Here is a cool video of the 3D mesh import and dynamic shadows coming to Second Life. If you click to watch on YouTube, you can click the HD button and see detail and read the menus. I suggest that and stop the video to check out what is in them.
Video Gone… 🙁
It is interesting to see ‘Upload Model’ in a menu. As they advance through the video they turn on dynamic shadows. If you have used Kirstenlee’s S-18 viewer and played with dynamic shadows that part will be familiar.
Use of ‘Deferred Rendering’ for shadows is an older technique that Maya has used for years. It has been improved over time and will likely give the Second Life Viewer the ability to render hundreds of lights instead of the 6 to 10 it handles now, without a significant performance hit.
For a bit more information see New World Notes. And their follow up: Aimee Logs Into Second Life… From Within Second Life!
Another good blog post is here: Linden Lab Announces Mesh Support
The ability to remote access computers from SL is a possibility too. See: Trescothick Aims To Please
Also, notice the shadows and lighting. Under the arches there is a light reflection. This is diffuse light or indirect lighting. Usually only done when ray tracing is available. So, this will be a big step up for SL.