Gonzo blogging from the Annie Leibovitz of the software development world.

Month: November 2000 (Page 1 of 11)

Just a quick update. Work progressess and all that jazz. Just getting the new interface ready for unveiling hopefully this weekend. A lot of changes and a lot of improvements happening so stay tuned. As for that other utility I’m working on, it was a simple little project but turned out that it’s gobbling up some time handling large numbers of files. Oh well, I’ll get to it as soon as I can. That’s it for tonight.

It just keeps getting more interesting each day. Okay, something I have to take back. A while ago I said that importing 3D meshes wouldn’t import the cameras or lights because blueprint sets those up for you. While this is true, it’s not entirely accurate (as in Area 51 accurate). I’ve found that a default light setup just doesn’t work for all objects. I was duped into thinking Maxis used a default setup, but upon dissecting more files, I found that in some (most?) cases, there are dozens of lights that the artists have manually put in and they’re different for each object. Duh. Okay, so call me stupid. This of course nessecitated in adding some new functionality to bp so now it allows you to create what you want as far as lights go (8 max, sorry, that’s the limit of the graphics engine and you should be able to pull off some great stuff with 8 lights). You can create omni lights (lights that give off light in no particular direction and go off into infinity) and spotlights (where you can postion the spot, rotate it, etc.). This again may be too much for some users, but hey, it’s there. Go nuts. So more changes and more updates to the program and the importers. If you file format doesn’t support lighting then the default lights will be used and it’ll be up to you to add whatever lights you find necessary.

There have been a few concerns about blueprint in general and what it does in the sense that the output looks like garbage. Well this is partically true with the current release but then I said way back when that the lighting and texture setup will be corrected for a future release. Hey, it was an alpha right? Within a week I’d say that blueprint will be importing scenes perfectly (including lights, materials, textures and meshes). Your files are still valid, they’ll just look a whole lot better. So basically what you see in any 3D package is what you’ll see in blueprint. I’ll post the proverbial eye candy later for you to drool over. Note, I say that within a week it’ll be doing this, but this doesnt’ mean they’ll be a release in a week. This is just internally what’s going on. There are a LOT of changes happening for the next release based on functionaility (you’re going to love it!) and user suggestions thus far. Thanks and keep it coming. You won’t be disappointed.

Oh yeah, BTW, happy 100,000 hits. Two months and we rolled the odometer on this place. Wonder how long before we hit the million mark?

Some pretty exciting news, but the result is still a ways off so sorry if this gets you all hot and bothered. The big announcement is that the next public release of blueprint will contain the much anticipated object exporting. Now when this will happen is a secret so I’m not going to let the cat out of the bag just yet. In addition to importing 3D meshes to create your objects, there will be some simple primitive editing. When I say simple I really mean it. You’ll be able to create blocks, spheres, cylinders, that sort of thing. No complicated surfaces or curves yet. While you may turn you nose up at that, I’ve seen what people have made with the previous version of blueprint (that had similar functionality) and it was pretty impressive. You’ll never know what you can do when you put your mind to it. So what exactly does this mean? Well, let’s say you find a nifty vase out on the Internet and want to put it in the game. So you import it, texture it, etc. but there’s nothing for it to sit on. So you go scouring the bowels of the net for a pedastle but don’t find anything you like. With the next release you’ll be able to create a box (or several), clump them together, sit your vase on top of them and export it. Easy as pie. Watch for new screenshots, info and other goodies in the coming weeks.

There are some people (mainly those with ATI and Matrox cards) that are having problems running blueprint. This is due to the fact that your OpenGL drivers for the card is not up to date. Don’t worry. It’s not your fault. Hardware vendors are always trying to catch up to the latest technology. Luckily there’s an easy solution:

  1. Go to GLSetup
  2. Download the latest version of the program
  3. Run the file you just downloaded and follow the instructions

GLSetup is a freeware program that will keep you up to date with the latest, full, OpenGL drivers for your video card. Hope that helps (thanks to those who suggested this in the forums).

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