So what I forgot was that Qarl wanted to put some info up on the wiki and indeed he did by now, you can find it here (thanks to Second Life Insider and Lordfly Digeridoo for reminding me). So you should find most information on there.. Of course testing it out oneself would be even cooler. So Linden Lab, go and publish the new beta client! 🙂
So what it turns out to be is a way to sculpt a prim by using a texture (so not really NURBS). These textures define in their RGB channels not color information but information about X,Y and Z position. They can be created by using a 3D program and using an export module. They provide one for Maya now and one for 3DS Max, Blender and ZBrush will follow.
So what does that mean?
For one it might mean that creating these sculptured prims is not for everybody. I guess the main way would be to use a 3D program and export it and this would mean also that more learning will go into making these things. At least you can do it with free tools aswell, such as Blender, so no money is involved. Additionally texturing such a prim might be more difficult than as it is now as there aren’t separate faces anymore but you’d need to do real 3D mapping as you do with 3D programs. So all in all it might raise the bar for some.
The advantage is of course that people using 3D programs already and having lots of existing models done with them might finally find a more or less easy way to import these models into Second Life. Of course there can only be a limited amount of detail as they recommend to use textures of the size of 64×64.
Now this all looks like the things (to me at least) about which Cory Linden talked about 2 years ago (thanks to Eggy for the link). And the PDF he mentions also looks sort of like this solution (but I only skimmed over it and of course I don’t even tried to understand any of that 😉
Well, without having an exporter for Blender yet I am not sure of how much use this is for me as I guess it might not yield good results if I just paint something in a graphics program.
All of this is guessing anyway…