Christina Psarrou
Initial version.
Copyright © Solid Iris Technologies
The Viewport is the realtime viewer in the
center of the application. This is the main area
where all the action takes place when you want
to perform staging tasks, like moving an object,
adding a light, creating an animation, starting
interactive render etc.. Below, there is a
detailed analysis of the existing toolbars, along
with the corresponding functions. The main
toolbars that appear in the Viewport are the
Action Toolbar and the Viewer Toolbar. Both
include a variety of options which are
analytically described.
Figure 1: Thea Render Viewport
The Action toolbar is located at the top of the Viewport and includes all the tasks related to
editing your scene. In figure 2 we see how this toolbar looks like.
9 10 11 12
9 10 11 12
Figure 2: Action Toolbar
These options, from left to right, are:
1. Object Selection & Viewport Navigation
2. Undo & Redo
3. Group & Ungroup
4. Duplicate Object
5. Object Transform: Translate, Rotate, Scale
6. Delete Object
7. Show all Objects & Hide Selected Object(s)
8. Object Visibility / Render Layers
9. Insert Lights, Cameras, Infinite Plane into the Scene
10. Preference Settings / Viewport Elements Visibility
11. Tools (Transform, Animation, Interactive Render)
12. Hide Toolbar
All these options will now be explained in detail.
Note 1: the way the Viewport is shown, can be changed from the Current View Properties panel,
at the left side of the Viewport, displayed when clicking the small camera button. There, you can
change the desired Resolution and Film Height along with the camera Focal Length (change of the
Note 2: this toolbar, as well as all other toolbars in the Viewport, can be placed to the position
that is more convenient to the user. Once you click on it you can drag it wherever you want.
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Figure 3: Object selection & Viewport
By clicking on the first button of the Actions Toolbar, you can see a drop down list with 10 in total
functions which define the action taken when the user clicks inside the Viewport.
Here is an analytical description of these tools.
Pin Tools button allow the user to place a small panel with all these options
visible in the Viewport (figure 5), in order to have easier access to them. The
Figure 4: Pin Tools
new toolbar appears at the bottom right of the Viewport, but by clicking on
the small horizontal lines at its right side, you can drag it to the position that
is more efficient for you.
Figure 5: Pinned Tools
Figure 6:
Select Tool
Figure 7:
Rotate tool
This is the main (and default) function of your cursor. It allows you to click on
an object in the Viewport and select it. The cursor is transformed to a hand
By clicking on this button, you can rotate your scene by clicking and dragging
to your desired direction.
Tip: you can see your geographical orientation, with the help of a compass
which is located at the bottom right of the Viewport (figure 8).
Figure 8: Viewport Compass
Note 1: rotation around a point, can be done in two ways: around the Global
Frame (center of the axes in the middle of the Viewport) and around the
point you click on. In order to specify your desired way, you need to see if you
are in Dynamic Mode. You can find this mode at the Viewport preferences
(as will be analyzed later). While being in Dynamic Mode, rotation occurs
according to your selected point. This may result in a small delay at the
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beginning of the rotation, for large scenes, but assures more intuitive
rotation. By disabling Dynamic Mode, rotation is carried out around the
Global Frame again.
Figure 9: Disabled and Enabled Dynamic Mode
Note 2: the rotation can be made in another mode as well. By default we
have the rotation around Global Frame or selected point, as described above.
Another way is Fly Mode, which can be enabled at Viewport Preferences. Fly
Mode makes possible to “look around”, which can be very useful when
navigating inside interior scenes.
Figure 10: Fly Mode Off & On
Figure 11:
Pan Tool
Figure 12:
Roll Tool
Figure 13:
Dolly Tool
Figure 14:
Region Tool
Pan button allows you to translate inside the Viewport. This function is also
achieved each time you do a right mouse and drag it around Viewport. By
this way, you can go to any direction you want, without changing orientation.
Note: Pan movement is also affected by Dynamic Mode. When enabled, Pan
is achieved around the specific clicked point of the Viewport. By disabling
Dynamic Mode, Pan uses again the Global Frame as reference point.
By clicking Roll button, you can rotate the scene right and left, around the
axis of the visual field.
Dolly selection, allows you to zoom at the specific clicked point. It works like
the mouse wheel, but this time, zoom center is the point that you click on.
