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Sylvia Wasp

What's up with Mesh Studio? (fraud claims)

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I've been thinking of buying Mesh Studio for a while and I finally went to MP to put down my $5,000 and its seems the product is not only broken (the servers are down and have been for a long time), but the reviews state that the server is literally "never coming back up."  Yet the product is still for sale in MP for waht amounts to about twenty dollars in real world money.  

Now since this would basically be a case of criminal fraud if it's true, making both Mesh Studio and Linden Labs legally liable for class action suits and even possible criminal prosecution ... I kind of doubt it.  

On the other hand, when you go to any of Mesh Studio's web presences you can't find any information on this at all and no way to even contact them over any issues you might have with their product.  So before I throw away twenty bucks on a non-working product I have some questions:

1) Does anyone really know for sure if the server will ever come back up again?  

2) What happens if it doesn't?  

3) Will Linden Labs refund our money if the servers never come up again?  

4) Why doesn't Mesh Studio offer any information or help on this topic? (what are they hiding?)

5) Why doesn't Linden Labs remove the non-functional product from MP if the servers are non-functional for so long? 

6a) Why isn't there at least a warning on the product on MP?  

6b) Why do you have to go to "reviews" to find out you are about to be completely ripped off?

Finally, why the heck doesn't Linden Labs produce a similar tool?  

There is obviosuly a huge demand for such tools, and there must be many other Second Life users out there like myself who are "masters of the prim" but don't have the skills to use 3D programs like Blender, or the money to pay for them.  Are we supposed to just wander off into the sunset and die?  

Second Life has a huge legacy of fantastic prim builds that will soon be lost forever if a reliable "prim-to-mesh" tool is not introduced post haste.  So many fantastic builders have already left Second Life over this issue.  Isn't it about time this whole thing is fixed "from the top" at Linden Labs?  

Sylvia

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Sylvia Wasp wrote:

I've been thinking of buying Mesh Studio for a while and I finally went to MP to put down my $5,000 and its seems the product is not only broken (the servers are down and have been for a long time), but the reviews state that the server is literally "never coming back up."  Yet the product is still for sale in MP for waht amounts to about twenty dollars in real world money.  

[This happens, sometimes a creator just goes away]

Now since this would basically be a case of
criminal fraud
if it's true, making both Mesh Studio and Linden Labs legally liable for class action suits and even possible criminal prosecution ... I kind of doubt it.  

On the other hand, when you go to any of Mesh Studio's web presences you can't find any information on this at all and no way to even contact them over any issues you might have with their product.  So before I throw away twenty bucks on a non-working product I have some questions:

1) Does anyone really know for sure if the server will ever come back up again?  

[No idea, contact the creator, if no contact, assume not]

2) What happens if it doesn't?  

[You lose money]

3) Will Linden Labs refund our money if the servers never come up again?  

[Resident to resident transaction so Nope!]

4) Why doesn't Mesh Studio offer any information or help on this topic? (what are they hiding?)

[The creator might have just gone away, be dead, uninterested, incapcitated, whatever]

5) Why doesn't Linden Labs remove the non-functional product from MP if the servers are non-functional for so long? 

[They don't consider it worth their effort, i've asked for 'keep alive' activity such that merchants have to regularly indicate that a listing should remain active and that the listing should display the date of the merchant last login.  Nope, not interesting for LL]

6a) Why isn't there at least a
warning
on the product on MP?  

[Who do you expect to write it?  Last merchant login would help though but you can find that from their group, just more work]

6b) Why do you have to go to "reviews" to find out you are about to be completely ripped off?

[see above, there's no other process]

Finally, why the heck doesn't Linden Labs produce a similar tool?

[They don't need to, there are other 3D tools that are FAR more capable and free]

There is obviosuly a huge demand for such tools, and there must be many other Second Life users out there like myself who are "masters of the prim" but don't have the skills to use 3D programs like Blender, or the money to pay for them.  Are we supposed to just wander off into the sunset and die?  

[seriously, learn blender, you do have the skills, just spend some time, no magic bullet and mesh studio isn't a magic fix either.  It's your choice if you choose to wander off and die.]

Second Life has a huge legacy of fantastic prim builds that will soon be lost forever if a reliable "prim-to-mesh" tool is not introduced post haste.  So many fantastic builders have already left Second Life over this issue.  Isn't it about time this whole thing is fixed "from the top" at Linden Labs?  

[such a tool already exists in some of the viewers, to export prim to mesh, what you do with that is up to you though, not much benefit if all you're doing is converting it to mesh of the exact same thing as it won't be optimised]

Sylvia

Actually though, i'm not sure why you feel these legacy builds will be lost soon?  LL isn't making SL mesh only so they can just stick around.

