We’ve been working hard on the new preview so I thought I’d take a moment and share a screenshot (click the picture above) and let you know about some of the exciting new features.
First, this is a complete re-write, from the ground up. There are so many places on the net you will read about WPF (this is a programming thing — if you don’t care about programming, skip this paragraph) as the next best thing since sliced bread — it is easier, it uses DirectX to draw it’s stuff, your stupid not to use it, bla, bla bla… so, that’s what we did in the LAST preview. Since it was so great, we used WPF. Ok, it is great… if you are programming a “normal” application that will just have some controls on the screen, this is a great way to go. It is faster and arguably better than Windows Forms controls. Turns out, though, when you’re putting hundreds or thousands of items on the screen at once (like lights or pixels) it is a dog. Slow doesn’t even begin to describe it… So, we went back to the drawing board. The new preview is orders of magnitude faster and uses pixel-bashing to get most of it’s work done in the most efficient manner I think is possible.
Say you want to put a mega-tree in your scene. Just click your mega-tree group in the element tree, click the Mega-Tree icon on the toolbar, click in the preview window and drag it to the size you want. That’s it! Your mega-tree is drawn on the preview linked to all of the elements you have previously defined. If you don’t like what you see, there are various properties for each prop you can adjust. (picture to the right) Could it get any easier?
When Can I Try It?
We’re not sure yet. We’re making sure it works right and doesn’t bring your system to a grind halt. We’ve got beta-testers playing with it now. Hopefully it’ll be ready in the next couple weeks.