During Philip’s keynote at the 2010 SLCC, we committed to bringing Mesh import to Second Life. This functionality would allow content created in the mainstream 3D creation tools, such as Maya or Blender, to be imported directly into Second Life, in much the same way that animations and textures can be uploaded today. In this case, we would provide support for 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.
Find Out What Our Mesh Import Beta Testers Think
As you know, we have been working on Mesh import for some time and have had an awesome group of Resident beta testers helping us to iron out the kinks. Those testers have been under NDA, but today we will be lifting that NDA so that those folks in the closed beta can talk publicly about their experiences with Mesh in Second Life. This is in line with our desire to be ever more open about what we are working on. Look for other videos, blog posts, and Tweets (#slviewer2) shortly.
In fact, I encourage you to view the Second Life Youtube channel where we already have six videos showcasing Mesh Import technology, contributed by beta testers Draxtor Depres, Timmi Allen, and Matrice Laville.
And, big thanks to all of our Mesh Import beta testers. Your dedication, creativity, feedback, encouragement, and patience has been invaluable. We couldn’t have gotten here without you.
Open Beta Coming Soon
We’re also getting ready to move from the current closed beta, to an open beta so that any Resident interested in helping us to test the Mesh toolset, or just curious about the technology, can get involved. Mesh Import has some incredibly exciting implications for inworld content creators, so we’re very keen to get as much feedback as we can; and of course, the more people that use it, the better the feature will be when we go live gridwide.
The plan is to blog again in two weeks, when we’ll announce when the open beta will be available and talk more about the development process and the remaining work to be done. As you’re starting to see on other projects, there will be a specific Project Viewer for the open beta for Mesh Import that will take Residents to a development grid where Mesh is enabled. The open beta will be a ‘technology demo’ rather than being a complete product -- so you should expect that the user interface will change significantly as we receive your feedback and continue to work on it. The technology for Mesh Import is complex, so making sure that it is not only easy to use, but also a powerful tool for content creators, is part of the challenge. We’re looking forward to getting your help.
I’ll leave you with some great screenshots showing some of the work our beta testers have done. And definitely check out those Mesh Import videos on Youtube. I hope you’ll agree that this is going to be a wonderfully exciting addition to Second Life.