Render weight, big events, and you! Or: So I went to the runway show for the Gabriel 2013 collection in Second Life this afternoon…

So I decided, this afternoon, that I would attend the runway walk a big SL designer was doing of their new line of clothes.  I love the stuff they do, after all, so it seems likely they’re going to do more stuff I love.

rickracer flux-clarity

A little teaser image for you of what’s coming: this is the ::GB::MESH Double jacket and Half pants suit (Zebra), worn by RicoRacer Clarity with the ::GB::MESH summer Boots.  The other models appearing in the show were: Huntington Harbour, Ewan Crumb, Riku Ilo, Steele Sirnah, Angelik Lavecchia, Ryuji Yuhara, Salvo Waydelich, and Apollo Call.  My apologies for not having photos of everybody: SL and I were not getting along at ALL well today!

I got booted off SL entirely three times in ten minutes, and couldn’t even rez the teleporter at the sim where the event’s happening to get myself to the catwalk!  Why? Because the sim’s crowded as heck, obviously.  But what can you or I do about making that easier?  Wait, what’s that you ask?  You didn’t know there was anything you could do?  Well, then, that’s why this post is being written!

First thing to do: check your ‘render weight’ in Avatar -> Avatar Health -> Show Render Weight for Avatars.  My average render weight’s somewhere around 60,000.  Render weight is how much processing power the server needs to put into making your avatar visible to everyone else. You can easily strip this down a few simple ways.

First, take off all accessories that have scripts in them (or remove the scripts).  Those shoes you can resize whenever you like with the color change hud and menu?  Don’t wear those.  Wear the simple shoes which handle the job of covering your feet.  The prim hair with the resize script built in?  Leave it at home, or take the script out of it.
Secondly, avoid flexi prims in your outfit.  Now sure, the skirt on that outfit looks grand when you’re in motion, and the textures are beautiful!  But we’re not here to ogle your skirt: we’re here to ogle the new skirt that is up on the catwalk.  Just wear avatar clothes, rather than mesh or prims.
Third, leave off HUDs.  Take off the AO, leave your Tiny Empires at home.  These things have scripts and scripts, you guessed it, are a major source of server lag!
By following these three simple steps, I got my own render weight down to a fifth of what it was before I left the house to go to the show.

nath stripped down

This is what a render weight of 12000 looks like. Only a LITTLE bit like the photo that turns up on the news with the caption ‘KILLED 17 IN GRISLY TRI-STATE SPREE’.

Once I TPed in the first time, I saw a guy who was just grey shape and attached prims – his textures hadn’t even baked – and he was over 65,000 in Render Weight!  I’m writing this for you because I want to tell you something simple: don’t be that guy.  Be the guy who’s there to look at what’s new and exciting; a runway walk isn’t about me, or about you: it’s about the models, and about the designer!
Also, fourth: adjust your viewer’s graphics preferences.  You don’t need to waste your viewer’s time rendering trees when you’re in a skybox watching models.  You don’t need to render the whole sim, so knock your draw distance down.  You want to crank up avatars, avatar cloth and flexi prims, though.

Now here’s hoping the catwalk renders for me in the next ten minutes… 😉  Have a happy Second Life, everybody!

UPDATE: And while I was typing this handy little suggestion list?  SL booted me, a fourth time, from the sim.  And a fifth.  And then SL stopped allowing me to save photos to disc so I had to email them.   And then it crashed a sixth time.  Oh, how I love Saturday afternoon on SL! 😉

One thought on “Render weight, big events, and you! Or: So I went to the runway show for the Gabriel 2013 collection in Second Life this afternoon…

  1. A friend of mine pointed out that one can also strip resize scripts or color scripts without harm, if the item is copy. She copied the new heels, sized and textured them, renamed the copy, then stripped out the scripts. Keeps her under 15k in render weight.

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