|June 13, 2007||COLLADA Newsletter|
Learn about COLLADA for Content AuthoringCOLLADA RESOURCES
Summer is a good time to go to Canada...
The theme this year is "From Mashups to Infrastructure," and COLLADA developer and author Remi Arnaud is scheduled to speak on July 26th on the subject of content authoring using COLLADA.
For more details go to http:/ /www.geoweb.org/2007/overview.asp
"'COLLADA in Production - Next Gen Asset Management"
The COLLADA in Production - Next Gen Asset Management DVD is the first DVD ever created dealing with COLLADA and all the aspects related to the use of it in several DCC applications. It was created in response to the demand of the PixelBox Academy student base that wanted to know more about COLLADA and how to efficiently integrate it in a production pipeline and covers all the functionalities of COLLADA.
Asset interchange (including animation,
rigged characters and complex scenes with full
screen shader effects), creation of shaders using FX
Composer, COLLADA physics (including working with
Nima on Maya), integration of COLLADA with game
engines and COLLADA with
The content of this DVD applies to everyone from
artists to programmers. Besides video content, the
DVD features all the example files and a dynamic
menu with links to download trial versions of all
|Thursday June 28, 2007||COLLADA Newsletter|
Think you know COLLADA?
San Diego SIGGRAPH 2007
COLLADA Tool Chain BOF
Effective Content Creation Pipeline
Buy the COLLADA Book here
New COLLADA specifications
The COLLADA WG is pleased to announce that COLLADA 1.5 is complete and will be announced at our Siggraph BoF in August along with the newly releases COLLADA 1.4.1 2nd Edition! Expect to see a formal PR for these specifications from Khronos.org shortly.
Join us at the COLLADA Plug Fest on July 22nd and 23rd in Redwood City, CA
Intel will sponsor a COLLADA plug fest to be held at the Hotel Sofitel on July 22/23. More details coming very soon. Please email me if you wish to be on the invite list. The participants who successfully demonstrate working COLLADA implementations will be invited to join Intel in showing off their efforts in the Intel booth, booth theatre or Intel Tech Talk to be held on Tuesday, August 12th from 4:00 to 6:00 PM on the Siggraph show floor. Of course, we also encourage all new COLLADA implementations in progress, or complete, to join us in presenting their work at the Khronos COLLADA BoF at Siggraph. Please note that the overall goal of the plug fest is to bring developers and technical artists together to work on any outstanding COLLADA implementation (and content) issues and for COLLADA experts to share their time and skills with those building COLLADA implementations—so they can be the best they can possibly be!
Speaking of Siggraph…
If you support COLLADA or you will be showing off any COLLADA implementations in your booth, do let Rita know so we can help you to promote your booth. This year, we will not be doing a booth crawl like we did last year, but we may be placing COLLADA support placards (similar to the ones we used last year) in COLLADA supporting exhibits.
Also, see COLLADA in the Intel booth (booth 511) on August 12-14. And, while at the Intel booth, check the booth theatre schedule to find out when the COLLADA related presentations will be held.
- Join us at the Intel Tech Talk theatre presentation on Tuesday, August 12th, from 4-6PM on the show floor. COLLADA will play a special part in the presentation(s)
- If you would like an Exhibits only pass, please use the Intel code: “Exhibits Only Code” is “Int2062”. http://registration.expoexchange.com/ShowSIG081/ and then choose the Attendee option. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click the Exhibits Only selection and enter your Exhibits Only Code where specified.
Please join us at the COLLADA BOF Thursday, August 14th at 4:00PM - 6:00PM in the LACC Room 511A. Contact Rita, firstname.lastname@example.org for more info or if you wish to present at the BoF!
After Siggraph, we will have the COLLADA Summit again this year in Montreal. More details in our next newsletter.
Introducing the new Facebook Group for COLLADA
Please visit the collada.org wiki, http://www.collada.org/mediawiki/index.php/Main_Page, and there you will see some updates. Note that we added a new section for "Social Networks" and also under the "Useful COLLADA Links" tab you-ll now find a link to the Facebook COLLADA Group page. The COLLADA Facebook Group can be found here. We hope you will join us there for interesting COLLADA tidbits and hopefully some good COLLADA discussions! Rita posts on the Facebook page frequently, and we hope you will add your own voice there as well!
See you all at Siggraph!