This option allows you to define a specific area in your Viewport and render
it. When clicking on Region button, cursor takes a cross shape. By clicking and
dragging, you can select the desired area. Once you release the button, the
Start Render Window (with main render options) appears. We see in figures
15 and 16, that the rendered image corresponds to the region we have
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Figure 15: Region Selection
Figure 17:
Focus Tool
Figure 16: Rendering Selected
By choosing the Focus Tool, your cursor transforms to a double circle shape
and allows you to choose your desired point of focus. This option is directly
related to the current view Focus Distance and affects the depth of field. You
can change Focus Distance value at the Current View Properties panel too,
but with the Focus Tool, the distance is automatically adjusted according to
the selected point in the Viewport. Starting Interactive Render (as we will
explain later), is a good way to see how the selection of the focus point
affects the rendered image.
Figure 18: Focus Point at the Front
Focus point is at the front sphere( by
clicking on it). Focus Distance has
become 0.731 m. (we can see that at
the Current View Properties panel).
We see that the sphere and the room
at the back are out of focus.
Figure 19: Focus Point at the Back
Focus point is at the back sphere (by
clicking on it). Focus distance has
become 2.151 m. (we can see that at
the Current View Properties panel).
We see that the focus area is located
on the back sphere, while the front
area (lower part of the image) is out
of focus.
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Figure 20:
Brush Tool
Figure 21:
Eraser Tool
The Brush Tool is useful for placing instances on your canvas. This option, like
Eraser Tool, is selectable when you use the Instancing Tool, at Settings
window, and you have already selected an instance and the canvas. By
clicking on Brush Tool, cursor takes a brush shape and by dragging it on the
canvas, instances are placed following the instance motion.
The Eraser Tool is useful when you have already created some instances in
the scene. By selecting it, cursor takes an eraser shape and allows you to
delete the instances at the clicked point on the canvas (or at the a whole
region is case of non-zero Tool Radius, at the Instancing Tool panel).
Figure 22: Undo & Redo Options
These two options allow the user to undo or redo a movement of an object, a grouping procedure
or a delete of an object.
Figure 23: Group & Ungroup Options
When all desired objects are selected (with Control+click you can select multiple objects), you can
put them in a new group, by clicking on the Group button. This group is now appearing at the
Tree View panel, with the default name “New Group” (w you can change it by clicking on it and
retyping the name you want). By pressing the Ungroup button, while the selection being a group,
you can ungroup the objects and delete the previously created group.
Figure 24: Duplicate Object Option
This option allows the user to select an object and duplicate it. The new copied object appears
right on the previous one and is now selected (appears with yellow color lines), so you can now
manipulate it. It is also added to the scene's Tree View.
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Figure 25: Selection of the Original Object
Figure 26: Duplicated Objects
Figure 27: Translate, Rotate and Scale Options
With these actions, user can translate (move), rotate or scale the selected object, by choosing the
corresponding button. In the next figures we see these actions described in detail.
Figure 28: Translation
Translation arrows allow you to
click and drag the object to the
desired position at the
Viewport. You can either select
a single axis and achieve a
movement along this axis only
Figure 29: Rotation
Rotation arrows, are useful for
rotating an object around the
desired axis. By clicking on the
axis arrow that you want, you
can rotate the object around it.
Figure 30: Scaling
Scale arrows enable you to
change an object's size in one
or all dimensions. You can
either select an axis and drag it
out or into to enlarge or shrink
correspondingly the object, or
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or, by clicking in the middle of
the axis (on little gray sphere)
move the object freely. By
clicking and dragging the cross
arrows, you can translate the
object in 2 dimensions. For
example, the green cross
arrows button, which is
between the blue Z-axis and
the red X-axis, moves the
object on the plane that these
2 axes define (X-Z plane), while
its position on the green Y-axis
stays fixed.
by clicking on the middle gray
cube, rescale uniformly in all
Expect from this way for translating, rotating or scaling an object, you can also insert the desired
coordinates' values for more accurate results. When you select an object, you can see at the
Properties Panel (at the left of the Viewport) the Selection Coordinates tab.
At this tab as shown in figure 31, we can see all
the position and texture coordinates of the
object and its textures as well. As you drag the
translation, rotation or scale axes in the way we
previously described, you can see the changes
applied at the corresponding values (X, Y, Z
coordinates) here. Center represents the center
of the object. Min and Max show the position,
in the Viewport, of the object's bounds in each
axis. All coordinates are displayed with respect
to the Global Frame. When you move an object,
its Center and Min and Max values change
automatically. You can also type the desired
values, and the object will be assigned to the
new coordinates. There is also the possibility to
switch from meters to centimeters, millimeters,
inches or feet as the translation unit.. Scale
values change correspondingly whenever you
change your object size. You can specify here
the exact dimensions you need. Rotation values
change too as you rotate an object. Rotation
unit can be degrees or radians.