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That product would 'probably' fall under user to user dispute, next to 'caveat emptor'. As you have read the reviews then...

Besides, its not the only tool on MP.

 

As for the rest? There already exist legit TPVs that allow a creator to export either as OXP/XML (the latter still oddly useful) or DAE/OBJ format if they are actually the creator - ie all of it. Mesh ones need a fair bit of clean up (to put it mildly) but the facility exists.

All work fine for taking your stuff out and taking to - who cares, if you are the legit creator.

And blender + at last count about a trillion how to vids will cost you zilch.

 

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Sylvia Wasp wrote:

1) Does anyone really know for sure if the server will ever come back up again? 


It came back online eight days ago and has stayed up since then. There have been quite a few outages this year though and one of them lasted for several weeks. I really hope they've managed to fix the server for good this time.

 


Sylvia Wasp wrote:

3) Will Linden Labs refund our money if the servers never come up again? 


Not very likely.

 


Sylvia Wasp wrote:

5) Why doesn't Linden Labs remove the non-functional product from MP if the servers are non-functional for so long?

Mesh Studio is functioning but there are of course several other broken listings on MP so it's a good question in general. The cynical answer is that Linden Lab still gets their five percent commission from those listings but the real answer is probably that LL lost control over MP long ago. The whole thing is in shambles.

 


Sylvia Wasp wrote:

6a) Why isn't there at least a
warning
on the product on MP? 

Very good question. I've asked them and the answer is basically that they always expect it to be a quick fix - and then it turns out to be more difficult than they thought.

 


Sylvia Wasp wrote:

There is obviosuly a huge demand for such tools, and there must be many other Second Life users out there like myself who are "masters of the prim" but don't have the skills to use 3D programs like Blender, or the money to pay for them.  Are we supposed to just wander off into the sunset and die? 


Why not build with prims? It's a underrated material these days.

Anybody can afford Blender of course, it's a free program, but yes, it is rather complicated to use. However - and this is a very important and often overlooked point - it is not easy to make good mesh with a prim-to-mesh converter either and if it's not good mesh, it's usually better to just leave the build as prims. If you want to make mesh that can match prims in technical quality, you have to know how to make LoD models and physics models because the ones the uploader tries to generate automatically are pure garbage.

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ChinRey wrote:

Why not build with prims? It's a underrated material these days.

Anybody can afford Blender of course, it's a free program, but yes, it is rather complicated to use. However - and this is a very important and often overlooked point - it is not easy to make
good
mesh with a prim-to-mesh converter either and if it's not good mesh, it's usually better to just leave the build as prims. If you want to make mesh that can match prims in technical quality, you have to know how to make LoD models and physics models because the ones the uploader tries to generate automatically are pure garbage.

You are right that Mesh Studio shouldn't be used converting all prim builds to mesh.  However it is great for meshing simple things to lower land impact.  

Not everyone has the time or ability to learn how to use Blender.  It has a steep learning curve that can take a year or more to learn well, even for 'smart' people.  Even those who learn to use it don't necessarily produce 'good mesh'.  It takes even more time and effort to produce that.

If using Mesh Studio to lower land impact for simple builds works, that's a good thing IMO.  

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I don't know why you bothered to spend the time replying here.  You've added nothing but som snarky insulting comments.  

My point was that to offer a non-functional product for sale is (technically) criminal fraud.  This is a bit beyond simply buying the wrong size panties on MP.  

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re: "why not build with prims?"

Because no one wants a build that's made out of a dozen prims and has a land impact in the high 90's when they can get a mesh object with a land impact of one or two to do the same job.  

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Exactly.  For example I used to make a TV set for sale on MP, it had 60-70 prims but it was beautiful.  I got endles compliments on it.  It's just a little jokey thing that plays animations and costs only 10L but now ... no one wants this.  

If your entire house is only one mesh object and you are a nooob living on a tiny plot of land, why would you want to have a 70 prim TV set?  

Also, a lot of things like railings, stairs, etc. simply can't be done with prims becuase then the build would be hundreds and hundreds.  So the old way was to make some crappy texture of railings or stairs and apply it to a single prim.  

Mesh is necessary and rapidly taking over.  LL needs to give peope the tools to work with it.  

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Sylvia Wasp wrote:

re: "why not build with prims?"

Because no one wants a build that's made out of a dozen prims and has a land impact in the high 90's when they can get a mesh object with a land impact of one or two to do the same job.  

It's very unlikely you'll get that result from a Mesh Studio model, nor anything approximating it. If Land Impact efficiency is a serious goal, there's just no substitute for modeling directly in a "mesh native" tool such as Blender.

