Anim8or V0.97 Preview

About the v0.97 Preview Version

As with the v0.96 preview release, I'm not waiting until I have the next full "version" ready. I'm posting snapshots of future release as they progress. For lack of a better name they are know as previews. This will give you a chance to see what's coming a bit earlier and help find any bugs, and give me feedback on specific features sooner when it's probably easier to make changes.

If you are a new Anim8or user then you probably should not be using this version. Naive questions and incorrect problem reports will not help the preview process.

If you want to try it out to see how the new features work then this is the version for you. But you should be aware that it is likely less stable than a released version. Don't use it for important projects unless you're prepared to redo your work should something happen.

You should also visit the Anim8or v0.97 Preview forum. This is where you will find the latest information on problems and give your feedback to help decide how these features will look when in an "official" release.

Note: The documentation isn't ready yet so you'll have to play around with some things to see how they work. I have added a summary of the new features and how to use them below. You can, of course, post questions in the preview forum.

Have fun!


September 21, 2008

New Features in v0.97d Preview:

The fourth v0.97 preview is called the v0.97d preview dated September 21, 2008. The major changes are (bug fixes first):

  • #097-019 - ART AA renders are too bright - Fixed.
  • #097-021 - Importing Object with Same Name can Crash - Fixed.
  • #097-009 - #097-022 - Copying Modifiers without a Bound Shape Crashes - Fixed.
  • Misc bugs: ASL constant PI was 3. It's now 3.141...
  • Various "..." buttons didn't connect to controllers on the scene editor.
  • Other minor fixes, small memory leaks patched, grid not always drawn, etc.

New features:

  • Still image render size is saved with a project so so you don't have to reset it each time you reload a project
  • Click-dragging in the render window will move the image around allowing you to view all of an image even when it's bigger that the window. Works while rendering movies as well but you need to have multithreaded rendering enabled.
  • Scenes and Sequences can have attributes.
  • ART ray tracer: new RayDepth integer attribute for the max level of rays to trace (for reflections and transparency). The default is 12 when RayDepth isn't defined.
  • ART ray tracer: new AmbientOccluder integer attribute. When set to 1 AA renders trace rays to the background for the ambient component:

Rendered with Global Intensity of 0.0 (equivalent to no lights used), Ambient Intensity of 3.14 (required for correct lighting using background only), an integer Scene attribute AmbientOccluder with a value of 1, and 64 AA samples/pixel.

Download v0.97d Preview Executable

This fourth version of the 0.97 preview dated September 21, 2008 is ready. Get a copy here:

New Features in v0.97c Preview

The third v0.97 preview is called the v0.97c preview dated September 10, 2008. The major changes are (bug fixes first):

  • #097-007 - ART can crash rendering meshes with no faces - Fixed.
  • #097-008 - ART Renderer ignores Light's shadow setting - Fixed.
  • #097-009 - Camera lens shade is visible in it's own view in renders - Fixed.
  • #097-010 - Cubemap backgrounds crash - Fixed.
  • #097-011 - Multiple Problems with Z-near - Fixed. Also lowest ZNear value changed to 0.01, Max ZFar/ZNear ratio 1.0e5.
  • #097-012 - CMOD Export Script Stopped Working in v0.97b - Fixed.
  • #097-013 - Texture coordinates incorrect in ART Rendering - Fixed.
  • #097-014 - ART Renders Don't Show Panorama Backgrounds - Fixed.
  • #097-015 - Fix crash in copy/copy of bound modifiers. Paste is still broken; crash is fixed.
  • #097-016 - Ray traced shadows can have missing faces - Fixed.
  • #097-107 - Reflections show horizontal bands in ART local light using soft shadows. Sample sizes of multiples of 4 can cause sever artifacts. Fixed.
  • Fix ASL function GetNumEdges() to return the correct number of edges.
  • Tab key was treated as Delete key in some cases. It's not any more.

New ASL scripting language features:

  • VERSION predefined constant with version number.
  • Added correctly spelled versions of LockAmbientAndDiffuse() and SetAmbientColor() functions.
  • Disallow refresh(), renderer(), render() and view() commands in invariant scripts (e.g. parameteric shape plug-ins, controller scripts.)

New features:

  • Autosave. Enable project autosave to temp directory in the File→Configure dialog.
  • Time line slider control. Added to Sequence and Scene editors.
  • New 2, 3 and alternate 4 view modes (1 large, 3 small views). Use 2, 3 and 5 hotkeys.
  • Increase max number of sides that a face can have for picking from 20 to 100.
  • Global light intensity for scaling overall brightness of user defined lights. Set in the Settings→Lighting dialog in the Scene editor.
  • Global ambient intensity.

Download v0.97c Preview Executable

This third version of the 0.97 preview dated September 10, 2008 is ready. Get a copy here:

Current v0.97 Bug List

A current bug list can be found here v0.97_bugs.txt. I'll try and keep it current so you know what's happening.

New Features in v0.97b Preview

The second v0.97 preview is called the v0.97b preview dated June 1, 2008. The major changes are (bug fixes first):

  • #096-008 - Stereo Movie Renders Don't Show Backgrounds - Fixed. However there seems to be a problem with the views for stereo renders. I'm looking at it.
  • #097-001 - Can't Disable Shadows in ART Renderer - Fixed
  • #097-002 - CubeMap Backgrounds Don't Show in ART Renderer - Fixed.
  • #097-003 - Class glossyreflection Doesn't Support DIffuse, Bumpmap and Specular Textures - Fixed.
  • #097-004 - Scanline raytrace shadows don't show on the ground grid - Fixed.
  • #097-005 - ART Renderer Has Incorrect Environment Map Reflections - Better but not 100% fixed.
  • #097-006 - ART Renderer Doesn't Support Alpha or Depth Channels - Fixed.

