Surviving Hair Fair Lag

I know, everyone, I know. You’re dying to run around the Hair Fair, looking fabulous and buying wigs, but the lag is so bad that you can barely move! What do you do?

Never fear. I have suggestions for how to make the Hair Fair a less laggy experience for everyone, including you! You have to think about it from a technical point of view. Every prim you add affects lag, especially when those prims are flexi and/or transparent. I’ve taken some pictures of various outfits, showing how they can affect lag.

First, let’s look at the ARC. That’s Avatar Rendering Cost, a way to get an idea of how laggy your attachments are. You can find it under the Advanced options on your top toolbar (Advanced –>Rendering –>Info Displays –>Avatar Rendering Cost). If you don’t see the Advanced options, it’s easy enough to fix- just press Control/Alt/D, and it’ll show up.

Now, I know everyone’s saying, “But Laynie, ARC is a myth/is unreasonable/is unrealistic!” I know. But we’re trying to cut down on lag, and if your computer doesn’t have to render it, then your machine has less lag. So just work with me on this, ok?

Brief disclaimer- I am not saying anything here is bad, or should be avoided. But in a situation you know will be crowded and crazy, it just makes sense to try to do what you can to minimize lag, right? I’m not listing where to get any of the items, because this is about the concept, not the items in general.

Ok. I put on some of my favorite things. MY hair resembles this in RL, these are the first boots I bought in SL (and I still adore them), and the jewelry is a lot of my go-to stuff. But look at the ARC!

Yes, that ARC is 4609, for those who don’t want to click the image. Holy Moly, folks, that’s pretty high! And yet, I’ve seen ARCs at the Hair Fair of 10,000 and higher! We definitely need to avoid that if at all possible. I know, you want to look good, but I promise that more people are looking at hair than at your avatar.

So what can be done to help this? First, swap some things out. Go for hair that’s not flexi (or has fewer flexi parts) and has few or no alpha textures- the ones with the pretty painted curls. Lose the belt, take off some of the jewelry, and go for some shoes that aren’t as primmy.

Also, this may be a personal thing, but almost no one will be close enough to see your pretty prim eyelashes, so those can go as well. Consider it a dress down day!

Better. I’ve taken my avatar from the giant red 4609 to a pretty green 467 just by swapping out hair, changing shoes, and taking off some accessories. It’s a cute outfit, but could we do better? Of course! I wouldn’t be showing you this if we couldn’t!

But what can we change now, without going bald? Well, think about it… I could put on hair with even fewer prims and swap out my sneakers for ballet flats. Taking off my wedding ring (eeeek, no!) dropped quite a bit as well.

Here are several looks, taking off jewelry, wearing different hair, etc. You really can pull off a cute look with an ARC of under 100. Also, please remove things like your AO and your Mystitool. I know, I know… it hurts. But it’s for a good cause!

So this is great… there are things you can do on your own avatar to cut down on lag. But what about all those other people that are blinging and poofing and wearing 1000+ prims?

This is where changing your preferences comes in very handy. I don’t have the best computer in the world, so I usually keep my settings like this:

This usually works for me in most situations. Sometimes I’ll make my draw distance bigger, but not on mainland because you end up loading EVERYTHING. Unfortunately, since the Hair Fair is absolutely packed with people, I make a few changes that seriously help.

If you look, you’ll see I turn off everything that makes SL pretty. But textures aren’t affected, and this way I can actually move. You can still shop, and let’s face it, that’s what Hair Fair is about, right?

So tired, but still plugging away!

Ok, RL just will not hush and let me work. More time with doctors/hospitals/etc, and now I’m rather medicated. Makes it tough to actually accomplish anything, but there we go, right?

So instead of lamenting how wooooozy I am, I figured I’d try to post something useful. I’ve finally gotten my windlight settings to something I’m happy with. I’m posting pics to show you how to get them if you like them as well. This is what my avatar looks like with no face light.

My avatar using Laynieland settings

So, if you want to try it, here are the settings (in thumbnails, so as not to kill the feed).

About the hunt

OMG, guys, I am amazed at the amount of participants, and we haven’t even kicked off officially! But I’ve noticed some issues I’d like to address.

Slow Kiosks
Many people are finding that when they click on the landmarks kiosk, it’s taking forever to load. It’s SL. I’m trying to give out notecards at the HQ, but I won’t be there all day. If it doesn’t want to give you a notecard, be patient and give it a few minutes before clicking again.

Notecard Won’t Open
Some people are finding the notecard won’t open for them. I’ve tested this one with several friends, and it’s just SL’s database being screwy, as usual. I’m really sorry, and I wish I could fix it. Be patient, perhaps relog. It will open, I promise.

There are no sticks at this location!
People, come on, this is a HUNT! =P

Seriously, you do have to look around. Some sticks are easier to find than others.

I can’t TP/load my inventory/load attacahments…
Neither can I, and I feel your pain. I’m stuck ruthed and can’t even get into appearance mode!

Finally, you may want to check out my earlier post on surviving hunt lag. And honestly folks? Thank you. Thanks for playing along, because it means the world to me!

Surviving Lag 101

We all love events. Skin Fair, Clothing Fair, fashion shows… they’re amazing parts of the SL fashion industry.  The problem is that they’re so popular that they’re accompanied by a ton of lag. But you can do a lot to ease lag! Here are some basic things you can do to improve your computer’s performance and lessen the lag.

survivinglagredskin.jpg1. For the love of all things holy, take off your attachments! This means all of them- hair, shoes, prim clothing/weapons, and scripted items. Especially the scripted attachments. All of these things slow down SIM performance as well as your own computer’s performance. AOs, mystitool… all of these need to be removed.

I know, I know… you feel naked without your hair/shoes/mystitool. Trust me, so do I. But in all honestly, people aren’t going to the event to look at you. They’re going for the same reasons you are- to scope out goodies. Personally, I often take the time to make a fashion statement look absolutely silly (see my Skin Fair post).

2. Change your browser settings.  There are two sets of settings you can change that will improve your computer’s performance, cutting down on lag.

survivinglagbasic2.jpg

Under Edit -> Preferences, click the Graphics button. This will bring up the above menu. Set your draw distance lower than normal- the lower the better. This means your computer is dealing with fewer images, and can work faster.
survivinglagbasic.jpg

Then click the “Graphics Details” tab. Set your sliders all the way down.  Yes, things are going to look ugly. But they’ll load faster, which is the goal.  For the record, images will still load normally, so you won’t get a skewed view of what you’re buying.

3. There’s something else you can do that will help, but it’s a little more advanced. First, press Control-Alt-D to bring up the advanced menu options. Then select Rendering ->Types. A drop-down menu will show up.

survivinglagadvanced.jpg

I usually turnoff everything except volume (which is necessary- it’s prims!) and sky (turns off the daylight, makes everything look really funky). If you turn off character, things will show up much faster, but you won’t be able to walk around. I flip between them.

Hopefully, this will help you get through events. However, one more thing- if it’s an event like the RFL Clothing Fair, remember that people are going to rush to get there the first couple of days, then not go back. It will be up for a week, so give it a few days before you go. There will be fewer people, and your experience will be much more pleasant.

*hugs*

Happy Shopping!
Laynie