By Rita Turkowski, COLLADA WG Marketing Chair
|Khronos Group Handheld APIs Updates - July 16 2008|
Khronos HandHeld BOF
NVIDIA FEATURES KHRONOS STANDARDS AT NVISION MOBILE VISUAL COMPUTING CONFERENCE
When: August 26th, 2008
Where: San Jose, CA
NVIDIA and Khronos are co-hosting an all-day mobile visual computing conference at NVIDIA’s NVISION® 08 event that will strongly feature a number of Khronos’ mobile API standards. This all day track on Tuesday August 26th is tailored for the mobile developer, operating system vendors, carriers and manufacturers looking to bring richly intuitive user interfaces and visually intensive applications to the next generation of mobile devices.
COLLADA Updates - August 4th 2008
Want help getting into SIGGRAPH to see COLLADA sessions and demos?
If you would like an “Exhibits Only Badge” to gain access to the Siggraph show floor, Khronos Member Intel is happy to share their code. Go to this link and choose the “Attendee” option. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click the “Exhibits Only” selection and enter the “Int2062” Exhibits Only Code where specified.
Have a question? Ask a COLLADA Expert!
If you would like to discuss any COLLADA issues or to meet at SIGGRAPH, please contact the following COLLADA representatives:
COLLADA in the game industry:
COLLADA 1.4 conformance testing:
Khronos Group Releases the COLLADA 1.5.0 Specification with New Automation, Kinematics, and Geospatial Functionality!
The release of COLLADA 1.5 is important as it contains new functionality that enables completely new market segments to use COLLADA, as well as enabling wider use of the standard in traditional content-creation markets.
The expanded functionality includes B-reps (boundary representations) and kinematics for CAD, automation, and interactive entertainment applications, and georeferencing of geospatial assets for GIS and mapping software. Many authoring packages have now added support for importing and exporting COLLADA assets, including Autodesk’s 3D Studio Max and Maya, Crytek, Daimler Automation, Google’s SketchUp, Harris Broadcast, and virtual world applications including Vivaty and SceneCaster.
Khronos has also released the COLLADA 1.4.1 2nd Edition specification and is planning a Conformance suite for COLLADA 1.4 for release in 2008. The new COLLADA specifications are publicly available at www.khronos.org/collada.
“As more and more applications support COLLADA, the world of 3D content is becoming more open and accessible,” said Mark Limber, SketchUp product manager at Google. “Google is pleased to participate in and support this important effort.”
COLLADA is the only true open format that facilitates 3D data interchange, said Marc Stevens, general manager of Softimage, and vice president of AVID Technology, Inc. “The latest release adds many features, including a referenced texture archive and support for real-time shaders—exemplifying how COLLADA is leading the way in open workflows.”
Khronos invites you to the COLLADA BOF Thursday, August 14th at 4:00-6:00PM
This year’s COLLADA BOF (Birds of a Feather) offers an exciting array of speakers who will talk about their work in gaming and visualization, demonstrate some cool new content creation tools, and even show COLLADA used for communicating with 3D digital printers for the first time! Expect to hear almost a dozen presenters at the Siggraph COLLADA BOF in LACC Room #511A.
COLLADA events are all over SIGGRAPH 2008! Check ‘em out:
Saturday August 9th - Watch Bruno Patatas from Biodroid Entertainment again deliver the highly-regarded COLLADA for the Web tutorial at Web3D2008 on Saturday, August 9th from 11-12:30. More information here.
Sunday August 10th - Hear Remi Arnaud on a panel about “The Future of Web3D” at Web3D2008 on Sunday August 10th from 1:30-3:00. Remi will discuss the value of an open content interchange format (COLLADA) for use in virtual world asset sharing. More information here.
Monday-Thursday August 11-14 – Intel’s booth #511 hosts demos from Luxology, Maxon’s Cinema4D, Smith Micro’s Poser and Google’s SketchUp for interoperable content demonstrations using COLLADA.
Tuesday, August 12th at 12:30pm – Hear Remi Arnaud give a brief update on COLLADA 1.5 at the Intel in-booth theatre #511.
Tuesday, August 12th from 3:30-5:30pm – Attend the Intel Tech Talk on applying game technology and standard content pipeline (COLLADA) solutions in the non-gaming industries. Hear about the role COLLADA plays in the 3D content pipeline solutions of those using gaming technology in non-gaming fields.
Wednesday, August 13th at 1:30pm - Wei Sun of the Intel game engine team will deliver a presentation, "Pathfinding with COLLADA" for game development at the Intel in-booth theatre #511.
