Before you can upload mesh objects, you must:
You may check your mesh upload status at any time by visiting your account page on the Second Life website.
If you're new to uploading mesh models to Second Life, here's a quick and easy set of instructions to get you started. Don't worry about the myriad of controls in the upload window for now; they're for those who want fine control over their model's appearance and physics. For a more detailed breakdown of the upload procedure, keep reading below.
To upload a mesh model:
Second Life accepts COLLADA (.dae) models, which can be edited and created in many popular 3D modeling packages.
To begin uploading a model:
Levels of detail determine what your model looks like from various distances. As you get farther away from a model, it renders in less detail to boost visual performance. Second Life generates these lower detail models by default, but you may use this step to tweak each level or even upload your own lower detail models. You can preview your model at any level of detail by clicking High, Medium, Low, or Lowest.
While previewing your model at each level of detail, you may change the parameters used for simplifying it from your original model if you chose Generate from one of the Source dropdown menus. For full details on Triangle Limit and Error Threshold, see Upload Model UI reference on the SL Wiki.
Alternately, you may upload your own simplified models by choosing Load from file from the Source dropdown menus. You may wish to create your own lower-detail models in order to preserve critical details that may be lost during the automatic simplification process.
For more, see also Mesh Upload - Level of Detail
A model's physical shape, as interpreted by Second Life's physics engine for calculating collisions, can be different from its visual shape. For example, you may wish to simplify a very complex vehicle into a square physical box shape, which allows you to have a visually complex vehicle that requires comparatively little physics computation and does not overtax the region's ability to process moving physical objects. You may upload your own physics representation as a .dae file or you may use Second Life's analysis and simplification tools to generate a physics shape automatically.
The quickest way to generate a physics model for your object is to choose Use Level of Detail and select a level of detail from the dropdown menu. This creates a physics model based on one of your model's visual levels of detail. Remember that lower physics costs are desirable, so choose the lowest level of detail that reasonably represents the shape of your model.
You do not need to complete Step 2: Analyze or Step 3: Simplifiy unless your physics model is extremely complex or shows red lines in the preview window. For advanced information on usage of the physics analysis and simplification tools, see Upload Model UI reference.
For more, see Mesh Upload - Physics
Before you upload, make sure to include any necessary optional parameters on the Upload Options tab:
For more, see Mesh Upload - Upload Options
When you click Calculate weights & fee, Second Life calculates the download, physics and server weights of your model in order to determine its land impact and Linden dollar upload cost. The base Linden dollar cost to upload is L$10 plus L$10 for each texture applied to the model, and an additional cost based on the complexity of the model.
When you upload a model, it appears in the Objects folder in your inventory. As with all objects in Second Life, you can then drag it from your inventory to the ground, or you can wear it as an attachment.
Rigged models allow you to represent your avatar skeleton as a mesh that conforms to your joints and motions. This means that you can wear a rigged model that changes the length and orientation of your avatar's limbs and animates accordingly.
If your COLLADA model contains joint position and skin weight information, you can preview how it will look with an avatar's default idle animation by checking the Skin weights box underneath the Preview pane.
You may wear a rigged model by right-clicking it in your inventory and selecting Wear. You may often wish to pair a rigged model with an alpha mask to hide your avatar's normal shape.