’s pointless sleeps in scripts that just end up making everyone’s lives harder, and force people to work around them.

    Inform, don’t dictate.

    Grey

    January 25, 2018

  • I hate to drone on and on, but:

    On top of what I said previously, you’re punishing the users for a problem that is once again the making of LindenLab.
    People aren’t making crappy LOD models because they’re lazy. They’re making them because it lowers the Land Impact. Users don’t want to look for objects with good LODs because they generally (not always) have a higher Land Impact which means they can’t have as much stuff.
    As someone who does a bit of bespoke sim design here and there, I have prim goals that have to be met. When an object is intended to be large there is sometimes no other choice than to set the lowest LOD model to a triangle and just hope that nobody ever sees it.

    It’s another case of LL trying to keep everything efficient doing the exact opposite. I know there’s nothing you can do about the LI system, and I’ve read that it may be changing (oh GOD do I hope it does,) but right now you’re forcing the users to have to see their objects look like mush.

    Rather than that, just let them know what the problem is and let them decide if they prefer FPS or objects they can see.

    Grey

    January 25, 2018

  • Saying that people aren’t making crappy LODs because they’re lazy is a bit overly optimistic.

    Tetsuryu

    January 25, 2018

  • This is just wrong. People make crappy LOD because they are incompetent.

    It’s very well possible to make good looking LODs, but it requires manual work and manually scaling the LOD in the 3D software. Not using the viewers Auto-LOD. It sucks and it doesn’t work.

    Also when creating mesh and clothes, there is no need to make faces double sided. For most clothes its more than enough to only have the outer faces rendered and the inner one just removing it

    Desy

    January 25, 2018

  • You really come across as a bit of a jerk here. In a lot of cases it’s ignorance that there is an issue, or that there are some easier fixes than hand optimizing. You can import collada files into Wings3D and use it’s automatic optimizing for example. This helps a LOT if one is using something like SketchUP or a free CAD program instead of Blender or Maya or whatever.

    As far as the LOD thing, I never go above 4 and any creator that tells me I have to to see their items properly doesn’t get my L’s. On the other hand, forcing the setting lower irks me a little as well. I’d rather see a popup warning about it (one that could be disabled at the user’s discretion) than have the viewer refuse to hold a setting. It’s not a dealbreaker for me, but it is something I hope is rethought.

    Crim Mip

    January 25, 2018

  • @Desy

    I was wrong to generalise. I’m sure there are those that don’t bother making decent LOD models due to inexperience.
    But you’re equally as wrong to generalise in the opposite direction.

    I know how to make LOD models, and I usually do it by manually remaking the whole object three times and designing my textures to be applied onto a plane as well as the more complex geometry. That way the final LOD can essentially be just a completely flat representation of the object. However there are still times when to meet LI limits imposed by sim owners that I have no choice than to make LOD models specifically just to save prims.

    I can see that you’re passionate about the problem, but the fact is that currently there are clear benefits to sacrificing LOD clarity. It’s not a good practice and I hate doing it, but just branding anyone that does it as incompetent is completely misguided.

    Grey

    January 26, 2018

  • It should be a trivial matter for someone to make a workaround that will allow us to force the LOD to whatever we want. I’ll be working to do that myself, or use one that someone else makes. I don’t take kindly to forced settings, regardless of the reason. I have a decent computer. LOD setting is absolutely of no concern to me and I don’t appreciate everyone being forced to the lowest common denominator.

    Lee McKay

    January 25, 2018

  • What LOD setting do you normally use?

    Whirly Fizzle

    January 25, 2018

  • I am also against the forces value. I have a high spec system and have no issue with performance with everything maxed out and in a relatively busy sim. A better solution in my opinion is a popup that is shown if the system is being affected by client side lag.

    Particles are annoying when set to max and you go into a sim where they are over used (or other users flood the place with particle effects) but they are not limited to say 50 client side by the viewer. Its up to the use to set the viewer to what they want.

    Ona Waffle

    January 25, 2018

  • I think you are lying. Or you don’t know what means to have a fluid gameplay. If you have less than 60 fps in a crowded place its low performance.

    Some newbs here still play with 15 or 20 fps and then say “I have no issues” lol. At this rates SL is no fun. Every game in 2018 on a current PC runs 60 to 120 FPS on max settings. This is impossible in most sims due to badly optimized meshes.

    Desy

    January 25, 2018

  • Real frame rates over 45 are not possible in SL. That’s the fastest that unique graphic data will get sent from the server under ideal circumstances. If you’re getting more, then it’s either duplicating frames or interpolating. If you want real frame rates that high, go play crysis 3 or something.

    Crim Mip

    January 25, 2018

  • I used to think so too, but then I got a system that will reliably pull over 100 FPS on moderately simple scenes. Things that happen locally, like llTargetOmega() rotations of non-physical objects and avatar animations, do get smoother as the frame rate goes above 45.

    Tonya Souther

    January 26, 2018

  • But don’t play them in multiplayer or other player data sent to your computer would reduce your real FPS! 😉

    Ansariel Hiller

    January 26, 2018

  • There is, as usual, a lot of misinformation about frame rates and how smoothly things run at very high levels. For those who don’t know, almost all monitors have a 60 Hz refresh rate – that means they can handle a maximum of 60 fps – setting a higher rate in the app is totally useless as it simply won’t be displayed – it will come out as 60 Hz on screen irrespective of what the in-game counter may say.
    Why make a setting you will never actually see?

    Oisin

    January 30, 2018

  • This is false. Most good monitors today run 144Hz. Only older or crappier ones cap at 60.
    Some monitors designed for gaming even have features to match refresh rate and your FPS.

    Gadget Portal

    February 1, 2018

  • Let them set the LOD Factor how they want. On most complex mesh objects lower LOD means lower LI, until LL does something about that we are stuck with it. To the one who keeps saying its just “Laziness” because they make single faced clothing … thats great, Im glad your not lazy like the rest of us creating complex mesh objects with multiple faces and parts.

    In other words, DO NOT Make it revert , or if you do make it revert, show us where the setting is hard coded so I can override it myself permanently.

    To the ding dong that thinks your monitors refresh rate has something to do with fps, you’re just flat out ignorant. Its two entirely different things.

    60 Hz “Refresh Rate” makes it so the screen doesn’t flicker as most line voltages are aligned to – you guessed it, 60 Hz.

    Frames per second, is the number of frames your graphics card is capable of reproducing PER SECOND. Anything over 29.9 will appear smooth to the human eye …

    Please, leave the LOD Settings alone. Thanks.

    Tech Robonaught

    March 3, 2018

  • What LOD setting do you normally use?

    Whirly Fizzle

    January 25, 2018

  • Im Grunde eine Bevormundung, Respektlosigkeit und dreist einfach den Wert für RenderVolumeLODFactor auf 2 zurück zu setzen. Das muss doch jeder User selbst entscheiden können. Er baut Mesh für den eigenen Gebrauch und kann sparend bleiben was die LI betrifft. Ich erkenne keinen Grund, warum plötzlich der RenderVolumeLODFactor automatisch zurück gesetzt wird. Macht das wieder rückgänging oder ich wechsel ganz sicher den Viewer.

    Basically a patronizing, disrespectful and bold to simply set the value for RenderVolumeLODFactor back to 2. That has to be decided by every user. He builds Mesh for his own use and can save what concerns the LI. I do not see any reason why the RenderVolumeLODFactor is automatically reset. Makes it back again or I change the viewer certainly.

    Diabolus

    January 25, 2018

  • Halt die Fresse du Inkompetentes Arschloch. Learn lieber wie man gescheide Meshes baut!

    Desy

    January 25, 2018

  • What LOD setting do you normally use?

    Whirly Fizzle

    January 25, 2018

  • I agree with the comments above, I always have LOD set to 4 (didn’t know higher was possible) and often see dramatic changes if I set it to a lower number, things in view start losing their shape.
    I have a super computer and later this year will have 200mb speed internet.
    I reckon I can handle whatever setting I choose.
    So, sure, warnings are great, we need more of those, like when we want to use HUGE textures while building tiny objects and so on.
    But having to re-set LOD to 4 because that’s how I like it every time I relog, is not pleasant.

    jo Yardley

    January 25, 2018

  • Just to be clear here. A LOD Factor setting of 4 will continue to persist. Above 4 will not.

