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what is mesh with materials and without materials?


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Materials is a texture property, describing how light from nearby sources reflects off of surfaces.  Creators in SL have only had very rudimentary control over reflectivity until very recently.  Now that they have new tools, it is suddenly quite easy to make metallic surfaces look metallic, gravelly surfaces look gravelly, and snow look granular or fluffy. It doesn't make any difference whether an object is a mesh object created by some external tool or whether it is made of SL's native prims (which are also mesh, anyway). You can apply materials to any surface. To see the effects of materials on surfaces in SL, you have to be able to enable Advanced Lighting, which again has only recently been available to residents with fairly high-end computers.  Take a look at http://community.secondlife.com/t5/English-Knowledge-Base/Materials-Normal-and-Specular-Mapping/ta-p/2034625 for a general description of materials mapping, and http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Case_Study_-_Example_wood_crate_using_materials for an example of how creators use materials.

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Materials is a texture property, describing how light from nearby sources reflects off of surfaces.  Creators in SL have only had very rudimentary control over reflectivity until very recently.  Now that they have new tools, it is suddenly quite easy to make metallic surfaces look metallic, gravelly surfaces look gravelly, and snow look granular or fluffy. It doesn't make any difference whether an object is a mesh object created by some external tool or whether it is made of SL's native prims (which are also mesh, anyway). You can apply materials to any surface. To see the effects of materials on surfaces in SL, you have to be able to enable Advanced Lighting, which again has only recently been available to residents with fairly high-end computers.  Take a look at http://community.secondlife.com/t5/English-Knowledge-Base/Materials-Normal-and-Specular-Mapping/ta-p/2034625 for a general description of materials mapping, and http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Case_Study_-_Example_wood_crate_using_materials for an example of how creators use materials.

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