"4D Blue" comes as a stand-alone suite and doesn't require any external libraries. There are, however, few Windows components that must be present in order for it to work correctly. Most likely you already have them installed, so before you download anything, please try to run "4D Blue". If it doesn't launch, only then consider downloading and installing additional components.
Internet Explorer 4.0 or Better
"4D Blue” requires at least Microsoft(R) Internet Explorer 4.0 or better. ”4D Blue" itself neither require nor attempt to establish any internet connections or send any data over the internet. But the IE 4.0 or better library and dll files are required by the latest MFC and Windows libraries. There is a very high chance that you already have Internet Explorer 4.0 or better installed on your computer. If not, please consider downloading it from:
"4D Blue" uses Microsoft(R) DirectX 9.0 to support its 3D textured and lighted preview. There is high chance that you already have it installed on your computer and there is nothing you need to do. But in case your computer doesn't have the latest DirectX 9.0, please download and install it if you wish to try "4D Blue" suite.
Microsoft(R) "DirectX 9.0 End-User Runtime" can be downloaded from Microsoft(R) webpage at:
Please search for DirectX 9.0 and then follow the provided instructions.
Download "4D Blue"
This software is provided "as-is," without any express or implied warranty. In no event shall the author be held liable for any damages arising from the use of this software. This is a "Preview" version; bugs and problems are expected. If you don't want the experience to be spoiled, please come back in a few months. Otherwise please download "4D Blue" and try it for yourself!
Download "4D Blue" Preview 1 Build 1606
Download "4D Blue" Preview 1 Build 1528
Build 1606 is the latest build. It contains many crash fixes, height field updates, Terragen file support and other texture updates and fixes. Also few other crash bug fixes and other additions. It is the last build to use the old save files. They have been problematic and incompatible with newer builds and I easily couldn’t support scene merges and other needed operations.
Build 1528 was mostly about crash bug fixes that I missed in build 1522. Thanks to the crash reports I have received I could quickly locate and fix them. In that build I also added a “forced crash” capability – pressing F11 + F12 will generate a crash report as well. It is particular handy for situations when 4D Blue does not crash, but simply hangs and it seems to do nothing without responding.
In both builds the old file formats should be working fine. As always, if you have installed previous versions before, please uninstall them before installing the latest version. Enjoy!
I need your feedback! If you decide to download and try this software please let me know what you think. I recently added a "Forum" section for everyone to use, but you can also send me your comments via e-mail.
To quickly preview "4D Blue" capabilities, please load and render one or more of the provided example scenes. To open and render them, choose "Open" under the "File Menu" and open one of the example scenes. To render it choose "Render" under the "Rendering Menu". These example scenes all have been preconfigured to render at 480 * 360 with anti-aliasing. Enjoy!
If the application crashes right away, try to disable D3D drawing using Help Menu. There are few known, but unsolved problems with D3D drawing.
Save often and use different file names, for example, Scene01, Scene02... this way you can always go back to the latest working version. So far I had no issues with the save/load system, but I make no guarantees.
Overall, if the application fails to start at all, please let me know what the error message is and what version of Windows you are using at firstname.lastname@example.org
Build 1606 (04/06/2006):
- Fixed potential but rare crash bug with Color Map and Turbulence textures.
- Added Terragen file support for importing. Available in Heightfield texture.
- Added Tile Texture type.
- Fixed serious recursion problems with Color Maps, Turbulence, and 3D Checker textures.
- Fixed texture preview to work correctly with 3D textures.
- Added UVW mapping option to material preview - helpful when previewing materials using 3D textures.
- Added support to automatically create config file if it is missing.
- Added addition render view options to render only selected objects and to render region.
- Adjusted context menus to show when releasing right mouse button and not when pressing it. Takes a while to adjust to it again... but it is the proper way of showing them.
- Added spinner controls to materials shader input definitions.
- Added alpha transparent drawing gizmos and helper objects in the views. Also added new flag in the preferences to enable and disable it.
- Added support to cancel subsurface computations during rendering. Useful as it could take a while.
- Added Multilayer (2 Layers) SurfaceGI shader.
Build 1528 (03/28/2006):
- Improved spinners and gliders.
- Added the right mouse button reset capability to the spinners and gliders.
- Added mouse capture for animation toolbar so it's not necessary to maintain the cursor within the toolbar after clicking on it.
