Understanding and Reducing Avatar Load
When many avatars gather in a sim, each one requires drawing time and sim script resources. Collectively the amount of drawing time (ARC) & script load on an avatar are referred to as "Avatar Load."
This page compares and contrasts various types of avatars and the load they produce for the system. What you cannot see in the photos are HUDs and scripted objects, when they are present on the avatar they will be described in the text.
It is possible to have an extremely high drawing cost and a very low script load or the opposite.
For big events it is best to have a low drawing cost and a very low script load. I hope after you see these photos and read the brief captions you'll see how to low-lag your look without sacrificing your style.
If you're considerate of what you wear, you can look fabulous *and* be kind to the sims.
About ARC and Script Load
||Let's start the tour with a Library avatar and clothes.
I dressed up this dragon creature because I don't think it's appropriate for humanoids to wander around with the appearance of no clothes at large events. So I snagged the cargo pants from the "next door" library avatar and a tee shirt freebie. And now we have a dressed dragonman instead.
ARC for the Library Dragon + library clothes is 11,711 due to the use of sculpted prims.
The script load is 0.013, probably for things like his blink and tail.
||Here's another Library avatar and clothing. This one has a sculpty hat and textured clothes. However, this time I've added an AO so I don't duck walk and a MystiTool HUD.
The ARC is still reasonable at 10,496, but the script load is really big at 0.436. The moral here is, leave your MystiTool in inventory for big events. When I took it off, my script load went down to 0.065. There is a suggestion at the bottom of the page of how to lower humanoid AO lag and still not walk like a duck. If I had done that trick, the script load would have declined to about 0.035.
||For a more exotic look, the classic Boxbot is also found in the Library > Clothing file.
The ARC is a low 8,555 because it is built entirely of plain prims and a flexiprim antenna.
The Boxbot has a "body crusher ao" which is the script load of 0.012.
Why this is important
Here's the top scripts panel for one day recently when the sim crawled to a halt.
Note that the highest avatar is using 42% of the total scripts running in the sim, they are 3.5 times as high a load as the next avatar and 66 times higher than Flea. AvatarA Resident is also pulling 33 times as much script juice as our Subscribe-O-Matic.
||Avatars that use deformers, big AOs and large color/modify or gesture HUDs use a lot of script resources. Here the largest dragon is drawing 0.715, the robot dragon behind him is 0.353, the dragon that just crashed and is getting back to sim is 0.216 and the poor guy in the gold dragon is so high because he is trying to figure out how to take off his Human AO - which is stuck in sit - as well as wearing all his dragon parts too.
Super-sized avatars, unfamiliar outfits, and deformed AOs might not be the best choice to attend an event.
||Another slowdown revealed the owner of the highest load I've ever seen on an avatar. She was wearing a whopping 45.521 script load and I was so hoping to see her ARC, but crashed right after taking this picture!
She had a "WishMaster HUD" which emits "wm_adb" probes all over the sim for as long as its owner is present. Those probes detect all the other avatars in sim from 0 to 4000 meters. Isn't that incredibly useful to go shopping? Each "wm_adb" probe takes up as much sim juice as a well-dressed avatar, so when the HUD emits 20 or 30 probes at the same time, sim performance pukes.
When I got back from the crash, the sim was empty and I reset it. Most events do not have the freedom to reset because they will interrupt performances or lose the audience. As a shop, we have to reset after horrible lag or our customers will leave and shop elsewhere.
What can be done??
||Let's take a look at how much lag can be reduced without losing appearance.
Names have been removed to protect my helpers.
HumanA Resident loaded up her avi with flexi hair, flexi skirt, scripted wings, combat hud, and who all knows what else and managed to achieve a whopping ARC of 231,188 and scripts 1.453.
||Here she's reduced her ARC to 187,400 and scripts to 0.139.
Compare that with my Library Avatar with ARC of 5,340 and scripts of 0.130.
Their script load is the same, but the ARC vastly different. She later reduced her ARC to only 11,300 by changing from one kind of hair to another that looked nearly the same and removing scripted weapons. Weapons often have a lot of small prims which are harder for the system to render. I later reduced scripts load to 0.050 with the trick at the bottom of this page.
||Petites are mesh body Humanoids. You add your own AO to them or walk like a tiny duck. They also have some glow and flexi prims as well as mesh clothing, flexy hair and accessories. All of which pushes the ARC to 76,941 while the scripts load stays small because of the super efficient AO. (see below)
||Wynx tinies are very popular and have an entire culture of their own. Expect to be wafflebombed or have your kneecaps admired if you're humanoid when you meet a pack of tinies! For this photo, I removed all scripted devices except for the AO and one simple HUD.
The ARC is 17,576 due to use of sculpted prims and flexi hair.
The script load is a modest 0.038 which includes the AO and "tinymatic light" HUD.
||Human avatars are made of a shape, skin, painted layer clothes, added prim clothes, AO's and usually a HUD or two (ok, three).
What I usually wear is on the left. The ARC is 8,513 and the script load is 0.08.
I took off the extra HUDs and voila !! my script load goes down to 0.004 - a whopping 80 percent reduction !!
There is no difference at all in the look, the walk or the external appearance.
|The solution is to look your best and wear the least number of HUDs and scripted devices you can. |
Tinies absolutely have to have their AOs, and petites need the deformer to be petite, but all avatar types can help reduce load !!
If you can reduce or eliminate mesh from your outfit, you will vastly reduce your ARC in one swoop. Also reduce the number of flexi prims. I have hair that looks just the same as my flexi hair, but is all non-flexi for events. No one notices the difference, but the ARC is significantly less. Don't wear unfamiliar avatars that might have resizers lurking in every prim. Before going to any big event, look at your Wardrobe worn tab and see what exactly you have on. Take off whatever you don't need - even if you put it right back on after you go.
For humanoids really serious about event wear and seriously low ARC (and yes there are people who practically compete to be lowest), use only body texture clothes (no prims, sculpts, mesh or flexis) and use a simplified AO.
Simplified Humanoid AO
Pick up a free AO with instructions how to modify it at Grendel's Children next to my online indicator. If you already have the free empty AO, here's what you do.
Super awesome AO modification trick.
Now there's only four animations in the entire AO and it will be super low lag. ~ See you at the party!!
- Rezz out your current AO.
- Open it.
- Copy a walk a sit and two stands into inventory.
- Put away AO.
- Rez empty ZHAO or similar.
- Insert the 4 animations and fill in notecard for it.
- Use the stand for all stands.
- Use the sit for all sits.
- Use the walk for both walk and run,
- Use one of the stands or the sit as a double for fly.
- Save the notecard.
- Put the card in your new AO.
- Take to inventory and wear.
Animation Overrider Tutorials
If you need more help try here:
Basic AO Tutorial - Beebo Brink
AO Tutorial - Natalia Zelmanov
or IM . . . Toady Nakamura