Blockland brick file (.BLB) exporter for Blender 2.67 and newer.
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README.md
__init__.py
blb_processor.py
blb_writer.py
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README.md

Blender BLB Exporter

License: GPL v2

A Blender add-on written in Python 3 for exporting Blockland bricks (.BLB files) directly from Blender 2.67 and newer without the need for intermediary formats or external programs. It works on the principle of "what you see is what you get", the brick will look exactly the same in-game as it does in the 3D viewport*.

The add-on does not support importing .BLB files yet.

Table of Contents

  1. Features
    1. Planned Features
  2. Installation
    1. Updating
  3. Terminology
  4. Brick Scale
  5. Definition Tokens
    1. Mesh Definition Tokens
      1. Defining Quad Sections & Coverage
      2. Defining Colors
        1. RGBA Color Format
  6. Definition Objects
    1. Defining Collision
    2. Defining Brick Grid
  7. Brick Textures
  8. UV Mapping
  9. Rounded Values
  10. Export Properties
    1. Blender Properties
      1. Bricks to Export
      2. Brick Name from (Single Export)
      3. Export Only (Single Export)
      4. Brick Names from (Multiple Export)
      5. Bricks Defined by (Multiple Export)
      6. Export Bricks in (Multiple Export)
      7. Forward Axis
      8. Scale
      9. Apply Modifiers
      10. Custom Definition Tokens
    2. BLB Properties
      1. Custom Collision
      2. Fallback Collision
      3. Calculate Coverage
      4. Automatic Quad Sorting
      5. Use Material Colors
      6. Use Vertex Colors
      7. Parse Object Colors
      8. Calculate UVs
      9. Store UVs
      10. Round Normals
      11. Precision
    3. File Properties
      1. Pretty Print
      2. Write Log
      3. Only on Warnings
      4. Terse Mode
  11. Troubleshooting
    1. Automatically calculated UV coordinates for brick textures are distorted
    2. Automatically calculated UV coordinates for brick textures are rotated incorrectly
    3. The TOP brick texture has incorrect rotation in Blender
  12. Warning & Error Log Messages
    1. Warnings
    2. Errors
      1. Fatal Errors
      2. Non-Fatal Errors
  13. Contributors

Features

The exporter supports all BLB features.

  • Brick size
    • Automatic calculation or manually defined
  • Brick grid
    • Automatic calculation (full brick only) or manually defined
  • Coverage
    • Manually define hiding own and adjacent brick quads
    • Automatic area calculation for arbitrary brick grid shapes
    • Automatic and/or manual quad sorting
  • Collision boxes
    • Automatic calculation (full brick only) or manually defined
  • Textures
    • Automatic (side texture only) or manual brick texture definition
  • Quads
    • Triangles are automatically converted to quads
    • N-gons are ignored
  • UV coordinates
    • Manually define UV coordinates
    • Automatic UV calculation for all brick textures
  • Colors
    • Multiple ways to define colors: materials, object names, vertex paint
    • Per-vertex coloring
    • Transparency
    • Additive and subtractive colors
  • Flat and smooth shading
  • Save and load export settings
  • Export multiple bricks from the same file
  • Vertices are all relative to the defined or calculated brick bounds
    • Object centers (orange dot) are irrelevant: calculations are performed using vertex world coordinates
    • Object locations relative to the origin of the world are irrelevant: the calculated center of the brick bounds acts as the new world origin
    • Object locations relative to the Blender grid are irrelevant: the brick bounds define the brick grid origin (however it is highly recommended to align the brick bounds object with the Blender grid for ease of use)
    • This allows you to easily create multiple bricks in the same file in any location in the 3D space and the bricks still export correctly as expected
    • Arbitrary brick grid rotation, however, is not supported
  • Selective object export: selection, visible layers, entire scene
  • Change brick rotation during export: does not affect objects in the .BLEND file
  • Change brick scale during export: does not affect objects in the .BLEND file
  • Apply modifiers (e.g. edge split) during export: does not affect objects in the .BLEND file
  • Terse file writing: exclude optional lines from the BLB file
  • Pretty .BLB files: extraneous zeros are not written at the end of floating point values and if possible, they are written as integers
  • Logging with descriptive error and warning messages to help you correct problems with the brick
  • Customizable floating point accuracy
  • Exporting DTS collision is not yet supported.

Planned Features

These features may or may not be implemented at some unspecified time in the future. Listed below approximately in the order they are planned to be implemented in.

  1. Exporting DTS collision using Nick Smith's io_scene_dts Blender add-on.
  2. Importing .BLB files.
  3. Automatic rendering of the brick preview icon.
  4. Export-time brick rotation on the Z-axis.

Installation

  1. Download the add-on using one of them methods below:
    1. The cutting edge: download the latest version of the develop branch or go to the develop branch page and press Clone or download > Download ZIP.
      • The develop branch contains the newest features still under active development. Some functionality may be broken or only half-implemented.
    2. The latest version: download the latest version of the master branch or go to the front page of the repository and press Clone or download > Download ZIP.
    3. A specific version: go to the releases page and follow the instructions on the specific release.
  2. Open Blender and go to File > User Preferences > Add-ons.
  3. Press the Install from File... button at the bottom of the dialog and find the downloaded .ZIP file.
  4. Press Install from File... again.
  5. Enable the add-on in the add-ons list and press Save User Settings to keep the add-on enabled the next time you start Blender.
  6. The export option is under File > Export > Blockland Brick (.blb).