- Improved the XYZ View Axis drawing system. Also draws the axis in the view grid. Added show flag and top icon.
- Restored the Lights and Cameras matrix computations to use fixed up vector. The recent changes were causing a lot of problems.
- Fixed a crash bug when viewing the photon maps.
- Fixed a crash bug when evaluating a shader with Global Illumination enabled.
- Fixed a crash bugs when collapsing camera or light constructors.
- Adjusted Transformation Toolbar to hide most options for nodes for which they wouldn't make sense and wouldn't work anyway.
- Added "Hang Forced Crash" - press F11 + F12 keys to force a "crash" of 4D Blue - useful for finding problems when 4D Blue just simply stuck.
Build 1522 (03/22/2006):
- Added crash reporting system. Please use it if they happen.
- Added MTL importer into OBJ file importer.
- Added Camera/Light shapes.
- Changed circular camera shape to rectangle based on Vertical and Horizontal Aspect ratios.
- Added mesh optimization code to Boolean tools to produce better final mesh.
- Added Boolean constructor.
- Added Circular Array tool.
- Fixed a crash bug when detaching surfaces from object.
- Added a Merge tool and removed the merge options from the nodes toolbar.
- Added Undo/Redo supports for all tools.
- Redesigned and rewritten the animation key frames detection for animation toolbar.
- Fixed camera rotation problems that were causing flipping if the camera was looking from top down.
- Moved the "Lock Pivot" to main status toolbar. It also works now with nodes. Updated group operations like rotate and scale to work correctly.
- Added a "Render" button to the views. It's handy and creates much more accurate previews than the D3D can provide while easier than full regular renders.
- Adjusted Spotlights to match the D3D Previews.
- Added a flag to preferences to enable "Always Select" option.
- Added 3D objects for D3D preview to represent lights and cameras.
- Improved Dependency System. It should fix many of the problems with dependant nodes. Hope no bugs have been introduced.
- Fixed crash bugs when copying "other" (uniform sphere, uniform torus, quadric, height field) objects.
- Shader Editor now maintains preview states even if closed and reopened.
- Fixed a crash bug if render camera has been deleted before a new one was selected.
- Fixed problems with normals when applying shape transformations.
- Fixed a lot of smaller problems and issues.
Build 1407 (02/07/2006):
- Redesigned and updated scripting language engine and major parts of it.
- Redesigned Undo/Redo engine to support reference counts. Should eventually solve many of the crash bugs.
- Added "Delete Surfaces" Surface tool.
- Added "XForm Type-In" Tool.
- Added "Array" Tool.
- Added "Spacing" Tool.
- Added "Align" Tool.
- Added "Boolean" Object Tool.
- Curve based transformations and tools now use regularly spaced points.
- Fixed a problem with Ortho-Ball views when rotated for longer period of time.
- Added tool tips to shader dialogs.
- Added additional objects to material preview dialog.
- Added parser for Stereolithography (.STL) files (ASCII, Binary)
- Added exporter for Stereolithography (.STL) files (ASCII, Binary)
- Fixed a bug in which XForm animation tracks would not show in Animation Editor.
Build 1229 (12/29/2005):
- Adjusted default lighting to reduce overexposure. The default lighting is now bit darker.
- Adjusted specular coefficients to reduce overexposure. Enabled by default.
- Fixed a small bug that wireframe color wouldn't be updated when node color was changed.
- Fixed a rare crash bug with Nodes tree/list when selecting a Node.
- Added Constrains support. It can be handy to lock node position to a point on a curve for example.
- Added Dependencies support. Needed to make sure that if input node is changed dependant nodes update as well.
- Fixed a problem that Transformation information sometimes wouldn't update during animation.
- Fixed a bug that Camera Animation information would not be saved at all.
- Added views ToolTips to display resource names. Can be disabled in General Properties Dialog.
- Edges are always shown by default. Added a flag to views' shading context menus to enable/disable it.
- Fixed a crash bug when using the "Delete" key in editors.
- Fixed an issue when Nodes animation information would not be saved in Undo History.
- Fixed problems with Motion Blur preventing it from working correctly.
- Adjusted Render Presets to work out of the box with basic scenes.
Build 1212 (12/12/2005):
- Redesigned Curves Editor (A lot of changes).
- Redesigned Surfaces Editors (A lot of changes).
