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Autodesk
VIZ
Autodesk VIZ
Volume I
®
User Reference
© 2007 Autodesk, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Third-Party Software Credits and Attributions
OpenEXR Bitmap I/O Plugin © 2003-2005 SplutterFish, LLC.
OpenEXR © 2003 Industrial Light and Magic a division of Lucas Digital Ltd. LLC.
Zlib © 1995-2003 Jean-loup Gaily and Mark Adler.
HDRI Import created 2002 by SplutterFish and Cuncyt Ozdas.
Portions Copyrighted © 2000-2005 Size8 Software, Inc.
Portions of this software are Copyright 1998-2004 Hybrid Graphics Limited.
This product includes Radiance software (http://radsite.lbl.gov/) developed by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (http://www.lbl.gov/).
The JPEG software is copyright © 1991-1998, Thomas G. Lane. All Rights Reserved.
Portions Copyrighted mental images GmbH 1989-2002.
Portions Copyright © IntegrityWare, Inc.; Npower Software LLC. All rights reserved.
Portions Copyright © 1991-1996 Arthur D. Applegate. All rights reserved.
Lenzfx and Max R2 Copyright © Digimation, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Published By: Autodesk, Inc.
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toc
Contents
Introduction ............................................... vii
Welcome .................................................................... vii
What’s New in Autodesk VIZ 2008.......................... viii
Autodesk VIZ Documentation Set ............................ ix
About MAXScript ...................................................... xi
1
Getting Started with Autodesk VIZ ............ 1
Getting Started with Autodesk VIZ ............................ 1
Project Workflow......................................................... 1
Setting Up Your Scene ................................................. 4
Modeling Objects ........................................................ 5
Using Materials............................................................ 6
Placing Lights and Cameras........................................ 6
Animating Your Scene................................................. 8
Rendering Your Scene ................................................. 8
The Autodesk VIZ Window ........................................ 9
Special Controls......................................................... 10
Managing Files .......................................................... 13
Importing, Merging, Replacing, and Externally
Referencing Scenes ................................................. 14
Using the Asset Browser ............................................ 15
Startup Files and Defaults ......................................... 16
3dsviz.ini File............................................................. 17
Backing Up and Archiving Scenes ............................ 17
Crash Recovery System ............................................. 18
2
Viewing and Navigating 3D Space ........... 19
Viewing and Navigating 3D Space ............................ 19
General Viewport Concepts...................................... 20
Home Grid: Views Based on the World
Coordinate Axes ..................................................... 21
Understanding Views ................................................ 22
Setting Viewport Layout ........................................... 24
Controlling Viewport Rendering.............................. 25
Controlling Display Performance ............................. 26
Using Standard View Navigation .............................. 26
Zooming, Panning, and Rotating Views................... 27
Using Walkthrough Navigation ................................ 28
Navigating Camera and Light Views......................... 31
Adaptive Degradation Toggle ................................... 32
Grab Viewport........................................................... 33
View-Handling Commands .................................... 33
View-Handling Commands...................................... 33
Undo View Change / Redo View Change ................. 34
Save Active View........................................................ 35
Restore Active View................................................... 35
Viewport Image Dialog ............................................. 36
Select Background Image Dialog .............................. 40
Update Background Image ....................................... 42
Reset Background Transform ................................... 43
Show Transform Gizmo ............................................ 43
Show Ghosting .......................................................... 44
Show Key Times ........................................................ 44
Shade Selected ........................................................... 45
Show Dependencies .................................................. 45
Create Camera From View ........................................ 46
Add Default Lights to Scene ...................................... 46
Redraw All Views....................................................... 47
Activate All Maps ...................................................... 48
Deactivate All Maps .................................................. 48
Update During Spinner Drag.................................... 48
Expert Mode.............................................................. 48
Controlling Object Display .................................... 49
Controlling Object Display ....................................... 49
Display Color Rollout ............................................... 49
Hide By Category Rollout ......................................... 50
Hide Rollout .............................................................. 51
Freeze Rollout............................................................ 51
iv
Contents
Display Properties Rollout ........................................ 52
Link Display Rollout.................................................. 55
Object Display Culling Utility................................... 56
3
Window/Crossing Selection Toggle ......................... 90
Edit Commands....................................................... 91
Edit Commands ........................................................ 91
Undo/Redo ............................................................... 91
Hold/Fetch................................................................. 92
Delete......................................................................... 92
Selecting Objects ....................................... 57
Selecting Objects ....................................................... 57
Introducing Object Selection .................................... 57
Basics of Selecting Objects ........................................ 60
Selecting by Region ................................................... 62
Using Select By Name................................................ 63
Using Named Selection Sets...................................... 63
Using Selection Filters ............................................... 64
Selecting with Track View ......................................... 65
Selecting with Schematic View.................................. 66
Freezing and Unfreezing Objects .............................. 66
Hiding and Unhiding Objects by Selection .............. 67
Hiding and Unhiding Objects by Category .............. 68
Isolate Selection......................................................... 69
Introduction to Sub-Object Selection....................... 70
Groups and Assemblies.......................................... 93
Groups and Assemblies............................................. 93
Using Groups............................................................. 93
Using Assemblies....................................................... 95
Group Commands................................................... 99
Group Commands .................................................... 99
Group......................................................................... 99
Open Group ............................................................ 100
Close Group............................................................. 100
Ungroup .................................................................. 100
Explode Group ........................................................ 101
Detach Group .......................................................... 101
Attach Group ........................................................... 101
Selection Commands ............................................. 72
Assembly Commands ........................................... 102
Selection Commands ................................................ 72
Select Object ............................................................. 73
Select By Name ......................................................... 74
Selection Floater ........................................................ 76
Selection Region Flyout............................................. 77
