L3DT development blog
Large 3D terrain generator

L3DT v15.11 Standard Edition release announcement

Date: 6th of November 2015

L3DT Standard Edition 15.11 is available!

Hi All,

The free Standard Edition of L3DT v15.11 is now available for download. Although many of the improvements in L3DT 15.11 are only available in the Professional and Torque editions (e.g. performance improvements for extremely large maps), the Standard Edition still benefits from a number of significant upgrades, as listed below:

Sapphire 3D Viewer / Editor

A number of users reported frustration with the mesh optimisation in the Sapphire 3D viewer, which made it very difficult to visualise and control heightfield tools during fine-scale editing. In this release, Sapphire now does a so-called 'brute force' render of the triangles around the brush tool, so that you can see every single raw vertex and triangle that you edit. You can see this in the image below, where dark line-drawn triangles are visible, showing every vertex.

Brute force triangle rendering

The heightfield tool window also now has a new tabbed interface, which allows users to more easily flip between tools and change brush settings. While I was at it, I also added 'strength' settings to all the applicable brush tools, which was a fairly common request.

Tool selection Tool settings

Other little tweaks include the ability to set the movement speed ('Position→Speed', in Sapphire menu), and keys for zooming in and out (PGUP/PGDN) for when you don't have a scroll wheel at hand.

Selected area generation

Over the years, many users have complained, quite rightly, that when editing the design map, it's too difficult to predict what what the final heightmap will look like. Previously, the only way to find out what the heightmap will look like after you edit the design map was to actually generate the full heightmap.

You can of course generate the full heightmap, but that takes a long time, especially for large maps. Worse still, if the heightfield doesn't turn out exactly as you liked, you have to go back and edit the design map, then re-generate the whole heightfield again. This could be a painfully slow cycle on large maps. In this release, you can now select an area of the design map using the select area tool, then select the 'Operations→Heightfield→Preview area from DM' menu option. This will generate the heightfield for just the selected area of the design map.

For example, I have selected the central valley in this design map:

…and then selected the magic menu item…

…whereon L3DT quickly generated the heightmap of only the valley that was selected:

2D 3D (from SW corner, looking NE)

Note that this option also allows you to generate the heightfield at different resolutions, so you can for example generate an extremely fast preview of a selected area (or the whole map) at 1/2 or 1/4 the normal heightfield resolution.

For more information, please have a look at the documentation.

Bug fixes

The major bug fixes in this release related to the usage of memory and CPU in the Professional and Torque editions. There were however an assortment of bugfixes that also applied to the Standard Edition, which you can read about in the release notes. If you find any new bugs or think I've overlooked fixing an old bug, please file a bug report in the forum or by e-mail to aaron@bundysoft.com, and I'll get right onto fixing it.

How to download

To download the update, please visit the downloads page. Please note that both v15.11 and the previous v11.11 are currently available for download, just in case there are incompatibility issues or bugs that require users to temporarily downgrade to v11.11 whilst I fix the problem. Should no problems be identified, I expect to drop v11.11 from the downloads list in a month or two.

What about L3DT Professional and Pro for Torque?

The Professional and Torque editions are not yet officially released and available for download, principally due to the extra documentation that must still be written for the new features. It should all be ready within a week or two, weather permitting, but if you can't bear to wait for the official release, you can head over to the Pro downloads page1) and grab a copy of the latest development build (v15.10 dev build 1). It is exactly the same as L3DT release v15.11, except for the version number.

Feedback & suggestions

Please let me know what you think of the new release. Comments, requests and bug reports are all welcome, as well as suggestions for the next release. Please feel free to make use of this forum thread.

End transmission

Best regards, Aaron.

2015/11/05 11:19 · aaron
1) Please consult your sales/registration receipt e-mail for the URL, or else e-mail sales@bundysoft.com
l3dt/ann/v15.11se.txt · Last modified: 2017/08/31 07:28 (external edit)
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