Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Gaia Clary

Blender 2.62 with Secondlife support

Recommended Posts

Welcome Blender 2.62

Blender 2.62 is out. This is the first Blender release after 2.49b which fully supports Second Life compatible Collada export files. In the "COLLADA (.dae)" export module you will find a new option "Export for Second Life".

sl_export_option.png

If you check this option, your rigged meshes (with or without joints offsets) will be exported compatible to Second Life as long as the meshes conform to the Second Life constraints. The most important constraints for rigged meshes are:

 

  • The mandatory set of 21 bone weight groups has to be supplied 
  • All vertices of the meshes must be weighted.
  • The meshes orientation must be (z: vertical axis | y: left-right axis)
  • Rotation must be applied (in Object mode)
  • Scale should be applied (in Object mode)
  • Collapsed triangles must be avoided in physics shapes

Second Life now "Collada stakeholder"

In agreement with the Blender developers Second Life has become the current stakeholder for Collada support. That means whatever future changes will be applied to the Collada module, it will be tested to keep the Second Life compatibility intact. This will currently be ensured by 2 new Blender developers

 

  • Juha Mäki-Kanto
  • Domino Marama

I myself will keep the threads all together and help in organizing testing and documenting. Please feel free to report any upcoming errors to the Blender Bug tracker and if you have ideas or whishes regarding Collada, then you are invited to add your comments to the discussion section of the Collada Import/Export todo page

No future for the "SL Collada" Addon

Please note that my own "SL Collada" export helper addon has become obsolete starting from Blender 2.62. And in fact it will give you an error when you try to use it in release 2.62 and newer.

Cheers,

Domino, Juha, Gaia

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh?

Hmm, what to think of this. Are you an advocate to spin off Collade for SL? Your text reads so commercial, all hurray.

Earlier i did clearly understand that Blender was to take their hands off of Collada due to instability and too low quality of consistancy of creation and upload. Reason: some staff fired from Sony have started Collada as an open source initiative and the progression sofar has been in its child birth phase. 

In other words, are SL and Blender not too early to jump on that train departing likely to be derailed?

Now, in the IT corporate business such has happened before, but did not more 3D software companies take their hand off of Collada?

LL bought all shares? LL bought an exclusive license? LL bought a (near) bankrupt venue?

LL has bought a cheap license from a near dead team who left Sony?

In other words SL is therefore the only main stakeholder left with Blender as their vehicle to spread the word for them for a lost case?

In other words... so Collada indeed is to bleed to a certain death in an isolated business case?

I mean if it is to be that Collada is for LL and SL only now, that says a lot... 

Just asking.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Linda Brynner wrote:

Oh?

Hmm, what to think of this. Are you an advocate to spin off Collade for SL? Your text reads so commercial, all hurray.


I do not exactly understand what you mean here. The decision to continue Collada support was made by Blender as well as the decision to make Second Life the stake holder for Blender's Collada implementation. And it was the above mentioned developer team that brought Collada support back to the level where it is fully useful for Second Life. So i do not exactly follow where this post has a commercial touch ?


Earlier i did clearly understand that Blender was to take their hands off of Collada due to instability and too low quality of consistancy of creation and upload.

The main reason for considering to kick Blender's Collada support was the lack of Developer initiative and the fact that most Collada reports where dropped to the TODO stack or never fixed. The main problems with Collada itself seems to be that the specifications are too complex. The main reason for Second Life to use it was that it is an open format, it is supported by many tools and it supports rigged and weighted meshes.


Reason: some staff fired from Sony have started Collada as an open source initiative and the progression sofar has been in its child birth phase. 

In other words, are SL and Blender not too early to jump on that train departing likely to be derailed?

I thought that Collada has its root somewhere in OpenGL and it exists since many years and is constantly developped.


In other words, are SL and Blender not too early to jump on that train departing likely to be derailed?

Now, in the IT corporate business such has happened before, but did not more 3D software companies take their hand off of Collada?

I do not know if any companies have dropped Collada. There are (or have been ) some issues with the OpenCollada library which seems to contain unfixed bugs or inconsistencies. That makes it a bit problematic for Blender to get their own issues fixed. Because of that there is an ongoing investigation for alternatives to the OpenCollada library, but at the moment Blender keeps with what we have now and we will see in the future if we can keep on this train, or if we (Blender) has to move to an alternative implementation. But kicking Collada is currently not an issue.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oups...  Some more remarks on your post while i was responding :)

I guess you missed the fact that Blender is Open Source ? Maybe you missed the fact that Linden Labs is not at all involved in this effort ? And maybe you missed the fact that we are NOT(!) developing Collada for Secondlife, but Second Life is the first target system that will be tested against any new development in Blender's Collada export module. So it is currently the stakeholder.

