Linden Lab Officially Announces Mesh Support in Second Life at SLCC

content creation, Second Life, SLCC, Virtual Worlds on August 19th, 2009 63 Comments

At this years Second Life Community Convention, Linden Lab Chief Product Officer Tom Hale, aka T. Linden, showed video of a polygon mesh object responding to a dynamic lighting system much more advanced then the current lighting and shadows that are available in several Beta viewers. (videos below) With the new system, light is able to be reflected off of objects to their surroundings. Both are much sought after and desired features of advanced and experienced content creators, especially those who want to make use of existing polygon meshes made in Maya and other industry standard modeling tools. Unfortunately, Hale did not give any indication on when theses features might be available.

To help us better understand these features, I have asked our co-founder and Chief Creative Officer here at Sand Castle Studios, Reed Steamroller, to tell us a little more of what this means and what we can expect.

Linden Lab Offically Announces Mesh Support in Second Life

Second Life has been in a probationary period for me since I first logged in. On that faithful day back in October of 2006, I asked a question that has lingered with me since. Can I bring things into Second Life from 3rd party software? The answer I got was, of course, a big, nasty no, as this was the state of affairs of the time. Since then, there has been one giant improvement to the situation: sculpted prims, which do, technically, allow you to import shapes from 3rd party 3D modeling software. However, due to their limitations, sculpted prims are no final answer to that question I asked those years ago. As it turned out, as announced at this year at the Second Life Community Convention 2009, sculpted prims are merely a taste what’s to come, and polygon mesh support is soon to arrive.

Regular Mesh

Since the dawn of the new millennium, most video games have presented their virtual environments via something called a polygon, and while Second Life isn’t a game per se, it does run on game engine technology. A polygon, in reference to computer graphics, is a simple, two-dimensional shape that can be represented by your computer in three-dimensional space. Normally, most game engines use three-sided polygons, which you may also know by their technical terminology; “triangles.” Although, polygons can have four sides as well. If you guessed these four sided polygons are called “squares”, you are absolutely…. WRONG. We call them “quads” here. Polygons can also have more than four sides, but after that, to the world of computer graphics, they’re just referred to as “n-gons” to keep things simple. In the end, what you need to know is that these are the tiny building blocks of everything you see in Second Life.

Well, you can’t do much with just a triangle, and that’s why we have polygon meshes. A mesh is a bunch of polygons linked together. For example, a prim cube in Second Life may look like just that, a cube. However, if you go into wireframe mode, you would see that each face of the Second Life cube is actually made up of 18 individual triangles connected on their sides. We call this a regular mesh, because of how the polygons are laid out nice and neat across the faces of the cube, in somewhat of a grid-like pattern. If you look at all of the other prim shapes in wireframe, you’ll see their polygons laid out in much the same manner. Even sculpted prims, while they can be bent and formed into a wide variety of shapes, are still made up of these very grid-like, regular meshes.

There are pluses and minuses to these regular polygon meshes. Linden Lap supports these shapes because they are very conducive to a virtual world that is constantly changing, and which constantly needs to be streamed back to its residents. It is much easier for the Second Life asset servers to define a cube as “cube” and be universally understood what is meant by this across all of the viewers, as opposed to defining the coordinates of each individual vertex along the corner of each individual polygon that makes up said cube. From the viewpoint of a builder, however, the problem with these prims is that they are very restrictive, in that they force you into placing groups of polygons at a time, instead of defining for yourself just how these polygons will be positioned individually.

Irregular Mesh

The guts of the question I asked back in 2006 really lay at the feet of irregular meshes. You can think of an irregular mesh as a polygon mesh in which the polygons are NOT laid out in neat or predictable pattern. These meshes are dependent only on the wishes of their creator, and are not restrained by any prerequisites of form. Irregular meshes give the creator access to manipulate the polygons themselves, instead of being limited to manipulating groups of polygons aligned in regular meshes. What is important to know is that allowing user-created, irregular, polygon meshes on the grid will give builders a higher level of freedom in not only what they build, but just how they build it.

You may be surprised to find that Second Life already uses irregular meshes, it’s just that we, the people, haven’t been given the ability to create any of our own. The most visible example of this is the Second Life avatar, an irregular polygon mesh created by Linden Lab to be especially good at deforming to the users will into all the different styles seen in Second Life.

