Whew. Nothing like cutting it close huh?

Okay, the pre-release version of blueprint is available on the blueprint software page (or you can download it by clicking here). Please read the README.TXT file listed below for more information. Note: This version will export your sprites into a folder called Sprites but will not insert them into the IFF files. We’re still working on some offset issues and other problems. If you have any problems, questions or ideas please post them in the forums. Especially true is any problems you have. While this is a pre-release and most bugs have been squashed, there are still a few lingering that will be resolved quickly with your help in finding them. New releases of blueprint will be on a weekly basis to fix bugs, add functionality and otherwise enhance the program in the best way possible.

Welcome to the blueprint compatibility test!

What is this all about? This is the preview release of blueprint
and features most of the functionality of version 1.0.

This is not a complete working version of blueprint but pretty close.
Exporting still needs work and there are a few bugs that need to be
addressed. A complete working version will be available in a few weeks.

This document is a brief overview of the system and by no means a
complete set of documentation for the product.

Features
========
-Clone any object in the game to produce a new one
-Import 3D Studio meshes and combine them to create new objects
-Support for all major image formats including jpeg, bmp, pcx, tga and more
-Edit most properties for objects and save them back to the object
-Replace any or all sprites in an object
-Several “primitive” objects that can be used to create new objects
-Supports objects for The Sims, Living Large and House Party
-Fully customizable tools, toolbars and user interface

Quick Overview
==============
blueprint loads all the objects it can find at startup so they’re available
for you anytime while blueprint is running. To create a new object:

1. Click on File | New and select “New Object”
2. Give your object a name. It will be saved in the “Objects” folder
under the blueprint program with this name. If a duplicate name is found,
blueprint will ask you if you want to overwrite it.
3. Select an object to pick to clone from. All attributes, behaviours,
menus, sounds, etc. will be cloned from this object and placed in your
new one.
4. A split window will appear allowing you to create a new 3D object that
will be used to generate the new sprites for the new object.

At this point you have the choice of creating 3D objects from scratch, using
the built-in primitives or importing a 3D file (3DS currently supported).
You can combine multiple 3D meshes, but unless you have a fairly powerful
machine (PIII or higher) the program may become very sluggish.

Edit the 3D object by applying materials, textures, etc. until you have
something you’re happy with.

The Object Editor will allow you to change the name, price and description
of an object. Click on the Advanced button to see a complete list of
attributes you can edit.

The Sprite Editor will allow you to line up what 3D objects in blueprint
will be used to replace the indvidual sprites of an object (note: this
feature is not complete).

The exporter will go through the sprites you selected for replacement and
generate new images based on the 3D objectin blueprint (note: images are
exported to the Sprites directory only and not saved back into the IFF file
yet).

Workspace Tabs
==============
The workspace bar is a common area where everything is basically manipulated
for blueprint. It can be toggled on and off through the View menu. The
workspace bar contains 4 tabs that each contain a set of stacks. A stack
is a dialog that can be collapsed so you only view the stack title bar. This
allows for much more information than can normally be displayed on the
screen. Click on a stack title bar to collapse or expand the stack. If
the contents of a stack are offscreen, left-click on the page and drag your
mouse cursor up or down to view the contents of the stack.

The tabs are:

Object
——
This tab contains information about the object you’re working on and
displays the current name, price and description. The Object Editor allows
you to change these values. The Sprite Editor allows you to change the
sprites that are replaced in the object with your 3D object from blueprint.

Lights
——
(this tab not functional except for the create stack)
The light tab contains the values from the currently selected light. The
create stack allows you to create a new light. A point light will cast
light out in all directions. A spot light will cast light out in a single
direction, but you contol the size and shape of the spotlight.

Mesh
—-
This tab lets you manipulate the current mesh. A mesh is any 3D object and
can be grouped together to form new more complex objects. The position,
rotation and scale of a mesh can be entered in the fields (or manipulated
by the mouse) and are updated when the cursor leaves the field. You can
apply preset materials from the Material stack (or create your own) and
apply textures to the object from the Texture Stack.

Scene
—–
This tab contains a view of all the 3D objects in the current scene,
arranged in a tree (with object heiarchies presented). Clicking on an
object in the tree allows you to select individual objects in a group,
without having to ungroup the object first.

Tools
=====
The tools menu can be customized through the Customize option on the toolbar
menu (confusing huh?). Tools are simply quick shortcuts to any other
program you have on your hard drive. For example, you might want to add
a shortcut to The Sims in the tools menu. Just browse for the program and
add it to the tools menu. It will appear in the main menu and you can launch
it from there (you can even put it on a toolbar or create a shortcut to it)

Notes
=====
These are things that are not working 100% in this version or were
omitted for this release due to incompletness.

-no multi-tile support
-no animation support
-sprite editor information is not saved
-sprites are not written back to the IFF file, only the hard drive
-textures must be 16 or 24bit
-the light dialog is not complete so editing values there are not
reflected back into the scene (you can however move lights around manually)
-grouping object dialog is not available, however you can ungroup
objects if you need to.

Known Bugs
==========
This is a list of known bugs in the system. Please post any new bugs to
the bug report database on the blueprint forums.

-After exporting the dialog is not redrawn. Press TAB to view it then
click on Cancel to close it and return to the main window.
-Some objects crash the system when reloaded
-Please see the forum for updates if you’re using an ATI card
-Selecting some options before you’ve created a new project may
cause the system to crash. These will be fixed for the next release.

Features in the works
=====================
This is a list of the feature set that will be released shortly. Expect
new releases every week or so.

Menu Editor
Sound Editor
DrawGroup Editor
Character Animation Editor

Also, the next release will wrap up both the functionality of SimExplorer
and the FAR compile into
it so blueprint will become your one-stop shopping
experience for creating new content for The Sims!

Other features to come, Why not suggest one!

Contact
=======
For questions or comments please visit the blueprint website at
http://www.simfreaks.com/blueprint or contact
Bil simser (bsimser@home.com) for more information.

Enjoy!

Also, if you’re read this far then you get a special surprise. blueprint contains a secret Easter egg (a hidden feature in the program). This can be unlocked through a “special” combination of keystrokes. If you find it, email me with the info and I’ll post your name in the news.