Friday, April 30, 2010

Building Composer 1.3 released

We have released a new version of Building Composer. This is a minor release, mainly to improve support for buildings with internationalized names (e.g. Chinese).

Or read the full release notes here.

Ian Loh

New Office Building sample

The Office Building sample dataset has undergone intensive renovation and now looks better, has more furniture, has more varied interiors, and still renders almost as fast as the old version.

See the Sample Buildings page for instructions on how to use it, as well as a list of changes.

If you are using the old version (1.0), be assured that it will still be hosted at the old URL:

If you wish to upgrade, simply replace 1.0 with 2.0. Note that we have moved furniture around, but did not hack down any walls :).

Ian Loh

Developer Network updated with API 1.4 features

We've updated the Developer Network to cover the recently released API 1.4 features.

Two new articles have been added to the Developer Guide:
  • Navigation Modes - Explains the difference between the Orbit, FirstPerson and Disabled modes, and how they can be customized.
  • Options - Explains how you can customize the existing GermaniumWeb features like the grid, the background, and auto-rotation.
All older articles have also been updated.

Similarly, there are new Interactive Samples covering the new features. Check them out!

Ian Loh

New Modeling Guide

Lately we've been seeing growing interest in modeling buildings for GermaniumWeb, particularly from Google SketchUp users. However, some of these building models were very complex which resulted in a poor user experience for website visitors who had slower machines.

We decided to shine some light on how you can optimize your buildings while still keeping them looking good, so we now present the Modeling for Real-Time 3D guide. All the techniques listed here were used to model the Office Building and Jukebox Shopping Mall sample buildings.

We've also added a COLLADA Guide which will give you a clearer picture of the modeling workflow, and how to get your 3D models from your modeling package to our Building Composer tool. You can also check the list of known COLLADA exporter bugs and workarounds on our user forum.

As always, do give us your feedback.

Ian Loh

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

GermaniumWeb training sessions for code::XtremeApps::2010

We will be holding GermaniumWeb training sessions for code::XtremeApps::2010 on these following dates. Do sign up for the training sessions early. Registration is free & on a first-come-first served basis. The training venue will be at Republic Polytechnic, Between E2 and E4, Agora Level 1.

Session 1: Sign up for Saturday 12 June 2010, 10am to 1pm, OR
Session 2: Sign up for Saturday 12 June 2010, 2pm to 5pm.

To prepare yourself for the training, please refer to our preparation guide at

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

code::XtremeApps::2010 launch briefing slides & video

If you have missed or wish to revisit our GermaniumWeb talk on the code::XtremeApps::2010, you can find our slides & recorded video here:

Video for GermaniumWeb talk

*our 3D Jukebox demo starts at the 00:39min mark.

Friday, April 9, 2010

New networked installer

The GermaniumWeb plugin (1.31) now comes in a new networked installer, which automatically installs Windows Installer 3.1 and the .NET Framework 2.0 SP1 if you don't already have them installed. This is commonly known as a bootstrapper.

However, this does mean that during installation, you will need a network connection, and if you are going to install GermaniumWeb on multiple machines, GermaniumWeb will be downloaded repeatedly, once for each machine.

If this does not suit your needs, or if you are having problems with the networked installer, we still provide the old-style standalone installer. However, we did not include Windows Installer 3.1 and the .NET Framework 2.0 SP1 in this standalone installer as this would have increased its filesize greatly.

If you encounter any problems with the networked installer, please post them on the plugin installation forum, and we'll try to get back to you promptly.

Ian Loh

API 1.4 and GermaniumWeb 1.31 released

Welcome to the new Germanium Team Blog!

We're launching this blog with a big bang - the release of API 1.4 and plugin 1.31!

Here are some of the highlights of this release:

Control. This release is all about improved control over the user interface, including glide and auto-rotation operations. Details:
  1. You can now disable the user interface. In some cases, you may want to disable the default user interface behaviour, e.g. when you are showing a tour of your building and don't want the user to interact with the 3D scene. You can now:
    • Prevent the user from moving the Eye with the mouse and keyboard by setting the navigation mode to Disabled.
      When you do this, by default the mouse cursor will show a 'disabled' cursor when the user presses a mouse button. If you are going to provide your own mouse interaction (e.g. by responding to the OnMouseDown event), you can turn off this disabled cursor.
      Note that the user can still click placemarks. You can also prevent this by making them non-interactive.
    • Prevent the user from closing a placemark callout by hiding the close button.

    • Prevent the user from using the Eye controls (see figure on right) by hiding them. Note that on plugin 1.31, the Eye controls are automatically disabled during gliding and auto-rotation, so you don't have to hide the Eye controls for these cases.

  2. You can respond when the user presses a key, by listening for the new keyboard events. 
  3. You now have greater control over gliding. The new glide functions  - which also make gliding easier by unifying the existing 15 glide variants into just 3 (GlideEyeTo(), GlideTargetTo(), GlideEyeToFit()) - now allow you to control the speed (duration and speedMultiplier) and acceleration (useEaseIn and useEaseOut). You can also handle a specific glide's end (using endCallback), instead of having to listen for the global OnGlideEnded event.
  4. It's simpler to manage the navigation mode. In API 1.3, where first person navigation was still experimental, you would be unintuitively switched back to orbit navigation after a glide, or if you turned on orthographic projection. Now, once you successfully set the navigation mode (e.g. to first person), GermaniumWeb will always stay in that mode until you set it to something else.
Other improvements. We've also
You can read the full list of changes here:

Ian Loh