Last week I announced a challenge to mesh creators: Could they import a mesh object made for Second Life into Blue Mars, or vice versa? Here's the first attempt I received, from Danielle Eber, a successful Blue Mars fashion entrepreneur who also creates content in SL. Here's a gold skirt she made for Blue Mars, and what it looks like (without texturing) after she imported it into Second Life:
"I used a UV Map test pattern on the SL import because I was checking if the UV mapping had transferred properly," she explains, "and SL cannot do the metal shader and reflection map like we can in Blue Mars." To do the SL import, she didn't need to change the model in 3D Studio Max. "I only had to export using the Autodesk built-in Collada exporter instead of the OpenCollada exporter I usually use for Blue Mars. The SL version is static (does not deform when the avatar walks) because I have not learned how to rig the model to be animated yet."
While it would be possible to also give the SL version of the skirt a shiny gold color, Dani tells me they would not look the same: "The Cryengine2 [graphics engine] that Blur Mars uses has two main features that the SL graphics engine does not. That is, using multiple texture maps per surface, and a range of 'shaders' to choose from." So in this case, the mesh import is not a 100% faithful translation, though the basic form is the same.
If you're up for this mesh import/export challenge too, send me screenshots of the same object in each world, via email to me, hamlet at bluemarsonline dot com, or Tweet it at me @SLHamlet, or Plurk it to me at Hamlet_Au. I'll display the best examples here.