On Monday 26th August Linden Lab made two separate blog announcements via the Second Life official blog. The first announcement is the release of the Bakes On Mesh Viewer which is now live and is great news for everyone. Here are some of the major features and benefits of using the new Bakes On Mesh Viewer…
Bakes On Mesh is a feature that allows you to apply a server baked texture to a mesh attachment, similar to the way that standard system avatars currently work. Using this feature, you’ll be able to apply several texture layers to customise skin, tattoos, clothing, etc on your mesh object as a single server baked texture without the need for multiple transparent layers.
Any face of a mesh object can be textured using any of the server baked textures.
The corresponding region of the system avatar is hidden if any attached mesh is using a baked texture.
New texture bake channels have been introduced to give more control over how meshes get textured.
A new “universal wearable” is now provided with support for the new texture channels.
Avoid the need for appliers, leading to an easier customization workflow.
Avoid the need for “onion” avatars, leading to fewer meshes and fewer textures at display time.
Allow for customization of any mesh that’s set to use Bakes on Mesh by simply equipping the appropriate wearables, without needing to modify the mesh itself.
The second blog announcement was on Simulator Release Channel Improvements. Here are the key points in brief…
- Starting with this week’s rolls some of the externally visible changes will begin. The first change you’ll be able to see is that the channel name will no longer be obvious: when this change is fully deployed
- The server release notes will soon be moving from the wiki to the new releasenotes.secondlife.com site
- Future improvements will make each RC channel a better model of the Grid as a whole
The full blog announcement…
For many years, we have introduced changes to the Region simulators by deploying updates first to one or more of our Release Candidate (RC) channels, and rolling them on the Wednesday following the main channel roll on Tuesday. We evaluate the performance and stability in those RCs before making the changes to the rest of the Grid. This is an essential element of evolving Second Life because the size and variability of our virtual world are so great that there is no way we can test (or even know about) all the ways in which you’re using it.
We’re working on a series of changes to this process designed to provide us with better data on the reliability and performance of each server update. These process changes have already begun internally with better tracking and monitoring of server performance and stability. Starting with this week’s rolls some of the externally visible changes will begin. The first change you’ll be able to see is that the channel name will no longer be obvious: when this change is fully deployed (it will only be on one or more RCs this week) the channel name displayed by the viewer or available to LSL will always be the main channel name (“Second Life Server”). This is simply to avoid spurious associations between the RC names (“BlueSteel”, “LeTigre”, “Magnum”, and occasionally other smaller ones); we hear interesting but incorrect assumptions that are made about those channel names, such as that one channel runs on better (or worse) hardware than another one does . For now at least, you’ll still be able to determine that your Region is on some RC by the fact that it rolls on Wednesday rather than Tuesday (it would be nice to get all rolls onto just one day or otherwise disassociate roll days from whether or not they’re on an RC … we’d like to get there eventually), and by comparing the simulator version strings (which are getting a small format change with this version) to the versions in the release notes. What’s really important is the simulator version, so be sure to report that with any problem (reporting the channel name alone today just means that we have to figure out when you were reporting for and look up the version you had at that time, since it can change).
Speaking of release notes, the server release notes will soon be moving from the wiki to the new releasenotes.secondlife.com site; that site has been used for viewer releases for some time now. The process which creates the notes on the new site more accurately reports when we fix a bug you reported or a feature you requested by using the externally visible BUG ids.
Future improvements will make each RC channel a better model of the Grid as a whole. Support will continue to be able to accommodate Region owners’ requests that a Region be in the RC for a particular feature or fix they want as soon as possible, or that it be excluded from any RC. It is generally better if Region owners do allow us to select Regions for RCs because it improves the chances that we’ll detect problems early – if your Region is unusual in some way, it may be the best place for us to detect a problem and avoid sending it to the entire Grid. The RC sandbox Regions will, of course, stay in the RCs, so you’ll always have somewhere to test the latest changes.
Check out the latest new interview with Ebbe Altberg CEO of Linden Lab talking about the future of Second Life and Sansar. Wagner James Au interviewed Ebbe Altberg for 45 minutes at Linden Lab HQ in San Francisco in March 2019.
They chatted about efforts to grow new user growth, land discounts, the upcoming mobile companion app, cloud deployment, improving performance and much more relating to Second Life. With Sansar they chatted about the low usage numbers since the beta launch, Sansar’s long download times and efforts to optimize Sansar.
It’s incredible to think Ebbe Altberg has now been with Linden Lab for over five years and he has achieved a great amount over the years from reducing land costs, the roll out of Mesh, Bento, Animesh, improved the communications with the community, improved the experience for premium members and much more.
Some highlights that I found most interesting,,,
- The new IOS mobile companion app is being worked on. It’s going to be focused on being connected with friends, chat, shopping, customer service and more. The lab are not considering it to be a viewer in the short term.
