An OpenSim material(s) girl

Those of us who spend the majority of our time in Second Life are just starting to get our heads around materials and opportunities it presents for enhancing mesh, prim and sculpt builds and attachments. Now OpenSim may not be that far behind, as Marcus Llewellyn commented on this blog, and has himself explained on Bearly Written, where he tells us:

Dahlia Trimble, one of the core developers of OpenSimulator, has begun work on a module that gives OpenSim support for new materials on prim, sculpt, or mesh builds. The module that enables it is really more of a demonstration right now; it has issues setting materials, and they will only persist until a region is restarted …. Still, it’s a start, and an exciting one!

The work is still at a very preliminary point right now, as Marcus points out, with the server-side code still very much in its infancy. The work is also hampered by the fact that the only viewer currently capable of rendering materials is a project viewer from Linden Lab which isn’t actually intended to be connected to OpenSim (due to Havok licensing restrictions). However, this latter aspect should change once the code reaches a point where it is suitable for merging into third-party viewers.

Both of these point mean that there is still much more work to be done – but Dahlia, with assistance from Marcus himself and Nebadon Izumi has made a good start on things, and the simulator code is already available for those who want to give it a go or help-out with the work.

Marcus has more information on the project over on his blog, and I refer you to him for a good overview of the project. IN the meantime, here’s a video of Dahlia’s work. Kudos, Dahlia!

Related Links

With thanks to Marcus Llewellyn

5 thoughts on “An OpenSim material(s) girl

    1. You’re welcome – thanks for the poke and for your article on the work (and for the mention as well!) :).


  1. Ah!… I was actually expecting this. 24 hours after LL released their first mesh viewer on Aditi, OpenSim immediately accepted meshes. I remember that it took less time to upgrade “my” OpenSim grid than to endlessly wait until I managed to log in to Aditi.

    With materials it seems to be taking a bit longer hehe… but, sure, if it already works, even with limitations, that’s just great 🙂

    Personally, unlike what happened with mesh, this time I’m not going to run and upgrade “my” OpenSim grid immediately, for two reasons. Firstly, none of the ancient hardware at home is able to display materials; they have simply too old graphic cards for that. And secondly, the last few versions of OpenSim have completely changed the communication protocol with external webservices that deal with Groups, Profiles, Offline IMs, and all those niceties we cannot live without (and which remain largely undocumented, so they’re very tricky to implement). And after spending several days to tweak the webserver that runs those services (I replaced the bloated Apache with the superfast Nginx), I’m not quite ready to delve deeply into communication issues 🙂 Not on a grid that is actually being used for development, at least.

    But it’s nice to know that the OpenSim guys are doing an awesome job of keeping up with the latest developments 🙂 I’m still incredibly impressed how these days one can simply grab a textured Collada file from Google Warehouse and upload it to OpenSim without many glitches… and even with a physical mesh. I mean, of course I know it’s not the same thing as in Second Life, but it’s getting there.


  2. I agree with Gwyneth, I probably wouldn’t use it yet either 😉
    The reason i committed what I had so far was so other developers could see what I had and contribute or suggest implementation details. What is there now is quite incomplete and really shouldn’t be used in any “production” environment. Hopefully it will reach a useful level of functionality in time for the next release of OpenSimulator.


    1. Looking forward to seeing how things develop, Dahlia; hopefully the viewer side of things will be resolved in the next few weeks as the code on that side of the fence moves towards a more open release. Currently, the recommendation from LL is that TPVs don’t incorporate it for the same reasons you mention vis your server-side code – it’s not ready for general use as yet.


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