Good-bye, meshes!


Both for academia (and business) as well as residential users, the lack of meshes is slowly impossible to endure for much longer, specially because the alternatives — Unity3D for academia/business to do stand-alone virtual worlds; OpenSim for pretty much everybody — either directly support them or their support is going to be more aggressively pursued, now that LL abandoned it. There is no 3D virtual world out there without meshes, even if some mesh support is very limited. It’s also true that no virtual world allows in-world building to the degree that Second Life/OpenSim allow, but that’s no excuse for not giving a “mesh builder” as part of the SL viewer. While LL kept the promise of implementing them — and periodically leaking videos made from special viewers fully allowing meshes, which have been around for over a year and a half — residents would patiently wait for LL to finish their work. The excitement around the possibility of having meshes attached to special avatar attachment points to create a new fashion revolution was well worth waiting a few months longer. The promise to introduce a simple, but efficient, way of dealing with content theft was also welcome. All these ideas were worth waiting a bit longer to mature, and stalling all work at OpenSim’s own mesh implementation was worthwhile. We held our collective breaths for a little while longer and patiently wait, like we always have done in the past.

With Philip’s announcement that meshes “need more thinking”, shortly followed by kicking out every qualified programmer who had a clue on how the rendering engine worked (except for Runitai, at least for now…), the message changed, and was quite clear: Linden Lab isn’t going to implement meshes, ever. Meshes will go the way of all other unfinished and abandoned projects, which LL keeps piling up, like avatar puppeteering for example — yet another waste of talent, time, and huge costs. I was personally appalled with this announcement, since I was fervently believing that Philip would at least take the opportunity to set some things straight at the ‘Lab, and, after the announcement of desiring a “leaner”, downsized LL, one would assume that the first thing to do is not to waste precious developer time and abandon projects midway.

But then again, I should read more Dilbert:

And my favourites:

CC BY 4.0 Good-bye, meshes! by Gwyneth Llewelyn is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

About Gwyneth Llewelyn

I'm just a virtual girl in a virtual world...

  • After seeing what Unity 3D can do on web browsers, mobile units and other hardware, I’m convinced it will be a major force for creating 3D contents across multi-platforms. What Unity 3D can do with current technology is pretty amazing, imagine what it could do with cloud based programs as technology becomes available. It’s probably just matter of time before a well funded group put out a virtual world based on Unity 3D.

    Metanomics did an interview with Unity 3D back in March. It has many good points about future of game industries and some points about SL.

    As for SL…mesh import capability is not as important as the core itself, Windlight, a yesteryear’s rendering engine. I’m hoping that LL is talking to Unity 3D or others rendering engines, since LL has mentioned web and mobile unit based viewer for SL. I don’t know how that is possible with Windlight.

    We’re still at the infancy stage of metaverse, metaverses like SL, Blue Mars and others either evolve along with new techs or go extinct. I hope LL will evolve fast enough. At the meantime, I’m squeezing “Learn Unity 3D” into my calender. 🙂