Friday, July 12, 2013

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InWorldz Pays Ex-Linden Programmer Karl Stiefvater to Add Mesh Deformer (While His Crowdfunded-Code for SL Lies Dormant)

SL Mesh Deformer Qarl Linden

Once upon a time, thousands of SL users held a crowdfunder so that ex-Linden programmer Karl "Qarl Fizz" Stiefvater could create mesh deformer code for the Second Life viewer, so that mesh-based clothes would fit avatars better. He created that code last year, but last I heard, it has not been implemented into the viewer. (And as I recall, probably never will. Someone correct me if that's wrong.) Now comes this news:

The creators of Inworldz, a commercial OpenSim virtual world based in large part on open sourced Second Life code, have paid Karl themselves to add his mesh deformer to their own viewer. Here's Karl with the word on his own blog, along with the code itself.

This is ironic on many fronts:

Hardcore SLers have been begging for this feature for literally years, expressing so much desire for it, they actually donated money to do it, yet the first virtual world to actually get it is not Second Life, but a competitor which is itself based on SL's own code. It's possible that this move may move Linden Lab to finally to do so too, but I'm skeptical there.

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cube republic

Dear Linden Lab(s) can we have our toys now :(

Zauber Paracelsus

I have my doubts as well, due to the bad blood that Linden Lab has with Karl.

In the meantime, Cool VL Viewer and Firestorm have picked up support for the improved mesh deformer code, and it is available in their experimental viewers.

Scarp Godenot

I'm not saying that Linden Labs need to implement the mesh deformer, BUT they OWE IT to their paying customers to explain the reasons why they don't think it will work for them.

Seriously, just remaining silent on this is very annoying and massively disrespectful of the people (like me) who pay them thousands of dollars a year.

It is very much a 'Let them eat cake' attitude.....

CodeWarrior Carling

Very sad.

I left because LL seemed to not really care much about the 'platform' as a VR engine, and this just shows that nothing much has changed.

Adeon Writer

I have had my doubts on the mesh deformer in the past. Not in weither it works or not (Qarl knows what he's doing.) but in weither people actually understand what it does (and what it does not do.)

Inworldz seems like the perfect testing ground.

Here's hoping it's everything that is expected.

Michelle Leckrone

I thought they may have pulled something out of the hat this year maybe but I'm glad See it in different virtual worlds Let's say there is hope out there from the meetings I've heard

Metacam Oh

I knew LL would not implement the Mesh deformer. They have to have a meeting on what meeting they will have for another meeting based on whether they will have a meeting to talk about including the mesh deformer. The Lab is just corporate bureaucracy now, nothing more, nothing less.

Mona Eberhardt

Actually, Oz confirmed that the deformer is in the pipeline, awaiting resources (i.e. personnel) to be allocated to it:

http://monaeberhardt.wordpress.com/2013/06/12/deformed-and-meshed-conspiracy-theories/

Ezra

Yes, the best we have to go on is Oz's "optimistic it will happen", but there is no timeline.

There's no guarantee it will happen and the fact that it hasn't been done and over with a year or two ago is a big failure on Linden Lab's part.

But what does anyone expect? The deformer only comes up when its time to complain and be incendiary. It's far removed from all the positive, glowy things of Second Life. No one asks Rod about the deformer like they do materials or the Rift for example.

Mona Eberhardt

Erm, you are aware that the Lab loves to "vet" (preemptively censor, in human language) questions when its CEO is to be interviewed, right? So, what are the chances that LL will allow Rod to be asked about the deformer or other "pointy" subjects?

At any rate, at that meeting, Oz indicated that the mesh deformer is something they want to push through, but they've decided to err on the side of caution.

Tracy Redangel

Nalates' blog is a good source to keep up with the status of the mesh deformer:
http://blog.nalates.net
Inara Pey's blog is another good resource for information:http://modemworld.wordpress.com

It's fair to say most mesh-loving SL residents have moved along without the deformer and have learned to adjust to wearing standard sizes (sizes based on xsml, sm, med, leg body sizes) and lots of in-between sizes by very very resourceful creators (such as Lapointe & Baschild) which offers a very large range of sizes to fit most avatar body types).
BUT...I don't think that means the deformer isn't wanted anymore, we still need it. It would make it a lot easier for creators, and it would create better-fitting mesh clothing.

