Saturday, June 19, 2010

Kantbe Serious: How Big is Your ARC?

submitted by Kantbe Thursday

Hi, Ya'll. Kantbe Thursday here again. I was do'n a little research on my article for why guys feel so disadvantaged when it comes to nude surfing competitions. I was talk'n to QUENCH Spotter and he kept say'n, "Well, to be anatomically correct, my ARC would be too big to surf." I thought he was bragging, yeah, right… But every where I turned, it was ARC this and ARC that. Someone finally clued me in to this referring to how much work your computer has to do to draw your avatar; Avatar Rendering Cost. I don't know about Ya'll, but I've been confused as all get out about the changes in what's reported for Avatar Rendering Cost (ARC) since Viewer 2 and with the later versions of Emerald. Just when I thought it was safe to get back in the water, everything changed. So, what's the deal with ARC jumping from my stripped down surf'n weight to a number that's in the bazillians? OK, maybe that's an exaggeration, but still numbers are way higher than they used to be.

QUENCH Primmed Out
Just a little background about ARC, it's one of the things that effects how much work our computer is having to do so each of our viewers can show us how pretty and handsome we all are. Generally, the fancier the AV attachments (like hair),the higher the ARC and the harder our  computers have work.  While this isn't exactly a sim performance issue, the more people around with high ARC's, the more each of our computers has to work to let us see all these beautiful people.  That's why it helps us all out to lower our ARC when we surf.

Where does one find one's ARC?  In Viewer 2, it's in Advanced-Performance Tools-Show Avatar Rendering Cost. In Viewers 1.23 and earlier and Emerald, it's in Advanced-Rendering-Info Displays-Avatar Rendering Cost.   You can activate the Advanced menu item with CTRL+ALT+D from Windows, or SHIFT-CTRL-ALT-D for Mac.So, how the heck do we figure out these new numbers?  It turns out, according to Nyx Linden who is one of the Linden graphics gurus, Viewers 1.23 and earlier had a bug that reported a lower rendering cost than it should have.  (OMG!  So I weighed more than I thought all this time?  I so didn't want to go on a diet!)  That bug was fixed in Viewer 2.  A base avatar cost went from 1 to 100, and in general so did all the rendering cost numbers.  Nyx also just bumped up the limit on the color codes so that you don't get into the dreaded red zone until you hit 2048 (it was 1024).  The SL wiki on ARC also just got updated for quite a bit of this relative to Viewer 2 and goes into a lot more detail than I can here (OK, I'll admit it… I don't understand a lot of it).  In the case of Emerald, the numbers are even higher.  In Emerald's case, they say you're OK if your rendering cost is below 150,000.  Modular Systems' wiki has details on how they compute rendering cost at  Notice that the emerald bridge thing accounts for 13,400.  Because of the script impact, Sally LaSalle sent SLSA members some instructions on how to disable this because of the no script rule last season. It turns out the bridge makes your ARC higher too.  To disable it, go to the Emerald tab on the left side within Preferences, then the Misc tab on the top.  You'll see a check box to turn "Enable LSL-Client Bridge" off.  After turning it off, then you can detach the "#LSL<->Client Bridge".  If you don't turn this off in Preferences first, it will automatically make you wear it.
Even though Linden Labs and Modular Systems both believe the old way of reporting rendering cost had some problems, you can make Emerald show you the numbers from the old way.  You'll need to activate the Advanced menu item.  Then select "Debug Settings…".  In the little window of the debug console type, "Emeralduseproperarc", then select the "false" option.  You'll need to TP out of the sim or restart Emerald to get this to take effect, but it will remain in effect until you set that value back to "true".

Thanks to some recent changes, you really don't have to worry too much about what the number actually is because
things in both Viewer 2 and Emerald support the old tried and true green, yellow, or red indicators.  If you're in the green, you're good to go.  If you really want to tweak yourself, it's a trial and error process regardless of viewer.  Hair can be one of the biggest culprits, but ain't no way I'm surf'n bald.  Ya gotta draw the line sumwheres.

- Kantbe (Serious)

Special thanks to Torley Linden for his help with information about
Viewer 2, getting the information from Nyx Linden, and getting the LL
wiki updated. I'd also like to thank QUENCH for his cooperation in the
photo shoot, although, I can now verify that he wasn't bragging
(kidding, honest... just kidding).


Kekoa Arbizu said...

lol, good info here...i rather surf without a surfboard than bald lol.

We should all be nakers with hats. ;D

Kantbe Thursday said...

I've got to pass along this piece of an email Torley Linden sent me,

"the "Low ARC" pic cracks me up. Extreme measures for extreme times, haha."

Thanks for the pics, Q

Mick Lunasea said...

Q goes... schwingg! er anti arc schwingg i mean :)