    Beq

    January 25, 2018

  • If you have LOD set at 4.0, the viewer will not nag you & LOD will not be reset next login.
    The nag & reset only happen if you set LOD > 4.0

    Whirly Fizzle

    January 25, 2018

  • There’s probably a debug setting for the lod thing, just have to find it. Also, pursuant to nothing much, your jira seems to be down. I still have the same old “we cannot decode that setting…” the one that has to do with saving log ins? Yeah and tried to go to jira to report it but could not.

    Rita

    January 25, 2018

  • The debug is RenderVolumeLODFactor.
    You can set LOD up to 4.0 in the viewer preferences though.
    Preferences -> Graphics -> General -> Objects & sculpts LOD.

    Yes the JIRA is temporarily disabled while some problems with it are being fixes.

    The “unable to decode login credentials” error can have several causes. Most common these days is a Windows 10 update, which often changes the machine ID. The login credentials (username & password) are encrypted using the machine ID. We can’t do anything about these cases as it’s technically expected behaviour.
    But when JIRA is back up, please file a support ticket & we can get your logs & see what the cause of the problem is in your case.

    Whirly Fizzle

    January 25, 2018

  • I think the statements so far show exactly why Firestorm devs made the right call here.

    “I dislike being punish or restricted on my not-crappy PC because of the idiocy of those who DO have crappy machines. ”

    “its our SL and our PC’s I should know how my PC handles SL and not you people”

    “But gimping the viewer because older PCs can’t handle the higher (if less effective) setting could well hinder MY experience.”

    “I have a decent computer. LOD setting is absolutely of no concern to me”

    It is NOT about people running SL with “crappy” or “older” computers. The poor use of LOD in SL affects everyone, including the people insisting it doesn’t affect them. No one is running SL at framerates or graphics settings they should be able to enjoy, not without an unjustifiable performance hit.

    Firestorm is the most popular SL viewer and the people using it need to be putting pressure on content creators. Not viewer devs. LL needs to be pressured into finding ways to discourage these bad content creation practices. And none of that is going to happen while people continue to try and sweep the problem under the carpet or blame it on others running SL on “crappy computers”.

    Penny Patton

    January 25, 2018

  • I agree, but this is the wrong way to go about it. All you’re going to generate is hate from the users that use a setting higher than 4 by forcing them to join your cause and taking away their autonomy.

    So far everyone’s point has to been inform, but not dictate their choice. No-one has denied that there is a problem that needs a solution.

    Grey

    January 26, 2018

  • It’s just the usual vocal minority that is screaming about this. And nobody is forced to use Firestorm. If they think they don’t like it, they are free to use a different viewer. Also it’s not that all things look crap if you can’t watch with an LOD greater than 4. And let’s be honest: If you have to set LOD to such a high value something doesn’t burst into ugly triangles if you go 5m away from it, that object is plain utter crap – simple as that.

    Ansariel Hiller

    January 26, 2018

  • It is greatly appreciated for the effort the people at Firestorm make to create a sold, stable, and useful viewer. However, that being said, I would greatly appreciate you leaving how I set my LOD factor to my choice. I do not require you being my software nanny and telling me what I will be able to do. I enjoy using Firestorm, I was forced to use it when Singularity dragged its feet on Bento, but now they have implemented it. If you’re going to unilaterally restrict how we use the viewer when you have no compelling reason to, then expect us to start heading off to other viewers. Restore LOD factor settings. We don’t need you holding our hands. This is pure hubris on your part.

    JEO

    January 25, 2018

  • What LOD setting do you normally use?

    Whirly Fizzle

    January 25, 2018

  • “We’re aware that some of these changes may be annoying at first if you’re used to ramping this setting up, but our ultimate aim is to improve the user experience, among the ways we do that are by educating our user base and by calling attention to how popular misinformation stands in the way of that goal.”

    This change won’t be annoying at first, it will ALWAYS be annoying. I fail to see how attempting to force users to “see” things your way qualifies as educational or as a way of improving their experience.

    Knotso Slippery

    January 25, 2018

  • What LOD setting do you normally use?

    Whirly Fizzle

    January 25, 2018

  • I find these new stipulations an infringement on my right to set my computer as I wish to. There have been no issues with lag or renderings at the top settings which are my norm. No I find my computer graphic settings are being adjusted by a sort of nanny who is obviously unaware of the fact that some of use choose to use ultimate settings as a matter of course. No I can’t see half of the scene until the LOD goes back to 8 – the improvement is instant by the way. Sucks !

    Josef

    February 1, 2018

  • Your “right to set my computer as I wish to” is still there..
    Up and leave, find another viewer, it’s your right…
    People..

    Someone

    March 6, 2018

  • A setting of 4 will persist, folks. It’s only once you go above 4 that it won’t.

    There’s a simple workaround, all right, but you’ll have to recompile the viewer to do it, since it’s enforced in code.

    And, folks…the viewer has disallowed settings above 8 for a few years now, and nobody’s complained. So be honest with me. Is anyone using settings between 4 and 8 that can’t use 4? Why not? Be specific, with examples.

    Tonya Souther

    January 25, 2018

  • I designed an automatic traffic system just a week ago that has to use older models with aggressive LODs because there aren’t any other good low-prim modifiable filler cars on the market. For them to render correctly at anything more than ~200m away, RenderVolumeLODFactor has to be set to higher than 4. I can’t model anything more than basic objects (much less texture them) so I’m stuck with what I have.

    All of us in the community it’s in have it set to 8 because the performance hit from 4 to 8 is negligible for us, but the LOD degradation is practically eliminated, especially at long distances. Most of us are photographers and we often take long-range photos with narrow FOVs, and the LOD system doesn’t compensate for manual FOVs, so that setting is practically a requirement. Even for objects with excellent LODs, once you go to the minimum FOV, they’re pretty much down to low or lowest. To have to go in and change it every time we log in is remarkably short-sighted. I wouldn’t have any issue with even a toast or something on login, but I guess that’s not enough for the devs.

    I understand that the change is to force creators to stop making garbage LODs. I totally agree with that goal. But reaching it by inconveniencing photographers like this doesn’t make any sense. Not even the vanilla viewer has this limitation.

    Nelson

    January 26, 2018

  • Linden Lab have stated they are very interested in applying the same LOD clamp to their viewer.
    Other TPV developers have also stated they are going to implement the same clamp.
    Regarding the problem that LODs collapse with a low FOV, yes I agree that’s a real pain for photography.
    I filed a feature request to change this behaviour at https://jira.secondlife.com/browse/BUG-40757
    LL have actually implemented a fix for that, but currently it’s only in the Project Render viewer: http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Release_Notes/Second_Life_Project_Render/5.1.1.511933
    Resolved issue: “MAINT-6872 Account for CTRL+0 zoom when mesh LOD is calculated”
    The next Firestorm release should have that fix merged in 🙂

    Whirly Fizzle

    January 28, 2018

  • I’ve been using a LOD Factor of 8 consistently since 2016, since my PC is relatively powerful. I take a lot of photos in SL and having everything turn into triangles or muddled messes of lumpy LOD from short distances doesn’t exactly work for me. I’ve noticed a very minimal performance gain since upgrading to the newest version of the viewer, but not enough for me to want to limit my LOD factor down to 4 in most regions.

    DK Baxter

    January 27, 2018

  • I know a lot of people are crabby about this change, but I support it completely.

    Resetting any value above 4 is absolutely required to force creators to start fixing their products; we’re at a point now where about 1/3 of the purchases I make from the Second Life store are completely broken in terms of LODs – even from some of the “top” creators on the sim.

    If they let the option be persisted higher, these content creators would have zero reason to fix their products and we all suffer.

    I fully support these changes, they are absolutely required and necessary – and in my opinion don’t go far enough. The ability to set any option higher than 4 should have been completely removed. People need to stop their whining and start fixing their products. Enough is enough.

    Penny hit the nail on the head. The comments and excuses in the replies made above are EXACTLY why this change was made.

    Thistle

    January 25, 2018

  • Some creators still used sculpted prims, as do I on the occasions when I need a complex build for lower land impact. And a hight LOD is required to keep it from distorting. I can also attest to some mesh creations requiring a higher LOD, simply because camming away from it causes it to distort without a higher setting.
    If these new LOD settings are going to stabilize this setting, then bravo! But if I see no improvement, I’m still going to use a higher LOD.

    Fitch

    January 25, 2018

  • Wow. I may actually have to abandon Firestorm after using ever since Phoenix existed. I can’t believe you would make SL look worse, when it is already getting more and more dated each year.