Updating

  1. Open Blender and go to File > User Preferences > Add-ons.
  2. Quickly find the add-on by typing blb into the search field.
  3. Expand the add-on by clicking the white triangle on the left, press the Remove button, and confirm the removal.
  4. Follow the installation instructions above.

Terminology

A list of more or less technical terms used in this document. The definitions are in the context of Blockland, Blender, and this exporter and may vary from their mathematical definitions.

Axis-Aligned Plane
A plane whose vertices have the same coordinate on exactly one coordinate axis. When this two-dimensional plane is viewed from either of the other two coordinate axes it disappears from view.
Axis-Aligned Bounding Box / Axis-Aligned Minimum Bounding Box
A cuboid that completely encompasses all vertices of one or more mesh objects. The faces of this cuboid are parallel with the coordinate axes.
Axis-Aligned Cuboid
A cuboid whose faces are parallel with the coordinate axes.
Brick Grid
  1. The three-dimensional space of the game divided into 1x1x1 brick plates
  2. The blocks of u, x, -, and other characters near the top of the .BLB file that define the brick's placement rules. See Defining Brick Grid.
Brick
  1. A collection of meshes that acts as a single object in Blockland and all the non-visual data it contains such as collision information.
  2. The BLB file itself.
  3. The Blender objects that when exported produce a BLB file.
Coverage (System)
  1. The Blockland coverage system describes how to hide faces on a brick and any adjacent bricks.
  2. The six pairs of integers near the top of a BLB file.
Cuboid
More specifically a right cuboid in the context of Blockland bricks. A convex polyhedron with 6 faces that are all at right angles to each other. I.e. a regular cube or a cube that is elongated on one axis.
Definition Object
An object that has a specific definition token in its name. These objects cannot be seen in-game. They exist to tell the exporter how to create the brick. There are three different definition objects:
Definition Token
A special token in an object's name that tells the exporter additional information about that object or the entire brick.
Face
A visible surface that is rendered in game and in the Blender viewport. The surface must be bound by or created by at least three vertices (making it a tri) or in deed any number of vertices (also called an n-gon).

❗️ Blockland bricks only support faces made from exactly four vertices: quads.

Mesh
The vertices, edges, and faces that make up a 3D model.
Mesh Object
A Blender object that contains vertices, edges, and faces. Commonly just referred to as an object.
Model
One or more objects that make up a brick.
N-gon
Technically any polygon but in this document used to refer to a single face formed from more than four vertices. N-gons are not necessarily planes.

❗️ These are not supported by the exporter or Blockland: the faces will be ignored.

Object
Usually a mesh object. Technically refers to all the meshes, cameras, lights, empties, and everything else you see in the 3D viewport. Blender objects contain data about vertices, materials, groups, object names, and more.
Plane
A flat two-dimensional surface in 3D space. A particular type of face.
Quad
A face with four vertices. Quads are not necessarily planes.
String
A sequence of letters. Usually a word.
Token
A string surrounded with a whitespace character on one or both sides.
Tri
A face with three vertices. Triangles are always planes.

❗️ These are not supported by Blockland bricks and they are converted to quads automatically.

Visible Object
Any mesh object that is not a definition object. Visible objects are rendered and are seen in-game as a brick.
Volume
A section of 3D space, usually cuboidal in shape in the context of this exporter.
Whitespace (Character)
In Blender, commonly a space or a tab character.

Brick Scale

This add-on defines a 1x1x1 Blockland brick to be exactly 1.0 1.0 1.2 Blender units on the X, Y, and Z axes. Likewise a 1x1f Blockland plate is defined to be exactly 1.0 1.0 0.4 Blender units. However, the final scale of the exported brick can be changed with the Scale property. For example setting the Scale property to 150% means that during the exporting process, the objects are scaled by 1.5. This is particularly useful when exporting 3D models created for another BLB exporter/converter that has defined the size of a 1x1f plate to be different from this exporter.

Definition Tokens

Definition tokens are special strings added to the names of objects, materials, vertex color layers, and other Blender data objects that have a name. A name field may contain other text in addition to definition tokens as long as the tokens themselves are separated from other tokens and text by one whitespace character such as a space. The definition tokens may be changed from the defaults by selecting Custom Definition Tokens in the export dialog.

💡 Blender adds a running index (e.g. .003) to the end of duplicate object, material, etc. names. This is handled correctly, you need not worry about it. The logic for removing the index simply checks if . is the fourth last character in the name and simply removes it an everything after it.

❗️ Each definition token may only appear once in a name field.

Below is a full list of all default definition tokens with a brief description. For more information on what each of them do, see the specific section of the readme that relates to that token. Note that not all definition tokens change the object into a definition object.

Default Token Category Usable In Is a Definition Object Meaning
bounds Definition objects Object name Yes This is a bounds definition object.
collision Definition objects Object name Yes This is a collision definition object.
gridb Definition objects Object name Yes Write brick grid b symbol in this volume.
gridd Definition objects Object name Yes Write brick grid d symbol in this volume.
gridu Definition objects Object name Yes Write brick grid u symbol in this volume.
grid- Definition objects Object name Yes Write brick grid - symbol in this volume.
gridx Definition objects Object name Yes Write brick grid x symbol in this volume.
qt Quad sorting Object name No Sort these faces in the top section.
qb Quad sorting Object name No Sort these faces in the bottom section.
qn Quad sorting Object name No Sort these faces in the north section.
qe Quad sorting Object name No Sort these faces in the east section.
qs Quad sorting Object name No Sort these faces in the south section.
qw Quad sorting Object name No Sort these faces in the west section.
qo Quad sorting Object name No Sort these faces in the omni section.
c Colors Object name No The next four numbers define the color for these faces.
blank Colors Material name No Do not write a color for faces using this material: use the in-game spray can color as is.
cadd Colors Material name, vertex color layer name No Add the material/vertex color of these faces to the in-game spray can color.
csub Colors Material name, vertex color layer name No Subtract the material/vertex color of these faces from the in-game spray can color.

