I would expect handedness to show up with models appearing inside out, as the tri indices would all be wound backwards.
Not really. He doesn't say anything about the Winding Order (clock-wise / counter-clockwise). That's a completely separate topic and issue altogether. Different gfx packages allow you to switch between them.
What's even worse is that different gfx APIs define the default backface culling differently.
1. INPUT : There is the first combination of Winding Order and Coordinate System of your gfx package (3dsmax,maya,softimage,blender,...)
2. OUTPUT: And there is the second combination of Winding Order and Coordinate System of your gfx API (OpenGL, DirectX, XNA, MESA, ...)
I would strongly suggest to take the time and Literally write down :
1. the Winding ordering for both input/output
2. the Coordinate system - EXPLICITLY - where each of the Positive halfspace is oriented (e.g. Z-Axis towards the viewer, Y-Axis Up, X-Axis Right), for both INPUT and OUTPUT, directly into the source code for later reference. If you really think that you're going to remember it after 18 months, then you're in for a dissapointment.
While messing with the Coord.system, I strongly recommend to turn the culling off altogether and fix the Winding issue when the coord.system is taken care of.
Example : Importing mesh from 3dsmax into XNA.
- exchange Y and Z coordinate
- invert Z coordinate (due to XNA's coord system)
One more thing - a very common mistake is to forget to do the transformation on Normals and it may take quite some time to figure out something is wrong with the lighting ONLY under certain angles and make the connection to untransformed normals.