But just asking ... What would be your alternative ? If Collada is such a desatreous idea ? What would work better for you (us, the Second Life users) if we could choose ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wonderful news for rigged mesh ppl, Gaia -- once again you contribute something huge to the community, entirely without compensation (and once again get slapped for your alleged "commercialism").

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Linda Brynner wrote:

Oh?

Hmm, what to think of this. Are you an advocate to spin off Collade for SL? Your text reads so commercial, all hurray.

Earlier i did clearly understand that Blender was to take their hands off of Collada due to instability and too low quality of consistancy of creation and upload. Reason: some staff fired from Sony have started Collada as an open source initiative and the progression sofar has been in its child birth phase. 

In other words, are SL and Blender not too early to jump on that train departing likely to be derailed?

Now, in the IT corporate business such has happened before, but did not more 3D software companies take their hand off of Collada?

LL bought all shares? LL bought an exclusive license? LL bought a (near) bankrupt venue?

LL has bought a cheap license from a near dead team who left Sony?

In other words SL is therefore the only main stakeholder left with Blender as their vehicle to spread the word for them for a lost case?

In other words... so Collada indeed is to bleed to a certain death in an isolated business case?

I mean if it is to be that Collada is for LL and SL only now, that says a lot... 

Just asking.

 

LOL! As Gaia points out, you just showed a truly astonishing amount of ignorance here.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ignorance, well wel,

Did we all understand that Collada is from a fired team from Sony? And... did we all understand that the specs from this open source project are way too complex? Did we all understand that this kind of complexity and open source thingy isn't very reliable consistent from a quality point of view? Did we all understand that open souce = never top notch quality. SL wants to be leading, no?

My point: why waste so much time (full years) and effort for so little while breaching the experience (speed, stability, relevance) for so many and isolating SL more in such a way that it is condemned to stay a technological niche on the internet ... thus not be "inviting" to get out of the isolated cage to become mainstream.

The answer is given, it is too complex... thus... not for the average user, thus for the geeks, thus not adding to SL growth and real prosperity.

It's a waste of expensive time. We'll talk in a few years from now :matte-motes-wink:

Alternative? Irrelevant.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I suppose it's because LL has not supplied any tools for creators but endorsed Collada for us to use. So the creators of SL had to do something. This is the result.

-----------------------------------

Anyway, forget all that noise.

Kudos goes to the "Team" who got Collada into Blender and the bonus SL support.

Hip Hip Hooray,  Hip Hip Hooray, Hip Hip Hooray!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe first read
, an article at Wikipedia (But please only if you trust that source of course!) Please feel free to tell your sources of knowledge about Collada too.

Your questions in more detail:

  • Did we all understand that this kind of complexity and open source thingy isn't very reliable consistent from a quality point of view?

     

    Who said so ? If you want to point back to me, read my initial post again in more detail.

  • Did we all understand that open souce = never top notch quality.

     

    No, i did not. Please would you mind to explain ?

  • My point: why waste so much time (full years) and effort for so little while breaching the experience (speed, stability, relevance) for so many and isolating SL more in such a way that it is condemned to stay a technological niche on the internet ... thus not be "inviting" to get out of the isolated cage to become mainstream.

     

    Who wastes so much effort for what exactly ? And what does isolate Second Life in that regard ? And what is condemend to stay a technological niche and not inviting ?

  • The answer is given, it is too complex... thus... not for the average user, thus for the geeks, thus not adding to SL growth and real prosperity.

     

    Even if Collada is complex (i guess you mean Collada here) it is not the intention to educate every single user about how Collada functions, but it is the intention to make the tools work correctly. Blender now has a strong group of volunteering developers who almost for sure will get this task solved. And btw we are not asking for getting funded. We fund our self.

  • It's a waste of expensive time. We'll talk in a few years from now :matte-motes-wink:

     

    In a few years from now things may have changed dramatically. Who knows which invention will come next and make the world even more excited ? True 3D displays come to mind, as well as real time animation control, new graphic concepts for more realistic graphical display, quantum computers...

 
  • Alternative? Irrelevant.

     

    So this either means "Collada is the best we can get", or "its the only we can get" But that would be just 100% the opposite of what you are putting to question (if i understand your questions correctly).

     

    The only alternative interpretation i can think of would be "we do not need collada or anything comparable at all" But that would also mean that you are not interested at all in getting mesh to Second Life. But then i wonder why you put our effort to question at all, as it should be irrelevant to you...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Linda Brynner wrote:

Did we all understand that Collada is from a fired team from Sony? And... did we all understand that the specs from this open source project are way too complex? Did we all understand that this kind of complexity and open source thingy isn't very reliable consistent from a quality point of view? Did we all understand that open souce = never top notch quality. SL wants to be leading, no?