Figure 31: Properties Panel
All these transformations are being achieved with respect to the object Pivot Point. Pivot Point is
used as a reference point for every object. It is the point where all axes are placed and most
important, any rotation will be applied. By default, most of the times, Pivot Points are at the
center of the object, but this can be changed according to user's preference. In order to change
Copyright © Solid Iris Technologies
an object's Pivot Point, you should enter in Pivot Mode either by pressing “p” key on the keyboard
or by clicking on the corresponding icon at the Viewport preferences tab (as we will describe
later). A new icon will appear at top left of your Viewport as a reminder of being in Pivot Mode.
Figure 32: Enabling Pivot Mode
Figure 33: Being in Pivot Mode
While being in Pivot Mode, you can translate or rotate the axis of the object, without moving the
object at all. When you exit the Pivot Mode and, for example, try to rotate the object, you will
notice that the fixed point, around which the rotation now occurs, is the new Pivot Point. Pivot
Point can be also outside of the object.
Figure 34: Pivot Point
of the object is at the
center – instances are
placed half above the
floor canvas.
Figure 35: Pivot Point
of the object is at the
bottom –instances are
placed right on top of
the floor canvas.
Figure 36: Setting
Pivot Point, outside of
the object.
Figure 37: Rotation
around X-axis at 90
degrees with Pivot
Point outside of the
Figure 38: Delete Object Option
This option allowS the user to delete the selected object(s) or group(s). This function can be also
achieved by right clicking on the object at Viewport (or at Tree View list), then selecting edit and
then Delete.
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Figure 39: Show & Hide Options
These two options give to the user the possibility to hide the selected object(s) from the Viewport
and show them again. The open eye button makes all the objects, that the user has previously
hidden, visible again. The closed eye button, hides from the Viewport the selected object. You can
also hide an object by right clicking on it (in the Viewport or at the Tree View list) and un-checking
the Visible option.
Figure 40: Render Layers
These ten small squares represent the available layers that can be used in your scene. When you
start adding objects in the scene, all objects are added, by default, in layer 0. The first square has
now a small blue dot in it to show that it is containing at least one object.
Figure 41: Layer is containing objects
Many times though, it is useful to have different layers with certain objects in each, so that you
can minimize the visible objects of your scene and work on a specific layer each time. When you
have selected an object, you can right click on it and then Assign Layer to it, by choosing the one
you want. Now, a small blue dot appears also to that new layer, indicating that this layer is
containing at least one object too. If you want to hide a layer (which means hiding all the objects
that are assigned to it) you can simply click on the small square of that layer. The selected layer
square will now appear as shown in the next figure (with an orange triangle corner). All the
objects in it will be hidden. By clicking on the layer square again, its objects will reappear.
Figure 42: Second Layer contains
Object but is hidden.
Tip: by hiding specific layers, not only you hide them from the Viewport, for working more
efficiently, but you exclude them from rendering as well. This means you can select the layers you
want and render only them.
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Figure 43: Rendering all Layers
Figure 44: Rendering only
Layers 2 & 3
Figure 45: Rendering only the
Third Layer
Figure 46: Insert Lights, Cameras and Infinite Plane into the Scene
From this button, user can add lights, cameras or an infinite plane and also select the point that
the new item will be placed.
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Omni Light is a source that emits light uniformly in all directions, like a bare
light bulb. In the next figure we see an inserted point light (at a room without
Figure 47: Omni
other light sources) and how it appears in the Viewport. We can also edit its
specifications at the Selection Properties tab (first button in the Properties
Figure 48: Omni Light in the
Figure 51: Spot
Figure 49: Emittance Properties
for Omni Light
At emittance panel you can
specify the color, the power,
attenuation of your light
Figure 50: Rendering with an
Omni Light
Spot lights, opposite to omni lights, can be controlled to aim light at specific
targets. A Spot light limits lighting within a specific cone only. In the next
figures we see a spot light in the previous scene (without other light sources)
and the specific area that illuminates. Apart from its position, its light beam
can also been controlled.
Figure 52: Spot Light in the
Figure 53: Emittance Properties
for Spot Light
You have two more options to
edit for Spot lights, the Fall Off
and Hot Spot angles (in
Figure 54: Rendering with a
degrees). Hot Spot represents
Spot Light (areas outside the
the angle in which the light
beam do not receive any direct
beam has a constant power
(orange inner cone), while Fall
Off defines the maximum
angle, after which, lighting is
not emitted at all (green-blue
outer cone). Between the Hot
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Spot and the Fall Off the power
reaching zero at Fall Off angle.
