Saturday, October 16, 2010

Mesh Imports & “Back to Basics” Tech Improvements

On October 13th in the Second Life Blog, Jack Linden announced that the Mesh Import Beta was open to all residents, “Mesh Import allows you to bring models into Second Life from the many popular 3D tools such as Blender or Maya(t), using the COLLADA file format. We see this as an important step to empower content creators to make the inworld experience an even richer and more creative one than it is today.”

Those wanting to use the Beta will need to download a special Mesh Viewer, which will gain them access to the Aditi test grid. It’s sperate from the Main Grid, so anything done there can’t be moved back with you. To help out, a few walkthroughs are available to follow. Residents are reminded the same Terms of Service of the Main Grid also apply here, so only material a resident has rights to can be imported.

Although the base technology that drives mesh is in good shape, we still have some way to go before this is production ready. We wanted to get it into your hands sooner, versus later, to get your feedback. You should only take part if you’re comfortable with beta software that may crash or cause content that you’re working on to break in unexpected ways. In addition, the product design piece -- the user interface -- still needs some work so you can expect that the interface for mesh will change and improve over time. The Mesh Project Viewer will auto-update as we ship updated versions, so when there’s a new version, then you’ll be prompted to install it.

For the beta Grid, the maximum size of a prim was increased from 10 m to 64. This change may soon be main on the Main Grid soon, depending on how these larger prims perform.

For the rest of the blog entry, Click Here.

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The next day on October 14th, FJ Linden announced some new developments for improving performance on Second Life, results of Philip Linden’s “Back to Basics” directive. To combat the “jitters” residents in a sim sometimes got whenever a new resident, especially a number of new residents about the same time, the “slow point” in the code was moved “to a seperate thread.” Faster texture loading times were aimed for, with reduced latency time for Viewer 2. A new group chat service under development was announced, with “test deployment ... by the end of the year.”

The 25 group limit will be raised to 40, with the “qualifier” that if it results in more lag they’ll roll the limit back. There was also a new Main Grid code deploment process, from three to four times a year to a weekly basis. He also announced the “Display Names” Feature was now in public beta, and mentioned the Mesh import beta of the previous day.

Response to the Mesh release was overall positive, with several people reporting some bugs. To the new tech developments, most everyone was happy to hear they’d be able to be in more groups, though a few expressed reservations about the possibility of having to give them up later. Of FJ Linden’s statement lag was being reduced, numerous residents responded they hadn’t noticed any less lag on the Grid.

For the complete blog post on tech improvements and responses, Click Here.

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