L3DT development blog
Large 3D terrain generator

L3DT v2.4b release announcement

Date: 18 of October 2006

Release 2.4b is ready!

Come and get it, while it's still warm. L3DT release 2.4b is ready for download. The full list of changes is in the release history, over here. Since this final release is pretty much the same as v2.4b Release Candidate 1, I'm going to be a bit lazy and in-line the RC1 announcement to describe the changes:

L3DT 2.4b Release Candidate 1

It's been a long time coming. L3DT version 2.4b has just hit the RC1 stage1), which means I think it could actually be ready for release. You will find on the downloads pages the latest installers, dated the 12th of October.

What is different?

This release continues the theme set with v2.4a; focussing on improving usability and fixing bugs. For this release I've avoided the (strong) temptation to make more big and bold changes to the application architecture, the user interface, or key file formats. Well, that's not completely true: The plugin system has completely changed the way L3DT handles file formats, but to the end user, this change should bring no noticeable difference in behavoiur. So, plugins aside, L3DT 2.4b is a conservative upgrade to 2.4a that is basically more stable and easier to use, but doesn't require users to learn anything new.

Anyway, the complete list of improvements and bug fixes is on the development plan page release history page, and a rundown of the highlights is provided below:

  • About 40% less RAM is used during the water flooding stage.
  • You can generate high-resolution normals maps, and bake the bump-map on to the normals too.
  • You can generate high-resolution attributes maps. Whilst this is slower, it speeds-up the generation of high-res light maps, texture maps and alpha maps. It also looks better.
User interface
  • The image overlay feature has been re-built, and is much faster.
  • There is a map export button on the toolbar now.
  • The 'apply to all' button in the design map pencil now works with the mouse selection tool, so you can apply changes to selected pixels, rather than just the whole map. This is a half-way house to having a proper brush tool with different radii, which will be coming in v2.4c.

About 75% of the map file formats are now handled by plugins, and the remainder will follow soon. If you'd like to try your hand a writing a plugin, the C++ source code for the plugin API is available for download, which also includes four example plugins (HFF, DMF, HTF and X). The documentation is only half-done, though, so for the mean-time you'll have to make do with the provided examples (which are commented), and resort to the help forum in case of problems. I'll do my best to answer questions as quickly as possible.

Opening files

You can now open some file formats in L3DT by double-clicking on them in File Explorer. By default, L3DT will associate itself with the PROJ, MMF, HFF, TER and BT formats, which are all supported natively. If you'd rather use another default application to load these formats, the file associations can be disabled in the L3DT installer.

You can also open some files by dragging and dropping them onto the L3DT icon. The supported formats for this include:

  • PROJ - an L3DT project file.
  • MGF - an L3DT project file (old format).
  • DEF.XML - an L3DT map definition file, to automatically generate a map.
  • RUN - an L3DT batch file, to automatically generate a set of maps.
  • MMF - an L3DT mosaic map file.
  • All heightfield formats (automatically loads native formats, and opens the import wizard for the rest).

RC2 and/or 'final' v2.4b

If bugs are found, I'll release RC2 next Wednesday (the 18th). Otherwise, it will be the final L3DT v2.4b.

Third party tools

I nearly forgot. On the 3rd party tools page there is a new image converter tool by Luuk Van Venrooij. It's called L3DTIC, and it can convert JPEG and bitmap files (including whole mosaic directories) into DDS, TGA or PNG images. The DDS format might be particularly useful for DirectX programmers, for reasons that I'm sure require no explanation. It gets better too - Luuk has very graciously provided the source code for the program under the LGPL. Thanks Luuk!

That's all folks

2011/01/13 07:34

Next release

For the curious, the next release will include the long-awaited (and -delayed) revision and extension of the map-editing mouse tools, and will also introduce hyperthreading/multi-core/multi-processor support to some of the slower calculations. On top of that, I'll probably add some more goodies to the plugin API, and polish a few bits of the user interface. The release date is yet to be decided.

Cheers, Aaron.

2011/01/13 07:34
1) It's actually RC1.1 now, but who's counting?
l3dt/ann/v2.4b.txt · Last modified: 2017/08/31 04:53 (external edit)
Except where otherwise noted, content on this wiki is licensed under the following license:CC Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported
L3DT Development Blog RSS Donate Powered by PHP Valid XHTML 1.0 Valid CSS Driven by DokuWiki