Selection Filter List .................................................... 77
Filter Combinations Dialog....................................... 78
Assembly Commands ............................................. 102
Assemble.................................................................. 102
Open Assembly ....................................................... 104
Close Assembly........................................................ 104
Disassemble ............................................................. 105
Explode Assembly ................................................... 105
Detach Assembly ..................................................... 105
Attach Assembly...................................................... 105
Named Selections ................................................... 79
Named Selection Sets ................................................ 79
Named Selection Sets Dialog ................................... 80
Edit Named Selections Dialog................................... 83
Select All .................................................................... 84
Select None ................................................................ 84
Select Invert ............................................................... 84
Select By..................................................................... 84
Select By Color .......................................................... 84
Select By Name (Edit Menu) ..................................... 85
Select By Layer........................................................... 85
Select Similar ............................................................. 85
Assembly Head Helper Objects ........................... 106
Assembly Head Helper Object ................................ 106
Luminaire Helper Object ........................................ 106
4
Object Properties Dialog Panels ......................... 109
General Panel (Object Properties Dialog) .............. 109
Advanced Lighting Panel (Object Properties
Dialog) .................................................................. 115
mental ray Panel (Object Properties Dialog).......... 118
User Defined Panel (Object Properties Dialog)...... 119
Rename Objects Tool .............................................. 119
Region Selection..................................................... 85
Selection Region........................................................ 85
Rectangular Selection Region .................................. 86
Circular Selection Region ......................................... 86
Fence Selection Region ............................................. 87
Lasso Selection Region ............................................. 87
Paint Selection Region .............................................. 88
Region ....................................................................... 89
Select Region Window .............................................. 89
Select Region Crossing ............................................. 90
Object Properties..................................... 109
Object Properties..................................................... 109
Expression Techniques......................................... 120
Expression Techniques ............................................ 120
Trigonometric Functions ........................................ 123
Vectors ..................................................................... 125
5
Creating Geometry .................................. 127
Creating Geometry.................................................. 127
Basics of Creating and Modifying Objects.......... 127
Contents
Basics of Creating and Modifying Objects ............. 127
Using the Create Panel............................................. 128
Identifying the Basic Building Blocks ..................... 129
Creating an Object .................................................. 131
Railing ..................................................................... 190
Wall.......................................................................... 195
Editing Wall Objects................................................ 200
Stairs...................................................................... 204
Assigning Colors to Objects.................................... 132
Object Color Dialog ................................................ 133
Color Selector Dialog .............................................. 135
Color Clipboard Utility........................................... 138
Stairs ........................................................................ 204
L-Type Stair ............................................................. 205
Spiral Stair ............................................................... 208
Straight Stair............................................................ 212
U-Type Stair ............................................................ 216
Adjusting Normals and Smoothing .................... 139
Doors ..................................................................... 219
Adjusting Normals and Smoothing ........................ 139
Viewing and Changing Normals............................. 139
Viewing and Changing Smoothing......................... 140
Doors ....................................................................... 219
Pivot Door ............................................................... 224
Sliding Door ............................................................ 225
BiFold Door............................................................. 225
Assigning Colors to Objects................................. 132
Creating Geometric Primitives ............................ 142
Geometric Primitives .............................................. 142
Creating Primitives from the Keyboard.................. 142
Standard Primitives.............................................. 143
Standard Primitives................................................. 143
Box Primitive........................................................... 144
Cone Primitive ........................................................ 145
Sphere Primitive ...................................................... 147
GeoSphere Primitive ............................................... 149
Cylinder Primitive ................................................... 150
Tube Primitive ......................................................... 152
Torus Primitive........................................................ 153
Pyramid Primitive................................................... 155
Teapot Primitive ...................................................... 156
Plane Primitive ........................................................ 158
Extended Primitives ............................................. 159
Extended Primitives ................................................ 159
Hedra Extended Primitive ...................................... 160
Torus Knot Extended Primitive .............................. 162
ChamferBox Extended Primitive ............................ 164
ChamferCyl Extended Primitive............................. 165
OilTank Extended Primitive ................................... 167
Capsule Extended Primitive.................................... 168
Spindle Extended Primitive .................................... 169
L-Ext Extended Primitive........................................ 171
Gengon Extended Primitive.................................... 172
C-Ext Extended Primitive ....................................... 173
RingWave Extended Primitive ................................ 175
Prism Extended Primitive ....................................... 177
Hose Extended Primitive ........................................ 178
Windows................................................................ 226
Windows.................................................................. 226
Awning Window...................................................... 230
Casement Window .................................................. 231
Fixed Window ......................................................... 232
Pivoted Window...................................................... 233
Projected Window................................................... 234
Sliding Window....................................................... 235
Shapes ................................................................... 236
Shapes ..................................................................... 236
Shape Check Utility................................................. 239
Splines ................................................................... 239
Splines and Extended Splines.................................. 239
Line Spline ............................................................... 244
Rectangle Spline ...................................................... 246
Circle Spline............................................................. 246
Ellipse Spline ........................................................... 247
