Feynt Mistral : Another question I hear often is whether SL supports normal/bump/specular maps. During the closed mesh beta we heard talk of a future materials system. Is there any word on whether that’s even in planning? If it’s “on the stack”, is it at least somewhere near the top instead of near the bottom with more and more being piled upon it?
Nyx Linden: I personally don’t know exactly what is in the stack or what the exact order is at the moment. A materials [system] would be a nifty feature to add, but I’m not sure where it is in our list of priorities currently. My current focus is working on avatar issues. I’m focusing on getting avatars to load first.
Kitsune Shan’s item: Collada 1.4.1 isn’t well supported when using more than one texture per mesh (they get mixed). Collada 1.4.0 still working fine. This problem is easy to reproduce. An OBJ file can be exported using Autodesk FBX Converter 2011.3.1 and FBX Converter 2012 to Collada files. One is possible to upload the other one [has] errors on textures. I also know some people had this problem too using Maya 2012 and Max 2012 as well as in older versions updating the plug-in to 2012 version. VWR-28488.
A problem with Multiple Mesh Textures is one can’t get Shininess to work on some of the surfaces.
Nyx Linden: I will have to take a look and see if the exporter is doing something that our importer doesn’t expect. It looks like we have the information we need to investigate this one. Thanks!
Kitsune Shan’s item: The mesh importer doesn’t show “edges” when you check the box. It seems to show them, but in white which is the same color of the mesh so is impossible to see the difference. Also happens with the physic shape. It should be also less restrictions to move, zoom and pan the mesh. (An only wireframe option could be useful too).
Nyx Linden: I’ll pass it on 🙂
It seems we may get a local preview in the LL Viewers for textures and mesh items. It is a ways off, if… IF… it makes it through design/product and code review. The local or temp texture upload in TPV’s is broken, I think. The server side scrubbing done to remove Viewer ID Tags breaks the feature. I haven’t checked to be sure that is so. So, it is likely TPV Dev’s will be coming up with a replacement.
VWR-27873 – Regression to requirement for same number of materials in all LOD meshes.
As Gaia Clary pointed out, at one point that was changed so lower LOD’s only needed a subset of the materials from higher LOD’s. But, somewhere along the way that error crept back in.
A work around is to make sure all LOD’s have the same material count. One can hide textures on a single hidden triangle.
This is a reoccurring question for those working with mesh. The pivot points we can set in Blender, Maya, etc. do not import with the mesh object. The viewer changes it to use the center of the bounding box as the pivot point. People making doors in SL quickly learn about pivot points.
Nyx Linden: Interesting. Can see how that would be useful, not sure where it fits in the current list of priorities.
I think that means we won’t see this corrected any time soon. See: CTS-297, VWR-14707, and VWR-26287. I am guessing pivot points are handle by some shortcut process that uses the bounding box’s center for all objects in SL.
I asked in the meeting if adding Votes and Watches helps people like Nyx change the priorities on feature requests and bug reports.
Nyx Linden’s answer, “Backlog prioritization is a dark art that our product team takes care of, and is not well known by technical linden droids.”
Cell Shading Option
Nyx was asked if there was any chance of getting a cell shading option for prims and mesh. If you don’t know what cell shading is, check out Loki’s video.
Since it is possible now, but Land Impact expensive – meaning a load on the system, it is unlikely to be a Linden priority. Plus there are some technical problems.
So, how did Loki do cell shading? I’ve been told an inside out mesh is used. Imagine a circle within a circle or a hollow cylinder. Usually the normals, think of a normal as an arrow sticking out of the surfaces which points toward the outside, face you so you can see the surface. The backside of the surface is invisible, does not render. Typically you never see it, even if the viewer did render it. That surface always is behind something.
For cell shading one turns the normals to face inward. So, the first surface is invisible to you until it starts to wrap around an object. Then you can see a small bit of it facing you until it goes behind the other surface. I think it is a very neat trick. The problem is it doubles the polygon count.
The members of the Content/Mesh UG have lots of questions. There have been no solid answers from the Lab as yet. I think the not so cryptic writing on the wall is plain. Mesh UG gone.
Communication with the Lab is changing. I’m thinking about the various changes and what I am seeing in various groups. I have yet to decide if it is better or worse. It does seem to be a pendulum swinging type thing.