Mesh Definition Tokens

Mesh definition tokens are a sub-category of definition tokens that can only be used in the names of objects but do not change the object into an invisible definition object. Objects that have one or more of these definition tokens are treated as visible objects and they govern some aspect of the faces of the mesh in that object.

❗️ Each definition token may only appear once in a name field but a name may contain both definition tokens.

Definition Default Token Requirements Maximum Count/Brick Description
Color c See Defining Colors Unlimited Defines the color of the faces.
Coverage See Defining Quad Sorting & Coverage Must contain a face Unlimited Assigns the object's quads into a specific section in the brick.

Defining Quad Sections & Coverage

BLB files allow mesh faces to be sorted into seven sections: top, bottom, north, east, south, west, and omni. Quads in these sections may then be automatically hidden in-game using the coverage system, if it is defined in a meaningful way in the BLB file.

The coverage system allows the game to skip rendering quads that are completely covered by adjacent bricks improving the frame rate when a large number of bricks are on the screen at once. Quads are sorted into these sections by using one of the tokens below in the name of the object containing the faces to be sorted into that section. If a visible object has no quad sorting token specified, the omni section is used.

Default Token Section
qt Top
qb Bottom
qn North
qe East
qs South
qw West
qo Omni ("any" or "none", default)

❗️ Sorting quads in this manner is pointless unless the Coverage property in the export dialog is enabled and at least one option is enabled.

In the export dialog Coverage properties there are two options for each section/side of the brick:

Option Description
Hide Self For example when enabled for the top section, the game will not render the quads in the top section of this brick when the top area of this brick is completely covered.
Hide Adjacent For example when enabled for the top section, the game will not render the quads in the bottom section of adjacent bricks on top of this brick if the coverage rules for those adjacent bricks are fulfilled.

Defining Colors

The exporter supports three methods for defining brick colors. To allow faces to be colored using the spray can tool in game do not assign a color those faces. See RGBA Color Format for a detailed explanation of how to write an RGBA color value.

Method Overrides Extent of Coloring RGB Values Alpha Value Notes
Object Colors In-game paint color Entire object (color & alpha) In object name after the Color token In object name after the red, green, and blue values Implemented only to support legacy brick models, not recommended for use.
Material Colors Object Colors Assigned faces (color & alpha) In Material tab as Diffuse Color In Material tab under Transparency in Alpha slider The recommended method for defining color. Multiple materials may be used in a single object.
Vertex Colors Material Colors Entire object (per-vertex color), entire object (alpha) In Data tab under Vertex Color as a vertex color layer, modified using the Vertex Paint mode In Data tab under Vertex Color as the name of the vertex color layer Creating a vertex color layers will color the entire object white, but the color of individual vertices may be changed.

There are three definition tokens that are specific to dealing with colors.

Token Usable In Description
blank Material name Ignore the material's color and do not write any color for the faces with this material assigned so they can be colored by the spray can in-game. This feature exists because an object that has a material, cannot have faces that do not have a material assigned to them.
cadd Material name, vertex color layer name Use this color as an additive color: add the values of this color to the spray can color in-game. For example to make the spray can color a little lighter use a dark gray color.
csub Material name, vertex color layer name Use this color as a subtractive color: subtract the values of this color from the spray can color in-game. For example to make the spray can color a lot darker use a light gray color.
RGBA Color Format

The exporter understands two ways of defining an RGBA color using text.

❗️ Please note that you must use a comma character (,) as the decimal separator for floating point numbers.

  1. The commonly used method of writing 4 integers that are in the range 0–255, where 0 is black, separated with a whitespace character such as a space. For example 127 255 10 191 for a yellow-green color that is 25% transparent. A full object name could be for example glass c 240 255 255 128.001.
    • In the above example the running index .001 that Blender added at the end would be removed by the exporter.
  2. Writing 4 decimals in the range 0.0–1.0, where 0.0 is black, separated with a whitespace character such as a space. An object could have a name such as c 0,125 0,0 0,5 1,0 flower, for example.
    • The leading zero may be omitted.
    • Up to 16 decimals are supported.

Definition Objects

When a specific definition token is read in an object's name it is treated as a definition object. Definition objects contain non-visual data about the brick and as such are not exported as visual objects

Definition Object Default Token Requirements Maximum Count/Brick Must Be Within Bounds Axis-Aligned Brick Grid Aligned Can Overlap Description
Bounds bounds At least two vertices, must have volume 1 N/A Yes (1) Yes N/A Defines the dimensions or the size of the brick.
Collision collision At least two vertices, must have volume 10 Yes (2) Yes No Yes Defines a collision cuboid. See Defining Collision for more info.
Brick Grid See Defining Brick Grid At least two vertices, must have volume Unlimited Yes Yes (1) Yes Yes (3) Defines a volume in the brick grid to fill with a specific brick grid symbol.

(1) It is highly recommended to use axis-aligned cuboids to define bounds and the brick grid. However, if you insist on defining the size of your brick in monkey heads, you can. Only the axis-aligned bounding box of the bounds and brick grid objects are used.