    This really smacks of some kind of personal crusade but you shouldn’t force users to be a part of it.

    Kristie Lemon

    January 25, 2018

  • What LOD setting do you normally use?

    Whirly Fizzle

    January 25, 2018

  • Hi everyone,
    Can those of you complaining about the LOD changes please tell us what your normal LOD setting is and if it’s higher then 4.0, explain why you need to set it higher.
    Thanks!

    Whirly Fizzle

    January 25, 2018

  • It doesn’t matter what setting I use. Whether it affects many people or not is not why people are upset. It’s the philosophy behind the decision. If I choose to set something outside of normal ranges, that is my choice. I hate software with ‘nanny’ functions. Sure, pop up a warning that having that setting could diminish graphics performance, but also make it possible to turn off that warning. Those doing it on purpose knowing the potential downside should be able to without the software naysaying their ability to do so. That applies to this any any other functions in the future.

    Crim Mip

    January 25, 2018

  • If you think you can’t live with a reasonable LOD setting – there is a reason it has always been limited to 4 in the preferences – and think this is a total showstopper for you, please feel free to choose another viewer allowing you to do silly things: http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Third_Party_Viewer_Directory

    Ansariel Hiller

    January 25, 2018

  • I can certainly live with having it at 4 or less and rarely have gone higher for other than specific cases). I just don’t want the viewer refusing to hold settings I choose to make. I suppose it’s easy enough to make a quickpref to allow it to be changed quickly across the entire range.

    Crim Mip

    January 26, 2018

  • Preferences allows you to set the LOD in a range from 0 to 4. It does that as designed. Nothing gets reset. If you try to cheat around that by manually playing with the debug settings, then that is unsupported. In case you didn’t know: There are even other settings that don’t persist a relog. So what’s the fuzz all about? Or do you also blame the maker of your microwave oven they restrict you from using it in an unsafe manner by turning it on with the door open?

    Ansariel Hiller

    January 26, 2018

  • I use 4. This change won’t affect me at all, I just disagree with it on principal. Just my opinion. I’m not going to be running off crying to another viewer because of it.

    Hell, I agree that anything higher than 4 is overkill, but it sets a precedent that I don’t like;
    To me it looks as though firestorm is forcing users to join a crusade against content creators that are either inexperienced and don’t know any better, or are serving what they know their users want by lowering land impact by sacrificing viewability.

    It just feels like it sets a precedent of Firestorm forcibly filtering out content that it’s devs don’t like for one reason or another, but that said, it’s your viewer so feel free to do so. Just doesn’t feel nice to me is all.

    Grey

    January 26, 2018

  • I use 6-8 depending on my needs. I take a lot of snapshots from long distances with narrow FOVs, and even well-designed LODs will degrade to low or lowest from that distance. I don’t see the benefit in making me reset a debug setting on every relog to compensate for modelers’ incompetence. I don’t model anything but very simple objects on rare occasions, and even then I make manual LODs.

    Nelson

    January 26, 2018

  • I make pictures all the time. Often zoomed in because of a certain kind of parallel perspective i want to have. Try that with LOD 4. It looks like crap, no matter how well it was build. Just because I might have my camera 400 meters+ away from it. I don’t see what the problem is with letting me keep my setting how i need it instead of being forced to do it manually every time. Sure.. i will do it manually if no choice…. Still thinks it sucks though.

    Kyla

    March 25, 2018

  • Comment from Kodaijin left on http://www.firestormviewer.org/firestorm-update-5-0-11-53634/

    The problem LOD is an issue right now, is not that people say to set it high, it’s that creators (and I’m guilty of it too) when they make mesh items they set the poly/tris count to more or less drop anything below full render resolution. This combined up with things like 1024^2 textures for single gems is a big cause of rendering lag.

    The big reason people drop the lod levels on mesh items is upload cost, but more importantly Land Impact costs. I recently tested this and made a crystal with single material. Uploaded the mesh and was 12Li for it rezzed out at default size, keeping all the default calculated LOD factors.

    When I dropped the lower three levels of LOD, the mesh object dropped it’s Li down to 0.50, and could be linked with 4 others before it would go over 1 full Li when rezzed out.

    When people are looking to buy items they are more concerned with how something will work and the full land impact it has, and Low Li is a huge selling point.

    It sucks, but that’s where we are at.

    There are a lot of other problems but in reference to LOD that’s where I think a lot of the problems stem from.

    Whirly Fizzle

    January 25, 2018

  • I use 6. That’s as low as I found I could drop it a few years and still see large portions of certain sims correctly.

    I don’t see why Firestorm users should be coopted into a quest to force designers to do things a certain way that FS developers seem to think is better. This whole thing is just weird.

    Kristie Lemon

    January 25, 2018

  • Which sims? And does it still need 6? If so, for $DEITY’s sake, WHY?!?!

    Tonya Souther

    January 25, 2018

  • Why does it matter? If I want to suffer from all the miserable consequences that you think come from high LOD factors (none of which I’ve ever noticed before), who cares? This isn’t going to encourage older sims to suddenly update all their mesh / prims / etc.

    This is using Firestorm to pursue a weird agenda.

    If you decided there was too much red in SL, would you use the viewer to simply stop showing it?

    Harming users, so they complain to designers to force a change to how objects is made because FS devs think designers are lazy, is just ridiculous.

    Kristie Lemon

    January 25, 2018

  • If you think you can’t live with a reasonable LOD setting – there is a reason it has always been limited to 4 in the preferences – and think this is a total showstopper for you, please feel free to choose another viewer allowing you to do silly things: http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Third_Party_Viewer_Directory

    Ansariel Hiller

    January 25, 2018

  • Every time you spam this response, it makes me think your position is a lot more reasonable.

    I will leave this discussion to others. I just don’t think Firestorm should be limiting people’s options for no reason except to force designers to design differently. If I want to live with a high LOD, that’s my concern. I’m not going to join this crusade either way. Hopefully others more effectively protest this very unreasonable change.

    Kristie Lemon

    January 26, 2018

  • I recommend Black Dragon !

    Second Lifer

    January 26, 2018

  • The Black Dragon developer is supportive of this change & he’s going to be implementing the LOD clamp in Black Dragon too.

    Whirly Fizzle

    January 28, 2018

  • Whirly Fizzle

    February 3, 2018

  • How about I think your spamming this response is pretty immature and infantile. Losing a setting that is allowed to be set and a warning that can’t be turned off is not a reasonable decision, nor will it affect how any makers do things as long as LL charges more more in L$ and Li for doing things in a better fashion. As for switching viewers, the day the LL viewer adds the extended editing functions will be the day I dump Firestorm. That’s literally the only showstopper left for me. In most other respects the LL viewer is better for what I do in SL and the few where it isn’t I could live with.

    Crim Mip

    January 26, 2018

  • “…as long as LL charges more more in L$ and Li for doing things in a better fashion…”

    LL *are* going to fix this problem. They are going to implement changes that will penalize bad LODs & reward good LOD.
    Creators will no longer be able to save on LI by skimping on lower LODs.
    From the discussion at the TPV meeting yesterday, it sounds very likely that LL will be changing the whole LI calculation & mesh with poor LOD already on the grid will also be penalized with a LI increase, not just newly uploaded mesh.

    Whirly Fizzle

    January 28, 2018

  • and how about big mesh like house ?
    Explain us … or you suggest to make minecraft thing ?

    barbara

    January 31, 2018

  • why are you always such an dick to people who dont instantly agree with you ? Your attitude is why people get sick of firestorm staff (paid or unpaid isnt relevant.Try pretending you have social skills and professionalism for a change). Your point of view would go over much better if you A didnt instantly snark to anyone who doesnt kiss up to you, or better yet B; you leave it to anyone but you to comment. I’ve never once seen you do anything but have hissy fits and snark.

    Cue snarky comment from you in 3.. 2… 1…

    Grow-up

    January 26, 2018

  • I’m posting under my actual SL user name while you hide behind one presumably directed as an insult to me. Hardly worth bothering with, but I’d hate to disappoint you.

    I’m not a dick to those who disagree with me. I can be one to those who stick their fingers in their ears and go lalalalala as Whirly and Ansariel were effectively doing here rather than address the issue people actually have with the way this was implemented. I think the short bit of my response adressing that was reasonable and on point. The rest was re-iterating my concerns in the hope that they’d get it.

