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Monday, June 24, 2019

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Soda Sullivan

A very interesting conversation. We have really opened up a can of worms here, but I think it is a good thing. Before I get in too deep I want say one thing in defense of the mesh body creators. This is not their fault. They are doing what they do. Wanting to make a profit, a creator is going to make the best product they are capable of making. The question is, how capable are they? Other than one creator, who I think may purposely disregard good practice, most make the best mesh body they can and put it out there for the consumer to decide if they want it or not.So you have one mildly informed creators meeting the needs of a highly unaware consumer. What could possibly go wrong.

I understand their "hands off" approach but for Linden Lab the avatar is a crucial key to the experience they provide. They would never allow a third part viewer that did not meet certain requirements, and it should be the same with the avatar.

"Linden Lab could commission a nice new optimized official avatar, created by an industry professional character creator who really knows what they are doing."

So much this. The official avatar needs a complete overhaul. It has been the subject of many debates fro years and years and let's face it, the verdict it in and this avatar was built wrong. It is too tall,it is ill proportioned, and the improved mesh avis are complicated as hell to try to get a new user comfortable with customizing. Of course, the key part of that quote is finding someone who "really knows what they are going:. Based on the Sansar avi, I doubt LL has anyone in house right now that could do it well. This overhaul should have been done over a decade ago and now it is crucial.

LL wanting to keep "hands off" makes perfect sense in most cases, but not here. Think of cars. Currently our roads are full of gas powered mammoth vehicles that are literally killing us with their exhaust. So , the government wants people in electric cars. They manufacturers in that direction with both carrot and stick. Governor Linden should act the same way with the avatar. Make a new basic avatar, and then set down some rules of the road for anyone who wants to make their own heads, bodies,etc.

We have not even scratched the surface of the numerous HUD that people wear. For me, that is when my viewer really takes a hit, due to the giant textures used on what should a simple hud. That is probably an argument for another day, but it is a problem.

DrDuh

seeing that i have made stuff for other games, its not the avatars so to speak, but the clothes ( texture sizes). texture size matters, some people use high kb textures, the higher the kb the more lag you are going to get due to the way textures are rendered in game engines. the more avi's you have in one place, the more lag. Also animations with such high kb's also cause lag. But that is not the main cause of lag for most people, the high kb textures all in one spot along with animations cause issues, so unless ya running a high end video card with fast ram ( 16 gigs or more) and a octi core cpu you are going to lag. Also the viewer you use has much to do with lag, Firestorm is bloated now with google products that scan your computer and is basically an over loaded add on viewer, this combined with high kb textures and animation in a small area is going to be a lag fest. So the people at LL need to figure out how to post process these textures and animations better.

Cake

I'm honestly kind of proud people are talking about this again (though credit where it's due, NWN has been hammering the point of optimization home and how badly it's needed for a while now).

duh

uh just use the derender

Pussycat Catnip

Linden Lab has given those with 10yr old PC the options to control the lag they live in. Too Little,Too Late... Just provide the guidance,tools and knowledge encouraging others to make mesh bodies as well.

The game engine is going on 20 years old, if lag is an issue just move to sansar

Blaise Glendevon

A Linden Lab body would please no one by trying to please everyone. End of.

AmandaMagick-Magick Thoughts

People will wear their old stuff no matter what. As in my blog when I said her 8 million max complexity was like a black hole sucking in all the frames rates of anyone within a 1/2 sim radius LOL. People will wear what they want and I am convinced it was her old jewelry.

J. Carl Henderson (Carl Metropolitan)

Linden Lab is not competent to commission "nice new optimized official avatar". They tried doing just that back in 2014 with the new mesh starter avatars. The (non-monster) new avatars were horrible, and LL quickly went back to the standard avatars for future new user avatars.

But at the time, LL thought they had done something amazing. DaveR Linden said on Designing Worlds, "Well, we have certain content creators that we used to create these—but, over the course of time, we have developed a list of contractors from film, animation, and video games that helped us put together these avatars for this particular project."

