Shade 9 Chapter 3 Basic Operations in the Figure Window
The Figure window is the main window, used to create and edit objects. Here we will explain some of the basic techniques you will use in the Figure window.
To launch Shade, double-click the application icon in the Shade installation folder. (The default location on Windows is Program Files > e frontier > Shade 9. The default location on Mac OS X is Applications > Shade 9.)
The Default Display
The default Shade interface includes several control windows surrounding the central Figure window, as shown.
Opening Shade Files
Shade scene files (*.shd) are Shade’s native file format. Here we will explain two methods of opening a Shade file.
Opening a File from ShadeExplorer
- If the ShadeExplorer window is not already visible, open it by choosing View > ShadeExplorer.
- Select one of the tabs listed above the rows of icons. The sample files used in the Beginner Tutorials manual and the User Guide can be found on the Documentation - Sample tab, so click this tab to open it.
- Above the tabs in ShadeExplorer you’ll see several buttons and a pull-down menu labeled Catalog. The Catalog pull-down menu helps you to organize large collections of Shade files.
Opening a File from the Menu Bar
- Select File > Open.
- In the Open dialog, navigate to your Shade installation folder and select BT_03_bear.shd inside the Documentation and Beginner Tutorials folders.
Changing the View in the Figure WindowAs you know by now, the Figure window is divided into four “views” or viewports. You can change the size of each of the views to make the Figure window more comfortable to work in, and there are a couple ways of doing this.
- The first method is to move the cursor over the center intersection of the viewport separator lines. You’ll see the cursor change into a set of four arrows. Simply click and drag to adjust the size of each view.
- If you only want to adjust the size of two adjacent viewports, click and drag on the line separating those two viewports.
- If you wish to expand a viewport to completely fill the Figure window, you can select that viewport from the Viewport pull-down menu in the Control Bar. This menu makes it easy to switch between the four views without needing to click and drag to resize them by hand. To switch back to the shared view with all four viewports, select Shared.
Scaling the View (Zoom)When you wish to see a detailed view of an object in the scene or when you wish to get a larger overall view of the scene, you can use the Zoom In and Zoom Out buttons on the Toolbox. The scene is magnified or shrunk once each time you click, centered on the current view.
Scaling the View at a Specified PointThe Figure window can be zoomed out at a specific point by clicking in the Figure window while holding down space and X (Win) or 0 (Mac). To zoom in a specific point, click in the Figure window while holding down space and Z (Win) or option + space (Mac).
Let’s practice zooming in and out of the Figure window.
- In the Front view, click the teddy bear’s right shoulder while holding down X + space (Win) or option + space (Mac). The view is zoomed centered on the point you clicked.
- Now select Zoom In from the Zoom tool. (This tool is located above the Zoom In and Zoom Out buttons.)
Scrolling the View
You can scroll the Figure window in any direction by holding down space and clicking and dragging in the Front view, Top view or Side view. While you hold down space the cursor becomes a hand icon to indicate that you can scroll the view.Let’s try dragging the view by holding space and clicking and dragging to the left in the Front view. To return the bear to the center of the Front view, select Figure > Fit to Window.
Preview Display ModeThe preview display mode can be set separately for each viewport in the Figure window. To add shading to the Perspective view, right-click (Win) or control-click (Mac) inside the Perspective view to bring up the contextual menu and select Display Mode > Shading.
Instead of a wireframe the teddy bear and other objects are displayed with colored shading in the Perspective view, making the scene easier to visualize.
To return to wireframe mode, open the contextual menu again and select Display Mode > Wireframe. You can change the preview display mode for each Figure window viewport in this way.
Selecting Objects and Using the Browser
Most of the time you will probably have many objects in a scene. Each large object will most likely be composed of many small, simple parts. Moving, modifying and applying surface attributes and other settings to an object require that you first select it. Objects can be selected directly in the Figure window or in the Browser. Think of the Browser as an organizational tool for managing all the pieces of your scene.
- Open the Browser by selecting View > Browser.
- The Browser lists all the objects in the scene. For every object in the Figure window, there will be a corresponding entry in the Browser. Click the “Large ball” object in the Browser. Notice that the large ball is also selected in the Figure window (shown by the solid black wireframe display).