Reporting a Successful First “Annual Intel COLLADA Plug Fest”
July 24th, 2008 - At the first annual Intel-sponsored “COLLADA Plug Fest,” Intel chose new implementations of popular Digital Content Creation tools to demonstrate COLLADA at the intell booth at Siggraph 2008: Maxon’s Cinema4D, Smith Micro’s Poser and Google’s SketchUp. All attendees expressed real satisfaction with the technical depth of the event, the great software support offered by experienced COLLADA developers, and the synergy and effectiveness of working together as a group.
To quote Tony Arciuolo, Intel GET team representative at the event: "This was awesome, especially from a “getting ready for Siggraph” perspective. I think most who would come to plugfest are already sold, so no speeches needed. And those that did come to see what COLLADA was all about saw a lot of companies actually working to make it happen. And getting success there and then. That was a pretty powerful message”
It was gratifying to see experienced COLLADA developers from Sony, Intel, NVIDIA, Softimage and NetAllied and many more, assisting developers of nascent COLLADA implementations from Forterra, DAZ3D, Naughty Dog Productions, Avatar Reality and Sun Microsystems. Everyone was pleased with the progress made, and more than a few developers said "we should do this more often!"
Attend the Second “Montreal COLLADA Summit” – September 26th 2008
On September 26th in Montreal we will host our Second Annual COLLADA Summit (immediately following the “Members Only” Khronos development meetings held there). If you are interested in demonstrating your COLLADA implementation or presenting a product update or a brief tutorial of your work, please contact Rita Turkowski, email@example.com. Details on the venue and time coming in the next newsletter.
Hope to see you in sunny Los Angeles in August and in Montreal in September!!
What do Papervision3D, Unity, O3D, and WebGL have in common? ... COLLADA!
Their future success in the market will depend on how well they can display, manage, and archive valuable content. This year at GDC, COLLADA will have a special WebGL focus. By leveraging the web archival success of COLLADA (see Google Warehouse, DAZ 3D, TurboSquid, 3DVIA, and other warehouses for web-friendly COLLADA content), developers of WebGL are leveraging content that will accelerate WebGL adoption and provide guaranteed longevity. COLLADA and WebGL coexist harmoniously to bring users the real potential for content interactivity, reuse and extensibility - key factors that drive the economics of content development today.
This year at GDC, Khronos is pleased to see its WebGL Working Group and early adopters using COLLADA content to show the value of the WebGL API, based on OpenGL ES 2.0, running Web apps and games in your browser without the need for any plug-ins. In our GDC sponsored session, Khronos will be delivering presentations and demos that showcase the work done to further advance the vision and goals of applications and games in the 3D Web. In the COLLADA session (see the top right bar here), we are pleased to present Canvas 3D, GLGE, SpiderGL, Kanzi, and Unity.
Khronos COLLADA Sponsored Session at GDC – Featuring WebGL
March 12th, 2010 - Attend the COLLADA session to discover how COLLADA assets and tool chains fit naturally with WebGL’s acceleration of 3D on the web - and how the combination of COLLADA and WebGL provide a compelling 3D pipeline for 3D Web content creation and deployment. Also learn about the new COLLADA 1.4 Conformance Test Suite for Khronos Adopters.
March 15th, 2010 - COLLADA 1.5 second anniversary! Let’s Celebrate! The specification has been downloaded over 25,000 times in the past year. Get your copy today!
February 15th, 2010 – Shade 10 updated for 3D and COLLADA. Mirye Software releases Shade 10 modeling, animation, and multi-rendering suite with 3D hair, Toon Renderer, and Poser 8 and COLLADA support.
January 29th, 2010 - Collada Contest 2009 Winner’s latest news. Check out COLLADA contest winner NaviCAD running full-screen on the iPad simulator.
January 14th, 2010 - Collada Duck on SketchUp. Google SketchUp 7.1 release now lets you output to the increasingly popular COLLADA open standard for 3D exchange (something that might be of interest for non-professional 3D users too as Photoshop Extended also supports DAE files).
