When Tateru over at Massively wrote about ‘Avatar Rendering Cost’, a new feature in RC 1.20’s Advanced (former: ‘client’) menu, she asks a good question: ‘Will we see products one day labeled like this? “Purse, scripted, 8 prims, 90ARC“‘
One of the things that the new Second Life 1.20 release candidate viewer sports is a nifty new feature that busts some serious myths about avatar related lag. In short, by enabling the option, every avatar gets a number displayed over their heads showing how much work your PC needs to go through to render the avatar. This is the avatar rendering cost.
So far we have seen green numbers (low numbers, which are good), and red ones (high numbers, which are not so good). The amount of work that goes into rendering an avatar (now that we can easily measure it) isn’t quite affected by things the way we thought it was.
You activate the showing of ARC numbers the following way: Advanced > Rendering > Info Displays > Avatar Rendering Cost.
Curious about my own ‘rendering footprint’ - opposed to my ecological one - I did some ARC testing, browsing through the different ‘avatar versions’ I use often. Impressive is, that different hairstyles could mean a change of +5000 ARC units. And that my Greenie avatar came out pretty well. I should take a look a Quickly Alter - which is just one, huge sphere - too.
Next test: put 60 avatars with ARC 8000 on a sim and compare that with 60 avatars ARC 400 on the same sim? I think that - although this is an important factor and fun data to toy around with - we must surely not ’stare’ blind on avatar lag. How our avatar looks, for most of us, does depict ‘who we are’ in the virtual world. With big events the Avatar Render Cost will be far from the sole factor determining the amount of ‘laggyness’: optimal build quality, draw distances, scripts, sim class, state of the grid, … are not to be forgotten about. But yes, Miss Tateru, I would like to know the ARC of a hairstyle before I buy it! ;)