A couple of things to note as I put together the new release. 3D Studio importing is fixed and I’ve tested it in a special batch mode trying out a few hundred 3DS files I have and they all worked. I’m pretty confident it can load any 3DS file now. New formats are on the way. New 2D image exporters are available so you can export the scene in various 2D formats for webpages or whatever. There’s a few new pages added to the options dialog for exporting, display and whatnot. The material editor is now a little more robust and flexible and textures are rolled up into materials so you create a material and assign it a texture if you want that sort of thing (this is the way most 3D files do it so I’m just emulating that to make it easier for the transition). I’m just working on trying to get an optional set of values for primitive creation added. The idea is that you can click on Box and it’ll create a basic boring box, or you can right click on the Box button and bring up a dialog that allows you to alter the parameters to create the box (# of sides, # of layers, position, etc.) and then create it that way. It’s a nice feature but right now the z-buffer stuff and completion of this version is the main priority so it might come later. They’ll be some of it in there since some primitives are rather complex and my choice of the default creation values might not be what you want. Anyways, back to work.

Argh. Time is just not on my side today. Between running around and trying to get my office back into a nice organized mess, I haven’t had a chance to work on blueprint (oh horrors of horrors). Work continues into the wee hours.

The coding continues. Some cool stuff in the pipe to show you, but it’s not ready yet. I’ll have a preview and more info before the end of the weekend. Back to the grind…

Greetings. Just another quick updates (this has been a week full of them hasn’t it?). I’ll get into detail later about the new blue, but basically this next version (which I’m bumping up to v2.0 because of the massive changes taking place) will contain not only all the great modelling tools, but some basic stuff to start editing and playing around with character meshes. This will also include the much talked about but sometimes forgotten scene builder mode that lets you position Sim meshes in various poses (based on existing animations from The Sims) and build really cool scenes for websites, wallpapers and whatever you can think of. Be back this weekend with some new screenshots and various other goodies.

Hi guys. Some advancement in the new version. Squashing out bugs and all that and the 3D support and texture mapping looks great now. A few more bug fixes and it should be in your hot little hands. I am going to be a little delayed in getting a version to you as I have to redo the save/load functions now. I might release a version this weekend that does not support loading old files and then issue a patch later in the week that fixes that. All of this will be secondary as I’ve decided to completely go with XML as the new object file format for saving and loading blueprint project files. It’s much cleaner and updates to the program won’t break old file formats (like this one will). The only drawback is that the files are larger however this does open up a few possibilities like building a 3D Studio MAX Script or plug-in to export a 3DS Max scene directly to blueprint format. Might be nice to have that if MAX (or any other 3D package) is your thing.

Kinda non-blueprint news but I’m in that mood today. Worlds.com has applied and been awarded a patent on “..a highly scalable architecture for a three-dimensional graphical, multi-user, interactive virtual world system…”. It goes on to describe the concept as “…A plurality of users can interact in the three-dimensional, computer-generated graphical space where each user executes a client process to view a virtual world from the perspective of that user. The virtual world shows avatars representing the other users who are neighbors of the user viewing the virtual world…”

I don’t know about you, but to me that sounds a lot like the Sims chat program that Maxis was planning to release. A vitual chat world with Sims (avatars) representing users. Of course with patents, there’s issues of which came first so I think The Sims chat would have fallen under the prior art issue, but who knows.

You can read about the details of the patent here.

I may have some news later and a few screenshots from the new version of blueprint, but I just wanted to say that only the current version of blueprint (or any software) is supported (by me anyways). So if you’re having problems make sure that you have the latest version. I’m seeing messages on how to do things with older versions, however because of time and resource constraints I really can’t support old versions of the program. Sorry about that.

Also EzBoard is back up so the forums are functioning again.

Just a quick note, the forums are down as EzBoard is updating their software and moving servers. Please do not email me with the problem as I can’t do anything about it. Thanks.

Sheesh. Monday morning and all heck is breaking loose. First off, I think I opened the proverbial (or is it proverbal??) floodgates when I asked people to send in their object links. After pouring through a couple hundred requests, files (thanks guys, my ISP and hard drive enjoyed that one) and bizzare letters I’m totally overwhelmed on this. So here’s the deal. I will put up a new links page that contains two types of links. The first is any page with a blueprint tutorial or help sheet on how to use the program. The second is your object website with objects made with blueprint (and whatever other tool you used). For the object links, you must have a) a page with at least a couple of objects and b) be a site where you’ll hopefully be around for more than a few days. I’ve been holding off on setting up a links page since they’re a nightmare to maintain and keep current. I’ve visited no less than a dozen Sim sites this weekend and all of of their links pages had at least one or two broken links (in some cases, more than half the links were dead) and I really don’t want to spend gobs of time making sure all the links are valid. So if you have something to submit, please send me an email with the words “OBJECTLINK:” in the header. Messages without the subject line containing this will be ignored as will ICQ messages. Thanks.

On the peeved-off-before-I-get-my-coffee department, one of the families of the slain teachers of the Columbine shootings has started a class action lawsuit against 25 media companies, most of which manufacture computer games. Another low point in history where people blame something concrete like a game or movie for an angry, mis-aligned child’s actions. I can only imagine that some day someone will sue The Sims and Maxis after their 15 year old drowns his sister in the pool after removing the step-ladder. Of course, I’ll be named in that lawsuit now after planting the seed in their heads. I can just see the youth rocking back and forth in his seat at court chanting “blueprint told me to do it… blueprint told me to do it…”. What a world we live in eh?

Greetings. The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated. I’m starting a 2 week vacation and have been just bogged down with getting things done for work, getting new stuff underway, and venting in the form of killing hundreds of online alien creatures by playing X-Com Enforcer. With that out of my system, I’m back on blueprint. The new release should be going to to the testers shortly and hopefully get to you for next weekend (give or take a week).