Figure 55: IES
IES stands for Illuminating Engineering Society. IES file format was created for
the electronic transfer of photometric data and is basically the measurement
of distribution of light intensity stored in ASCII format. After selecting this
button and inserting a light, you can import these data at the Properties panel
in order to create specific lighting distributions. There are also some default
IES files shipped with Thea Render. You can load them from Thea Render Data
Folder. There is also the ability to preview these lights' beam cones. You can
press the plus (+) sign at the Browser panel (below Viewport) and select the
IES folder. You can now see the existing IES files.
Figure 57: Emittance Properties
for IES Light
Figure 56: IES Light in the
At the Emittance panel, we can
select the IES file we want to Figure 58: Inserting IES-4 Light
load and specify its multiplier.
By this way we can create the
light distribution we want.
Figure 59: Inserting IES-Sample
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Figure 60:
Projector Light
By inserting a projector, you can specify a rectangular area that you want to
light and, by this way, create a kind of illuminating screen. It is similar to spot
light, but with a rectangular beam
Figure 62: Emittance Properties
for a Projector Light
Figure 61: Projector in the
At Projector's properties, you
can select the color or texture
of the projection, the size of
the rectangular area, the
efficacy and the attenuation.
Figure 63: Rendering a Scene
with a Projector
Figure 64: A cool effect using a Projector light with user-defined bitmap and a Global
Medium (0.1 scatter and absorption density in this case) to reproduce a cinema-like
movie projector.
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From the same drop-down menu you can also insert the cameras in the scene.
After inserting the camera, you can always move it to the appropriate location
Figure 65: Insert
and also adjust the area that will capture.
Figure 66: Camera in the
At camera properties window
we can see many different
options for the camera
adjustment. The user can
define the Resolution, the
Film Height (size of the
yellow square) and the Focal
Length at first. At lens
properties, the user can
select among the existing
parallel), define the shutter
speed, the X and Y Shifts and
the Diaphragm. At the last
panel, the user can change
Figure 68: Camera Properies the f-number of the camera,
the Focus Distance and the
Depth of field (in percentage). These last options are useful for
creating and adjusting the depth of field.
Figure 67: Spherical Projection
Figure 69: Insert
Infinite Plane
IPlane stands for infinite plane which is added to the scene on
the X-Y axes. Once it is inserted, it is represented by a
rectangular surface while, when it is rendered, it is infinite.
Figure 70: Infinite Plane in the
Figure 71: Infinite Plane Rendered
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There are three different options that use some key point for inserting items in the Viewport.
Specifying these points, makes it easier in large scenes to insert and locate the new items.
Figure 72: At
Viewer Frame
Inserted objects are positioned
at the origin of the viewer
frame as you see in figure 73
below for an inserted Omni
Figure 74: At
Global Frame
The new objects are all placed
at the start of the axes (Global
Frame) that is located in the
middle of the grid. You can see
it also in figure 75.
Figure 76: At
Cursor Frame
There exists also in your scene,
a small red cross-shape object
that can be moved like all other
objects, and all new inserted
ones will be placed where this
cursor is. (Figure 77)
Figure 73: Inserting a Light at
Viewer's Frame
Figure 75: Inserting a Light at
Global Frame
Figure 77: Inserting a Light at
Cursor Frame
Figure 78: Preference Settings / Viewport Elements Visibility
With this drop-down menu, user can select the desired modes that wants to be in, in order to
achieve specific operations, like changing the pivot point, and hide Viewport elements. All these
options are analyzed here in detail.
Tip: you can also pin this toolbar at the Viewport, for quick selection of the desired preferences.
By clicking on the Pin Tools button, a new window will be placed at the right bottom of the
Viewport. By clicking on the small horizontal lines at its right side, you can drag it wherever you
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Figure 79: Pinned Preference Tools
Figure 80: Fly
Figure 81:
Dynamic Mode
Figure 82: Pivot
Figure 83:
Draw Edges
Fly Mode, is used to create a “View Around” effect, just like someone is
standing at viewer frame and looks the space all around. The effect of Fly
Mode is applicable while using the Rotate Tool, as we have previously
explained. While in default mode, rotation takes place around clicked point or
Global Frame, in Fly Mode, rotation takes place around viewer frame itself.
