Wing Blender Update Whips Up Models Twice As Fast Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Update ID

Wing Blender has gotten its first update in more than a year. The program is a Blender importer/exporter for ship models that allows for easier manipulation of the items in Wing Commander Prophecy or Secret Ops. It's been a useful app for fan project modders, and the new version 2.2.1 can easily cut import time in half! You can grab the program here and get tips on its use at the CIC Forums.
Anyway, if you've tried to use the importer, you'll know that it is sluggish as hell. I've been trying to work on that. I made a few optimizations to the importer recently, which mostly involve using flat typed arrays instead of lists of lists, and it turned out to be MUCH faster than what I had. With my most recent optimizations, I was able to cut the import time in half! Well, at least for the more detailed meshes. AST_S_01.IFF hasn't shown much improvement in terms of import time, but that's because the other bottleneck is the MAT reader, and I have no idea how I could optimize the MAT reader any further.

Features:

  • Allows you to do most of the work on the model in Blender and then export it without the need to use external utilities to set the collision sphere, radius, or hardpoints.
  • If a texture's filename is numeric, you will be able to convert it straight to a MAT file without renaming it. For example, if you have a texture named 424242.jpg, your model will reference 00424242.mat
  • Converts Blender "empty" objects to hardpoints and other VISION engine mesh metadata.
  • Collision sphere position and radius is automatically calculated, but can be manually overridden.
  • Child objects can now be exported along with the main object.
  • LOD mesh support

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