CraftStudio Mapping tools, Minecraft model importer

Ladies and gentlemen, for your game-making pleasure, let me introduce… CraftStudio! This release features, among other things, mapping improvements and a Minecraft model importer.

I plan to focus on finishing the Mac port now, as I bought a Mac Mini last week.

Select, fill & erase large map areas

So, the Mapping tab now features a working cuboid selection tool. To be honest, it’s a bit clumsy to use (it’ll get better in later iterations) but it’s really powerful. Once you have a selection, you can fill or erase huge chunks of map by hitting a single button, or with the following shortcut keys:

  • Filling can be triggered with B (as in bucket)
  • Erasing can be triggered with E (as in… well I think you can figure that one out)

This can be particularly useful to make large walls or floor in a matter of seconds. (For the time being I’d recommend against filling huge volumes though, as I still need to optimize the generated geometry data to avoid using up too much memory. This limitation is temporary, of course.)

The ability to copy and paste map chunks is planned too.

This wall was built with a couple of clicks only

Faster, smoother map streaming

Generating the 3-dimensional geometry data used to render maps is a CPU intensive task. CraftStudio maps are split into chunks of 32x32x32 blocks. Whenever a block is placed or removed, the corresponding chunk’s geometry has to be rebuilt.

Up until today’s release, the geometry for each chunk was generated in a blocking fashion, right inside the main CraftStudio thread. When (re)building chunk geometry, the whole user interface would stop being responsive for a fraction of a second. When CraftStudio had to rebuild a large amount of geometry (when opening a map or when a block’s shape was changed), it could freeze for up to several seconds.

Starting with CraftStudio, this is no longer the case. Geometry is now generated in a separate thread. This will make for a much snappier mapping experience.

Minecraft model importer

Back in August I released a Minecraft model exporter which allows using CraftStudio models in Minecraft. There is now a tool to make the opposite: take Minecraft models built with tools like Techne or FMCModeler and get them into CraftStudio.

To use it, create an empty model and type /import minecraft in the chat. Browse to the Model*.java file of your model and voilà. You’ll need to import the texture separately by copying it with Gimp or Photoshop and pasting it in the canvas with Ctrl+V.

Miscellaneous improvements

  • The German translation has been updated (thanks sk2k as always!). You can contribute translations too if you want!
  • Folders in the project’s asset list are now collapsed by default.
  • Tile set revisions can now be looked at again (it was broken in the last update, I think)