Page 1 of 2


PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2016 12:47 am
by RageAgainstVoid
Download update version 0.1u

Fixed scene not updating correctly on palette swap or shift-pick colour or shift-delete cubes.

Fixed copy marker disappearing on no selection, and changing colour on different selection.

Fixed scene corruption by faulty video ram allocation on high end machines.

Fixed GUI not properly adapting and scaling to various screen resolutions.

Fixed crashes in multiple instances of program and input interpolation.

Fixed selection symbol not updating properly in some situations.

Fixed manual rotation on tile with gaps losing selection focus.

Fixed delete cube sometimes behaving unreliable on edge case.

Fixed unintended shoot-through on paint copy tile with gaps.

Fixed screen tearing and stutter on powerful machines.

Fixed painting not working across sides of same cube.

Fixed failed vram detection on AMD cards in Windows.

Fixed paint copy tile drawing through empty space.

Fixed wrong colour when using uninitialized slots.

Fixed faulty start-up view on some host platforms.

Fixed crash of faulty system ram allocation.

Fixed crash in Line function.

Fixed some internal issues.

Added scroll bar indicator to colour palette list,
for better orientation and management.

Added indicator for detected graphics chip vendor, in lower left corner.
Green square is Nvidea, red for AMD, blue Intel, black undefined.

Added indicator for cube count, next to gfx detect indicator.
Every square in row means 50k cubes available in total from memory.
They flip between a dark and bright shade for better differentiation.
A white line going through them means how many cubes currently in use.

Added manual resizing of palette menu bar.
shift + F9: increase size of palette bar.
ctrl + F9: decrease size of palette bar.

The maximum number of cubes is 1.5 million now,
depending on available video ram, limited at 2gb max use.
This memory limit remains until the code moves from 32bit to 64bit.

Resolved website downtimes and faulty ssl certificate warnings when using .www,
both caused by server relocation of the webhost service provider.


PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2016 5:18 am
by RageAgainstVoid
Doing Live Streaming. Can you believe it!

If by a slim chance our time zones align you can hang out and chill:


PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2016 8:28 am
by RageAgainstVoid
Alright, was a good test run.


PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2016 2:22 am
by RageAgainstVoid
Download update version 0.1v

Fixed continuous palette swaps in late game overloading command queue.

Fixed scene and input handling while unfocusing and refocusing window.

Fixed mouse pointer conflicts with window border or unfocused window.

Fixed wholesome copy palette not working when current slot inactive,
or when cycling from first to last or last to first palette.

Fixed crash when trying to use last colour of palette.

Changed Shift-Pick to Alt-Pick for assigning selected colour to current slot in palette.

Added forced copy marking with Shift-Pick.
Use this to copy a single cube or even partial cube selection.
(e.g. to copy a cube with different coloured sides at once),

Added Colour mixing.
Alt-Pick now mixes the selected cube colour into the current slot colour.
The colour is set literal/unmixed, if the current slot is inactive.
Alt-Ctrl-Pick mixes the selected cube colour into all Marked Slots (Enter).
(Note: holding key Alt now deactivates the tools Line, Add, Delete, Paint.)
Make extensive use of this new feature to build your palette on the fly.

Added horizontal scroll bar for palette swap to bottum of palette list.
Palette swap now only updates scene after you're fully done navigating.

In Ubuntu Linux, Alt-RightClick in a window is a default override shortcut
to open up a control menu. To deactivate this default behavior, use the free tool:
CompizConfig Settings Manager (get it from the App store), then go to the menu:
General -> General Options -> Key Bindings -> "Window Menu"<Alt>Button3,
and change it to a different key binding (simply disabling it may not be enough).


PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2016 4:11 pm
by RageAgainstVoid
Test scene: Guild Halls


PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2016 5:46 pm
by RageAgainstVoid


Download update version 0.1w

Fixed input handling when refocusing window by other means than clicking it.

Fixed key Alt conflicting with key Ctrl for other functions than Line.

Fixed weird selection frame when changing selection size while holding key Alt.

Fixed crash when trying to manually flip / rotate while changing selection size.

Fixed some minor issues with hidden Gui mode and hotkeys.

Fixed insufficient precision of vertex coordinate arithmetic.

Fixed or reduced artifacts in the rendering of cubes (breaking seams).

Changed default Field of View from 90 degree to 87.5.

Changed world size from 15 to 16 levels.

Changed miniumum move speed from 9 to 8.

(The scale has a better feel to it now.)

Changed mini cams to no longer transfer grid mode to main cam.

Changed default mini cams to orthographic projection, until you set them manually.

