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

Month: September 2001 (Page 1 of 7)

Slow day in blueland. Was out and about taking in some oxygen and catching up with the rest of the world. Hope you had a great weekend. Catcha tommorow (hey, I can’t be informative every day of my life right?)

Tools, tools, and more tools. Well, that’s not the point of this post but I thought I would share that with you.

I wanted to try to clear something up about the recently released utilities. Of course nobody seems to read the forums or the documentation so why would anyone read this? I’ll take a shot anyways. For all of my programs, I use a 3rd party library called DevIL that handles all the image stuff. It basically means I have to do very little work to save and load JPG, TIFF, TGA and BMP files (sorry for bursting your bubble there, I take shortcuts). blueprint was originally released with an older version of the library and the DLL files that the library is based around (ILU.DLL, ILUT.DLL) were put into your Windows system directory. The idea was that new tools would re-use that library and everything would be happy in the land of milk and honey. However, the recent tools (ObjectViewer, ObjectCloner, etc.) use a newer version of the library. Eventually blueprint 2 will use this library as well but in the meantime, there are incompatibility issues when trying to use both at the same time. With the ObjectViewer/Cloner installs, I opted to put the DLL files into the program directory so I could handle the versioning issues a little better now and in the future. The problem arises when you install ObjectViewer/Cloner in the same directory as blueprint. blueprint first looks in the current directory for any custom DLLs then the Windows system directory. Of course, it finds the (newer) versions of the library and tries to load them. This is what’s causing the error that a few people are experiencing. It’s mostly my fault. I forgot to tell people to not install this into their current blueprint directory but another one, where blueprint will be installed eventually (the goal here is down the road to have a swack of programs all in one neat little directory and menu group). So I goofed and this is causing a few problems. Simple fix. First, uninstall the tools you installed and manually delete the *.DLL files in the blueprint directory. Then reinstall the new tools somewhere else (blueprint2 or something) and everything should be fixed. You might have to uninstall blueprint AND repeat the whole process (which should only take a few minutes). However, the key here is not to have any DLL files in your blueprint 1 directory at the end of all this. Clear as mud? I didn’t think so.

I’ll be back tommorow with more info and some future rumblings that are going on. Right now I have a date with my bread machine trying to create my first home made pizza. Let’s hope I’m not as moronic as some of my Sims and set the kitchen on fire.

Hear ye, hear ye. Okay, I’m sending out an open call for testers for blueprint 2. Yup, that’s right. The final version is coming and I’m looking for a few good people (about 10 or so). Here’s your chance to get your hands on the latest and greatest, get some cool tools for building new objects and get some tools out to the world before someone else. Now read on carefully as it’s important if you want to get into the club.

First off, you must be somewhat adept at 3D. While it’s not necessary for using blueprint normally, the new features are what are the main thing here and I need someone who understands vertices, faces, edges and all that 3D stuff. If you’re in that boat read on. If not, please don’t bother applying.

Second, you must understand that this is beta software and as such is prone to crashes and such. You may loose your work at any point, so this is not for people that want to make objects and have deadlines or are easily frustrated.

Third, you must be communicative and willing to devote some time to this. Having an hour a week just doesn’t cut it as I don’t want to get the software out to the masses in 2005. This doesn’t mean you have to quit your job and lock yourself at the computer for days on end. A few nights a week and maybe a few hours on the weekend would be nice. You also have to provide feedback. Getting the program and not saying anything about it (good or bad) days on end does nobody good.

Okay, if you think you’re up to the challenge then get out your keyboards and fire off an email to me. Please describe why you think you should be a tester. I’m not just going to pick the first 10 people. No, you don’t have to write an essay but saying you should get into the program “just ’cause” isn’t good enough. You need to convince me you’re worth my time. Sorry, but I’ve had far too many experiences in the past to just blindly accept anyone at this point. Also in your email you must put the words “[BETA TEST]” in your subject, otherwise your entry will be ignored. Period. Also, no ICQ messages or forum postings will be accepted for this.

So I’m a tyrant. If you don’t like it then write to your congressman and take and aspirin.

Thanks for the goobers of emails lately on a whack of topics (mostly people asking me to help them do something, I can never seem to get away from that). I know that may sound vague but lately the emails have included a variety of things. In any case, I do appreciate it and yes, I realize there are lots of people that read this page. My comment yesterday about nobody reading this site was just me being me. You know how it is.

Anyways, two minor things. First, I have the complete blueprint news archives online now (and there was much rejoicing). This has postings from the last year in blueprint news. If you want to kill yourself and read the 300 or so entries (I tried to post everyday, but sometimes that just wasn’t the weirding way) then go for it. You can find the link on the left menu at the bottom under “News Archives”. I do apologize for some people that are running at 800×600 who said they couldn’t see the menu on the side. Unfortunately for visual impact, I didn’t make the page so you could scroll. I’ve fixed it now but it looks horrible at a low resolution. For the love of God please run your systems in at least 1024×768. You’ll probably see many things that were never there before.

Also, Discreet (the guys who make 3D Studio MAX that we all know and pirate) has just released their gmax program. A freeware 3D editor that is somewhat scaled back from the mighty 3D Studio. However, before you hop over there to download this beast of a file don’t get all moist and sticky thinking you’ll be able to create objects with it. There is no renderer included and no bitmap output. You would have to render in the viewport (which isn’t horrible, but certainly not the photo-realistic images that MAX normally produces. Also, it only supports loading .gmax files so no 3DS loading for you! Yes, you’ll continue to flail around in blueprint hell for creating 3D objects in The Sims, but the next version of bluerpint will be much nicer to work with. I promise. Anyways, head on over here to check out the program if you’re interested.

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