Vancouver – Daylon Graphics® Ltd. has announced updates for all of its terrain modeling software applications. Leveller™ 3.1, Landshaper™ 1.1, and Landshaper Golf 2.1 are now available for new and existing users.
“The main improvement is better organization of the document data structure.” explains Ray Gardener, Daylon’s administrator. “Because a document can have multiple views, we stored certain things in view files. But after careful review we felt it was better to move several items up to the document level. Some flexibility was lost doing that, but nothing that anyone will really miss, and the benefits more than make up for it. We want to avoid flexibility merely for its own sake.
“Before, if you forgot to create and associate view files, documents would look different than from the last time they were opened. One would usually have to modify the appearance settings to get them back to what they were. Now that’s history; one can still use view files, but they’re no longer necessary to maintain appearance settings between work sessions.”
Scene and map panes can now be easily synchronized (i.e., showing the same point of interest), and for Landshaper and Landshaper Golf users, contour lines and elevation labels are also stored in the document. Contour line visibility is now a formal appearance item, and has its own toggle switch on the viewpane panels.
“It’s basically part of the continual effort to streamline and simplify the user experience.” Gardener continues. “It takes ongoing, conscious effort to keep any program from descending into technicality.
“It’s also easy to forget that our users appreciate ease of use because terrain modeling is often perceived as a complex endeavor in its own right. But that doesn’t mean that people who are skilled in one domain should automatically be expected to be ‘computer people’ — even professional musicians, for example, appreciate the simplicity of Apple’s iPod.
“In the golf industry, it’s particularly crucial because course designers and computer operators still tend to be separate people. We want to keep abstracting away the computer so that the designer can really participate better in the digital process. Even if he does that with an operator, the faster an operator can translate the designer’s thought process to the computer model, the better.”
Several bug fixes are also included, such as the raytracer now rendering drape textures for the water plane. “Starting a software project is easy.” Gardener notes. “Maintaining it is much more important. In fact, it scarcely matters how an application starts versus how committed the vendor is to its maintenance.”