-----

The COLLADA standard is maintained by the
, which is a not for profit consortium that also manages other graphics standards, like OpenGL, which is what Second Life runs on.  There is no such thing as a reliable file conversion between any 3D programs, even between different versions of the same program.  At the moment COLLADA  is the best we have for a conversion that works between multiple programs.

Here are the members of the Khronos group.  Is anyone you know not here? The ones that really matter for Second Life are AMD, intel, and Nvidia, because 99% of SL users get their graphics from one of them.  They in turn have an interest in seeing more 3D models get used everywhere, because then they sell more graphics chips.

 

members.png

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Linda Brynner wrote:

Ignorance, well wel,

Yes, ignorance, Linda.  Almost nothing you've posted so far in this thread has much to do with the reality on the ground.   Let's take it one point at a time, and see if we can't clear it up for you.

 


Linda Brynner wrote:

 

Did we all understand that Collada is from a fired team from Sony?

COLLADA was originally developed at Sony, yes, but Sony was hardly the only company involved.  It was a collaborative effort between Sony, and many leading 3D graphics companies, including Autodesk, Avid, Alias, and others.   

The goal was to develop a data set specification for an in-between file format that could effectively bridge the tremendous gulf between various proprietary native formats utilized by so many differing 3D modeling programs and game platforms.  The effort was quite successful, in that regard, and the format is currently in widespread use across the industry (as are a few others that acheive similar ends).

Today, COLLADA is maintained not by Sony, but by the Khronos Group, a non-profit organization whose membership includes leading graphics companies, game studios, educational istitutions, and tech firms.  Key members include Adobe, Electronic Arts, Epic, Unity, nVidia, ATI, Apple, IBM, Google, Mozilla, Motorola, Samsung, Intel, Sun, Yamaha, among many, many others.  There are over 100 member organizations in total.

 

As for your notion that COLLADA came from a "fired team", I'm not sure where you're getting that.  Sony works with all kinds of development teams, on all kinds of projects, for every length of time you could possibly think of.  I've done work for Sony myself, on more than one occasion.  The fact that I don't have a permanent position with them doesn't in any way mean I was ever fired by them.  I work on a per-project basis, as do most people I know in this industry.  When a project is done, I simply move on to the next one, whether it be with the same client or a different one.

Even if the people who happened to have worked on COLLADA in the beginning did end up getting fired later, though, who cares?  It doesn't change the fact that COLLADA exists, nor does it in any way diminish the fact that it's currently in widespread use.

 


Linda Brynner wrote:

 

And... did we all understand that the specs from this open source project are way too complex?

Too complex how, exactly?  I've never seen any evidence that COLLADA is any more or less complicated than any other 3D format with equal capabilities.  If you yourself do not understand how it works, that's unfortunate for you.  But that doesn't mean those who actually use it have such troubles.

Blender's issue with it had simply been a lack of manpower.  Blender is developed entirely by volunteers, after all, so in order to get it to do ANYTHING, at least one developer somewhere in the world has to be actively interested in making it happen.   That problem has been solved, as there is now a dedicated development team, committed to making sure COLLADA remains functional within Blender for the forseeable future.  Bringing attention to that fact was the whole point of this thread.  I'm not sure why you seem to have thought otherwise.

 


Linda Brynner wrote:

 

Did we all understand that this kind of complexity and open source thingy isn't very reliable consistent from a quality point of view?

It sounds like you just don't believe in the viability of open source, Linda.  That's an unfortunately narrow viewpoint.  The truth is there are all kinds of highly successful open source projects in existence on this planet, many of which are far more complex than COLLADA ever could be. 

As for quality, both open and closed source projects have their share of high and low quality results.  Blender happens to be an example of an open source project that is both highly complex, and very high in quality.  COLLADA, as just a text-based file format, is infinitely less complex by comparison.  It's quite high in quality, in the sense that when implemented as intended, it does exactly what it's supposed to do.  It does have a few quirks, and implementation inconsistencies have cropped up here and there, but the same can be said for any number of widely used commercial formats.

 

 


Linda Brynner wrote:

 

Did we all understand that open souce = never top notch quality

I can't imagine where you'd dream up such a notion, Linda.  How about we list some open source projects that absolutely ARE top quality? 

 

  • Firefox:  Top notch quality browser, and it's open source. 
  • Blender:  Top notch quality 3D modeling and animation program, and it's open source.
  • GIMP:  Top notch quality image editing program, and it's open source.
  • Android:  Top notch quality handheld device operating system, and it's open source.
  • Linux:  Top notch quality computer operating system, and it's open source.
  • Audacity:  Top notch quality audio editing program, and it's open source.
  • WordPress:  Top notch quality blogging/personal publishing platform, and it's open source.
  • mySQL:  Top notch quality database management system, and it's open source.
  • BitTorrent - Top notch quality file sharing system, and it's open source.
  • Second Life Viewer - Top notch quality virtual world viewer, and it's open source.

