Blog! Team! Forum! About Apricot! Press! Gallery! Development! Yo Frankie! Apricot Open Game Project mee!
Mar 21

New Blender feature – navigation on big game levels

icon1 darek | icon2 Development | icon4 03 21st, 2008

Blender is the best 3d modelling program on the world. But that’s well known. What about the level editor ? Horrible 🙂 So slowly we’re trying to fit this tool into the gamedev world. Many people experienced problems with navigation on big game levels. Now we have kind of zooming tool which translates our camera to a desired point in a space. On this movie you can see difference between solid and textured mode which additionally respects alpha and face normal direction. So update svn and SHIFT-B your Blender ! 🙂
Download theora ogg version here

27 Responses

  1. Francisco Ortiz on

    Dude! Thats awesome for architecture development too! Many thankx for the preview!

  2. Anonymous on

    Very nice. I’m sure that’ll come in handy.

  3. Asher on

    muito foda

  4. jonny on

    Nice update! Nice feature!

  5. OldJim on

    WoW this will be great… Thanx for your great Work!

  6. dusty on

    I can see so many uses for this. Well done.

  7. Comi on

    I love it! Thanks guys!

  8. Kirado on

    looks good.. so does the textured view show blender materials correctly with alpha now? Or does it just work with some crystal2blend plugin shader material or something?

  9. deynord on

    nice video 🙂 , an other way to look around in scene with fly mode shift+f but it is not good , because not working like a simple fps camera – always moving (not stop when i release a key) and delayed and smoothing every moving.

  10. Aidan Delaney on

    Would it be possible for you guys to post a link to an Ogg Theora version of the same movie clip, like the Peach guys do?

    This would assist those of use Free Software systems.

  11. Anthony Adobe on

    Aidan Delaney: I would rather look for someone to assist you in installing the Flash plugin for your platform – this will have the added benefit of a million other websites working as expected in your browser 😉

  12. crazybus on

    Anthony Adobe, there are a lot of platforms that don’t support flash natively. (irix, bsd, solaris, linux 64bit etc.) Also many people prefer not using the plugin when available since you can’t get the source code for it.
    I agree it would be a nice gesture for apricot to post the ogg file since it means you can support another free software project and at the same time avoid making people install propietry/patened software if they do not wish to. However there are a few options if apricot do not provide the ogg.
    1. You can use gnash on many platforms and get the source code. However because it is reverse engerneared it is still missing many features which prevent it not doing many things (youtube works thankfully.)
    2. Download the flv from yoytube and play it in vlc, mplayer or xine, gstreamer based players etc.
    3. Go to and enter the youtube link. Enter your email address and select convert to ogg and your almost instantly emailed a link to a ogg theora file.

    (Sorry for answering someone else’s question. I have a essay to procrastinate doing.)

  13. darek on

    Theora ogg version uploaded. Greetings.

  14. crazybus on

    Thanks darek, much appreciated.

  15. campbell barton on

    Hi, thanks for the feedback.
    Kirad – regarding alpha – at the moment border zoom is hard coded to ignore 25% opacity or lower when dealing with alpha textured faces. it uses blenders rendering.

    If you’ve ever used alpha textures in blender youll probably have seen the problem with alpha faces not rendering in the right order. I added a way around this that you can see in blender 2.46rc – Prefs -> System & OpenGL -> Clip Alpha, this works well for clipmaps and is less annoying in other areas.

    Fly mode is intended to allow navigation at any scale in any direction.
    If you wanted to have it work like a game have to assume a useful speed, which direction is up. where the ground is… etc.
    One thing we might do is have a some kind of fly mode that is more useful for games, however Id prefer it not to have its own mode.

  16. edna on

    Zoom window? Fantastic! I’ve waited years for this to arrive in Blender (too incompetent to add it myself), as it is a staple of the CAD world that I am used to. Many thanks.

  17. Gustav on

    Campbell: I fly mode that works like deynord said (stop when a key is released and not delaying and smoothing every moving) would be very useful not only for games but also for other things aswell.

    For example when you are modelling the inside of a characters mouth and you try to navigate into a good spot your very likely to end up in the wrong place or even outside the mouth because the current navigation tools don’t give you the precision that you need in such a narrow space.

    Maybe non-smoothing, non-delaying and instant stopping when the key is released could be an option within the current fly mode that you could switch on/off.

  18. campbell barton on

    An adjustment to fly mode is an option however I think what we need is simply a way to move the view forward. Currently you zoom to a point where you cant zoom any further (the distance from the view pivot becomes zero)
    IMHO a good solution would be simply to have a zoom that moves the center pivot forward/back rather then changing the distance to the pivot. – Like fly mode+mouse wheel, and it shouldn’t be a mode.

    This isnt really that hard to write,
    however I dont know an obvious way to differentiate this from existing zooming. (most keys are taken, and it should not be too obscure)

  19. deynord on

    Hi Campbell, i mean something like in sandbox crysis editor would be perfect, look at in video 1:20

  20. qubodup on

    I recommend you use for video uploads, as it supports better quality than youtube or google video. Unfortunately though, it does not support theora as a file format..

  21. qubodup on

    I added some border, converted to avi and uploaded to vimeo this video btw. Take a look!

  22. Kirado on

    hey Campbell– thanks for the reply 😉

  23. kat on

    Nice but what’s really needed is a zoom that’s not tied at the object level (level design tools don’t have navigation dependant on ‘object space’); pan/translate do work but do get cumbersome on large levels.. this selective zoom seems like a good compromise though 😉

  24. horace on

    because of this blog entry i read posts in other forums like: “according to the apricot developers blender obviously isn’t suited for game development at the moment!”. :p

  25. darek on

    horace: as well as other 3d modelling applications, but blender soon will be 🙂

  26. horace on

    i know! 🙂 but i think this wasn’t ideal PR for blender. they didn’t notice the smiley or something. they took the “horrible” literally.

  27. darek on

    Fortunately in OSS world we don’t need PR-s 🙂 Blender always was good tool to make lopoly models for games. But modelling application it’s _not_ a game level editor. And nobody said that Blender was a game level editor. But we want to make it.