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Viewer stutter on four region world

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Viewer stutter on four region world

Postby Lawrence Pierce » Sun Mar 19, 2017 11:13 pm

In the last few sessions on Kitely, the issue has arisen in which, on only a four region world (Cortile Lighthouse), the viewer 'stutters'... that is to say, while moving the point of view, the scene moves smoothly for a moment, then freezes, then 'jumps' to where it would have been had the movement continued normally. It is particularly noticeable while using a SpaceNavigator with Flycam.

This issue has arisen almost suddenly, just in the last few sessions. There were no changes in any of the relevant software versions: the OS, Firestorm version, and 3DConnexion device driver version. I've seen no notification that the OpenSim version has changed, so it too is assumed to be the same (to the best of my knowledge). The 3DConnexion and Firestorm versions are the latest available. There is no other software running on the computer when this problem occurs.

The problem is only pronounced on a four region world with content (Cortile Lighthouse - about 8500 objects). It is not apparent on a single region, even with with a high level of content (Serenity Island - about 40,000+ objects) . On a region with zero content, the issue also does not occur. The issue occurs regardless of how much time is spent in a world.

Naturally, I tried shutting down the computer, which means that all software was re-initialized. I also emptied the directory and inventory caches in Firestorm, as well as the inventory trash.

Although I first suspected Firestorm or the SpaceNavigator, there is no stutter on a single region without content, and performance is normal while building a simple item on a single region with just a few prims, or moving about on Serenity Island with a very large amount of prims. The four region world only has prims and textures, no mesh, no scripts, no animation. And a final note, the stutter occurs even with graphics on low and building attempted far from the current content. In other words, the viewer is not trying to show a lot of content when the stutter occurs out of range of the render distance of existing content. This makes the source of the stutter unclear, other than the characteristic that there are four regions and some content located somewhere on them.

Here are some system stats:

Firestorm version 5.0.1.52150
Mac OS X 10.11.6
Graphics NVIDIA GTX 780
Software loaded: Safari; Firestorm
Viewer Graphics setting: Low to high (stutter occurs at all graphics settings).

Viewer statistics:

Ping Sim: 18ms
FPS: 118-195
Packet Loss: 0%
Max bandwidth: 500 - 1500 (both levels applied for testing)
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Re: Viewer stutter on four region world

Postby Ilan Tochner » Sun Mar 19, 2017 11:43 pm

Hi Lawrence,

This is likely a viewer-side issue, you can rule it out being a server-side one by looking at the performance monitors in that world's world page when it is active (see: https://kitely.atlassian.net/wiki/display/doc/Optimize+World+Performance). What you may want to look at is some sort of correlation between any spikes in server-side CPU or network usage and the stuttering you see in the viewer. It's possible that some item movement inworld is creating enough network activity to overwhelm your viewer, thus causing it to go into memory garbage collection mode, but I highly doubt that is the cause of the problem.

Does the stuttering occur when the draw distance is reduced?

Does it happen when facing in all directions in this world or only in some?

Does this world contain a lot of different textures, thus potentially consuming more video memory than your graphics card has and forcing it to constantly swap the textures it uses to render each frame?
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Re: Viewer stutter on four region world

Postby Lawrence Pierce » Mon Mar 20, 2017 1:00 am

Hi Ilan,

Thank you for the prompt reply...

Does the stuttering occur when the draw distance is reduced? Yes, even at just 32 meters. Likewise the issue is the same at low or high graphics settings.

Does it happen when facing in all directions in this world or only in some? I especially noticed it while trying to build, thus, it occurs in any direction, 360-degrees up or down, 360-degrees facing any direction.

Does this world contain a lot of different textures, thus potentially consuming more video memory than your graphics card has and forcing it to constantly swap the textures it uses to render each frame? This particular world does not have many textures - 3 wall textures, 3 floor textures, 1 roof texture, 1 atrium roof texture,various pictures on the wall and plants. In comparison to Serenity Island, the texture use (both count and size) is a mere fraction of what actually works well on that single region. The NVIDIA card in my system has 3GB of VRAM.

So far, the one variable between worlds that work well and the one that doesn't is the region count of one versus four, although I'm not aware of any reason how that could impact viewer performance over short distances. I do not have enough additional free regions to create a second four-region world for comparison. If necessary, I can save the current content, delete the current four-region world, create a new four-region world and place the build in the new world for comparative testing.

