We launched Flare3D v2.5 (as a beta) 10 months ago, and now, looking back on the road behind, we’re really excited to show you some of the highlighted things we have done during these months! (and prepare to what is going to be next)
So, now we need to go 10 months back…
November 13, 2012 – Flare3D 2.5.13 (1st Beta) is released
At that time Flare3D 2.0 was already a stable version, but we wanted to reach a new level…
We took some time to think and to imagine what next version was going to look like!. We wanted to add a lot of new features to the core engine and this involved a lot of changes, but something bigger and solid was coming!.
For this version, we totally rewrote and renewed our Tool (aka. IDE), and we also rewrote the “whole” 3D Engine and the 3DMax Plugin - we really did it!. The new 3D engine added a new flexible and customizable rendering pipeline through the new version of FLSL 2.0. and we also added support for ATF textures, and tons of optimizations, improvements and new examples (big step) :-D
FLSL 2.0 was and still is the corner stone of Flare3D 2.5. A powerful shader language fully integrated with the Flare3D IDE. It gives you all the tools you need to code, compile and try your own shaders in real time. The new version of FLSL took a huge amount of time and work, but when it was finally working, brought an impressive added value to the whole 3D engine. If you have previous knowledge with shaders (or not), give it a try!, you will love it!
We have a dedicated FLSL section in our wiki where you can find a lot of examples and resources that will help you understand how to use and create your own shaders. Also, check out the water rendering tutorial and all the examples included with Flare3D library such as : light scattering, motion blur, bloom, dream filter, night vision, sepia filter, def of field, etc…
TIP: Don’t miss the useful output AGAL panel on the IDE that will help you through optimizing your shaders.
November 21 to December 14, 2012 – v2.5.14 to v2.5.16
We were so excited with our first version that we began to work in a frantic way. First beta was followed by three new releases in the following three weeks (Yes! One per week!)
Those releases included important new features, fixes and improvements.
The project was growing fast and this is the period where a lot of cool things were born, like the new fully GPU accelerated Particles System with its properties’ panel included on the IDE and the 3D Gizmos and Visual Interface of the IDE was also improved.
Of course… a lot of fixes and improvements were introduced too.
January 14, 2013 – Happy New Year! V2.5.17
Yep, New Year and new features going on!
This one was the latest “BETA” for v2.5. In this version the new ZF3D format appears, a new open file format that allows you to save your IDE’s work!
We put the focus on the general “usability“. Now the renewed IDE had support for different customizable Workspaces, improved 3D edition tools and general tools like cut, paste and duplicate objects were improved too to support a wide range of random scenarios. We also added full drag & drop (3D objects in hierarchy panel, textures within the interface, external files, etc…), and introduced the ability to edit many objects simultaneously among other things… life is easier.
May 2, 2013 – v2.5.18
This version took a bit longer,
We were working on special features. In this one, the new Shadow Projector was introduced to generate dynamic realtime shadows. We also added tools to publish content using customizable publishing templates. Improved Undo and Redo support by including the new ‘History’ panel and new Orbit and FPS camera modes to easily navigate through your scenes. Custom Filters on material panel and new UI types for Filters were added too. And a long, list of features, fixes and improvements were also introduced, that is impossible to mention all here!
We also incorporated IDE Scripting, a powerful tool that allows you to extend the IDE’s features and build your own custom plugins and scripts. Some examples of this could be the Per Vertex GI plugin, or the Cube map renderer and Normal map renderer that are going to be included with source code in coming release.
Flare3D IDE’s Tools menu also includes a lot of scripts classified by functionality (animation, cameras, debug, optimizations, etc..). All the included scripts are ready to use and are written fully in AS3. You can find their source code into the Scripts’ folders (under Tools->Open folder on each category).
July 24, 2013 – v2.5.19 is out!
And yes! We reach the current version… as in the previous releases, this one also includes a nice list of new features.
The first on the list, is the addition of the new “Library Panel” which allows you get at a glance information about materials and textures that are available to use. From this panel you can perform tasks like: apply and change materials to selected objects, get detailed information about materials and textures, try different materials and later discard the ones you are not using, or drag textures directly over materials and objects, etc, etc, ….
The second is the return of an old friend. The “UserData” Panel, you can use this panel to add, delete and modify custom data on every object into the scene. This data is saved into the file and it is keep available to be used once you load the model in your game or application.
We haven’t been only adding new cool features, but we are always looking at different ways to optimize more and more to get out the best possible performance!
As an example, we recently updated our legendary game Yellow Planet to the latest 2.5 version (assets and code), and noticed it runs almost twice faster than in previous 2.0 version!
The game’s code is the exactly the same, we only needed to replace the old particles by the new ones, and update the assets to be compatible with the 2.5 version.
Check it now by yourself! you can find the updated version here.
And what else?
This year we also launched a totally renewed forums, our showcase has been growing with a lot of new amazing projects sent by the community and we have published in our blog many customer’s stories including interviews and feedback!.
We also did a lot of cool experiments during this time, some of them will become in cool features in the near future, others are just nice failures
You can check out some of them, like Deferred rendering, HTML5, Per Vertex Global Illumination plugin, Oculus Rift Integration, etc…
Lots of these experiments, improvements, (bug fixes) and new features got their life thanks to all of you guys!, who always ask for more! and always provide amazing feedback!, please never stop!
These are only 10 months! so, can you guess what we will do in the next 10 months? I’m sure that you will be surprised!
If you have read it all and haven’t tried Flare3D yet, you can download just right here