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The Rendering Team Closes 2014 with a Boom

The ROBLOX Rendering team made 2014 yet another year of beautification for ROBLOX, unveiling such eye candy as new particle effects, new material textures, and environmental reflections, and even transitioned to an entirely new rendering engine developed just for our platform. To top off the year, this week the team launched two final updates: a new texture-rendering technique that reduces repetitious tiling, and a new explosion particle effect.

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Physics Support Comes to Solid Modeling

The recent release of our Solid Modeling tool ushered in a new and exciting era of creation, in which builders and developers have the ability to create complex objects using ROBLOX’s primitives as a foundation. We’ve seen the potential of the feature become a reality, with a plethora of impressive games and worlds leveraging the tool to great visual effect. Today, Solid Modeling has received its first substantial upgrade: accurate physics simulation for complex objects.

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Transforming the Look of ROBLOX with New Particle Effects

Today, we launched our revamped particle effect system and a new look for the existing particle effects: smoke, fire, sparkles, and the spawn forcefield. All of these particle effects were completely redesigned from the ground up to fit the high-quality and high-definition look that we’re working hard to bring to ROBLOX, and several key members of the Rendering and Art teams collaborated to redefine what ROBLOX particle effects are. It was important to us to ensure that implementing these effects in Studio is the exact same process as it always has been, which it is. As Senior Software Engineer at ROBLOX, I want to share an under-the-hood look at the technology we developed to implement the new particle effects, and talk about an interesting challenge we overcame in the process. Get ready for a deep dive.

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3D Thumbnails Bring Our Virtual Catalog to Life

See angles of your avatar you never could before, right from our website!

See angles of your avatar you never could before, right from roblox.com!

You’ve no doubt noticed the “Enable 3D” button perched next to your favorite hats, gear and packages when you visit the pages of catalog items. Starting today, we’ve enabled the 3D view for shirts and pants as well, giving you the ability to view clothing from any angle before you buy it (or decide not to because of what’s on the back). Using the Rendering team’s OBJ Exporter as a foundation, we were able to roll out this feature and make it possible for you to take a 360-degree look at hats, gear, packages, heads, clothing, and characters on roblox.com.

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Your shadow will now act as it would in real life -- dependent entirely on the position of the sun or moon.

Character Shadows Get the Dynamic Lighting Treatment

Ever since we introduced dynamic lighting last May, we’ve been listening to your feedback and prioritizing improvements based on your requests. One of the most common developer requests was for objects blocking light to cast shadows — an update we implemented in late 2013. Another top request was a revamp of character shadows, which, as of today, has come to fruition. Character shadows are now integrated in the voxel-based dynamic lighting engine, making them an aesthetic match to ROBLOX worlds and preventing them from rendering when they should be blocked by walls and structures.

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3D printing is awesome. Imagine what your avatar would look like as a toy. You no longer have to imagine -- you can do it!

OBJ Exporter: Open ROBLOX Files With Any 3D Software

You were always able to save your Studio files locally as .rbx files, but now you can export your Studio creations as .obj files. The OBJ Exporter exports all level geometry, textures, and materials of any place you create inside Studio. You can then load that file in a variety of 3D software platforms to refine, tweak, and enhance your virtual creation.

Exporting a creation is as simple as opening your place in Studio, then going to File > Export Place.

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