(2) Collision boxes outside brick bounds are technically not invalid and the brick will function in-game. This behavior is not allowed by the exporter because collision outside brick bounds is horribly broken as it was never intended work in that manner.

(3) See Defining Brick Grid for the specific rules about overlapping brick grid definitions.

Defining Collision

Blockland bricks only supports AABB collision. In other words brick collision may only be defined using cuboids of varying sizes that align with the coordinate axes. You can rotate said cuboids however you want but that will not lead to rotated collision cuboids in-game. Only the the axis-aligned bounding box of the collision definition objects are used.

💡 Using any other shape than an axis-aligned cuboid to define collision is not recommended as it makes the Blender file more difficult to understand and also breaks the "what you see is what you get" principle.

Defining Brick Grid

Brick grid definitions represent a 3D volume in the 3D space the brick grid encompasses. You can imagine it as if the entire cuboidal shape of the brick would be filled with 1x1f plates and these volumes define the properties of all the 1x1f plates within that volume. Each brick grid definition has their own priority. When two or more brick grid definition objects overlap in 3D space, the one with the higher priority takes precedence and will overwrite the symbols in the brick grid that any definitions with lower priorities would have written.

❗️ Be aware that if your brick does not contain a brickd definition on the bottom of the brick, the brick cannot be planted on other bricks or the ground.

Default Token Brick Grid Symbol Description
gridb b Bricks may be placed above and below this volume. This brick can be planted on the ground.
gridd d Bricks may be placed below this volume. This brick can be planted on the ground.
gridu u Bricks may be placed above this volume.
grid- - Bricks may be placed inside this volume. (I.e. empty space.) This is the default symbol, any volume that does not have a brick grid definition uses this symbol.
gridx x Bricks may not be placed inside this volume.

Brick Textures

Defining brick textures is done using Blender materials. To assign a brick texture to a face, assign a material to it containing a valid brick texture name (case insensitive):

  • bottomedge
  • bottomloop
  • print
  • ramp
  • side
  • top

If no brick texture is defined, side is used. Material name may contain other words as long as the brick texture name is separated from them with one whitespace character such as a space. A common combination is to define a brick texture name and the definition token blank (e.g. blank ramp or side blank) to allow the player to color the face in-game using the spray can.

UV Mapping

Manually defined UV coordinates must be stored in one or more UV layers that do not share a name with one of the automatically generated UV layers:

  • TEX:BOTTOMEDGE
  • TEX:BOTTOMLOOP
  • TEX:PRINT
  • TEX:RAMP
  • TEX:TOP

Any data in UV layers with one the names above will the overwritten during automatic UV calculation.

❗️ Note that BLB files only support storing quads. As such, any tris with UV coordinates will have their last UV coordinate duplicated to transform it into a quad. This may or may not cause visual distortion in the UV mapping.

If the Calculate UVs property is enabled, UV coordinates will be automatically calculated based on the dimensions of the quad and the name of the material assigned to it. (See Brick Textures to learn how to define brick textures with materials.) The generated coordinates are only guaranteed to be correct for strictly rectangular quads, for any other shapes the results may not be satisfactory. If using brick textures on non-rectangular quads it is recommended to manually define the UV coordinates for best results.

Rounded Values

Floating point numbers (numbers with a decimal point) contain inherent inaccuracies. For example when exporting a 1x1x1 brick model at the maximum accuracy the vertex coordinate of one of the corners is 0.5 0.5 1.5000000596046448. This causes the 1x1x1 brick to be 3.00000011920928955078125 plates tall instead of exactly 3.0 like it should. The only way to get fix this error is to round the vertex coordinates. Practically speaking it is impossible to visually discern the difference between a brick that is 3 plates tall versus one that is 3.00000011920928955078125 plates tall in the game. The only real benefit that comes from the rounding is nicer looking .BLB files.

The default value of 0.000001 was chosen through manual testing. Rest assured that the rounding will cause no visual oddities whatsoever because the value is so small. This was manually confirmed with a sphere brick made from 524288 quads. Moving the camera as close to the surface of the brick as the game was capable of rendering, the surface of the sphere appeared mathematically perfect because the distance between the vertices was less than the size of a single pixel.

❗️ The exporter will only ever write up to 16 decimal places regardless of the precision of the value.

Floating Point Value Rounded
Visible object vertex coordinates Yes
Bounds object vertex coordinates Yes
Collision object vertex coordinates Yes
Brick grid object vertex coordinates Yes
Normal vectors Optional
RGBA color values No
UV coordinates No

Export Properties

The following user properties are present in the current version of the exporter.

Blender Properties

Bricks to Export

How many bricks to export in one go from the file.

Value Description
Single Export only one brick. (Default)
Multiple Export one or more bricks. Shows additional settings when selected.

Brick Name from (Single Export)

Where the .BLB file name is defined.

Value Description
Bounds Brick name is defined in the Bounds object after the bounds definition token, separated with a whitespace character. Export file dialog is only used set to directory. (Default)
File Brick name is the same as the file name. Can be manually set in the export file dialog.

Export Only (Single Export)

Which objects to process and export to the .BLB file.

Value Description
Selection Objects that are selected and have an orange outline. (Default)
Layers All objects in the layers that are currently visible, regardless of selection.
Scene All objects in the current scene. I.e. all objects in all layers regardless of the layer visibility.

Brick Names from (Multiple Export)

Where the names of the .BLB files are defined.

