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PlantStudio Kurtz-Fernhout Software
Developers of custom software and educational simulations.
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PlantStudio Version Change History

Version 2.10 Changes

  • New transverse sections make it easier to get at parameters by type as well as area, for example all colors or all 3D objects. Just choose them from the parameter sections list.
  • Fixed bug where overrides in settings file did not work correctly with newer parameters. Now overrides must have a section as well as parameter name, and new overrides cannot be read by older versions of PlantStudio.
  • Fixed bug where PlantStudio did not check for the "pla" file extension when opening a file from "Send To".
  • Changed bounds on all petals, sepals, bracts, pistils, and stamens from (1-10) to (0-30).
  • Added option to ignore window settings stored in files (choose Edit-Preferences and look under Miscellaneous). This is useful if you like the window looking a certain way and don't want to change it ever.
  • Updated splash screen, about box, help system for registered PlantStudio trademark.
  • Fixed bug where animations would not save to a hard disk with a very large amount of free space.
  • Improved is-there-space-on-disk check slightly.
  • Fixed mistake in help that said the option to set the size of a plant pasted from text also worked for pasting NOT from text. The option only holds for plants pasted from text.
  • Fixed small bug where plants dragged from breeder when looking at one plant at a time were not sizing correctly.

Version 2.01 Changes

  • Fixed page fault in Windows 98 and Windows ME due to operating system conflict with resizing of drop-down list of parameter sections.
  • To deal with resizing problem, removed options to hide parameter section pictures and secondary flower/inflorescence parameters (not that useful anyway).
  • Removed parameter-section-help drop-down-list popup menu; moved help menu item to parameters popup menu.
  • Updated help system to reflect changes to interface.
Version 2.0 Changes

Major changes in version 2.0

  • New export formats - 3DS, Lightwave LWO, Wavefront OBJ, and VRML. Improvements to DXF and POV formats as well.
  • New modeled parts - pistils, stamens, five layers of petals, sepals, inflorescence bracts, leaf stipules.
  • Posing of individual plant parts - so you can hide or bend whole branches by hand.
  • More arrangement options for plants on screen including align, size and pack.
  • Multiple undo/redo at once.

Specific changes in each beta version leading up to version 2.0

Between beta 3 and final 2.0 version

  • Improved action of paste and make-new-plant actions; now preserves old selections for undo.
  • Speeded up saving & loading of settings file ten-fold. Startup and close down much faster now.
  • Improved speed of switching between view-one and view-all modes.
  • Now if you change the drawing options on the main window and the breeder/time series have plants but are not showing, they will not redraw until they appear again.
  • Changed lower bound on parameter [General parameters: Age at maturity] so that breeder cannot produce plants with maximum age of zero.
  • Changed delete/cut so that if you are in view-one mode it automatically selects the first plant in the list (so you still have something to look at).
  • Changed time series window so numbers are days the plant is old at each stage, not just stage numbers; this is more useful information.
  • Made it so that you can't select by rubber banding when in view-one mode (doesn't make sense).
  • Added option in all 3d output formats to write double-sided polygons (front-face color only).
  • Changed parameter panels to take up all available space (looks cleaner).
  • Fixed bug (introduced in beta 1) where window would not redraw properly when stats panel was showing.
  • Improved ability of posing selection to pick up thin internode lines.
  • Improved reading from file or clipboard to deal with most cases of line wrapping (not all); deals with [ or = being on next line, does NOT deal with text of name wrapped.
  • Removed extra floating edit box in preferences window.
  • Fixed bug in DXF output that may explain why people could sometimes not read more than one plant in a DXF file.
  • Changed "numerical exceptions" window to "messages" window.
  • Added messages when parameters are defaulted and wrapped lines are merged when reading. These will appear in messages window.
  • Fixed small bug in "read from text" method that makes it work faster.
  • Fixed bug where using high breeder variation would turn on varying 3D objects (supposed to be separate now).
  • Changed "randomize parameters" BACK to "randomize" because the second meaning was not accurate.
  • Changed sections list box for parameters (on left side) to drop-down list (above) to make more room for parameters. Looks better. Moved some popup menu items around.
  • Improved 2D picture saving to the clipboard, file or printer to warn you if you are about to save a picture over 10 MB, and added a memory-use estimation to the window.
  • Improved 2D export to JPEG; added support for variable JPEG compression; removed estimation for JPEG (files are small and estimation is pretty much impossible). Removed choice of color depth for JPEG; only 24-bit is available.
  • Improved the way flower buds open up into flowers a bit.
  • Improved saving of recent file names.
  • Changed label in 3D object chooser to drop-down list, so you can find a 3D object by name as well as by shape.
  • Added "send copy to main window" to time series window; works same as for breeder.
  • Improved speed of multiple undo/redo; added "please wait" window; disabled all windows during operation to prevent problems.
  • In drawing area, previously if you clicked without dragging in rotate mode you would always rotate in the X dimension by 10 degrees. Now it uses the "rotation change with up or down click" value, and a right-click rotates in the X dimension but in the opposite direction.
  • Improved posing by adding "posing selection cursor mode" with special cursor - cleaner and easier to understand.
  • Fixed a few bugs in posing - leaves were not being pruned; edit boxes were responding incorrectly.
  • Removed colors from posing. See help system for details.
  • Improved posing panel. Added on/off buttons for three posing things.
  • Added posing selection colors to preferences window.
  • Revamped preferences window to make it more clear.
  • Fixed a bug with posing (and with plant drawing) where inflorescences with branches were not drawing individual flowers correctly.
  • Moved two preferences from main preferences window to breeding & time series options window (max plant parts, update time series window). Less confusing.
  • Cleaned up breeding options window.
  • Fixed bug where sometimes cursor was wrong when file was opened - always changes to select/drag mode now.
  • Improved undo/redo window to say "undo" or "redo" instead of just "ok" - so it's more clear what you are doing.
  • Filled in parameter hints for new parameters. Improved all parameter hints (and parameter ordering) for better consistency and better explanation.
  • Fixed bug where file with "view one only" option set on not read correctly on loading.
  • Added parameter to draw opposite as well as alternate leaflets in compound leaves.
  • Added new restriction to the evaluation version: the number of exports is limited to 20 at first, then 2 per session using PlantStudio until registration is complete. The evaluation version is still fully functional.
  • Added saving window position and size for 3D object editor.
  • Improved reading of settings file so in rare condition where people used PS < 1.4 and have an old settings file with comma-delimited numbers (e.g., 1,5) it will still read the file correctly.
  • Updated, revamped and reorganized help system; added many graphics and some tutorial sections; added more comprehensive FAQ section based on emails received in last two years.

