Avatar Rendering Cost

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Avatar Rendering Cost shows a point score above each avatar's head which indicates how "laggy" they are on the viewer-side. ARC is found in Advanced Menu > Rendering > Info Displays > Avatar Rendering Cost. The score is a factor of the size and number of textures used, and the number and type of primatives used. Avatars with large textures, lots of flexi-prim parts and high prim count objects, and/or invisible parts will score higher than one that uses fewer/smaller textures, using a few sculpties instead of many basic primatives, etc.

The score are color coded. The center of the Yellow band is about a score of 1,000. The numbers turn fully red at 2,000. It's generally best to be considerate of others when putting together your avatar, and to do what you can to stay under a score of 2,000, especially in crowded areas. Under 1,000 is even better. These are only guidelines, but be aware that the higher your score is, the more lag you generate for other people, particularly those with older machines.

Lowering your rendering cost

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What to do if someone with high rendering cost is causing you lag

If you have avatar impostors enabled, mute them. They will be replaced by an imposter, with the effective rendering cost of 1. Their original rendering cost will still be displayed. This is particularly useful on machines that get poor framerates, you can mute high cost avatars to help increase your framerate in crowded areas.

Video Introduction

How ARC is calculated

  • An avatar with no attachments has a score of 1.
You can have the fanciest possible Linden (aka mesh) clothing, hair, and shoes, and still have a score of 1.
  • 10 points for each prim.
This is a base cost for the prim, other points add to this cost.
  • 5 points for each unique texture (on prims).
Coloured but untextured prims don't add ARC for textures.
Textures used to make clothing, hair, shoes, etc don't add ARC.
Each texture counts once, so hair that has fifty prims but only one texture across all the hair adds only 5 points for textures. (Note that most hair has at least two textures, one with transparency to make the 'ends', and one without for the main bulk of the hair. So hair like that adds 10 points for textures.)
  • 1 point for each invisiprim.
This isn't transparency, but the invisiprim texture used for blocking avatar skin. Its most frequent use is prim heels, it's also often used for furry or tiny avatars.
  • 1 point for each prim with glow.
  • 1 point for each prim with shininess.
  • 1 point for each face of every prim that's planar-mapped.
Video Tutorial/Planar texture mapping
  • 1 point per metre, per axis, for each prim.
This most often affects skirts, capes, long hair, large wings and long tails.
  • 4 points for each prim with bump mapping.
  • 4 points for each prim face with transparency.
Note that this is per face, not per prim.
This includes partial transparency, like 'endy' hair.
It also includes prims which don't seem to have invisibility, but do - if it shows up as red when you turn 'highlight transparent' on (under the view menu), it counts.
  • 4 points for each prim face with an animated texture.
Note that this is per face, not per prim.
  • 8 points for each prim that's flexible.
  • 16 points for each prim that emits particles.
The most common use of particle emitters is bling.

See also