I had hoped that maybe there had been some internal change to the OpenSim running on Kitely to explain this, otherwise, I'm at a bit of a loss. However, if you have any troubleshooting tips, I'm certainly game for giving them a trial. And as noted, if necessary I can try deleting the four-region world and start all over again.

And as you point out, if the problem is entirely in the viewer, I should post this same entry on the Firestorm JIRA. I posted it here first because of the region count difference correlation with functionality, but that doesn't mean it isn't the viewer of course.
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Re: Viewer stutter on four region world

Postby Ilan Tochner » Mon Mar 20, 2017 1:10 am

We haven't changed anything in OpenSim that could explain the problem you're encountering. Please go to the Kitely Merchants Sandbox (which is a 4-region world) and see if you encounter the same problem there.

As a side note, you're on a grandfathered Premium Account so why not just create a new 4-region Premium World for testing? The world storage costs for this temporary Premium World will be very small if you delete it once you're done with it. If you don't encounter this problem in the Kitely Merchants Sandbox then using the Copy world option to clone your world will enable you to gradually remove elements from that clone until you find what is causing the viewer issues.
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Re: Viewer stutter on four region world

Postby Lawrence Pierce » Mon Mar 20, 2017 5:25 am

Thanks for confirming that OpenSim is as it has been...always good to minimize the variables.

I will try your troubleshooting ideas and post feedback once I have new information.

As always, thank you for the prompt support.
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Re: Viewer stutter on four region world

Postby Lawrence Pierce » Mon Mar 20, 2017 5:58 am

Oops!

Update: I visited the Kitely merchants sandbox and without any content the FPS was around 120-160 and all was smooth.

I had some trouble linking the structure I had built in its original world, but was able to add it to my inventory, and then rez it on the sandbox. I tried to put the linked item into edit mode by right-clicking it, and about 3-4 minutes into the process, Kitely logged me out and said the region might be experiencing trouble. It is not clear to me what is causing such a lot of trouble, but I will keep working on it.

Sorry to make the sandbox crash (or perhaps just the viewer crashed... hard for me to know).
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Re: Viewer stutter on four region world

Postby Lawrence Pierce » Mon Mar 20, 2017 6:34 am

Update: Was able to unlink the item, and then delete some of the prims. The overall build was a building surrounded by trees and shrubs, made the three-plane way using alpha textures. I deleted all of the prims surrounding the building - it was landscaping that is easily replicated, and extraneous to the long-term purposes of the structure. Deleting these prims seemed to improve performance. Re-selecting the building and linking went very quickly. Movement in and around the building was smooth at this point.

I then returned to one of my single regions that has two buildings, but only one landscape prim. I noticed the stuttering performance for the first time. I had spent hours working on this region, so I am very keen to notice any differences in performance.

Note that the stuttering occurs even with minimum graphics quality settings.

Regions that yielded smooth movement before are stuttering now, unless drastic prim removal is used. The total prim counts have been well under 10,000, so within the specified system limits. For the time being I conclude that there is no clear singular cause and effect.
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Re: Viewer stutter on four region world

Postby Ilan Tochner » Mon Mar 20, 2017 7:21 am

I visited your world and couldn't reproduce the stuttering you reported. Have you reproduced this problem in your world with Singularity as well?
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Re: Viewer stutter on four region world

Postby Lawrence Pierce » Mon Mar 20, 2017 5:54 pm

Thank you for visiting the world... another variable tested.

Upon your suggestion, I installed and ran Singularity viewer. The issue is the same; that is, the movement of the camera with Flycam stutters quite noticeably. (Singularity also crashed the first time on attempting to edit the linked parts of the content, and upon a second and third try did not crash, but still failed to unlink the linked items, all of which had been linked using Firestorm - However, I'm not considering this an issue... I'm just noting that it was difficult to work with Singularity on a Firestorm build, which confounded a part of what I was attempting to test.)

My general evaluation at this point is that I am still unclear on the source of the difficulty since I have used Flycam with a SpaceNavigator for many years without this particular problem.

As a next step, I am going to set up a different computer with a different SpaceNavigator. I'd like to compare such variations in my hardware to see how it affects performance. It will be a few days before my schedule permits this particular activity, but I will post an update here when I have some new information.

Thank you again for your continued support on this issue.
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Re: Viewer stutter on four region world

Postby Ilan Tochner » Mon Mar 20, 2017 6:38 pm

Thank you for keeping us updated Lawrence.
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