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

Day: November 13, 2000

Okay, new area for those that are lost already. Check out the tutorials section for a brand new tutorial on an introduction to blueprint. This is made with my fav online tool, ViewletBuilder and allows you to view a psuedo-live demonstration of blueprint in action. The first tutorial takes about 6 minutes to watch and a couple of minutes to download (depending on your connection). If you’re scratching your head wondering how to get this thing started, check it out. It’s worth the wait. More tutorials on the way.

Also, a couple of quick notes about the release earlier. The lighting is not complete and may not appear correctly with some models. Also, if you have a model you’re trying to import and blueprint is crashing for you, send me the 3DS file and I’ll take a look. It’ll help me with perfecting the importer. If you don’t mind, the 3DS file you send will be part of future releases (if it’s a private 3DS file let me know too and I’ll maintain your privacy and ownership of it).

Flippity, floppity. First it was the weekend, then it was Monday, then the weekend. Sigh.

Anyways, the alpha version is available for download now. If you’re still around to read this, then continue on…

This is an ALPHA version (as the name implies) and as such it not only incomplete but could crash and burn with the slightest breath. For those that want stable software, don’t bother just yet and wait for the final release. If you’re itching to be on the cutting edge then this is for you. Like I said, it has problems and is a work in progress but hey, some of you wanted it so here it is. What can it do? Import, edit, save. The only thing left is exporting the images and doing all that jazz. This isn’t perfected yet but will be implemented in the coming weeks. The most positive thing that can come out of this release is your feedback. If you have any suggestions, questions or general comments (or want to bash me liberally in front of everyone) then please use the blueprint support forum.

As for this release, It includes a few default texture maps but there are a whack of them you can download from the blueprint page if you want. Any bitmap can be used for textures though, but making them in sizes of multiple of 2 (16×16, 32×32, 64×64, etc.) will yield the best results (a limitation of the graphics engine used). You don’t need an accelerated card to use blueprint, but it helps. You will need to get a hold of some meshes to import and play with. A couple are included with blueprint. You can find more at www.3dcafe.com and other places (just do a search for “free 3D mesh” and you’ll find lots).

The updated SDK will be published in a few days along with the source to the 3D Studio importer. There was a lot of tweaking going on lately so I’ve made a few changes. This also broke the other importer for Alias Wavefront files so that’s still being fixed.

I’m just working on an online tutorial now but in the meantime if you have any questions don’t hesitate to yell. Enjoy.

I have to admit that I should have expected some kind of backlash from the public but I didn’t realize how cannabilistic you guys really are. Yes, I said the release would be out on the weekend and unfortunately some last minute things came up and time just didn’t allow me to complete the task at hand, despite the fact that I put in 16+ hours of coding on Sunday. Guilty as charged. So sue me. However, I did not lead you down the stray path. Some of you people out there are really a hoot. First you scream and complain about wanting to know when, when, when and hound me for a date. So I forsee a release date and work on making it but as is typical with any software development (especially 1 man jobs), delays set in and I didn’t make it. So like the typical torch carrying villagers, you guys bang down my door (emails and ICQs) with “It’s 4PM WHERE IS IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!”. One minute, you’re screaming for feedback so I go off and post daily updates in the hopes that the information overload helps you keep on top of what I amount to be a fairly slick piece of software. The next you’re complaining when I take the time out to even tell you about what’s going on. Nice. Next time I’m just going to ignore every comment, question or request about even hinting at a date, put it up on the server and not tell anyone about it. In any case, I’m back in front of the silicon beast trying to a get a few hours off on big blue before I earn a paycheque. For the patient, hang in there and we’ll see how things go tonight. For the rest that are waiting for my hard drive to crash, you might want to do something a little more constructive with your lives. (BTW, I’m probably barbequing myself with these comments as well, so feel free to write some more adjective filled email that discusses my sexual habits. It really helps).

Okay. I’ve been at this for far too long but I managed to get most of the kinks worked out. Things just took longer than expected. A couple of problems with loading still but nothing major. One problem with clearing the scene and a last check on saving everything and things should be good to go. Unfortunately, I’m beat and those little sheep are pounding down my door wanting to get in. So I’ll update everyone on what’s happening tommorow night and hopefully finish things off.