Nalates Urriah drew my attention to a thread on SL Universe regarding the development of a new patch which should be of assistance to mesh creators making rigged mesh items. The patch is by Magus Freston and Gaia Clary, and is designed to solve a particular problem which exists between Collada file formats and Second Life. Magus describes the problem thus:
A limitation of the attachment points in the LL character is that many of them have names with spaces, like “Left Pec”. Collada 1.4 doesn’t handle bone names with spaces as space is used to delimit bone names. So the idea is to replace the spaces with an underscore for the collada file so you get “Left_Pec”, which of course SL doesn’t recognise. The patch just translates “Left_Pec” back to “Left Pec” at import time.
Posting initially to the Machinimatrix blog, where the raw code for the patch can be found, Magus and Gaia devised a test for the patch involving a mesh with two additional spheres which if imported successfully using skin weights, should appear hovering close to the hands and rotating as a result of an added animation.
The test files cane be obtained from the Machinimatrix blog thread, although they require registration / logging-in to the blog in order to see and download them.
Responding to Magus’ request for assistance, Darien Caldwell compiled a version of the Windows SL beta viewer incorporating the patch, and after a couple of bumpy starts, managed to import the mesh successfully and as expected. Since then several content creators have tried the patch and found it works, although a couple of warnings may be thrown up during the upload. The uploaded mesh can be correctly rendered in any mesh-capable viewer.
The test viewer is provided as a ZIP file for windows, not an installer. On unpacking, the contents should save to a default folder (at the time of writing “Test Build 341” – although you can obviously rename this). Once unpacked, open the folder and double-click on LINDENDEVELOPER.EXE to launch the viewer.