Well its taken 3+ years for Qt 3D to be an overnight success, but here it is: we are now part of Qt5 and we’ll be front and centre in the exciting picture that will be powering a new generation of QML enhanced apps on a whole range of platforms. As a Qt5 Essential Qt 3D will be running on all those supported Qt5 platforms providing OpenGL accelerated 3D content defined in QML. Its great news for us in the team, and good news for those of you using Qt 3D or planning on using it for your projects.
If you’re a Qt 3D fan and have been following the project for a while you’ll know that as a labs project we had to do our own releases, carefully making sure that packages we created matched the current supported versions of Qt 4. We have in the past released easy-to-use packages for Symbian^3, N900 and the N9 platforms, as well as for Windows desktop; and supported Linux and Mac with source packages. We got great feedback from those package releases, and saw some interesting projects built on Qt 3D.
As part of Qt5 the SDK team and release program will make Qt 3D available through official Qt5 release activities. This will free us up to spend more time on performance, bug-fixing and best of all the features that we’ve been asked for. This is fantastic news for us since packaging consumed quite a bit of our resources, and now we can focus that on improving Qt 3D.
Before we move away from Labs status we are making one more Qt 3D labs release: and this is it. This follows our Qt 3D TP1 and TP2 releases with a 1.0 release as part of our Qt 4.x programme. In this release are a number of important bug fixes, some new stuff like threaded texture and model loading, and the new Qt 3D Asset Viewer, which allows you to visually configure the models you load into your Qt 3D applications.
Today we announce our Qt 3D 1.0 for Qt 4.8.1 with only a small amount of fanfare: this will be our last 4.x major version release.
For Windows folks, you’ll need the Qt 4.8.1 Windows MSVC release which is available from the Qt downloads page.
The documentation is also available on-line on the Qt project site.
For N9 developers we no longer create a package. The publicly available Qt SDK can build these packages for you from our source download using the Qt 4.7.x Harmattan support, that is built right in to your SDK. Just follow the special N9 instructions in our build documentation. For Symbian likewise you will need to create your own packages. For folks using a MinGW based Qt on Windows, you will need to use the source package also.
Why are we not supplying N9 or Symbian packages for Qt 3D 1.0 against Qt 4.x? Since Qt 3D 1.0 for 4.x is a labs project, our previous device packages were not official Nokia system packages, and just functioned as a convenience to the developer. This is why we’re asking that you create your own packages to underscore the fact that Nokia does not supply Qt 3D system packages as part of Qt 4.x, and you’ll need to do your own work to include any Qt 3D functionality in your device apps. Apologies for this, but its the way it is for our 4.x labs status programme. Qt 3D team remains available on IRC and via our email lists (see below) to support you as far as possible when including Qt 3D in your apps, but unfortunately for Qt 4.x we cannot supply Nokia system packages for these platforms.
What about Qt5? That is where the excitement lies, with a vastly improved QML rendering engine, which has the benefit for Qt 3D of guaranteed OpenGL support. If you have QML2 then you have OpenGL and that means Qt 3D is ready to go on any Qt5 platform. We’d love you to try out Qt 3D on Qt5 – go and check out the Qt5 Alpha release which has just been announced, and tell us what you think. If you want to try out the bleeding edge, you can also get Qt 3D in Qt5 by building from Git.