But the Lindens were so out of touch with their users that they had not even considered using the Standard Sizing system most mesh clothing creators had adopted (this was before the emergence of mesh avatars). Nor did they even make clothing and shoes for the mesh avatars their contractors created interchangeable among their new avatars!

Seriously, these avatars were so bad that new users quickly learned to dump them for a system based avatar with a nice skin. I was actively involved with the management of Caledon Oxbridge at the time, and we were constantly helping new users out of the LL-provided avatars, so they could do basic stuff like... change clothes.

DaveR Linden went on to say at the time, "Really these twenty-four new avatars are meant to be an inspiration and aspiration for folks who are coming into Second Life for the first time but also as an example of what has been done to create attractive well-performing avatars for Second Life. So that people… that creators out there can take a look and see what we’ve done and maybe get some ideas for their own creations going forward."

Sort of, I guess. LL inspired creators not to do what LL had just done, and create ugly avatars. I suppose that if LL tries again, they might get it right this time. On the other hand, the Lindens who made the mistakes last time have probably gone on to other jobs by now, and any new group of Lindens put in charge will likely just repeat those mistakes. I think waiting for LL to solve the problem of the current generation of mesh avatars is a waste of time.

The issue is that if there are problems with the popular mesh avatars, they are embedded in SL now as there is a huge network effect involved.

Someone who has spent 3000L$ on a mesh avatar and another 4000L$ on a mesh head, and then gone and spent 10,000L$ on clothing that fits that specific mesh avatar are going to need a major incentive to change. Mesh avatar makers are as hesitant as Linden Lab is to do anything that breaks any existing content. So if mesh avatar makers are are somehow persuaded to reduce the complexity of their products, they have to preserve backwards compatibility with all the existing clothing for them.

tl;dr

Avatar complexity is not a technical problem and LL is singularly unsuited to fix it.


JohnC

Just to say I do not grudge the body creators any of the money they make. They have in a way prolonged the life of SL far more than anything LL has done, because in SL the Avatar is everything, it seems. But having said that, it is LL who should own the middle ground for the standard body which the majority of people use, not a private individual IMHO.

Clara Seller

It's pretty exasperating how many examples we have of virtual worlds who are willing to throw away so much investment of time and money and just let it all die before they address their crappy avatars. Is avatar creation like the great pyramids where we can only speculate of possible extraterrestrial intervention in it's original construction?

Just like life, virtual worlds are going to have to give users friendly tools to evolve their outer and inner world. An avatar is the users inner world. This kind of talk in the virtual tech world seems about as welcome as Marianne Williamson is to the Democratic Party. In both cases, it seems we've elevated people whose worst nightmare is to be us, and put them in charge of giving us what we want. They take such offense at our petty needs.

LL made a smart move in acquiring Strawberry Singh. Then they made the dumb move of putting her in Marketing. It makes sense to use her as a siphon tool, right? No. She's probably the most valuable person you could have in Development right now. Listen to what she dreams of. Make her happy and you'll make yourselves the money you want.

Carline Moon

I enjoy mixing and matching clothing. That means multiple layers to get certain looks. If you had each clothing part of a body that would make layering difficult. Or, worse, it would relegate everyone to the same skin type, or to change the rest of their bodies to match the skin the creator used for their clothing. We already have mostly people who all look identical, and I worry that, without strong guidance, this would create even less distiveness between avatars.

DiJodi Dubratt

I like the quote from William Morris, "Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful."

I try to follow that principle when I create things in RL, and I think it's especially good for SL, where objects that are beautiful also must be "useful," or at least be "usable." So many things these days aren't usable, because they include so much unnecessary complexity and lag that I can't use them.

