we hope you all got into 2022 well, and to keep you on your toes we prepared a nice release of cables.gl for you. The first release of the year is - again - packed with new features, lots of improvements and some bugfixes.
As always, you can go through everything that has changed by skimming the changelog. We'll try to cover the biggest changes in this post for you though. Also, check our youtube channel in the next few weeks for big and small tutorials of everything new in cables.
So, what's new?
Everything Is Shiny
Massive praise goes out to cables-user amajesticseaflapflap for spending their time between christmas and new years to brush up and contribute new Ops for this release. Thanks to his work we have a whole new world of doing lighting and materials in cables!
With just two ops and a few precalculated textures you can create awesome lighting, reflections and add some roughness and shininess to your models. Try out the patch above and toggle between different parts of a PBR material!
Upload your model to cables, attach the appropriate textures and you are basically good to go. For your convenience cables even offers converters to get the proper RGBE files that are needed to make this work on the web. For your environments you will find three example textures in the "hdr"-section of the library-files-explorer. We also added RGBE-support to the Skybox-Op.
Making photorealistic stuff in cables has never been easier!
Dark Mode ON
The most immediately visible change is our rework of the whole community-part of the cables website. We created a new "dark mode" for you, and made it the default theme - head over to cables.gl after you are done reading this post and enjoy the darkness.
We also spent quite some time of revamping your whole experience outside of the editor - browsing the library, presenting your profile and patches. There was a lot to clean up, rework and reorder, and we are really happy with how everything turned out...hope you like it, too.
From Texture To Beyond
With this update, we introduce a new paradigm for creating and manipulating positional, rotational, and scale data for mesh instance and point clouds in cables. Instead of using arrays, now you can use colorful textures to animate and precisely control point clouds - blazingly fast!
This approach paves the way for more experimentation and performance friendly crazyness. Stay tuned and try it out!
The last release bought you a lot of tools and toys to play around with GLTF 3D scenes. This release picks up on that and irons out a few bugs and increases compatibility with more GLTF file structures.
You should now have an even easier time when importing your GLTF/GLB files into cables and animate them in your patches, without baking animations.
An ever expanding part of cables now also supports select PBR material properties and material colors, allowing you to easily setup your 3D scenes in your favorite 3D editor and import it to the web. Be sure to test this out by toggling "use material properties" inside the GLTFScene Operator.
While we spent some
time outside the editor since the last release, and that lead to a
rehaul of the website, we are not forgetting the core part of cables.
all the new people, all the regulars looking for workflow improvements
and also all the veterans catching up on changes we added the new
"infobar" at the bottom of your browser-window.
select something, the infobar will give you a quick hint on the possible
actions and keyboard-shortcuts for the current selection. This might give you
some ideas on how to improve your workflow. so... look down more often!
Our beloved flow-mode got an update as well. If you press "F" you'll see the flow of data along the cables...you know this, right?
we added to this is that from now on all the ports that see some action
will flicker as well. Even when they are not yet connected via any cable.
Since we know we all
take wrong turns sometimes and have to take one step back, we improved
working with backups in cables a bit. If you now go back to an older
version of your patch and save it, you will get a warning about
overwriting your patch.
And since that
might not be enough, cables will create a backup of the current version
of the patch before reverting to the old version as well. This should
really keep you from accidentally overwriting your "happy little
accidents" with an older version.
Team Up Now!
Ever had a task that spread out over multiple patches and maybe also multiple people?
The addition of teams to cables makes it easier to create collections of patches, invite others to work on them and keep track of what is going on.
Simply create a team, upload an avatar and start adding patches to the team via the collaboration-tab in the settings of your patch. You can also invite everyone in your new team to collaborate on your work with one click!
There Is More...
These were the biggies, but a few other things are worth mentioning as well.
We give you ImageComposeSnapshot to grab a texture in the middle of a texture-effect flow and check it for debugging or use it somewhere else, maybe some feedback effects?