Second Life has the ability to import 3D models (meshes) created in popular tools such as Maya, 3DS Max, Blender, and so on.
Why use meshes in Second Life?
Mesh models enable more detailed, complex, realistic, and creative objects and avatars. Designers can use external software tools to design avatars and other content for use inworld. Avatar designs can be joint-rigged, allowing natural-looking animation without a need for extra scripting.
What kinds of objects can be imported as a mesh?
Mesh supports models represented as COLLADA files. Many applications can create COLLADA files, or can create files that can be converted into COLLADA format. COLLADA is a very general format, so not all COLLADA files will be supported. Learn more about how to create a mesh for import to Second Life here.
Meshes may be general purpose, representing simple geometry, or rigged, in which case they also store information allowing them to be animated along with a Second Life avatar.
To try out mesh:
- Go to one of all the sandboxes in Second Life. See Second Life Public Sandboxes.
- Some sandboxes may become overcrowded with Residents and have poor performance. If you see objects that look like a lot of flat triangles, try moving to another region.
- See what people have been working on, or try uploading some sample content of your own!
Brief demo and introduction to mesh
- Mesh - A collection of triangles with a single transformation matrix, roughly equivalent to a "Prim" in SL.
- Submesh - A subset of a mesh, equivalent to a "Face" on a normal prim. Associated with a texture entry.
- Model - A mesh or collection of meshes, equivalent to a "Coalesced Object".
- Aditi - The Second Life beta grid, where you can test new features and ideas, such as mesh upload, without risk to any of your Second Life assets. For more information, see Preview Grid.
- Land impact - Mesh objects are equivalent to one or more traditional second life prims. For information on prim equivalence, see Calculating land impact.
Types of meshes
A simple mesh is a mesh with a single face. It has a single color and texture, and can model a simple object in the real world.
A multi-face mesh is a mesh with multiple textures.
A rigged mesh is a mesh with an internal virtual skeleton. Manipulating the virtual skeleton causes corresponding changes in the shape of the mesh, which allows the mesh to be animated.
Try uploading your first mesh model to Second Life! See Uploading a mesh model to get started.
A mesh is of a collection of vertices, edges, and faces that define a 3D shape, made in an external program.
Second Life can import meshes in the COLLADA 1.4.1 (.dae) file format. COLLADA is a powerful open standard format consisting of human-readable XML. Although Second Life uses COLLADA for importing mesh data, it internally uses a custom format for uploading, storage, and streaming of mesh content.
|Note: While the COLLADA spec supports everything from polygons to nurbs, the Second Life mesh importer only imports polygonal data. This means that you must convert your models to meshes before exporting to a COLLADA file.|
More than you'll ever need to know about COLLADA:
Here are some examples of files in COLLADA .dae file format. Mesh/Sample_Content