It's that time of year again folks! Now we're running out of holidays to overcelebrate in Second Life, the Fair cycle is beginning! What this means for us, in the very shortest terms, is lag, and lots of it. There are a lot of things you can do clientside to make life a little easier, the simplest of which being to turn your graphics settings down to looooow. The next thing you can do, for yourself, is, for the love of all the little pixels, prim down. There are always disputes on this matter, there are the people who say "It's not what you're wearing, it's the scripts running on the sim", or "There are so many people here, taking my skirt off isn't going to help with the lag", personally, I'm of the school of thought of "every little helps". Exchanging your long flowing alpha curls for a sleek prim bob may not magically unlag a sim, but it does fractionally reduce the strain on the area, and that is a fact, one where if everyone worked together, instead of standing around complaining about the lag, could really make an tangible difference.
So really, it's the time of year where bloggers and strangers lecture you about being considerate to your fellow avatars, and stripping off some prims. I will be no exception.
I will admit right now, that there are laggy occasions where, yes, you DO care what you look like. No-one (no-one stylish, at least) likes being bald and barefoot in public. Call it paranoia, but I, for one, like to feel like I don't look as if I've just waddled off of Help Island when I go to a fashion show, for example. So, it helps to know what things in your inventory carry a low Avatar Rendering Cost. ARC is not the be-all-and-end-all of lag-reduction, it's a flawed system, but using a combination of it, and common sense, can really help you put together something suitable for a laggy occasion. Prims are not the Enemy, but there are certain properties of prims that are. Flex is the obvious one, and tinyprims (like you'll find in most jewelry), scupties are less than ideal but sometimes a nessessary evil (as we'll see), alpha textures and invisiprims are NOT your friend here, and illuminated prims, glow, and bling/particles are very definitely no-go for this sort of thing (and in general, shame on you, bling wearer). It also seems to help psychologically if your clothes are good quality, with care put into their textures and lines, just to abate the whole 'I FEEL NAKED WITHOUT MY PRIM CUFFS' noobish feeling.
Nivaya's 55 ARC outfit - For me, the trick is to convince myself wearing a lot. Sure, I could venture forth in some jeans and a t-shirt, but if I did that, I may as well just don a nice low-lag solid black skin like some sort of awesome ninja and not bother at all. As it stands, for this outfit, I've tried to make as much use of layers as I possibly can. My corset and capris are on the underwear layers, the belt in two parts on the shirt and pants layer (funny story, I didn't notice until I was doing the credits for this that I was wearing parts of two different belts, but hey, it looks okay, I won't tell if you don't), and the coat on jacket and skirt layers. The ornamentation on the belt helps me feel a bit dressed-up and negates my need for jewelry a bit, the open stitches on the shoulders of the coat, and the tail, makes the outfit feel a little more substancial while still being a bit quirky. The hair, I love. It's from the GNUbie store, and is one of Pudge's older styles. The version I'm wearing in the picture is a copy I've modified, I've removed the spiral curls from the sides, which left the ARC of the hair the same (16) but as people are always banging on about, twisted torii produce much more lag than...I dunno. A box maybe. Point is, I feel a bit more smug having taken this step. Also, glove manicures, to help the ensemble feel /finished/.
Persephone's 46 ARC outfit - Perse outdid me! She ACTUALLY outdid me! I was properly scandalized. It comes down to the shoes, in this case. The Baby Monkey Ballet Flats I chose are a dainty 3 prims, whereas Perse's Shiny Things Ballet Flats are a hefty 16, but the difference comes in the types of prims they are. You see, mine are scupties, Perse's are regular prims. And the fact that my shoes are sculpted makes them a whole 9 ARC points higher than Perse's. That said, they're still pretty hard to beat as far as shoes go. For her outfit, Perse has gone a less complicated route than I, favouring comfortable casual simplicity, with a yummy use of colour, and as ever, great quality. I believe she even forsook her beloved prim pant cuffs. The real surprise for me came with her hair, Diversity's Brat, which clocked in at the same ARC as mine, 16, despite being rather more elaborate. So in this case, I am forced to bow to Perse's superiour low ARC-ing, due to my forgetting to take sculpts into account. Well done and fair play to you, lovely.
