Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Xmas

First, Merry Christmas and seasons greetings to, well, pretty much everyone - it's been great to hear from everyone over the last week. I had a chance to poke at the scenery tools and have posted two new beta builds:
  • MeshTool 2 beta 4.
  • WED 1.1 developer preview 2.
You can download them both here.

MeshTool 2 beta 4 should be the last MeshTool beta short of bug fixes - that is, I've taken feature requests during the MeshTool beta, but I think we have what we need. Future feature enhancement will go in a later version.

Besides some useful bug fixes, there are two new features in this beta:
  • You can specify a specific land class terrain with a shapefile.
  • You can control the physical properties of orthophotos (are they wet or dry) with a shapefile without cropping out the water. This is useful for authors who want to use translucent orthophotos to create tinted water effects like coral or shallow sandy bottoms.
The WED developer preview simply puts up more bug fixes. WED isn't quite beta because of one nasty limitation: the code that exports UV-mapped bezier curves doesn't handle polygons that cross DSF boundaries. This code is going to be very difficult to get right - the combination of bezier curves, polygon cutting, and UV maps is a bit of a witches brew. Since WED isn't really complete without this, I'm not calling the build a beta.

Also a docs update: I have posted the WED and Ac3d manuals in PDF form directly on the website. The AC3D manual (and motivation to do this) are thanks to Peter, who converted the manual from readme-text to PDF. I was shocked to realize the ac3d README is almost 20 pages. Hopefully having the manual in PDF form will help people realize just how much documentation is crammed in there.

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