Need I go on?  The above list represents a good portion of the most popular software products in the world.  Many of them exemplify the state of the art in their particular product categories, and are industry standards.  The fact that they happen to be open source in no way diminished their ability to become such.

 

Are there bad open source products as well?  Sure, of course.  There are plenty of both good and bad open source products, just as there are plenty of both good and bad closed-source ones.  There's no direct correlation between the quality of a piece of software and its closed/open source status.  To suggest any such relationship is just plain silly.

 

 


Linda Brynner wrote:

 

SL wants to be leading, no?

SL is a product.  It can't "want" anything.

We as its users, and LL as its primary developers, of course want it to be as good as it possibly can be.  With that in mind, I for one am glad LL chose COLLADA as its mesh import format.  I know of no other format that meets all the requirements for what we need our models to be able to do, with respect to SL.

 

 

 


Linda Brynner wrote:

 

My point: why waste so much time (full years) and effort for so little while breaching the experience (speed, stability, relevance) for so many and isolating SL more in such a way that it is condemned to stay a technological niche on the internet ... thus not be "inviting" to get out of the isolated cage to become mainstream.

I'm not sure what you're trying to say here, Linda. 

First, the fact that it took years of effort to bring arbitrary mesh support to SL has nothing to do with the choice of COLLADA as the supported input format.  The exact same technical hurdles would have needed to be overcome, no matter what input format was selected. 

Second, the problems SL has always had with respect to speed, stablility, relevance, etc., also have nothing to do with COLLADA.  Those same problems existed long before mesh support was even a blip on the radar, and they will continue to exist for a long time to come.  I have no idea why you think COLLADA factors into that equation in any way.

Third, the advent of mesh support in SL is a very real part of the effort to make SL far less of a "technological niche", as you put it, than it always has been.  For the first time, the exact same kind of 3D content that is usable in games and other virtual worlds is now also usable in SL.  COLLADA does not hinder that in any way.  In fact, it helps a great deal.  A great many popular game engines already utilize COLLADA.

As for the prospect of SL ever becoming "mainstream", that has far more to do with the public's readiness to adopt virtual worlds in general than with anything else.  It's an uphill battle, and likely always will be, for a multitude of reasons.  But again, COLLADA has nothing whatsoever to do with that.

 


Linda Brynner wrote:

 

The answer is given, it is too complex... thus... not for the average user, thus for the geeks, thus not adding to SL growth and real prosperity.

There's nothing any more or less complex about COLLADA than about any other format, at the user level.  No matter what the format, the user work flow is identical.  It's the same simple two-step process, in every conceivable case: 

  1. Export from modeling program.
  2. Upload to SL.  

The particular output format simply doesn't matter, in this context.  Step one is always step one, and step two is always step two, no matter what file extension happens to be in play.  I can't imagine why you might think using any other format would change this in any way.

I have to ask, have you ever actually created a mesh model yourself, and uploaded it to SL?  It really doesn't sound like you have.

 

 


Linda Brynner wrote:

 

It's a waste of expensive time. We'll talk in a few years from now

Who's time is being wasted, and how?  And what about it is expensive?

The people who stepped up to fix Blender's COLLADA problems are volunteers.  They're doing it of their own initiative, and their own free will, simply because it needed to be done.  I have no idea why you seem to think that's a bad thing.

 

 


Linda Brynner wrote:

 

Alternative? Irrelevant.

As much as I hate to say this, you've now crossed the line from simple ignorance to decided stupidity.  You state that you don't like Choice A, but then you go on to say that any suggestion for a Choice B would be irrelevant?  How does that possibly make any sense?  Hello, McFly?

 

 


Linda Brynner wrote:

 

Are you an advocate to spin off Collade for SL?

Who said anything about spinning anything off?  Gaia simply announced some good news, which is that there's now a conscious effort being made within the Blender development community to ensure that that program's COLLADA support remains fully compatible with SL's requirements for COLLADA implementation.  In other words, the problems within Blender that previously caused some incompatibilities with SL are now fixed.  How exactly is that a bad thing in your world?

As for COLLADA itself, as I said in the beginning, it's managed by the Khronos Group, not by the Blender Foundation.  No one in the Blender community could change the COLLADA standard, even if they wanted to, which nobody does anyway.

You make it sound as if you think Blender and COLLADA are the same thing.  They're not.

 

 


Linda Brynner wrote:

 

Your text reads so commercial, all hurray.

When someone says a small group of volunteers have stepped up to volunteer their time, to solve a current problem affecting the community, entirely for free, that strikes you as "commercial"? 

