L3DT development blog
Large 3D terrain generator

L3DT v2.5 release announcement

Date: 20th of April 2007

L3DT Release 2.5

It's done! L3DT Professional release 2.5 is now available for download.

Major changes

About a month ago I gave a rundown of the feature list in the forums. Since then there has been a few changes here and there, and so, I give you the revised list:

  • There's a new 3D renderer (Sapphire plugin), which you can open from the toolbar. This renderer includes a 3D heightfield editor.
  • The plugin API has been massively expanded, now with well over a hundred core API functions and countless extension functions, plus some rather nifty C++ wrapper classes. If you'd like to see what all the hullaballoo is about, the plugin API may be downloaded from here, and the source-code for some example plugins are over here.
  • There have been improvements to the mouse tools, including a copy/paste tool and a variable radius for the design map brush tool.
  • There is more extensive mosaic map support, including options like resizing heightfields, and tools like manual water flooding. The 3D heightfield editor works with mosaics too.
  • Heightfield erosion modelling is stronger and more realistic.
  • The rendering of large maps in the main window is much faster, due to a mip-mapping algorithm.
  • The RAM requirements have been reduced for exporting maps when resizing (e.g. exporting 4k x 4k map as 4097×4097).
  • There is also a new variable-precision compressed heightfield format option (HFZ), which can give better accuracy than HFF/TER/BT, or smaller file sizes, or both (depending on desired precision). This format is not the default heightfield format in L3DT v2.5, but will be for all subsequent releases.
  • There are additional heightfield effect options, such as smoothing and inflation (see 'Operations→Heightfield' menu).
  • Users can change the paths to plugins, settings files, temp directories, and various other files. This allows users to share settings across different versions of L3DT, or across different computers.
  • And finally, there has been some mild re-jigging of various interface elements, following feedback from users.

The full change log, including the long list of bugfixes, is over here.

Optional plugins

In addition to those changes, there are also been some great new features that can be added by plugins, such as:

If these interest you, please see the plugin installation guide (it's dead easy!)

L3DT for Torque, Atlas plugin

L3DT for Torque is ready! Ben Garney, Tim Aste and the crew at GarageGames have done a marvellous job of building the Atlas export plugin, which is now included in the L3DT for Torque installer that is available for purchase from GarageGames.

The version of L3DT Professional available here, from Bundysoft, does not include this Atlas plugin by default. However, current and future customers may download and install it from the L3DT Professional downloads page (consult your sales/reg e-mail for the link).

The Atlas plugin is currently considered to be in beta-release due to the lack of blended texture support and one unresolved bug when exporting very noisy heightfields (see plugin page for more info). The plugin should however work as advertised on 'normal' unique-textured maps.

Future directions

The development plan has been laid out for the next few releases. As always, there are more things to do than time allows, but the current priorities are further improvements to the heightfield editor, permitting custom (user-defined) map layers, and some sort of undo/restore function.

Sales and licensing

As was mentioned previously, the price of L3DT Professional is now:

Thank you!

Firstly, I'd like to thank everyone for their patience. Release 2.5 took much longer than I had intended. Then again, it's also much more capable than was planned, so I hope you'll find it was worth the wait.

A big thanks goes to Tim Aste, Ben Garney, Ken Holst, and everyone else at GarageGames for their efforts, diligence and patience during the long road to L3DT for Torque.

A very special thanks goes to everyone who has submitted a bug report during the development of v2.5. The legion of wonderful beta-testers really put L3DT v2.5 through the wringer, and it's a much more stable program for it.

Finally, I'd like to thank every single L3DT Pro user who has supported this work by purchasing a licence.

2011/01/13 07:34
l3dt/ann/v2.5.txt · Last modified: 2017/08/31 05:05 (external edit)
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