Monday, November 14, 2016

Blender Tools Update

It always makes us feel both proud and humbled when we see that there are so many brave souls out there creating mods for our games. We may not be able to monitor everything that is happening in the modding community, but we have seen a lot of incredible mods over the years.

Most mods require tons of time and hard work to create, and after that, yet more attention and patience is needed to maintain them so that they are compatible with new updates of our games. We keep trying to improve the tools available to modders, and today's topic is about another step in this direction. A new improved version of SCS Blender Tool has just been released. (If you are wondering what this is all about, here is an earlier post about how it all started.)

We've created a short video overview showing some of the changes and new additions in this update:

We've also prepared a more extensive change-log for those who appreciate more detailed knowledge of the changes:
  • Added support for one-click setup of environment lighting loaded from sun profiles SII file (eg. /def/climate/default/nice.sii). This enables the best possible preview of a model in game like environment.
  • Asynchronous paths initialization on startup, resulting in faster Blender startup and faster blend files opening
  • User option to load all libraries and resources from sibling "base" directories also (by default off)
  • Ability to reload library on the fly beside the setting where it is used (eg. Hookup Lib can be reloaded in Model Locator Settings)
  • Improved material flavors behavior, with implementation of filter for non existing effects combinations (prevents user to create non existing effect)
  • Added support for creation of SCS Locators and SCS Root via standard Blender add menu (menu accessible via Shift+A in 3D viewport)
  • Normal maps properly visualized in 3D view even if active UV layer on object is not the one used for normal maps calculation.
  • Reloading shader presets only when cache is out-dated (again speed-up of opening blend files)
  • Updated Prefab Locators flags:
     - added Map Point split lanes setups,
     - added Weight Station CAT Spawn Point type,
     - added Traffic Semaphores types: Traffic Light (virtual), Barrier - Automatic.
  • Improvements & Fixes:
      - fixed unpropper UI snapping of TOBJ settings,
      - ensuring same order of bone channels in PIA export (useful when working with VCS),
      - negative add ambient material values supported in export and also visualized in Blender 3D
         viewport (more info here),
      - properly reported python error on screen and in BT log while importing/exporting
      - rejecting wrongly named SCS Root Object on export (more info here),
      - reporting missing UV layer used for normal maps on export,
      - reporting multiple animations with same name overwriting each other on export,
      - properly handling none existing UV mappings aliases on import (most properly produced with ConverterPIX),
      - fixed Blender crash if rapidly enabling/disabling SCS Blender Tools add-on,
      - fixed error on import if no 3D viewport is found or active object is on currently hidden layer      in scene.

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