Anyone else reminded of a certain scene from The Princess Bride?  "You keep using that word.  I do not think it means what you think it means."

Even if it were somehow commercial, though, what would it matter?  The point is the problem is being fixed.  That's all that matters.  Blender users who were having compatibility problems with SL will no longer have those problems.  Again, I can't imagine why you would think that's a bad thing.

 

 


Linda Brynner wrote:

 

Earlier i did clearly understand that Blender was to take their hands off of Collada due to instability and too low quality of consistancy of creation and upload.

No, what happened was the Blender development team announced they were considering dropping COLLADA support since they were lacking in manpower to solve certain problems that Blender had with its particular COLLADA implementation.  It wasn't about anything being wrong with COLLADA itself.  It was all about Blender's own issues with supporting it properly.

That lack of manpower is now no longer the case, as a dedicated team now exists for the purpose at hand.  So, there's no longer any reason to consider dropping Blender's support of the format.  Once again, I simply cannot fathom why you would think that's a bad thing.  It's hugely positive.

 

 


Linda Brynner wrote:

 

Reason: some staff fired from Sony have started Collada as an open source initiative and the progression sofar has been in its child birth phase.

Your display of ignorance here, under the pretense of knowledge, is staggaring. 

First, COLLADA hasn't been a SONY thing for a very long time now.  But even if it still were, what difference would it possibly make?  It's equally available, no matter what orginization is managing it.

Second, COLLADA is well past the "child birth phase", as you put it.  It's currently in its fifth point release.  

Third, even if it were still in its original state, with no subsequent improvements (which as I said, it's not), what would be so wrong with that, in this context?  Other formats that we use every day for SL haven't changed since their initial development, years or even decades ago. 

TGA, for exmaple, is still the same today as it was in its original release back in the mid 80's.  If we apply your wording, I guess we could therefore call it a baby that never aged a day since the day it was born. You seem to be implying that such lack of change is somehow bad.  I don't understand why you would think that.  If it works, it works.  If it ain't broke, don't fix it. 

TGA works perfectly, as long as the program(s) you happen to be using support it properly, as intended.  COLLADA works, too, by the exact same standard of logic.   All that is required for its successful usage is that whatever program(s) you happen to use support it correctly.  Blender didn't do that for a while, but now it does.  For the umpteenth time, I don't understand why you think that's bad.

 


Linda Brynner wrote:

 

In other words, are SL and Blender not too early to jump on that train departing likely to be derailed?

What on Earth makes you think it's "likely to be derailed"?  As I said earlier, many of the most popular game engines in existence utilize COLLADA, and all major 3D modeling platforms support it.  I've never seen any evidence to suggest it's in danger of going away any time in the forseeable future.

 


Linda Brynner wrote:

 

Now, in the IT corporate business such has happened before, but did not more 3D software companies take their hand off of Collada?

I don't understand what you mean by your reference to "IT corporate business".  IT departments at businesses are responsible for making sure their own companies' computers and networks are in good working order.  That's all they do.  They don't dictate the development of file formats in any way.

As for 3D software companies, the biggest hitter in that regard is Autodesk, and pretty much all their products support COLLADA.  Generally speaking, as goes Autodesk goes the industry.  DAZ, which has become a fairly major player as well in recent years, at least among the amateur and semi-pro segments of the industry, also supports COLLADA in most of its software products.  So does Google, for whatever that's worth, and so do lots of other smaller software makers.

If you meant game companies, then as I've said a few times now, a lot of the most popular game engines currently in use also support COLLADA.  These include the Cry Engine, Unity, Torque, Unreal, and many others.

 

Look, I get that most SL users never heard of COLLADA before SL got mesh support, and maybe you're one of those people yourself.  But you'd do well to keep in mind that most SL users have never heard of a great many of things commonly used in the 3D industry at large.  Before mesh support, SL was an island unto itself, upon which creators could create wihtout having to know much of anything at all, beyond the workings of their chosen virtual world. 

Now that SL's content creation pipeline has gone mainstream, creators can no longer afford to be so narrowly focused.  They need to learn how 3D content creation works for real, lest they perish.  Understandably, some are not happy about that, and are lashing out.  I can only hope that those people come around, to adopt a more mature attitude about what facts they're going to need to learn, and what technologies they're going to need to embrace.  Those who don't will go away.

 

 


Linda Brynner wrote:

 

LL bought all shares? LL bought an exclusive license? LL bought a (near) bankrupt venue?

What the heck are you talking about?  LL didn't buy a thing.  There are no shares.  There is no near-bankrupt venture.  (You did mean "venture" right, not "venue"?  I mean, you don't really think LL bought a concert hall or something, do you?)