Visit Collada Duck on Facebook and twitter:
Send your COLLADA news to :
This year at GDC we are pleased and proud to bring you some exciting updates from the COLLADA community. Two new industry COLLADA implementations will be discussed and demo-ed at GDC this week in the Khronos booth. The first is OurBricks, the latest brainchild out of KataLabs. KataLabs will be both in the Khronos booth demoing OurBricks and we’ll also host a presentation of OurBricks at the Khronos COLLADA DevU, which can be found in Room 301, Esplanade Level on Thursday at 1:30PM. OurBricks is a REST API inspired implementation to bring 3D to the web within a WebGL infrastructure and using COLLADA as the 3D format in a highly efficient web implementation. You can read all about OurBricks right here in this newsletter below where Paula Berinstein of Mechnicality has interviewed Henrik Bennetsen, founder and CEO of KataLabs, on the vision and implementation of OurBricks. Secondly, we have a wonderfully informative interview from the smart folks at Linden Labs on Second Life’s brand new implementation of COLLADA, Linden’s choice for mesh support within Second Life, also in this issue, courtesy of Paula. You can also find the Linden implementation of Second Life at the COLLADA station in the Khronos GDC Booth #1444.
COLLADA Conformance Testing: Toward a More Efficient Content Pipeline
A clear message emanating from the 3D content creation community these days is that the plethora of content creation tools, no matter how they are deployed, or for what 3D graphics market they are intended, do not interface seamlessly in a content pipeline. However, today’s content rich world increasingly demands such a seamless integration of tools but such a highly functioning content pipeline is still not a reality in practice. Relying on one or two proprietary standards may suffice near term to achieve an artist’s or engineer’s goals, but is not likely sustainable for all the reasons that make large corporate "standards" difficult to adopt and adhere to long term. What can stand the test of time is a robust content interchange standard, accessible in a way possible for implementers to take advantage of to achieve maximum pipeline efficiency. COLLADA offers this and the Khronos Group is making the COLLADA 1.4 conformance test suite more widely available as the next phase in this vision for a open standard content pipeline.
Not for nothing is the ethos of the digital world becoming increasingly about openness. Digital citizens are realizing that the more proprietary the tools and formats, the more constrained they are, and the more money and time they have to spend in order to get their work done. Tools and formats that use open standards enable them to be more productive and creative because components move effortlessly along the pipeline, freeing up creators to do what they do best: make cool content. Is it any wonder that folks are becoming impatient with the old way of doing things?
Khronos COLLADA conformance is designed for the forward-thinking tool developer and provider: you. Conformance testing your products and regression testing your tools confers valuable benefits: highly interoperable tools, credibility and good will, protection against product regression, easy-to-create use cases, streamlined procurement, clear customer expectations, and consistency of implementation with other vendors, not to mention happy and productive users.
What the Tests Are
COLLADA conformance involves running a suite of automated tests on your product(s) and tools to prove objectively, there are no opinions involved, that they conform to the COLLADA 1.4 specification. The test suite includes over 500 test cases and a scripted framework that you integrate your software command line with in order to drive your software through the tests.
COLLADA isn’t a rendering standard, although you must be able to render to be integrate with the conformance testing framework. The tests are about parsing syntax and implementing correct semantics and comparing images is just one method used to prove compliance. That doesn’t mean all your output has to have the same look, though. COLLADA documents can describe whatever visual appearance you or your customers want. COLLADA offers extensible lighting models and direct access to industry standard GPU shading languages, for example.
Levels of COLLADA Compliance
There are three levels of COLLADA compliance that are automatically tested by the suite:
- COLLADA Baseline. Basic geometry and appearance interoperability
- COLLADA Superior. Adds dynamic lighting (normals), skinning, and animation interoperability
- COLLADA Exemplary. Supports and preserves the most information robustly
Alan Hudson of Yumetech, Inc., the company contracted by Khronos to complete development of the COLLADA conformance test suite in cooperation with the COLLADA working group, offers these tips for getting the most out of the conformance process:
- Read the documentation carefully and often
- Run the installer in administrator mode (Windows)
- Use the external software dependencies that come with the tests
Obtaining the COLLADA Test Suite
The Khronos Group is pleased to offer the COLLADA 1.4 conformance test software to registered developers. Please visit our web site at http://www.khronos.org/implementers to obtain your copy today!
OurBricks + COLLADA Makes Sharing 3D Content a Snap!
We in the 3D community have long been struggling with a contradiction: everyone loves 3D, but because it’s so complex, it has yet to conquer the Web the way 2D, video, and audio have.
Fortunately, our patience is about to be rewarded. Now that the WebGL(tm) spec has been released, you can view 3D content in your browser as easily as you can crank up a YouTube video. Hurray!
One of the most exciting of the new 3D-on-the-Web services is OurBricks, and COLLADA(tm) is their language of choice. OurBricks is a construction project conceived by Katalabs, a startup that originated at Stanford University and is dedicated to creating services based on the open source Sirikata games/virtual worlds platform. At the OurBricks site, you can upload and share 3D models, then do simple editing right on the site. Each model then becomes a "brick"—a building block that can be used in any 3D project anywhere on the Web: make a brick, build stuff with it, share it.
