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Release Notes - SDK 1.1.0

This is a BETA release. It’s pretty reliable, but there are still a few quirks here and there. Over the summer, Panda3D was overhauled top to bottom. The new code is dramatically improved, but it needs a little bit of testing. The new features are:

  • Much faster rendering of high-poly models.
  • Dramatically improved vertex and pixel shader support.
  • New demo programs using shaders and render-to-texture.
  • Play movies by using an AVI as a texture (windows only).
  • Python scripting uses much faster python to C++ interface.
  • Support for procedurally-created geometry (eg, fractals, etc).
  • Cleaner, simpler internal data structures.
  • Comes with Python 2.4 support built-in.
  • A game-packaging tool called ‘packpanda’ (windows only).
  • A lot more.

The new demo programs are:

  • Render to Texture Demo
  • Cartoon Shader Demo
  • Motion Trails Demo
  • Procedural Geometry (Fractals) Demo
  • Normal Mapping Demo

However, a caution: this is a BETA release: reasonably stable, but not quite perfect. Please send us your bug reports.

UPDATES: it is now known that the scene editor is not working in this release. Here are a few more of the things that changed in this release:

  • The x2egg program can now handle the (not quite standard) X-files that the blender X-exporter produces. As a consequence, there is now a relatively speed-bump-free way to get models from blender into panda.
  • The function “nodepath.setPythonTag(“key”, pythonobject)” lets you store a pointer to a python object (arbitrary user-data) in a panda node.
  • The “-ps” command line option for all the utility programs has been repaired. You can now use -ps keep, -ps abs, -ps rel, etc, and they all work.
  • It is now possible to store multiple UV-sets in an egg file, and access those in a shader.
  • The utility programs can compute tangents and binormals. Shaders can access those values. This is a necessary prerequisite for doing bump-mapping.
  • In principle, panda now supports hardware vertex animation. However, I’m not sure it’s entirely reliable yet, so I didn’t initially advertise it.
  • Panda now has a thing called “drawMaskAttrib,” which lets you control which cameras render which objects.
  • The whole “genpycode” subsystem, which used to be crucial to python-C++ interface, is much less important. In fact, you can import the panda DLLs directly without the genpycode layer, and the only thing you miss is the methods that were implemented in python. Our goal is to eventually phase out genpycode.