If you’ve never been taught, or learned on your own, the correct way to model 3D objects out of polygons, you’ve got some work to do. Characteristics such as edge flow and poly count can make or break a polygonal mesh, and it takes time to get a handle on things. As with most disciplines, be prepared to make a lot of crap before anything worth showing to people.

Those of you out there with experience in making sculpted prims will be ahead of the curve, in that you won’t have to learn a new user interface. Chances are the software you already use for creating sculpted prims (be it Blender, Zbrush, 3D Studio Max, Maya, etc…) is primarily geared towards modeling irregular polygon meshes, and that sculpted prim functionality was added by some friendly Second Life resident as an afterthought. Really, the only place I’ve found that makes a distinction between regular and irregular meshes is Second Life.

Also demonstrated at SLCC was a new feature in the Second Life client that Linden Lab is referring to as diffuse, or reflective lighting. This seems to be a new lighting scheme allowing whats called indirect lighting. To visualize indirect lighting, think about when the sun shines through your window and hits the floor. The sunlight doesn’t just illuminate the parts of your floor that it hits directly, but instead bounces off the floor and illuminates the entire room as well. This is indirect illumination, and normally it is a VERY resource hungry, ray-trace intensive process. I imagine Linden Lab has figured out some sort of work around with regards to ray-tracing this effect, in order to keep frame rates up, but you really can’t tell from the results. This looks SPECTACULAR!

All in all, we have a ton of things to look forward to in the coming months. Kudos to Linden Lab for all of their efforts. Second Life 2.0 can’t get here soon enough!

Hale’s Presentation with Sound

Up close view

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63 Responses to “Linden Lab Officially Announces Mesh Support in Second Life at SLCC”

  1. Readers should note that at the moment Linden Lab is only working on bringing in static, non-moving, polygonal objects into Second Life. However, yesterday I was able to speak to Andrew Linden about this who told me that Linden Lab is currently leaning towards supporting the COLLADA standard of 3D information. Using COLLADA would leave the door open to importing rigged and animated 3D content in the future.

    You can read more about COLLADA here:

  2. Lexxure Lock says:

    This would be a dream to so many of us builders. I can think of countless models I’m already working on that are flawed with the way UV textures draw the sculpt, but a straight polygon mesh upload would fix. The thought of having ACTUAL rigged models in SL… The possibilities! No longer would we have silly scripted objects with multiple moving parts all moving off sync–we could have a complete model like the SL avatar and move it just like we could in Maya. Sounds spectacular, I hope the Lindens go through with this!

  3. WarKirby says:

    It’s about time we got some new content creation tools. All M linden has done so far is institute various stupid policies in a crusade to turn SL into disneyland. And run beachwear competitions like a commercial whore.

  4. Ponk says:

    Normal maps next please, we will make this a beautiful world.

  5. Xenius says:

    This presents an interesting legal situation for LL as well. I wonder what the response will be when a day or two after this mesh feature goes live, the entire visual contents of Fallout 3, the Half-life series, Crysis, and any other popular game with easily accessible and modable assets pop up re-constructed en-masse in SL, and then on xstreet. I hope LL has scaled their department for handling DMCA requests…

    • I’m sure they’ve thought about the implications of the contents of other game series being dumped on the grid. Doing something like that would probably be a ban-able offense. That of course isn’t going to stop people from doing it, but it does put a damper on things.

      Recently, LL has been pretty good (and timely) about nuking DMCA offenses when they come up. From personal experience, we did the fighting arena for RFC, which has been copy-bot’ed (at least) twice now by unrelated parties. Each time, LL handled it within a half hour.

