Geomorph - News - Archive

What's going on with Geomorph (June the 30th, 2006)
Version 0.31 (November the 25th, 2005)
     Update about version 0.31 (November the 28th)
What's new in version 0.30 (October the 31st, 2005)
February the 2nd, 2005
What's new in version 0.22 (October the 30th, 2004)
What's new in version 0.21 (August the 16th, 2004)

What's new in version 0.20 (
May the 7th, 2004)
What's new in version 0.12 (November the 16th, 2003)
Replace a broken file (November the 16th, 2003)

What's going on with Geomorph (June the 30th, 2006)

Geomorph is not dead, though the updates are less frequent for some very good and trivial reasons (work, family...). I also apologize for the scarcity of the site updates, particularily for those who expected to get their work displayed.

Version 0.40 will provide a cracks network tool, among a few other goodies. Maybe I'll also be able to package a "Fourier Explorer" subsystem. The internals are done, but the interface is a challenge.

There are also a few noticeable news:

  1. A FreeBSD port of Geomorph is now available at My best thanks to Dmitry Marakasov for providing it.
  1. The Gallery has been updated with very interesting work from Marc Carson, Jaime Vives Piqueres and Simon Donike.
Marc Carson
Jaime Vives Piqueres Canyon - Simon Donike
  1. The German messages file of the 0.31 package displays the special characters of this language incorrectly (ß, ü...), because of a double UTF-8 conversion.
I also forgot to provide a link to a page exposing the development philosophy and the contribution opportunities, written in september 2005. So here it is.

So expect to have some news from Geomorph at the beginning of the Fall, I hope!

Patrice St-Gelais

Version 0.31 (November the 25th, 2005)

Version 0.31 fixes these bugs:

  1. Some users with a Nvidia video card and the Nvidia proprietary driver were not able to display the preview at all. Version 0.31 uses the GtkGLExt library instead of GtkGLArea, which solves the problem. Special thanks to Vincent Le Prince for testing this change.
  1. With the "fill bucket":
  1. The installation scripts have been corrected. A new Geomorph user can be installed in one of 2 ways: from the uncompressed archive, or at the first launch of Geomorph. The second one was not working because of a typo. Furthermore, the "sed" command was used with a GNU extension which does not work on some systems. This extension is no more used.
  1. The cloning function ( save a copy as ) now works without errors with a new and unsaved document. Geomorph asks to save it before copying it.
  1. Output of comments in the geomorphrc file are now translated to the current locale. They were written in the UTF-8 format, a concern for French and German users.
This version doesn't add any new features.

The download and install page, plus the FAQ, have been updated.

If you prefer to compile the program from the source, notice that the libgtkglext and libgtkglext-devel packages are now dependencies, replacing their libgtkglarea counterparts. The binary includes the required library ("statically linked"), so you don't need to search for it.

The use of hardware acceleration for OpenGL (direct rendering - DRI) could produce instabilities when closing and opening many documents. Furthermore, the memory problems already described in the FAQ are still present. Unlike version 0.30, version 0.31 allows to choose if the Geomorph preview is accelerated or not. By default, acceleration in Geomorph 0.31 is unactive, even when it is active for other programs. Please consult this section in the FAQ if you want to use hardware acceleration.

Update about version 0.31 (November the 28th)

The source package (not the binary) contains an unwanted copy of the "geomorphrc" options file. It is located in the root directory, ~/geomorph-0.31/. If you try to run Geomorph from this directory, in the console, after compiling or installing it, this file would be read instead of yours, usually in ~/geomorph/. If your default Geomorph directory is suddenly /home/patrice/geomorph, this is what is happening! It does not happen if you start Geomorph from elsewhere, for instance from the icon on your desktop. If you keep the geomorph-0.31 directory, I suggest that you delete the file to avoid future errors. Thanks to Cyril Brûlebois for submitting the problem.

What's new in version 0.30 (October the 31st, 2005)

A new version of Geomorph is finally available, after one year!

The migration towards the GTK2 libraries explains most of the work. It does not improve the interface or the features of Geomorph, at least for now. This is a long term investment, to avoid obsolescence.

But version 0.30 also provides a lot of improvements.

For instance, if you like desert or seashore landscapes, you'll be able to use Geomorph for creating dunes and ripples.

Dunes et vaguelettes
Dunes and ripples produced with Geomorph

There are also optimizations which should increase the speed of drawing and make easier the edition of height fields of 1024x1024 pixels or larger.

In the documentation, there is a new tools index and a Povray section, which contains among others a texturing section.

Exemples de textures
Povray textures provided with Geomorph

The new sections contain a lot of images, because it's easier to understand new concepts from examples. It's a bit slow on a 56k line, sorry! The documentation is now distributed separately from the software, under a Common Creative license.

There are now more Povray textures and scenes installed when creating a new user directory, and many of them have been improved when writing the documentation section about Povray.

The gallery also contains more examples. Most new features of Geomorph are designed and tested during the development of the landscapes published in this gallery and in the tutorials. The gallery also contains links to some scene files and height fields used.

Here is a more complete list of improvements:

1. The new features

No detailed documentation exists for these tools yet, but the new tools index shows previews of the results and gives some advices.
2. The new improvements and corrections
The FAQ has been largely rewritten. A few new problems are documented, specially a significant memory leak related to some video cards for which the X server driver supports direct rendering.