    Crim Mip

    January 28, 2018

  • I’m not sticking my fingers in my ears at all.
    I want to hear the opinions of those who don’t agree with what Firestorm did and why they don’t like it.
    I totally get that this is a change that’s going to annoy a lot of people, but the LOD problem has just got out of hand & something had to be done about it.
    What Firestorm has done may be a “bold move” but it’s already been effective, it’s got the discussion going & caused some drama. Nothing spreads faster on SL then drama & hopefully as more users are made aware of the problem & (I hope) read the information in Beq & Tonya’s blog posts, they will understand WHY this is a problem, for everyone & make more informed choices on the content they purchase.
    Linden Lab will be making changes soon that will penalize mesh (higher LI) that has bad LOD & reward mesh that has good LOD.
    This will remove the incentives to create mesh that has next to no detail in the lower LODs.

    Whirly Fizzle

    January 28, 2018

  • > Developers: Make a very compelling (not to mention 100% correct) change to their viewer.

    > Users: TL;DR and act like it’s a violation of their human rights in comments.

    Typical day in the Firestorm Conversation Threads.

    Fortnight Baxton

    January 26, 2018

  • > Assholes: Show up and act like the opinions of others are wrong and completely generalise the whole conversion.

    Yep. Typical day. 😀

    Grey

    January 26, 2018

  • Most of the time I keep LOD at 2.25. Seldom I have had any reason to set it any higher. When I buy something I carefully check how the item behaves with that setting, if not good then I don’t buy it.

    I have never had any reason at all to set the LOD higher than 4.00. So everything is ok for me. Thanks Firestorm developers, you’re doing a great job.

    Coby Foden

    January 26, 2018

  • LOL @ all the selfish cry babies here, I don’t give a f*** if you think you should get a higher LOD, higher LOD affects EVERYONE not just you. Viewers have blocked 8 and above for years and no-one cared. I bet all of your cry babies never used anything above 4 and think you have rights to have what settings you want……well nope, not when it affects the entire community on it. Deal with it.

    David

    January 26, 2018

  • In OpenSim I see the physics shape outline in blue, but on the same mesh in Second Life it shows orange. Is that significant?

    Ai Austin

    January 26, 2018

  • Found what the colours mean for the physics shape from blue through orange to red… thank Beq…

    https://beqsother.blogspot.co.uk/2017/10/blue-sky-thinking-physics-view-explained.html

    Ai Austin

    January 26, 2018

  • Good decision. It is not some infringement of avatar rights – deciding practical limits are an inevitable part of any design project. But as a machinima maker, poor LOD is a serious pain, as occasional objects flicker than flip into shape. The answer to poor design is not to accommodate it with fudges (which is what LOD 4+ is), but to address the problem.

    Tizzy Canucci

    January 26, 2018

  • Stupid stupid stupid i dont care if my inventory breaks i am keeping my current version of firestorm untill it is disabled then ill migrate to one that dose not warn me of the LOD factor my computer has no issues with LOD factors just teach the people with lower end systems how to properly configure there viewers. if someone learns of a way of changing the setting so i dont get them darn pop ups then ill use the mad and keep firestorm. i foresee firestorm losing all but the crappy end computer people if they do not remove this crappy annoying viewer breaker. I hate the LL viewer because it outright sucks but if i am forced to ill go back to it or try another viewer i usally turn my LOD up as high as i want too. playing nanny state like so many state and the federal government just blows.

    dementedelf raleigh

    January 26, 2018

  • Safety belts. Microwave door switches. Fuses. Who needs em? I say let people drink and drive without a speed limit. No one you’re close to will die because of it! No one is going to tell ME what to do !! Freedom!!!

    WhoNeedsIQAnyway

    January 27, 2018

  • Do you have any idea what difference there is between running a viewer with an LOD of 8 and running a microwave without safety features?

    An LOD of 8 has never killed someone.

    DoomRater

    March 11, 2018

  • For those of you who claim to have no performance problems with a ramped up LOD, bully for you.
    For those of you who feel that your rights are being infringed, get real.
    For those of you having a temper tantrum, crying like a baby, stomping your feet and/or threatening to stop using Firestorm (lol as if anyone cares), get over yourself.
    This isn’t about your ego, your PC or your imaginary right to do anything you wish in SL without limitations. If you’ve managed to be in SL for however long without realizing there are sanity check and limits on a lot of things, you haven’t been paying attention.
    It’s about an entire community and a need for long-overdue changes in an area that has gotten out of control. I really liked mesh from the moment it hit the grid. I dislike mesh that crumples or that you can’t position near something else because it disappears. I detest stupid notecards with stupid advice about debug settings that will circulate until the end of time because they don’t self-destruct. One thing they are good for is learning who and who not to give my money to.
    These new viewer tools for LOD and mesh physics make it so much easier for me to see just how bad some of this content really is, allowing me to make better choices.
    Thanks very much to the Firestorm Team!

    P.S. I recommend Singularity for those looking to switch. It’s only 1 – 2 1/2 years out of date depending on which features you need.

    Janie

    January 27, 2018

  • If LL wants to fix the lag problem, they need to max texture upload size at 512. Ever since mesh hit the grid, the lag has gotten worse and worse, but it’s not mainly due to the mesh objects – it’s because most everybody uses 1024 textures on them.
    This was proven at a shopping event a while back (I can’t remember which one it was now). They banned any texture over 512 to be used on the sim, even on the vendors. There was barely ANY lag at that event. It was fabulous.

    Fallacy

    January 27, 2018

  • That’s why the object inspect function has been extended and now also showing you how much texture and video memory an object is consuming. 🙂

    Ansariel Hiller

    January 27, 2018

  • What’s wrong with you about the LOD ? Why don’t you let us to choose WHAT WE WANT ?
    Personally i will return to the old version, I don’t like being forced, if a person has a TITAN Card, i doubt they will feel lag. Mine was set at 8 and never i got any problem of lag, so set to 2 and forced to being at 2 what do you think that the people use really old computer ?

    and the dude to call us incompetent designer because we us an high lod that made me laugh, he is totally ignorant.
    Most of designer do that for the prim cost. So what Firestorm team want to have the sims without any object because a simple chair will be around 65 prims cost or to have chair polymesh without any details ? lol

    Stephanie

    January 28, 2018

  • IMPORTANT
    The up-coming LOD/LI changes Linden Lab will be making were discussed at the Third Party Viewer meeting on Friday.
    You can watch a video of the meeting here: https://youtu.be/0XonGiSxrLk

    For a summary of the meeting, please see Inara Pey’s blog post here: https://modemworld.me/2018/01/27/2018-sl-project-updates-4-2-tpv-developer-meeting/

    In particular, note the details in the “Land Impact / Avatar Complexity Calculations” section of the blog post:

    [27:13-28:12] One of the reasons often cited for creating one very detailed level of detail (LOD) model and a very low LOD model, rather than a number of LOD models (high, medium, low and lowest), is that the latter can penalise the finished model’s overall Land Impact (LI). This is something the Lab is going to be looking at in order to try to remove / reduce disincentives to making optimised content for SL as a part of this work.

    [28:35-30:25] These updates are likely to affect the LI of existing and rezzed content. However, they will not be made in Q1 of 2018. Instead, the Lab plan to carry out simulator-side testing to ensure whatever changes that are decided upon cause as little disruption as possible, and will offer a strategy to help people transition to the new system to try to avoid any unnecessary item returns, show the revised formula run the risk of some content being returned when implemented (this might even comprise an increase in land capacity, if the difference between the “old” and “new” LI calculations aren’t too big). Improved tools for understanding LI are also planned as part of this work.

    Whirly Fizzle

    January 28, 2018

  • Thanks Firestorm team. Despite the overstated drama above, this is proving to be another rock solid, stable release.

    Honestly, the LOD change has not been as bad as I would have thought. I ran 4 prior and I thought to give the new 2 recommend a try before saying anything, look before crying. It’s not broken the world for me at all.

    It’s an interesting comment about the Lab’s changes to LI to undo the LI saving hack, one can see they will need to proceed very carefully. All those 1 LI items turning into 10 LI items could easily overflow a parcel. I wish them luck in getting it right.

    Thanks again, as always, to the entire team for the hard work you do as *volunteers* so that we can have fun. Thanks to the devs, to the help team, to the others behind the scenes, and to Whirly for all she does.

