Well, the initial impact of the release is over. Whew. That was quite a ride. Now for a few things.
First, you might notice that when you try to copy the attributes from a base object, there are no Living Large objects listed. I totally forgot about them until the last minute, then added them. Unfortunately, I still have to filter a bunch of non-objects out of the list so the LL support was pulled out until I weed through the files. If you take a look inside the ExpansionPack.far file with FAR Edit, you’ll see a ton of new IFF files like the Genie, Servo, Alien abductions and other stuff. This all gets filtered out by blueprint because you can’t clone NPCs with it, but I haven’t got around to building the list. Next release it’ll have it.
Second, like I said not every 3D Studio file you’ll find will work with bp. If you find one that doesn’t, send it along and I’ll walk through and see what the problem is. Probably some strange chunk I’m missing duing the import or a value that’s blowing the range checking. The 3DS importer is based on Autodesks code they released a few years ago, but unfortunately they don’t keep it up so newer versions of the file add new chunks that can be missed.
The lighting model in blueprint isn’t complete. I keep changing the lights around, adding lights and replacing them to try to simulate the right look for any object. I have a copy of MAX files from Maxis that they used for object creation but for some odd reason the lights don’t seem to be there (or at least I can’t find them) so it’s difficult to match the lighting. Lighting in 3D scenes is probably the worst “feature” that can tear your hair out. Don’t worry though, I’ll have it mastered for the next release. This doesn’t affect your imported or saved models. They’re lit by the scene and that information is inside blueprint, not your files. So they’ll look grand once I get blueprint looking right. Whoever said Rome was built in a .0 release?
Third, slightly against my better wishes, I’ve packaged up the entire texture collection into one zip file for downloading. This is a 12mb download (that’s megabytes kids) and will take even the stealthy Cable modem a good 10 minutes to download. However, some people wanted it instead of clicking on the individual files. So download, have a coffee and come back to find 350 new textures.
Things in the pipe. More tutorials (I hope you enjoy them and find them useful because I certainly enjoy making them). Fixing the lighting code. Publishing the importers. More importers (OBJ, etc.). Hopefully even more importers from the programmers out there (once the updated SDK is released). Texturing individual groups in objects (this is a big thing). Materials. Sim reference models. Further down the road things include a menu editor (to add, edit or delete options that pop-up in the pie menu that appears over an object when you select it). Possibly creation of some primitive shapes like cubes and spheres you can add to your objects (no, blueprint will probaby never be a full-featured 3D modeller, just too many things to deal with that). Template objects. You know, stuff to the make the program cool.
Many, many thanks to everyone who’s been very supportive about the program. I appreciate all your notes and ICQ messages. And keep the questions and suggestions flowing. Ask anyone around and they’ll say I’m full of it 🙂