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19. February 2017

 

Inkscape is a popular open source vector based graphics package available here.  Inkscape 0.92.1 was just released with several fixes, improvements, documentation and some new known issues.

Details from the release notes:

 

Regression Fixes
  • Text: baseline-spacing related issues with regular and flowed text in legacy Inkscape SVG files (Bug #1655483 and others).
  • Text: Default baseline spacing stored in relative units is always converted to document units (Bug #1645016)
  • Path effects: Crash on ungroup if group contains elements with path effects (Bug #1657591)
  • Clipboard: Pasting a path effect from clipboard fails (Bug #1656093)
  • Clipboard: Fix copy&pasting of groups which contain elements with path effects (Bug #1656527)
  • Selection: Node tool can select objects on locked layers (Bug #1656141)
  • Clones: Critical warnings with clones and symbols (Bug #1653184)
  • About screen missing for several UI languages (Bug #1659426)
  • Selection: Missing transformation handles after reset of rotation center (Bug #1657874)
Important bugfixes
  • Bitmap images: Crash when opening files with invalid image links (Bug #1660142)
  • Bitmap images: Fix path separators in relative image links (Windows) (Bug #1659347)
  • File import: Failure to open CDR/Visio/WPG files from paths with special characters (Windows) (Bug #1656763)
Translations
  • Catalan: Tutorial translation ("Basic") added
  • Czech: UI translation updated
  • English (GB): UI translation updated
  • French: UI translation updated
  • French: Man page, Readme and Keys & mouse reference updated
  • German: Man page and Keys & mouse reference updated
  • Icelandic: UI translation updated
  • Italian: UI translation updated
  • Latvian: UI translation updated
  • Russian: Tutorial translation ("Tracing Pixel Art") added
  • Russian: UI translation updated
  • Spanish: UI translation updated
  • Slovak: Tutorial translation ("Tracing Pixel Art") added
  • Slovak: UI translation updated
  • Ukrainian: UI translation updated
Documentation
  • Shortcuts: Add shortcut '7' for cycling through path effect parameters in node tool (Bug #1656713)
  • Shortcuts: Add new Shift+I shortcut to keys and mouse reference (Bug #1644609)
  • Man page: Add new --no-convert-text-baseline-spacing command line option (Bug #1661811)
Known issues
  • DPI Change: Dialog needs better explanation of available options (Bug #1659229)
  • DPI Change: Provide command line options for batch-processing legacy files (Bug #1659489)
  • DPI Change: known issues with 'Scale elements' option (Bugs #1653230, #1653230, #1653236, #1654342, #1654796, #1654880, #1654903, #1655005, #1655053, #1660228)
  • DPI Change: Default grids in documents created with Inkscape 0.91 don't scale correctly (Bug #1653893)
  • Renderer: Artifacts in Gaussian blur effects with default quality settings (Bug #1656383)
  • Node tool: Deselecting selected nodes of complex paths takes a long time (Bug #1652100)
  • Fill and Stroke: HSL color selector may show corrupted colors, defunct 5th slider (Bug #1635982)

GameDev News

19. February 2017

 

The Cocos2d-x foundation just released Cocos Creator 1.4.  Cocos Creator is built on top of Cocos2d-x stack using the JavaScript language.  I took a hands-on look at Cocos Creator shortly after it was released if you want a better idea how Cocos Creator works.  The 1.4 release brings several new features including Spine and DragonBones mesh rendering, UI text improvements and more.

 

From the release notes:

 

HighlightsspineDBCocos

The most concerning issues and improvements from the community have been addressed, including:

  • Node instantiation performance enhancement
  • Spine and DragonBones animation supports mesh rendering
  • UI label enhancement, including LabelAtlas support, bitmap font batch rendering (batch with other sprites!), rich text strokes, etc.
  • Extension store is online, more editor extension interface is supported
  • Include a lot of hot update issue fix and interface improvements
  • Add third party library to handle audio soft decoding on android, to improve compatibility and performance
  • Added VS Code debugging web platform workflow support

 

The full announcement goes into a great deal more detail about the new functionality in this release.

GameDev News

16. February 2017

 

Nevigo have created a unique product in articy:draft.  It’s one of the few tools out there aimed specifically at game designers with the goal of making game design tasks like plot progression, NPC dialog, inventory, application flow and more easier.  I featured articy:draft 2.0 in the game developer toolbox video series.  So what is new in articy:draft 3?  Hands down the biggest new feature is Unity integration, enabling you to publish articy:draft data directly to your Unity powered game.  They also announced that Unreal Engine integration is also in the works.  The other major feature of the 3.0 release is a new plugin system enabling developers to customize their work flow.