Changes in beta 3

  • After consulting our wish list, we decided to completely revamp our 3D export system. You can't see it from the outside, but the 3D export code is now much cleaner and multi-purpose. We added three new formats: Wavefront OBJ, Lightwave LWO, and VRML. We also found and fixed a few bugs in DXF and 3DS export, added more options, and improved our file size estimation and reporting.
  • We added new "rotate" and "scale" options for each file format. Using these you can "fix" any systematic differences between our output and the import preferences of your 3D program. (For some 3D programs changing the scale will have no effect.)

Changes in beta 2 (hardly any)

  • Due to reports of problems with 3DS, placed warning on 3DS export that it is not perfect.
  • Removed beta expiration screen.
  • Changed registration screen to reflect new pricing scheme.
  • Fixed small menu updating bug.

Changes in beta 1 (many)

  • Renamed flower types from "female/male" to "primary/secondary". This is more botanically accurate, since we had been using "female" to mean "female/hermaphroditic". Actually, 90% of flowering plants have "perfect" flowers with both male and female parts, so the new naming convention is easier to understand.
  • Expanded primary flowers to include pistils, stamens, five rows of petals, and sepals. New primary flower parameters are in new "Advanced" section.
  • Expanded secondary flowers to include stamens, one row of petals, and sepals.
  • Added parameters to draw leaf stipules (extra leafy-things at the bases of leaf stems).
  • Added parameters to draw inflorescence bracts (extra leafy-things at the bases of inflorescences).
  • Created a few new plants to illustrate the use of the new flower and leaf structures.
  • Added the ability to "pose" (change aspects of) individual plant parts: internodes (stem segments), meristems (buds), leaves, inflorescences (flower clusters), and flowers/fruits.
  • Changed plant file specification to version 2.0. Files are backward compatible: PS 1.x can read 2.x files and display them properly (though ignoring parameters for the new 2.0 flower parts). PS 2.x can read 1.x files and display them properly, though all the new parameters will be set to defaults. If you open a 1.x version plant and save it in PlantStudio 2.x, it will turn into a 2.x file.
  • Fixed bug where copying a plant with the parameter [General parameters: Random sway in drawing angles] set to any number greater than zero would produce a copy that drew differently (until regrown).
  • Reduced memory required for plants by optimizing 3D object code.
  • Removed limit of 1000 points on 3D objects imported from DXF.
  • Added new lower bound for all "optimal biomass" parameter of 0.0001 percent of maximum plant biomass. Reduces likelihood of problems in breeding.
  • Added 3DS output. Grouping options are the same as for DXF and POV. Colors should appear as in PlantStudio in most 3D programs.
  • Added JPEG output for 2D pictures (not for animations or nozzles/tubes).
  • Added registration reminder to 3D output - a box appears at the base of each plant until you register. Changed reminder window to reflect this.
  • Changed "Randomize" to "Randomize Parameters" wherever it appears because "Randomize" means something different in Bryce.
  • Fixed several places where non-default-gray background didn't show through icons correctly.
  • Made new (nicer looking) splash screen and about box.
  • Added "program info" window (separate from numerical exceptions window) which can be accessed from about box or numerical exceptions window. Added more diagnostic information, including memory use of plants.
  • Improved information content of error messages throughout program (not that you should see any, but now they are more informative).
  • Plants now save their visible/invisible state, and whether they were selected or not (in the main window only), so that when you return to the same plant file you return to the same selections.
  • Added "Undo/Redo List" where you can see all the actions you've made and undo or redo several actions at a time. Improved undo/redo descriptive names to give more detail. Window position is saved in settings file.
  • Changed "Rotations" panel to "Arrangement" panel in main window and added several new things to it.
    • You can now set the XY location and drawing scale (size) of selected plants in the arrangement panel as well as with the mouse.
    • New alignment buttons line up the selected plants by top, bottom, left or right sides.
