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ASEToBin 1.0 release

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Finally, the long awaited ASEToBin 1.0 has been released !

ASEToBin is a tool that is part of the I-Novae engine ( Infinity's engine ). It allows contributors and artists to export their model from 3DS Max's .ASE file format and to visualize and prepare the 3D model for integration into the game.

This new release represents more or less 200 hours of work, and is filled with tons of new features, like new shaders with environmental lighting, skyboxes, a low-to-high-poly normal mapper, automatic loading/saving of parameters, etc..

ASEToBin Version 1.0 release, 06/10/2009:


Changes from 0.9 to 1.0:

- rewrote "final" shader into GLSL; increase of 15% performance (on a Radeon 4890).
- fixed various problems with normal mapping: artifacts, symmetry, lack of coherency between bump and +Z normal aps, etc.. hopefully the last revision. Note that per-vertex interpolation of the tangent space can still lead to smoothing artifacts, but that should only happen in extreme cases (like the cube with 45? smoothed normals) that should be avoided by artists in the first place.
- removed anisotropic fx in the final shader and replaced it by a fresnel effect. Added a slider bar to control the strength of the fresnel reflection ("Fresnel").
- changed the names of the shaders in the rendering modes listbox to be more explicit on what they do.
- set the final shader (now "Full shading") to be the default shader selected when the program is launched.
- added a shader "Normal lighting" that shows the lighting coming from per-pixel bump/normal mapping.
- added support for detail texturing in "Full Shading" shader. The detail texture must be embedded in the alpha channel of the misc map.
- increased accuracy of specular lighting with using the real reflection vector instead of the old lower precision half vector.
- added support for relative paths.
- added support for paths to textures that are outside the model's directory. You can now "share" textures between different folders.
- added automatic saving and reloading of visual settings. ASEToBin stores those settings in an ascii XML file that is located next to the model's .bin file.
- ase2bin will not exit anymore when some textures could not be located on disk. Instead it will dump the name of the missing textures in the log file and use placeholders.
- fixed a crash bug when using the export option "merge all objects into a single one".
- ambient-occlusion generator now takes into account the interpolated vertex normals instead of the triangle face. This will make the AO map look better (non-facetted) on curved surfaces. Example:
Before 1.0: http://www.infinity-universe.com/Infinity/Docs/SDK/ASEToBin/ao_before.jpg
In 1.0: http://www.infinity-universe.com/Infinity/Docs/SDK/ASEToBin/ao_after.jpg
- added edge expansion to AO generator algorithm, this will help to hide dark edges on contours due to bilinear filtering of the AO map, and will also fix 1-pixel-sized black artifacts. It is *highly recommended* to re-generate all AO maps on models that were generated from previous version of ASEToBin, as the quality increase will be tremendous.
- automatic saving/loading of the camera position when loading/converting a model
- press and hold the 'X' key to zoom the camera (ICP style)
- press the 'R' key to reset the camera to the scene origin
- reduced the znear clipping plane distance. Should make it easier to check small objects.
- program now starts maximized
- added a wireframe checkbox, that can overlay wireframe in red on top of any existing shader mode.
- added a new shader "Vertex lighting" that only shows pure per-vertex lighting
- fixed a crash related to multi-threading when generating an AO map or a normal map while viewing a model at the same time.
- added a skybox dropdown that automatically lists sll skyboxes existing in the ASEToBin's Data/Textures sub-directories. To create your own skyboxes, create a folder in Data/textures (name doesn't matter), create a descr.txt file that will contain a short description of the skybox, then place your 6 cube map textures in this directory. They'll be automatically loaded and listed the next time ASEToBin is launched.
- the current skybox is now saved/reloaded automatically for each model
- added a default xml settings file for default ASEToBin settings when no model is loaded yet. This file is located at Data/settings.xml
- removed the annoying dialog box that pops up when an object has more than 64K vertices
- fixed a bug for the parameter LCol that only took the blue component into account for lighting
- added support for environment cube map lighting and reflections. Added a slider bar to change the strength of the environment lighting reflections ("EnvMap"). Added a slider bar to control the strength of the environment ambient color ("EnvAmb").
- added experimental support for a greeble editor. This editor allows to place greeble meshes on top of an object. The greeble is only displayed (and so only consumes cpu/video resources) when the camera gets close to it. This may allow kilometer-sized entities to look more complex than they are in reality.
- added experimental support for joypads/joysticks. They can now be used to move the camera in the scene. Note that there's no configuration file to customize joystick controls, and the default joystick is the one used. If your joystick doesn't work as expected, please report any problem on the forums.
- added a slider bar for self-illumination intensity ("Illum")
- added a slider bar for the diffuse lighting strength ("Diffuse")
- added a Capture Screenshot button
- added a new shader: checkerboard, to review UV mapping problems (distortions, resolution incoherency, etc..)
- added the number of objects in the scene in the window's title bar
- added a button that can list video memory usage for various resources (textures, buffers, shaders) in the viewer tab
- added a Show Light checkbox in the visualization tab. This will display a yellowish sphere in the 3D viewport in the direction the sun is.
- added new shaders to display individual texture maps of a model, without any effect or lighting (Diffuse Map, Specular Map, Normal Map, Ambient Map, Self-illumination Map, Misc Map, Detail Map)
- fixed numerous memory/resources leaks
- added a button in the visualization tab to unload (reset) the scene.
- added an experimental fix for people who don't have any OpenGL hardware acceleration due to a config problem.
- added a button in the visualization tab to reset the camera to the scene origin
- added a checkbox in the visualization tab to show an overlay grid. Each gray square of the grid represents an area of 100m x 100m. Each graduation on the X and Y axis are 10m. Finally, each light gray square is 1 Km.
- added a feature to generate ambient-occlusion in the alpha channel of a normal map when baking a low-poly to a high-poly mesh. Note: the settings in the "converter" tab are used, even if disabled, so be careful!

Note: Spectre's Phantom model is included as an example in the Examples/ directory !

Screenshots (click to enlarge):










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Great! I know is not your target but are you planning to create a library or an specification to let the people include this models in their engines?

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