Arc Spline ................................................................ 248
Donut Spline............................................................ 249
NGon Spline ............................................................ 250
Star Spline................................................................ 251
Text Spline ............................................................... 252
Helix Spline ............................................................. 254
Section Spline .......................................................... 255
Extended Splines .................................................. 257
Architectural Objects ........................................... 182
WRectangle Spline .................................................. 257
Channel Spline ........................................................ 258
Angle Spline............................................................. 259
Tee Spline................................................................. 261
Wide Flange Spline.................................................. 261
Architectural Objects .............................................. 182
Editable Spline...................................................... 262
AEC Extended Objects.......................................... 182
Editable Spline......................................................... 262
Editable Spline (Object) .......................................... 268
Editable Spline (Vertex) ......................................... 270
Editable Spline (Segment) ...................................... 277
AEC Extended Objects............................................ 182
Working with AEC Design Elements...................... 182
Foliage...................................................................... 186
v
vi
Contents
Editable Spline (Spline) .......................................... 282
Compound Objects............................................... 287
Compound Objects ................................................. 287
Scatter Compound Object....................................... 287
Connect Compound Object.................................... 294
ShapeMerge Compound Object ............................. 297
Boolean Compound Object ................................. 300
Boolean Compound Object .................................... 300
Material Attach Options Dialog .............................. 307
Terrain Compound Object...................................... 308
Loft Compound Object......................................... 313
Loft Compound Object........................................... 313
Creation Method Rollout ........................................ 315
Surface Parameters Rollout ..................................... 315
Path Parameters Rollout.......................................... 317
Skin Parameters Rollout.......................................... 319
Deformations .......................................................... 324
Deform Scale ........................................................... 325
Deform Twist........................................................... 325
Deform Teeter.......................................................... 326
Deform Bevel........................................................... 327
Deform Fit ............................................................... 328
Deformation Dialog ................................................ 329
Path Commands...................................................... 333
Shape Commands ................................................... 334
Compare Dialog ...................................................... 335
Creating Systems .................................................. 335
Systems .................................................................... 335
Sunlight and Daylight Systems ........................... 336
Sunlight and Daylight Systems................................ 336
Geographic Location Dialog................................... 340
6
Transforms: Moving, Rotating, and
Scaling Objects ........................................ 341
Moving, Rotating, and Scaling Objects .................. 341
Axis Tripod and World Axis ................................... 342
Using Transforms.................................................. 342
Using Transforms .................................................... 342
Using Transform Gizmos ........................................ 344
Transform Type-In .................................................. 348
Animating Transforms ............................................ 350
Transform Managers ............................................... 351
Specifying a Reference Coordinate System............. 352
Choosing a Transform Center................................. 353
Using the Axis Constraints...................................... 355
Reset XForm Utility ................................................ 356
Transform Commands .......................................... 356
Transform Commands ............................................ 356
Select and Move ...................................................... 357
Select and Rotate .................................................... 357
Select and Scale ....................................................... 358
Select and Uniform Scale ........................................ 359
Select and Non-Uniform Scale ............................... 359
Select and Squash ................................................... 360
Transform Coordinates and Coordinate
Center ................................................................. 360
Transform Coordinates and Coordinate Center..... 360
Reference Coordinate System ................................. 361
Use Center Flyout .................................................... 363
Use Pivot Point Center ............................................ 364
Use Selection Center ............................................... 364
Use Transform Coordinate Center ......................... 365
Transform Tools .................................................... 365
Transform Tools ...................................................... 365
Array Flyout............................................................. 366
Mirror Selected Objects .......................................... 366
Array ....................................................................... 368
Snapshot ................................................................. 371
Spacing Tool ........................................................... 372
Clone and Align Tool .............................................. 377
Align Flyout............................................................. 379
Align ....................................................................... 380
Quick Align ............................................................ 382
Normal Align .......................................................... 383
Place Highlight ....................................................... 384
Align Camera .......................................................... 385
Align to View .......................................................... 386
Index ......................................................... 387
intro
Introduction
Welcome
If you’re new to this software, this would be a good
place to start: Getting Started with Autodesk VIZ
(page 1–1).
Here’s where you can get an overview of the entire
documentation set: Autodesk VIZ Documentation
Set (page 1–ix).
You can find a guide to using the electronic version
of this reference (page 3–571).
And here’s a list of other important introductory
topics:
Managing Scenes and Projects (page 3–89)
Viewing and Navigating 3D Space (page 1–19)
Image courtesy of Sergio Muciño
Welcome to the Autodesk VIZ Help. This reference
contains detailed information about all the features
and capabilities of Autodesk VIZ®, which brings
architectural modeling and visualization to your
desktop system.
The reference is organized by functional areas.
The “User Interface” chapter gives you a guide to
program controls and where to find them.
If you’ve already used previous versions of
this program, you might want to start with a
description of what’s new in this version (page
1–viii).
Selecting Objects (page 1–57)
Object Properties (page 1–109)
Creating Geometry (page 1–127)
Moving, Rotating, and Scaling Objects (page 1–341)
Creating Copies and Arrays (page 2–1)
Using Modifiers (page 2–28)
Surface Modeling (page 2–309)
Precision and Drawing Aids (page 2–597)
Animation Concepts and Methods (page 2–645)
Lights and Cameras (page 2–891)
viii
Introduction
Advanced Lighting Panel (page 2–1376)
Material Editor, Materials, and Maps (page 2–1015)
Rendering (page 2–1341)
Effects and Environments (page 3–1)
User Interface (page 3–341)
Customizing the User Interface (page 3–471)
Keyboard Shortcuts (page 3–569)
frame rate and number of polys, faces, edges,
and vertices, both for the entire scene and for
the current selection. The display updates in
real time.