      As for XStreet, come September 14, 2009, content which contains or uses a brand name or logo, replicates or closely imitates the appearance of a real world physical product (such as cars, jewelry or clothing), or the appearance of a celebrity, famous person or fictional character from copyrighted work, or if content replicates or uses an artistic or creative work that is the subject of copyright (such as a famous painting), said content shall be removed from XStreet. Severe or repeated offenses will result in XStreet and/or Second Life privileges being revoked. Furthermore, users will no longer be allowed to make comparisons to a brand name on XStreet, or say that their items for sale are “like”, “inspired by”, or “based on” a brand, because doing so can lead to intellectual property infringement. Users will also be unable to use part of a brand name in their own name (Think “Meta-Nike” or something like that). The only exceptions to these rules will be if use is official, or authorized (Millions For Us strikes again). You can read more about these policy changes here:

      My point is that, obviously, Linden Lab will have to come up with further policy changes, in regards to mesh support. However, if they’re willing to enforce all of the above, I doubt any mesh support related policy changes will be too big of a problem for them.

    • Khannea Suntzu says:

      There is an extremely simple solution to this and it shouldn’t take all involved parties a hole lot of effort. Take for instance a fairly iconic game such as FallOut3, (or even WoW) The makers of Bethesda and Linden Lab close an agreement as soon as the topic becomes a concern (which would be in days) – Bethesda constructs a sim in SL using professional designers. THis sim can (1) be just a place where Bethesda graphically offers its ptroduct and allows SL users top buy it, and/or (2) it may be a specially constructed access portal to a ‘micro-demo’ based on the game, where avatars from SL can ‘port’ into the environment, explore (skinnydip) it, have a look around /with their actual SL avatar, as (2a) a single player demo or (2b) a SL-driven analogue MMO demo, or (2c) a downloadable demo that can only be unlocked from the site visited.

      Sims such as these would show video, carefully constructed landscaping scenery (much of which could be harvested straight from the already existing game content). The entry of avatar in a seperate demo would be tricky but not altogether unreasonably difficult.

      An initiative such as this, would place Second Life immediately in the position of salesperson and presentation platform for most other avatar-driven games. Regard the position of LL towards game companies as an intermediary of (i) booth babe, (ii) facebook app and (iii) steam. Yes you heard that correctly : LL would literally be in a position to offer a service quite comparable to steam.

      The benefits for all sides would be considerable;

      Game company
      1 – the company can make money selling its unique content in stores on the SL sim. It can then use these microcredit transactions to power its game (buy the unique handfamer in second life and unlock it in YOUR version of FallOut3). I would die (=spend tens of euros per month) to buy a range of game-derivative articles that I would then be able to flaunt and show off in SL. This is a market no game company should understimate, especially since it only involves designing the stuff once – after which production costs are ZERO. No plastic toys of wasteland chainguns – but realistic virtual franchising.

      2 – A game designer such as Bathesda would instantly attract a considerable crowd of potential customers, even skinnydippers tasting the game via the SLinked demo. I’d argue that the investment for a game company to translate the content of their game to SL formats (and implement or charter a sim) to be worth the investment compared to exposure, word of mouth, trophyhunters and other assorted gadgeteers.

      3 – Game companies might benefit from using the existing Linden$ infrastructure for microcrediting and transactioning. Think about it, an idea simpler than the egg of columbus but with even more potential impact.

      I shall not emphasize how LL would benefit from this arrangement, and how much effort LL better invest to get this idea rolling as soon as possible. No seriously mister middlemanagement “oh fuck this is all wayyy to complex” – this is a golden opportunity. In fact think about the following :

      - an eve online sim. You teleport in there and all around you is the observation deck of a massive station in Eve Online. Through huge windows avatars can look outside (and there is realtime streaming video slowing what is happening just outside the corresponding station in Eve Online space projected on a ‘matte painting’ dome, including muffled sound effects). SLPlayers can buy eve memorabilia and carry them around SL for boasting rights. But also, players can seamlessly walk from the sim, into a demo (download) – and literally play their own SL character my name (and the in-game character icon is a depiction of the SL avatar). Better, once they do, they get a landed shuttle they can rez anywhere in SL.

      - a starcraft sim. Continuous coverage of high ranking online matching through video. Sculptures of characters, plus a chance to BUY all main characters. Yes, that includes a kerrigan toon voor inside SL handcrafted by Xenius. Or a powered armor. Or any of several weapons derived from in-game designs. Buy the game from the SL Starcraft sim and you get a free APC.