Adeon Writer

Adapted? Yes. To Standard size? No way.

I'd rather pay extra for personally-tailored custom commissions than use the awful overscaled avatars that 'Standard Sizing' requires I use.

Wolf Baginski

I am not convinced that the sizing being used for Mesh is standard, in the sense of being consistent between manufacturers.

Which is not so different from RL clothing these days. There is in the UK a British Standard for clothing sizes, which is around 60 years old. It's obsolete: people have shifted in shape. Different large retail companies have done their own measuring, and use their own sizing systems.

But the AVs I usually use, heavily influenced by Penny Patton's free Vitruvian Shapes, do work reasonably well.

There's an old question: what does a Scotsman wear under his kilt? And the traditional answer is "Nothing is worn under the kilt; it's all in perfect working order."

The SL Scotsman will use alpha maps.

As for Oz Linden, so much of what he has said on the Mesh Deformer leaves me thinking he is a little clue deficient on 3D modelling. It isn't quite like writing code.

Wagner James Au

"you are aware that the Lab loves to 'vet' (preemptively censor, in human language) questions when its CEO is to be interviewed, right? So, what are the chances that LL will allow Rod to be asked about the deformer or other 'pointy' subjects?"

That's not true in my experience. I've interviewed him once or twice and they've never vetted anything beforehand. He has often said "no comment" to specific questions, such as tier prices. But with the deformer, he'd probably just defer to whatever Oz says. Hardcore SLers need to realize that Linden Lab knows almost all of you are going to stay in SL no matter what delays they're having on particular fixes or features, so it's not really a thorny issue for them. They'll get to it when they get to it (if they want to get to it) and meantime, little or none of you are going to leave before then. That's how it's been for years.

Ezra

"Erm, you are aware that the Lab loves to "vet" (preemptively censor, in human language) questions when its CEO is to be interviewed, right? So, what are the chances that LL will allow Rod to be asked about the deformer or other "pointy" subjects?"

More than what interviewers get to ask him I meant the times before now when Rod would respond on Twitter, and when he went to SLUniverse and opened himself up to all issues that would make Second Life better. I don't recall the deformer being brought up.


"Hardcore SLers need to realize that Linden Lab knows almost all of you are going to stay in SL no matter what delays they're having on particular fixes or features"

Hate to agree with that, but I do. Scarp expressed above Linden Lab owes an explanation, that'd only create back and forths, which would successfully drag Rod in much in the same way the last names issue did, but probably because of situations like that in the past they want to avoid dialogue on things they can afford to ignore.

zzpearlbottom

I do think most agree with Hamlet and that a reason why other commercial grids, no matter what, will not gain from Sl users as We can't be in two places at once...

Mona Eberhardt

Your comment is really amusing ZZ, given that you keep complaining on Plurk and on various blogs about how much SL sucks and even saying that people should ditch it.

Seren Seraph

Did I miss something? Last I heard InWorldz source base was quite old and they did not support MOAP and I thought mesh as well. Do they have support for MOAP now? I missed it too much before to stay around long.

Doug Osborn

Seren has it right.. Inworldz branched OpenSimulator code well before its current generation of optimizations... And it relegated itself to a minor player position by walking away from the standard scripting engine. At one point they enjoyed an advantage over other commercial grids by offering Linden currency transfers, but I expect the recent changes in TOS and responses to charges of being a currency exchange put them at risk of losing that. The TPV limits (can only include functionality included in the official viewer) have effectively minimized the pressure viewer designers can exert.. In short...mesh deformation isn't interesting enough to get me to put up with the lack of script portability and "antique" codebase. While I don't make a habit of defending the Lindens... I think they are correct to let Mesh adoption rate grow while they preview and test "add-ons" like the deformer.

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