A tool such as Mesh Studio can be useful for quick-and-dirty preservation of personal builds with some LI reduction, but its output just can't be comparable to a commercial quality model. It's possible to tweak that output, but that tweaking might be more work than just starting from scratch.

(Just in passing, it's unlikely that a "land impact in the high 90's" is the result of a dozen prims, correctly handled, unless something very special is needed. It's theoretically possible, I guess, that some application may really want the precise complexity of an exotic Prim physics shape, but otherwise that kind of LI inflation suggests the Physics shape assignment is inappropriate for some prims in the linkset.)

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Sylvia Wasp wrote:

I don't know why you bothered to spend the time replying here.  You've added nothing but som snarky insulting comments.  

My point was that to offer a non-functional product for sale is (technically) criminal fraud.  This is a bit beyond simply buying the wrong size panties on MP.  

There was nothing in the least snarky or insulting. This is yet another case of someone asking a question in the forum and when they dont like the answers, they pitch a fit and claim they have been insulted.

 

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Sylvia Wasp wrote:

I don't know why you bothered to spend the time replying here.  You've added nothing but som snarky insulting comments.  

My point was that to offer a non-functional product for sale is (technically) criminal fraud.  This is a bit beyond simply buying the wrong size panties on MP.  

The point about non functional products has been discussed before, other examples include dance machines, web vending systems and more.

As I wrote, LL won't implement simple mechanisms to help customers avoid this, showing the date when the merchant last logged on would help a customer be aware if the merchant was still around.  Incredibly simple attribute to add to the listing page.  Requring merchants to periodically action an event to keep a listing active otherwise it would be auto de-listed would remove products from inactive merchants with dead back end systems.

You may not like my brief factual answers to each of your questions but each was precise and... factual.

There is as much incentive for LL to offer an inworld building tool as there is for LL to offer an inworld painting tool for textures, the tools to do this external to SL are plentiful with excellent free options.

Sylvia, you've been here long enough to know how MP works, what the issues are and why LL doesn't address them.

Pam beat me to the obvious statement of "If you don't like the answer, don't ask the question" because unfortunately, in this case, that's the issue.  However when it comes to skin thickness, rhino's and elephants are in the queue behind me so I will continue to bother to answer posts with factual responses whether the recipient likes the answers or not!

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Qie Niangao wrote:


Sylvia Wasp wrote:

re: "why not build with prims?"

Because no one wants a build that's made out of a dozen prims and has a land impact in the high 90's when they can get a mesh object with a land impact of one or two to do the same job.  

It's very unlikely you'll get that result from a Mesh Studio model, nor anything approximating it. If Land Impact efficiency is a serious goal, there's just no substitute for modeling directly in a "mesh native" tool such as Blender.

A tool such as Mesh Studio can be useful for quick-and-dirty preservation of personal builds with
some
LI reduction, but its output just can't be comparable to a commercial quality model. It's possible to tweak that output, but that tweaking might be more work than just starting from scratch.

I can mesh simple shapes using Mesh Studio in just a few minutes that can reduce LI considerably.  I recently did an object that was built out of nothing but the cube shape but took 9 prims and reduced it to one. In blender it would take a LOT more than just a 20 minutes it took me to make and it would be unlikely to reduce the LI to less than one.  

(Just in passing, it's unlikely that a "land impact in the high 90's" is the result of a dozen prims, correctly handled, unless something very special is needed. It's theoretically possible, I guess, that some application may really want the precise complexity of an exotic Prim physics shape, but otherwise that kind of LI inflation suggests the Physics shape assignment is inappropriate for some prims in the linkset.)

In my post, which Sylvia was responding to,  I said nothing about using Mesh Studio to mesh exotic prim shapes.  I pointed out it was great for
simple
prim shapes.  I also pointed out that n
ot everyone has the time or ability to learn how to use Blender. 

I have recently als used it reduce a a skybox I built for a friend with numerous windows and double doors and a beam ceiling, again made with all cubes, from 125 prims to just 29 and those 29 had at least five faces each to texture.  The build and the steps to mesh it took far less time than it would have in Blender.  Perhaps Blender could have reduced it to a few less prims, but time is money and my friend was very pleased with the results.

If someone is going to build things to sell who has neither the time and/or ability to learn Blender can get similar results why is that a bad thing?

I do agree that Blender is the best tool for exotic prim shapes and more complicated builds.  But Mesh Studio does have it's uses.

 

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Amethyst Jetaime wrote:

In my post, which Sylvia was responding to,  I said nothing about using Mesh Studio to mesh exotic prim shapes.  I pointed out it was great for
simple
prim shapes.  I also pointed out that n
ot everyone has the time or ability to learn how to use Blender. 