- New pricing options/discounts are coming soon (within next few months)
- Lot’s of new features (EEP) for Second Life (within weeks)
- Second Life is targeted to move completely to the Amazon cloud within the next 12 months (early – mid 2020)
- The premium subscriber base is growing
- The lab are focused on continuing revenue & user growth for Second Life.
- The lab are now interested in growing the concurrency levels and retention rates
- There are no plans to force migrate Second Life users to Sansar
- There are more people working on Second Life (130+) than Sansar (70+)
- There is work to continue to reduce Sansar long download times
- Sansar is still in beta and still in pre-launch mode
- The lab are shipping big updates every month
For more specific highlights from this interview see here.
On 17th February 2013 a new post called Metrics for Adoption of Mesh Viewers on SLUniverse Forums asking about the most recent stats for mesh capable viewer usage. According to the responses in the forum post it seems like the mesh adoption rate seems to be >97.1% at the moment. I think by the end of 2013 mesh adoption rate should be reaching 99%/100%. Surely the 3% of SL users using non-mesh viewers will switch over at some point right during 2013 or 2014?.
A new graph shows the adoption rate of Mesh from July 2011 through to late January 2013 which is very interesting indeed. Graph created by Kadah Coba.
- 1% in July 2011
- 50% during November 2011
- 95% during October 2012
- 97.1% as of 2013-02-10.
Mesh viewers list
- SL official viewer (all V3 viewers)
- Firestorm viewer
- Cool VL
- And many more!
It seems the lab are releasing small mesh usage metrics during weekly Mesh user group meetings on Mondays at 12pm SLT. Charlar Linden normally mentions some mesh metrics during the last quarter of the user group meetings. The trend still continues to be on the rise in mesh usage on the grid which is good to see happening.
Here are the mesh usage metrics mentioned this week.
- [12:38] Charlar Linden: Hey, want some metrics?
- [12:39] Charlar Linden: current stats for usage of modern viewers:
- [12:39] Charlar Linden: Residents – over 70%
- [12:40] Charlar Linden: Also, as far as uploading mesh, we’ve topped the previous high back in August – For the past two weeks we’ve averaged well over 1400 objects uploaded a day onto the maingrid.
- [12:41] Charlar Linden: “modern” supports mesh, as well as most other newer features.
- [12:42] Charlar Linden: Davido – that’s the average number of mesh objects uploaded each day.
- [12:45] Charlar Linden: 1540 on the day after we released mesh
- [12:46] Charlar Linden: As with all metrics, you really have to consider the context
- [12:46] Charlar Linden: these are things created and uploaded. They could have been used inworld 100 times after that.
- [12:47] Charlar Linden: What is means to me is that people are uploading more and more stuff; might be for resale, or for their own use.
- [12:49] Charlar Linden: Kaiser- over the past month we’ve *roughly* increased from about 1000 a day to about 1500 a day. It’s still continuing on that trend.
6th February 2012: Mesh regions are now at over 29% of the grid. Mesh went live last August and currently the mesh region adoption rate continues to rise. Don’t forget to upload mesh snapshots from Second Life to Second Life 3D Mesh Flickr group.
Update 3 will be posted next week. 🙂
During today’s Content Creation/Mesh Import User Group meeting Charlar Linden released some new Mesh metrics which was really interesting. This user group meeting takes place every Monday at 12pm SLT at Borrowdale on AGNI.
From the meeting transcript…
- [12:41] Charlar Linden: relating to viewers supporting mesh…
- [12:41] Charlar Linden: 70% of residents
- [12:47] Charlar Linden: Recently our total uploaded items surpassed our previous high, back in August. It’s been on an upward trend since the beginning of December.
- [12:47] Charlar Linden: on a daily basis
- [12:47] Charlar Linden: 28% of regions have mesh on them.
From 16% in December 2011 to 28% in January 2012 it shows that the Mesh adoption rate is on the rise which encouraging and interesting. I guess more and more are switching to mesh capable viewers and uploading mesh items.
Mesh adoption on the grid so far this month…
- 22% – 10th January 2012
- 25%– 17th January 2012
- 28% – 30th January 2012
Yay. Hopefully the this Mesh adoption trend will go up higher in 2012 & 2013+.
This is update 2 on viewers that now support mesh for Second Life. Mesh has already changed the look of Second Life drastically and the rate seems to be speeding up. I have been impressed with mesh builds so far on the grid and it’s definitely worth creating mesh objects.
- Do you love/dislike Mesh?
- How are you finding the experience so far?
I have noticed alot of discussion lately about friends inworld experimenting and creating mesh clothing. It’s great to see new mesh creations in Second Life however there are still concerns that need to be addressed with this.