    Jayd

    January 28, 2018

  • Well, with your “update” about LOD, we should just bring all complainers now, because their mesh will look funny and weirdos. With a massive complainers to come to you, you will maybe let the users and creators to use the viewer how they want to use.
    And like said someone above, removed all bullshits, like the bridge, and tons of gadget that we never use.

    Anonymous

    March 26, 2018

  • Unfortunately, the features you find “bullshits” in Firestorm may be another users essential tools.
    We have had many requests for a stripped down version of Firestorm with only a users preferred set of features – but pretty much no-one is ever going to agree what those essential features for “Firestorm-Lite” should be.
    You can disable the bridge if you want – Preferences -> Firestorm -> Extras -> Enable LSL-Client Bridge.

    Whirly Fizzle

    April 6, 2018

  • The Firstorm Viewer itself does not meet the new LOD specifications, it never did. From 65 meters away with LOD3 he looks like a hippopotamus.
    I would appreciate freezing its development and focusing on the Phoenix again, removing everything nobody ever needs, such as voice, social links, built-in AO, bridge, internal web browser, teleporter, localization, themes, phototools, gestures and some more…
    @Whirly: 3.5

    Dianna Loxely

    January 28, 2018

  • Okay firstly let me say I have been using firestorm for years now and I have never had any issues with it, and I think it is one of the best viewers out there.

    But… This war you have started to wage on low LOD mesh makers is inexcusable. I do not understand why you are attacking us, but it’s not fair. The fact you call low LOD mesh “Low quality” is insulting, and the fact your viewer now encourages people to “replace” any low LOD uploaded mesh is a slap in the face to ALL of us who build in mesh and consider things like land impact and physics cost. There are very good valid reasons behind why we do it, and if you would just take a second to hear us out and look at the facts, I am sure we can come to some sort of compromise.

    Let us make this clear, not everyone owns a full sim. Lots of people (including me) only own tiny parcels where prim counts are finite, and if they were to fill their parcel with mesh uploaded at normal LOD they would have an almost empty parcel with 2 or 3 pieces on it.

    The reason we upload mesh at lower LOD settings is because second life works on the primitives system. No one in SL has unlimited prims, not even full sim owners. The lower the prim count your parcel/sim has the less things you can have out. Which makes things less complex, and less fun I might add, when you think about all the nearly empty parcels we would have if we did things the way you suggest. There would also be a much larger strain on the server considering the amount of prims in a sim does in fact effect the server and lag.

    Also in the case of vehicles. Second life has a physics engine that only allows vehicles with a physics count of 32 to be able to move. Without lowering the LOD, and bringing the vehicles in world as they are, A. The prim count would be over 255 most times and nothing over 255 can move, B. The physics cost would be MUCH higher than 32 and again said vehicle would not be able to move anymore.

    Lastly theres the whole freedom aspect. This is my computer, and my SL, and I should be able to configure it any way I choose. Who is anyone to tell me how to run things on my computer? Also who is anyone to tell me how to make mesh or tell my customers not to buy my products? Feel free to put warnings in yes. But do NOT force me to have things your way, and do definitely do NOT encourage people to replace/not buy my products because of your opinion of how I (and MANY others) build our mesh.

    I understand you feel it adversely effects peoples systems but in my case (and in the case of my friends and customers I’ve talked about this with) it does not. I am more than willing to screen share with you and your team over skype or some such similar screen sharing program to show you how I have tested your assumptions that any setting above 3 or 4 will kill your computer. I have been running my laptop and desktop with a LODRenderVolume of 7 for a long time now. I have not now or ever experienced any difficulties with my systems or my FPS dropping at all and I can prove this if you just give me or any low LOD mesh maker a chance to show you. After your announcement about the LOD changes I experimented with the setting. I set it from lowest to 10 over and over on both machines just to see what it did to both systems. My FPS never dropped on either nor did either suffer any ill effects from higher settings. I do however agree with you anything above 8 is useless as it does in fact level off just as you stated in the update notes.

    In conclusion, I do not understand why you have started all this and why you feel it is okay to insult people who are just trying to make the best products they can, at the lowest prim/physics count possible, so people can enjoy their things and not have to take up their entire prim count to do so. And so that everything will function as they should. In the end this move you all are making will not change how I make mesh, how I set my viewer, and how my customers enjoy my products because they don’t break the prim count bank and can still function despite their level of detail. Please stop attacking us, and understand we’re working as best we can inside the limitations set forth by Linden Labs sim/prim count/physics engine systems and no matter how hard you try to change it, it will not do anyone any good. I know we as mesh makers have been begging LL for a better mesh uploading system so we do not NEED to pull these LOD tricks to make the land impact and physics cost of our meshes something that is workable. And we will continue to do so. And I also understand Linden Labs has been kicking around the idea of implementing the LODrendervolume level cap as well as doing away with any effect said tricks currently have. But that is not happening now. Right now Firestorm is forcing a change on everyone and encouraging people to replace products the creators worked very hard on to make it the best they could. Keep the cap all you like, but please do NOT down mesh makers or encourage people to not buy and or replace their products for doing the best we can to work within the system that has been and is currently in place. Thank you very much for reading.

    Beylana

    January 29, 2018

  • Opening a post by declaring that a “war” have been waged on you just sounds defensive and “poor me”, take pity on me as this is the best I know how to do. Yet others know how to do it, and do it well. When you know better, you do better. Think of anything you do or have done in your life that you’ve improved upon with time, knowledge and experience. Why not consider those same possibilities with mesh creations going forward instead of digging a trench for an imaginary war?

    Janie

    January 29, 2018

  • Janie, think what you like but go ahead an re-read all my reasoning’s once again. I provide several reasons why we do what we do with LOD and with physics shapes. It is not just the “only way we know how to do things” because we’re unskilled gits. It’s the only way to do it at all right now for certain items. And no, other people can’t do it. Simple shapes or items never meant to be scripted for movement in world like the ones people have provided for examples are exceedingly easy to work with. Make it clear that any decent creator only pulls LOD/physics tricks when they are absolutely necessary and not just arbitrarily doing them looking for a super low prim count for no grand reason other than that. It is the only way to do certain things period. Again re-read all the reasons why LOD lowering is a necessity with the way the system works right now before personally accusing me of A. being unskilled, and/or B. looking for some sort of pity party. Because the LOD tricks and the physics shape tricks are the ONLY way to make certain things functional and not so many prims no one would ever want it. Thanks, and have a wonderfully pleasant day!

    Beylana

    January 29, 2018

  • Makes me wonder how many Firestorm devs are ‘superior’ content makers on their alts and will benefit from this long run as we are forced to update items that no longer render correctly. And of course LL benefits…they will give us some token decrease in High LOD item LI (and MAYBE a tiny prim increase) but long-run, we’ll never get back where we were without buying more land and paying creators more $L.

    Always follow the money (RL and Virtual) and this rather looks like a two-front moneygrab.

    Royce Quinn

    April 30, 2018

  • I dislike this choice – advising people is all well and good – but the reason I’ve recommended Firestorm all these years is customizability – the ability to alter settings to suit your own style – the fact you are making the 4.0+ LODFactor Settings non-relogging is a slap in the face to that statement. You are on borrowed time – I suggest you use what is left wisely.

    Brandon

    January 29, 2018

  • OK Maybe I oiverreacted – my sculpts aren’t that terrible with the new settings – but still don’t like that they kinda pulled out my statement about choices…

    Brandon

    January 29, 2018

  • Totally get the idea about the LOD issue, but…the BIGGEST problem (imo) in SL, one which causes sim-wide-lag, are people running a cr#p load of clothing scripts etc. I have at most 30 (and I think that’s high). So when I see multiple avatars on high traffic sims, who are running 300+ scripts on their avatar, I blame them for my lag issues, and not LOD, because that’s exactly what’s causing most of the sim lag these days.

    Even with my beefed up rig, and fiber optic internet, I can, and have run foul with slow FPS, all because of gnorant people running way too many scripts.

    I would think this issue would, and (imho) be an issue that also needs attention. Maybe more so that LOD…just sayin!

    Trezz

    January 29, 2018

  • Scripts won’t actually affect your viewer FPS at all. They won’t even affect the sim FPS. Scripts will just “lag” other scripts.
    The effects of scripts could cause viewer side lag though, for example scripts spitting out a high number of particles or causing massive object updates (more network lag really for object updates).
    The biggest culprets for viewer side lag (low viewer FPS) are rezzed or worn mesh that’s high poly count & overuse of 1024 textures – unoptimized content basically.

