Second Life Viewer Updates from the TPD Meeting

This Friday a Third Party Developer’s meeting was held. This meeting has become the primary source of news for Second Life. We got some news this week. I’ll write up the viewer news first and other stuff in later articles. So, here is what is happening.

St. Pete

St. Pete

there were 24 people attending the meeting. I think 6 of those were Lindens, making it 18 residents. As I check out the video of the meeting, I see 22 people have watched the video of the meeting. 


RC Second Life Importer Viewer version – Oz Linden tells us the Lab expects to promote this version to default or main viewer status, whichever you want to call the viewer new people get when they download the viewer. They expect that to happen in Week 40 – Sept 27 – Oct 3. That thinking includes the prevision that if bugs are found, release will be delayed.

This is the viewer that makes improvements to the mesh uploader. In the release notes the Lindens describe the version as:

In this viewer we’ve modified the importer to (optionally) improve debug output, perform name-based LOD association, and handle models with many materials.

Using these new features, models with more than 8 unique faces can be imported. Gone are the days of importing complicated meshes in pieces with “some assembly required”. At import, these models are automatically split into pieces so that each satisfy the current face limits for a volume.

  • The same limitations on LODs and materials remain in place (e.g. your low LOD mesh materials must be a subset of the full LOD materials).
  • LODs and Physics reps can now be explicitly associated with a given mesh in the full LOD model using name-based matching.
  • By properly naming the meshes in your lower LOD meshes and physics reps, you can avoid issues with ordering of the meshes within your DCC tool and other material mismatching errors.
  • An ImporterDebug option has been added to the settings.xml file which, if enabled, causes more information to be output during import than you can shake a stick at. The extra output can be very helpful for diagnosing authoring errors (e.g. violating the material subset constraints mentioned above) and pinpoint what needs to be fixed in the source model for successful import.

All of these changes are important and things designers have been asking for. There are about 45± feature/bug fixes listed in the release notes.

I expect the wiki to catch up with this update over the next couple of weeks.

Whirly Fizzle mentioned BUG-10326[Importer-RC] Latest materials viewer buggy on uploading, and retaining material group order. What that bug is about is numbering the faces on an item. When we build an item it is necessary that we know which faces the viewer will see as #1, #2, etc. In most cases we use that information for scripting texture changes on a specific face. Not knowing which face will be #1, #2, or whichever means we have to test the item for face order once imported.

Links for additional pages below…

3 thoughts on “Second Life Viewer Updates from the TPD Meeting

  1. Oh dear. I took my eye off the ball on this one. Of the problems I reported in BUG-9015, the worst effect (splitting object unpredictably across a single material) seems to be corrected, at least in the test case. The problem where a material with >21844 tris in only the high LOD causes a cryptic material to be generated, which isn’t matched in the lower LODs, still causes upload failure despite all LOD files being correct. So everyone should still be advised just to avoid materials with >21844 tris. Why they don’t simply make that an explicit error, I don’t know.

    Personally I don’t like what they did here at all, and I don’t understand the motivation. If you allow the uploader to decide how to split your mesh into separate objects, you lose control over the sizes of the split objects and therefore of their LOD switching. There is nothing difficult in splitting up a mesh (and/or materials) youself, retaining complete control. The only people who can possibly benefit from this change are those who are uploading other peoples’ meshes not specifically made for SL, with excessive geometry and/or textures, who don’t know how to optimise them for SL. Facilitating that can only make things worse than they already are. Can anyone suggest a more sensible reason?

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