  6. BETLOG Hax says:

    /me touches his blender icon a little

  7. I support fullheartedly the implementation of model importing (preferably the standardised *.OBJ). As a 3D modeler from the game design field, this would be very useful for generating custom content effectively. This is exciting news indeed.

  8. Captain Redgrave says:

    All of you are glad because you want to build the biggest creation to help with your Oedipus complex, but it is just going to lag the rest of us out and be the end of the grid.

    • Seems you’ve got a fairly pessimistic outlook on all of this… Care to shed some light on *why* you feel this way?

      • Captain Redgrave says:

        By allowing professionals to create content for Second Life effectively, the inworld tools are going to be worthless and builders like myself will be out.

        I don’t understand why you push so hard for so called “realism”. Look how many games and tv shows like the Sims and the Simpsons aren’t realistic, but have a huge following. While other big budgets games and movies that have photo realistic rendering flop. Realism and/or mesh support is neither necessary nor sufficient for broad appeal and/or success. In fact, by requiring a more powerful computer, you end up shrinking your potential audience and lagging out the ones who stay.

        • For some reason, you seem to think that only “professionals” will be able to take advantage of mesh support. This is simply not the case. Anybody can download a free copy of Blender and plenty of the most skilled developers have taught themselves. If you take the time, you will be able to bring polygonal meshes in world.

          Mesh support will not negate the usefulness or the power of in-world tools. I can’t imagine a scenario in which in-world tools would ever be abandoned, in full or in part. We are not talking about taking anything away here. We are only talking about adding functionality, along with a new level of control over what residents will be able to create. Which brings me to my next point.

          The push for mesh support is not necessarily the push for “realism” in Second Life, like I said, it is the push for control over content creation. “The Simpsons” isn’t produced with magic markers and construction paper, its actually made with Maya (one of the software suites used for 3D animation and, coincidentally, polygon meshes). So are “South Park” and “Futurama.” Know why? Because Maya, and software suites like it, offer an unparalleled level of control over the content they are used to create.

          One last point. If used correctly, polygon meshes would DECREASE lag by bringing poly-counts down in any given scene. Like I said, a Second Life cube is 18 polygons on a side. So if 18×6=108, that means a simple cube, which would consist of 12 triangles total, were it an imported polygon mesh, would then be made up of 108 polygons. That isn’t really a shining example of efficiency. As well, this is only an example of a problem that pretty much infects the entire grid.

          Will people make 60,000 polygon hats? Yes, I’m sure they will. Will everybody tell them to take those stupid hats off as soon as they come within proximity, just like all the other idiots with 500-prim hair and 400-prim mini skirts? Absolutely.

          • Krystal Slade says:

            One thing to add is that if you make sculpties, and know about sculpties, they have a defined points cap, and I’ve seen sculpties in higher quality with a 64×64 than when done on 256×256 based size. On point though, chances are meshes will have a polygon cap, and limit, just like sculpties, as remember, LS uses hardcode LoD and the meshes will need a limit to LOD on. Honestly the rendering that scares me is the shadows. I use Phoenix (used Emerald) and it has a Shadow Rendering Option similar to the one displayed, and it takes me (when I have 4x AA on) from 120 FPS down to 12. Though Phoenix’s shadows end up being AA’d themselves and cause lag, as someone who has AA off, turned them on and went from 42 FPS to a mild 36 FPS. The problem still stand though, that shadows may cause issues, especially since alot of people use special windlight settings to see everything as if full bright, for photogrophy. This will definately kill some photographers, but help others. It’s a matter of existence.

        • Khannea Suntzu says:

          Well boohoo?

  9. Catherine Jade says:

    How would these meshes be animated/manipulated ?

    • That is a bigger question than you may realize. The short version: many software suites used for polygon modeling can also be used to rig models (setup for animation) and then animate them. In concept this information would be brought into Second Life along with the model in question. Although, stuff like this is still way off.

  10. If Second Life supports true mesh objects it will be a big step forward for the entire virtual worlds community — not just Second Life itself. OpenSim worlds, for example, try to remain as compatible with Second Life as possible, so that users can visit with their current browsers. There is an OpenSim variant called realXtend which supports true mesh objects — including full import from COLLADA systems and Google’s 3D Warehouse — but requires the use of the specialized realXtend browser. All major grids currently use OpenSim, with realXtend popular only for specialized projects like architecture demo houses or factory floors.

