The mesh meetings are getting interest and the agenda is getting lots of items. Today’s meeting had 16 items on the agenda when I checked it.
Mesh Upload Enabling
I posted an article on this a few days ago. See: Second Life Mesh Enablement. I guess this was brought up in the Closed Beta for Mesh. At that time some thought the idea was shot down and dead. Obviously not, it’s back.
Quoting Charlar Linden:
The steps required to become mesh enabled are not final. Our goal is to provide some small steps that will dissuade some level of infringer/griefer, and also give some information to people who may not have a good understanding of what can qualify as IP infringement. We know that the people out there who are intent will not be stopped by this; blinking car alarm lights will not stop a professional car thief.
The Payment Information On File (PIOF) presents some problems to non-US residents. The Lab is a aware of that and working on a solution.
Those uploading mesh have been running into some problems. The speculation is that it might have something to do with the Collada version used by SL and the modeler. The Lab is doing their work with Collada 1.4.0 in mind. Maya and Max can be upgraded to 1.4.1. I’m unsure about Blender. I know Blender 2.49b is using Collada 1.4.0.
However, the changes from 1.4.0 to 1.4.1 are small and should not make a difference. If you want to match what the Lab is using use 1.4.0.
Version also brings up the question as to which modeling programs are the Lindens supporting? The answer: Blender, 3DS Max, Maya, and Sketch Up. Sketch Up is a lower priority for the Mesh team. The Maya and Max version are the 2010 and 2011 versions.
No single modeling tool is working perfectly. They all have various but different problems. However, most of the models uploaded to SL for the Lindens to use in their testing are from Blender. So, your best chance at having something upload correctly is to use Blender. Many are designing in whatever is their favorite tool and exporting to OBJ and importing to Blender for an export to Collada. It’s a pain, but that is the problem with being on the cutting edge.
JIRA CTS-603 is about a problem with Maya materials not working correctly. That is expected to be fixed in this week’s sprint.
The Lindens do feel Blender is the primary modeling tool. But, they also feel Max and Maya are important.
Meshes that attach to a skeleton are called rigged meshes. When building them vertices in the mesh are assigned to joints and bones. All the vertices have to be assigned to something. The tools we use for making mesh and assigning vertices to groups for assignment to joints and bones can place the vertices in more than one group. In some cases that is a desired assignment.
Think about raising an avatar’s arms and how that should affect breasts. Some vertices would need to be in multiple groups to create the correct deformation in the mesh. The limit in SL is at least 1 group and up to 4 groups.
Openings in Mesh
In some cases the decompose process in the upload is closing openings in mesh, this is an effect in the physics layer. While it may not be necessary to ‘decompose’ a physics model, if it is 16 or more triangles and measures a couple meters along its edges, decompose should work. The closing should not happen. One can try NOT decomposing and see if it works. But, if decomposing closes your opening send the model to the Lindens.
In the new viewer this term is being replaced. However, people are concerned about prim equivalency. After all it affects tier. Since the numbers are changing rapidly it is hard to know whether a sculpty or mesh is more efficient use of the region’s resources.
Nyx Linden says our current best gauge of prim cost can be found in the Show Render Info. You’ll find it in the Devlop menu. Everything is still changing so I wouldn’t put too much into the numbers you see. We really are not to the point these numbers can be used for making serious decisions.
Getting good numbers is a current priority for the mesh Team.
Mesh Project Viewer
Over the last couple of weeks finding the right version and where to use it has become confusing. As of today things should be far less confusing. The latest viewer is available on this page: Alternate Viewers.
Some of the wiki pages are a bit misleading, if you have not been involved in mesh and keeping up. If you have a problem finding the newest project viewer, ask in the Mesh section of the forum.
There is the current Mesh Project Viewer, somewhat stable, here: Alternate Viewers. But on the Mesh Project page that viewer is not available. Instead the viewer on that page is the Snapshot Version of the viewer, which is the least stable of the Mesh Project Viewers. But, it has the absolute newest stuff. You can get it here: Development Snapshot.
All the regions with Mesh enabled are now running the Mesh Asset Depreciation (MAD) versions. All Mesh Project Viewers from version 2.7.3 (232749) are MAD Viewers. Things should be back in sync and working as expected. I have to test Kirsten’s S21(8) RC2a on ADITI but I understand it is now a MAD viewer too.
Old mesh objects uploaded with older viewers simply will not rez. Clean out your inventory.
Some Project Viewer users are experiencing black screens where they can see HUD’s and floating panels but no render of the world. If you are experiencing that, file a JIRA report or add to an existing one.
The Lab will not be making tutorials for Blender, Max, or Maya. They will probably make a list of good tutorials as they have for other parts of the SL creative process. They will stay with explaining the SL side of things.
This means it is up to the community to make the tutorials, which Gaia Clary is doing at Machinamatrix.org.
Getting in the Mesh First Roll Out Sims
For now it appears that the mesh support code on the server side will roll to the entire grid at the same time. However, only selected regions will have it enabled. To get mesh enabled in your region you have to talk to the Lindens, Oskar in particular. Make sure to ask to be in the initial enabled group.
We are sure to see testing on the Release Channels in select regions first. Then the Lindens will gently deliver their baby to the rest of the grid. They really don’t want surprises and roll backs on this release. If you read the article on Mesh Costs you know how complex figuring mesh cost is. That is probably going to be the stickiest part of getting mesh to the main grid.
The Mesh Asset Depreciation change appears to have made it thought the pipeline now. Things are bit less confusing. Things are moving ahead. The ADITI grid is empty, compared to a week or two ago. But, we should be seeing it fill up quickly.
If you have problem models that you think cost too much, get them on the ADITI grid. Rez ‘em and leave ‘em. If they are still showing too high a cost next week, JIRA them and send copies to the Lindens. This is where we get to influence the final cost of mesh.