• The new Hidden Line rendering method (page
3–553) improves visual feedback by simplifying
wireframe viewport display.
• You can now set any viewport to display the
Track View interface.
Mapping
What’s New in Autodesk VIZ 2008
This latest release of Autodesk VIZ brings
compelling new features and value to the problems
you face on a day-by-day basis. This short guide
is to help you understand what those features are
and how they can help you.
Note: This topic doesn’t comprehensively list all the
changes in Autodesk VIZ. As you proceed through
the documentation, keep an eye out for the
icon, which designates a new feature. You can also
use the index in this reference to identify topics
that contain information about new features in the
program. For topics that describe new program
features, check the index entry "new feature in
2008". For changes in existing features, check the
index entry "changed feature in 2008".
Following is a list of major new features with brief
descriptions and links to the relevant reference
topic:
General Improvements
• Core performance enhancements have been
made to Autodesk VIZ 2008 to maximize
your productivity and accelerate your creative
workflow. For example, enjoy greater viewport
interactivity when working with dense meshes.
• Also useful for interactivity is the new viewport
statistics (page 2–595) feature, which displays
in the viewport information about the current
• New in Unwrap UVW (page 2–239) are
streamlined options for viewing map seams.
Rendering
• mental ray 3.5 software adds powerful
rendering functionality to Autodesk VIZ 2008.
Features include:
• Create photorealistic sunlight, skylight, and
skies with visible sun with the Sun & Sky
(page 2–934) solution.
• The new mental ray Arch & Design material
(page 2–1162) improves the image quality
of architectural renderings and improves
workflow and performance in general and
make it easier for designers and architects
to create effects such as rounded corners,
blurred reflections, frosted glass, and glossy
surfaces such as floors.
• The new mental ray Car Paint material (page
2–1190) is ideal for re-creating the unique
new-car look and feel, with four layers for
pigment, metal flakes, clear coat, and, if the
car’s been on the road a bit, dirt. The same
features are also available in the Car Paint
shader.
• Global illumination in mental ray is now
far more accessible with final gather (page
2–1437) presets and easier-to-use controls.
Autodesk VIZ Documentation Set
• When rendering very large images from the
command line you can now specify how images
are to be split and stitched. See Command-Line
Rendering Switches (page 2–1523).
Scene and Project Management
• The Configure User Paths (page 3–495) dialog
lets you set individual paths to be absolute or
relative to the current project folder.
• Many enhancements have been made to XRefs
(page 3–97) in Autodesk VIZ 2008. You can
now reference all aspects of systems, including
geometry and materials. You can also reference
controllers (page 2–711) and can maintain
dependencies between XRef items. The XRef
system’s new dependency handling lets you
preview object relationships in both merge and
XRef operations, providing more control over
how external objects are used.
• Autodesk VIZ supports multiple materials per
object in DWG files exported as ACIS solids
from Revit Architecture/Structure/MEP 2008
and later, as well as solid primitives created in
AutoCAD Architecture 2008 (formerly ADT)
and later. See Support of Multiple Materials on
Imported ACIS Solids (page 3–223).
Autodesk VIZ Documentation Set
The documentation set for Autodesk VIZ
comprises online material only.
• Autodesk VIZ 2008 Installation Guide:
Includes information about system
requirements and troubleshooting. It also
tells you how to maintain and uninstall
Autodesk VIZ.
The Installation Guide is available in PDF
format on the product disc, in the \manuals
folder.
• Autodesk VIZ 2008 Help : This document
covers fundamental concepts and strategies for
using the product, as well as details about the
features of Autodesk VIZ. In this version of
the product, the this manual is available online
only.
Access the reference online by choosing Help
> Autodesk VIZ Help.
• Autodesk VIZ 2008 Tutorials: Contains
tutorial information and detailed procedures
to walk you through increasingly complex
operations. This is the best source for learning
Autodesk VIZ.
• DWF Export (page 3–241) now supports named
camera views, so you can choose different views
by name in the DWF Viewer program.
Access the tutorials by choosing Help >
Tutorials.
• Reloading XRef items works correctly even
when an object in the source scene has been
renamed, or deleted and then re-created with
the same name.
tutorials are found on the program disc. None
of these files are installed automatically.
• The new Select Similar (page 1–85) command
lets you select all items in an imported or linked
DWG file with the same style(s) (page 3–165),
as defined in AutoCAD Architecture.
• Thanks to a revamped interface, the DWG
Import (page 3–225) toolset for geometry is
now significantly easier to use.
Note: All the sample files required to do the
A PDF version of the tutorials is also on the
product disc, in the \manuals folder.
• MAXScript Reference: Describes the
MAXScript scripting language (page 1–xi). This
reference is available online only. Check out the
“Learning MAXScript” chapter there if you’re
new to MAXScript.
Access the MAXScript Reference by choosing
Help > MAXScript Reference.
ix
x
Introduction
• Readme (viz_readme.rtf ): Contains the latest
information about Autodesk VIZ 2008. Access
this electronic document from the opening
screen of the Autodesk VIZ Installer or in the
\Docs directory of the Install DVD.
Additional Help Files
In addition to the main documentation
components described above, these additional
online documents describe various features
available in Autodesk VIZ 2008.