- Added top helper toolbar with constructors and editor tools.
- Solved immediate exit problem with "X" window button.
- Added "Quick Edit" polygonal models to speed up polygonal modeling.
- Fixed scaling problem in views with drawing gizmos.
- Fixed problems when edge mesh would be too far from surface.
- Fixed crash bugs with Undo/Redo when Nodes would be deleted accidentally.
- Fixed a bug when deleted nodes would not update many dialogs right away.
- Fixed a rare crash bug with Linked Lists when multithreading.
- Fixed a problem that additional "." would be added to filename when saving images.
- Fixed a problem when LightFX would not update correctly.
- Fixed a lot of other issues I forgot to write down.
Build 1029 (10/29/2005):
- Fixed output file format mismatch problems.
- Fixed a major problem when all changes made in curves and surfaces editors would be discarded when finished using the editors.
- Fixed crash bug when starting surfaces editor.
- Moved all Preference Dialogs into a single tab dialog accessible now from the "Edit" menu.
- Added "General" preferences dialog for all kind of preferences.
- Added support for controling JPEG compression quality.
- Added view "move", "rotate" and "scale" tools into the view top tool bar.
Build 1017 (10/17/2005):
- Disabled SSE2 instruction set code generation as 4D Blue would crash if SSE2 was not available. I will do further research to decided if it is worth to provide two versions.
- Fixed crash bug when D3D Engine wouldn't initialize correctly. D3D preview now is just disabled as expected if it can't be initialized.
Build 1016 (10/16/2005):
- Added background texture preview thread. Texture selector updates now automatically.
- Fixed memory leak in some calls to list class.
- Fixed problem when ASE exporter would produce incorrect ASE files when exporting materials.
- Fixed crash bug in Animation editor when using left mouse button.
- Fixed crash bug when copying collapsed (editable) objects.
- Added support for Undo/Redo (MAJOR FEATURE).
- Redesigned and updated D3D Display System. Looks bit different, but it should be much more flexible.
- Redesigned "Surfaces Tools" Side Toolbar and most surface tools. They all should be much more intuitive now.
- Added surface icons to Surface Side Toolbar.
- Switched cameras and lights to use the "Target" system with origin being locked to the camera or light node. It should be more intuitive than it was before.
- Switched cameras to use Origin rather than Target as starting viewpoint. Cameras should work now like in most other 3D packages.
- Added camera and spotlights cones in the views.
- Added support for multi selection. A lot of changes, a possibility for many bugs, but it should make things easier.
- Added support for rectangular selection of objects thanks to multi selection feature.
- Added support for "Ctrl + LMB" selection adding in the views.
- "Orbit" View mode no longer shows a list of all nodes, but allows the selection of current or World node. That should reduce a lot of clutter and name conflicts.
- Added "Spinner" custom class for non animatable values.
- "Spinner" and "Glider" classes now support two speed modes - slow with left button and fast with middle button.
- "Dark Blue" color scheme has been updated. Still few colors are missing, but it gives a nice alternative to the grey standard.
- "Merge Objects" function has been added to the "Nodes Toolbar" context menu - it is an more intuitive replacement for a confusing surface tool.
- Added "Quality" Setting to texture filters. That should allow greater flexibility when using various filters.
- Shading language "cTextureSampleFilter" functions has been updated to take into consideration the quality and UVW boundaries sampling flags.
- Fixed a problem with texture filters that at times would produce black image for small filter values.
- Fixed crash problem with "Granite 3D" texture when loading and saving.
- Switched to a different compiler - should speed everything quite a bit, but some unpredictable new bugs in multithreaded parts are possible.
- A lot of smaller bug fixes and changes.
Build 812 (8/12/2005):
- Fixed View Context Menu shading settings issues.
- Added rollup dialogs to the curves editor. It should improve usability.
- Fixed crash bug when attaching two curves.
- Added rollup dialogs to the polygonal editor.
- Added rollup dialogs to the NURBS editor.
- Added confirmation dialogs when canceling render in progress.
- Shaders Editors (Shaders/Textures/Materials) now maintain information of last used resource.
- Fixed problems that prevented some fonts from being loaded.
- Fixed crash bugs when loading some of the font files.
- Fixed D3D preview with flat shading with faces.
- Added "Text" polygonal constructor. It should make creating new text objects so much easier.