While being in Dynamic Mode, rotation, pan and dolly movements occur
according to your selected point. This means that the whole movement of the
view (in order to rotate for example or zoom in) is taking place according to
the specific point that you click on and not around the global axis. This may
result in a small delay at the beginning of the rotation-pan-dolly movement,
for large scenes, but usually it is more intuitive. By disabling Dynamic Mode,
all these movements are being carried out around the global frame instead.
While being in Pivot Mode, the user can translate or rotate the axes of a
selected object in Viewport, without moving object itself. Only the placement
of axes is changing and from now on, they are being used as the reference
point from which the movement of the object will be performed. More
details can been seen in previous figures (figures 32-37).
As will be analyzed later, there are four ways of seeing the objects in the
Viewport: Pointcloud, Wireframe, Solid and Hiddenline mode. When in
wireframe mode (where we see only the meshing of the objects), we can
choose to see the full meshing (all edges) of the object, by enabling the Draw
Edges option. The same effect is also achieved while being in Hiddeline mode
(where only the front visible lines are seen for each object and not the
geometry inside or behind them).
Figure 84: Scene
in Wireframe
Mode with Draw
Ended Disabled
Figure 85: Scene
in Wireframe
Mode with Draw
Ended Enabled
Figure 86: Scene
in Hiddenline
Mode with Draw
Ended Disabled
Figure 87: Scene
in Hiddenline
Mode with Draw
Ended Enabled
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Figure 88: Draw
This button can be very useful in large scenes with many objects since it
allows the user to view only the selected object.
Note: even if the user sees only the selected object, the whole scene is
rendered though. In case you only need this item to be rendered, you can put
it in a new layer and then render this layer only.
Figure 89: Initial Scene at
the Viewport
Figure 90: Viewing
Selection Only
Figure 91: Whole Scene
is Rendered
Figure 92: Draw
This option enables the user to see or not the Gizmo (the axes icon) when an
item is selected. When we need though to translate, rotate or scale an object,
Draw Gizmo must be enabled. This option exists as a safety switch, to avoid
moving an object by accident (which for example, could cause the restart of
the Interactive Render).
Figure 93: Draw
Draw Frame button shows or hides the axes icon at the left bottom side of
the Viewport. This is a replica of the Global Frame, fixed at the corner of the
Viewport, which helps user to visualize the current orientation. Note, that in
Thea Render, Z-axis is considered to be pointing upwards.
Figure 94: Axes Frame in Viewport
Figure 95: Draw
Compass can be found at the right bottom of the Viewport and shows the
geographical orientation of the user. Compass icon can be enabled or not by
this button.
Figure 96: Compass in Viewport
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Figure 97:
Draw Grid
This button allows the user to turn on or off the Grid (squares at the ground)
placed on X-Y plane. Grid helps the user to get a quick qualitive impression of
the size and placement. Note: each square is 1x1 square meters.
Figure 98: Grid is Visible
Figure 99: Grid is Invisible
Figure 100: Transform, Animation, Interactive Render Tools
In this drop-down menu, there exist three very useful options: the Transform window, the
Animation Tool and the Interactive Render which will be explained in detail below.
Figure 101:
By clicking on this button, a new window appears at the top right side of the
Viewport. In the next figures we see the available options in this window.
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Figure 102:
At the top of this bar, there are four main buttons. The first one, is the
transform button, which shows the coordinates of the selected object, exactly
as we see them at the Properties panel (at the left side of the Viewport). You
can click at each cell and enter the values you want for your object position,
scale and rotation.
From these three buttons, the two first are useful for aligning two or more
objects with each other. The first button allows the user to align the selected
objects, so they are all at the same vertical line (X & Y coordinates of the
second object change). The second button, allows the user to stack the
selected objects, so that one object comes over the other, without changing
Figure 103:
Alignment Options their X & Y coordinates though. The third button can be used for one or more
objects bringing everything selected on the ground. In the next images we
can see these options visually.
Figure 104: Initial
Position of
Figure 106:
Aligning the
Figure 108:
Stacking the
Figure 110:
Moving Objects to
the Ground
Figure 105: Right
View -Initial-
Figure 107: Right
View -Align-
Figure 109: Right
View -Stack-
Figure 111: Right
View -Ground-
The fourth option in this window, with the name Bitmap, allows the user to
select a texture and edit its coordinates (click and write) and its projection on
the object. These coordinates (position, scale, rotation) can be also found at
the Properties (at the left side of the Viewport), at the Texture Coordinates
panel. From there the user can choose also the desired projection. In this
Figure 112:
Bitmap Properties window, the main four projections are only available: UV, Cube (Cubic),
Sphere (Spherical) and Tube (Cylindrical).
