Viewing Tools Different programs have different ways of displaying objects in real-time while the scenes are being created within the workspace. Some common real-time drawing/display modes include: Wireframe - draws objects as edges and vertices. Can look through the object, which sometimes has advantages, but can also be confusing when many lines at various depths are all seen at one time. Images are produced quickly using few computing resources.
Viewing Tools Solid mode -- allows the object to appear as a solid. You can see colors (and some surface properties) and the impact that lights might have on the scene. Object construction using deformations and sculpting are easier to visualize in solid mode than in wireframe. Solid mode takes more RAM than wireframe. Miscellaneous other displays are available depending upon the software. They might include transparent, transparent wireframe, etc.
Viewing Tools View navigation tools allow you to control how you view the scene. Zoom – controls the amount of magnification of the active viewport. Rotate – allows objects to remain in their correct, relative positions within the scene while you rotate your point of view around them. Panning (Eye Move) – allows you to drag the scene vertically and horizontally within the viewport (window), changing your viewing point but not changing the positions of the objects within the scene or your viewing angle.
Viewing Tools Object selection must take place before transformation or deformation operations can occur on objects. Multiple selections of objects can be made depending upon the software being used. Keyboard commands, such as holding down the Ctrl key, are often used to make multiple selections. Selection windows can be generated using the cursor. For example, selecting a point within the window and dragging the mouse will generate a selection rectangle whose limits define the selection area.
Viewing Tools Filters available in some programs allow selection by name or other characteristics such as shape. Parts of single objects (such as vertices or polygon faces) may be selected for modification. When an object is chosen, it typically changes color to identify itself as the selected object.
Plug-ins Plug-ins are independent programs or components usually supplied by third- party vendors that supplement the features of the original 3D program. The software architecture must be designed to make it possible for other companies (or individuals) to write add- ons to the original program. Plug-ins includes everything from specialized tools that can be added to the program menu, to special- effects packages.
Exporting Individual objects and scenes (or copies) created in one software package may be exported or placed into another software program. Exporting allows users to take advantage of certain features that might be available in one program that are not as refined as they are in another package.
Exporting File extensions are used to define exports. For example An object created in Rhinoceros may be saved as a .3ds (3D Studio Max) image and then opened (imported) into trueSpace where it would become part of the scene being created. A scene created in 3D Studio Max might be exported into Lightwave where textures and lighting are added to the scene. Software specifications must be checked to determine which file extensions are available for saving and opening objects and scenes.