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Tuesday, June 22, 2010


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Ann Otoole

Except the NDA being lifted was taken back and the people in the beta are back under NDA according to the full range of chatter.

But it is a nice tease to try to keep people interested in SL given the sudden interest in alternatives (inworldz grew quite a bit in the last couple of weeks, etc.)

I am curious how LL is going to deal with the fact that less prims will be needed for complex builds which means less land will be needed which means less tier for LL. Will LL change to charging by polygon used? And have a polygon pool for avatars to cripple all the jewelers and boot makers and in general make SL look as crappy as most of the "modern" video games?

Arcadia Codesmith

Meshes have the potential to be a huge win for performance -- and SL's anemic graphics performance is a major obstacle to adoption.

But I doubt they'll have any impact at all on the avatar attachment market unless they look and move signficantly better than prim/sculptie/flexi constructs.

And if meshes free up prim count, builders will use more prim count. There's always something more that you wanted to do with a build that you just couldn't fit in the prim limit. Now you can, and builders will.

Rob Knop

Of course, the dark side of higher prim count is lower performance client side, and longer time downloading all the geometry to your client.

I don't know a lot of detail about the COLLADA format. It will be interesting to see what the limits are in terms of the number of polygons in one mesh. Right now, if you go to a very sculptie-rich area, it takes a long time for them to download (meaning you see lots of weird looking spheres until they do), and if your graphics card is a few years old, your frame rate goes to heck. The same thing may or may not happen with meshes, depending on how it's all implemented.

Rob Knop

Of course, the other thing to think about is -- if we get meshes, then everybody's going to have to move to viewer 2.0. I would be surprised if they implement the ability to look at meshes in the old viewer. Previously, it would have strained dev resources to support multiple versions of the viewer, and of course, now they have fewer dev resources than they used to....


Another issue is the ability to learn and access the pro 3D tools. One of the major forces in SL is the ability to create without being Pixar.

*Consider an army of SL creators who can't afford the pro tools*

But we all want better graphics just calculate the price.

Ignatius Onomatopoeia

I'm loving the potential for increased performance and better graphics, but dreading where most educators will end up. We generally lack pro-level tools or the skill to develop with them. That will vary school to school, of course.

Some of the teaching-and-technology folks who attend our roundtable could find a niche developing content for a new generation of SL builds and avatars. But will they have time and energy to do so? Or will educational builds that remain in SL be dowdy and pokey when compared to other content?

Now I can see one reason why LL has de-emphasized education. They may have reached the same conclusions I did and said "we cannot hold up progress for 8% of the users."

Gattz Gilman

Well Bender is free and that is the main program I use for all my sculpty making. And COLLADA format is supported on Blender.

And Blender is quickly building its way up to being a strong application for 3d creation.

Ignatius Onomatopoeia

Gattz, great point re: cost. But if even making textures in Photoshop lies beyond the reach of many faculty in higher ed, I don't know if they'll master Blender.

I might, but many of us don't tend to get much credit in our annual reviews for learning new software (or for using SL). I may be dead wrong about that as the reason why the US edu sector has not rushed in make simulations.

brinda allen

All this tech stuff simply amazes me...for gods sake...we can't get new users through that first couple of hours trying to learn how to use any viewer. Even the super trick, fantastic, do all, fix all, be all, disaster thats 2.0.

And now we want to add content creation tools that only tech savvy heavys can use?!
Stand by...Secondlife=Facebook Farmville on steroids.
Reminds me of any sleazy used car saleman dangling shiny keys in front of a gullible fool while steering him to the unrusted side of the junker.

Arcadia Codesmith

It's guesswork at this point, but I'd expect meshes to suppliment prim building, not replace it.

And I'd expect to see a rapidly-booming market in "prefab" meshes, much like the existing market for sculpts, to serve the needs of those who don't have the time or expertise to roll their own.

Not You

First of all, this is awesome, and long time coming. Second, the haters need to pull that smelly rod from you know where.

Linden Lab is ADDING new ways to support standard 3D format for content creation. Not taking away the in-world tools.

Cost is a non issue, Blender for 3D and GIMP for 2D graphics. Both completely free. They both have immense documentation on how to use them freely available on the internet.

The only people effected are those who do not have the time / skills required to compete in professional space.

Will be interesting to see what SL looks like in two years. When new content is created and spread through the grid.

Crap Mariner

First thing I thought of wasn't clothing or avatars.

I'm thinking tunnels, caves, mountains, snowdrifts, land bridges, and other formations that have better collision surfaces than sculpty versions do now.


Metacam Oh

No one is going to take away you old tools for building prims, people will complain about everything, sheesh

Vlad Bjornson

All of these features sound great, I can't wait to give this a try. Surprised to hear about the multiple meshes for level of detail - that should make the pixel perfect builders happy.

It'll be interested to see how the balance between performance and detail plays out. Has LL has come up with some sculpty-style trick that will help all this new 3D info get to the viewer quickly?

Crap: yeah, a physical boundary that matches the sculpted shape will give us all sorts of new ways to build landscapes. should be fun :)

Fenix Eldritch

Very cool news!

Just one thing... this has nothing to do with Linden Labs, but rather the residents themselves. I always get annoyed when I see a sculpted prim being used to make a shape a normal prim could. I suppose it is inevitable that we'll be seeing the same with mesh imports. I just hope it won't get too out of hand.

Angie Mornington

I can't wait to see the CLOTHES!

Frans Charming

Thanks for the link back to Slog, Hamlet.

Little Lost Linden

I've been waiting for meshes for some time now. This is actually very good news. If executed properly, it could be a real game changer, and that is something that is really needed right about now, more than ever.

secret squirrel

Somebody needs to learn how to keep their mouth shut.

Lucius Nesterov

While SL's peers, such as WoW and Blue Mars, benefit from meshes, they prefer to distribute a mass of content on DVD and/or use one-time downloads of extra content when they're added.

While meshes are a good thing for SL, it's in conflict with two of its core features. The constantly changing landscape, and the the fact that when you visit one location you have to download all the content from its neighbours.

There might be a chance for some client-based solutions: longer downloading screens while content is actually downloaded - which most non-SL users would be comfortable with from other experiences; or being able to restrict downloading content to the parcel that you're visiting.

Having your avatar float in space, with blobs popping up before taking shape, and bouncing off things that haven't appeared yet, don't combine to create a good first-user experience.


Thats an interesting video but how was it made? I've heard that SL meshes will be static, but that video has an animated mesh with several spot lamps and multiple dynamic shadows. I really doubt it was made in a SL viewer.

Patchouli Woollahra

Kirsten's S20 viewer has a beta attempt at implementing realtime simplified multi-light shadows and Global illumination. Runitai has also been working hard on similar things in her time at the lab, and I would NOT put it past her to create the necessary cheats to allow this, dahlia.


sculpties and prims are very inadequate for real 3D artists who wants discrete controls of geometry and UV maps. This is why Games and things that generally looks better Dont use anything that Second Life uses. Which is nothing more than low level in game NURBS.

Belstaff Leather Jackets

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