    • New equal-width and equal-height buttons make the selected plants the same height or width.
    • The "Pack" button makes all the selected plants the same height (their average height) and lines them up within the drawing area, wrapping around if necessary.
    • All of these things also work from the Layout menu.
  • Changed "Life cycle" panel to "Age" panel to save space. Otherwise it is not changed.
  • Added "Posing" panel to interact with new plant part posing functionality in model (see "Model" section).
  • Made names of parameter sections more descriptive and longer.
  • Changed the default to NOT showing secondary (male) flower/inflorescence parameters (see "Model" section for name change). You can still see the secondary flower parameters again if you choose "Show Secondary Flower Parameters" in the parameter sections right-click menu. If you have secondary flower parameters "turned off" the primary ones will just say "Flowers", not "Primary flowers". People didn't seem very interested in the separate flowers, so it makes sense to make them harder to trip over.
  • Added option to show bounding boxes of plants at all times. You can use this to create a sort of "picture box" effect in a plant file. This option is saved with the plant file.
  • Fixed longstanding but infrequently seen bug where plants in main window would resize for no good reason.
  • Changed parameters panel to show the name of the plant whose parameters you are changing.
  • Added hints for headers in parameter panels. These hints describe the parameters below the header as a group.
  • Changed weird "concentrate" terminology to simply "view one plant at a time" vs. "view all plants" and "place drawing area on top" vs. "place drawing area on side". Added buttons in tool bar to change these more quickly. Saved both of these settings in plant file, so they are remembered when you open the file again.
  • When drawing area is on left side, moved list of plants to top of window instead of bottom. Makes more sense.
  • Added check to see if plants are off screen when loaded from file - if so, they are relocated onto the screen.
  • Added little margin to "scale to fit" -- that is, when you click Scale to Fit PlantStudio leaves a little margin around the drawing area instead of jamming the plants up to the edges. Looks better.
  • Added saving of numerical exceptions window position in settings file.
  • Changed breeder so resizing does not resize plants. Now thumbnail size is set using breeder Options dialog.
  • Removed all choices from bottom of breeder window and moved them to Options dialog.
  • Changed how breeder draws - instead of watching progress bar and seeing nothing, now you see the plants "play out" across the screen as they are drawn. Each plant shows a gray box while it is drawing. Most plants take less than a second or two to draw.
  • Added toolbar to breeder for setting options and breeding from the selected plant(s).
  • Separated three types of breeding options out for easier access: numerical parameters, colors, and 3D objects. Now you can vary each of these independently of the others. You can breed plants with identical structure but different colors, or identical colors but different structure, or identical colors and structure but different 3D objects. This makes it much easier to "zoom in" on a plant you like. And it's more fun!
  • Added new "Send Copy to Main Window" menu option to the breeder menu. This copies the selected breeder plant to the current file in one step (instead of dragging, or copying and pasting). "Sent" plants appear in the middle of the main window drawing area. You can undo this (it's just a copy followed by a paste).
  • Removed dark-blue marker for "selected generation" in breeder. Was not very informative, just annoying.
  • You can now make more plants per generation, up to 100.
  • Copied the "Draw Using" options over to the breeder and time series window (same as in main window). Same effect on all three windows as before.
  • Fixed bug where breeder plants did not retain the rotations of the parent plant. Now if you breed a plant from the main window, all bred plants will retain its angles. (If you breed from two parents, the first parent's rotation will be used for all offspring.)
  • Changes in time series window similar to those of breeder - resizing the window doesn't resize the plants, drawing goes across screen as you watch, no stuff at the bottom of the window.
  • New labels on time series stages.
  • Up to 100 stages allowed in time series now.