Value Description
Bounds Brick names are defined in the Bounds object after the bounds definition token, separated with a whitespace character. Export file dialog is only used set to directory. (Default)
Groups Brick names are the same as the names of the groups name. Export file dialog is only used set to directory.

Bricks Defined by (Multiple Export)

How is a single brick defined.

Value Description
Groups Each brick is in its own group. Objects in multiple groups belong to multiple bricks. (Default)
Layers Each brick is in its own layer. Objects in multiple layers belong to multiple bricks. When selected brick names must be defined in the Bounds object.

Export Bricks in (Multiple Export)

Which bricks to process and export to .BLB files.

Value Description
Layers Export all bricks in the layers that are currently visible. (Default)
Scene Export all bricks in the current scene. I.e. all bricks in all layers regardless of the layer visibility.

Forward Axis

The Blender coordinate axis that will point forwards in-game when the player plants the brick directly in front of them without rotating it. Does not change the rotation of the objects in the Blender scene.

Value Description
+X Positive X-axis
+Y Positive Y-axis (Default)
-X Negative X-axis
-Y Negative Y-axis

Scale

The scale of the brick in-game. Values outside the the range of 0.001–400.0 may be typed in manually. Does not change the scale of the objects in the Blender scene. See Brick Scale for additional information. (Default: 100%)

Apply Modifiers

Applies any modifiers on the object before exporting. Does not change the modifiers of the objects in the Blender scene. (Default: True)

Custom Definition Tokens

Allows you to specify the definition tokens the exporter uses. See Definition Tokens for more information. (Default: False)

💡 Enabling this property shows additional properties.

BLB Properties

Custom Collision

Export custom collision definitions if there are any. See Defining Collision. (Default: True)

Fallback Collision

The type of collision to calculate for the brick if no custom collision definitions are found. Enabling this property shows additional properties.

Value Description
Bounds Use the defined or calculated bounds of the brick as the collision cuboid. (Default)
AABB Calculate the axis-aligned bounding box of all visible objects and use that as the collision cuboid.

Calculate Coverage

Enable coverage calculations. This is pointless unless Automatic Quad Sorting is enabled or at least one object has a quad sorting definition. See Defining Quad Sorting & Coverage for more information. (Default: False)

💡 Enabling this property shows additional properties.

Automatic Quad Sorting

Automatically calculate the correct section for quads that in the same plane as the bounding planes of the bounds object. This is pointless unless Coverage is enabled. (Default: True)

Use Material Colors

Assign face colors from object materials. (Default: False)

Use Vertex Colors

Assign face colors from vertex color layers. (Default: False)

Parse Object Colors

Assign face colors from object names. (Default: False)

Calculate UVs

Automatically calculate correct UV coordinates based on the brick texture name specified in the material name. See UV Mapping for more information. (Default: True)

Store UVs

Write calculated UVs into Blender objects. Data in existing generated UV layers will be overwritten. See UV Mapping for a list of generated UV layer names. (Default: True)

Round Normals

Round vertex normals to the user-defined floating point value precision. If disabled normals will be written as accurately as possible but extraneous zeros will still be removed. (Default: False)

Precision

Allows you to specify a custom precision for floating point numbers. See Rounded Values for more details. (Default: 0.000001)

File Properties

Pretty Print

When enabled does not write extraneous zeros to the end of floating point numbers. Additionally if a numerical value is exactly equal to an integer, no decimal places are written. If disabled will write all floating point numbers using as many decimal places as used in the Precision property. (Default: True)

Write Log

Write a log file to the same folder as the exported brick detailing the export process. Shows additional settings when selected. (Default: True)

Only on Warnings

Write a log file only if warnings or errors occurred during the export process. (Default: True)

Terse Mode

When enabled does not write optional lines to the .BLB file such as the lines marking the different quad sections. Using this option is not recommended as it makes the .BLB file harder to read and understand. Although the file is shorter, the difference in file size is negligible. (Default: False)

Troubleshooting

Solutions to common issues with the BLB Exporter. If you have another issue with the exporter be sure to enable the Write Log property and export again. The log file may contain warnings or errors describing issues with the objects and how to fix them. Additional instructions on how to fix specific issues are detailed in the Warning & Error Log Messages section.

Automatically calculated UV coordinates for brick textures are distorted

The automatic UV calculation is only designed to work with rectangular quads. Manually define UV coordinates for non-rectangular quads.

Automatically calculated UV coordinates for brick textures are rotated incorrectly

The quad with incorrectly rotated UV coordinates (e.g. the lightest side of the SIDE texture pointing sideways instead of up) is not a perfect rectangle. Even one vertex being off by some minuscule, visually indistinguishable amount from a perfectly rectangular shape can cause the automatic UV calculation to incorrectly determine the rotation of the quad. Double check all 4 coordinates of the quad and manually correct any floating point errors. If working on axis-aligned quads or if the vertices should be on grid points snapping the coordinates of the problem quad to grid coordinates by selecting Mesh > Snap > Snap Selection to Grid in the 3D viewport toolbar usually fixes floating point errors.

The TOP brick texture has incorrect rotation in Blender

Blockland automatically performs rotations on the UV coordinates of the TOP brick texture during runtime so that the lightest side of the texture is always facing towards the sun. Because of this there is no correct way of representing the TOP brick texture in Blender. As a compromise the exporter will rotate the lightest side of the TOP brick texture to face towards the axis select in the Forward Axis property. This means the UV coordinates of the TOP brick texture in Blender may not match those in the written BLB file.

