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@tngreene tngreene released this Sep 11, 2020 · 8 commits to 399-blender-28-support since this release

XPlane2Blender v4.0.0-rc.1

We did it folks! Long in development (mostly because I kept adding features, not because of many disastrous releases) we can call this complete! A huge thanks to our dedicated volunteers who beta tested, send bugs, e-mails, and trusted their projects and livelihoods to us. We hope to live up to that trust everyday. Again thank you. Also thanks to a few people who contributed code (Premek Truska and @kbrandwijk)!

This release notes page serves as an overview of important new features and changes since Blender 2.79. Since the manual has not kept pace with development, you'll find documentation on the new features in past release notes. This is being worked on.

Don't be surprised if you see the words "Exportable Collection/Object". That name was later changed to "Root Collection/Object". Read more about that change here.

New Features

Blender 2.80-83 upgrade!

  • Blender 2.80-83 is supported! XPlane2Blender in Blender 2.90 has been tested by some with positive results but is not officially supported yet.
  • The UI is almost entirely the same. The replacement for the Layers Mode feature, "Root Collections", is almost identical in nature (but also much more powerful!). A few unclear property names and poor tooltips have been reworked, but are still in the same place. Unlike Blender 2.80's large UI change, we have changed much at all.
  • I have yet to meet an artist who, after learning modern Blender's UI, wishes they could go back. Have no fear in upgrading!

Root Collections and Root Objects

  • Blender 2.79's 3D View's layer system has been removed and replaced with Blender 2.80's Collections. To adapt, we removed "Layers Mode" and replaced it with "Root Collections". It is nearly the same as Layers but is much more flexible. The updater preserves Layers Mode projects and the UI for this workflow is still in the Scene Properties Tab. For old tutorials you can, in general, replace the word "layer" with "a collection". Read more about the feature here. "Exportable Collection" and "Root Collection" refer to the same concept, don't get confused by the old name.
  • You can use Root Collections and Root Objects in the same scene, no need to pick only one workflow

Automatic lights

  • Automatic Lights makes lighting in XPlane2Blender easy! Automatic lights are aimed for you without the need for tricks, any parameters are filled in automatically or with easy to use Blender properties, and the exporter and UI prevents many types of lighting mistakes. Pick your X-Plane light name and What You See Is What You'll Get! Read more here.
  • Knowing what lights to use and how is now easier. The "Create lights.txt Summary" button makes a text block with light names available and what parameters an Automatic Light will be setting in an easy to use format. See the "Feature Controls" table in beta.2's release notes for the translation between parameter name and Blender control.
  • Don't worry, Named and Param light types haven't been changed at all.
  • Though it shouldn't be necessary to read lights.txt anymore, it has been cleaned up quite a bit!

Split Animations

  • "Split Animations" offers a new way of sharing animations between objects and even .obj files. An excerpt from the manual explains some uses:

    Split Animations allows you to share animations that are outside the current root collection. *Its purpose is to reduce the manual labor of keeping these shared animations in sync. Some examples uses of this feature include

    • Synchronizing the motion of a landing gear and wheel in separate OBJs
    • Synchronizing the movement of complex wings flex and their lights
    • Synchronizing the movement of the cockpit OBJ's door handle manipulator and a door OBJ's door mesh
    • Having groups of manipulators follow the animation of a parent element of the cockpit
    • Many useful cases I'm sure no one else has dreamed of yet!

The feature is activated by very specific uses of Collections and parenting instead of checkboxes and buttons, so read the tutorial on how to take advantage of this powerful new feature.

Override LODs

  • The Levels of Detail feature in XPlane2Blender has been expanded to reduce the amount of clicking required and also to accommodate the removal of Blender 2.79's 3D View layer system. How Root Objects projects use LODs had to be changed. See details and backwards compatibility instructions in alpha.5's notes.

Optimizations

  • Thanks to Premek Truska and @kbrandwijk the Vertex Deduplication algorithm (aka using the Optimize checkbox) is set) takes almost no time at all, even for large .objs
  • A one time keyframe gathering pass makes Objects with many keyframes export twice as fast as before
  • Highly optimized string formatting increase the performance of the exporter across its whole write and logging operation
    All optimizations work automatically, no work is needed to enjoy the benefits! A full export of the BD-5J on my computer now takes 14 seconds over 2.79's 30. Other people report similar or better results.

Removed

  • Layers Mode removed due to Blender's choice (but Collections are far better anyways so this isn't a big loss).
  • Blender removed Texture Slots so we removed autodetection and certain texture validations. For now the root's texture file path string properties must be used.
  • 2.79 support. Additionally v3.5.1-beta.2 is cancelled (not that anyone ever asked for it of course). Future versions of the converter will consider Blender 2.79 a pit stop before Blender 2.80.
  • Include In Export, Export Mesh In Layers for being redundant and broken

Fixes for bugs that existed in 2.79

  • #570 Drag Rotate Bug Fix

Again, thank you so much to everyone who uses this addon and sends screenshots and bug reports and e-mails and forum posts and stories of all the great things you're making. X-Plane wouldn't be X-Plane without talented people like you making the world real with Blender and XPlane2Blender!

Assets 3