- Added 3D Studio MAX ASE file exporter. Let me know if you need more features or changes.
- Added Render Config presets and load & save ability. Let me know how that works.
Build 708 (7/08/2005):
- Added Image Maps paths information to config file and UI Dialog to add and adjust them.
- Fixed an issue where the window title would not show the current file name.
- Adjusted the transformation pipeline to reduce unnecessary transformations when no changes have been made.
- Fixed crash bug resulting from incorrectly attaching poly surfaces in "combine vertices" mode.
- Fixed subdivision surfaces to correctly interpolate/freeze contour vertices.
- Improved the selection interface speed by using bounding boxes tests and reducing point and edges test numbers.
- Added color box to main XForm toolbar to ease changing node colors. Handy during modeling.
- Added support for commands and menu items keyboard shortcuts.
- Added UI Dialog to allow the user to specify commands keyboard shortcuts.
- Added support for dynamic menus. UI allowing manipulating them coming soon.
- Fixed crash bug in curves editor when changing empty curve parameters.
- Updated scripting language with new commands.
Build 619 (6/19/2005):
- Added 3D Studio files ".3ds" importer.
- Added DirectX ".x" files importer.
- Rewritten from scratch the 3D Studio MAX ".ase" files importer. It is greatly improved now.
- Rewritten from scratch the Wavefront Object ".obj" files importer. Also fixed few bugs from previous versions.
- Added UI dialogs to all importers allowing customized imports. Very handy for some formats and larger scenes.
- New objects are assigned custom default names.
- The "Default Camera" is now also the default render camera.
Build 605 (6/05/2005):
- Redesigned "Animation Editor" and made major improvements to it.
- Redesigned "Animation Toolbar" and made major improvements to it.
- Added "Auto-Key" support.
- Fixed numerous animation issues within multiple 4D Blue subsystems.
- Added "Movie Texture".
- Added support for creating "AVI" movie files.
- Added support for all image/video file formats when creating animated texture preview.
- Enabled Toolbar docking (enabled in the Display menu) and menu commands showing and hiding all UI Toolbars.
- Fixed numerous minor UI bugs.
- Added scripting support for these additions and few more previous features. Still a lot needs to done.
Build 520 (5/20/2005):
- Changed the non-select modes selection process to require "Ctrl" key being pressed - this should prevent accidental selection changes.
- Added Reset XForm and Freeze XForm options to "Nodes Toolbar" context menu.
- Added "Glow" effect to objects - controllable using materials and global settings.
- Added LightFX (Glow/Halo/Lens Flare) effects to lights.
- Fixed few crash bugs when switching out of the "Polygonal Editor Mode".
- Fixed normal vector calculation problems with Height Fields.
- Fixed background texture feature when using focus blur.
- Fixed/Changed Objects Lights to work in the "Ambient Pass" - as a result they work more as expected, but don't have the "expected" cosine angle modulation.
- Fixed the Ambient Light bug when the previews would still use disabled ambient lights.
Build 411 (4/11/2005):
- Fixed (completed) support for saving images in all supported formats beyond TGA, HDR, and OpenEXR.
- Fixed small bug that prevented shaded drawing of NURBS surfaces. They should be ok now.
- The views' regions are now updated when the surface materials are changed.
- Fixed the D3D drawing mode to not overwrite the views text.
Build 407 (4/07/2005):
- Fixed crash bug when using subsurface scattering with invisible objects.
- Fixed crash bug during rendering when using caustics.
- Adjusted the example scenes to use all lighting information.
- Finished script support for textures.
Build 406 (4/06/2005):
- Moved "UI Colors" information to separate config file. Removed them from save files (saving of 8K).
- Adjusted "Orbit" view type to maintain horizon in "MMB" rotation mode. Moved exiting method to "LMB" mode.
- Adjusted all colors to 32 bit floats from 64 bit doubles. By this it reduced memory usage on all textures by half.
- Added ZLIB compression to the save files. In most cases this reduced the size to 10-20% of the original size.
- Updated shaders keywords.
- Added Media Photon Maps and necessary routines to create them.
- Added dipole based fast subsurface scattering support.
- Added group support to polygonal meshes - gives more flexibility to specify shading and materials to parts of the mesh.
- Added scripting language - still incomplete but already covers most of features.
- Fixed crash bug when stopping GI rendering when "Precompute Irradiance" was enabled.
