Mesh/How mesh content affects you
Implications for creators
Creators are able to use a range of external tools to craft content that they can upload to Second Life. The list of content creation tools and their relative efficiency with mesh can be found on the Second Life wiki. This new content pipeline enables significantly more efficient and detailed content creation than with existing prim content. However, creators need to spend time learning both the applications they wish to use and how to optimize content for Second Life. The mesh system exposes values for models (known as weights) to provide insight into how an object affects performance. Mesh content is not intended to replace the existing prim-based content system; each is a viable method of content creation in Second Life.
Given the unique environment of Second Life, many 3D models available for sale on the Internet, while technically compatible, are highly inefficient and consume unnecessary computing and land parcel resources without significant re-work.
Implications for merchants
Both inworld commerce and Second Life Marketplace support the sale of mesh objects. On the Marketplace, only merchants who meet the requirements to upload mesh models are allowed to sell mesh content. As a merchant, if you choose to sell mesh, it is your responsibility to communicate to your customers that the item contains mesh content and may not render correctly if they are not using a viewer that supports mesh.
Merchants who are allowed to upload mesh content are now able to mark listings on the Marketplace as partially or fully composed of mesh content. Marketplace customers can view this data and make informed decisions about whether mesh content is appropriate for their current viewer and prim allotment on their land. For objects that are partially composed of mesh content, the non-mesh prims are re-valued using the same weight calculations as uploaded mesh content. This means that linking a prim to a mesh object can cause the prim to count as more than one prim!
When rezzed, mesh content consumes a set number of the parcel’s supported prims based upon the content’s complexity, in the same way a multi-prim linked object would. For more information on land impact of mesh models, see Calculating land impact.
Implications for consumers
“Mesh” content by itself is not inherently different from other content from a consumer perspective. However, in the hands of talented content creators, mesh provides the opportunity for the creation of highly engaging, detailed, and efficient objects in Second Life. The method used to calculate the effective prim count of a model that contains mesh differs from existing prims and sculpties by measuring the relative impact an object will have on the overall performance of a region. By contrast, prim and sculptie items only show a count of objects, with no consideration for their impact on rendering or server resources. This means that content creators who use mesh effectively can design objects and experiences that not only look amazing, but are optimized for better overall performance and a smoother user experience. Look for more information to help with maintaining maximum performance in future updates.
While the keyword search on Marketplace allows users to search for “mesh” in the listing name and description, we cannot guarantee that the item actually contains mesh content. Unrelated listings may simply describe a mesh fabric or texture, rather than an item created with a 3D tool and then imported for sale. Users should use their own discretion when shopping for mesh objects. Contact the merchant if you are not certain. We are looking for feedback as we consider a more effective way to list mesh content on the Marketplace.