    Whirly Fizzle

    January 29, 2018

  • I had a problem installing 5.0.11 but I believe it was because I was installing the SL only version over a version of 5.0.7 that was open sim. I simply removed 5.0.7 manually and re-installed 5.0.11 – no more problems.
    As for LOD being an issue with lag, I agree with Trezz. I own a sim where nudity is common and I’ve seen people show up butt naked with over 1,000 scripts (and wondered where they put them all).

    Mewling Moy

    January 30, 2018

  • So basically youre choosing to annoy the hell out of people who have higher end computers and use between 5-7 LOD factor (big difference from 4), rather than simply warn people about anything over 8? Youre literally going to force people to redo that one setting after every login. Thats stupid af. How about you test that idiocy on yourselves for a month and report back your irritation levels before making alot of us suffer through it.

    Wrathiox Zane

    January 30, 2018

  • I can understand the frustration of mesh designers and the debate of software content creators changing a feature such as not saving the values of LOD on relaunch / restart. First, I have to admire the fantastic abilities and work that goes into creating mesh. To each of you, thank you! As a software developer, I can understand wanting to change a feature as to A) Help the end users system performance and experience. B) Minimize any conflicts this may have on other internal features of a program. I also agree with the comments regarding letting the end user choose if they wish to go over 4 and allow that value to save. Anytime I program a game / app or any other product and if I know a setting may hamper the end users experience my product will give a warning, but I leave it to the user to decide if they wish to continue or not. Each developer (as they own the code) have the ability to choose features and how such features will work. Regarding the comments trashing content creators, just because YOU see yourself as a highly skilled mesh creator does not give you the right to be smug, arrogant and a complete A$$. People are learning mesh everyday….just because your skill set may be more advanced does not give you the right to berate other creators. They are creators too and they have skill sets that YOU may not have. KUDOS to each of you who create and share in SL.

    Michael

    January 30, 2018

  • I read the beq blog …
    Ok, the lamp how prims it cost ?
    Now, if you extend the size , let us know how many prims it cost
    Imagine it is a house, 1920 polygons for a house is not so much, it can be less … it can be more, now tell us how many prims it will cost at bigger size , and tell us how you reduce li cost … tell us the “expert”

    barbara

    January 31, 2018

  • It is easy to tell how much it will cost at the bigger size. The Land Impact equation is well documented. As things grow the ratio of the area over which a given LOD is visible grows. As a result, the cost of triangles in the LODs change to the point where over a certain size the lower LODs are actually capped and cost nothing because they are effectively not ever shown. The typical trick with anything of scale is to model the large parts separately to the smaller. there is no point paying the high cost of a 20m radius house for the triangles in a door know, or even a door. the medium LOD, of course, has no need of any interior faces (for the most part) and things such as windows can be impostered minimising their complexity while remaining very convincing. Look at the typical houses produced by someone such as Chinrey. I am not here at all to tell you how it must be done, I offer advice, as I have for many years, mostly as part of my own learning journey. There are many more out there with similar advice, better tips and hints.

    Beq

    February 2, 2018

  • As I read, you didn’t answered about how many prims takes this lamp on your example, and you didn’t answered how many prims it can take just if we make * 2 on the size. It is just to have an example about li.

    barbara

    February 3, 2018

  • And why sculpty has constant li no matter the size, why it is not the case for mesh ? it could be better to work on this than blame creators who are trying to work with LL rules. If LL changes suddenly the rules … it will be a massive disaster , exactly when they opened the source code and copybot appeared

    barbara

    January 31, 2018

  • Sculpty has fixed cost because, under normal conditions, they are given legacy accounting privileges. They do not get charged at their true impact to rendering. This is only capped however if you do not use post-2012 features such as materials on them. As soon as you apply any modern feature the legacy accounting privilege is withdrawn and the cost will change. Mesh is not fixed cost because the lab elected to move to an accounting system that better represented the cost driver at the time (focussing on the streaming cost for bandwidth limited connections and how that slowed down content streaming and rendering). It is certainly arguable that much of the network restriction has slipped away and as the lab review their accounting methods they will be looking more at how to encourage content that helps give sustainable framerates across a wide range of platforms. If you are interested in being a part of those discussions then come to meetings such as the content creator user groups, there are always a wide range of views and the lindens are there to hear what people are saying.

    Beq

    February 2, 2018

  • A lot of the issue with limited bandwidth has gone away as more and more assets are moved to cloud distribution so it’s about time it gets another look.

    Crim Mip

    February 7, 2018

  • Another side effect is some designers have land to show their products. Don’t worry, we have beq and co to check if the products will go fine with … beq criteria, so, the best is … stop to rent land !
    All goes in marketplace, there is no fake mesh checker on marketplace, and LL will be happy, just some stores more will go only on marketplace and stop to rent

    At least … it is what beq does … be only on marketplace

    barbara

    January 31, 2018

  • Uhm…Beq does have a physical store, one of the three properties I have owned since 2007/2008.

    Beq

    February 2, 2018

  • I saw recently a Vintage Radiator , 1 li … it smells exactly the prim reduction by playing with lod … and Oh! surprise, it was done by the blogger Beq … seriously , before gives lesson, learn first !

    barbara

    January 31, 2018

  • “smells exactly the prim reduction playing with the LOD?”
    Just because it is below 1LI and highly detailed, does not mean that it was made by cheating the LODS. it most certainly was not.

    The radiator in question follows one of the two common good design practices for smaller items. At its default scale of ~0.6m (making it a rather small item) the Medium LOD is dominant from a very close range (3-5m), thus the Medium LOD far from being minimised, such as in the behaviour you allude to, is a full replication of the High poly model (both at ~6000 triangles) because it requires the fidelity of the high detail model when viewed in a typical setting such as a home without asking people to mangle their settings. This detail is enhanced by the use of materials; the engraving on the valve, the fine seam in the casting are all normal mapped.

    An alternative (valid) practice for items of this scale is to use an artificially large bounding box. This has the effect of increasing the LOD range, but means that it is charged as if it is a larger scale item. which method works best depends on the item and the designer’s preference. Neither method “games” any rules, both use the LOD mechanism as it was intended.

    The Medium LOD reduces to a low poly model which retains the overall volume of the product, not collapsing into unrecognisable single triangles. This switch occurs at ~19m on FS default, and around 11m on LL, ample for the typical victorian/edwardian home for which this is designed. ~380 triangles are used for the Low LOD, far from the 1 or 2 that would be the minimum needed. The lowest LOD vanishes, which is a deliberate optimisation given that an item of 0.5m designed to be used indoors is not expected to be seen from more than about 10m, let alone the 20m on SL defaults or 37m on FS.

    The following gif, shows the item in question, my settings at standard FS defaults and the camera pulling away.
    https://i.gyazo.com/2101f8fa37ad73327c61fe246dfa4842.gif

    Beq

    February 2, 2018

  • Even on your gif, the radiator lost its shape at medium lod, it is just 4 or 5 triangle, and certainly a model designed specifically for medium lod, and , I used the new fake firestorm system on edit, it says : 56 poly at medium range. Going from more than 6000 to 56 …
    Now, we can imagine an object like this one but for outdoor, explain us how have good prim cost, good lod without increase rendervolumelod , because, you know, many peoples like have an outdoor … or landscape

    So, we can use this radiator example, and we wait your advice to have this object at 1li, with good medium lod this time or at least the high lod more resistant, and keep in the same time the rendervolumelod at 3 or 4

    Now, I read a lot of things here … speculation, and so one, but can we take some real examples , examples which need to be seen at at least between 60 meters and with a complex shape , as example houses for role play sim ? and so one

    barbara

    February 3, 2018

  • I watched the TPV meeting recording. It sounded pretty postitive. It was very telling that they pulled a rendering engine dev back from Sansar development to work on SL. As for adjustments in how LI for mesh is calculated, it’s about time. I don’t really care if they have to game the formulas to make properly done mesh cost less than doing it the way many do it now. If creators hadn’t been able to game the system to get lower LI and upload costs for doing it wrong, there would be far less crappy mesh that melts from 15m away. Give and incentive for people to do it right and they will start doing it right. Officially supported parcel Windlight will be nice as well. I’m actually surprised they even allowed TPV’s to do that since it very definitely presents a different graphic experience than the LL viewer. Good on them for adding it rather than making everyone else give it up.

