Major versions for Ab3d.PowerToys and Ab3d.DXEngine published

by abenedik 5. July 2023 20:27

I am happy to inform you that new major versions of Ab3d.PowerToys and Ab3d.DXEngine have been published.

The new release brings many great new features and one bigger breaking change.

The breaking change is the removal of the ViewCubeCameraController:


A customer recently informed me that the ViewCube is patented by Autodesk. It seems that the patent is active only in the USA. See here:

Therefore I have decided to remove that control from the library. Instead of ViewCubeCameraController the new version of the Ab3d.PowerToys library now provides the CameraNavigationCircles control. See the screenshot of the new sample that demonstrates the CameraNavigationCircles:

CameraNavigationCircles Sample


And an animation showing that control in action:

CameraNavigationCircles animation

As you can see, the new control provides many customization options and can be used in many different ways. What is more, it can replace both ViewCubeCameraController and also CameraAxisPanel.

However, if you are already using the ViewCubeCameraController and would like to continue using it, then please first carefully study the patent, and consult with a layer. If you still want to use the ViewCubeCameraController, then please contact me and I will send you the source code for that control so you will be able to integrate it into your project.


Another major new feature of this release is improved support for line caps (line endings). Previous versions supported only arrow line caps. The new version adds support for additional arrow types, boxes, diamonds and circles. See the screenshot from the new sample that demonstrates that:

3D lines with different line caps

What is more, the Ab3d.DXEngine finally gets full hardware acceleration of all 3D lines, including lines with line caps. Before, lines with line caps were generated on the CPU (on each camera change the MeshGeometry3D of the line was regenerated and this was very slow). The new version solves that and moves the generation of the lines to the geometry shader. This means rendering millions of 3D lines with different line caps is now possible.

The new Ab3d.DXEngine also improves line initialization time, so if you define many 3D lines, the engine will show them faster. Also, the order in which lines and other 3D objects are rendered is defined by an improved sorting mechanism, so there should be fewer DirectX state changes when rendering, resulting in slightly faster rendering.

The new release also comes with a new build of native Assimp library that can be used to import 3D models from almost any 3D file format. Unfortunately, it seems that the version number of that library has been stuck at v5.2.5 for almost a year, regardless of hundreds of commits. To still be able to see what version is used, a new GitCommitHash property was added. It returns the Git commit hash of the version. For example, the Assimp library that comes with this release has GitCommitHash set to 0dcfe2f - from 2023-07-03. 

The new Ab3d.PowerToys.Assimp library now also supports reading lights and camera data from the imported file.


There are also many other improvements and fixes. Even though a lot of time was spent on the new Ab4d.SharpEngine, the list of changes is still very long - see the change logs for Ab3d.PowerToys and Ab3d.DXEngine.

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Ab3d.PowerToys | DXEngine