Version 1.6 Changes

  • Added DXF import for 3D objects.
  • Added stem tapering for stems leading to 3D objects.
  • Added saving the last ten file names opened to menu (File-Reopen).
  • Improved randomization in compound leaves so that each leaflet has independent randomization (looks more lifelike).
  • Added new feature: compound leaves can unfold as they grow. This is especially useful for plants like ferns. Added two new parameters: [Leaves: If compound, bend angle at start] and [Leaves: If compound, bend angle at full size]. When setting these parameters, take into account that some leaves never reach full size.
  • Added option to set size of plants pasted from clipboard (as plants or as text).
  • Placed new upper limit on the number of plant parts any plant can have -- this is to reduce the possibility of breeder plants getting out of hand. Added box to preferences dialog to set this (between 1000 and 100,000 parts maximum).
  • Added more support information in numerical exceptions window (for plants in breeder and time series window).
  • Added a "Clear points" button to the 3D object editor. Clicking it removes all points from the 3D object at once. The action is undoable.
  • In DXF output, separated petioles from leaves and inflorescence stalks from the remainder of the inflorescence. This makes it easier to apply different colors/textures to those parts separately after importing the DXF to your program.
  • Increased the maximum number of segments per stem [General: Number of segments to draw to create curved line] from 10 to 20.
  • Increased the maximum sides to a DXF cylinder from 10 to 20. Updated DXF dialog to respond more correctly to this.
  • Moved long hints for breeder and time series window to help buttons [?] so that they don't get in the way of clicking on plants. Updated a few other hints. Reduced memory used by hints slightly.
  • Improved placement of notes window.
  • Added better defaulting for DXF options if settings file missing.
  • Improved how plants with missing end-of-plant information are read.
  • Added instructions on added features to help system.
  • Changed date from 2000 to 2001 at which dialog appears at startup (on unregistered copies) warning that software version may be obsolete.
  • Improved Paste From Text to better handle erroneous line wrapping by browser windows.
  • Fixed a bug in which DXF export was creating stems with holes in them.
  • Fixed a bug in which plants with only one segment per line did not draw correctly.
  • Fixed a bug where randomization was not working correctly.
  • Fixed a bug where editing a 3D object from the 3D object mover had no effect.
  • Fixed a problem where parameter panels were not showing correctly with large fonts.
  • Fixed a small updating bug in the menu for Export-DXF and POV.
  • Fixed a bug where during DXF output, stems below a certain diameter were becoming blocky because sides of the cylinder were overlapping each other.
  • Fixed a wording mistake on the nozzle/tube window.
  • Fixed a small updating bug in the menu for concentrate/unconcentrate on focused plant.
  • Fixed a problem where pasting plants from text did not work properly if notes were included.
Version 1.5 Changes
  • Fixed longstanding bug with reading plant files -- was due to program not handling different decimal separators (like a comma) correctly. NOTE: DO NOT change your Windows setting for decimal separators while PlantStudio is running (usually you will never need to change this).
  • Added output to POV-Ray format (as INC files) for plants and 3D objects. For more information on using POV-Ray see
  • Added help for POV-Ray output.
  • Changed File menu to group all export options into one Export submenu.
  • Fixed problem where some file saving did not work correctly if your hard drive had more than 2 GB available.

Version 1.4 Changes

  • Made major improvement to sizing and centering of plants inside fixed rectangles. Affects drawing in breeder, time series window, animation output, nozzle/tube output.
  • Made a few cosmetic changes to main window.
  • Added capability for plant notes. Added Notes panel to main window focus area to view notes; added notes editor to edit notes. Plants without notes can always be read; notes are optional. Plants with notes can be read correctly by previous versions of PlantStudio as long as there are no parameter key names inside square braces in the note area. For example, the line "Age at maturity [kGeneralAgeAtMaturity] =100" inside a note will be read as a parameter by versions of PlantStudio prior to 1.40.
  • Added option to parameters popup menu to copy name of section and parameter to clipboard. This is to make it easier to talk about parameter names in emails (e.g., "What's a good value for xxx parameter?"). You no longer have to type the parameter name yourself; just copy it from the program and paste it in your email.
  • Updated the help system to explain how to view and edit notes and how to use the copy-parameter-name function.
  • Improved distribution of flowers in head inflorescences to remove small gaps.
  • Fixed bug where head inflorescences were not drawing first flower. If you are upgrading and have already created some plants, flowers with head inflorescences might now show up with the first flower larger than the others (which you should have been able to see before). If this happens, it means the first flower is getting all the biomass and the others are not getting enough: reduce the parameter [Flowers (F or M): Optimal biomass (as percent of maximum plant biomass)] until the flowers are roughly the same size when full-grown.
  • Changed to reset magnification at 100% when new file is created.
  • Fixed a problem where the "reconcile 3D objects" dialog referred to the plant mover.
  • Made a few generally clarifying changes to the help system.

