Second Life Mesh Update 2011-01

Second Life Mesh

Image by M_Shahab @ Flickr

Not much excitement in this area lately. Development is proceeding. The Lindens are not saying when they will arrive on the grid and more and more people are whining about that. The Lindens are not going to say ‘when’ until they have all the complex problems solved. I’m not expecting to see them hit the release channels for 2 or 3 months and I think that is optimistic. 🙁

Nyx Linden said in the last office hours meeting for mesh that they are looking at how to roll out mesh. Discussion is about a staged release. No real decisions so what is actually going to happen is up in the air.

Second Life Mesh Project Canceled

Don’t have a heart attack. This rumor has been going around and the ‘cancel’ question keeps being put on the Mesh Meeting Agenda. The mesh project is alive and well and moving ahead. There are a number of Lindens working on the project.

There are a number of server side technical problems yet to solve. Also, there are technical issues with the viewer yet to be resolved. Since the solutions are unknown and the problems are not fully understood there is no ETA for mesh project completion. People seem to be having a challenge dealing with the Lindens refusing to provide an ETA. Many have come up with the lame idea that because the Lindens won’t announce a completion date the project has been canceled.

New Mesh Uploader

A new version of the mesh uploader is in development. Lindens won’t say but I’m guessing we’ll see it in the Mesh Project Viewer in the nest 2 to 4 weeks. We have already had a couple of extensive revisions.

It now looks like there will be a simple and advanced uploader. This will let the less proficient modelers upload without too much brain damage. The Advanced mode will allow modelers to control most of the various aspects of the mesh upload and optimize them for the lowest prim cost.

State of Mesh

The technical parts are pretty well complete. I assume that to mean the render issues, data storage, actual download process, and similar things.  I suspect optimization is left. Work remains in the supporting code. Things like the upload interface, its stability, upload cost calculation, tier equivalence calculations, tier fees, object encroachment, and similar things. Now they are getting those things implemented. We might see the new cost algorithms on the wiki in the next couple of weeks.

Technical Limits

We know that rigged meshes can be exported from Blender 2.49 but not the 2.5 betas. Mirroring rigged mesh in 2.49 works according to Gaia Clary. Mirroring joints does NOT work.

The Whiners

There are lots of whiners complaining about mesh. Some think it is unfair and because someone on the planet can’t make a 3D mesh no one should be allowed to… I hope technology reaches the point we can get this type of thinker out of the gene pool. Sheeese.

Another set thinks SL will be destroyed by a flood of cheap illegal content. Many in this group seem to think they won’t be able to compete because of all the free or cheap stuff.  Well… they probably won’t be able to compete.

I think both of these are unfounded fears… False Expectations Appearing Real, Stupid. People will figure out how to deal with it. We move ahead and deal with issues as they come up. Planning is nice, but there is a point where planning for the unknown chokes a project to death. I believe dealing with what you know and moving ahead gets one to where they can start to see answers to previously unanswered questions. Then plans can be extended. Yes, that leads one into dead ends and false starts and we make mistakes. But, human knowledge has been gained through a series of mistakes, not superior planning.

Then there is the group that thinks after mesh arrives those new to SL will never build anything again and all creativity will be wiped out of SL forever more… the true meaning and nature of SL is being destroyed…  Yeah, the sky is obviously falling.

May be we should start a fund to get them some professional help… or send them a DVD of Asop’s Fables.

Mesh Summary

Mesh is moving ahead. The project is alive and well. We’ll probably see some level of mesh reach the main grid in 3 to 6 months.

For anything mesh in SL see the SL Forum – Mesh Section.

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