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2. April 2019


Today marked the release of Microsoft’s seminal IDE Visual Studio 2019.  It is available for download right now at https://visualstudio.microsoft.com/downloads/.  The community edition of Visual Studio 2019 is completely free to use so long as your company makes less than $1M USD annually or has > 250 PCs.   Free trials for the Professional and Enterprise versions are also available.  For more details on the differences between versions, be sure to check here.

There are several new improvements and features available in Visual Studio 2019 including improved performance and start up times, a new AI driven code tool called IntelliCode, .NET core 3.0 support, C# data breakpoints, tighter integration with GitHub and Azure, multiple improvements to mobile development using Xamarin, a new remote coding interface called Live Code and much more.  You can read the complete Visual Studio 2019 release notes here.

Visual Studio 2019 for Mac also received a new release, including intellisense support taken directly from Visual Studio.  You can read the full release notes here and download here. (be sure to click the MacOS tab if required).

You can watch a condensed to under 10 minute version of the keynote in the video below.  In addition to the keynote, Microsoft have a series of training materials and more in-depth sessions available at https://visualstudio.microsoft.com/vs2019-launch/.

GameDev News


1. April 2019


Humble are running another bundle of interest to game developers, especially C# developers.  It’s the Humble Microsoft & .NET Bundle by APress which contains 3 tiers of programming books, many about C# but all about Microsoft .NET technologies.  As with all Humble Bundles (including the ongoing Coder’s Bookshelf bundle) it contains multiple tiers of books with proceeds split between Humble, the publisher, charity and potentially GFS (thanks!) at your discretion.  If you buy a tier, you get all of the books below that tier.

This Bundle consists of:

$1 Tier

C# 7 Quick Syntax Reference

Visual Studio Code Distilled

Microsoft Computer Vision APIs Distilled

Beginning Xamarin Development for the Mac

Modern API Design with ASP.NET Core 2


$8 Tier

Cosmos DB for MongoDB Developers

Modern Data Access with Entity Framework Core

Azure and Xamarin Forms

Beginning Entity Framework Core 2.0

Developing Bots with Microsoft Bots Framework

Essential Docker for ASP.NET Core MVC

Pro C# 7


$15 Tier

Hardening Azure Applications

Beginning XML with C# 7

Modern Algorithms for Image Processing

Xamarin.Forms Solutions

Deep Learning with Azure

IoT, AI and Blockchain for .NET

Practical Bot Development

Introducing Microsoft Teams


You can grab the bundle here or learn more in the video below.

GameDev News


1. April 2019


Epic Games have released the April 2019 round of free content for Unreal Engine.  Every month Epic releases new content free for Unreal developers from the Unreal Engine marketplace, that is completely free so long as it is “purchased” during the month of the promotion.  Additionally some new marketplace content is released free forever with no time limitations.

This months free content includes:

Advanced Locomotion System V3

Crazy Insane Dining Sets

DENT - Networked Destruction

Mega Game Music Collection

Melee Weapons Pack

The free forever content includes:

Advanced Glass Material Pack

City Subway Train - Modular


Learn more about the giveaway at the Unreal Engine blog or by watching the video embedded below.

GameDev News


1. April 2019


Instead of reporting the April 1st “news”, today we are instead going to look at a pair of excellent free texturing tools that run entirely in your browser, Normal Map Online and Texture Generator Online.  Normal Map online can be sued to create normal, displacement, ambient occlusion and specular maps from a simple height map image.  Texture Generator Online is used for creating simple procedural textures like patterns, noises, terrain and more.

While both tools are easy to use, you can see both of them in action in the video below.  You can also learn more by clicking the question mark icons found within the website.  Chrome is the developers recommended browser, although I ran it without issues in the Firefox browser.   Both services are also available from this homepage.

Art


27. March 2019

Autodesk have released the newest version of their popular 3D application, 3DS Max 2020.  This is an incremental release bringing new features such as an improved chamfer modifier, new and improved Open Shader Language (OSL) shaders and more.


3ds Max 2020 highlights include:

- Performance enhancements support more accurate playback in the Viewport Framerate, faster playback speeds with Validity Intervals, accelerated SetNormals MaxScript function, and more.

- New Create Animation Preview features enhance the user experience and enable faster local drive creation, AVI codec selection and unlimited capture resolution, among other capabilities.

- Chamfer Modifier updates, including a Fixed Weight Chamfer, presets, inset feature, end point bias and added depth, facilitate efficient, predictable modeling.

- OSL Shader improvements like an enhanced viewport display of OSL maps, automatic conversion of OSL shaders to viewport shaders, Quicksilver Hardware Renderer support for OSL Maps, and new and extended OSL maps introduce greater rendering flexibility and customization.

- Enhanced Revit import functionality accelerates data imports and simplifies scene management and organization, delivering options to combine files by material more selectively, the ability to import older Revit files into 2020 without upgrading, more accurate conversion of imported IES lights, and other features.

- 3ds Max to Arnold (MaxToA) integration updates streamline workflows, offering the ability to export Export Points as Arnold point primitives, faster PFlow instance rendering, and distribution of the Python API to edit, write, and render .ass files without relying on kick only.


You can check out the new OSL features in this video and the new chamfer modifier in this video.

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