Many new ASL scripting language functions:

  • shape.GetNumEdges(), etc.
  • Write to console: open("$console", "w");
  • mesh.DeletePoint(), etc.
  • Functions to access to attributes.
  • Spline access functions. You can make cool looking chains that follow the shape of a spline!
  • See documentation on the scripts page for the details.

Vo.97b also supports multithreaded rendering. Please note that this does not speed up rendering by using two or more threads to render in parallel. That will come at a later date. This release helps improve rendering under Vista. It keeps the GUI responsive to user requests fully while it's rendering allowing you to resize and minimize Anim8or. You enable it with the Render→Multithreaded command.

Download v0.97b Preview Executable

This second version of the 0.97 preview dated June 1, 2008 is ready. Get a copy here:

New Features in v0.97a Preview

The first v0.97 preview is called the v0.97a preview dated March 18, 2008. The major changes are:

  • A ray tracer render called ART for Anim8or Ray Tracer. You can use it to render all Anim8or materials plus reflections, transparency with glass like index of refraction effects, glossy surfaces and more. Here is a link to some initial documentation on how to access these new features: ART Raytracer
  • You can copy and paste materials with Ctrl-Shift-C and Ctrl_Shift-V.
  • Movie rendering size is saved as a project parameter.
  • Several other minor changes and bugs fixed including:
    #096-002 - Cut Selected Faces Can Crash, and
    #096-007 - Click-Drag in Drag-Select mode can crash on window focus change

That doesn't seem like a lot but it's quit a bit of new code.

Download v0.97a Preview Executable

This first version of the 0.97a preview dated March 18, 2008 is ready. Get a copy here: Try it out and see how the new ART ray tracer works!

New Features in v0.96a Preview

The first preview is called the v0.96a preview dated July 31, 2007. The major changes are:

  • .MTL file input and output support (for .OBJ import and exported files)
  • Holding the Control key down when selecting shapes in an Object or faces, points or edges in the Point Editor allows you to click-drag the mouse to select or deselect multiple things. If this is popular I may make it the default and use the Control key to select just one thing (as it does now).
  • Add user attributes to Objects, Figures and Elements. These are typed, named variables of int, float, point, orientation or string type. For example you can define a float attribute called mass and set it to 10.5. Currently they are only useful by programs that parse the .an8 format but will be accessable from ASL scripts in the future. You define these with the Object→Attributes command.
  • Holding the Control key down when using the Cut Faces tool user only cuts selected faces.
  • A new Edit→MovePoints command in the Point Editor that moves sepected points by a precise amount.
  • Show light frustums when lights are selected.
  • Improved UV tool. Each shape in an object can define it's own UV widget that does planar, cylindrical, sperical or normal projecton of texture coordinates onto that shape. You can interactively move, rotate and scale the widgent in UV edit mode. Also UV widgets are saved with the shapes so that the UV tool doesn't force you to restart from scratch wach time you use it.
  • Export binormals to the .an8 format when Export Normals is set (and bump maps are used fore that shape).
  • Add Cubemap Backgrounds to Scenes. Any cube map texture can be used as a background in a scene.
  • Fixed a few bugs.


V0.96a should be able to read previous versions of .an8 files. Though the opposite is not entirely possible, it generally should work especially for the most recent releases. Newly added features will be ignored, of course, but shouldn't cause other problems.

Download Preview v0.96a Executable

This first version of the 0.96a preview dated July 31, 2007 is ready. Get a copy here: Try it out and see how the new features work!

V0.95a Preview User Manual

There isn't an update to the manual for the v0.96a preview. Use the regular manual, the notes on this page, and the v0.96 Preview forum for help.

Current Bug List

A current bug list can be found here : v0.96_bugs.txt I'll try and keep it current so you know what's happening.

Reporting Problems

In order to keep the beta forum useful to everyone, please take the following steps before you post:

  1. Limit your posts to v0.96 preview problems or suggestions about the new features. No wish lists, and no pictures unless they are in support of a problem or question on how a new feature works. You can post pictures as you normally do in the Works In Progress and Finished Works forum.
  2. Read through the other posts. Read through the current big list. If your problem is already posted and you don't have anything new to add, don't reply.
  3. If you don't understand how Anim8or v0.95 works, you probably shouldn't be posting in the v0.96 preview forum.
  4. When you post a new problem topic you should:

    • Use a meaningful title. Titles like "Question?", "Help!", "Big Crash!" are not meaningful.
    • If it's reporting a problem, give a detailed description of what the problem is and how to reproduce it.
    • If it's a question on a new feature be as precise as you can.
    • Don't reply about a different topic besides the one the thread is about.
    • If you have some unique feedback on v0.96 you can also post it here.
    • Use proper English sentences. Cutsie abbreviations are too ambiguous and aren't nearly as helpful when I'm trying to understand what you've said.

With these rules in mind if you think you found a problem or have a question the place to post is the Anim8or v0.96 Preview forum Don't ask for help with the v0.96 preview in the other forums.