v10 Beta 3 Available

v10 Beta 3 is now available. If you had Beta 2 installed, it will automatically update.

Download 3DCrafter 10 Beta 3

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.

IMPORTANT: This version is feature complete, but there are still many features that need refining, and there may be some that simply do not work, or don’t work as expected.

What’s new
========

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 It has been replaced by “Orbit”, “Pan”, and “Zoom”.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
====
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

New in Beta 3:
o) Right-Click context menus have had big changes. Right-click now provides easy access to the most significant items on the ribbon.The functions are divided into a mini-toolbar and below it a popup style menu. This should allow for the ribbon to be kept rolled up (for experienced users mostly I think)
o) As of right now, there is a secondary right-click menu for less often used items. It is accessed via alt-right-click. I’m still deciding on this one, but I THINK this might end up being the best solution. It was suggested by someone, but I forget who :-)

Outstanding Issues:
o) saving/restoring of view settings between sessions
o) issue with serial number not being accepted
o) shortcut on start menu sometimes not being created
o) UV related operations zoom not working
o) Tile by unit crash
o) File recovery issues.

Tip: The right-click toolbar does not disappear if you choose an item on it. Only if you choose an item on the right-click menu. But if you move your cursor away from it, it will fade and eventually disappear entirely. OR you can click anywhere and it will disappear, without affecting what you have selected.

Whoops… found a bug already. You won’t be able to right-click on a selection and move it up and down.

Very nice indeed. All working fine here. The new right click menu will make selecting options dead easy. Just one question – how do I move an object in the ‘y’ direction. Used to be right click and hold of course but this doesn’t work any more, am I missing something obvious?

Paul

PS Look at that, you answered my question while I was typing!

  • This reply was modified 1 year, 6 months ago by  Paul.

I think I’ve got that issue fixed and have released an update.

Today was my “code cutoff” for new features. So, this is the feature set for v10. I can still refine while fixing bugs, updating icons etc. But nothing really “new” until v10.1, which should be available within a few months.

I still don’t know what to think about the two separate right-click menus. They could still be merged, though that would result in really big menus, which I’m trying to avoid.

The right click menu is exactly what I wanted. Much better ergonomics.

Is there anything happening with true shadow baking?

Good job Richard, all working fine now. Personally I really like the new right click options, quick and easy to use. No doubt you are aware that the snapshot function doesn’t work yet, not for me anyway. If I click on the snapshot button nothing happens until I move the cursor back into the scene when the grid disappears for some reason. Apart from that and the raytrace materials everything seems to be working well as far as I know so far.

Paul

Glad you like it! I’m pretty happy with things generally. A good starting point for the second generation of 3DC, I think.

I keep repeating myself, but it would be really helpful if someone who does more modelling than myself would let me know which important operations are not on the context tabs, and which ones that are currently there are rarely used.

JimCrow,

I am not sure what is happening when at this point. v10.1 is about new modelling features that’s for sure. I’d like v10.2 to be about the rendering. I struggled for a long time about priorities, and am still struggling to decide.

Paul,

I’ll add snapshot and raytracing materials to the list. I’ll be plugging away at fixes for a while I think.

I just released a bug-fix.

Outstanding Issues:
o) saving/restoring of view settings between sessions
o) shortcut on start menu sometimes not being created
o) Snapshot and Video recording do not work properly

How to install V.10 in a different drive rather then C:?

How do you hide (or ‘show only’) individual or groups of shapes in a model?. In previous versions, I could select items from the hierarchy and either hide them or show only the shapes I wanted to work on. Clicking shapes in the hierarchy in the new version does not provide those options. Neither does clicking on the shapes themselves. Am I missing something?

BFM

robix61,

Unfortunately there is no option. It isn’t available to me either

BFM,

Sorry, I should have mentioned. It is alt-right-click for the alternate right-click menu. Not sure if it is staying this way or not. Also I see that there are some bugs related to this, especially when using the hierarchy.

I’ll probably make the beta download more visible to get more people trying out. Unless someone reports major issues with it.

Hi Richard,

A few more items to report….

Exporting a few of the file formats causes a crash after the export complete message. STL, RBS, X3D were the ones I tried.

F5, F6 and F7 repeat op/plugin/script seem to have gone – I use these all the time.

Several of my exports use the same file extension as built in exporters – it often picks the wrong one
e.g. I have shapeways STL format, X-Plane OBJ and Flight sim X formats.

Cheers,
Paul

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