Mesh – Just what will it be good for?

The title of this post reflects a growing realisation that Linden Lab’s latest (and according to some) greatest achievment to date, Mesh, isn’t quite the miracle some hoped for. I must declare an interest in this, since I have yet to see anyone using a Mesh-enabled viewer who does not have some general use issues. Unless and until those issues are solved I am not touching such viewers with a barge-pole. I am NOT a Luddite, I merely, like many others, have become used to a stable and useable viewer which I can largely forget about while in SL.
I fully realise that for certain items….buildings and vehicles say, and some attachments too, that Mesh permits a level of detail at a rendering cost far lower than the equivalent object made of sculpted prims. But it isn’t a tool for clothing design, since mesh clothing adapts to, as I understand things, what amounts to the basic skeleton of an avatar, not its flesh. The result is that a wearer must either adapt their shape to the item, or use alpha masks to hide the protruding flesh.
Requests by residents for a means to reshape and edit Mesh objects inworld have been met with an indifferent, if not actually negative, response from the Lab. This may indicate that the Lab is working on something and doesn’t want to tell anyone or, and this is more likely, the Lab has decided that it is just too hard to do.
That one highly motivated resident is looking for an answer outside SL is praiseworthy in the extreme, and if anyone can get this done Maxwell Graf is that man. But it still leaves the question: if this editing problem was known (as it must have been) prior to the introduction of Mesh – why oh why was it proceded with? Introducing a partially broken feature to SL is hardly likely to enhance Linden Lab’s or SL’s reputation.

I am not burying my head in the sand or calling for Mesh to be abandoned, I just cannot for the life of me understand why this has been handled in such a cakk-handed (even for LL) manner. That so much effort should be put into something of very limited value while other solvable issues remain unaddressed seems barely credible. LL’s motives can seem pretty obscure at times, but this issue takes the biscuit.

~ by Ayesha Askham-Ezvalt on October 6, 2011.

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