Enko Nyito is a frequent contributor of the forum and develops plug-ins for Sweet Home 3D. Last year, he was also one of our contest winners and recently, he started a very creative thread about Still life photo renderings.
Light and transparency (caustics by night)
- First, how did you happen to learn Sweet Home 3D? What was is for?
The first time I used Sweet Home 3D, after testing other free 3D software, it was to view Home Cinema configurations in a room. I found Sweet Home 3D was simple to handle and met my need.
- Most of your contributions in the forum concerns plug-ins. Are you a professional developer? Why did you start to program plug-ins for Sweet Home 3D?
No, I am an amateur developer but I was always interested in programming (Basic on graphic calculator, C and Assembly language, during my studies). Two years ago, I wanted to professionalize me learning Java (which was a new language for me) with the CNAM (Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers). As I lacked practice, I decided to create plug-ins for Sweet Home 3D because it is written in Java.
- Is the fact that Sweet Home 3D is open source motivated you to develop plug-ins for this application?
Yes, the fact that the source code of Sweet Home 3D is available is very interesting for understanding (in depth) of the software and the development of plug-ins associated to it.
- Can you briefly describe the main plug-ins you programmed?
The AdvancedSettings_PhotoRendering plug-in allows to view/edit the photo properties of SunFlow rendering engine at two best levels of quality. The last version backs up the settings when saving the project.
The CreatePhotoWithRenderer plug-in was created at the base to incorporate other Sweet Home 3D rendering engines. Now it only supports the default rendering engine and allows to view the progress (in percentage) and time of photo rendering (elapsed time and estimated remaining time). It also included the previous plug-in within the Advanced Settings option.
- Recently, you have been busy at leading different experiences about lighting and photo rendering. What was your motivation?
Being more technician than creative (from my point of view ;-)), I wanted to show the possibilities that offer certain rendering properties even if the SunFlow renderer is no longer maintained for some years.
By default, the photo rendering (with little or no interior lighting) appears dark. By activating the indirect light reflected by the objects, you can see the amount of natural light in a room.
SweetHome3DExample7 - Kitchen with indirect light
SweetHome3DExample7 - Living room at Spring with indirect light
- Do you have one or two advices for developers who would like to start programming plug-ins for Sweet Home 3D?
For starters, the Plug-in developer's guide helps to be familiar with the methodology and tools. You must already have some knowledge in Java.
To continue, refer to the plug-ins of other Sweet Home 3D contributors on SourceForge.net. It helped me a lot for my first plug-in with graphical interface.
- What do you miss the most in Sweet Home 3D features or documentation to help you program plug-ins more easily?
The Sweet Home 3D Javadoc is rather well documented. To develop some plug-ins, I looked for specific information elsewhere like on the Oracle website (Java tutorials for example).
I create mainly plug-ins to suit my needs and I share those I think to be useful to the Sweet Home 3D community. If you do not know which plug-ins to develop, you can always consult the Feature Request section of tickets for Sweet Home 3D project on SourceForge.net.
Thank you very much, Enko Nyito (by the way, nice pun!)