[Bf-committers] Construction Set clone with Blender?

Juhana Sadeharju kouhia at nic.funet.fi
Mon Oct 17 09:28:02 CEST 2011

[ Could not find better place for this. If any, please let me know. ]

Have a look at Construction Set (CS) of games Morrowind, Oblivion,
and Fallout 3 (any of them will do).

I would like to write similar 3D scene editor by using Blender.
Blender already has the NIF model import at "niftools.sourceforge.net".


(1) Can Blender's editor view use "turntable" mode for the view-camera?
[ At bottom of this mail, I have added feedback on the "trackball"
view-camera which Blender seems to use. ]

(2) For Blender's editor view, is it possible to implement the forward
movement (dolly) of the view-camera like it is in CS? In CS, first,
click/select an object, then use the mouse-scroller to move
forward/backward toward the selected object (and beyond).
[ I have seen an article in Journal of Graphics Tools on camera
movements, but CS's dolly is not just "move M units forward per
scroller tick". CS's dolly movement depends on the distance from
the object. ]

(3) Can Blender's editor view render the models like they are rendered
in Construction Set? In CS, press "a" key to toggle ambient light on.
[ I prefer ambient mode, but can Blender use the lights in the scene
in Blender's editor view at all? ]

(4) In CS, select object and move it up from the ground (press "z" and
move). Then press "f" for dropping the object to ground. Can this be
implemented in Blender's editor view?

If answers are "yes", I will look at the details myself.

Thanks, Juhana

Feedback on the trackball in Blender's editor view:

The problem: When I rotate the camera/view, the ground plane
gets tilted very easily, and it is very difficult to get the ground
plane horizontal again.

Blender uses trackball rotation, like many modellers, and it is
main reason why Blender (and those other editors) feels annoying
at the very beginning. I wish the clay modeller's turntable would
be the default view mode in Blender. See NGPlant or LEGO Digital

The way humans model and view is the clay modeller's turntable.
Humans don't hang upside down and tilted in air and model from there.

If not yet available, I suggest to provide two modes for editor view
(1) Turntable. With the CS type dolly.
(2) Trackball. (Like now.)

Blender's trackball has something wrong: When I move the mouse
pointer back to the start place in the screen (without releasing
the mouse button inbetween), the view is not returned to its
original orientation. (Turntable has no this problem.)

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