• The 3ds Max/VIZ SDK Help system documents
the software development kit (SDK) for:
• Autodesk VIZ
• mental ray
• MAXScript
Using the SDK, you can create new
Autodesk VIZ features and tools by writing
your own plug-ins.
Note: For information on installing the SDK
and SDK documentation, please see the
VIZ Installation Guide. You can also find
SDK downloads, sample solutions, and
documentation updates on the sparks Web site.
• Additional mental ray® Help Files:
Documentation from mental images® is
available from Help menu > Additional Help.
There, you’ll find the mental ray 3.5 Reference,
comprising the mental ray Manual, mental ray
Shader Reference, and LumeTools Collection.
Note: Third-party shaders are documented in
the mental ray Shader Reference, and LumeTools
Collection documents, but the Autodesk VIZ
2008 Help documents all other mental ray
components available in the Autodesk VIZ user
interface. This includes documentation for
lights for mental ray and specific shadow types,
controls for adding mental ray shaders to lights
and cameras, mental ray materials, custom
shaders for Autodesk VIZ, and the mental ray
renderer controls.
• Autodesk License Borrowing Utility Help:
Available as the file adsk_brw.chm, installed
in the \program files\common files\autodesk
shared\enu folder on your local drive.
• Portable License Utility Help: Available as the
file adsk_plu.chm, installed in the \program
files\common files\autodesk shared\enu folder
on your local drive.
• Autodesk VIZ Software Development Kit
Help Files: Available as the files sdk.chm and
sparks_archive.chm, installed in the autodesk viz
2007\maxsdk\help folder on your local drive.
The file index.chm is installed in the autodesk
viz 2007\maxsdk\samples\howto\xrefutil folder.
You can find updated SDK documentation on
the sparks Web site.
Install Documentation
All of the following install documents are available
from the Autodesk VIZ Install DVD. You can
access them from the Documentation link found
in the bottom left corner of each page, or in the
\Docs folder at the root of the Install DVD.
• Stand-Alone Licensing Guide: Available as the
file adsk_slg.pdf.
• Network Licensing Guide: Available as the file
adsk_nlg.pdf.
• Network Administrator’s Guide: Available as
the file adsk_nag_viz.pdf.
• SAMreport-Lite User’s Guide: Available as the
file Samlite_ug.pdf.
• Autodesk Vault 5 for Autodesk VIZ Readme:
Available as the file vault5_viz_readme.htm.
• Autodesk Vault 2008 for Autodesk
VIZ Readme: Available as the file
vault2008_viz_readme.htm.
About MAXScript
• 3ds Max 9 SDK Upgrade Guide: Available as
the file max9_sdk_upgrade_guide.chm.
• 3ds Max 9 SDK Install Guide: Available as the
file 3dsmax_SDK_install_guide.chm.
How to Print from the Online
Documentation Files
If your computer is connected to a printer, you can
print single help topics or entire chapters.
To print a topic or chapter, highlight the topic or
chapter title and click the Print button at the top of
the help display. A dialog appears.
The tabs available at the top of the dialog depend
on the selected printer. Choose options for the
print job, and click OK to begin printing.
How to Contact Us
We are also interested in hearing your views
about Autodesk VIZ. We’d like to hear ways you
think we can improve our program, features
you’re interested in, as well as your views on the
documentation set.
About MAXScript
MAXScript is the built-in scripting language for
Autodesk VIZ. It provides users with the ability to:
• Script all aspects of Autodesk VIZ use, such
as modeling, animation, materials, rendering,
and so on.
• Control Autodesk VIZ interactively through a
command-line shell window.
Choose to print only the selected topic, or to print
all topics in that chapter. After you make your
selection, another dialog appears where you can
choose your printer and other options.
• Package scripts within custom utility panel
rollouts or modeless windows, giving them a
standard Autodesk VIZ user interface.
• Build custom import/export tools using the
built-in file I/O.
• Write procedural controllers that can access the
entire state of the scene. Build batch-processing
tools, such as batch-rendering scripts.
• Set up live interfaces to external system using
OLE Automation.
The MAXScript language is specifically
designed to complement Autodesk VIZ. It is
object-oriented, and has several special features
and constructs that mirror high-level concepts in
the Autodesk VIZ user interface. These include
coordinate-system contexts, an animation mode
with automatic keyframing, and access to scene
objects using hierarchical path names that match
the Autodesk VIZ object hierarchy.
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Introduction
The syntax is simple enough for non-programmers
to use, with minimal punctuation and formatting
rules.
Visual MAXScript
Visual MAXScript is a powerful addition to
MAXScript, making the MAXScript feature easier
to learn and use. With Visual MAXScript, you
can quickly create UI elements and layouts for
scripting.
For detailed information about Visual MAXScript,
open the MAXScript Reference, available from
Help menu > MAXScript Reference.
See also
MAXScript Interface (page 3–466)
Procedure
To access MAXScript, do one of the following:
• On the menu bar, choose MAXScript. The
MAXScript menu appears.
• Choose Utilities panel > MAXScript.
From here, you can either write new scripts, edit
or run existing scripts, open the MAXScript
Listener, or use the Macro Recorder.
To access the MAXScript Listener, you can also
right-click in the Mini Listener and choose
Open Listener Window from the right-click
menu.
For detailed information about the MAXScript
utility, open the MAXScript Reference, available
from Help menu > MAXScript Reference.
