As I mentioned before, I'm working on something new.
At the moment I'm refactoring the code of Mapcrafter a lot to make the internal rendering engine(s) more extensible and the code which is responsible for managing the general rendering process more reusable. Two side effects you can already see of that refactoring are a new render view and a better integration of Mapcrafter into the graphical user interface!
The new render view renders your world from a 2d top down perspective instead of a 3d oblique perspective. Have a look at this example map to get an impression how the new render view looks like:
I'm still experimenting with the new render view and only the rendering of simple blocks is implemented at the moment. To show the height difference between different blocks I received some interesting results with the lighting render mode:
Combing multiple render modes is interesting too!
Another new feature will be a full integration of Mapcrafter into a graphical user interface:
For all the Linux/Unix server users here: Don't worry, Mapcrafter won't become a point and click adventure. I will still concentrate on the command line interface and the core functionalities of Mapcrafter. The graphical user interface was just an interesting application of this refactoring and a great way to procrastinate in my exam session. It should be very useful for the Windows users who just quickly want to render their singleplayer world. I'm also doing this part of the refactoring because I was thinking about a distributed Mapcrafter renderer which would be very interesting too.
If you are crazy enough to want to test the new (experimental) Mapcrafter version, just clone the big-fat-refactoring branch and build Mapcrafter from source. For Windows users I built packages of the experimental version (mapcrafter_1.5.3-98_win64.zip and mapcrafter_1.5.3-98_win32.zip).
Now just set the map option render_view = topdown or render_mode = cavelight and see what happens!
Warning: Do not use the experimental new Mapcrafter version to render your old maps. This version uses a new format to configure in the web files which maps are available, when they were rendered the last time and things like that. The old Mapcrafter won't understand that your maps are already rendered and will attempt to force-render them all, also probably with the old render view.