3DCrafter 10 Beta 4 Available

v10 Beta 4 is now available. The big change in this beta is a pretty dramatic reduction in both memory usage and texture memory usage. A complex model went from using 615 MBs in 3DC 9.3 to 390 MBs in v10 Beta 4.

IMPORTANT: Unfortunately you’ll need to manually uninstall any earlier betas. This includes uninstalling all “3D Crafter Prerequisites”.

Download 3DCrafter 10 Beta 4

With version 10, 3DCrafter now has a “ribbon” interface. You might know it from Microsoft Office, WordPad, Paint and others. I won’t try to explain it. I hope everyone has used it at some point. One of the benefits of this interface, and the reason I decided to use it, is context specific tabs that show only functions related to your current selection. I think this works particularly well with 3DCrafter.

What’s new
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o) I have organized the main toolbar, the “ribbon” by modelling phase: “Build”, “Paint”, “Layout” and “Animate”. Each of these phases has a toolset associated with it. There’s a toolset button on the left side of the ribbon.

o) There are three user modes available: “Novice”, “Intermediate” and “Expert”. These are available on the “Options” tab. Novice is really just for beginners. It hides many features so that beginners are not overwhelmed. I expect most people will want to use Intermediate, which has all features enabled. Expert is for those who want to work more like 3DCrafter version 9. It combines the Build, Paint and Layout phases into one. Unfortunately this results in a crowded toolset, but I’ll be working to improve that.

o) The Navigation Controls is gone. Gone forever. It was more trouble than it was worth. People tended to get lost, get things turned upside down etc. It has been replaced by “Orbit”, “Pan”, and “Zoom”. These are on the main toolbar, but they can also be accesssed via the center mouse wheel/button. Orbit is the center button, Pan is the shift key held down with the center mouse button, and Zoom is the scroll wheel.

o) The Edit Control is now “compact”. It is basically the same thing, but making it “compact” makes the various surfaces easier to click on because I can orient things more suitably. The one thing you’ll notice is that the vertical scale/move are gone. But, all you have to do is right-click on the surfaces to get vertical scale/move. Just like if you were clicking on an object to move it up and down. I want to get rid of the Edit Control completely at some point, but there are really too many things to do, and I want to put out something as a starting point.

o) The biggest new “feature” is the ability to draw primitives. How it works:

-pick a primitive,
-click to start, drag, (use the scroll wheel to get the detail level you want)
-click to indicate the size you want
-drag again for height (use the scroll wheel to get the vertical detail level you want)
-click to finish

o) with v10 context is everything. You should only get functions that are related to the modelling phase you are in, and what (if anything) you have selected. This will have to be progressively refined through the alpha/beta period.

o) One of the goals is to make it so that normal modelling tasks can be completed without ANY toolbars, panels etc visible, AND without having to remember any complicated key-combinations. I’m still working on this one, but it’s coming along. The key is that the ribbon can be minimized and important tools and operations can be placed in an are called the “Quick Access Toolbar”. I’m going to need help in choosing the standard tools and operations to add to it. Select, Select Point/Edge/Face, and Extrude are obvious ones I’d say. But there are certainly others.

o) The panels that normally were located along the left side now have to be shown using the View tab. Only those panels that are relevant to the toolset you are using are available. During modelling I don’t think any of them need to be displayed normally. Just every once in a while. I imagine it like this: model… model… model… need to look at the layers – show the panel – do something with layers – hide it … model… model… model… need an oddball operation not on a context tab-show the panel use the operation-close it… model… model… model…. When in Paint mode I kind of think it is the same. You choose a material, and then close up the material panel. But that might not always be the case.

o) The settings for an operation (if any) are immediately shown after you apply it to a selection because this is typically when you need them. I’ve tried to make it so that it doesn’t get in the way, but sometimes it does. It isn’t moveable, or closeable. I’d rather it not be. My experience with closing these tool settings is that they always seem to be gone when you need them-and operations almost always need some adjustment to settings. My experience with moving them is that they just end up in the way again in a couple of minutes, so they are constantly being moved and in the way. The way I have done it they are consistent, and it really isn’t that hard to ctrl-center click to pan the scene if something is obscured. That’s just my opinion of course, not everyone is going to agree.

o) The “Info” panel on the right is now context specific also. I “hope” it can always be closed during modelling unless doing a tutorial. I’ll need feedback on this. The panel can be closed either by clicking on the divider, or dragging it to the right. It can be re-opened by clicking on the divider or dragging it to the left.

o) There is a simple “material palette” on the paint/expert toolsets.

To do
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o) Icons need to be completed
o) A couple of tutorials need to be entirely re-written, and many others need adaptation. Many screen shots need updating. I’m leaving that to the very end. I want ot be 100% certain the interface won’t change. It’s a big job and I don’t want to do it twice.
o) There may be paint tool options coming, but I’m still deciding on it. They may be in v10.1

Major Changes:

o) There is no longer a “Translucency Map” available.
o) The “Texture Overlay” no longer has a blend factor. (and it is now called Texture 2-There is also a texture 3)
o) The alpha layer of textures is now simply an alpha layer. It can not be made to be a specular map, bumpmap etc.
o) 3DC now uses texture compression. There may be some artifacts

Outstanding Issues:

o) Snapshot and Video recording do not work properly

There are certainly new issues created as a result of this release. The changes made to 3DC were pretty significant.