    Crim Mip

    February 1, 2018

  • As a builder who has worked on numerous full sims as commission, I have to ramp up the LOD settings between 6-8 just so meshes won’t turn to mush as I cam around and make sure things are working together or if there are things I need to fill in which requires an aerial type view. Second of all I am not going to mesh every single LOD because not only is that time consuming its literally LI heavy. It costs content creators the more we have to upload on top of I am not going to create LODs for every mesh landscape I have to break up into several pieces to bypass the LL restrictive 64x64x64 meter limit. I am for warning people with a notice that it may hinder performance on older pcs but I do not like a program changing my settings!

    Riguel

    February 3, 2018

  • Black Dragon viewer has also implemented a LOD clamp at 4.0.
    https://niranv-sl.blogspot.co.uk/2018/02/black-dragon-64x-update-301-spring.html?zx=408f117c3f7e6303

    Alchemy viewer already has LOD clamped at 4.0.
    Alchemy is actually even stricter the Firestorm, it will not alow you to even set LOD > 4.0 for that session.

    Whirly Fizzle

    February 3, 2018

  • “As promised and threatened, Object Quality is now clamped to 4 max. I said, if FS pulls through with this, i’m going to do it as well and it seems like even LL is planning to do so. This means soon shit content creators have to be less shit and learn to mesh better so their stuff doesn’t go invisible the moment you zoom out 2 meters as they wont be able to tell customers anymore to simply set the LOD to higher than 4. Don’t like it? I don’t give a fuck, you deserved this, it’s time this mess is finally getting cleaned up.”

    condescending and … vulgar , very clever example whirly, continue as this …

    barbara

    February 5, 2018

  • I can’t control what Niran posts on his Black Dragon viewer blog.
    While I agree he could have been less rude in the way he phrased that, what he said is correct.

    Whirly Fizzle

    February 5, 2018

  • Then LOD 4 should be the max default and not change on relog….simple.

    Cymon Cyrado

    February 5, 2018

  • LOD 4.0 is the max default.
    LOD 4.0 will not reset on relog or nag you.
    Only LOD > 4.0 will give you the viewer nag & reset next session.

    Whirly Fizzle

    February 6, 2018

  • Oh, joy. Yet another thing Firestorm decides to nag its users on. This really has become the viewer of choice for morons who enjoy having people think for them, and still no option to disable these irritating nags for those who are aware of the consequences of their settings.

    Between the increasingly condescending attitudes of the “team” and the rising number of viewer nags, this has really become a situation where the only good reason to stay is not having the time to familiarize oneself with a new thing. This is probably what is finally going to get me to stop being lazy and look into the viewers my friends have been badgering me to try.

    Fitting that you call yourselves the “Firefox of Second Life” after their similar Quantum debacle.

    Alisa Drachnyd

    February 4, 2018

  • Firefox Quantum was a brilliant release and long overdue.

    Ansariel Hiller

    February 5, 2018

  • This LOD restriction is absurd. It is client side and doesn’t effect the general populace at all. I pay a great deal of $$$ each month (yes three digits) for a fantastic waterfront view, I invested seven hundred bucks in a vid card so I could and now I have to adjust setting each time I relog to see this… Thank goodness for graphics presets so I can revert quickly. Concern yourselves with server side lag and just make recommendations for the client not restrictions…. this is clearly not the Firestorm crew I remember. I have recommended Firestorm to hundreds of users, I would like to be able to continue to do so but now I feel betrayed.

    Cymon Cyrado

    February 4, 2018

  • Another point, never mentioned here
    There are a lot of peoples who enjoy to create for Themself and Not Resale … are you able to understand this at firestorm team ?
    These peoples often rent a sim, at high cost
    Do you understand this too … firestorm team
    And these peoples don’t care your debate, argument and other weird though
    If the house I make for Myself with Sketchup doesn’t seems good for your pseudo technical criteria … I don’t care ,
    the same for the stuff I enjoy to create , I do it for Myself not for Resale, as many thousand of people on Second life !

    And I prefer increase lod than spend hours to make a medium lod model … because I do it for me … Are you able to understand this firestorm team ?

    barbara

    February 5, 2018

  • Those hours you are not spending making better LOD models seem to be spent reading blog comments and making sarcastic comments. Ask yourself which you will benefit from more in the long run.

    Janie

    February 6, 2018

  • An useful answer
    We said … condescending ?
    A good resume of the spirit against Second life users

    barbara

    February 6, 2018

  • The mesh SketchUp eports are not very good for SL. Way too many polygons. You can fix it pretty easily by importing into Wings3D and using the automatic polygon reduction function. That helps a LOT.

    Crim Mip

    February 7, 2018

  • reduce polygon on the model 3d is easy with a lot of tools, it is well known, so yes that helps to reduce polygon on high lod level

    But, I don’t see how that helps for medium lod, and no, I will not make a specific mesh for my own use for all lod level
    I prefer increase lod level , or firestorm team can spend time to create a fade lod system as sophisticated game , or course that needs more will than just reset a lod value, something, I will fix myself to keep the lod I want

    barbara

    February 9, 2018

  • Actually i still dont see why lower lod factor would be better, my whole reason to move my lod facttor up to 4.0 ages ago was because on my old computer i kept crashing when all the objects kept constantly lod swapping like mad whenever i moved my camera. Now when i seen this article ive decided to move my lod factor down to 2.5, at the moment i have a pretty good computer now and downing the LOD factor didnt help at all, first its didnt gave me any extra framerate anywhere, its just made me lag again like mad whenever i move my camera except i dont crash now. So basically why i should has my lod below 4.0 if the constantly lod swapping objects keep dropping my framerate like mad whenever they swap lod? o_O this whole LOD article is totally pointless unless first, LL fix the lod swapping on rigged mesh because its does not work at all, everyone know that, then fix the unneccesary lag when objects keep constantly lod swapping.

    Venompapa

    February 5, 2018

  • There is a fix upstream for the FPS drop when LOD swapping.
    It’s not in Firestorm yet but will be in the next release.
    If you want to test it, it’s currently only in the LL Maint-RC viewer: http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Release_Notes/Second_Life_Release/5.1.1.512226
    “MAINT-4354 Objects outside the view frustum cause render stalls in Update LOD”

    The LOD swapping on rigged mesh works differently. Rigged meshes LOD swap based off of Avatar bounding box instead of element or linkset bounding box.
    LL did attempt to change this but it broke a lot of content.
    Note the last comment on https://jira.secondlife.com/browse/BUG-11627 – “State update: issue on hold until ‘better content policies are made’ due to lots of content missing lower lods.”

    Whirly Fizzle

    February 6, 2018

  • Is it necessary that build is one of the main way to enjoy Second life
    Many users like to build
    Many users pay to own a parcel or a sim
    Many users don’t care your pseudo lod problem
    Many users just want to enjoy Second life for what it was initially designed

    Your trial and inquisition against designers and players are unbearable now and certainly hide something else , I guess lod is just a pretext

    barbara

    February 6, 2018

  • Barbara, It’s taken a sharp crackerjack such as yourself to figure it out. Firestorm is out to get you. Hold onto your hat, as the sky is about to fall!

    Really though, the metaverse is not about to end regardless of how dramatic you make this out to be. And please, no one is going to be burned at the stake, so let’s have a little respect and regard for those who actually were. Thanks.

    Janie

    February 6, 2018

  • considering the respect for creators …

    barbara

    February 9, 2018

  • Many thanks to the Firestorm devs for taking care of this LOD issue, improving our beloved viewer and explaining the background.
    In my first five years in SL, I used LOD factor 3. But in the last four years now, I tend to build more, mostly mesh buildings. I have my LOD factor set to 1.5, because this allows me to check the LODs of my own creations while walking around them. Intention here is, to trigger the switch to a lower LOD a bit sooner. For just exploring and hanging around a LOD factor of 2.25 seems to be optimal, in the case all content got proper LODs on creation.
    For taking snapshots with a draw distance of 1024 m I use factor 4 of course.
    I suppose, there is a trend to visit SL with a low-end, non-gaming laptop and a wireless connection (any stats available?). Those users, who invest extra money for better hardware might be a minority.
    So, if it were me, you can make the viewer even more strict.
    Many thanks again to the devs for all your hard work!
    Ravelli

    Ravelli Ormstein

    February 7, 2018

  • There is no lod issue, it comes at this … suddenly , and block a lod value solves nothing

    I remember the true issue the 6 september 2017 … when a lot of sims saw many thousand of objects returned , only mesh objects …

    now, the true freedom is to let users freedom , so obvious

    barbara

    February 9, 2018

  • In response to Whirley Fizzle, or anyone else, stating that scripts won’t actually affect lag on sims, this is incorrect. It absolutely does affect lag. I have owned a popular club for almost 3 years now and have experimented with this what kind of scripts affect the sim and its members.
    As Trezz stated, I too have found that any RUNNING scripts does indeed lag the sim, including worn scripts. After removing unneeded running scripts, and any other unused scripts, from 3 of my sim landscaping, boards, vehicles etc, and limiting the number of scripts worn by guests, it has indeed greatly reduced lag on these sims.

