L3DT development blog
Large 3D terrain generator

L3DT v11.07 beta 1 release announcement

Date: 2nd of July 2011

L3DT 11.07 Beta 1 is available

Hi Everyone,

The first beta version of the forthcoming release of L3DT is now available for download. The major changes since the previous release (v2.9) are listed below.

Version numbers

In case you missed the news this week and were curious how I’d jumped all the way from v2.9 to v11.07, L3DT now uses date-based version numbers in the YY.MM format.

Plugin API

Probably the greatest change in L3DT 11.07, and hopefully one that users won't notice at all, is the major clean-up and re-write of the plugin API to make it easier to use for developers. Unlike previous revisions to the plugin API, this update breaks backwards compatibility with old plugins, so all plugins must be re-compiled to work with L3DT 11.07. If you are developing a 3rd party plugin, I have provided a tutorial on upgrading plugins over here. If you’d like to try your hand at writing a plugin, well, there’s a tutorial for that too.

Memory management

Another significant under-the-hood change is that L3DT now stores all maps as arrays of small non-contiguous memory tiles. This change reduces memory fragmentation, and should mean that the use of large non-mosaic maps will no-longer cause problems with insufficient memory.

Please note that some image file format plugins still allocate their own contiguous memory blocks for storing images. Thus, when loading/saving very large images (mainly JPEGs or PNGs), you could still run into 'insufficient memory' errors. However, the frequency of these problems should be reduced, as the rest of the L3DT map data won't be hogging large swathes of contiguous memory, leaving more room for these recalcitrant plugins. A re-write of these plugins is on the cards for the next release (12.XX).

Mesh exporter

There has been a substantial improvement in the way L3DT exports terrain mesh files. As announced earlier, the new mesh exporter:

  • Can export the map as a set of seamlessly tiled meshes, with matching texture tiles.
  • Can export textures, alpha maps, and other auxiliary map data.
  • Can export selected areas of the map.
  • Exports vertex normals.
  • Supports the industry-standard COLLADA (.dae) format, as well as OBJ/MTL, X, and 3DS.

Additionally, optimised mesh exporters are available for the DXMESH and FBX file formats thanks to the skills (and plugins) of Michael Koch (Miko, in the forum).

Attributes map importer

Another nice-to-have in this release is the new attributes map importer, which allows users import land type / attributes maps from colour-mapped images, and allows you to choose which colours get matched to which land types.


There have been no major changes to the either the heightfield or texturing algorithms in v11.07. However, there have been some nice little changes you may like, including:

  • A 'ridged multi-fractal' terrain generator was added, which is available as a ZeoGraph filter.
  • There are more heightfield blending options available, including an improved merge heightfield import option, as well as relevant filters and graphs for ZeoGraph.
  • A graph was also added to allow the exporting of full-resolution contour maps of the heightfield as image files (see this thread).

User interface changes

There have been quite a host of other changes to the L3DT user interface, including:

  • You can now add items to L3DT's menu using simple script files, making it easier to customise the user interface (see here).
  • A progress bar is now provided when loading plugins during the initialisation process, as this can take a few seconds.
  • There have been various tweaks to update manager to make it better-behaved.
  • There is now a 'graphs' pull-down menu in the L3DT main window, which allows you to quickly run calculations without having to open the graph editor.
  • You can now apply custom colour palettes to the heightfield, using PNG images.
  • There's a new icon set, including higher-resolution icons.


This time around there have been few public changes to the Sapphire 3D renderer. There have been a few minor tweaks to improve rendering speed, and also to improve the speed of tessellation convergence. There's also a work-around for what seems to be a bug in the OpenGL drivers of some ATI cards that causes huge lag when moving the mouse cursor (see this thread). Support for mesh objects is also coming along nicely, but it’s not quite ready for prime-time yet (next release, hopefully).


There have been quite a number of bugfixes, which you can read about over here.

How to download

As with all L3DT updates, this is a free update for all users of L3DT Standard Edition, as well as all users of L3DT Professional and L3DT Pro for Torque who have purchased a license within the past 18 months. If the 18 month 'free update' period for your license has expired (see the 'Help→About' box), you will need to renew your license to be able to use this update (contact sales@bundysoft.com to discuss discounts).

To download the update, please follow the instructions below:

L3DT Standard See downloads page.
L3DT Professional Please consult your sales/registration receipt e-mail for the URL.
L3DT for Torque Please e-mail aaron@bundysoft.com for access to the beta release.

Release schedule

This beta release will run for a period of about two weeks. If any major bugs are found in the beta release, an new beta release will be made available and the clock will be reset. If no serious bugs are found, minor fixes will be included in a 'release candidate', which will available for a further two weeks or so. If the release candidate proves satisfactory, the stable release will then follow. The most likely release date is in August, either early in the month if no bugs are found, or later if they are. Consequently, the next stable release will most probably be called 11.08.


I would be most appreciative if users could download and test this beta release. The more people we have testing the beta release, the fewer bugs we’ll have in the final release. Please reply to this forum thread if you find any problems, would like to recommend any changes, or would otherwise like to comment on the new beta release.

Signing off

Cheers, Aaron.

2011/07/02 07:07 · aaron
l3dt/ann/v11.07_beta_1.txt · Last modified: 2017/08/31 06:05 (external edit)
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