ngPlant 0.9.3a Released!

ngPlant 0.9.3a is a bug fix release. This release fixes a (serious) bug which caused broken parameter panels appearance and made model editing almost impossible in ngplant application.

Thanks to Abe Madey and “jpbouza” (member of forum) for bug report.

ngPlant 0.9.3 Released!

New features and improvements:

  • Modeling changes:
    • “Phototropism mode” parameter removed from “Tube” stem model. Now it is possible to apply both modes to the same branch group using “Phototropism distribution” curve.
    • “Cylindrical” billboards support added.
    • LOD visibility range support implemented. It allows to control branch visibility depending on selected LOD level.
    • Transparency control implemented. It allows to make branches smoothly fade-in and fade-out during LOD changes.
  • ngplant application changes:
    • configuration file ‘texdirs’ is not used anymore, all ngplant settings are stored in ‘.ngplant’ configuration file.
    • “Preferences” dialog (“File->Preferences…”) can be used to set paths to textures, export and 3d-view user preferences. Note that changes to texture paths does not apply immediately, you should restart ngplant to apply changes.
  • Export functionality changes:
    • selective export support added – it is possible to exclude from export hidden branch groups and branch groups which are outside LOD visibility range.
    • Now it is possible to write export plug-ins for ngplant using Lua programming language. To run export plug-in use “File->Export to->Run export script…” and select script to run from “plugins” directory.
    • exp3dobj.lua plug-in implemented (it can be used as a reference for implementing other export plug-ins).
  • 3D-view improvements:
    • ground plane can be hidden now (“File->Preferences…->Misc->Ground visible”)
    • ground plane color can be changed using “Preferences” dialog
    • ‘NUMPAP-3′,’Shift-NUMPAD-3′,’NUMPAD-7′,’Shift-NUMPAD-7’ and ‘Shift-NUMPAD-1’ keys can be used to set camera to right/left, top/bottom and back view.
    • ‘NUMPAP-4′,’NUMPAD-6′,’NUMPAD-2′,’NUMPAD-8’ keys can be used to rotate camera by discrete steps.
  • Parameter panels improvements:
    • Now it is possible to enter numeric values directly from keyboard – double-click on Numeric control and enter number in opened dialog window.
    • Now it is possibe to edit curves more precisely – double-click on empty space in curve control and edit curve in resizable dialog.
    • base texture can be removed from material (previously it was possible only to change texture by another one)
  • Changes in other applications:
    • ngpview application now supports billboard branches (previous version rendered such branches as oriented rectangles)
  • C++ API (HLI) changes:
    • GetBillboardSize method added to P3DHLIPlantTemplate class
    • new constructor added to P3DHLIPlantTemplate class to allow create plant template using existing P3DPlantModel object.
    • GetBillboardMode method added to P3DMaterialDef class
    • IsLODVisRangeEnabled and GetLODVisRange methods added to P3DHLIPlantTemplate class
    • IsAlphaCtrlEnabled,GetAlphaFadeIn and GetAlphaFadeOut methods added to P3DMaterialDef class
  • Python API (HLI) changes:
    • GetBillboardSize method added to BranchGroup class
    • BillboardMode attribute added to MaterialDef class
    • IsLODVisRangeEnabled and GetLODVisRange methods added to BranchGroup class
    • AlphaCtrlEnabled and AlphaFadeRange attributes added to MaterialDef class

Thanks to all who participates in ngPlant discussion at project forum at and other sites and send me bug reports and feature requests. It helps a lot!