Of course, there are occasions where you don't care quite so desperately what you look like. Things like fairs and expos and extremely crowded hunts, where you're just another 'body', and everyone's mostly concentrating on trying to get textures to rez, or as was the case at the recent 7Seas Fishaversary, catching fish in a sim crammed to the gills (ba-dum-tchhhh) with people running fishing scripts. And that's when it pays to have a less lovely, but rather more streamlined outfit. Still staying clear of ninja skins...
Niv's 1 ARC outfit - The basis of this outfit is the skin. It's an Eloh mod I made around the time of Hair Fair last year. My original plan had been to edit it so that it would have a shaved head effect, I'm not scared of pulling a Britney, I just don't want to look so pedestrian as to have just plain taken my hair off and left it at that. Unfortunately, it turns out the reason there are so few skins with hair or stubble on the head is that it's extremely, incredibly difficult to do. Not that I'm any expert in these matters, but the seams, the boundries, and getting it all to look even...wow. Gave me a whole new type of respect for skinners who can pull it off. So instead, I modified my plan, and decided to tie it in with the system mohawk I had made some while ago during a craze for making Allegory Malaprop style 'hawks to make system hair a little more paletable, and added some colourful tattoos on the head, to match the overlong rainbow eyelashes and painted-on bindi I'd put on it for an effect of 'something'. The other thing here that most fashionistas wouldn't dream of wearing, and probably couldn't find in this day and age, is system boots. These were one of very first things I picked up when I started Second Life, almost two years ago, and have been trusty emergencywear since, they don't look too bad...as long as you don't look too hard, or from the side, or...POINT IS, I'm not barefoot here. With this, some clothes with buttloads of detail in the texture, like the jacket, and the jeans, and I've managed to throw together a look that actually almost is wearable in public, sort of. Also, I have once more outdone Perse!
So, yeah. Go low prim. It's not hard, it does help reduce at least your own lag and you get to feel a bit self-righteous about it while not actually looking too horrible. Mm.
Skin- Curio Sundust- Breeze - Mauve Mist 2
Hair - Diversity Hair - Brat - Hershey Dipped
Shirt- Mayuki nozaki- Liru-Flower Dress- Camisole
Shrug- Silent Sparrow - Shurggie top - Sea
Jeans- Sn@tch - Moroccan Jeans(Blue)
Flats- Shiny Things - Ballet Flat - Black
Eye- Miriel - Violet Plant (Standard)
Skin - Ashia Designs - Timeless 2009 Bushfire Appeal
Hair - Pudge - Bee-utiful Bee-Hive - Crayon Red (edited)
Corset - silentsparrow (special) luxe corset (alternate)
Jacket - Schadenfreude - Ghost Revenant Jacket - Open, Open Sleeves
Pants - Savvy? - Roslin Capris (underpant)
Belt - Pixeldolls - Black (Empress bottom, Dauphine top)
Shoes - Baby Monkey Classic Ballet Flats - Conker Brown
Eyes - Miriel - Marine (standard)
Manicure - CandyNail - Basic Nail - Silver
Skin - selfmade - Bindi and rainbowlashes and tattoos skin (eloh mod)
Hair - selfmade - Niv System Mohawk
Shirt - ETD Striped Top (silver)
Jacket - Bare Rose - Chronicle Gray Jacket
Jeans - Fashionably Dead - Graffiti Jeans
Boots - Tall Boots black motif hip high (creator unknown, ancient freebie)
Nails and fingertape - SiniStyle Taped Fingers and Black Nails (index, middle, pinky)
Tattoo - TCinSHELTER ChainhartTattoo
Pic 1: [LAP] Maxim Girls
Pic 2: [LAP] Cuteness (from Kewt as a Button set)
Pic 3: Hiccup - My Brain!
Pic 4, L to R: Schadenfreude - Eh, Piss Off; [LAP] She's Lethal (from Spice set)