With "exotic Prim shapes" I was talking about something else, not about exotic appearing shapes, but about retaining the Prim physics shape for the less common shapes, and this all in response to some big LI inflation numbers cited in the post. Scary huge LIs can arise, for example, applying Materials surfaces to weirdly twisted shapes, or relatively untortured torii, but only if they can't be converted to Physics shape = Convex Hull or None, and usually we don't really need such precise physics for those prims and can replace their Physics with a cheap hunk of transparent cube or cylinder and save tons of LI. The point being that something like Mesh Studio isn't even need for some quick-and-dirty LI reduction in those kind of situations.


I do agree that Blender is the best tool for exotic prim shapes and more complicated builds.  But Mesh Studio does have it's uses.
 

I too said that tools such as Mesh Studio are useful for some things. Personally, I don't think I could ever convince myself to distribute a previously prim item simply "meshed" by such a tool: I couldn't stop myself from getting it in Blender then obsessively removing all those extra edges and faces, then I'd get dissatisfied with the UV map and textures, and before I was done, it would be more work than doing it right from scratch. But that's my OCD, I suppose, about stuff I distribute. For personal, one-time use items, I'd have no problem simply leaving the Studio results as-is.

Now, I'm no fan of Blender, and certainly no expert -- and I know I'll never be one, either, because I find it all unbearably tedious, same as I'd feel about off-line prim building. Hence I use it as little as possible and only under duress. (Instead, these days I spend a lot more time scripting, something I at least can still do in-world.) But that said, somebody who is really interested in putting 3D objects into the world as our OP seems to be, should just bite the bullet and spend a few hours in a tutorial, learning enough Blender to get started. For all its idiosyncracies, it's not that impenetrable for typical building uses, and with just a bit more time it opens up powerful functions  that simply can't be done with prims, with features that are just inherently more complex than Build Tool manipulations.

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Amethyst Jetaime wrote:

If someone is going to build things to sell who has neither the time and/or ability to learn Blender can get similar results why is that a bad thing?


"Sell" is the crucial word here. What you make for your own use is nobody's business but your own and for that Mesh Studio can be an excellent tool.

But things are very different the moment you expect people to pay you money for your works. You can't sell meshes uploaded with auto-generated LoD models or physics models, not if you have any respect for your customers or yourself. It is perfectly possible to create those models with Mesh Studio but basically that means building and meshing each of them separately and also figure out a way to keep the mesh faces to be swapped between the models. Once you start doing that, you're probably better off spending the time learning Blender.

As for meshing SL's "huge legacy of fantastic prim builds", that can only be done if we also keep the technical quality at least as good as the prim originals: no dodgy physics or LoD breakdowns whatsoever!

I once tried to do that with Eric Linden's Atoll Footbridge and Walkways. I got the small walkway down from 13 to 2 LI, the medium walkway from 20 to 3 and the footbridge from 21 to 4. (I actually kept some prim parts for the footbridge since meshing them at the required quality level would have increased the LI.) Not bad at all of course but it was two days of hard work for those three fairly small items. Imagine doing something like that on a large scale! Also, remember that a simple change to convex hull will reduce the prim versions LI by half anyway.

Edit: I should add that I use Mesh Studio myself for almost all my builds. I've found it to be an absolutely wonderful supplement to Blender: Build as much as possible in-world with prims, mesh with Mesh Studio and do the rest of the work in Blender and you get the best of two worlds.

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Sylvia Wasp wrote:

My point was that to offer a non-functional product for sale is (technically) criminal fraud. 

Not sure that it is fraud by any legal definition.

1) You are talking about US$18.45. Although lawyers will happily take your thousands, most courts would not allow you to waste their time for the price of a couple of Big Macs.

2) It's a virtual item in a computer game, not a real world device.

 

Also, your argument would be with the creator, TheBlack.Box - who looks to be German. So you would need to do your law suit in his country, not yours.

 

As SL progresses further along it's long tail to extinction we will hit this problem a lot more. All the server based tools will die, and that likely includes all the casper rent/vendor tools one day.

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TakumiAigan wrote:

[...] As SL progresses further along it's long tail to extinction we will hit this problem a lot more. All the server based tools will die, and that likely includes all the casper rent/vendor tools one day.

Yeah, although I'm not sure it will become any more of a problem than it already has been, historically. Anything relying on an external server supplied by a third party is doomed to end in tears, sooner or later.

On the plus side, though, there's less real need for some things to rely on external servers, thanks to free in-world storage as part of Experiences, and the older http scripting features. These still have to fit inside script limits for string I/O and manipulation (and certainly can't link to third party libraries!) so they can't do big stuff such as converting a 3D model and generating a .dae for upload, but there have been a lot of little web services that now can be replaced by all in-world scripting.

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