    – Maria Korolov, editor, Hypergrid Business

  11. [...] This post was Twitted by consiliera [...]

  12. Got Hax says:

    Are those render shadows Cryengine?

  13. Sarah Westland says:

    YAY! This is a step that is ABSOLUTELY required for broader adoption of the platform. There is a lot of pent up demand for this because without it, architects, developers, engineers, etc are simply going to continue leaving Second Life for other platforms that do support mesh imports.

    • Khannea Suntzu says:

      I am in contact with real estators that will use SL *tomorrow* if they can demo their high price range homes and offices using these techniques. I have been hearing muttered curses for the last two years. If they gets rolling, expect a lot of demo sims where you can click a board and a house for sale rezzes into existence. Including video to the side.

      And it isn’t just real estate that is interested. If this gets rolling the first demo of weapon manufacturers (tanks, airplanes, firearms) is not far behind. After that, cars, industrial equipment, chains of production, robotics, restaurants (booking tables). As soon as the first sheep cross that bridge it will be a stampede.

      Regular SL users would by and large not notice since these corporate clients would keep these sims locked off. Most of them would. Some would however synergize and might have the sense to actually SELL some of these articles in SL. There is a market for decently crafted and scripted APC personell carriers in SL.. why not cash in?

      All this will get better and better – and by 2018 the vatican might start thinking about getting a sim.

  14. Kent McDunnough says:

    I’m against this unless it is limited in some way so that residents have to make their own meshes basically from scratch, similar to the way that sculpts work. If we just allow the import of any arbitrary mesh from anywhere we will completely destroy the SL economy. People will just take meshes from the web or from sites like Renderosity and Turbosquid, or even flat out steal them and then simply directly import them into SL and set them for sale. It doesn’t matter what policies are established, the Lab could never afford to hire enough staff to oversee all the violations. Even if they managed xstreet, they coulkd never patrol the entire grid.

    Also there would need to be a LOD complexity limits. Simply expecting someone just to just remove the item won’t work. We’ve all seen the effects of what happens when we don’t limit the tools and force users to be efficient (ie texture sizes used).

    • I agree there will be issues. But I don’t think this is the end of the grid. There seems to be some sort of preconception that the artists on TurboSquid are doing something that the artists in Second Life can’t. Also, its not like everybody in Second Life is going to intuitively know how to grab any model from anywhere and bring it to the grid (doing so will be a relatively technical process, especially if the mesh has to be converted from one format to another), so the problem may not be as wide spread as some are speculating it will be.

      I think I was exaggerating with my 60,000 polygon hat scenario. I have faith that Linden Lab wouldn’t be foolish enough to not cap poly counts.

    • Khannea Suntzu says:

      I wish to import MESHes in SL. Yes you can says Mister Linden, register here as a unique content creator, provide name, residence and sign this contract.

      DO NOT OPEN uploading of meshes to every random idiot who will suck dry Googe Warehouse. Create a membership. Tie that to a premium account, etc.etc.

  15. Ryan Graves says:

    I’m thrilled about this! I’ve been waiting for what feels like forever. It can’t come quick enough. I just hope that they dedicated some time to it. It’s an important feature that they need in order to compete with other platforms, but if they screw it up then it’s worthless. Do we know for certain that they are going with COLLADA? I hope not. That would be the biggest mess and we would probably end up having to do something like cut our meshes in half with all the normals facing inside or some crap like that. Are they going to allow us to determine our own LODs? How are they handling collisions? Because I’m afraid they will really screw up something like that and make this useless. This is great news if they thought it out and I hope they did because we need this bad.

    • No, they haven’t made any final decisions regarding COLLADA. They really haven’t made any final decisions regarding mesh support. It still may not happen, this is just something they’re working on. All I know about setting up LOD is what I saw in T Linden’s presentation, it *looks* like Second Life will decide for you your Levels Of Detail. But then again, NOTHING is set in stone here. Personally, I feel it would be great to be able to define my own levels of detail, not to mention my own collision bounding boxes.

