Second Life Mesh Deformer Update 2013-37

There really is no news on the Mesh Deformer. There is some discussion about it on Plurk. I was amazed at the amount of misinformation in the Plurk thread. I probably shouldn’t have been. The Internet provides a means for people to vent their emotions without any requirement for intelligent thought or reason. In the field of Internet communications libel is considered a high form of journalism and seldom incurs any consequence and leads to irresponsible behaviors.

Runatai Linden Mesh Avatar - Way Cute

Runatai Linden Mesh Avatar – Way Cute

Karl Stiefvater (Qarl Fizz) is reported as commenting to Oz that two years is too long and the Lab should get their s##t together. It took a minute or two to find the original comment quoted in Plurk. It seems Karl was trying to start some movement at the Lab by trolling the JIRA report STORM-1716, the Mesh Deformer feature request. 

If you have never studied psychology or a new age religion, you may not understand transference/projection or mirroring.  Understanding it provides interesting insights into people. There is a lot of projection present in emotional venting and the Plurk thread is rich in it. Only a couple of people have tried put some reason in the thread.

Lindens Want…

One person thinks the Lindens don’t want people using the collision bone rigging (Liquid Mesh). Actually, it is some third party viewer (TPV) developers that have that issue, not the Lindens. If the Lindens did not want us using collision bone rigging, they could easily place a filter in the mesh upload software and stop it.

The TPV Dev’s were (are?) afraid there will come to be so much Liquid Mesh on the grid that the Lindens will be afraid to change the SL Avatar and break that content. The TPV Dev’s wanted the Lab to consider what Liquid Mesh might lead to and avoid a future problem, because they want a better avatar.

The Lab has not blocked Liquid Mesh and appears to have no intention of doing so. That means they mostly don’t care whether we use it or not. They just repeat their position: they reserve the right to break any content that uses processes they do not support. The Lindens defend their right to update the SL system as they see fit. But, we are free to do whatever, which is kinda nice.

Materials Users

Another puts out that only 20 people can see the benefits of the new Materials System and EVERYONE can see and uses (or wants to use) mesh clothes. Even the Lindens do not have that stat on who can see materials. Oz hopes to get more training on the new stats system the Lab is using. Sometime after that happens we will likely get some information on how many people actually have the Advanced Lighting Model (ALM) enabled. About 75% of users have video cards that can handle AML, we just don’t know how many have enabled it.

So, does that person realize they are making up stats to support their position? How many people will be mislead by that false stat?

The imaginary stat is then used to leverage into saying the Lab has no business acumen. But, one can read STORM-1716 and see all the things that the Lab was asked to provide before releasing the Mesh Deformer. There are plenty of people that say the Lab never listens or ignores their requests/wants. But, STORM-1716 and the Lab’s decision to move from a simple Mesh Deformer to the more complex reconsideration of the Avatar is what the majority of people have been asking for and asking for some time. A lack of business acumen would have been shown by to catering to the minority and releasing the Deformer.

Fame and Ego

Then there is the idea that because the Lindens did not code it, they won’t let it move forward because they cannot claim credit for it.

I think the Open Source additions pouring into the Snowstorm channel of viewer development and the addition of attribution lists to the viewer puts that idea down. The Snowstorm channel is full of third party contributions.

The idea of the Lindens being fame seeking programmers is just another uninformed opinion that ignores facts.

Too much power…

Oz is accused of having too much power and it is implied he is blocking the Mesh Deformer. I think anyone that listens to the TPV Developer meetings or hears Oz speak much realizes he is not at the top of the management structure.

Another contributor suggests the problem with the Deformer is that Oz does not have enough power… in regard to the Deformer, I tend to agree.

Oz repeatedly has said he wants the Deformer to move forward. He has also pointed out how limited his knowledge is in the area of avatar design and animation. With all the problems and feature requests that have come up in relation to the Deformer, it appears to me Oz has made the rational decision, get expert help and THEN make an informed decision.

I believe if Oz had power, the experts would be working on the project now and getting us off his back.

The Deformer Works

Well, yes the Mesh Deformer does work. Karl Stiefvater built a Deformer that meets the design requirements initially provided and then some. BUT… the avatar has design flaws and those affect what the Deformer does. It is those flaws that were overwhelmingly what people were asking be fixed. It is those flaws and the consideration of what to do about them that has the Deformer on hold. It is those flaws that have the less techie people believing the Deformer does not work.

Nor is all perfect in the Deformer world. Other grids are picking up the Deformer and planning to implement it. In-Worlds is one that has done it. Reports are there are some strange problems when using the Deformer. It seems if two people wear the same clothing item, like both have on a pair of Ferggeis Super Sexy Skinny Jeans, the viewer gets confused as to which deformation matrix to use with which avatar. One of the two people ends up having funny looking jeans.

In some cases the wrong deformation matrix is used with different clothing items. In one case a person wearing a dress was seeing another person’s jeans all messed up. It is suspected the dress deformation matrix was being used with the jeans.

I expect this matrix confusion would not be that hard to fix. But, my point is that whether the Deformer as-is is usable is debatable. It works but there are problems with it and more importantly with the avatar. So, releasing the Deformer as-is will not stop the complaints or solve all the problems people want fixed. Only fixing the avatar will fix the majority of problems people are complaining about.

I suggest that releasing the Deformer would be like placing a magnifying glass on the avatar problems. So, rather than providing a solution SL users would like, it will aggravate existing problems and annoy a larger number of SL users than not having it does. But, that is my opinion. 

5 thoughts on “Second Life Mesh Deformer Update 2013-37

  1. Having a GPU that can take advantage of the Advanced Lighting Model
    Is by no means the same as having a computer that can handle it.
    There are very few users with a machine that can run on full Ultra with
    more than a few avatars present. You really have to have a desktop with
    a decent discreet GPU and a lot of RAM. Most users are on a laptop –
    with a small display, so why bother, and 4 RAM. Given that, it’s worth
    mortgaging the house or selling your children to white slavers to see
    Second Life at its best.

    • Do you have any hard stats to prove ‘most’ users are on laptops?

      Have you watched CPU and GPU loads with ALM enabled and disabled?

    • First of all, I must say here that I’m on a laptop. It was midrange (I paid 700 euros for it) in 2009 when I bought it (dual core, with a dedicated ATI Mobility Radeon HD4500 – obsolete now – GPU) and I run with ALM on all the time. And I use a 15.6″ display with pathetic viewing angles and a puny 1366×768 native resolution. SL runs fine on it. Let me tell you that the heaviest load is always handled by my GPU, not the CPU – which Nalates has hinted to, but perhaps basic comprehension is not part of your job description. As for the “mortgaging the house or selling your children” bullshit, it’s pure bullshit.

    • Oh look, it’s someone trying to tell us that deferred = SL on ultra settings. Protip: All you have to do for general deferred is turn on “Advanced lighting model”, no matter whether or not you got full shadows on.

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