- The Browser provides several tools for helping you organize the objects in your scene. One is the use of parts: parts act like parent folders to group one or more objects together. Like folders, parts can be nested in the Browser and their contents can be shown or hidden to help keep things tidy. Although parts are not objects in and of themselves, selecting a part in the Browser will select all the objects it contains (called child objects). You can tell a part from an object by the small black triangle icon to the left of its name. To expand the part and view its contents (the child objects), click this triangle. To hide the child objects, click the triangle again.[image:pic036.png|center]]
- To select multiple objects (or parts) at once, click while holding Ctrl (Win) or 0 (Mac).
- You can also select objects in the Figure window by clicking them or clicking and dragging across them using one of several selection tools. The default selection tool is the Box Selection Method, a simple tool that allows you to select most objects in the Figure window easily. Try selecting the large ball by clicking and dragging in the Top, Front or Side views until the selection box crosses the ball. (There’s no need to completely enclose the ball.) You should see “Large ball” become highlighted in the Browser. You can experiment a bit with selecting objects in the Figure window and Browser, but for a more in-depth tutorial see “Chapter 4: Modeling Basics.”
Displaying and Snapping to the GridThe Grid checkbox on the Control Bar makes it simple to display a grid in the Top, Front and Side views. To display a grid in the Perspective view, turn on the Perspective grid checkbox.
The grid can serve as a visual aid when modeling and to help you arrange objects in a scene.The Snap checkbox on the Control Bar restricts the cursor movement to increments of one-half the grid size in the Figure window. Snapping the cursor makes it easy to position shapes and objects precisely and to avoid small errors in cursor placement.
Using the Camera
Scenes in Shade are rendered from the point of view of the active camera, as displayed in the Perspective view. By default there is one camera in the scene, but any number of cameras can be added to make it easy to switch viewing angles. The Camera window is used to move the camera, change its angle, zoom in and out of the scene and more. In this section we will practice using the camera in a sample scene.
Displaying the Camera Window
- Select View > Camera to open the Camera window.
- For now we can concern ourselves with two important areas of the Camera window: the virtual joystick and the camera mode selection. The virtual joystick (area A in the figure) allows you to control the camera by clicking and dragging from the center outward in any direction. Before you use the virtual joystick to move the camera, however, you will want to select a camera mode (area B in the figure): Eye, Target, Eye & Target or Zoom. Each of these camera modes is explained below.
The Eye PointThe Eye point is the position of the eye of the observer, which is equal to the position of the camera in 3D space. (A camera in Shade has no physical dimensions, and is thus a single point in space.) To move the Eye point, select the Eye camera mode and then use the virtual joystick as explained below.
- Click in the center of the virtual joystick and drag the cursor to the left and right slowly. The camera Eye point revolves around the teddy bear in the Perspective view. The teddy bear and all the other objects in the scene are actually not moving at all; the camera is simply moving around them.
- Click the << button below the virtual joystick to undo the last camera operation. You can click the << button several times to return to the original camera position, or click the >> button to move forward to the most recent camera operation.
- Now let’s try moving the virtual joystick up and down. This time the bear appears to rotate up and down, but actually it is the camera that is moving in a vertical arc around the bear. Click the << button to return the camera to the initial position.
The Target Point
The Target point is the point in 3D space towards which the camera faces. If you draw an imaginary line between the Eye point and the Target point, this is the “line of sight” of the camera. The Target point can be moved in the same way as the Eye point.
- In the Camera window, click the Target radio button to switch to Target camera mode.
- Click and drag the virtual joystick from the center to the left and right. The teddy bear looks like it is moving back and forth in a large arc in the Perspective view, but it is really the camera angle that is being rotated. Click the << button before continuing to undo the camera operation.
- Next click and drag the virtual joystick in the vertical direction, up and down. Now the bear looks like it is moving in a vertical arc, but actually the camera angle is simply being tilted up and down.
Positioning the Target Point and the Eye Point
Positioning the Target Point
- To make the scene easier to see let’s switch to the shading display mode in the Perspective view. Open the contextual menu by right-clicking (Win) or control-clicking (Mac) in the Perspective view and selecting Display Mode > Shading.
