Playing around with Blender and XMLSpy

Posted on:June 05 2006

Altough it looks like it's already summer in other parts of Europe, in Austria we are currently witnessing the coldest days since 40 years, since 1948 (Ok, its a bit better in Vienna at least). In other words: It should be summer, but heatings are active in my apartment. But this is not that bad: Next week I've got an exam at university and because I've a fulltime job I am only able to learn at weekends, the weather was my friend and kept me off trying to go outside. I also promised myself not to code anything this weekend to have some time to learn. But as always - this plan didn't work out. Instead of learning and not coding, my subconsciousness found a way to circumvent my own rules and so I spent the last days playing around with Blender and XMLSpy. With Blender, I tried to create a small test level for my editor. I never used Blender before, but I think I understood that interface after an hour or so and my first small test geometry looked like this:
Yes, very lowpoly and not that impressive. But it is a room and a small gangway. I played around a bit more, and correct me if I am wrong, but I think Blender is not qualified for creating lowpoly indoor levels. First, the camera control really sucks when trying to navigate inside the rooms, and second: As far as I have seen there is no way to display assigned textures of the geometry in real time. I'm not a Blender expert, is this true? Maybe I've overseen something.
Then, still learned nothing for the exam, I started XMLSpy (a new version of that software has been released last week, BTW) and designed a XML schema for the Irrlicht Scene Graph format, which will be used by the Editor I am working on and which Irrlicht will be also able to read and write natively. Here's a short exerpt:
The key element is the simple 'attributes' construct which appears everywhere in the format and makes it possible to keep backwards and forward compatibility (an Irrlicht 1.0 will still be able to read and write files from an Irrlicht 2.0 for example) and makes it easy to extend and change functionality. The design isn't finished yet, but it looks quite ok already. I think I'll write more about it soon.
And instead of learning today (today is official holiday in Austria), it looks like I'm blogging and surfing the web now. Well. Maybe the situation will improve soon. But wait - is it sunshine what I see looking out of the window? Hm.. :)


i think there is walkthrough camera in blender, i never used it but
i think i read somewhere that exists, try to find out would be useful
2006-06-05 11:43:00

Haven't worked with Blender for ages but with [alt]+[z] you should change into textured mode. There's also a symbol somewhere (showing a ball with some cubes on it(?) in different shades (wire-shaded-texture-...).
2006-06-05 11:49:00

Oh yeah, walkthrough (or fly) is [shift]+[f].
2006-06-05 11:51:00

Welcome to Blender ;) I'm trying to learn it too. The camera is a pain in the ass at first. I find it helpful to use the number keys on the numeric keypad (make sure numlock is on) to rotate and set the view. One reason blender may suck for making levels is that the Boolean operations are not so great.. I think they are being improved currently.
2006-06-05 14:42:00

this flying camera is a bitch to handle
2006-06-05 14:55:00

I sure hope the next release's scene system will use have use scene classes so that you add scene nodes to a scene, and scenes to a scene manager, and when you pause a scene, it can actually pause and remain unaffected while another scene runs... that would make much more sense i think.
2006-06-05 16:05:00

P.S. please tell me you didnt' spend over 500 dollars on XMLSpy, that seems like such a waste for that program.
2006-06-05 16:08:00

XMLSpy is free as HomeEdition, no need to spend money for it. Furhtermore it is a great editor IMO, but I think Niko didn't pay anything for it: As far as I understood he works for that company creating XMLSpy.
2006-06-05 16:38:00

to see textures in realtime in blender you have to apply them in the uv-editor.

textures in materials are only for rendering i think.
2006-06-06 02:23:00

Niko, in order to assign textures in real time, you have to apply the texture in the UV editor, not the shader.

As someone who has worked with Blender, Maya, and 3DS Max, I can tell you that Blender takes some time to get used to. If you keep at it, though, you'll get the hang of it in no time :)
2006-06-06 07:51:00

ah! thanx for that tip, now it works :)
2006-06-06 18:24:00

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