(Use F1-F4 + b to reset mini cams to that default.)

Added Presentation view mode for scene overview. Use key p to toggle it on/off.

When in this mode, your view is set to orthographic projection,
and your controls change: press keys w, a, s, d, q, e to rotate scene.

Ctrl + rotation key to keep a little spin in that direction going on its own.
Doing that several times in the same direction speeds it up.
In the opposite direction slows it back down again.
Doing a manual rotation in same direction or opposite cancels the auto spin.
Press key Enter to pause/resume all spinning.

Combine different directions at different speeds.
Finding weird spin patterns is fun to play with.
The Presentation mode remembers your auto spin settings,
so toggle in and out to work on your scene or watch it.

Shift + rotation key for one step by 45 degree.

You can swap palettes (arrow), toggle grid (tab),
reset view (b) and toggle mouse (spacebar) as usual.

Since Blackbox scale operates at the computational limits of computers,
we are wrestling with precision failures that cause artifacts in the rendering.
This is mostly caused by the Bit limits in floating point vertex coordinates.
We could greatly increase the scale of the visible world even more,
but then we'd also have to deal with ever so more pixel faults.
The current setting are right at the edge of this, a current sweet spot.

If consumer graphics hardware moves from 32bit to 64 bit precision processing,
this would give us a lot more room with a lot less artifacts to deal with.

But if necessary we could increase world size dramatically even now,
by 16 times in axis length, 256 times in surface area and 4096 times in volume
of the current one here, and try deal with the pixel faults by scene design.

However, for the time being, the current settings seem appropriate enough.


PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2016 12:17 am
by RageAgainstVoid

Download update version 0.1x

Fixed how palette modification is supposed to work in Presentation mode.

FIxed mini cams in windowed mode when returning from presentation.

Fixed unintended auto-rotation on manual when in free mouse mode.

Fixed movement speed for all directions.

Added basic animation by frame.

key Plus/Minus for going to next/previous frame.
shift + Plus/Minus to insert new frame between current and next or delete current frame.
ctrl + Plus/Minus to copy content of current frame to the next/previous frame (overwrite).
shift + ctrl + Plus/Minus to insert new frame and copy current content at once.
Alt + Plus/Minus for swapping current frame with next/previous, instead of overwriting.

Keys Period/Comma are synonym to Plus/Minus.

Keys * or / for increasing or decreasing the timing of frame.
shift + * or / for modifying the step size for an increase or decrease.
The timing is copied over with a frame.

keys m or n is synonym to * or /.

To watch your animation press the number key 0 (toggle).
Or go into presentation mode with key p;
you can combine the animation with rotation.

Your colour palettes are global for all frames.
But each frame can have a different palette assigned.

The cube count is also global for all frames, instead of per frame.
That means you can have more or less voxels on different frames.
Use this to distribute your pool of cubes where needed most.
This way you make efficient use of memory.

Current maximum frames is 300. Even though you can freely distribute cubes,
the more frames you use, the less cubes can you spend on a single frame.
Using 300 frames means, each frame can't have more than 5000 cubes.
Having 1 frame means, you can spend all 1500000 cubes on it.
Having 10 frames means, you can spend 1450000 cubes max on any one of them,
or distribute these cubes in any other way you like across these 10 frames.

Animation is still rudimentary.
It needs a more "gridless" copy of cubes.
The GUI needs a greater upgrade for more info.
But even though it is slightly awkward and disorienting,
seeing how frame animation interacts with the rest is interesting.


PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2016 8:05 am
by RageAgainstVoid
Download update version 0.1y

Fixed crash when a frame exceeds its voxel capacity.

Fixed palette management corrupting other frames.

Fixed possible issue with selection on frame switch.

Fixed palette transfers not updating other frames.

Fixed new frame palette not set to current palette.

Fixed colour manipulation while in animation mode.

Fixed boundaries in mass colour modification.

Changed number of slots in palatte from 1024 to 256.
(may increase again later if necessary, but want to see this play out first.)

Changed default frame time modifier step from 25 milliseconds to 1/60 fps.

Added File System. You can now save to file.

key F5 for saving model and palette to file save.bvt
shift + F5 for saving only model to file save.vmp.
ctrl + F5 for saving only colour palette to file save.vcp.

key F6 for loading model and palette from file save.bvt.
shift + F6 for loading only model from file save.vmp.
ctrl + F6 for loading only colour palette from file save.vcp.

The file system allows for many changes while keeping backwards compatibility.
Your old work files will always be usable in newer versions of Blackbox.

