L3DT development blog
Large 3D terrain generator

L3DT v2.9 release announcement

Date: 17th of August 2010

L3DT release 2.9

Hi Everyone,

Release 2.9 of L3DT is now available for download. The focus for this update was on consolidation and refinement. Bugs have been fixed and existing features have been extended, but there are no radically new 'wow' features. The major changes are summarised below:

If you have any questions about downloading or licensing of L3DT release 2.9, please see the downloads and licensing section.

Windows 7 compatibility

L3DT version 2.8 was released shortly after Microsoft Windows 7, and unfortunately was later found to trigger driver faults under the new display driver model in Win7. Although this fault was fixed in the developmental builds some months ago, I repeat the announcement here for the benefit of users who do not follow the latest developments. If you experience any further compatibility issues with L3DT on Windows 7, please report them in the bugs reports forum.

Torque TER exporter

The Torque3D terrain exporter has been updated in response to user feedback from v2.8. These changes include:

  • Modification of the WaterBlock object written to mission files, which was previously causing poor rendering performance.
  • Various improvements to the T3D Material Manager window, such as normal map support, addition of 'reset' button to restore defaults, etc.
  • Various additional data validation checks and bug fixes, mostly related to handling of file paths.


The previous release of L3DT introduced the ZeoGraph interface, which allows users to perform custom calculations using 'filter graphs', as shown below:


In this release, ZeoGraph has been substantially expanded. The major changes include:

  • Many more filters (97 now available), including filters for map conversion (e.g. design map ↔ heightfield ↔ water map), math, logic and string processing, flow control (e.g. IfElse), and many more.
  • The ability for users to create new filters using script files (see format reference), with example 'zfilter' files included with installer.
  • Various user interface improvements, including copy & paste support, the ability to disable filter branches, alphabetic sorting of filters in the 'add filter' window, etc.
  • Automatic support for data type conversion when connecting filter pins.
  • Several bug fixes, particularly in load/save.

A special thanks goes to David Walters for testing ZeoGraph during development, and for providing many useful suggestions.

ZeoGraph is only available with L3DT Professional and L3DT for Torque. It is not yet included with L3DT Standard.


The major change to the ZeoScript scripting plugin was the addition of a just-in-time compiler to improve scripting performance by up to 5x (see blog post). This change required the modification and simplification of the ZeoScript language syntax. All example scripts have been updated accordingly. Other changes to ZeoScript are relatively minor, and are documented in the change log.

Mask generators

In a preliminary step towards vegetation mapping in subsequent releases, a new mask generator interface was added for creating custom mask maps based on terrain altitude and slope, water coverage, and land type coverage. The typical output of a mask generator is shown below, which in this case represents grass density coverage over a map.

An example mask map

For more information about creating and using mask generators, please refer to the mask generator section of the user guide.

Alpha maps

The alpha map generator has been updated in L3DT Professional to support anti-aliasing, to match the behaviour of the texture generator. This allows for smoother transitions between textures at the edges of land types. The effect on the alpha maps is shown below:

Alpha maps with (right) and without (left) anti-aliasing.

File formats

Changes to file input and output are relatively modest with this release. Support for Mars orbiter laser altimeter (MOLA) data files, and Unreal's G16 bitmap format. The DDS plugin was completely re-written (as L3DTio_DDS2) to support larger DDS images without restrictive memory limitations imposed by 3rd party image libraries.

User interface

The user interface for L3DT v2.9 is an incremental improvement over v2.8. Changes include the addition of a layers menu (see below), icon bitmaps in the menus (also below), a map cropping tool, and the movement of the 'climates' and 'materials' menus into new top-level 'resources' menu.



Better support for multi-user computers has been added to L3DT and the installer. Previously, resources such as textures and climates were only installed for the user account that ran the installer. Now, resources are automatically installed for each user the first time they run L3DT.

Bug fixes

L3DT release 2.9 includes a small number of bug fixes. However, since the fixes have been available for some time in the developmental builds, I suspect that few users critically affected by these bugs will still be waiting for the fixes. In any case, the list of bug fixes is provided in the change log.

Downloads and licensing

The download and licensing conditions remain unchanged from previous releases.

  • Users of L3DT Standard Edition may download the update from the Standard Edition downloads page.
  • Users of L3DT Professional Edition may download the update from the link provided in their sales/registration receipt e-mail.
  • Users of L3DT For Torque Edition may download the update from their profile page on the TorquePowered site.

If you have any problems accessing this update, please e-mailing sales@bundysoft.com.

Please note that if you are using L3DT Professional, this update requires license keys purchased on or after the 5th of February 2009. If your license was purchased before this date, the 18 month period for free updates will have expired. If you would like to renew your license, with a 40% discount, please e-mail sales@bundysoft.com and include the details of your original license (name, e-mail, date of purchase).

You can check whether your license key supports this update by selecting the 'Help→About L3DT' menu option to open the About L3DT window, shown below. If the 'Upgrades until' date quoted in the about box is the 9th of August 2010 or later, your activation key supports this update.

The 'Help→About' window,
showing the license upgrade expiry.


If you find any bugs, please report them in the bug reports forum. If you would like to make any comments or suggestions, or ask questions, please do so in the announcement thread.

Best regards, Aaron.

2011/01/13 07:35
l3dt/ann/v2.9.txt · Last modified: 2017/08/31 05:11 (external edit)
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