A few interesting things came up in this week’s Mesh Import group meeting.
This mesh cost things is an ongoing problem in SL. People have yet to figure out Land Impact (LI), formerly Prim Equivalence (PE). They keep asking questions in the meeting that have answers in the SL Wiki. The forum is full of complaints that mesh costs too much. Well, it sure does if you do not understand the Land Impact equations in the Wiki.
If one understands the explanations in the Wiki and Forum or the repeated explanations answering questions in the forum, mesh can be cheap It is tedious building efficient mesh, but it is easy to build efficient mesh that is cheaper than comparable prim builds for many things.
Understanding mesh cost also gives you an idea of what is a good candidate for prims, mesh or sculpty. Trying to build everything out of mesh or giving a mesh object a gilillion sharp edges are bad ideas.
One also has to understand the effect a script has on the Land Impact cost. Jeremy and Boston Linden have been writing explanations in the SL Blog.
Combined and Parts
When uploading mesh it is often cheaper to upload several parts rather than one large mesh. As odd as this may seem, it has to do with LoD, Level of Detail.
A link set allows the calculation of LoD for each part, each item in the link set. A mesh that is collection of a number of smaller mesh parts, but uploaded as a single mesh object, forces all the parts to be considered at the same LoD. The mesh collection’s outer bounding box is used for all the small parts. That effectively drives up the streaming cost because the server thinks all those little things are big enough to be seen from a greater distance and streams all their higher LoD data.
This means one has to consider upload and final Land Impact costs to figure out whether single or multiple uploads is cheaper. Paying a little more to upload and over the years saving a load in less tier is a good deal.
The ADITI preview grid is really important for checking mesh costs because of the above and a number of other complications.
The newest Mesh Project viewer is also the best for finding out the latest Land Impact costs.
One of the problems that has been noticed is mesh appearing distorted. It is caused by LoD’s having different size bounding boxes. It is important that the lower level LoD’s have the same size bounding box as the high level LoD model.
If the lower LoD’s have different size bounding boxes, they will distort as the viewer will use the high LoD bounding box and fit them to it.
The Collada files include the information needed for the SL Viewer to upload textures with the mesh. If one sees the texture in the preview window then the texture will upload. If one does not see the texture in preview, then be sure the Texture Upload box is checked.
If it still does not show, there is probably a path problem on your computer. Try placing the texture(s) in the same folder as the Collada DAE file.
Mesh Project Viewer
The mesh team is working on stability issues (crashes). They expect another update to pass to the main viewer release in a couple of weeks.
They also announced that at some point the Mesh Project viewer will be considered complete. At that point there will be no more updates to the Mesh Project Viewer and it will cease development.
This also means the JIRA category CTS will become read only.
The team will then work in the Beta Viewer project.
Mesh Upload Group
As the mesh project is completed the User Group will change over to more of a content creator group and cover a broader range of creation fields.
This is the ongoing issue about how to get mesh to better conform to avatar shape. The JIRA item Maxwell started has been added to a SPRINT. Nyx says this still only means that the idea is in discussion and research. They are not yet coding a solution/feature.
Summing It Up
The mesh project is coming to a conclusion. Within a few more weeks mesh will be stabilized and the viewer components dealing with mesh will be stable. Then the group and team will change.
There are lots of social problems with mesh. The majority of residents do not understand mesh or the Land Impact costs. Every week I see someone ask in the forum, ‘What’s mesh?’ Every week someone says mesh is too expensive and no one will ever use it. Clueless. I’ll bet a year from now we’ll be hearing the same claims and questions.
More problems are coming up in the Market Place, in and out world. If you are buying a mesh anything, make sure to try the DEMO of it. I strongly recommend that you NOT buy anything that does not have a demo. Things are too new. People have not yet settled on the terms used to describe mesh products. Nor do all the creators understand what the mesh costs are. So, be careful buying mesh.