I was curious if the Lindens knew how many people use features like AO (ambient occlusion in this case) and Sun/Moon shadows. So, I asked them. Seems they do not track that information. There assumption is that people will be using shadows and AO.
The consensus of those at the meeting, some top content creators, is that baking shadows into textures for use in SL is probably a poor idea.
With ambient occlusion the consensus is to include AO in the bake. It seems several have the opinion that the viewer’s AO is weak enough that it needs help.
So, if you are trying to decide what to build into your products, omit shadows or make them optional and include AO.
It seems that somewhere in the implementation of mesh the formula for building the convex hull for a physics shape changed. As one scales down a mesh there is a point at which the physics shape changes from whatever it is to a convex hull. Right now it is unclear when that automatic change happens. That is a problem for builders.
Prep Linden is going to try to find out what the current deal is. With any luck the wiki will get updated.
For now it appears that when ANY dimension goes under 0.5m the shape goes to a convex hull.
Include Skin Weights
There are some problems when attempting to make a second upload of a mesh object. On the second upload the ‘include skin weights’ button is often grayed out.
This is a bug and a regression. The JIRA will be reopened.
Mesh Error Messages
The error messages provided when a mesh upload fails are mostly geek-speak. Gaia Clary did some work to translate them into something meaningful. See: Specifications for SL Compatible DAE Format. This will be a handy link to have if you plan to start uploading mesh objects.