Getting Started with Autodesk VIZ
You use Autodesk VIZ to quickly create
professional-quality 3D models, photorealistic still
images, and film-quality animation on your PC.
• Animating Your Scene (page 1–8)
• Rendering Your Scene (page 1–8)
The Autodesk VIZ Window (page 1–9)
• Special Controls (page 1–10)
• Quad Menu (page 3–359)
• Customize Display Right-Click Menu (page
3–473)
Managing Files (page 1–13)
• Importing, Merging, and Replacing Scenes (page
1–14)
• Using the Asset Browser (page 1–15)
• Startup Files and Defaults (page 1–16)
Before using this reference material, we highly
recommend you get to know Autodesk VIZ
firsthand by following the included tutorials. You
can access the tutorials using the Help menu >
Tutorials command.
This section presents these brief topics designed to
help you quickly start using Autodesk VIZ.
• Project Workflow (page 1–1)
• Setting Up Your Scene (page 1–4)
• Modeling Objects (page 1–5)
• Using Materials (page 1–6)
• Placing Lights and Cameras (page 1–6)
• 3dsviz.ini File (page 1–17)
• Backing Up and Archiving Scenes (page 1–17)
• Crash Recovery System (page 1–18)
Project Workflow
Once you’ve installed Autodesk VIZ (see the
Installation Guide included with your software
package), you open it from the Start menu, or use
any other Windows method. The figure below
shows the application window with a scene file
loaded.
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Chapter 1: Getting Started with Autodesk VIZ
Modeling Objects
Main program window
Note: If you open Autodesk VIZ from a
Command Prompt window or batch file, you
can add command-line switches. See Starting
Autodesk VIZ from the Command Line (page
3–343).
Note: Autodesk VIZ is a single-document
application, meaning you can work on only one
scene at a time. However, you can open more than
one copy of Autodesk VIZ and open a different
scene in each copy. Opening additional copies of
Autodesk VIZ requires a lot of RAM. For the best
performance, you should plan to open one copy
and work on one scene at a time.
Opening multiple copies of Autodesk VIZ is not
supported in Windows ME.
You model and animate objects in the viewports,
whose layout is configurable. You can start with a
variety of 3D geometric primitives. You can also
use 2D shapes as the basis for lofted or extruded
objects. You can convert objects to a variety of
editable surface types, which you can then model
further by pulling vertices and using other tools.
Another modeling tool is to apply modifiers to
objects. Modifiers can change object geometry.
Bend and Twist are examples of modifiers.
Modeling, editing, and animation tools are
available in the command panels and toolbar. See
Modeling Objects (page 1–5). Also, you can learn
a good deal about modeling from the tutorials
available from Help menu > Tutorials.
Project Workflow
Material Design
(page 2–891). You can learn more about lighting
by following the Lighting tutorial.
The cameras you create have real-world controls
for lens length, field of view, and motion control
such as truck, dolly, and pan. See Cameras (page
2–984).
Animation
You design materials using the Material Editor,
which appears in its own window. You use the
Material Editor to create realistic materials by
defining hierarchies of surface characteristics.
The surface characteristics can represent static
materials, or be animated (using image-sequence
maps). See Material Editor (page 2–1029).
Lights and Cameras
You can begin animating your scene at any time by
turning on the Auto Key button. Turn the button
off to return to modeling. You can learn more
about animating in the Animating Your Scene topic
(page 1–8) and from most of the tutorials.
When the Auto Key button is on, Autodesk VIZ
automatically records the movement, rotation,
and scale changes you make, not as changes
to a static scene, but as keys on certain frames
that represent time. You can also animate many
parameters to make lights and cameras change
over time, and preview your animation directly in
the Autodesk VIZ viewports.
You create lights with various properties to
illuminate your scene. The lights can cast shadows,
project images, and create volumetric effects for
atmospheric lighting. Physically-based lights let
you use real-world lighting data in your scenes
and Radiosity (page 2–1377) provides incredibly
accurate light simulation in renderings. See Lights
You use Track View (page 2–795) to control
animation. Track View is a floating window
where you edit animation keys, set up animation
controllers, or edit motion curves for your
animated effects.
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Chapter 1: Getting Started with Autodesk VIZ
Rendering
Animating Your Scene (page 1–8)
Rendering Your Scene (page 1–8)
Setting Up Your Scene
You start with a new unnamed scene when you
open the program. You can also start a new scene
at any time by choosing New or Reset from the
File menu.
Choosing a Unit Display
Rendering adds color and shading to your scene.
The renderers available with Autodesk VIZ include
features such as selective ray tracing, analytical
antialiasing, motion blur, volumetric lighting, and
environmental effects. See Rendering Your Scene
(page 1–8). The tutorials can help you learn about
rendering.
When you use the default scanline renderer, a
radiosity solution (page 2–1377) can provide
accurate light simulation in renderings, including
the ambient lighting that results from reflected
light. When you use the mental ray renderer,
a comparable effect is provided by global
illumination (page 2–1419).
You choose a system of unit display on the Units
Setup dialog (page 3–548). Choose from Metric,
Standard US, and Generic methods, or design a
custom measuring system. You can switch between
different systems of unit display at any time.
Note: For best results, use consistent units when
you are going to:
• Merge scenes and objects (page 3–168).
• Use XRef objects (page 3–98) or XRef scenes
(page 3–111).
Setting the System Unit
If your workstation is part of a network, network
rendering can distribute rendering jobs over
multiple workstations. See Network Rendering
(page 2–1485).