Warning & Error Log Messages

Detailed explanations of the warning and error messages logged by the program and directions on how to solve the associated issues. In the messages listed in this section the # character is used to represent a variable numerical value. Text in code tags describes a variable alphanumeric value, commonly the name of a Blender object.

Warnings

Warning log messages can be ignored as the issues are automatically corrected, but the resulting brick may not behave or look as excepted. It is recommended to manually adjust the brick until no warning messages are present in the output log.

Code IOBLBW000
Message Calculated bounds have a non-integer size # # #, rounding up.
Cause No bounds object was defined and the axis-aligned bounding box calculated from the has non-integer dimensions when converted to brick space.
Effect Brick dimensions of the calculated bounding box will be rounded up to ensure that collision cuboids (if any) still fit within the bounds.
Solutions
  1. Recommended: Manually define a bounds object.
  2. Manually ensure that the visible objects of your brick model form an axis-aligned bounding box that has a valid size for a brick.
Code IOBLBW001
Message Defined bounds have a non-integer size # # #, rounding to a precision of #.
Cause The axis-aligned bounding box calculated from the defined bounds object has non-integer dimensions as a brick.
Effect The brick dimensions will be rounded to the specified precision.
Solution Ensure that the defined bounds object aligns with the brick grid.
Code IOBLBW002
Message Brick name was supposed to be in the bounds definition object but no such object exists, file name used instead.
Cause The "Brick Name(s) from" export property (either in single or multiple brick export mode) value was set to Bounds but no manually defined bounds object was found.
Effect The file name specified in the export dialog is used as the name of the BLB file instead.
Solution Create a bounds object and in the name of the object separate the name of the BLB file from the bounds definition token with a whitespace character.
Code IOBLBW003
Message Brick name was supposed to be in the bounds definition object but no name (separated with a space) was found after the definition token, file name used instead.
Cause The "Brick Name(s) from" export property (either in single or multiple brick export mode) value was set to Bounds but no string was found after the bounds definition token in the name of the bounds object.
Effect The file name specified in the export dialog is used as the name of the BLB file instead.
Solution Separate the name of the BLB file from the bounds definition token with a whitespace character, such as a space.
Code IOBLBW004
Message No brick grid definitions found. Full cuboid brick grid may be undesirable.
Cause There are no brick grid definition objects.
Effect A full block brick grid will be generated. Brick will act as if it were a basic cuboid brick of that size.
Solution Create brick grid definitions for the model.
Code IOBLBW005
Message # brick grid definition(s) found but was/were not processed. Full cuboid brick grid may be undesirable.
Cause An error occurred for all brick grid definition objects when converting into a brick placement rule.
Effect A full block brick grid will be generated. Brick will act as if it were a basic cuboid brick of that size.
Solution Create valid brick grid definitions for the model.
Code IOBLBW006
Message # collision definition(s) found but was/were not processed.
Cause An error occurred for all collision definition objects when calculating their dimensions.
Effect The fallback collision will be used.
Solutions
  1. Manually define valid collision objects.
  2. Enable the Calculate Collision export property.
Code IOBLBW007
Message No brick bounds definition found. Calculated brick size may be undesirable.
Cause Brick did not have a bounds definition object.
Effect The axis-aligned bounding box of all visible objects will rounded to the nearest brick dimensions and used as the brick bounds.
Solution Create a bounds definition object.
Code IOBLBW008
Message Object 'object name' has # vertex color layers, only using the first.
Cause The object had more than one vertex color layer.
Effect Only the first vertex color layer is used.
Solution Delete the additional vertex color layers.
Code IOBLBW009
Message Face has UV coordinates but no brick texture was set in the material name, using SIDE by default.
Cause The material assigned to a face had no brick texture defined but the face had UV coordinates.
Effect The side brick texture is used for the face.
Solution Manually define brick textures in the names of the materials that are assigned to UV mapped faces.
Code IOBLBW010
Message No alpha value set in vertex color layer name, using 1.0.
Cause The color defined in the vertex color layer did not contain an alpha value.
Effect Alpha of 1.0 is used resulting in an opaque color.
Solution Define the alpha value in the vertex color layer name.
Code IOBLBW011
Message # triangles converted to quads.
Cause A mesh contained a triangle.
Effect The triangle is forcefully converted into a quad by copying the first vertex and using that as the last vertex of a quad. This conversion has three different outcomes:
  • If flat shading is used for the face there is no change visually and the face will look like a triangle in game.
  • If the face and adjacent connected faces are planar and smooth shading is used there are no visual anomalies.
  • If the face and adjacent connected faces are not planar and smooth shading is used there may be shading errors.
Solution Do not use triangles in any meshes.
Code IOBLBW012
Message # n-gons skipped.
Cause A mesh contained a face made from more than 4 vertices.
Effect Faces made from more than 4 vertices are not exported.
Solution Manually rebuild faces made from more than 4 vertices using quads.
Code IOBLBW013
Message Precision has too many decimal digits, using 16 instead.
Cause The precision value set in the Precision property had more than 16 decimal digits.
Effect If Pretty Print is disabled the number of decimal digits written to the BLB file is clamped to 16.
Solution Only write up to 16 decimal places in the Precision value.

Errors

Errors are separated into two categories: fatal and non-fatal errors.

