This week Mesh and Sever updates are intertwined. Mesh has rolled out to the main grid, at least the mesh code has. I have yet to find where anyone has officially said mesh is enabled in all regions. I suspect it may be enabled grid wide. It is enabled in the region where my cottage is, which is a mainland region.
There is no Featured News item about it in the SL Blog. No mesh update in the Tools and Technology section. I assume they are giving it some time to see how the full grid handles mesh before making a splash. But, it looks like mesh is finally here.
I’ve been told by another resident that Nyx Linden said, ‘[The] mesh-enabled viewer is the default download and all regions are mesh-enabled except for bluesteel. Celebrate!’ So, I would say it is enabled grid wide as of today 8/23/2011. \o/
Jessica Chung asked about making terrain from mesh. There are some interesting complications for those making mesh terrains. Runitai Linden says one just needs to make a large mesh. He cautions that the simulator is not going to recognize it as the ground. Also one must chop a 256x256m mesh into 16 chunks of 64x64m mesh.
It was pointed out that LoD causes the chunks to fail to align and remain contiguous as the chunks render in different LoD levels. Some point out that large objects like these do not need the lower LoD levels. Reduced vertices counts for lower LoD levels will not improve you Prim Equivalence (PE) because they are not used. So, using the same mesh for all levels could eliminate LoD problems. Rather than reloading the same mesh for each LoD level and creating a large mesh file, select NONE for the lower LoD levels.
Runitai points out there is a JIRA requesting the ability to register a mesh as the ground. The JIRA item is SH-1325 for mesh terrain in physics. Unfortunately the item is an internal JIRA item so the average SL resident cannot access it. :/
The Lindens realize it is hard to plan for LoD and test it. They want to improve the mesh upload tool. So, if you have suggestions for improving LoD testing in the upload tool, write them into a JIRA feature request and add a reference to it in the Mesh Group’s agenda.
Estate Owner Mesh Bans
It seems some estate owners are banning mesh. The idea is the use of mesh will degrade the SL experience for those using older viewers. O.O Another case of people wanting to make everyone suffer rather than figure out a more rational solution.
Some mesh enthusiasts want the Lindens to take action against the estate owners. The Lindens see estate owners as having lots of autonomy in their estate, which is how I think it should be. You pay for it, you have the say.
If an estate owner wants to ban mesh, I don’t have to be in that estate. Obviously as mesh becomes more popular such bans will destroy any malls or shops in the region. Anything that reduces traffic to a shop is a disaster. The shop owners will leave and the region will be empty. As people begin to wear mesh and use mesh accessories, weapons, and bodies regions with bans will be deserted. So, this is a self correcting problem. They either change or die out. Simple. Free choice works.
Old Viewers & Mesh
The Lindens are not going to update older viewers to render mesh. Viewer 1.23 simply is never going to render mesh. They will see mesh objects as prims, sort of a sculptified thing. It is hard for the user of an old viewer to tell whether or not someone’s mesh clothes are a badly made sculpty that is not downloading or a mesh. It would be nice if it rendered as a barrel with suspenders, but no one is ever going to spend the time to make that happen. Get a new viewer.
Prim Equivalence Problems
People are still having problems understanding PE and are being shocked when something causes the PE to balloon. Someone included an agenda item on that issue again. A mesh with physics at 32 and PE at 363 was made physical and the owner saw it balloon to over 900 PE. They demanded to know why!!!
When you want to know why, put you question in the JIRA and give the Lindens a copy of the mesh. They are interested in these problems. They will explain what is wrong or get busy fixing a problem, if it is on their side.
Fortunately he put the problem mesh on the forum where people can see what he is complaining about. The Lindens responded and Nyx said:
When an object is made “physical” / dynamic, it creates a heavier load on the servers than non-physical/dynamic meshes. So you can expect that the physics weight of an object will go up when you make it physical.
If the object is at or below 32 prims of physics weight *before* you make it physical, you should be able to successfully make the object physical. This will raise its physics weight (often above 32), but that is acceptable, as long as its physics weight is below 32 before you check the “physical” checkbox.
As for the specific example listed here, is it rezzed anywhere in particular, so that we can take a look at it and see if the numbers being reported are accurate? We’re always looking out for assets who’s costs seem unreasonable, to see if we need to adjust our algorithms. Thanks!
For months the Lindens have been asking for examples of problems and telling us how to submit them.
LL Convex Decomposition Stub Library
Third Party Viewer (TPV) developers need to be able to create the physics part of a mesh to be able to build a mesh uploader into their viewers. The Lab uses Havok and I have been told so does Kirsten. But, that requires purchase of a Havok license. Most TPV dev’s want to use open source. So, they are trying to get a standard version of the open source library they can use.
There is some confusion as to which one to use. Runitai said,
I *believe* we build the stub [viewer] from the same repository we build the non-stub [viewer]. https://bitbucket.org/lindenlab/llconvexdecomposition
Linked Rigged Mesh Bug
There is a bug when mesh is linked. Formerly CTS-759 and now SH-2290 – Linked Rigged Mesh updated via LinkPrimitiveParams causes splitsecond revert back to default position. You can see the bug in action on YouTube: CTS-759 Bug Demonstration
Blender 2.59 and SL Joint Offsets
Rigged mesh coming from Blender 2.59 works if it does not have joint offsets. See example.
The Lindens consider Blender 2.59 support a high priority. So, this is being fixed.
Now that mesh has rolled out the Lindens will raise the base upload cost of mesh. I do not yet see that that has been done. So, you probably have some time to upload mesh at the pre-roll out price. Charlar Linden did not say how much they would raise it.
The New ARC
We know new Avatar Render Cost (ARC) values are coming and will be adjusted for mesh. Once again it was asked what those numbers will be and when? The Lindens have yet to start work on the new ARC. They are still checking and tweaking PE.
Those working with mesh know that large mesh objects (64m) have strange costs. The Lindens are aware if the problem. They just could not get it fixed before roll out. Runitai is looking at being able to make an objects LoD distance level change under user control to lower large mesh PE.
Another issue with large mesh in linked objects is LoD locking or sync’ing so that all parts of the objects work together. Having one part at LoD level 2 and another at LoD level 1 can make for som odd looking objects.
Runitai says rigged mesh attachments all use the same LoD as they all key off of the avatar’s bounding box. That handles a part of the problem in the case of avatars. Something similar is needed for large mesh buildings.
See JIRA item SH-2266 – Meshes of lower lod being resized to bounds of highest lod.
Charlar Linden: Making both LoD and Collision objects NOT scale to the size of the bounding box is something we want to get done soon.
This is a feature for mesh. It has to do with the point around which a mesh rotates. Many of us would like to be able to set that point. Blender allows it, but SL does not currently support it. Charlar would like to add the feature he just does not know when they will get to it.
We now have mesh. It is here. Over the next few weeks we will see more fixes and improvements to the servers and viewer.
TPV Developers will start adding the mesh feature to their viewers. It would seem mesh is now stable enough and changes to the code will be relatively minor. So, we will see a new round of viewers coming out.
This will also mean that old viewers like SL 1.23, Imprudence, and Phoenix will start to disappear. People that do not pay attention to what is going on in SL will soon be seeing mesh for the first time and asking, What’s that odd looking thing? As they realize what mesh is and it means they cannot see everything others see, the migration to newer viewers will reach more people.
Firestorm, Kokua, Dolphin, Singularity, and other TPV’s will soon add mesh and replace their predecessors. Expect them to render mesh and at a later date to add mesh upload.
Congratulations to the Mesh Development Team and the Lab in general.