No matter what format your content is in or how wonky, OurBricks will clean it up for you, optimizing and normalizing it, and deliver it to you as a ZIP archive that contains your 3D assets as COLLADA documents, as well as your texture image files. They’ll also give you a URL that can be embedded into your site so that, with a WebGL-enabled browser, your visitors will be able to experience your 3D scenes directly; no more having to shoot video or take screenshots to display your work.
Katalabs’ vision is to make 3D on the Web as easy to use and share as video. The key to doing that is to convert your content from proprietary formats—any format, really—into open content that can be used anywhere. That’s why Katalabs chose COLLADA, explains Henrik Bennetsen, CEO of Katalabs, who says, "3D content types are not well-suited for the browser in the same way that video files weren’t great for browsers until we figured out how to hide the complexity. But we see COLLADA as a hope for a very Web-like 3D format. We think everything that has made the Web great has been open and use-case agnostic. COLLADA is the best hope for a native-to-the-Web 3D content type."
That is why Katalabs is so deeply committed to supporting the COLLADA ecosystem. Bennetsen says, "We would like to see everybody in the ecosystem do everything they can to ensure that COLLADA implementations really are compliant to the spec. That’s going to make our job much easier. But I think maybe one of the more unique contributions we can make is to insure that the ecosystem is fine, so we’re very aggressively trying to work with people who write exporters to make sure that they always export right. We think the pipelines are still way too difficult, and that’s a big part of OurBricks’ hope: to take the pain out of the pipelines."
Nothing would make Bennetsen and Horn happier than to see 3D content flow freely on the Web. Bennetsen says, "Rather than saying ‘I’m making this tree for my game, and the only way people ever see my tree is if they buy my game,’ our philosophy is make a tree and put it on OurBricks; then that tree can bloom in a million games because there’s lots of reusability. For that to be a reality, we need a lingua franca around this stuff, and COLLADA seems well-positioned to be that."
Katalabs is so determined to remove friction from the user experience that they’ve configured OurBricks to accept invalid COLLADA files: whatever it takes to keep customers happy and productive. Sometimes that quest involves their filing bug reports with content creation tool providers, says CTO Daniel Horn. "We have filed some bugs with Blender, for instance," he says. "We’re trying our best to look at what’s coming through our database, and when we see weird stuff, try to go to the source rather than to the channel. We don’t want to punish the messenger."
Katalabs’ longer-term vision is for artists, modelers, and just plain folk to be able to build 3D worlds in the browser. Horn says, "If you check out http://sandbox.ourbricks.com, you can see that we can actually take content from OurBricks and put it into a multiuser 3D environment. I think the future is going to be people logging into these sandbox areas, dumping a bunch of 3D content, and saying, ‘Look at the world I’ve constructed.’ We’re at the very early stages of that, but that’s where I see it going. When that happens, OurBricks will become a content delivery network—the place to go when you want to make something with 3D—because you get all your bricks there, and you put them together in your own place. There are a lot more people who can put together stuff in 3D than there are people who can make the 3D themselves."
There are still issues to be resolved, of course. Right now, the only way to use OurBricks, or any WebGL-enabled site, is by downloading the beta version of a Web browser. But eventually the browsers will be stable, and "then getting 3D in front of someone will just be a matter of sending someone a link in an email," says Bennetsen. "OurBricks wants to be part of the wave of change that’s washing over the Web. People don’t want to install plugins or client software. The Web is about establishing a common language. That is why we have spent a lot of effort trying to help settle this new frontier of the Web under HTML5. Imagine the potential when you take all this friction away and send people right into the experience."
OurBricks was just launched this January and is still in beta itself. Katalabs invites you to try out the service and let them know what works and what doesn’t—especially what doesn’t, because that helps them improve the system.
As Bennetsen says, this day has been a long time coming. "All of us with some sort of history in the 3D space have seen hopeful things come and die. There’s so much energy, though, and we think this time it’s going to be great because 3D on the Web is part of a much larger change that’s afoot. The Web is outgrowing its origins as a document delivery mechanism and is becoming a full-fledged application environment. As part of that much larger wave, 3D is being lifted up through WebGL and COLLADA. It’s very exciting for us to be a part of that."
COLLADA Opens Up a World of Possibilities in Second Life’s New Mesh Project
The popular virtual world Second Life has selected COLLADA(tm) as the basis for their new Mesh Import project, which is designed to take Second Life mesh building to the next level.