  • Fatal errors cause the program execution to stop as there is insufficient or incorrect input data to process into a Blockland brick.
  • Non-fatal errors occur when the exporter attempts to do something (due to invalid input data) that would have caused an error when loading or using the exported brick in game. Alternatively the user has attempted to do something that is explicitly not allowed by the exporter or would lead to a mathematical error.

It is recommended to manually adjust the brick until no error messages are present in the output log.

Fatal Errors

Fatal errors always lead to the program execution stopping.

Code IOBLBF000
Message When exporting multiple bricks in separate layers, a bounds definition object must exist in every layer. It is also used to provide a name for the brick.
Cause The following export properties are set:
Property Value
Bricks to Export Multiple
Brick Names from (Multiple Export) Bounds
Bricks Defined by (Multiple Export) Layers
And a visible layer did not contain a bounds definition object.
Reason In the interest of promoting good workflow practices this is considered a fatal error instead of automatically naming the brick by the index of the layer it is contained in.
Solution Ensure that there is exactly one valid bounds definition object in every visible layer.
Code IOBLBF001
Message When exporting multiple bricks in separate layers, the brick name must be after the bounds definition token (separated with a space) in the bounds definition object name.
Cause The following export properties are set:
Property Value
Bricks to Export Multiple
Brick Names from (Multiple Export) Bounds
Bricks Defined by (Multiple Export) Layers
And a bounds definition object name did not contain the name of the brick.
Reason In the interest of promoting good workflow practices this is considered a fatal error instead of automatically naming the brick by the index of the layer it is contained in.
Solution Ensure that each bounds definition object contains the name of that brick.
Code IOBLBF002
Message Unable to store UV coordinates in object 'object name' while it is in edit mode.
Cause The Store UVs property is enabled and the exporter attempted to write UV coordinates to a Blender object that is currently in edit mode.
Reason The authors have not bothered to find a way to automatically disable and re-enable the edit mode.
Solution Confirm that you are not in the edit object interaction mode by changing to the Object Mode in the 3D viewport.
Code IOBLBF003
Message Brick has no volume, brick could not be rendered in-game.
Cause The bounds definition object or the automatically calculated axis-aligned bounding box of the brick was smaller than 1 brick on one or more axis.
Reason A brick size cannot be zero on any axis.
Solution
Code IOBLBF004
Message Brick size (#x#x#) exceeds the maximum brick size of 64 wide 64 deep and 256 plates tall.
Cause The bounds definition object or the automatically calculated axis-aligned bounding box of the brick is larger than maximum brick size supported by Blockland.
Reason The maximum size of a single Blockland brick is 64 plates wide 64 plates deep and 256 plates tall.
Solution Make your brick bounds smaller, while keeping in mind the rules regarding other definition objects.
Code IOBLBF005
Message No faces to export.
Cause None of the had any faces.
Reason Creating a brick with no visible faces is pointless.
Solution Ensure that there is at least one face to export.
Code IOBLBF006
Message No objects to export.
Causes Depends on the values of various export properties.
Bricks to Export Export Only (Single Export) Cause
Single Selection No objects were selected. Selected objects have an orange outline.
Layers There are no objects in the currently visible layers.
Scene None of the layers in the current scene contained any objects.
Bricks to Export Export Bricks in (Multiple Export) Bricks Defined by (Multiple Export) Cause
Multiple Layers Groups None of the groups in the current scene had any objects in the visible layers.
Layers None of the visible layers contained any objects.
Scene Groups None of the groups in the current scene contained any objects.
Layers None of the layers in the current scene contained any objects.
Reason No data to export, nothing to do.
Solutions Depends on the values of various export properties.
Bricks to Export Export Only (Single Export) Solution
Single Selection Select some objects.
Layers Select one or more layers with objects.
Scene Add objects to a layer in the scene or check that you are not in the wrong scene.
Bricks to Export Export Bricks in (Multiple Export) Bricks Defined by (Multiple Export) Solution
Multiple Layers Groups Ensure that your groups have objects assigned to them and that you have selected layers with objects in them.
Layers Select layers with objects.
Scene Groups Add objects to a group in the current scene.
Layers Add objects to a layer in the scene or check that you are not in the wrong scene.
Code IOBLBF007
Message Two or more brick grid definitions had the same priority.
Cause Two or more user defined brick grid definition tokens had the same priority number.
Reason The user-intended priority order of the tokens cannot be automatically determined.
Solution Ensure that all custom brick grid definition tokens have a unique priority number.
Code IOBLBF008
Message No groups to export in the current scene.
Cause The following export properties are set:
Property Value
Bricks to Export Multiple
Bricks Defined by (Multiple Export) Groups
And the current scene does not contain any groups with objects in visible layers.
Reason No data to export, nothing to do.
Solution When exporting multiple bricks in groups, ensure that there are groups to export.
Code IOBLBF009
Message Nothing to export in the visible layers of the current scene.
Cause The following export properties are set:
Property Value
Bricks to Export Multiple
Bricks Defined by (Multiple Export) Layers
And the current scene does not contain any objects in visible layers.
Reason No data to export, nothing to do.
Solution When exporting multiple bricks in groups, ensure that there are groups to export.
Code IOBLBF010
Message Invalid floating point value given for floating point precision property.
Cause The string specified in the Precision property was not a numerical value.
Reason The numerical values that are rounded to combat floating point inaccuracies cannot be rounded unless the floating point precision is set.
Solution Write a numerical value as the Precision property.

