More on Blender 2.0

July 31st, 2000 by Crusader

nlin wrote in to theLGDC mailing list withadditional information on the new features in version 2.0 of the free 3Dmodeler Blender:

It is a self-contained development and run-time environment formodeling and controlling interactive environments.

First of all, Blender allows you to model 3D objects, rooms, etc. just likeany 3D modeler (3DSMax, etc).

Secondly, and this is the new stuff with Blender 2.0, Blender allows you toclassify polygonal meshes as being sectors (i.e. rooms), props (staticobjects), or actors (dynamic objects). Then, a run-time engine appliesphysics and user-defined behaviors to the objects.

Execution of the game takes place within the Blender environment itself.Therefore, Blender (for the time being) is best viewed as a self-containedengine and environment for developing and creating interactive content.Running games created with Blender requires you to run Blender, as sort ofa run-time wrapper. Blender does not yet, IMHO, appear to be usable as alibrary which can be called from external programs (although Blenderdoes have a built-in scripting language for doing some programming).Therefore, depending on your goals, Blender may or may not be for you -if you want to play around with creating interactive content in a visualdevelopment environment, Blender is the way to go. If you want to experimentwith new low-level rendering, voxel, or visibility algorithms (BSP, portals,octtree), you will need (as has always been the case) to write your own3D engine because Blender’s engine has made specific design decisionswhich are – for the moment anyway – difficult to change. (I wrote thecompany asking if they could provide a plug-in interface to allow low-levelaccess to some of the engine’s internals, but have gotten no response yet.)

My upcoming book, “Linux 3D Graphics programming” (available for pre-orderon now from Wordware Publishing), has 2 Chapters on using Blenderfor creating games, as well as other information useful to Linux 3D graphicsprogrammers.

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