Wednesday, 20 August 2008

MC Altair v0.8

I've decided to release v0.8 with only one new feature: Better color control. You can now choose a default color scheme and/or colors for individual elements in the player. See the new variables and setup tool for details.

I wanted to get this version out because a few people have been asking for better colors. Now I'm planning to take a bit of time to consolidate and fix some outstanding bugs in the setup tool.

I've got a pretty clear idea of where to go from here, and I think we're on track for a v1.0 release this year. There are some exciting things going on behind the scenes and I'm looking forward to more development with MC Altair.

At the same time I'm obviously still thinking about MC Classic. I have previously indicated that I would get back to work on it later this year, and I haven't changed my mind, but at the same time there have been some developments that could impact this plan. I'll have more to say about MC Classic later.

In the meantime I'd appreciate any feedback from anyone who uses the new color features in MC Altair.

Thursday, 14 August 2008

Setup Tool Upgrade

MC Altair v0.7 seems to be going fine. I've seen it on a few websites and it certainly looks a lot better at smaller sizes. I still need to work on how the player adapts to different sizes but at least there's no more distortion in the interface and it always looks tidy.

I've released a new version of the MC Altair setup tool. This doesn't affect the player itself and there are no new features as such, although I have also released a non-essential maintenance upgrade for MC Altair (v0.71).

- The setup tool now correctly shows default values for any player size. Edited values are shown in red.
- Many of the buttons have been moved to the new menu. Most importantly, the "Get Code" button can now be found in "Code > Export to Website".
- There is a new "Make Player" wizard that automatically imports a video file and creates a player with the correct dimensions (assuming the video file includes valid metadata - I don't yet have a workaround if it doesn't).
- I've added some more context-sensitive help.

Monday, 4 August 2008

Google Street View for New Zealand

The rumours appear to have been officially confirmed - Google Street View is coming to New Zealand. This isn't exactly surprising news - the Google car has been spotted around the country by people such as Bevan Rudge (see his great photos). The car is a black Holden Astra, registration plate EFR386.

How will this affect 3DNewZealand.com? Well the Street View is available for the API, which in plain language means we can add it to the website. This is great news and I'll try to implement it as soon as possible. Sadly it does mean that my own panorama project looks doomed for obsolescence - I'm not sure if there's a lot of point trying to fill a gap that will no longer exist. Shame really, I should have moved faster when the idea was new (I published my own version of "Street View" more than six years ago but lacked the resources to pursue it properly).

Anyway, let's just be happy that Street View is coming. I'll let you know when it's available at 3DNewZealand.com.