Non-Fatal Errors

Code IOBLBE000
Message Brick grid definition object 'object name' has vertices outside the calculated brick bounds. Definition ignored.
Cause A brick grid definition object had vertices outside the automatically calculated brick bounds.
Reason Blockland does not allow brick grid definitions outside the bounds of a brick.
Effect The brick grid definition object is discarded.
Solutions
Code IOBLBE001
Message Brick grid definition object 'object name' has vertices outside the bounds definition object 'object name'. Definition ignored.
Cause A brick grid definition object had vertices outside the bounds object.
Reason Blockland does not allow brick grid definitions outside the bounds of a brick.
Effect The brick grid definition object is discarded.
Solutions
  • Ensure that the specified brick grid definition object is fully contained within the bounds object.
  • Make the bounds definition object larger.
Code IOBLBE002
Message Brick grid definition object 'object name' has no volume. Definition ignored.
Cause The axis-aligned bounding box of a brick grid definition object was either a plane or a point.
Reason A brick grid definition with no volume does not produce any brick placement rules when calculating the brick grid.
Effect The brick grid definition object is discarded.
Solution Ensure that the specified brick grid definition object is not a point or a plane and has some volume.
Code IOBLBE003
Message # collision cuboids defined but 10 is the maximum, only using the first 10.
Cause More than 10 collision definition objects were found.
Reason A BLB file may have a maximum of 10 collision boxes.
Effect Only the 10 oldest objects marked as collision definitions will be used.
Solution Delete the additional collision definition objects.
Code IOBLBE004
Message Collision definition object 'object name' has less than 2 vertices. Definition ignored.
Cause A collision definition object had 1 or 0 vertices.
Reason At least two points are required to specify a volume in three-dimensional space.
Effect The specified collision definition object is discarded.
Solution Ensure that the specified collision definition object has at least 2 vertices.
Code IOBLBE005
Message Collision definition object 'object name' has no volume. Definition ignored.
Cause The axis-aligned bounding box of a collision definition object was either a plane or a point.
Reason A two-dimensional collision box does nothing in game.
Effect The collision definition object is discarded.
Solution Ensure that the specified collision definition object is not a point or a plane and has some volume.
Code IOBLBE006
Message Collision definition object 'object name' has vertices outside the calculated brick bounds. Definition ignored.
Cause A collision definition object had vertices outside the automatically calculated brick bounds.
Reason Collision boxes outside the bounds of a brick cause strange behavior in game.
Effect The collision definition object is discarded.
Solutions
Code IOBLBE007
Message Collision definition object 'object name' has vertices outside the bounds definition object 'object name'. Definition ignored.
Cause A collision definition object had vertices outside the bounds object.
Reason Collision boxes outside the bounds of a brick cause strange behavior in game.
Effect The collision definition object is discarded.
Solutions
  • Ensure that the specified collision definition object is fully contained within the bounds object.
  • Make the bounds definition object larger.
Code IOBLBE008
Message Object 'object name' cannot be used to define bounds, must be a mesh.
Cause A non-definition token in its name.
Reason Non-axis-aligned bounding box.
Effect The specified object is ignored.
Solution Remove the bounds definition token from the name of the object.
Code IOBLBE009
Message Object 'object name' cannot be used to define brick grid, must be a mesh.
Cause A non-definition token in its name.
Reason Non-axis-aligned bounding box.
Effect The specified object is ignored.
Solution Remove the brick grid definition token from the name of the object.
Code IOBLBE010
Message Object 'object name' cannot be used to define collision, must be a mesh.
Cause A non-definition token in its name.
Reason Non-axis-aligned bounding box.
Effect The specified object is ignored.
Solution Remove the collision definition token from the name of the object.
Code IOBLBE011
Message Bounds already defined by 'object name', bounds definition 'object name' ignored.
Cause One brick contained more than one bounds definition object.
Reason Although it is technically possible to calculate the axis-aligned bounding box of multiple bounds definitions and use that as the final bounds of the brick a feature like this would be confusing for beginner users and breaks the "what you see is what you get" principle of the exporter.
Effect The oldest bounds definition object is used and the rest are discarded.
Solution Delete the additional bounds definition objects.
Code IOBLBE012
Message Multiple brick grid definitions in object 'object name', only the first one is used.
Cause A single definition object contained more than one brick grid definition token.
Reason One brick grid definition object may only be used to define one brick placement rule.
Effect Only the first brick grid definition token is used.
Solution Delete the additional brick grid definition tokens.
Code IOBLBE013
Message More than 4 color values defined for object 'object name', only the first 4 values (RGBA) are used.
Cause Object name contained more than 4 color values.
Reason An RGBA color is be defined by exactly 4 numerical values: red, green, blue, and alpha.
Effect Only the first 4 numbers are used as color values.
Solution Remove the additional numbers.
Code IOBLBE014
Message Object 'object name' has # section definitions, only using the first one: section name
Cause The object had more than one quad section definition token.
Reason A single face cannot be in multiple quad sorting sections at the same time.
Effect Only the first section definition token is used.
Solution Delete the additional section definition tokens.
Code IOBLBE015
Message More than one brick texture name found in material 'material name', only using the first one.
Cause The material name contained more than one brick texture name.
Reason A single face cannot have multiple brick textures at the same time.
Effect Only the first brick texture name is used.
Solution Delete the additional brick texture names.

Contributors

  • Nick Smith - The original source code for reading, processing, and writing Blender data into the .BLB format. A majority of his code has been rewritten since.
  • Demian Wright - Significant extensions and rewrites to Nick's original code and all additional features.

* There's always a footnote, see the issue with the TOP brick texture.

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