I suppose I have been spoiled by having the last couple of betas install without any problem. This time alas I am not getting anywhere.

On my first try all seemed to be okay and the splash screen appeared but then the program crashed with various error boxes appearing. I have restarted my pc and uninstalled everything again but now I can’t install v10 and get the message detail below:

Hope this makes sense. I am using Vista 64bit

Paul

PLATFORM VERSION INFO
Windows : 6.0.6002.131072 (Win32NT)
Common Language Runtime : 4.0.30319.18444
System.Deployment.dll : 4.0.30319.34280 built by: FX452RTMGDR
clr.dll : 4.0.30319.18444 built by: FX451RTMGDR
dfdll.dll : 4.0.30319.34280 built by: FX452RTMGDR
dfshim.dll : 4.0.41209.0 (Main.041209-0000)

SOURCES
Deployment url : http://amabilis.com/download/3DC.application
Server : Apache/2.4.12

IDENTITIES
Deployment Identity : 3DC.application, Version=10.0.0.46, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=f9a274bfc302d1e2, processorArchitecture=x86

APPLICATION SUMMARY
* Installable application.

ERROR SUMMARY
Below is a summary of the errors, details of these errors are listed later in the log.
* Activation of http://amabilis.com/download/3DC.application resulted in exception. Following failure messages were detected:
+ Activation failed.
+ The system cannot find the file specified. (Exception from HRESULT: 0x80070002)

COMPONENT STORE TRANSACTION FAILURE SUMMARY
No transaction error was detected.

WARNINGS
There were no warnings during this operation.

OPERATION PROGRESS STATUS
* [25/11/2015 21:22:27] : Activation of http://amabilis.com/download/3DC.application has started.
* [25/11/2015 21:22:29] : Processing of deployment manifest has successfully completed.

ERROR DETAILS
Following errors were detected during this operation.
* [25/11/2015 21:22:31] System.Deployment.Application.DeploymentException (Activation)
– Activation failed.
– Source: System.Deployment
– Stack trace:
at System.Deployment.Application.ComponentStore.ActivateApplication(DefinitionAppId appId, String activationParameter, Boolean useActivationParameter)
at System.Deployment.Application.SubscriptionStore.ActivateApplication(DefinitionAppId appId, String activationParameter, Boolean useActivationParameter)
at System.Deployment.Application.ApplicationActivator.Activate(DefinitionAppId appId, AssemblyManifest appManifest, String activationParameter, Boolean useActivationParameter)
at System.Deployment.Application.ApplicationActivator.PerformDeploymentActivation(Uri activationUri, Boolean isShortcut, String textualSubId, String deploymentProviderUrlFromExtension, BrowserSettings browserSettings, String& errorPageUrl)
at System.Deployment.Application.ApplicationActivator.ActivateDeploymentWorker(Object state)
— Inner Exception —
System.IO.FileNotFoundException
– The system cannot find the file specified. (Exception from HRESULT: 0x80070002)
– Source: System.Deployment
– Stack trace:
at System.Deployment.Application.NativeMethods.CorLaunchApplication(UInt32 hostType, String applicationFullName, Int32 manifestPathsCount, String[] manifestPaths, Int32 activationDataCount, String[] activationData, PROCESS_INFORMATION processInformation)
at System.Deployment.Application.ComponentStore.ActivateApplication(DefinitionAppId appId, String activationParameter, Boolean useActivationParameter)

COMPONENT STORE TRANSACTION DETAILS
* Transaction at [25/11/2015 21:22:29]
+ System.Deployment.Internal.Isolation.StoreOperationSetDeploymentMetadata
– Status: Set
– HRESULT: 0x0
+ System.Deployment.Internal.Isolation.StoreTransactionOperationType (27)
– HRESULT: 0x0

I’m trying to think what it could be. There’s a file called “3DC.log” in the folder “3DCrafter 10.1” that might have the answer. Can you send it to “assistance at amabilis.com”? Thanks.

Oh, and somehow it thinks it is 3DCrafter 10.1, not 10.0. I’ll have to fix that.

Paul, there could be MANY 3DCrafter Prerequisites to uninstall unfortunately. Obviously something is wrong with the installer, but nothing I come up with resolves it.

Another possibility is graphics card/chip. But that seems less likely.

I just re-published this beta. It will require yet another uninstall/re-install. Sorry!

I have been experimenting with various settings on the installer and nothing seems to work. I’m not sure how to resolve it except for not have another major change until 10.1 comes along. So, that’s my goal now 🙂

Whatever you did was the right thing for me Richard, installed and running fine at the first attempt with this version. Good to see properties back again. I think its only booleans that are missing now?

Going to have a play…..

Paul

Beta 4 installed without any problems. However, it is not accepting my keycode ( Message:the license code entered is not valid). Tried re-booting, but still no joy. So I cannot test it with a real-life model but simple operations seem to work ok.

