The industry leading VR authoring toolkit, Jahshaka, has released version 0.6.0 alpha which includes a major overhaul of its asset and material frameworks. It sets a solid foundation for the way we store and share models moving ahead, and brings support for a wide variety of assets, materials and effects. It also comes with a cool new Jahshaka logo!
The underlying code has been cleaned up significantly and as a result the application is a lot more stable across the Desktop, Editor, Player and Asset Manager and includes a host of new features and expanded functionality.
You can download Jahshaka for both Windows and OsX via the links below.
You can also fork Jahshaka and build it on the latest Linux operating systems over at gitHub.
Please discuss the release in our forums here!
This release was focused on updating our asset management system to allow for more dynamic asset types, and to make way for direct integration with the JahFX online portal. This required major changes to the database and as a result our update module will wipe your desktop the first time you run the release.
We also updated the underlying technology that manages materials, to allow for much more powerful and dynamic effects. This paves the way for a new Effects module in the next release that will allow users to create their own shaders and effects.
The entire UI theme has been polished and there are now shortcuts for most common tools. We introduced dual navigation modes to allow for easier navigation for first time users while still supporting the traditional way of using the mouse and keyboard.
We have been working on making the application more responsive by adding support for real time previews when drag dragging objects into scenes, or materials onto objects. Our gizmos have also been updated and now properly maintain their size and aspect ratios, and are much more dynamic.
We have also added a new auto-update and upgrade module that will check our server for new releases moving ahead, and will automatically upgrade the application and database for you to make updates sooth and seamless.
Our new asset management system is much more powerful and now supports materials, objects, particle systems and shaders as assets, instead of just static 3D models. Shader assets now have a variety of properties and we have support for custom shaders along with thumbnail previews for materials.
Materials have also been updated significantly and you can now drag and drop materials directly onto models in the scene from the new and improved asset widget, which now supports toggling between an icon or list view. You can also export materials from objects in the editor as assets that can then be assigned to other assets in an interactive way.
To support these updates we now have our own packaging format, called .jaf packages, which will be the official format for asset exchange in the Jahshaka ecosystem. Whole objects can be exported from a scene, even if they have been modified after being imported, along with all materials and shaders for true portability.
“Internally, we’re relying more heavily on the database. All assets have an associating database entry. Assets that refer to other assets do so using guids instead of filepaths. This means modifying and adding files to the project folder outside of Jahshaka is discouraged.” Nicolas Brown, Developer.
• Better support for VR with dynamic view modes in the player
• Animation paths are shown for objects with position animations.
• New Shortcuts: using the Ctrl Tab to cycle through different views
• Batch import assets in a folder in Asset manager
• You can choose the culling mode of meshes.
• You can change whether a mesh casts or receives shadows from the UI
• Implementation of ‘autosave’ functionality
What’s instore for the future?
The most exciting thing to come in the next release is probably, Physics. We’re integrating Bullet (http://bulletphysics.org/wordpress/) into Jahshaka. Adding physics to objects will bring them to life and allows for interactions such as grabbing and throwing.
Join our Community!
Remember to keep in touch with Jahshaka’s development by visiting our blog page at http://www.jahshaka.com/blog. Also, follow us on twitter @jahshakafx and like our Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/jahshakafx