The System Unit setting, in the Units Setup dialog
(page 3–548), determines how Autodesk VIZ
relates to distance information you input to your
scene. The setting also determines the range for
round-off error. Consider changing the system
unit value only when you model very large or very
small scenes.
A Typical Project Workflow
Setting Grid Spacing
These topics explain the basic procedures for
creating scenes:
Set spacing for the visible grid in the Grid And
Snap Settings dialog > Home Grid panel (page
2–638). You can change grid spacing at any time.
Setting Up Your Scene (page 1–4)
Modeling Objects (page 1–5)
Using Materials (page 1–6)
Placing Lights and Cameras (page 1–6)
See Precision and Drawing Aids (page 2–597) for
information about the system unit, unit display,
and grid spacing.
Modeling Objects
Setting the Viewport Display
creation parameters. The program organizes the
Create panel into these basic categories: Geometry,
Shapes, Lights, Cameras, Helpers, and Systems.
Most categories contain multiple subcategories
from which you can choose.
Viewport layout options
You can also create objects from the Create
menu by choosing an object category and type
and then clicking or dragging in a viewport to
define the object’s creation parameters. The
program organizes the Create menu into these
basic categories: Standard Primitives, Extended
Primitives, Compound Objects, NURBS Surfaces,
AEC Extended, Stairs, Doors, and Windows.
The default full-screen Perspective viewport in
Autodesk VIZ is a good way to work with large
scenes. Set options in the Viewport Configuration
dialog (page 3–552) to change viewport layout and
display properties.
See Viewing and Navigating 3D Space (page 1–19)
for more information.
Saving Scenes
See Basics of Creating and Modifying Objects (page
1–127).
Save your scene frequently to protect yourself from
mistakes and loss of work. See Backing Up and
Archiving Scenes (page 1–17).
Selecting and Positioning Objects
Modeling Objects
After selecting objects, you position them in your
scene using the transform tools Move, Rotate, and
Scale. Use alignment tools to precisely position
objects.
1. Modify panel
2. Create panel
3. Object categories
You model objects in your scene by creating
standard objects, such as 3D geometry and 2D
shapes, and then applying modifiers to those
objects. The program includes a wide range of
standard objects and modifiers.
Creating Objects
You create objects by clicking an object category
and type on the Create panel and then clicking
or dragging in a viewport to define the object’s
You select objects by clicking or dragging a region
around them. You can also select objects by name
or other properties such as color or object category.
See Selecting Objects (page 1–57), Moving,
Rotating, and Scaling Objects (page 1–341), and
Precision and Drawing Aids (page 2–597).
Modifying Objects
You sculpt and edit objects into their final form by
applying modifiers from the Modify panel. The
modifiers you apply to an object are stored in a
stack. You can go back at any time and change the
effect of the modifier, or remove it from the object.
See Basics of Creating and Modifying Objects (page
1–127).
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Chapter 1: Getting Started with Autodesk VIZ
Using Materials
You use the Material Editor to design materials and
maps to control the appearance of object surfaces.
Maps can also be used to control the appearance
of environmental effects such as lighting, fog, and
the background.
realistic, single-color materials using just the basic
properties.
Using Maps
You extend the realism of materials by applying
maps to control surface properties such as texture,
bumpiness, opacity, and reflection. Most of the
basic properties can be enhanced with a map. Any
image file, such as one you might create in a paint
program, can be used as a map, or you can choose
procedural maps that create patterns based on
parameters you set.
The program also includes a raytrace material
and map for creating accurate reflections and
refraction.
Viewing Materials in the Scene
A variety of materials in the Material Editor’s sample slots
You can view the effect of materials on objects
in a shaded viewport, but the display is just an
approximation of the final effect. Render your
scene to view materials accurately.
See Designing Materials (page 2–1015).
Placing Lights and Cameras
You place lights and cameras to complete your
scene in much the same way lights and cameras are
placed on a movie set prior to filming.
Left: House rendered without materials
Right: House rendered with materials for greater realism
Basic Material Properties
You set basic material properties to control
such surface characteristics as default color,
shininess, and level of opacity. You can create
Placing Lights and Cameras
in conjunction with the Autodesk VIZ radiosity
solution (page 2–1377), photometric lights let you
evaluate more accurately (both physically and
quantitatively) the lighting performance of your
scene.
Photometric lights are available from the Create
panel > Lights drop-down list.
Daylight System
Lights and cameras placed to compose a scene
Default Lighting
Default lighting evenly illuminates the entire scene.
Such lighting is useful while modeling, but it is not
especially artistic or realistic.
Placing Lights
You create and place lights from the Lights category
of the Create panel when you are ready to get more
specific about the lighting in your scene.
The program includes the following standard light
types: omni, spot, and directional lights. You can
set a light to any color and even animate the color
to simulate dimming or color-shifting lights. All
of these lights can cast shadows, project maps, and
use volumetric effects.
The Daylight system (page 1–336) combines
sunlight (page 3–687) and skylight (page 3–683)
to create a unified system that follows the
geographically correct angle and movement of
the sun over the earth at a given location. You
can choose location, date, time, and compass
orientation. You can also animate the date and
time. This system is suitable for shadow studies of
proposed and existing structures.
Viewing Lighting Effects in the Scene
When you place lights in a scene, the default
lighting turns off and the scene is illuminated only
by the lights you create. The illumination you
see in a viewport is just an approximation of the
true lighting. Render your scene to view lighting
accurately.