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Figure 113:
Animation Tool
Animation button opens the Animation Toolbar, which enables the user to
edit object motion, by setting appropriately the key frames. Animation
toolbar works together with the Animation tab, which can be found at the
Settings > Render panel at the right side of the Viewport (figure 114).
Figure 115: Setting Key Frames
Figure 114: Animation Tab
at Render Settings
At first, user must define
the total frames for the
animation (20 for example),
the frame rate, the current
frame (which also changes
in the Viewport animation
toolbar), which frames will
be rendered and the day
light animation of the sun –
sky in the scene.
At this toolbar (figure 115), which is located at
the bottom of the Viewport, user can set the
desired key frames when defining the object
motion. There are also buttons for deleting key
frames and playback the animation. The white
key is used for adding/saving and adjusting the
object animation. You can choose another key
frame, perform the necessary object
movements and save the key frame again. By
choosing another key frame, after doing the
necessary movements of the object, we can
save the key frame again. By repeating this
procedure you can create an animation. You will
need to render all the key frames that take part
in the animation in order to have the full
movement rendered.
Figure 116: Animation Toolbar in Detail
Here, we describe the function of the buttons of
the Animation Toolbar, from left to right, as we
see in figure 116.
A: these buttons are used for going to the first,
previous, next and last frame correspondingly.
B: with these buttons the user can go to the first
and last key frame.
C: these buttons are used for setting a key
frame, deleting it and deleting all the key
D: with these buttons, the user can perform a
playback, a playback in loop and a reverse
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Figure 117: Initial Position
Figure 118: Creating
Animation Path
Interactive Render is a very useful tool that allows the user to create a
rendered preview of the scene inside the Viewport and get continuous render
Figure 119:
Interactive Render feedback during staging operations. This toolbar, appears at the left of the
Viewport, and works together with the Interactive Render Properties panel at
the left side of the Viewport (see it in figure 141). In the next figures we see
these options and we analyze in detail each parameter. Apart from the
horizontal lines at the top, which help us to move the window to the desired
position in the Viewport, and the close button at the bottom, we have eight
buttons, in total.
Figure 120:
Figure 121:
Synchronous Display: this option allows you (when enabled) to see the
rendered image all the time while you move around the Viewport (auto
refresh must be on too) without typical OpenGL mesh visualization during
transition. This is the case when Synchronous Display is disabled; in this
during the render restart, there exists an initial delay, where instead of
waiting for the frame to be available, the typical OpenGL mesh visualization is
performed. In very heavy scenes though, you can find that Synchronous
Display results in a smoother navigation.
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Figure 122:
Auto Refresh
Figure 123:
Start IR
Auto Refresh: most of the times, you will need to see the rendered image
being refreshed during the scene staging. The Auto Refresh button (re)starts
rendering continuously while you are making changes.
Start Interactive Render: this is the button that allows you to start interactive
render whenever you want to see how your scene looks from the current
view. As soon as you make any change to the scene, the interactive render
Stop Interactive Render: once you are satisfied with your rendered image,
Figure 124: Stop you can stop interactive render. If you have enabled the Auto Refresh though,
rendering will start again when you make a change.
Figure 125: IR
Render Resolution: there are five different resolutions that you can choose
for the interactive render. After pressing the render resolution button a list
appears with the available choices. Remember that the resolution you have
chosen will be the same to the image that you may want to save (save button
is below resolution button and is explained later on).
Tip: in case you shrink or enlarge the Viewport size, interactive render will
start again. This happens to all resolutions except the Camera frame.
Figure 126: IR Resolution Figure 127: IR Resolution Figure 128: IR Resolution
at 320x240
at 400x300
at 500x375
The first three available resolutions are these of 320x240, 400x300 and
500x375. They all open a new window next to the Interactive Render Toolbar,
as we see in figures 126, 127 and 128. These resolutions give you the
possibility to work in parallel in the Viewport, move, edit, apply materials,
etc., and see at the same time these changes appearing (automatically if auto
refresh is on or by hitting start button).
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Camera Frame
Figure 129: IR Resolution at Camera
At camera frame, the resolution of
the rendered area is the same as the
resolution of the current view (see
figure 129). We can change this
resolution at the Current View
Properties panel, where you can
specify the resolution you need. You
will see, that the rest Viewport is
invisible (covered with gray color) but
you still can move around. Another
very useful element of rendering at
camera frame, is the fact that
Viewport changes in size do not affect
the rendering window and therefore
Interactive Render is not restarted.