  16. Joshua says:

    I’m just waiting for Marvel to file the DMCA against them. LOL I guess its do as we say, not as we do. LOL

    • I’m no lawyer, but I *think* the way it works is like this. The linden’s bought that model on TurboSquid, so they’re not really breaking any rules there. *If* there was some sort of copyright infringement there, it would lay at the feet of whoever created the model and put it on TurboSquid.

      If anybody could post some clarification on this, that would be great.

      • Lead says:

        I don’t follow you.

        If somebody say, buys a copyrighted work off of a Russian MP3 site that is violating IP rights by even providing it– then you turn around and begin to sell them yourself, you are still violating the original copyright. It doesn’t matter who you get it from, you’re still distributing an infringing work without authorization from the IP holder.

  17. Penelope says:

    @Captain Redgrave
    The Sims do look very realistic !! I tell you why. Costumers are allowed to import Meshes to the Game with costum made Import Programms. EA Games is having a straight Policy about this, telling the Meshes should be available to the whole Sims communety.Costum Content Creation for the Sims is happening since the first Game came out in (think it was) 1999!!

  18. [...] Linden Lab Offically Announces Mesh Support in Second Life at SLCC | Sand Castle Studios – view page – cached At this years Second Life Community Convention, Linden Lab Chief Product Officer Tom Hale, aka T. Linden, showed video of a polygon mesh object responding to a dynamic lighting system. — From the page [...]

  19. [...] Linden Lab Offically Announces Mesh Support in Second Life at SLCC | Sand Castle Studios – view page – cached At this years Second Life Community Convention, Linden Lab Chief Product Officer Tom Hale, aka T. Linden, showed video of a polygon mesh object responding to a dynamic lighting system. — From the page [...]

  20. Welleran says:

    I’m excited, particularly if support will be the same for Mac and Linux clients, and especially, most importantly, if free content creation tools such as blender and Wings3D will be able to create the content.

    Ensuring that blender and Wings can play along will go a long way toward ensuring that content in Second Life can continue to come from amateurs as well as pros who already have a massively expensive tool like Maya. It’s not just the price of the tool that can hold back content creators; it’s also access to education about how to do it with the tools you’ve got.

    Once I got over blender’s unusual interface (with the help of a couple of actual paper books — remember those? — I came to think of it as genius. It’s really clever; I’m in love with it now.

  21. Lead says:

    I really don’t know how I feel about this.

    I’ve worked in many capacities in the gaming industry providing art assets by contract since the early 2000s, and have followed the way that 3d models have progressed in gaming environments, and while the modeler in me cheers that Second Life is getting even the most basic support for meshes, there is another part of me that I feel has legitimate fears about what will happen when this feature is finally implemented into SL.

    It isn’t a matter of simply having copyrighted works put into SL, but it is the ease at which it can be done. Anybody who argues that it is somehow technical, is grasping at straws trying to deny what will inevitably happen. Converting models from games is as easy as downloading a plugin for your favorite 3D Program, importing a model, and exporting it back in a .OBJ or whatever format that SL would be using.

    Sure, there may be a few games (source, whatever) that models are packaged and need to be decompressed, but this is all far easier than sculpties. There have been a few accounts of sculpties being made and textured from skins off of FPSBanana for example, but the technical expertise to do that is far more involved than simply converting a file.

    TurboSquid and Renderosity aren’t even the least of these problems. So many games out there have modding communities full of custom content that would be ripe for ripping into SL. Everything from guns, buildings, props, characters, etc. is at a thief’s fingertip for importing and selling in the game. The problem is compounded by the fact that because so much of the content out there is produced by the users of games, and are not under the umbrella of any major organization or development company, that being able to contact all of them to DMCA content would be literally impossible. It would just flood.

    I believe what SL needs to do is figure out some kind of proprietary system for making and exporting meshes, or else I fear that SL will become awash with more pirated content than exists even today. It’s a problem inherent in SL– we already have people who sell content using assets ripped from a slew of different videogames, using copyrighted brandings, sounds, textures, etc. With something like Second Life, whose capitalist system without proper licencing for sales or real checks on content allows the most unscrupulous piraters to make bank, adding mesh import without any checks would only be enabling this to continue at an increasing and far more accessible rate.