BFM

BFM,

I think someone mentioned that a space at the end can cause the keycode to not be recognized. I should add that to my bug list.

You are correct. I did a copy and paste from the e-mail and must have added a space. Its working now and I will see how I get on with a ‘real’project.

BFM

I have just spent the last two hours+ working on the cab I have sent you some days ago. The model is for Train simulator 2016. I had two crashes in that period. The first was when I exported an animation (.ia). As soon as I clicked on the ‘Save’ .ia file, the program crashed. Fortunately, I was able to recover the work and I was then able to successfully export the same animation. The second crash happened for no obvious reason – I was attempting to duplicate an object when it happened. Again, the work in progress was successfully recovered.

Maybe it is because I am so familiar with with previous versions, but I found using the Intermediate mode very difficult and was constantly flipping from tab to tab just to complete what in 9.3.3 are relatively simple operations. I will give an example.

I wanted to duplicate a needle from a gauge which was behind a glass cover and place it in a gauge on the opposite side (the cab has dual controls). With 9.3.3, I would go to the hierarchy and click on the needle object, right click on the ‘duplicate’ icon if I needed to change the default positions to 0,0,0, duplicate the object, select it and flip it on the ‘x’ axis and finally move it to the second gauge. With practice, this can be all be done in a minute or two at most on 9.3.3.

I actually found it impossible to do it this way this in Intermediate mode. I went to ‘layout’ to access my hierarchy and selected the needle. But when I tabbed back to ‘build’ to get to the duplicate operation, I found that the needle had been de-selected. In ‘layout mode’, the option to duplicate an object does not appear when I right click (or alt-right click) on it. Unless I am missing something, the only way I could select the needle was to first go the the hierarchy to hide the glass cover of the gauge, return to ‘Build’ to physically select the needle and duplicate it (there is a problem with the duplicate operation which I will return to), tab again to ‘View’ to access the operations panel and finally click on the ‘flip’ operation. The whole process takes considerably more time and many more actions to achieve the same result.

I then tried the same process with a second needle in ‘expert’ mode. This was a little faster as in ‘expert’ mode, I could select the object in the hierarchy and more or less follow the same procedure as in 9.3.3 with the exception that I still had to go to the ‘View’ tab to access the operations panel so that I could ‘flip’ the duplicated needle on the ‘x’ axis.

As I mentioned, there seems to be a problem with the ‘duplicate’ function unless I am using it incorrectly. When I click on the ‘duplicate’ icon, a panel opens with the default 0.5, 0.5, 0.5. Even though I change those figures to 0. 0, 0, so that the duplicate object should be in the exact same position as the original, when I close the panel, the duplicate is in the default position. Clicking on the duplicate icon again shows that it has returned to the default position. Is there a way of getting the duplicate function to remember its new settings? I eventually solved the problem by going to the new objects properties and changing the x, y and z position by -0.5 to return it to the position of the original object, but that is obviously not a real solution. Hopefully that bug can be easily resolved)

It took me some time to locate the ‘boolean’ operations, but I eventually discovered that they only appear when two objects are selected at the same time, which I suppose is logical.

I am happy to say that I had no problems (so far) with the ‘paint’ operations. I successfully did some UV mapping and re-mapping. No problems that I am aware of with the Nvidia card.

I suspect that newcomers to 3D modelling (or even oldies like myself) will need a fairly comprehensive set of tutorials and instructions to get the full benefit of the new program.

BFM

Thanks BFM. That’s really useful for me to hear.

Duplicate needs to be fixed for certain. Unfortunately I have to display it’s settings each time it is used because there is no possbility of making it a right-click-change-settings because right-click is reserved for ribbon use. I don’t have access to it.

But, the two big things I see are:

o) In intermediate mode the hierarchy needs to be included in the build toolset
o) The operation panel should be removed and it’s contents should be added to the ribbon as a drop down gallery of commands.

Do you think that covers it?

Btw, any sense of performance differences?

Yes, I believe that including the hierarchy in Intermediate ‘Build’ mode would speed up and make possible many operations where access is needed to individual objects in a model that are otherwise hidden or not easy to select without hiding other parts of the model. The suggestion of adding the operations as a drop down panel from ribbon would improve both Intermediate and Expert mode.

Regarding the duplicate operation, I know that the default values in all previous versions were 0.5. But if it is the case that the settings panel always opens when using that operation, would it not be better to set the default settings at 0.0,0 which I suspect is the setting that in practice is most used . I find I mostly only change the settings from 0 when I am making multiple copies of an object at set intervals (e.g. the stanchions of a railing or multiple seats in a passenger car).

As to performance, its too early to say. I was working fairly slowly due mostly to my unfamiliarity with the new interface. However, it certainly loads much faster than previous versions and I have the impression that UV mapping and re-mapping is also faster.

BFM

Making progress… implemented changes suggested by BFM, and I have snapshot working again. There should be beta 5 (the final!) on Monday, with any luck.

I think the final beta is ready, but I’m going to spend a bit more time testing it before releasing it.

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