I've been meaning to post about this for quite a while now as lately I've seen more and more people asking on Facebook and around SL what is going on. They/we are seeing naked avatars. They are seeing partially invisible avatars. They still sometimes see a lot of gray avatars which has been ongoing, and now they are seeing strange elongated shapes stretching from avatars bodies. None of this is unusual people.
When I started SL I saw a lot of gray avatars in crowded places. It got to be so that if I went to a fashion show I thought gray was the new black. Models would sashay down the catwalks wearing nothing but gray body suits. One after the other. (poor computer system for SL needs and rezzing ability. Lag=slow reaction time.)
For everyone who keeps asking what is going on: these things are NOT unusual. New avatars also might like to know what is going on. Old-timers I'm sure know all this, but since I keep hearing people ask, here is the deal..... .
1. It is best if you have a wonderful, expensive computer, graphics card, high speed Internet system (would be nice wouldn't it?) If you had the greatest system in the world you probably wouldn't have any of these problems, but SL can be a little hard to rez right on a not so amazing rig. Usually if you hang around long enough in a heavy traffic area, things will eventually start to rez into view correctly.
2. Be sure to use the latest viewers that support all the new clothes/mesh, fitted mesh, etc. and work better all around. Now days there are some mesh hands, hair, feet, heads, bottoms, breasts, other parts that can be attached, and even full mesh avatars, so sometimes they take longer to rez and will appear grey a little longer.
3. If you are modest, wear system underwear even if you do see everyone properly because chances are even if you are working ok and see yourself fine, many others around you may not have the rig you have and are still seeing you as I've described above. On the other hand if you are a perv, by all means run around looking naked for all to see, and enjoy those around you. (I'm not clear about the status of this false naked issue in PG areas, so parents watch your teens if so inclined and maybe suggest they wear system underwear)
4. Note to show organizers. Not all systems are created equal so obviously some people are going to see all as intended and many others will be seeing a lot of gray, nudes, invisibles, and deformities. Probably most event organizers are aware of this and often (regular events at clubs, galleries, etc) it's just not possible to change up the environment to help the problem, but in the case of fashion shows especially where they are set in staged previously empty areas that should be free from lag/issues, promoting a one time show doesn't do much good if people can't see the clothes or products being shown. While this it's frustrating for attendees, it's a waste of a lot of time, effort, and expense on the part of show organizers, models, designers, etc.
5. When attending events/shows where you know there will be a high volume of avatars, try to style an outfit that is low on scripts, attachments, etc. Turn off or detach the AO. I know we all want to look good but we also want to see and be able to move. Take your group tag off if it's not needed. Temporarily derender a few things around you if they are absolutely not needed. Turn down draw distance and keep the graphics low if you are not needing high quality and windlights etc for whatever it is you are doing.
If you've ever been to a full multi-sim fair you've probably seen these hecklers yelling at avatars who dare to drop in the crowd all dolled up in gowns, nails, fancy flower-filled hair, scripty, attachment ridden outfits looking like perfection when those around them are barefooted, bald (on purpose to keep lag down) wearing nothing but a skimpy system top and bottom or even less, an art skin (nude but colored so it appears like a body suit that covers anything personal). I try not to fuss, but sometimes it can be annoying to make your av look not so hot for the better of the community fair, and others have no consideration other than looking their best.. to what end? Bottom line: know your event and dress appropriately.
6. If you have advanced notice of an event or are even participating in something that you know will be crowded I've found if you go to the sim area ahead of schedule when it's not so busy, your system will pre-load the textures, and if dancing, run through your dances or whatever you are doing, then once the crowd is there you are in better shape and your system "remembers" the textures, animations sort of=my layman's explanation as I understand it and sometimes works well for me. If you don't have this opportunity sometimes it help to click /lock directly onto the object you are wanting to see properly but can't, and occasionally they will pop into view faster.
7. Here's one I am very bad about.. try to keep inventory cleaned up and free of unnecessary things such as demos, extra sizes not needed, old notes and expired landmarks, outdated or broken products., etc.. ~sigh~ I hear having a large inventory does impact things and weighs you and those around you down. One idea is to gift your old transfer items that still have value but you have outgrown them to new or low budget avatars who might want them.
Check out the SL Wiki on reducing lag (this helps in the other areas too, not just lag problems) here; http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/How_to_reduce_lag
Although I do spend probably more than my fair share of time helping new avatars off and on who need and/or request it, I'm not one for giving unsolicited SL advice much, since I'm a perma-noob myself and techie impaired, but this post I felt needed to be written because I keep hearing the same questions over and over and I hear a few new avatars check into my blog from time to time. I hope this can help someone and enhance our SL time. The bottom line is that this stuff is pretty normal and you just have to give it time and follow the tips provided. Have a great day.