Notice that there has been no 0.23 official version. I decided to rename it 0.30, because the changes are significant.

February the 2nd, 2005

  1. The binary package of 0.22 was broken
The uploaded file was incomplete. You can get the complete one on the download page. Thanks to Simon for submitting the problem.
  1. Problem running Povray from Geomorph 0.22 under Mandrake 10.1
Upgrading to Mandrake 10.1, I discovered that Povray calling was not working right anymore. It simply doesn't execute, and if you start Geomorph from the command line, you see an error message, giving the .pov extension after the Povray options. I reckon it could happen with other recent distributions.
If you experiment this problem, go to the download page and fetch the "b" version.
  1. Geomorph 0.23 is on the way!
I'm working on it, but the pace is not very fast! It will be converted to GTK+2, and offer faster drawing functions, thanks to optimisations in the way the OpenGL preview is refreshed. Also, the rain erosion would look more natural, and I hope to be able to offer a few interesting new functions.

Stay tuned!


What's new in version 0.22

Version 0.22 was released on October the 30th, 2004.

It features two main improvements:
  1. The "fault" pen has been improved for creating cracks and fissures. A tutorial is provided.
  2. Geomorph is now translated in German. This is a contribution from Tim Schürmann, to whom I give my best thanks! Tim insists that his translation is experimental, so I ask German speaking users to send me their corrections or suggestions, if any.
Cracks and fissures tutorial

A few problems have also been solved:
The lighting of the Povray scene simple_terrain.pov has also been changed to look more closely like the OpenGL preview.

What's new in version 0.21

Version 0.21 was released on August the 16th, 2004.

This version solves the problem relative to messages and titles displayed as capitalized nicknames under environments localized for other languages than English or French. For instance, an item like "File" was displayed as "FILETXT", and "Progressive sum of surfaces" as "HFSURFADD_TOOLTIP".  This problem also occured in systems without any internationalization package installed.

This version would also likely compile successfully under more different flavours of Linux.

No new features are provided. If you use Geomorph 0.20 and your messages and titles are fine, you likely don't need to download the 0.21 version.

However, if your want to participate by translating the Geomorph messages and titles in your own language, you need the new ".po" catalog provided with the current version. This is an invitation. If you want to try, I would be very happy to send you detailed instructions and to support you :-).

Here is a complete list of the changes:
Special thanks to Tim Schürmann for helping me to debug the installation process!

What's new in version 0.20

Version 0.20 was released on May the 7th, 2004.

It features a lot of enhancements, the most important being these ones:
A continuous gaussian pen is now available. It provides size and level controls, a preview, a tip choice, an effect choice (raise, dig, smooth), and controls for adjusting speed against quality. The result is straightforward, and I hope it would be useful. But believe me, it's not easy to put up a set up allowing to draw really smooth thick lines in a 16-bit image! It took me almost one year to get it right. The next step would be to implement "wide" tips, allowing to draw roads with their ditches, for instance. For now, the tips have to be purely gaussian or very acute, otherwise the stroke "folds" on curves.
A fault pen has been added, with which you draw a control line generating a fractal fault. You adjust the control line with the mouse and the effect on the fault is seen instantly. You can control how the fault is divided, the altitude difference, the smoothing, and even add basic crevasses. It was fun to develop, and I'd call it "cool"! I propose a tutorial about it.
The "waves tool" is now a lot better. Aliasing is now controlled. Random vertical variations now work, and so does the "refresh seed" button. Wave shapes are slightly improved. When there are more than 2 tabs, accepting the changes doesn't modify the order in which they are applied. Globally, I would call the tool "almost usable", depending on your requirements. The main drawback is when you apply lateral waves at an angle which is not 90-180-270°, you get non-continuous edges (this is normal), but there is no tool yet to crop/scale the image for removing these edges. If you only use vertical waves, or apply a gaussian filter to blacken the edges after accepting the waves transformation, this is not a concern.

There are also a lot of small to medium improvements which should make your life easier when using Geomorph:

What's new in version 0.12

Version 0.12 was released on November the 16th, 2003.

The OpenGL preview has improved a lot. The main goal was to get a coherent view between Povray and Geomorph. It should speed up both the Povray scene design and the height field design:
The use of the preview dialog is now documented.

The Povray scene definitions have been updated to benefit from the preview.

The other important enhancements to Geomorph are two tutorials. Click on the thumbnails below to browse them.

The Desert Tutorial
The Sea and Moon Tutorial

The sea_n_moon.pov Povray scene was added to the distribution, relatively to the second tutorial.

Lastly, Geomorph 0.12 provides these minor improvements:

Replace a broken file

The "desert.pov" Povray scene distributed with Geomorph 0.12 before March the 1st, 2004, is an old corrupted version. The file which works with the tutorial is here. Sorry for this.

Put the file in your personnal Geomorph directory. The default is ~/geomorph. If you think you will install new users, you can also copy it, as root, under /usr/local/share/geomorph/0.12/scenes, so that they get the right version.

The package distributed on Sourceforge (necessarily after March the 1st) contains the right file.

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