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10. September 2018


Kanova is a VR enabled sculpting application from Foundry, the makers of Modo, Mari, Nuke and of computer graphics applications.  It is currently available for free on steam in early access format and enables you to sculpt 3D models like using virtual clay.  Check the video embedded below to see Kanova in action.  This release brings several new features the biggest of which being custom brushes.

Details of the release from the Steam store:

New features

  • Custom brushes!
    • You can copy a layer that you’ve sculpted to use as a brush right now.
    • You can save a layer as a brush file.
    • There is a new custom brush browser:
    • On the desktop, go to the View > Panels menu and choose Brushes to show it. Double click on a brush icon to activate it or a folder icon to change into that folder.
    • In VR this is on a new Brushes tab. Single click on a brush icon to activate it or a folder icon to change into that folder.
    • Saved brushes have the extension .kbrush
    • You can add a new brush to your collection by copying the .kbrush file into your Documents/Kanova/Brushes folder.
    • Custom brushes are suitable for stamping at the moment but performance is not yet good enough to use them for a continuous stroke.
  • The default location for all per-user Kanova content is now your Documents/Kanova directory.
      tunables.ini now lives in this folder. If you had a custom tunables.ini file before, you must move it into Documents/Kanova or it will be ignored.
    • There are separate subdirectories for sculpts, brushes, reference models, reference images, shaders, etc.
    • You can add custom shaders by dropping them into Documents/Kanova/Shaders. If you had any custom shaders before, you must move them into Documents/Kanova or they will not be detected.
    • You can add custom brushes by dropping a .kbrush file into Documents/Kanova/Brushes.
  • Thumbnail image for your scene
    • You can capture a thumbnail image for your scene. Go to the Edit menu and choose Capture Thumbnail.
    • When you save your scene after capturing a thumbnail, the thumbnail will be embedded in the .dfm file.
    • The file browsers have been modified to display these thumbnails when available.
  • You can enter a hex value for a color:
    • Click on the label which shows the hex value of the current color & it will change into an editable field. Type in a value then press Enter or Return to accept it; press Esc or move input focus out of the field to cancel.
    • You can type in hex values of the form #rgb, #rrggbb, #rrrgggbbb, #rrrrggggbbbb. Hex values must always start with a ‘#’.
    • You can also type in color names, like “white”, “cyan”, “silver”, “red”, etc. The full list of accepted names is here: https://www.w3.org/TR/SVG/types.html#ColorKeywords
      Color names and hex values are case-insensitive.
  • ADF cleanup improvements:
    • Cleanup now runs automatically during idle time; you can interrupt it at any time to start a new stroke or perform some other action.
    • Just-in-time cleanup is done automatically where necessary during a stroke.
    • Idle-time cleanup and just-in-time cleanup are both disabled by default for now because we’re still working on some performance issues. They can be enabled under the debug menu.
    • Removed the old options for different cleanup types (Manual, Postprocess or Just-In-Time).

    Removed functionality
  • You can no longer save in older versions of Kanova’s file format.
    • You can now only save in v8 of the file format, which is the latest at time of writing. This uses a lot less disk space than earlier versions and supports all of Kanova’s current features.
    • You can still load files in older versions of the file format. You will not lose any of your sculpts!
    • If you re-save an older file, it will be saved in the latest version of the file format - and it will almost certainly get a lot smaller as a result.

    Bug fixes
  • ADF cleanup works with all meshing algorithms now; previously it only worked with DF3DMesh.
  • More accurate tracking of whether the file has been modified or not:
    • Previously, undoing back to the last point where the file was saved would still show the file as modified.
    • The current file would sometimes be shown as modified even if it hadn’t been changed since it was loaded or created.
  • Kanova wasn’t exiting cleanly from SteamVR
    • After exiting, Steam still showed Kanova as running. You had to exit from SteamVR as well before you could restart Kanova.
  • If you used a keyboard shortcut involving the Ctrl key which popped up a dialog (e.g. Ctrl+O to open a file), it would toggle the Erase modifier.
  • If you used a keyboard shortcut involving the Shift key which popped up a dialog (e.g. Ctrl+Shift+A for “save as…”), your current brush would be switched to the Smooth tool.
  • Crash when loading an OBJ file as a reference model if the OBJ file doesn’t contain vertex normals and at least one of vertex colors or UVs.
  • If the filename entered into a save dialog did not have an extension, no default extension was being added. This affected saving a Kanova scene, exporting a scene and saving a screenshot.
    Known bugs
  • Some older files no longer load correctly, they appear to have chunks missing. You should not resave over any files where you notice this problem. Any files created with 1.0v1b3 or later should be unaffected.


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