Figure 130: IR Resolution Overlay
With overlay resolution, the rendering
resolution is the same as the
resolution of the Viewport. Assuming
the application is maximized, this
resolution directly relates to the
monitor resolution itself, minus the
space the rest panels occupy (see
figure 130).
Save Image: this button allows you to save the rendered image that has been
Figure 131: Save created using the Interactive Render tool.
Figure 132:
Toggle Display Mode: with this option, you can switch between the rendered
view, the OpenGL Viewport and an in-between image. This function works for
Overlay or camera resolutions only and the blended image works only for
wireframe model display (which we will analyze later).
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Figure 133: Rendering
Figure 136:
Figure 134: Rendering
and Wireframe Blended
Figure 135: Wireframe
View (Rendering
continues in the
Refresh Render Display: this button allows you to refresh your image, after
changing some of the display options that can be found at the left side of the
Viewport (see figures 137 and 139), as for example the ISO or the f-number,
without the need to start interactive rendering again. Since Interactive
Render is is refreshed periodically its main use is to refresh it when rendering
has been stopped. In the next figures we have changed some settings twice
to show how the rendered image looks after hitting refresh.
Figure 137:
Exposure Settings
Figure 138:
Updated Image 1
Figure 139:
Exposure Settings
Figure 140:
Updated Image 2
Note: these display controls are equivalent to the Darkroom controls; as soon
as you make a change to one panel, the other panel is updated with the same
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As we have mentioned, the parameters of the Interactive Render itself (such as the engine core,
the super-sampling, etc.), can be found at the Interactive Render Properties panel at the left side
of the Viewport (figure 142).
As we can see, the user can select at first the desired
engine core for the Interactive Render tool. The available
options are: Unbiased* (MC), Progressive (BSD) and
Adaptive (AMC). Then, values like Supersampling, used
Threads, Tracing Depth and Caustics can be edited. Note,
that for certain engines, some parameters are not
available, as for example, the Diffuse Depth is only
available with the Progressive (BSD) engine. Ambient
Occlusion and Ambient Lighting are also available for
editing with the Progressive engine only.
Figure 141: IR Properties Panel
Figure 142: Import & Export IR Settings
At the top right side of this panel, you can notice two small buttons with arrows (figure 142). The
first one allows you to apply to the Interactive Render Properties panel, the render settings that
you may have already specified in your scene (Settings > Render). The next button makes the
opposite. It enables you to apply the Interactive Render Properties to your scene and, by this way,
you can render your image at the Darkroom, exactly with the same settings used in the
Interactive Render tool.
Figure 143: Hiding Toolbar
This option allows the user to hide the Action Toolbar completely. In practice, this works like a
minimize window function. Instead of the whole toolbar, a small button appears now at the left
top of the Viewport, which brings up the toolbar again.
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Figure 144: Toolbar Minimized
Viewer toolbar is located at the bottom of the Viewport and includes all the options related to the
way the scene is drawn in the Viewport. These are:
2 3 4
5 6
7 8
Figure 145: Viewer Toolbar
1. View Selection
2. Next Camera View
3. Mount Camera
4. Go to Selected Camera View
5. Model Display
6. Switch to Parallel View
7. Fit Selected Object in View
8. Center Selected Object in View
9. Hide Toolbar
All these options will now be explained in detail.
Figure 146: View Selection Options
These menu options help the user to quickly switch between predefined views of the scene. So,
the whole scene can be viewed from the Front and Back side, Left and Right, Top and Bottom. In
the next images we have these six different views of a car scene.
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Figure 147: Car Front View
(Behind of Y-axis)
Figure 148: Car Back View (In
Front of Y-axis)
Figure 149: Car Left View
(Behind of X-axis)
Figure 150: Car Right View (In
Front of X-axis)
Figure 151: Car Top View (In
Front of Z-axis)
Figure 152: Car Bottom View
(Behind Z-axis)
Figure 153: Next Camera View tool
Most of the times, there are more than one camera in the scene, each one covering a different
view. This button, allows the user to move to the next camera view. The cameras are all listed at
the Tree View with names Camera #n (n=1,2,3,..) or custom user names (all names are editable).
Once you press the Next Camera View button, the view changes to the next camera in the list. By
pressing it again, you go to the next one, until you return to the beginning. This procedure can be
repeated as long as is needed.