Currently the file sizes are relatively large, at about 85 MB for a full scene.
And loading a maximum scene may take several seconds, during which the program seems to freeze.
File sizes and load times will be greatly improved in later versions.

It is possible that a person saves a full scene work to file and gives it to another person.
The other person may have less video memory than the first. In that case the scene cannot be fully loaded.
Though it will try to salvage and load as much as possible from the scene as fits into the smaller memory.


PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2016 12:47 pm
by RageAgainstVoid
Wooopsie.... let's try again.

Download hotfix v0.1z

Fixed index corruption when moving palette.

Fixed frame time precision.


PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2016 9:49 pm
by RageAgainstVoid
Download BVT_020

Fixed unnecessary loads or saves, and button mashing on Load/Save stacking up.

Fixed crash on load/save to a file that was deleted in an active session.

Fixed dangling and backup problems with open files.

Fixed current colour not reseting on palette load.

Fixed conflict of running animation on load.

Reduced remaining artifacts.

Reduced file size by 75% for same amount of voxels.

Reduced runtime memory and improved management on same amount of voxels.

Increased maximum voxels from 1.5 million to 3 million.

Increased maximum frames to 600.

Loading a full scene can take very long now.
Be patient. Expect more improvements upcoming.

When a single frame has most of the many cubes,
palette changes on it have a noticeable delay.
Though this will be fixed in a future upgrade,
working with such a large scene is strainful at any case.
The true purpose of the greater cube count is to have
more material for animations across multiple frames.


PostPosted: Sun Dec 25, 2016 1:32 am
by RageAgainstVoid

Download hotfix BVT_020b

Fixed geometric breakdown on smallest size levels.


PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2016 2:17 pm
by RageAgainstVoid
*double sigh*

Download hotfix BVT_020c

Fixed smallest voxel size level not saving correctly to file.


PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2017 2:28 am
by RageAgainstVoid


PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2017 6:36 pm
by RageAgainstVoid
So what we're looking here is the new In-Animation Editing features. The broken lines moving around like ants is just what naturally happens when you try to draw into an active frame animation. It's a lot of fun messing around with, but what may be more useful is the also demonstrated ability to do stable line work within the running animation, copying/rotating/flipping animated tiles, cascading animations, and painting with animated colour. This demo was 5 frames.


PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2017 10:42 pm
by RageAgainstVoid
When you watch an apple falling down to the earth, you might ask "Why must it fall down? Isn't that arbitrary? It may as well fall up!" However, the law of gravity that governs this behaviour is so fundamental to the nature of this universe, that it is precisely the least arbitrary. It is what works. Just like the sentence of Pythagoras works as a formula to form. These things just work. fundamentally. And they are very succinct in their description of reality. In this they are proven and pure of principle and purpose. That's why we call them truth. They are the basis for our definition of reality. And while not everyone might be able to appreciate this kind of oppression, it is the search and acknowledgement to the basic principles of how things work that enables us to create tools of wonder on the higher end. It is what defines our work. It is how I define pixel art through my work. And it has been immensely satisfying. I have no interest in pixel art other than by Blackbox.


PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 5:29 am
by RageAgainstVoid
When we are looking at the history of sciences, how we define chemistry today, how we think about it, is not how people did a thousand years ago, when it was called alchemy. And the reason for that is, because we discovered that our modern method of science is just so much more useful than Alchemy. And the argument in that is so strong, that they do not exist by side, as different approaches to the same subject. One entirely replaced the other. But what does useful even mean? Astronomy too is more useful than astrology, yet so many people today still like astrology. It still plays a role on a cultural level rather than scientific. That is, as it turns out, a difference in use.

The question then is, what is a theory worth? Why rely on it? What is the benefit? What does it allow you to do? in comparison to other ways of thinking and doing things? Like, why do pixel art of any kind in the year 2017? Half the answer is already in the right question. There is something you want from pixel art. Maybe something only pixel art can give you. Otherwise, you might as well do something else than pixel art. Something that is less awkward and with greater gains. And so you lay in front of you the options you have for the different ways of doing pixel art. And above that, you lay down the options you have for doing something else than pixel art.

You may say, if I want to paint a picture, this method of pixel art is better than the other. It is closer to holding a pencil or brush in real life. But then you might say, if this is the most important measure for your choice, why bother with pixel art at all? This is why digital art evolved from pixel art to the modern digital painting in Photoshop. Now suddenly you might say, but you prefer subtle differences in the look. You shift your reasoning to something different than mere convenience, which previously was the most important factor in your argument against other methods. In an effort to defend your choice against an option that is even more convenient.