List of TPVs that have mesh support:
The official Linden Lab Viewer 3 supports mesh and it won’t be long until other TPVs will support mesh as well. Can’t wait!
Linden Lab are rolling out Mesh to all sims today apparently. This is really good news for the SL community and that will explain the rolling restarts happening in progress right now. After the rolling restarts all regions on the grid should have mesh support if everything goes according to plan.
This week MESH goes to the main channel. Wow, we’ve been working on this one for a long time and this is it. Thanks to everyone who has participated in the beta process and filed bugs!
Max prim scale has been raised to 64m
From the Second Life Grid Status Reports today it appears the rolling restarts have been completed.
[Resolved] Rolling Restarts Main Server
Posted by Status Desk on August 23rd, 2011 at 09:10 am PDT
[Resolved 9:10AM PDT 23, August 2011] Today’s rolling restarts have completed.
[Updated 5:03AM PDT, 23 August 2011] Rolling restarts on the main Second Life server channel will begin momentarily. Please refrain from rezzing no copy objects, making inworld L$ transactions and please save all builds. We will update this post when the restarts have completed.
[POSTED 8:22PM PDT, 22 August 2011] Rolling restarts for regions on the main Second Life server channel will be performed on Tuesday, August 23rd at approximately 5:00am PDT. Please make sure to save all builds and refrain from making purchases during this time.
Here is the release notes for 23rd August 2011 for the Second Life Server channel. Alot of improvements for sure and congratulations to Linden Lab. 😀
- This is the “Mesh” project. scheduled 2011-08-23
- Mesh objects can be uploaded
- Child prims can be set to have no collision shape (do not contribute to collision of object)
- Objects that use the features above (mesh shapes or non-colliding parts) will have prim cost calculated based on actual impact to the parcel/region rather than simple count.
- Max prim scale has been raised to 64m on a side
- New physics engine
- Overhaul how collision shapes are constructed and stored in memory.
- 10 cm gap between colliding objects has been removed for most objects:
- For convex prims (dynamic and static)
- Concave prims (static only)
- For small prims ( <~0.2m on a side ) it can’t be completely removed so those objects may still exhibit a gap, but it will typically be smaller than it was before the change.
- Parcel-full return sort order has changed: most recently “changed” get returned first, but still grouped by OTHER, GROUP, and OWNER in that order.
Visit these new 12 Mesh Testing Sandbox regions provided by Linden Lab to test out Mesh on the main grid. More details about testing can be found here. “Join the group ‘Mesh Volunteers’ for access to this region. ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK!”. I’m using 2.8.1 (236285) viewer for this.
I’ve seen many mesh ducks and other interesting mesh objects in the mesh sandbox regions.
OMG a massive duck in the water.
Here is a nice snapshot of nice mesh starship.
Snapshot of a mesh horshoe.
Snapshot of mesh house on a tree.
These are exciting times for Mesh in Second Life! 😀
After 22 weeks Linden Lab has finally announced the mesh timeline details for the Main Grid this summer. The roll out starts sometime in July 2011 to a limited set of regions then by the end of August 2011 everyone will be able to enjoy Mesh on the Main Grid if things go to plan that is. I’m glad that Linden Lab promised and delivered the mesh timeline details on time which is good news.
So, now that you are excited about trying it out on the Main Grid, we wanted to share the launch time line, as promised.
In July, we will enable a limited set of regions to use Mesh and will it roll out, in a phased approach, throughout August. By the end of August, everyone in Second Life will be able to import Mesh objects. Of course, if we run into unforeseen issues or bugs, then this time line will need to shift.
We know that you must have a lot of questions regarding policies, costs, and how Mesh objects will be weighted. Although we cannot share these details yet, we will continue to keep you informed on our progress and other relevant news on this blog.
So buckle up and get ready for a whole new wave of creativity in SL
I can’t wait. Yay!
Week 20: Here are some updates from the Mesh user group meeting hosted on 16rh May 2011. Recent progress and happenings..
Can you give us an update on your recent progress and what your current priorities are? [Vivienne Daguerre]
davep (runitai.linden): still working on the merge to viewer-development, unfortunately
davep (runitai.linden): and working on mac issues WRT the merge
davep (runitai.linden): the viewer work is done, and the simulator verifier is working, but we’re blocked on a new upload path for testing
davep (runitai.linden): so we’ve been testing the new format by manually running test objects through the verifier
Nyx Linden internal format change, not input format change 🙂
Falcon Linden By the way, here’s some physics news:
Falcon Linden Make sure your physics meshes have consistent counter-clockwise winding
Falcon Linden (for best performance)
Hopefully soon we will get the timeline for Mesh for the main grid. In the mean time I will continue to publish regular updates on Mesh.
Here are some recent interesting mesh articles written by Loki Eliot (top link) and Maria Korolov (below link) .