When Gaia said, "SL is the stakeholder," she didn't mean it in the financial sense.  The term "stakeholder" in this context, simply means that for which primarily compatibility will be ensured.  In other words, from this point on, Blender's continued support of COLLADA will be handled with SL users' success in mind, first and foremost.  That's it, and that's all.

You'd do well not to jump to such haphazard assumptions, assigning such undue meaning to entire posts, just because you don't understand the usage of a single word.  Next time, how about just asking what the word means?

 


Linda Brynner wrote:

 

LL has bought a cheap license from a near dead team who left Sony?

Nobody has to buy a license for COLLADA.  It's open source.  You do know that that's what open source means, right?

As for this notion of a "near dead team who left Sony", there's nothing near dead about the Khronos group.  They're made up of over 100 of the most successful organizations on this planet.

 

 


Linda Brynner wrote:

 

In other words SL is therefore the only main stakeholder left with Blender as their vehicle to spread the word for them for a lost case?

Again, you appear to be completely misunderstanding the word "stakeholder" in this context.

As for "lost case", I assume you mean "lost cause"?  What makes you think COLLADA is a lost cause?  As I've said many, many times now, it's in widespread use, and has been for years.  Just because YOU might not have previously encountered it doesn't mean others aren't using it.

 

 


Linda Brynner wrote:

 

In other words... so Collada indeed is to bleed to a certain death in an isolated business case?

Uh, no.  COLLADA is to remain what it's been since its inception, an in-between file format that bridges the gulf between the proprietary needs of various 3D applications, for the purpose of transferring content between them.  It continues to do its job very well in this regard, as long as the programs in question are set up properly to support the format.  Again, Blender in particular had some problems in this regard for a while, but now those problems are being solved.

 


Linda Brynner wrote:

 

I mean if it is to be that Collada is for LL and SL only now, that says a lot...

Who said anything about COLLADA being for SL only?  You've so distorted the meaning of Gaia's announcement, it's pathetic.

What she said was that Blender's support of COLLADA will be aimed at keeping it compatible with SL, from this point on.

Again, I'd like to remind you that Blender is not COLLADA, and further, SL is not COLLADA.  Both are just programs that happen to support the format right now.  Even if Blender were to drop its COLLADA support tomorrow, and even if SL also were to drop it, (neither of which is going to happen), COLLADA itself would still do just fine.  The only difference would be that Blender users and SL users, both of whom constitute just a very tiny fraction of the 3D modeling community as a whole, wouldn't be able to use it anymore.  Everyone else still would.

 

 


Linda Brynner wrote:

 

Just asking.

If I thought for a moment that that were true, I might have taken a somewhat looser approach to my response.  But clearly you weren't "just asking" anything.  From your words here, all signs are you have some kind of chip on your shoulder about COLLADA, about open source projects, and possibly about SL's very adoption of mesh support in general.  So, you took the opportunity to try to spread fear, panic, and misunderstanding about all. Then you said, "Just asking" in order to make the whole thing somehow appear a little more palletable to the readership.

It didn't work.

 

(Edited for typos.)

(Edited again on 6/21/2012, to fix a previously unnoticed typo. Thanks to HannaiPetrus for pointing it out.)

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Daniel Raventnest said..

  At the moment COLLADA  is the best we have for a conversion that works between multiple programs.....

 

Collada is the best compared to OBJ?  Why didnt LL use OBJ?  Pretty much EVERY 3D modeling tool uses the OBJ standard.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OBJ format does not support weight maps, nor does it support armatures.That should be enough reason to not use it in SL (because then rigged meshes and joints offsets would not be possible)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

so if OBJ is universal but not flexiable enough and Collada is not industry wide supported by most 3D modeling tools, then what format would be much more endorsed by all the 3d Modeling tools?

Why do zbrush and all the other tools need 3rd party plugins or dont even have collada?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Toysoldier Thor wrote:

[...] and Collada is not industry wide supported by most 3D modeling tools, [...]

Are you counting in number of programs around or in actual products (3D models) being created? The biggest 3D tools do have support. As has been said, the very biggest, by far, Autodesk, was even part on the development. Both 3ds max and Maya are owned by Autodesk now and as far as I know, those are the leading two platforms.


Why do zbrush and all the other tools need 3rd party plugins or dont even have collada?

Good question, you might want to ask that on the zbrush site. I think part of the reason is zbrush was never ment to be used on a big scale for the gaming industry. If the focus is on static models, obj files will do just fine. On top of that, as has become very apparant with Blender, it takes a good amount of efford to make and keep the dae export functional. Smaller companies don't have the manpower to support it I assume.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Toysoldier Thor wrote:

so if OBJ is universal but not flexiable enough and Collada is not industry wide supported by most 3D modeling tools, then what format would be much more endorsed by all the 3d Modeling tools?

Why do zbrush and all the other tools need 3rd party plugins or dont even have collada?

