The Visual Studio 2012 product site is garbage. It’s hard to navigate, doesn’t give you meaningful information and doesn’t really boast about some of the coolest new features.
I use VS2012 when I’m developing on Windows because it’s awesome. Most of my work is in Unity, so I have it set as the default editor, so when I open scripts in Unity, they open in VS2012 by default.
A few days ago, I happened to double click an .fbx file on accident, and I was surprised to see the VS2012 loading screen popup. I figured it would open the FBX as a text file, and that would be that, but it was much more interesting than that.
Well, it seems that VS2012 comes with a model viewer/editor which supports FBX, OBJ and COLLADA DAE. No one is going to be dropping Maya or Max for this any time soon, but that’s clearly not the purpose. When working with graphics libraries or C#/C++ engines and frameworks, you can view models right from VS. This is a big deal, especially if you ‘re not doing your own art and don’t own a 3D pacakge.
When I found this I started investigating . Of course I found a sentence or two about it on the VS2012 product page, but that was it. I did also find that VS2012 comes with a visual shader editor. Really?
It’s not just for shits and giggles either. You can export your shader network to HLSL.
So, not particularly a big deal, but a pleasant surprise!