2015, things that make SL easier

Referencing my ‘Wrench Button additions’ for end of 2014 and the near-future of  viewers.

We’re going to have graphics settings modes soon. Cannot wait. That means changing graphic performance settings with one click. Some viewers like Black Dragon already have implemented.

In the meantime, ‘FS quick preferences’ menu button is still very handy to tweak. So a year and a half ago, my ‘quick pref’ settings looked like this:


Some of the above are obsolete (FSMeshRequestTime is a dead setting) and some just needed new love. Some of the additions are ways to get more out of the same machine with the new tools provided by changes in SL.

December 2015 ‘quick pref’ looks like this:



I moved things around to put more similar feature near each other. The Wrench Button (lower right bottom) allows you to move items up and down the list, or change values, or even range of values. Want check boxes instead of slider numbers, you can do that too.

For events, or general moving about SL, I have learned to lower the Max Avatars slider to 8 or 10. The important thing to remember is, you still see all Avatars, but the render cycle for updating an Avatar to your viewer is dialed down once you go above the number you set.

But if I am dancing (ie, sitting on an animation) I can dial up Max Avatars to see faster/more renders of everyone present at the dance. Perhaps as many as all of them, about 25 usually. Dialing up to the 40 avatars in the sim with you….NOT recommended. Crashes will come faster.

Avatar Physics LOD, this is like the Level Of Detail for prims, sculpts, mesh etc, but for the bounce of Avatar meshes. If I am using Physics, I like it to perform better than not, I set between 1 and 2. Default 1 looks bad on my machine.

Note my bandwidth settings are now twice what they used to be. My system seems to no longer choke on higher settings, so I am much closer to the Firestorm recommended 1500 for cable ISP. Yay! It does make things easier (and sometimes still clogs up.)

Note the new mesh2max slider, this is how many data pulls happen with mesh at the same time. If this were zero or too high or low, your mesh would not appear at all, or perhaps jam in the data pipeline. 3 or 4 seem to work for me. The default (Mesh2MaxConcurrentRequests) is much higher and seems to jam up mesh loads.

((there are a lot of articles from 2012 through 2015 that talk about setting M2MCR to 64 or 100 or 300. DO NOT do this.))

Note the addition of RenderWaterReflections slider (RenderWaterRefResolution). This setting has always been buried in the DEBUG, but I just realized how important it is to nice reflection pictures this past month. Most shots, 1024 is fine, sometimes you will want 2048 or more, the default is set to 512… (yuck, very jagged pixels). Anytime you change this slider you will want to toggle the ADV Lighting off then back on for shadows and full reflections, etc.

Note the addition of enable Avatar Select. Most folks will never need this, however, it is handy for taking fashion/portrait pics to have your AV actually touching the ground or slightly moved by Edit controls, refer to Strawberry on how useful this is.

Sometimes I want shadows and reflections and all the render, but NOT the Depth of Field focus attribute. Instead of hunting up that dialog, I can shut off DepthField here.

And remember folks, sometimes a portrait or close up shot does not want as much background as you may see in SL. You can reset your Draw Distance with the Wrench Button so Draw Distance goes down to 2 (or Zero) instead of the default 32. Advantage? You empty the background of things you may not want in the shot.

Find the full list of FireStorm DEBUG tags and their uses here.

Merry Season!

PS: please remember all DEBUG advice becomes obsolete as viewers get new updates and they add/alter settings. We are in a period of updates. I’ll try to cross check this advice but no promises. Save your settings to BACKUP.


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