"As of today the mesh environment on my sim is open to the public. Please come over with your friends and enjoy the scenery, the tranquil spots, a boatride, a swim in the ocean or a picknick under the majestic old oak trees. Beware: you need a MESH VIEWER to see the environment!"With the obvious exception of the the base land (the system ground) itself and the water, everything appears to be mesh prims. Unsure, though, I wrote to creator Margaret Heliosense about certain items and I'll update this post with her reply. Until then, compare the pictures below:
|Facing south, everything you see but me, the sky, and the patch of beach just at the water line is mesh.|
|The same shot with Simple and Water derendered (Advanced > Rendering Types) to remove all but alpha-textured prims.|
here) which is the same as prim count. The green/white buoy by itself, for example, has a land impact of three "prims" despite being one, unlinkable object, while the red/white buoy "weighs in" at four. Most builders with a knowledge of prim tortures could make the latter with two old-style prims at most and just one if the exact proportions weren't important. Also, there were several decorative items such as furniture and ground covers that weren't mesh, such as some wonderful stuff from Margaret Heliosense, who was kind enough to answer some questions I had.
What really struck me, though, is the homogeneity of the textures on the elevated land, as seen below:
Compared to the far more natural texture and form of the otherwise similar landscape from this screen cap from the viewer log-in screen last year, one's first impression of mesh may be tainted:
Don't be quick to assume, however. as you've seen in the many items of mesh clothes, the variety of mesh avatars, and other mesh items in-world, it is possible to create much more complex result. Generally, though, I think that mesh is smoother over all, with less of ability to create a firm, hard edge. Mesh seems softer, to put in in one word, and the application of such uniform texturing enhances that impression.
|The ground under the trees is a custom land sculpt that hides|
a mass of system ground sand at the Isle of Lesbos.
I made a custom land sculpt so my brother could have a sandy
beach at his place in an all green sim, Nangrim.
I applaud the folks at Landscapes Unlimited for all their hard work and I look forward to what they can do as the state of the art progresses. By the time the Isle of Lesbos is ready to remodel again I hope that I can use large mesh builds to make the landscape truly spectacular.
Details and more pix are on the Landscapes Unlimited blog. For my pix I used the Region Default settings for Windlight which seem to be very different from what appears in the creator's blog pix.
[UPDATE] Feb 17, 2012
I heard from Sominel Edelman, the creator, today and here are some comments:
"The goal of what I did was to learn, and perhaps to inspire other people [and to test if] mesh can be an alternative to sculpted prims for landscaping." He noted that part of the test was to see if structures that can't be made with the system ground, like caves and tunnels, could be made and how easily.
As to the smoothness of the mesh objects compared to sculpts or to the system ground, "With the size of objects I use for the ground (64x64x64m), every 12 vertices count for approximately 1 prim [compared to 1024 for a sculpted prim. That makes it extremely expensive to create smooth landforms." Increasing the vertices would certainly create a more natural effect, but at a high cost. Sominell suggested that I look at Desert Mountain Landscape_001-mesh on the SL Marketplace (pictured at left). "This has 230 prim for just a 50x50m object. A complete sim surface needs 25 objects of that size..." That would be 5750 prims total, a substantial portion of a 15,000 prim region.