DTT Upgrade Guide

Aaron Griffith edited this page Sep 19, 2011 · 8 revisions

In March 2011, many contributors helped in developing what was called the "direct-to-tiles" or "dtt-c-render" branch. This branch is significantly faster than the old version of Overviewer, and has a few nice extra features. This guide is aimed at helping people who are already familiar with Overviewer get up to speed on the new changes.

If you are a new to Minecraft Overviewer, please see the Quick Start Guide instead.

(For a much more detailed list, with every commit, see here.)

Using overviewer.py

The first thing you may notice is that gmap.py (or gmap.exe) is now called overviewer.py (or, similarly, overviewer.exe). So if you used to run ./gmap.py [options ...], now you would run ./overviewer.py [options ...]. The second thing you'll notice is how fast renders are now. For a 24,000 chunk world, renders were 10 times faster!

Along with the name change, some of the options have also changed. If Overviewer quits saying an option isn't recognized, run ./overviewer.py --help to see if it may have been renamed. Here's the big changes:

  • --lighting, --night, and --spawn have been combined into one option; use --rendermodes=lighting, etc. to change render mode. This can also be used to render more than one mode at once! See below for more information.

  • Some options, like --zoom, --optimize-img, and --imgformat have been moved into a config file named settings.py. See below for more info on the config file.

  • --cachedir is gone, because Overviewer no longer uses a chunk-level cache, and instead relies on tiles alone. See below for more information on why the cache is gone.

C Extension now Required

While the C extension used to be optional, and simply fixed water grid lines, it is now required! We know that this is inconvenient to some, and we're providing Windows and Debian builds (32 and 64 bit). See the Installation page for more details.

If you are interested in building the C extension your self, please see the Build-Instructions page.

Rendermodes and Multi-layer Rendering

Overviewer now supports rendering multiple modes (lighting, night, spawn, ...) at the same time, and presenting all of them on the same page, with controls to toggle between them. To do this, give Overviewer a list of modes to render, separated by commas. For example, ./overviewer.py --rendermodes=lighting,night [world] [output dir].

It used to be that you had to edit config.js manually, and render each tileset manually, which was a bit of a pain. This is no longer required. You may need to update your render system to take advantage of this, if you used to do it manually.

Run Overviewer with --list-rendermodes to see a list of all the supported rendermodes.

About settings.py

settings.py is a new python-based configuration file. It should be simple to use for basic configuration settings, but powerful enough for advanced users, since settings.py can use any Python function or module. All of the accepted variables are documented in the file sample.settings.py, along with their type and default value.

Note that some of the examples in sample.settings.py have not been tested yet and may not work exactly as given.

About the Chunk-based Cache

Overviewer used to cache rendered images of each chunk, and (by default) stored them alongside the chunks themselves. After the DTT changes, this chunk cache no longer exists. Instead, Overviewer relies on the tiles alone as a cache. This is much simpler, both to maintain and to use, and a little faster. As a consequence, the --cachedir option has been removed, since there is no need anymore.

In contrib/ there is a script named clearOldCache.py that will prune an old cache from a world directory, if you used to store this cache in the default place but want to remove it now. Run it without arguments to get help on how to use it.

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