 

The official press release:

Bochum, Germany, February 15, 2017 - The new version 3.0 of the professional story and game design tool articy:draft - available February 16th - lets game developers export their content to Unity with just a few clicks. Besides the integration for Unity, the world’s most used game engine, articy:draft 3 comes with many more improvements like a new plugin system enabling users toarticy_to_unity automate and customize functionality to fit their individual needs.

Since its initial release back in 2012, articy:draft is used by AAA studios such as CD Project Red, BioWare and Ubisoft and by hundreds of independent developers like The Chinese Room or Daedalic Entertainment. It has become one of the standard tools for planning non-linear stories, writing interactive dialogues and managing large amounts of game objects like character or item databases. Various educational institutes and universities worldwide added articy:draft to their curriculum.  

To become even more accessible for small to mid-size teams articy:draft 3 offers a ready-made solution to integrate content into Unity. Carsten Schröder, CEO of Nevigo, explains the benefits: “Our Unity integration is more than just an importer. With its customizable flow traversal engine and out-of-the-box script evaluation, it enables developers to test and iterate on their content within the actual game right from the get-go.”

Benedikt Göpfert from Beardshaker Games confirms the efficiency after trying the new version during its beta: “If we already had the Unity plugin for our last game, we would have been at least 20% faster.”

A similar solution for developers using Unreal engine is currently in development. 

Media Contact:
Peter Thielmann
Phone: +49 - 23 27 - 9 60 21 - 21
Email: peter.thielmann@nevigo.com

 

They also released a trailer showcasing the new functionality.

GameDev News

16. February 2017

 

PlayCanvas is an HTML5 powered 3D game engine I featured a long time ago in the Closer Look game engine series.  It has come a long way since then, and just now, received a much improved code editor.  Usability improvements like the now ubiquitous tab view, an improved file navigator, improved code navigation and more.

 

From the announcement blog post:

Some of the new features introduced by the new editor:

File view & tabs

The most obvious difference is now we let you browse all your text files in the code editor and open multiple files in the same window. No more hunting through browser tabs to find that file you were editing.

Goto Anything

Editor Goto Anything

Goto Anything (Ctrl/Cmd+P) is the power users dream option. Jump to any text file in your project with a few keystrokes.

Enhanced keyboard shortcuts

We’ve had a complete overhaul of the keyboard shortcuts. All your standard text editor shortcuts are there. Including using multiple cursors and expanding selections.

Better find & replace

Editor Find

We’ve beefed up the find and replace with a new interface and easy to use extras like case-sensitive and regular expressions.

 

You can learn more about PlayCanvas here.

GameDev News

15. February 2017

 

Physically Based Rendering, PBR, has pretty much taken the world of computer graphics by storm, and Allegorithmics is at the forefront of that movement.  Today they just released Substance Designer 6.  Substance designer is a tool for creating PBR materials.  Substance designer comes with three new major features: Curve Node, Text Node and 32-bit floating point compositing.  image

The Curve Node:

The Curve node allows you to define a curve profile to remap color data. In the context of Substance Designer you will find it particularly useful to define/sculpt height maps.

The Text Node:

The Text node is pretty self-explanatory! It comes with dedicated effect filters like glow, drop shadow, and outline.  Note that the text input can also be exposed for dynamic changes in integrations! The integration plugins will soon be updated.

Another new feature of the release is Scan Processing:

New Scan Processing nodes allow you to create accurate scanned materials from a set of pre-lit photos. These photos can be shot pretty easily with minimal setup: all you need is a camera (or even a phone), a tripod and a flashlight or LED strip. Take 4 or 8 photos of the same surface with varying light angles, crop and feed them to the Scan Processor.

The filters will cross check the different photos and extract a pure albedo as well as an incredibly detailed normal map or height map, no tweaking required. It works even with shiny materials or metals!

Bakers have also been improved with the following new functionality:

  • You can now bake by material/texture set as in Substance Painter, limiting the hassle when your scene contains multiple materials.
  • The bake limit has been pushed to 8K (and will be pushed even further in a future update).
  • The X/Y ratio can be unlocked for non-uniform (non-square) baking.
  • You can (finally) cancel the baking process before it finishes :)

 

The following is a video of the new functionality in action:

 

You can read more about the release here.

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