At least this leaves us with the realization that there are other relevant factors than the convenience of practicing your art. Though we might still say, once we have a certain result in mind, we should choose the most convenient method of arriving it. And by that you can qualify methods of pixel art. Fair enough. But then again, what kind of result makes pixel art worth the trouble to begin with? Little subtleties in looks? That it's slightly cleaner or crisper? Or that it looks like having a thousand colours, but if you zoom in and count, it really only has 16? That looking like thousand colours and actually having a thousand colours is a distinction that alone justifies pixel art in the year 2017?

If it is the purpose why your doing is not arbitrary, then how arbitrary is the purpose?

The reason people did pixel art in the past was because they wanted to do something they can't do in another method. And for that, they were even willing to deal with a sort of creative logic that is foreign to how else they were used to doing art. Resource management played an important role in this form of art. And so again, what is this something, that makes it worth it? Much of what you could do in the past, you can now do with less troubles. But is there still something that proposes a benefit so unique and interesting that it overrides all costs, like it did in the past? Is there an argument in functional favour of pixel art, so strong that it defines pixel art today, regardless of any other way, pixeled or otherwise? For example, if features like a quasi infinite canvas for an easily modifiable world, is the most useful reason for pixel art today, it becomes the most defining principle of it.


PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 8:25 am
by RageAgainstVoid
Download BVT_021

Fixed colourize in wholesome mode not working on a cube of same inner volume colour.

Fixed flipping or rotating a single or partial cube not working properly.

Fixed hotkey r for picking and mixing colours not working on repeated use.

Fixed potential issues with swapping palette while changing colour.

Fixed keys that are not supposed to work in certain modes.

Fixed line tool deleting last voxel of scene.

Changed app logo for a more fitting graphic.

Added perspective to Presentation.
shift + p to enter Presentation mode with perspective distortion instead of orthographic view.
while in Presentation mode, shift + p toggles orthographic view. Press only p to exit Presentation as usual.

Added hide Selection instead entire GUI.
shift + f to toggle hide only cube selection graphic.
Good for adjusting palette on scene without having selection distract you.

Added animation to mini cams for preview.
Hold cam key F1 - F4 + number key 0 to assign running animation to mini cam. It toggles.
Hold Ctrl + number key 0 to toggle all mini cams for animation at once. + shift to include main.
Mini cams in animation work even if the main screen is not in animation.
This gives you a preview on your animation work in progress.

Added in-animation editing.
You can edit the scene while the animation is actively running on your main screen.
This gives you the ability to make some cool effects with little work.
Usually, the effect will look like "moving ants" following along the path you draw.
But depending on the editing mode, also allows for other tricks like cascaded animations.
By assigning each frame a different palette, you can paint realtime with animated colour.
Remember that the key to toggle animation on/off is number 0.

Added Timeline mode.
Pressing key t toggles on/off the Timeline mode.
When active, operations like Add, Delete, Copy, rotate, flip affect all frames at once.

You can copy a whole animated tile across all frames at once.
You can easily make stable changes on a running animation.

Timeline also affects the palette management:
All palettes assigned to frames are affect the same by changing or moving colours.
This also includes mixing colours with alt-pick.

Timeline has two more sub modes: Forward and Backward.
key shift + t: Timeline Forward only affects all frames from your current frame forward.
key ctrl + t: Timeline Backward only affects all frames from your current frame backward.
This also affects operations on colour palette, as assigned to frames.

In a running animation, Timeline forward behaves like recording your actions.
Timeline Backward behaves like undoing your actions across the animation.

Added Timeshift Copy.
The marker for copy tile now remembers the frame it was placed on.
That means you can copy marked content from one frame to another.
It is especially useful for adding new animations to an existing animation,
without having to do a full scene frame copy.

An active animation or Timline copy overrides a Timeshift copy, for full animation copy.


PostPosted: Sun May 28, 2017 4:27 pm
by RageAgainstVoid
Download BVT_022

Fixed prediction of cubes/chunks on action Copy tile from another frame,
preventing a copy even though there should be still enough memory for it.

Fixed mass mixing colours with ctrl-alt-Pick in Timeline mode not affecting all frames.

Fixed key t not first reverting to standard Timeline when pressed from within Backward/Forward.


There currently is an issue with the latest AMD graphics card drivers.

If Blackbox does not work for you now, the last driver versions known to work are:

Microsoft Windows 10 + Crimson ReLive Edition 17.1.2
Download here: ... rev=17.1.2

Linux Ubuntu ‚Äč16.04.2 (LTS) + AMDGPU-PRO-16.40
Download here: ... Notes.aspx

When AMD have fixed their latest drivers, I will notify you in an update note like this.