    At least right now, when somebody builds an object using say, copyrighted textures, they still have to physically build the object. With mesh import, they wouldn’t even have to do that. They’d simply upload a file.

    I just really hope LL takes this into consideration before doing something stupid.

    • I didn’t think I was grasping at straws. I just don’t think this is the meta-Apocalypse or something. I’m still not convinced the problem of ripping stuff out of games or off Turbosquid is going to be as widespread as everybody is screaming it will be.

      Everybody isn’t going to be able to do something like this. You said it yourself. All a thief needs is a plugin to their favorite 3D software. Well, that assumes the prospective thief has a favorite 3D software program in the first place, or that they know anything about 3D in general. It may not seem like it to people like us, but this sort of stuff is extremely complicated to most people out there.

      Is there a large number of people ready, willing and able to pull this sort of scam? Yes. However, I bet that number is relatively small when compared to the amount of people out there ready, willing and able to either start working their own polygon meshes on to the grid, or learn how to.

      Yeah, they’re going to have to come up with some new policy to handle this sort of thing, but I tend to have a lot of faith in Linden Lab. I mean, they’ve gotten this far, right?

      Also, in my perfect world, I would penalize not only the people selling stolen stuff (be it content ripped off some website, a video game or somebody else’s SIM), but I would go after the people buying it also. Anybody caught with stolen content in their inventory would think twice about buying anything from just anywhere, and the word would get out about the charlatans in question pretty quick. Maybe nuking peoples accounts for buying stolen property is a little overboard, but some sort of disciplinary action would be great. If the market for stolen goods were cut down, I’m willing to bet it would have a direct effect on the amount of cyber-theft going on in the grid.

  22. Warin Cascabel says:

    Yes, if SL supports polygon mesh import, thieves will be able to rip meshes from other sources and bring it inworld. So let’s avoid polygon mesh import like the plague – surely no original content creators would want to use it! And even if they do, preventing thieves from using it improperly surely outweighs giving honest people the ability to use it for legitimate purposes.

    By the same token, thieves can use computers to rip CDs to MP3s, so let’s ban computers. And let’s ban automobiles, which bank robbers can use as getaway cars; masks, which they can use to obscure their features; guns and knives, which they can use to threaten bank tellers; paper or cloth bags, which they can force bank tellers to stuff the money into; pens, pencils and paper, which they can use to write holdup notes…

    Seriously, though, if you restrict everything that an unscrupulous person *might* abuse, it does a grave disservice to all the honest people who could do something really fantastic with it.

  23. tairov says:

    Just limit mesh import to paying premium accounts with data on file and fine the **** out of them if they rip it from a game. That would murder ripping.

    • I believe most of the problems with content theft will be minimized under the coming “Content Seller Program” which will require that sellers:

      1. “have identity and payment information on file with Linden Lab; ”
      2. “be in good standing and not have been suspended for any violation of the Second Life Terms of Service;
      3. “meet a minimum threshold for content transactions;”
      4. “and affirm that all necessary intellectual property rights and licenses have been obtained for all content that the Resident has for sale.”

      If Linden Labs impliments the program properly and not only enforces it, but actively polices content theft, I think it will solve many of these of these instances and complaints about mesh support.

  24. JD Hansen says:

    Well, I for one am excited. My thoughts are this will really help some of the already great builders in SL create some exciting new things. Now as far as the ‘sky is falling’ approach on the SL ecomony? I dont think so. What I see happening in the marketplace is this… Anything made with ‘Mesh’ properties will be advertised as a ‘Mesh’ product. Therefore the owner will probably charge a little more for the ‘Mesh’ product. All of the other SL object and sculpty product prices will not go down in price. I dont see that happening soon after mesh release. I think with the addition to bringing ‘Mesh’ objects into SL gives us all another way to create fabulous new things. I might be biased on saying this because I did go through college for 3d and have a ton of 3d, polygon, nurbs, animation training. But, IMO its very exciting for the community in general. I dont think the prim builders and businesses have a whole lot to worry about. This will be just another function addition. Remember all the chatter when ‘sculptys’ came into play… oh no! the sky is falling they all said. No, with a little time learning and new ideas, the same builders are in SL and selling and doing greater things. You will all be fine and people will adapt. Its not the end of the world. Embrace change and move with it.

