The minutes from Mesh Office Hours Meeting are out. This time they were placed on the blogrum as well as the Wiki. See Mesh Office Hours 10-25-2010 for the full transcript. I’ve covered the parts I think are interesting.
Mesh Upload Problems
Some people are having a problem uploading meshes. Attempting an upload crashes the viewer. Texture upload with the mesh seem to increase the likelihood of a crash. Some are losing their UVMapping. This results in odd texturing when a mesh is retextured. Omitting uploading texture with the mesh usually results in a properly working UVMap, which allows textures to added later.
Apparently OSX users are having a consistent crash when attempting to upload mesh+texture since the last server update.
Blender 2.49b has problems exporting Collada animations. Blender 2.54 Beta does better with animations but has other Collada issues. Since it is unclear where Collada animations are going to fit in it seems Blender 2.49b is still the primary choice.
However, there is a branch of Blender 2.5 that is building with a higher priority for Collada fixes. This version is said to be doing a better job with Collada mesh export for SL than the 2.54 Beta from Blender.org. See: Letwory Interactive – I’ve downloaded it and will be trying it… some time.
It looks like custom bones will be an addition. Prep Linden is going to try and get the feature into the beta tests. Vir Linden says, “there’s no specific plan for custom bones now.” I guess that means we (the Lab) have not decided what we want to do with the idea. Custom bones could mean working fingers and long rat like tails that work.
Some problem with avatar size related to Pelvis Offset vales is being fixed. A fix would allow larger avatars. Think big T-Tex avatars.
Animating Mesh Face
Someone is figuring out how to do this. See: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9f38uAjLx6I I think this was done with textures rather than actual animation of the mesh.
This has to do with how things with alpha textures get rendered. What is behind and blocked by te texture and what is visible through the texture and what is in front of the texture and blocks it and the stuff behind it. Runitai Linden is going to be documenting how alpha for mesh is sorted, hopefully this week. I have an article here that shows a sorting problem when the mesh texture has an alpha layer. See Playing with Second Life Mesh for an example.
For now SL continues to have alpha sorting issues. As Gwyneth points out in an article the SL Viewers 2.3 and 2.4 have way better alpha sorting. I expect we will see some problems with meshes that have alpha layers.
Quoting Runitai Linden:
alpha sorting a rigged attachment is highly problematic but a non-rigged attachment sorts just fine so if something is only weighted to the head, don’t rig it just make a static wig
Mesh Support in TPV’s
Now that mesh code is published several TPV’s are looking at including mesh render in the viewers. If you have seen Kirsten’s article (What will Mesh mean to viewers?), you understand the current problem with mesh and older viewers, one sees meshes as squished flat irregular shapes. So, we may see wide spread support for mesh viewing very soon. This will probably mean more for OpenSim than for SL, as mesh is already on their main grid.
In some cases the TPV Dev’s will back port mesh VIEWING to the older 1.23 series viewers. It’s too early to know which are going which way, back port to 1.23 or move the viewer up to 2.x code and build a new User Interface.
When using Decompose be sure to run Simplify afterward. You are going to have to learn how to work the settings for best results. Simplify can trash your mesh. When you get it right, things work way better, lower physics cost… I’m still sorting this out and experimenting.