In fairness, not every program supports OBJ either.  A great many do, since OBJ has been around since the 80's (COLLADA has only been in existence since 2004, for comparison), and since it's a very simple, straight forward, polygon-only format.  But still, it's far from universally adopted.

As for why Zbrush in particular does not have COLLADA support out of the box, you'd have to ask Pixologic.  My guess is they simply haven't felt any particular need to bother with it, for two main reasons.  First, the format supports so many features that the program itself does not, it might seem a little off the mark, from a development standpoint, to delve into it.  Second, and probably far more importantly, the company seems to have taken a deliberate stance to forgo in-between file formats like COLLADA and FBX altogether, in favor utilizing its own (far more work-flow-efficient) GoZ plugin to deal directly with native formats for the applications with which Zbrush is most commonly used in companionship (Maya, Max, Modo, C4D, and Photoshop). 

This approach makes some sense, considering the particular ways in which Zbrush is most commonly utilized in the industry, as a supplemental tool to more full featured platform applications like Maya and Max.  However, it leaves something to be desired for those who do use the program in less common ways, such as modeling for SL.

For what it's worth, Autodesk takes a similar approach in recent versions of Mudbox, with its "round-trip" feature, to send models and textures back and forth between Mudbox and platforms like Maya, Max, etc.  However, being that it is an Autodesk program, Mudbox does also support FBX as well.

 

 

There can be no answer to the question of "what format would be much more endorsed by all the 3D modeling tools".  It will always remain true that not every program will support every format.  There are plenty of plug-ins and stand-alone converters to pick up the slack, though.  So, generally, it's not a problem.

It's worth keeping in mind that at this point in history, we are now far more easily able to transfer assets between programs than ever before.  Under the hood, it's far from a simple task, in that different programs take such radically different approaches to 3D scene management and structure.  As such, it wasn't all that long ago that just moving a simple scene from one program to another required expensive specialty software like PolyTrans, just to make it work at all.  But nowadays, the vast majority of such operations can be handled quite painlessly, if not entirely seamlessly, by way of in-between formats like COLLADA and FBX.  Those relatively new to all this have no idea what a godsend these formats have been.  We're living in a golden age right now, in this regard.   Things were so much more complicated before.

As for what makes sense for SL, COLLADA really is the only format I know of that fits the bill entirely.  It supports not just basic polygon data, but also skeletons, rigging, advanced materials, animations, and a whole host of other things that SL supports either fully or partially now, or is slated to support in the coming future.  FBX comes close, but doesn't have it all, and more importantly, is not open source.  (Autodesk offers FBX for free to everyone, but at the end of the day, they still own it.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Kwakkelde Kwak wrote:

As has been said, the very biggest, by far, Autodesk, was even part on the development.

If anyone's interested in the history, here's the storied saga of OBJ.  Although Autodesk now owns everthing that went into its development,  it's not entirely fair to say Autodesk itself played any role in the affair.  They arrived at the party long after the fact.

The OBJ format was first developed in the mid 80's by Wavefront  Technologies, in California.  The "Wavefront Object" format (.obj) was utilized in Wavefront's "Visualizer" line of animation products.  These tools in large part helped set the stage for what was to become the digital animation industry as we know it today. 

Meanwhile, a Toronto company called Alias Research, was hard at work developing 3D modeling software, "Alias Studio", which was then aimed primarily at the industrial design field.  In the mid 90's, Silicon Graphics bought both companies, and merged them, to form Alias|Wavefront. 

This marriage, more than any other single event I'm aware of, served to create what would become the modern notion of the full featured modeling/animation platform, and the 3D graphics industry as we now know it. Maya was born in 1998, mixing Alias's modeling tools, and Wavefront's animation tools, for the first time into one singular package.  The OBJ format was, of course, included along with the rest of the whole kit and kaboodle.

Over the course of the next several years, Alias|Wavefront scooped up a few other companies, was itself sold once or twice, launched a number of other products in addition to Maya, won a few technical oscars, underwent a name change to just Alias, before finally being aquired by Autodesk in 2005.   By that point, the OBJ format, which had been open for most of its existence, had been widely adopted by all kinds of other 3D softwares.

Nowadays, OBJ is supported by the vast majority of modeling programs, game engines, etc.  It remains pretty much just as simple as it was back in the 80's, a no-frills, get-the-job-done, polygonal model descriptor.  It is perhaps ironic that while it was first developed for use in an animation program, the format itself contains no animation data, just geometry, texture coordinates, and basic shader references.  Still, it is arguably one of the best examples in computing history of a file format that does its particular job about as well as any format possibly could, and as such, has stood the test of time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Gaia Clary wrote:

Second Life now "Collada stakeholder"

In agreement with the Blender developers Second Life has become the current stakeholder for Collada support. That means whatever future changes will be applied to the Collada module, it will be tested to keep the Second Life compatibility intact.

