A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far, away…

Oh wait. That’s not it.

Hiya. Okay, I’ll admit the last couple days were pretty crappy for news. So shoot me. I’ve been running around like a chicken with it’s head cut off so I really couldn’t bring myself to come up with anything witty or informative. Sorry about that. Anyways, onto the real stuff.

It’s been about 2 months since I gave the testers the last beta. Basically they got one before Xmas and they’ve pretty much tested the poop out of that one. I’ve been trying to get them a new one but I kept running out of time getting it to them and stabilizing the new stuff being added. Anyways, the new one is off to the races and includes new animation support (for creating moving objects like the rocket and multiple images like tv sets and such) and some cool 3D stuff that should be useful. One discussion that came up was that of having 4 views. If you check out the preview image on the blueprint page you’ll notice it’s the single view. The current version of the program supports 4 split views (or 1 single zoomed view). However in our testing the testers were loading 3DS files with 30,000 polygons (which makes for some pretty sweet objects) but having 4 viewports showing this would mean pushing around 120,000 polys. Unfortunately this is not 3D Studio or Maya so I don’t have years of optimization in the code or hundreds of thousands of lines of code. Maybe in time but for now we’re stuck with a single display. One change I did make for this last beta was to switch to a true 3D perspective view for editing. There are also front, left, right and top views but most of the work can be done in 3D view and you can basically swing the camera around to any angle and work on the most detailed part of your creation in comfort. Anyways, there’s a whack of new stuff going in and the programs just getting better and better everyday. I’m not going to hold off the release much longer but we need to get it creating nice clean objects and still have some bang in the editing capabilities. Soon little grasshoppers, soon.

I have the final list of beta testers for the new proggies (over 30 of them!) and I’ll be sending out the beta test agreements and details about the program to them shortly. My heartfelt thanks go out to our beta co-ordinator Mike Stern who, without his help, I’d be in a real pickle. He’s done a bang up job of organizing and sorting through the applications that he really should get a pat on the back. I know he liked to keep somewhat low-key on the newsgroup, but hey, I’ve been known as a somewhat “speak-your-mind” kinda guy. Thanks Mike! You’re number 1 in my books. I’ll also be posting more info on the site about the new proggies with some screenshots and feature lists. Thanks to everyone who applied and if you didn’t get in this round, I still have plenty more apps in my brain to do after these ones hit the net.

They’ll also be some announcements later in the week about the site. Still working out some details and such so I won’t get into it just yet, but they’ll be a pleasant surprise coming along in a few days. Seeya tommorow!