Version 1.3 Changes

  • Fixed bug related to sorting stems and stalks along with planar leaves, flowers, etc. Stems now appear more realistically sorted. If stems appear not to sort correctly with leaves, turn off sorting 3D objects as one item (choose Options > Custom > uncheck "Sort 3D objects as one item").
  • Added parameter to curve apical inflorescence stalks from main stem [Inflors: Angle of peduncle with plant stem if apical]. Existing plants without this parameter will be assigned a default value of zero for it, which is the same as not having it. Renamed [Inflors: Angle of peduncle (primary stalk) with plant stem] to [Inflors: Angle of peduncle with plant stem if axillary]. Renaming will not change existing plants.
  • Changed how program reads plants from files to avoid case of extra empty lines corrupting plant. Program now detects end of plant only when it encounters the words "end PlantStudio plant" instead of blank line. This means that you must be certain to keep this last line with plants, but it makes file transfer over the internet more stable.
  • Changed paste-from-text function to fit any pasted plants into a centered 100x100 pixel square. This avoids the problem of plants appearing too large or small if there is a discrepancy between the scale they were copied from and the scale they are being pasted into.
  • Made minor change to the way multi-segment lines are drawn.
  • Improved drawing of flower petals and fruit sections so that gaps do not appear.

Version 1.22 Changes

    Removed pricing information from program and help system. At the time of this release registration of PlantStudio is US$19.95 per copy; this price is subject to change without notice. For orders over ten copies contact us directly for discounts.

Version 1.21 Changes

  • Changed date from 1999 to 2000 at which dialog appears at startup (on unregistered copies) warning that software version may be obsolete.
  • Changed date-sensitive pricing information on registration dialog.

Version 1.20 Changes

  • Fixed bug that prevented copying, saving or printing pictures in 32-bit true-color mode.
  • Added function to reconcile 3D objects between the open plant file and the current 3D object library.
  • Added multiple-plant DXF export in one file. See help system for details.
  • Fixed bug in DXF export where plant names might have been cut off when spaces were included.
  • Added more diagnostic information for technical support.
  • Fixed minor bug in startup window.
  • Changed help system to reflect these changes.
Version 1.10 Changes

In version 1.10 we incorporated a new system for reading essential information. Because two users had reported problems reading the startup files PlantStudio was relying on, we built all the startup information into the program file itself. This makes the system more robust in terms of possible file reading errors. Version 1.10 also includes several small bug fixes and improvements as follows:

  • Added simple override mechanism for parameter bounds and defaults.
  • Updated help system to explain changes.
  • Added better error-handling for choosing 3D object library file.
  • Made minor changes to some window appearances.
  • Fixed defaulting bug affecting color depth choices.
  • Added more diagnostic information for technical support.
  • Fixed minor bug in alignment of text on parameter panels.
  • Fixed bug where associating files did not work correctly if most recent file was being re-opened.
  • Added support for dragging files from Windows Explorer and dropping them into PlantStudio.
  • Fixed obscure magnification bug.
  • Changed startup window to use buttons instead of radio buttons to make it easier to start.
Version 1.04 Changes
  • Added better error-handling for parameters file reading.
  • Added diagnostics button to numerical exceptions window to help technical support track down problems.
Version 1.03 Changes
  • Fixed three bugs related to shutting down Windows while PlantStudio is running.
Version 1.02 Changes
  • Changed the font from MS Sans Serif to Arial to accomodate large fonts. This means that you need to have the Arial font installed to use PlantStudio. The Arial font comes standard with Windows and will be there unless you have removed it.
  • Realigned a few items on forms due to this.
Version 1.01 Changes
  • Changed method that reads in s-curve values to do a better job of bounding s curve values on input in case of file problems.
  • Changed default s-curve values to include more growth at the end of the life cycle.
  • Added message when plant wizard is starting up (takes a while on slower computers).

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Updated: February 12, 2002. Questions/comments on site to
Copyright © 1998-2002 Paul D. Fernhout & Cynthia F. Kurtz.