 

This is what I had hoped to happen when I made that slightly alarmist post here a few weeks ago. :D It is great news because it makes Second Life the reference implementation that Blender's COLLADA exporter will be tested against. Any change that breaks SL compatibility will not make it into a Blender release. It also opens the door to some improvements that were discussed with Linden Lab recently, such as importing multiple LODs and physics meshes (and maybe even animations, as an alternative to BVH) in a single COLLADA file.

Although the question has been answered many times before, there still seems to be some confusion about the reason why Linden Lab chose COLLADA instead of OBJ. As mentioned earlier, there is no way to store skeletal animation properties in OBJ files. Since Zbrush does not feature skeletal animation either, OBJ is just fine there, but for our purposes it is insufficient. There are other alternatives to COLLADA of course, but none of them is an open standard. (By the way, calling COLLADA "open source" is wrong. It's a format specification, not a piece of software. COLLADA exporters and importers can be closed source.)

Since the COLLADA specification is supporting a lot of features in a single file format (meshes, curves, skinning, physics, morphs, animation, materials, GLSL shaders etc.), there are literally hundreds of ways to produce COLLADA files perfectly compliant with the specification but totally incompatible with SL's importer. However, that doesn't mean that COLLADA is broken and a bad choice for asset exchange. It just means that exporters must keep the capabilities of their targets in mind, and that is what Blender will do, starting with version 2.62.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That actually is very informative, not very helpful for anything, but I am one of those people that like to know it all:)

I was however referring to the Collada files, not the obj ones...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Linda Brynner wrote:

Ignorance, well wel,

Did we all understand that this kind of complexity and open source thingy isn't very reliable consistent from a quality point of view? Did we all understand that
open souce = never top notch quality
. SL wants to be leading, no?

 

At the very least you are totally showing ignorance in what Open Source is and why it is important not only for the growth of second life but all the technology that is available. When it comes to SL, if it were not for Open Source there would be no TPVs, and I think most people would agree that the quality of most TPVs is more "top notch" than the LL official viewer.

Open Source allows community of software users to contribute innovation that simplifies its use, why? Because who knows better what is needed in a software than the people who use it on a daily basis. 

As far as Blender deciding to use Second Life as a benchmark for Collada development doesn't surprise me one bit, after all Daz's Hexagon also has native support for Second Life sculpts. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This was a very interesting thread and gave me a better understanding about OBJ and Collada that I surely didnt know.

A few points....

3DCoat does not support Collada.  I had many email conversations with the product team and told them as amazing as their tool is... one limit is that it doesnt support collada for export to SL.  They said they are actually working on it BUT it has been a very complex process.  Supposedly they find developing a collada exporter to be very confusing and so it has been slow going for them.

Why does Zbrush and Sculptris not do it?  Well my thoughts on that is because Zbrush has a very powerful 3rd party plugin api that seems to be very popular with 3rd party creators that develop Zplugins for Zbrush.  One is of them is ZSculpty from shiny life I believe is the maker.  It already has a simple mesh and sculpty support.  Sculptris Photoshop and a couple other 3d Model vendors all support GoZ too.  So for example, now Sculptris can get Collada export support via Goz to Zbrush thru the Zsculpty plugin.  There are some limits though since GoZ does not transfer Sculptris's painted model to Zbrush only the model itself.  The concern I have is if the makers of Zsculpty go poof and SL changes the rules on how Collada is used, I am screwed using Zbrush.

That is my bigger fear about LL and Blender having a stronger cozy relation... They may start making improvements that changes the use of Collada's export which maybe only Blender will be able to support.  i.e. if you are doing mesh models fro SL... your best option will be to be forced to use Blender... a tool I started with when making sculpties but abandoned long time ago in frustration.

I guess based on what I have read, the possibility of a stand alone 3rd party anything to Collada exporter utility makes no sense since the exporter to collada needs to transpose the tool's proprietary formats and modeling to the collada format.

Anyway... as long a Zbrush and in the future 3DCoat keep have 1 option for exporting to Collada and hopefully that collada becomes the next generation industry standard like OBJ has been for the simpler models... then I am happy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Kwakkelde Kwak wrote:

That actually is very informative, not very helpful for anything, but I am one of those people that like to know it all:)

I was however referring to the Collada files, not the obj ones...

D'oh!  That's what I get for jumping on the forums at 5:00 in the morning, after not sleeping all night.  Sorry for the misread!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

geez an announcement gets made that blender better supports collada and it gets turned into meaningless gibberish.

what difference does any of the crap spoken here make?

the fact is anybody can work in any format they want and then find a proper file converter for what ever format they need.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...