    I also mesh at low to moderate poly count but have never set my LOD factor above 4. I have ZERO issues with this setting. This includes my meshed cars, buildings, decor, signs, windows etc. The only problem I’ve come to realize is, the more mesh you have out to render, regardless of poly count, the more time it takes for someone’s viewer to process. For this reason, I utilize as much prim as I can into a mesh build.

    Bottom line is, as a creator and SL business owner, you absolutely must create by assuming users are not on mega computers with fiber optic internet, you build mesh and limit scripts for average users, most of whom have average systems and many are on cell connections.

    And, honestly, meshing something at 2-3 Li higher than you normally do isn’t going to cause you or anyone else that much grief and it improves quality greatly.

    Jessica

    February 7, 2018

  • Yay, might i suggest forcing mesh off avatars on relog also, as we all know how demanding that is. and removing the hair especially from everyone will be a huge improvement too. Maybe set the bandwidth to the coders expressly desired speed for everyone, say 20 instead of the higher setting people might use. oh and just go ahead and set us all to low resolution too on relog.

    kimmy

    February 9, 2018

  • As the first poster said, “While I understand the use of this caution, and even support the “caution not to use this high of settings for LOD” I dislike the “LOD Factor settings over 4 will not persist after relog” bit, though. I dislike being told that I am not /allowed/ to continually use these settings.”

    I too dislike this passive-aggressive behavior. The Firestorm team is prone to this type of patronizing in general. On the Firestorm channel, for instance, certain moderators are repeatedly given to lecturing users on their use of bandwidth, and ‘to play nice’. Let me blunt on that: I pay for my connection to SL. The onus is on Linden Lab to supply enough resources (bandwidth/CPU) to keep the user experience pleasant. It’s certainly NOT the Firestorm team’s place to ‘enable’ LL in remaining lazy (aka, aiding them in not having to upgrade their systems). Furthermore, unless the Firestorm team is willing to defray part of my cost for ‘playing’ SL, their continual requests to ‘play nice’ should really stay just that: requests. The team really crossed a line here.

    Kira Manell

    February 23, 2018

  • I have uninstalled Firestorm 5.0.11 because of the forced LOD issue. I won’t be upgrading my viewer until this matter is reversed. We do not need nor want you high-handed changes and I won’t use your viewer until this is undone. You can make the default LOD whatever you want on install, but we have a right to set it for ourselves after that. Your actions stink of hubris and conceit. If this is what you’re going to do, hand the software over to another development team. You failed here.

    John O

    February 24, 2018

  • There are plemty of other viewers to choose from: http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Third_Party_Viewer_Directory and https://secondlife.com/support/downloads/
    I’ll save you some wasted time though – Alchemy & Black Dragon already clamp LOD at 4.0 & the LL viewer will shortly do the same.

    Whirly Fizzle

    February 25, 2018

  • @John O “If this is what you’re going to do, hand the software over to another development team.”
    Right! Because everyone knows, development teams for SL viewers are a dime-a-dozen and just falling over themselves to please arrogant users like you. Will this pity party of the ignorant never end?

    Janie

    February 28, 2018

  • This is quite nonsense, the LOD has no influence on my frame rate. The visibility, the number of avatars, the shadow settings all this have an impact on my FPS, but the LOD has not. loool

    Hotaru Ito

    March 1, 2018

  • I agree Hotaru. My famerate was NO different WHATSOEVER! What a ridiculous pointless waste of time, annoyance and energy they could have spent making an actual improvement!

    Valentisia

    March 5, 2018

  • How does MY LOD factor on MY computer affect YOU. How idiotic. I use 6 because that were I like it. Somethings I own look like crap if I don’t. Thanks to you I have to reset my LOD everytime I log in to see some of my vehicles correctly on my land at my home. Which is completely necessary and stupid. Not to mention dumb. Well already sick enough of it to change. Whats next? Everyone ones compter will get a higher frame rate if you force graphics to low. May as well F..K it.

    Valentisia

    March 3, 2018

  • If your land and your vehicles would be hypothetically at Mainland and someone with LOD 8.0 (because someone or some notecard told them to set it like that) and weaker machine than you would visit it and pass by, could get tons of lag – then they would come to forums and complain about Second Life itself getting bad and unplayable by them. So it’s not only about how you alone see the world.

    Now, with warning, they know what is going on. If more and more people will start to see deformed items at standard LOD ranges the _creators_ will need to make better content. And in tme, you and your (new) vehicles would be perfectly visible on LOD 2.0 without unnecessary strain on graphics card of anyone, yours included. Everyone would win, and that’s it all about. Old, bad, lazily made and / or “optimized for LOD 20.0” content just needs to be phased out.

    Pantera Północy

    March 9, 2018

  • “If more and more people will start to see deformed items at standard LOD ranges the _creators_ will need to make better content.”

    And that’s precisely what’s wrong with your reasoning. MicroSoft tried to do the same thing once, with UAC (User Access Control): deliberately pester/annoy users, in a (vain) hope the programmers would start programming more responsibly (read: programme around having the users be confronted with UAC popups).

    MicroSoft eventually, after much protest, found a better way (using virtualized directories, for one, to offset the more egregious effecrs of UAC). But the point is, that the FS team grossly overstepped the boundaries of its original purpose (to create a compatible LL viewer, with their own improvements), and instead adopted a patronizing policy of forcing ppl to ‘play nice’ (in collusion with LL, apparently, so the latter doesn’t have to update its hardware, like any normal company does).

    Kira Manell

    March 15, 2018

  • Now, it seems some peoples even put on pillory designers …
    It is an inquisition to favor what, their products ? , mainly cubes products
    https://community.secondlife.com/forums/topic/419111-firestorm-5011-new-mesh-building-tools/

    chic, beq , ok you know how make cubes , good, now show us how you handle organic stuffs, with curves, lot of polygons, because a tree uses a lot of polygons, with low prims, good size, at a true tree size. Until we see an example doing by you, I advice to say nothing more, and certainly stop to bring your easy cube build !

    barbara

    March 5, 2018

  • First off, I have to apologize for some pretty harsh critisism I gave on this ‘feature’. I’ve given it a lot of thought and read the responses. I don’t necessarily like the solution, but I think it was ultimately necessary. It beat the alternative which would have been to simply not allow settings above 4 at all.

    Some (by no means all) content creators have been making some pretty bad items since mesh became available. Some out of ignorance, but in a lot of cases it’s to get a lower LI which is the be all end end all number we all look at even though it doesn’t matter nearly as much now as it once did. In other words, part of the blame for the current mess is with us content buyers as well. Besides, why not avoid doing the various distance models? It’s more work, costs more to upload, and then buyers would complain about the high LI even after LL gave us 30% more prims with the stated reason (go look it up) to encourage better mesh content using proper LOD models. That didn’t work obviously. Maybe this will. Some content creators will be unhappy because they have to start doing it right if they want their items to compete in the marketplace. I’m fine with that.

    Crim Mip

    March 14, 2018

  • Simply Delete the featureTable.txt, you’ll only get the warning message at loggin, clic “ok”, so you keep your LOD at 8 if you want, that’s all.

    Meizdere

    March 15, 2018

  • What a nonsense to not let it stay how a user wants it. If a user is happy to have it high and accepts the performance loss, what business is that to you to put it back down again?

    Those stupid users should be told to have their settings how you want it right? Not how they experience it as comfortable.

    Kyla

    March 25, 2018

  • For heavens sake – please make it an option, not an obligation.

    emmcequadrat

    April 15, 2018

  • Meizdere

    April 17, 2018