A friend and I have spent the last week creating a spread sheet of various bodies, the stats associated with them, and the lag caused by them. It's been quite interesting, as I suffer from lag to the point where SL is sometimes unusable, and she's an avid clothing designer and collector of bodies (mesh bodies!) We were somewhat surprised to see that adding hands, feet and HUDS had more of an impact than we thought.

And no, my computer doesn't run on coal, and it's from this decade, and it cost me a lot of money so I'm not buying a new one. It's well within the recommended specs to run SL, it's more than good enough for my professional design work, so the techno-shamers can look elsewhere. It should work fine for SL, but it doesn't and we're trying to figure out why, which has led us to this line of questioning.

Anyway, one of our ideas was that LL make an optimized mesh avie, so we can see how that would look and affect performance. It could set a bar for performance, and then people can judge for themselves whether or not they wanted to spend L$2500 for a body that has significantly lower performance. It could provide an INCENTIVE for creators to make products that embody useful beauty. I'm really glad to see that others have this idea, too.

For this to work there needs to be more transparency about how many polygons a mesh object contains, and the effect on performance. Putting a field on a MP listing for creators to list polygon count would be a start. Right now, when I buy a couch or a dress, I have no idea what the poly count is, if it will lag my parcel, or if it will send my avie complexity into the stratosphere. I hesitate to buy things, because I've had to trash too many expensive items that performed poorly. Once again, a space for polygon count would be an INCENTIVE for thoughtful designers to give information to their customers. Don't know the count, or don't think it's important to list? Ok, up to you, but at least I, your customer, can evaluate that and maybe look elsewhere for a creator that shares information that's important to me. I know this won't solve everything, but we need a start. I'm sure others have better ideas on how to communicate performance specs. This is an opportunity.

As a building designer, I wouldn't think of listing a home without the LI. And I'm sure most people wouldn't consider buying a home where the LI isn't stated. It really shouldn't be any different for other products. People in SL are smart, we'll figure it out. But we need to be informed shoppers, and we don't have enough information right now to do that. We need to be able to evaluate both the "useful" and "beauty" part of an object, and right now we can evaluate "beauty" but not much else.

LL doesn't have to be involved in policing creators, or forcing people to use certain products, but they can operate from a place of incentive, and help residents have enough information get the best SL experience they can.

Sammy

Look for 1, there is no such thing as a Monopoly when there are so many bodies on the Market. Having these LL bodies would kinda be a monopoly unto itself. So basically I would only get to wear this body, and that is it. If I were a free member, that would be totally understandable. However, I pay money and have put a lot of money into myself. I don't really want to have to lose my investment, cause we have now put regulations onto mesh bodies. That all being said, people would leave. If they weren't allowed this freedom, that they have today when it comes to bodies. Wanna know how to fix the issue, be more conscious on your complexity. Especially if you are in really busy sims. I never have my avatar above 100k in complexity. I think I did once but on average. I am between, the 50k and 75k mark. This current outfit I am wearing is at 36k. Basically, it all comes down to the user, and what they wear. Clothes, accessories, body parts(Penises, boobs, vaginas and ears.) That is all it is if these people learned to not hog as much space, when it comes to their avatar. Then SL would be better, and less laggy.

JohnC

You are right of course, it is not a monopoly, it is in fact a oligopoly. But it has the same effect. And of course no one would loose any freedoms. In fact they would just gain another body option, a free body option, which they could take or leave as they wished. But for new arrivals, who want to look as good as those who have spent their life savings because they had no other option, it might be a nice gesture from the company that run the place. Or rather, something that should have always been there anyway. Its a bit like expecting a car to have wheels when you purchase it :)

Lelani Carver

The Project Ruth 2.0 project continues; free (dollarbie on the MP), open source mesh avatar for SL and Open Sim.

https://marketplace.secondlife.com/p/PROJECT-Ruth-20-Release-Candidate-1v2/16068068?id=16068068&slug=PROJECT-Ruth-20-Release-Candidate-1v2

I’ll have to check in with the current version. One fork has some nice Bento hands, HUDS, and other features.

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