- Fixed crash bug with subdivision surfaces and previous method of creating edges for imported objects.
- Fixed few selection problems for triangles and faces in polygonal surface editor.
- A lot of smaller bug fixes and improvements.
Build 321 (3/21/2005):
- Fixed Triangle-Ray intersection test code to handle area less triangles.
- Fixed "Precompute Irradiance" visual bugs.
- Fixed bugs in "Planar" and "Cookie" constructors that incorrectly generated UV coordinates.
- Fixed light intensity problem with previews - it didn't match the rendered one.
- Added "Orbit" view type - a virtual camera around a picked node is created.
- Fixed perspective previews to maintain correct aspect ratio.
- Added HDR image writer.
- Added OpenEXR image loader/writer.
- Adjusted rendering code to allow writing High Dynamic Range images (HDR/OpenEXR).
- Fixed crash bug when deleting NURBS patches in Surface Editor.
- Constrained Photon Search size between 16-4000 preventing crashes for incorrect sizes.
- Added constrains to all "Render Setup" parameters.
- Fixed few UI issues in the "Material" section of the "Shaders Editor".
- Fixed Load/Save issue when polygonal "Planar" constructor was loosing curve information.
- Fixed welding issues when deleting vertices in polygonal "Surface Editor".
- Fixed welding issues when attaching two or more polygonal surfaces.
- Fixed visual artifacts with objects created using polygonal "Sphere" constructor when in "Sweep" mode.
- Fixed small UI bugs in polygonal "Sphere" and "Torus" constructors.
- Fixed crash bugs when using "Swap Items" in "Nodes Toolbar" and "Outliner".
- Improved "Birail" constructors to better handle setting profile curves values.
Build 311 (3/11/2005):
- Set Photon Map photon limit to 5 millions.
- Added "Density Control" feature to Photon Map creation routines.
- Added an "Outliner" tool.
- Fixed "Flip UVWs" feature for previews.
- Fixed "Color Map" and "Turbulence" infinite recursion crash bugs.
- Fixed few small issues with "Extrude" constructors.
- Fixed curve based constructors to use the curve XForm information.
- Fixed scaling UI issues when zooming in/out in a view would affect the tool.
- Fixed push buttons problems in Light and Camera constructors.
- Added a "DEL" key support to delete nodes.
- Fixed "Invisible" flag on the XForm problems.
- Fixed small "ASE" parser crash issues.
- Added default camera for new scenes.
- Added support for importing and exporting “Wavefront OBJ” files.
- Fixed NURBS Cylinder and Cone crash name conflict issues.
- Fixed NURBS Loft, Bevel, and Birail crash ID conflict issues.
- Added a framework and UI for handling Undo/Redo requests - implemented so far for Nodes only.
- Rewrote parts of the "Nodes Toolbar" context menu features - should fix many of the issues with it.
- Fixed "UVW Mapping" transformation problems with its helper XForm.
- Fixed display issues with transformations in the transformation pipeline.
Build 301 (3/01/2005):
- Added "3D Marble" texture.
- Added "3D Granite" texture.
- Fixed "Copy" function to work with lights and cameras. Used to crash.
- Fixed timing measuring during rendering.
- Added an option to use objects for directional and sky lights greatly expanding their use and eventually allowing them to be used in Global Illumination simulations.
- Added an "Esc" key functionality to cancel lengthy calculations at any time. So far used mostly with textures and subdivisions.
Build 227 (2/27/2005):
- Added support for loading High Dynamic Range ".hdr" files.
- Added support for textures in sky/sphere lights - allowing by this using HDR images as lights.
- Added new fixed area photon mapping density estimation technique - gives more stable results.
- Added support for using direct lighting to estimate secondary bounces as an alternative to photon maps (and they can be used together).
- Finished support for all lights in GI simulations: spot lights, area lights, object lights.
- Fixed quite many bugs in GI simulation code.
- Fixed "Object Light" sampling method to use equally distributed sampling map over the whole object.
- Fixed "Attach Objects" surface tool to work correctly with transformations. Still needs a bit of work, but at least it is usable.
- Added "Color Map" texture transformation.
- Added "Turbulence" texture transformation.
- Added support for 3D textures.
- Added "3D Noise" texture.
- Added "3D Checker" texture.
- Added "3D Wood" texture.
Build 215 - Initial Release (2/15/2005)