Second Life Technical Some neat discoveries with Second Life's new Mesh upload features.

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Some neat discoveries with Second Life's new Mesh upload features. PDF Print E-mail
Second Life - Technical
Written by Skidz Tweak   
Sunday, 03 January 2016 03:38

I was playing around with the new mesh upload features in Firestorm that LL recently released, and I have to say I love them! I wanted to share a couple things I discovered. 

I knew that if you uploaded a model with more than eight faces, it would break up the model, so I fought to figure out how I could control which faces are broken up. It turns out to be relatively simple. 

Face orders are determined by alphabetical order of the material name in Blender. In the picture above I have ten faces, ten materials named A - J. The first eight faces stay together, and then the next eight as well. So you just have to name you materials in a alphabetical order based on how you want the faces to be broken up (I sure wish there was an add-on for that). Just to be clear, even though the materials in the picture above are stacked in alphabetical order, they don’t have to be. I could change C to Z and it would be a part of the last two faces.

This is the result: you can see the last two faces are their own object when uploading. 

But look at where the pivot point is. It’s still the same as if it was one whole object. This is awesome in so many ways.

  1. You could upload a house as one object, and every piece of the house just has to be moved to the exact same position and it would match up.
  2. You can use this to control the pivot point on doors, or other things.
  3. With sculpties you could control the bounding box, and this made so many things possible, with this trick you’re basically doing the same thing, except the physics will be better (I think). 

This really is neat for larger builds.

But this also got me thinking... I know how SL can treat mesh when two separate objects meet, creating shadow lines, even if they meet perfectly. It leaves lines due to the way SL lighting interprets the model it’s hitting. So I thought I would do some tests to see how well it handles this. 

In the picture above you can see I have two strips. The one on the left I changed the material name "C" to "Z," making it part of the last two faces. To clarify, this means it will be separate from the first eight faces when uploaded. Then on the right, I have the same strip, but this time I manually separated the same face from the mesh and uploaded the two objects together at one time. 

You can tell based off the selection outline that they are separate from the rest of the strip. 

Now take a look at these images. You can clearly see lines where I manually separated the face. Compare this to where the upload separated the faces. 

This picture was taken at the graphics level between low and mid.

This picture was taken at a graphics level right below ultra (ultra looked worse for the right but looked good on the left, but I forgot to grab a picture).

Here we have the same results at a graphics level one below ultra.

It is clear to see that letting SL upload break up your model really makes a difference when it comes to seams or edges meeting up. Doing it manually results in lines.

The Summary

For all of you too lazy to read all that (I am in that boat most of the time), here’s a quick summary:

  1. Face order when uploading is determined by the alphabetical order of the material names in Blender.
  2. You can control which faces get separated when uploading to SL based on this information, the first eight, the next eight, and so on will become different objects.
  3. You can also use this trick to control where the pivot point on an object is since it maintains a bound box of the original size even after being separated out into different objects. 
  4. The way two edges come together and how they’re affected by SL lighting is dramatically better when you let SL separate out the face to different objects when uploading, instead of doing it manually in Blender.

Well, that's it really! Just thought this was really interesting and people would want to see what a difference it makes. This opens up a lot of new possibilities when it comes to your larger builds.

Thanks for reading :)

Last Updated on Sunday, 03 January 2016 17:43


0 #1 Cindy 2016-01-03 05:24
Very useful info, thanks skidz

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Should the TMat 4.0 be made of Mesh? This does not mean it will support mesh, just made of mesh..

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