Boxshot 5.1 beta

27 Sep 2019

This beta version is mostly focused on embedded models, but it also delivers some goodies for everyone else. Read on for more information on this update.

Breaking Changes

Although Boxshot 5 is not a beta anymore, we had to make the very last (hope so) breaking change in the materials. We hope it won’t affect you at all, but please read on before you install this update.

Since version 5.1 of Boxshot materials will not have UV mapping overriding feature. It is not used by about 99% of you guys and most of the rest 1% use it for external models. The good news is that the external models (now — embedded models) keep supporting the feature. This means if you have a project that overrides UV mapping on an external model — this will work just fine. However, if you did that for a built-in object (like a book or box) — the mapping will be reset to the default one.

If you want to keep using the overridden UV mapping for the built–in objects, consider converting them to the embedded models first using the older version of Boxshot 5.

Once again, this shouldn’t affect like 99.9% of the users. Let us know if it affects you, so we can help.

Embedded Models

One of the main features of Boxshot 5, compared to version 4 is that it now stores “external” models inside the projects. This means you don’t need to have the original 3D file nearby in order to keep everything working. All the data is now embedded and Boxshot has some extra control on that. Version 5.0 offered a very basic set of embedded models tools, this update adds more.

Right click the scene tree elements in the embedded model editor to get access to the new tools. You can now flip faces, invert normals, make normals smooth or hard, generate UV mapping (yes, it was moved here), delete elements and so on. All the changes are immediately displayed in the preview. There is also a “Center Around Pivot” button that helps restoring control on external models loaded too far away from the center of scene.

Finally, the “Generate backsides” option has also gone. Instead, you can generate backsides manually in the embedded model editor using the right click menu. This way (combined with the other tools) you have much more control on invalid or broken 3D files.

Rendering Speed

This version has a “rendering speed up” option in settings (enabled by default) that improves rendering speed by about 20–30%, depending on the scene. Some scenes are even rendered about twice faster in the new version.

Boxshot 5 uses much more realistic rendering algorithm compared to version 4, but unfortunately it comes at the price of speed. We’ll keep working on improving that in the next updates and your feedback would really help.

Command Line Processing

Boxshot Ultimate can render jobs and projects with --render option, we’ve added two more: --convert and --run. The first one lets you convert between Boxshot–supported formats (both projects and models), the second lets you run javascript code with Boxshot. The new options let you, say, customize existing project with a different texture and export it to 3D PDF, or Collada for further processing with Koru. Or change a project and then render it.

Consider testing the new command line parameters if you do any automation with Boxshot. Your feedback is very welcome.

Other Changes

Besides the changes mentioned above, there are some extra ones:

  • Output image format can be specified for queued jobs (Ultimate–only);
  • New “Center camera on selection” tool added;
  • “Image Fan” shape got unique fronts and backs support;
  • “Import 3D model” item has been added to the “File” menu (Ultimate–only);
  • Better support of Boxshot 4 projects with external models in OBJ format;
  • SVG import improved for Lathe/Loft/Extrude shapes;
  • Maximum books dimensions increased to 100cm;
  • Semi–transparent textures support improved;
  • Decals UV mapping improved;
  • Various typos fixed here or there.

Remember that this is a beta version. Although the software is stable enough for production usage, we recommend installing this update only if you are ready to test new features and report problems.