- The next step is to select the object you wish to point the camera at. Let’s select the large ball. You can select “Large ball” in the Browser or select it in the Figure window.
- In the Camera window there are several buttons under the label Set & Link. Click the Object button next to the Target row. This will set the Target point to the currently selected object, which in this case is the large ball. When you click the Object button you’ll notice the Perspective view changes to show the large ball in the center.
- Click the << button in the Camera window to undo the last camera operation and return the target point to its original position before continuing.
Positioning the Eye Point
Next let’s position the Eye point.
- We can view the camera Eye and Target points by clicking in the center of the virtual joystick and holding down the mouse button. A dotted line appears in the Top, Front and Side views to show you the camera’s line of sight. By doing this now you can confirm that the Eye point is in front of and a little bit above the objects in the scene.
- Select the large ball.
- In the Camera window click the Object button to the right of the Eye row to set the Eye point to the large ball.
- You will notice that the Perspective view changes, but there’s not much to see because we are now viewing the scene from inside the center of the large ball. To shake off the feeling of claustrophia no doubt ensuing we can hide the large ball. To do this, open the checkboxes in the Browser by clicking the triangle button in the top right corner. The first checkbox in each row is Show/Hide. Click the Show/Hide checkbox to the right of Large ball until it is blank. The large ball’s name in the Browser changes to gray, indicating that this object is now hidden from view, and the Perspective view shows the scene from the large ball’s point of view.
- Click in the center of the virtual joystick and hold down the mouse button to display the camera line of sight again. Notice that the Target point is still in the teddy bear’s left arm, but the Eye point has now moved to the center of the (invisible) large ball.
6. Click the << button in the Camera window to undo the last camera operation and return the Eye point to its original position before continuing.
Jointly Moving the Eye and Target Points
The camera can be also be moved around the scene without changing the angle or the distance between the Eye point and the Target point. Think of a camera mounted on a tripod. You can swivel the camera on the tripod (changing the Target point) but you can also raise or lower the height of the tripod without moving the camera. This moves the camera lens (changing the Eye point) but the line of sight of the camera (the Target point) also moves an equal distance. Shade can simulate this by jointly moving the Eye and Target points together up or down, and can also jointly move the two points laterally.
- In the Camera window click the Eye & target radio button to change the camera mode to Eye & target.
- Click in the center of the virtual joystick and hold the mouse button to display the camera line of sight in the Figure window. While still holding down the mouse button move the cursor up and then down in the virtual joystick. You will see the entire dotted line move up and down in the Front and Side views, because you are moving both the Eye and Target points.
- The Perspective view shows the camera moving up and down as if someone is raising and lowering the tripod. The distance and angle between the Eye and Target points stays the same.
- Next try moving the Eye and Target points in the lateral (left and right) direction using the virtual joystick. The camera moves as if mounted on a straight rail moving back and forth perpendicular to the camera’s line of sight.
- Click the << button before continuing to undo the camera operations.
Zooming In and OutThere are two methods of zooming in or out in a scene. The first method is to decrease or increase the distance between the camera Eye point and the Target point. The second method is to decrease or increase the camera focal length. Let’s take a look at how to use both of these methods.
- Select the Zoom radio button to change the camera mode to Zoom.
- Click in the center of the virtual joystick and drag upwards to move the Eye point closer to the Target point. You will see the objects in the Perspective view appear larger since the camera is now closer to them. If you move the virtual joystick downwards, the Eye point moves away from the Target point and the objects appear smaller. Moving the virtual joystick up and down moves the camera toward or away from the Target point, much as if the camera were being moved back and forth on a dolly.
- The camera’s focal length (in millimeters) in shown in the Camera window to the right of the Zoom button.Try moving the virtual joystick to the right while watching the focal length. The camera zooms in and the focal length increases. Conversely, moving the virtual joystick to the left will zoom out, decreasing the focal length. Moving the virtual joystick to the right or left makes the angle of view smaller or larger, changing both the zoom and the focus. This is important to note if you use a depth of field effect to blur the foreground or background. |