The project, currently in beta, allows COLLADA content created in mainstream 3D tools such as Sketchup, Maya, and Blender to be imported directly into Second Life, in much the same way that you can currently upload animations and textures.
Until now, Second Life artists have constructed 3D objects in-world with a set of tools built into the Second Life Viewer, the client software used to access the virtual world. These tools enable the creation and manipulation of 3D primitive shapes, or "prims." To add textures, users must create 2D files outside Second Life and upload them.
The new COLLADA-based mesh project will allow users to work with a larger range of shapes more efficiently than is possible with the base set of Second Life primitives. The imported meshes will feature the vertex-level control users are accustomed to with sculpties (the shapes you can make from prims), but without the topological limitations.
Users will also be able to specify custom UV maps and apply skin weights to rig meshes to their avatars’ skeletons, allowing for more intricate shapes and more realistic movement than under the current system. The new scheme supports meshes that are rigged to the avatar’s skeleton. Any existing character animations in Second Life can be used with a rigged mesh attachment.
"We see COLLADA meshes as an important way to empower content creators to make the in-world experience even richer and more creative than it is today," says Charlie Hite, Sr. Product Manager at Linden Lab. "We looked at several file formats for the import of meshes into Second Life. We wanted a format that was exportable from most industry-standard tools (Maya, Blender, 3d studio Max, Google SketchUp, etc). We also wanted a format that would be simple to parse and would be extensible for enabling more advanced features later on in development. COLLADA was the best-suited interchange format for our needs."
How to work with COLLADA files in Second Life
Start by creating triangular mesh objects—with texturing and rigging—in whichever tool you prefer, then export each model as a COLLADA .dae document. Once you’re logged into Second Life, go to the upload function and specify levels of detail and the way you want your model to berepresented in the physics engine. Then upload. Voila! The model is available in the your inventory, to be worn or used.
Some features of the COLLADA specification aren’t supported by Second Life and won’t import correctly. Second Life does support the import of raw static geometry, texture mapping data, and bone rigging data based on their current avatar skeleton. However, COLLADA documents that contain tags (XML elements) beyond these types or are mapped to other skeletons may not import correctly, or may require modification before uploading. The Second Life mesh importer is based on the COLLADA 1.4 specification but does not yet pass the conformance test suite. Some export plugins based on other versions of the spec may produce documents that don’t import properly. Also, meshes will be imported with the dimensions interpreted as meters, so be sure to check the settings of your tools before exporting, or your imported mesh may be the wrong size. The new upload tool provides a preview window, however, so you can easily tell whether your meshes will upload properly.
The maximum mesh asset size after compression is 8MB, roughly equivalent to a 256MB raw COLLADA file. An entire region in Second Life can support up to 128MB of distinct mesh assets after compression, not including attachments. The size of attached mesh assets is effectively unlimited, but overly complex meshes may not be fully downloaded by all viewers for performance reasons.
Of course, the official Linden Lab viewer, Second Life Viewer 2, will support COLLADA meshes, as will any third-party viewers based on the Viewer 2 code base.
Linden wants to make it easy to use COLLADA in Second Life, so they have created, and regularly update, a page offering tutorials, technical tips, and helpful resources for the new project at the official Second Life wiki: http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Mesh. To pose questions and share tips with other Second Life users, visit the forums (http://blogs.secondlife.com/community/forums/ mesh), or weekly office hours (https://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Mesh/Office_hours).
Mesh import is still in open beta testing, and so far, there is no charge. Eventually, you will have to cough up a Linden dollar payment at the time of upload, just as you currently do for texture files. For more information on potential mesh costs, see http://wiki. secondlife.com/wiki/Mesh/Costs_and_fees.
Second Life does charge for streaming. You can help control these costs by providing multiple levels of detail at upload time. Second Life provides integrated tools for automatically generating multiple levels of detail in their import pipeline if creators do not wish to create them by hand. The number of primitives a particular mesh will be equivalent to will depend on the complexity of each level of detail, its physics representation, and other factors.
Linden is excited about the new opportunities the mesh project is opening up. "Importing meshes to Second Life will give content creators much greater control over the creation process and let them use tools they are already familiar with outside of Second Life," says Hite. "We expect that enabling mesh import will allow for much richer, dynamic, and efficient content to be made for Second Life. Opening up to a much wider range of content creators and tools will make the virtual world a more beautiful and compelling experience, without sacrificing performance."