It's been a long time coming...
Release 0.99.6 has now shipped, and it's a fundamentally different application now (even if it looks similar.) Here are the big changes:
- No more Java-3D headaches! Java 3D is now bundled within the main JAR file or executable. Not only that, but the application will detect which type of machine and Operating System you're running on, and will automatically load the correct native libraries for you. What does this mean? You no longer need to install Java-3D to use the 3D features of the Structure Planner!
- Complete re-write of the 3D model code. The model code has been extended to allow for non-trivial (read 'more than just a simple block') object models. This means that I've now been able to implement stairs that actually look like Minecraft stairs! It also means that you'll be getting doors soon, and maybe even blocks with differing textures on the tops/sides/bottoms. As an added bonus, the new 3D code uses about 30% to 40% less memory, renders faster, garbage collects easier, and no longer locks the application up while it's drawing.
- Modification to the Layer Panel display. You can now easily tell the difference between half-slabs and blocks of the same material in the layer panel.
The 'stairs' model is now available on the Freeform tab. Simply select which kind of stair you want to use, and click on the design grid. You'll see that the stair tile has a red arrow on it pointing in the direction that the stairs ascend. To change the direction of the stairs, either click on the stair tile with the stair texture still selected (this will rotate the arrow 90 degrees clockwise) or right-click on the stair tile and select the orientation from the new 'Orientation' menu. Note that when placing stairs the application will remember the last stair orientation you used, so it's nice and easy to place long lines of stairs all facing in the same direction.
Here's an example of a design using the new stairs blocks: