Mesh: timeline due end of May

It has been confirmed that Linden Lab will be publishing a timeline for the roll-out of Mesh at the end of May.

Note this is not the actual roll-out of Mesh itself; it is the timeline on what will happen when. It’s a good move on LL’s part: people have been hungering for Mesh for a long time, and all that has been happening on the Beta grid had increased overall levels of excitement / curiosity / confusion / demands to see it “now”.

Mesh is potentially one of the most revolutionary new aspects to be introduced to SL in a long time – at least in terms of content creation and technology. It will possibly completely redefine entire market sectors in terms of both the look of objects, how they are created and the skill sets required to produce them. It can be applied to almost anything – objects, building shells, vehicles, so the impact is potentially huge, although there do appear to be some limitations as to precisely what can be achieved  – and how much will be modifiable – within mesh objects.

Castle exterior by Ash Soyinka (31 prim equivalent) image copyright Pupatron

Take just one market sector, the one I’m most familiar with: buildings.

The potential here is mind-boggling: beautifully sculpted exteriors to buildings that mimic their real-life (or fantasy!) counterparts, and for the equivalence of a few dozen prims, and fitted-out inside with traditional prim-made floors, etc.

Avatars are another area where mesh could revolutionise things. While our current avatars are themselves mesh creations, they are somewhat limited; augmentation currently requires the use of prims and sculpties – both of which can be cumbersome. Mesh imports allow avatars to be massively altered / augmented – so the potential here is massive, although there are allegedly some initially limitations as to what can be done with such rigged meshes.

Given the sheer scope of impact mesh represents, then defining a timeline / roadmap leading to its roll-out is undoubtedly a good move. While there is much about Mesh that probably won’t become apparent until after it is “live” – precisely how popular mesh designs will be, what they will do to the market sectors where they are principally used, precisely what the initial limitations will be, how these will be overcome, and so on, there is still a need for people to have as much information in advance as it is possible to give. This can only be achieved through full and proper communication and avoiding the desire to give into pressure to simply “get it done”.

We’ve waited a long time for mesh – kudos goes to LL for dealing with its arrival sensibly and in a step-by-by manner that has fully engaged with the user community on the Beta grid, and which look set to continue now on the main grid. Hopefully, the new timeline will do much to clarify where everything stands with regards to mesh, and in the coming months, we’ll see even more engagement between users and Lab as we move towards it’s arrival.

Timmi Allen’s awesome 27-prim equivalent model of the 2010 Ferrari F10

Further Information

All images in this report copyright named individuals; objects copyright named creators.

SL8B: more details

June 23rd marks SecondLife’s official 8th Birthday. To mark the event, there will once again be a week-long celebration, SL8B, commencing on Monday June 20th, 2011 and running through until Sunday 26th.

The theme this year is “The Magic of SL” – which LL describe as being “about that moment when we realized how amazing Second Life really is. It’s when we found our own personal connections to Second Life, realizing its potential in our own lives and the lives of other Residents. Whether it’s the social aspect, the content creation possibilities, or unique business and commerce opportunities, we’ve all got a tale of Second Life magic to share.”

Exhibitors are being offered 1024sq metres of space each (32×32 metres) with a maximum prim count of 234 per parcel. A total of 21 sims has been provided for the event. As well as exhibitors, the event will feature performers – singers, actors, DJs…

The key dates around the event are as follows:

  • May 5—Applications for builders, exhibitors, performers, and volunteer greeters open.
  • May 20—Exhibitor, performer, and volunteer greeter applications deadline.
  • May 31—Accepted exhibitors are notified.
  • June 1—Accepted exhibitors can begin work on their parcels at the SL8B site.
  • June 5—Last day for exhibitors to to begin building.
  • June 15—Deadline for all exhibitor builds.
  • June 16-17—Tech rehearsal.
  • June 18—Press preview.
  • June 20—10:00 a.m. SLT: Gates open to the public!
  • June 23—The Birthday! Special ceremonies included!
  • June 26—Last day of entertainment.
  • July 2—Gates close at 11:59 p.m. SLT

If there is one quibble to be had about the event it is the fact that is it rated 16 – so the Adult community in Second Life is effectively excluded. Given that a large proportion of SL users are here because of Adult related themes, and it is fair to say that Adult related items play a substantial part in the SL economy, the exclusion is something of a poke in the eye for many people.

While one obviously wouldn’t expect to see Adult activities running alongside G/PG-rated exhibits and the like, the fact remains that there is an Adult Continent. So couldn’t LL see their way clear to actually involving the Adult community in the celebrations by allocating sims in Zindra for a celebration of SL8B there? It would certainly send a more inclusive message to the community as a whole.

That aside, more effort seems to be going into SL8B in terms of raising visibility; not only is there a Wiki guide and blog posts – there is actually an official SL8B WordPress blog for events!

Further Information