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Figure 154: Camera #1 View
Figure 155: Camera #2 View
Figure 156: Camera #3 View
Figure 157: Mount Camera tool
This option allows the camera to change accordingly to our movement inside the Viewport. To be
more specific, once we are at a camera and see its view (you will see the Camera name above the
toolbar) we can press the Mount Camera button. The camera then will be following any
movement or change of view, inside the Viewport (note that the focus rectangle and camera
name turn to red), and in this way, we can adjust easily the position of the camera. By unmounting the camera (press Mount Camera again), the camera is now placed at the last view and
stops following our movement.
Figure 158: Initial Camera
Figure 159: Mounting a Camera Figure 160: Image is Rendered
in the Viewport
at final Camera's position
Tip 1: there is also the way to manually place the camera to the desired position with the gizmos,
just like any other object in the Viewport.
Tip 2: the mount button helps also when previewing animation. After the animation path of an
Copyright © Solid Iris Technologies
object has been created, you can select a camera to follow this movement. You can copy and
paste the motion from the object to the camera and the camera will move along. By pressing the
mount button, you can also view the image from within camera view as it changes, while the
animation is played back (see figure 118).
Figure 161: Mounting a Camera Figure 162: Mounting a Camera Figure 163: Mounting a Camera
while Playing Animation - Key while Playing Animation - Key while Playing Animation - Key
Frame 0
Frame 15
Frame 30
Figure 164: Go to Selected Camera View Tool
This button allows you to go to the view of the camera you have selected. You may have changed
view, but once you press the Go to Selected Camera button, you see you scene as it is seen from
the selected camera. If you select another camera from the Tree View list and press this button,
you go also to its view.
Figure 165: Model Display Options
There are four ways to see the objects in the Viewport and so we have four Model Display
options: Pointcloud, Wireframe, Solid and Hiddenline.
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Figure 166: Pointcloud Figure 167: Wireframe
As we see in the figure,
at Pointcloud view, the
object vertices are only
with dots). A cube for
example, has one dot
at each corner. Note
that the Pointcloud
display is the fastest
In Wireframe mode,
the edges of the
objects are drawn. Α
cube is drawn with one
line for each edge and
we can see even the
back edges.
Figure 168: Solid
Figure 169: Hiddenline
In Solid display mode,
the objects are fully
drawn, using a material
basic lighting (one light
exactly on viewer,
acting like a flash light.
Note that only the
active texture bitmap is
being displayed (this is
set for each material
material lab).
The Hiddenline view is
like the Wireframe,
with the difference
that only the front
faces of the meshes
are visible. Note that
the Hiddenline view is
slightly slower than the
Wireframe mode.
Figure 170: Switch to Parallel View Tool
Parallel View corresponds to orthogonal projection of the scene. It means that the phenomenal
size of the objects dies not change with the distance from the viewer. We can see the way that
Parallel View looks like in the next figures. You can go back to perspective view, by clicking again
this button (Switch to Perspective View).
Note: Parallel View helps aligning objects. Since, their projected position is not affected by the
distance, we can visually align objects by making their edges coincident.
Figure 171: Perspective
- Wireframe Mode
Figure 172: Parallel Wireframe Mode
Figure 173: Perspective
- Solid Mode
Figure 174: Parallel Solid Mode
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Figure 175: Fit Selected Object in View Tool
This options allows the user to select an object and move in front of it so that it occupies almost
all the Viewport area. This means that a zoom in or out is taking place.
Figure 176: Initial
Object View
Figure 177: Selected
Object Fits in View
Figure 178: Center Selected Object in View Tool
This option helps the user to have the selected object centered in the view. This time, there is no
zoom in or out, only a horizontal or vertical translation of the current view that shows the object
in the center of the Viewport.
Figure 179: Initial View
of the Scene
Figure 180: Selected
Object in Center
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Figure 181: Hiding Toolbar
This option allows the user to hide the Viewer Toolbar completely. It actually works as a minimize
window function. Instead of the whole toolbar, a small button appears now at the left bottom of
the Viewport, which brings up the Toolbar again once is pressed.
Figure 182: Toolbar Minimized
Note: Viewer Toolbar (in contrast to Action Toolbar) changes the view in the corresponding
window only. There is a hidden action, activated when the user presses “0” (zero) on the
keyboard, that splits the Viewport in four smaller ones. View modes can be different in each one
of them as it is shown in figure 183.
Figure 183: Viewport Split in Four
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