PostPosted: Mon Jun 05, 2017 11:21 pm
by RageAgainstVoid
Download BVT_023

Fixed mouse pointer when switching from presentation to edit in animation with free mouse.

Reduced file size by 45%, from about 42MB to about 24MB for a full scene.

Reduced loading time by 95%, from half a minute to about 2 seconds for a full scene.

While the former file format prioritized robustness, this new one prioritizes performance.
As usual, Blackbox is backwards compatible to all earlier file formats.
However, the improved load time is only when loading from this new file format.
You can load your old works, and simply save them over in the new version.


PostPosted: Fri Jun 09, 2017 5:35 pm
by RageAgainstVoid
Download BVT_024

Reduced file size by 50%, from about 24MB to about 12MB for a full scene.


PostPosted: Sat Jun 24, 2017 9:54 am
by RageAgainstVoid

Download BVT_025

Fixed swapping palette of frame not registered as change to enable save or load.

Fixed mixing colours not properly updating all frames tied to affected palettes.

Fixed animation not properly saving and loading frame palette assignments.

Fixed loading palette overwrite with default system palette.

Fixed Animation stutter on first loop after load.

Fixed shift-delete shoot-through not working with Timeline mode.

Fixed frame content transfer with ctrl + Plus not transfering palette assignment.

Fixed mini cam keys F1 - F2 not working when GUI off.

Fixed middle mouse button switch usable when selection hidden.

Fixed some minor internal issues.

Reduced file size by up to 75%, from about 12MB to about 3MB for a full scene.
However, the real size depends on the scene. It is between 3 and 6 MB on average.
Compressing the file as .zip further shrinks it down to about 0.25 MB.

AMD has fixed their graphics drivers with the latest version 17.6.2. for Win10.
Blackbox should run without issues again on up-to-date machines.

You can Download the Castle Garden Scene shown in the video above.
Unzip file, put the save.bvt in the folder of the Blackbox program, load from within Blackbox as usual.


PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2017 11:32 am
by RageAgainstVoid
Download BVT_026

Fixed handling the attempt of loading a scene larger than the available video memory.
Blackbox will attempt to load as many complete frames as fit into memory, and skip those that don't.

Fixed possible issue with trying to load extremely complex scene.

Fixed a minor memory leak.

Reduced save time for a very complex scene by 75%, from 8 seconds to 2 seconds max.

Reduced size of colour palette file by up to 75%.


PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2018 8:34 pm
by RageAgainstVoid

Fixed case in which volume colour of cubes is not always saved properly.

Fixed save/load not registering when only frames have been added/removed/timeadjusted.

Fixed HDR colour values not saving properly and messing up the loading process.
(Effects such as overbright on entire palette are now saved, and can be undone on reload)

Fixed incorrect RGB/HSL calculation, causing discrepancy between rgb and hsl values upon adjusting colours.
(this is a very old bug that has ever since badly messed up control on colours)

Fixed mass modification of marked colours not working in timeline mode across all palettes assigned to frames.

Reduced size of colour palette file by up to 95%.

Added new Tool Mode on key 4: Transparency

Left Button:
Turn cubes transparent.

Right Button:
Turn cubes back to opaque.

Right now the transparency is fixed to 50%.
In later updates for the GUI, you may adjust that.

Added terrain generator.

It is possible to create a procedural terrain. Takes a couple seconds.

Simply pressing F8 generates a terrain of random type.

You can pick what kind of terrain you want specifically.
Keep holding key F8, and while holding press a number from 0 to 9.

The numbers represent the general world level of the terrain.
Starting from 0 Underworld to high mountain region on 9.

Also remember, that since the terrain colour theme draws from the palette,
you can change the palette such to change the nature of the landscape to your desire.
For example, you can turn the default mountains from dry and rocky to ice bergs and glaciers.

Note that saving a very complex terrain to file might take a while longer than usual.

Also note that since the terrain function automatically extends the first 32 colour in the palette
to a full 256 colours now, to fit the various terrains.
But it only does this once when you generate for the first time.
You have the ability to manually force a palette extension on next generation.
To do this, press Shift + F8.

The terrain varies, press repeatedly until you found what you are looking for.


PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2018 5:30 pm
by RageAgainstVoid
Download Blackbox 028c

Fixed manually flipping a tile on vertical either corrupting the cubes or crashing in the newer versions.

And here is a sample image(full) of the raw render.



PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2018 5:53 pm
by Cassiel
No worky.