  25. [...] good blog post is here: Linden Lab Announces Mesh Support « Blue Mars Beta This Month Big News? Myst-Uru-SL [...]

  26. [...] be joined at the Metanomics Community forum by Reed Steamroller, who had a wonderful post on the topic over at his company’s blog. Tagged: mesh imports, metanomics, Second [...]

  27. Anhandreu Riederer says:

    What stops someone from taking meshes from Renderosity and selling them on their own web site? Nothing, but once they get popular enough to affect the economy even slightly, someone shuts them down. Building your brand in SL is a slow process and if you don’t have it you don’t sell. Therefore the only ones which can affect SL economy stealing 3d objects are the ones which spend time and money to make their brand and they wont be so silly to risk everything they have. The only problem I see is not that someone will sell stolen meshes, but that vandals will give them free. Thats not a huge problem, since we already have copybot and the free copies given around are not spreading significantly. However LL should have some way of wiping out all the free full mod stolen meshes from the grid, not just banning the guy who created them and leaving them spread.

  28. Thank you for the write up on the import of mesh based 3D objects for Second Life. I am curious to see how Second Life will handle all these large downloads for 3D objects, prims are fast and easy, mesh based models aren’t so it will be interesting to see how Second Life will handle this particular issue.

  29. Animation will have to happen.. regardless of potentially evolving dmca requests revolved around gaming consequences someone might think ahead and offer UI options for various imported obj. files. For example.. think of the manner in which one might import a graphic image and even programs like PS might offering options of output. Maybe in the infancy of programming, this same engineering can certainly work future UI versions.
    Example options in Animated Pre-Requisites
    Character Y
    Building N
    Vegetative Y
    Clothing Y
    Vehicular Y

  30. Thanks for writing this great blog I really enjoyed.

    Greetings from Tim. :)

  31. Future mesh? – if added to vector polygon shapes from vectors would include scripted vectors?
    Might add a level of motion based on real time clock, illumination? Could allude to animated shadow or gravitational properties?

  32. [...] Naali and 3di’s Rei have support for meshes and the new ‘2.0′ Second Life viewer was reported to include them too, though apparantly this is an unfounded rumour. Nonetheless, I expect that the OpenSim server will [...]

  33. OK, so, a lot of people have been screaming about how Mesh Support won’t be included in the Second Life 2.0 viewer. This has led them to believe that Mesh Support isn’t coming at all.

    Lets clear this up right here. Just because Mesh Support won’t be included in the Second Life 2.0 *VIEWER* upgrade, that doesn’t mean it is not coming. The Second Life 2.0 viewer is NOT introducing any new features, to the best of my knowledge. It is simply a User Interface redesign (I suppose though, you could think of THAT as a new feature). Previously, the term “SL 2.0″ has been used, in a broader sense, to reference the new features that are coming, but this is a mistake when speaking about the viewer upgrade.

    If you really think about it, the media API and C# won’t be included w/ SL 2.0 either, but does that mean they won’t eventually come into being?

  34. SL USER says:

    I believe that the only people who will see a problem with this are the ones who are alrady bringing in 3d models into second life. Im sure you can guess why.

  35. [...] links) * Article * Presentation MESH IN, WISDOM OUT: HOW SECOND LIFE MAY INFORM THE NEXT GENERATION OF 3D [...]

  36. Thorno Heliosense says:

    Its about time /

  37. [...] support  was actually first announced at last year’s SLCC by Linden Lab’s (now former) Chief Product Officer, Tom Hale.  After the recent layoffs of [...]

  38. [...] support was first announced at SLCC back in 2009.  Back then we wrote a detailed post defining mesh support and how it would change Second Life.  In a nutshell, mesh support allows [...]

  39. [...] Another good blog post is here: Linden Lab Announces Mesh Support [...]

  40. [...] support was formally announced at last year’s Second Life Community Convention (SLCC).  Since then we have learned more details about mesh, and [...]

  41. [...] top left: Artist Sasun Steinbeck; bottom left: from Computer Science for Fun; bottom right: from Sand Castle Studios.[/box] [...]

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