Tip: If the Daylight system appears to wash out the
scene, try using the Logarithmic exposure control
(page 3–77).
See Guidelines for Lighting (page 2–899).
Placing Cameras
Photometric Lights
Photometric lights (page 2–921) provide you
with the ability to work more accurately and
intuitively using real-world lighting units (lumens
and candelas). Photometric lights also support
industry-standard photometric file formats (IES
(page 2–948), CIBSE (page 3–613), LTLI (page
3–644)) so that you can model the characteristics
of real-world manufactured luminaires, or even
drag ready-to-use luminaires from the Web. Used
You create and place cameras from the Cameras
category of the Create panel. Cameras define
viewpoints for rendering, and you can animate
cameras to produce cinematic effects such as
dollies and truck shots.
You can also create a camera automatically from a
Perspective viewport by using the Create Camera
from View command (page 1–46) found on the
Views menu. Just adjust your Perspective viewport
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Chapter 1: Getting Started with Autodesk VIZ
until you like it, and then choose Views > Create
Camera From View. Autodesk VIZ creates a
camera and replaces the Perspective viewport with
a Camera viewport showing the same perspective.
graphically show how a value changes over time
in the Curve Editor mode. Alternatively, you can
display your animation as a sequence of keys or
ranges on a grid in the Dope Sheet mode.
See Common Camera Parameters (page 2–992).
See Track View (page 2–795).
Animating Your Scene
Rendering Your Scene
You can animate any transform parameter in
your scene. Click the Auto Key button to enable
automatic animation creation, drag the time slider,
and make changes in your scene to create animated
effects.
Controlling Time
The program starts each new scene with 100
frames for animation. Frames are a way of
measuring time, and you move through time by
dragging the time slider (page 3–389). You can also
open the Time Configuration dialog (page 3–412)
to set the number of frames used by your scene
and the speed at which the frames are displayed.
Rendering "fills in" geometry with color, shadow, lighting
effects, and so on.
Use the rendering features to define an
environment and to produce the final output from
your scene.
Animating Transforms
While the Auto Key button is on, the program
creates an animation key (page 3–641) whenever
you transform an object.
See Animation Concepts and Methods (page
2–645).
Editing Animation
You edit your animation by opening the Track
View window or by changing options on the
Motion panel. Track View is like a spreadsheet that
displays animation keys along a time line. You edit
the animation by changing the keys.
Track View has two modes. You can display the
animation as a series of function curves that
Defining Environments and
Backgrounds
Rarely do you want to render your scene against the
default background color. Open the Environment
And Effects dialog > Environment panel (page
3–53) to define a background for your scene, or to
set up effects such as fog.
Setting Rendering Options
To set the size and quality of your final output,
you can choose from many options on the Render
Scene dialog (page 2–1342). You have full control
over professional grade film and video properties
as well as effects such as reflection, antialiasing,
and shadow properties.
The Autodesk VIZ Window
Rendering Images and Animation
You render a single image by setting the renderer
to render a single frame of your animation. You
specify what type of image file to produce and
where the program stores the file.
Rendering an animation is the same as rendering
a single image except that you set the renderer to
render a sequence of frames. You can choose to
render an animation to multiple single frame files
or to popular animation formats such as AVI or
MOV.
See Render Scene Dialog (page 2–1342).
The Autodesk VIZ Window
is to right-click the object, and then choose Track
View Selected from the quad menu.
You can customize the user interface in a variety
of ways: by adding keyboard shortcuts, moving
toolbars and command panels around, creating
new toolbars and tool buttons, and even recording
scripts into toolbar buttons.
MAXScript lets you create and use custom
commands in the built-in scripting language.
For more information, access the MAXScript
Reference from the Help menu.
Menu Bar
A standard Windows menu bar with typical File
(page 3–345), Edit (page 3–345), and Help (page
3–354) menus. Special menus include:
• Tools (page 3–346) contains duplicates of many
of the Main toolbar commands.
• Group (page 3–346) contains commands for
managing combined objects.
• Views (page 3–346) contains commands for
setting up and controlling the viewports.
• Create (page 3–347) contains commands for
creating objects.
• Modifiers (page 3–349) contains commands for
modifying objects.
The Autodesk VIZ Window
Most of the main window is occupied by the
viewports, where you view and work with your
scene. The remaining areas of the window hold
controls and show status information.
One of the most important aspects of using
Autodesk VIZ is its versatility. Many program
functions are available from multiple user-interface
elements. For example, you can open Track View
for animation control from the Main toolbar as
well as the Graph Editors menu, but the easiest
way to get to a specific object’s track in Track View
• Animation (page 3–351) contains commands
for animating and constraining objects, plus
commands such as Bone Tools for setting up
animated characters.
• Graph Editors (page 3–352) provides graphical
access to editing objects and animation: Track
View lets you open and manage animation
tracks in Track View (page 2–795) windows.
• Rendering (page 3–352) contains commands
for rendering, radiosity, (page 2–1377)and the
environment.
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Chapter 1: Getting Started with Autodesk VIZ
• Customize (page 3–353) gives you access
to controls that let you customize the user
interface.
• Utilities (page 3–464) holds miscellaneous
utilities.
• MAXScript (page 3–466) has commands for
working with MAXScript, the built-in scripting
language.
Status Bar and Prompt Line
For more information about the Autodesk VIZ
menus, see Menu Bar (page 3–344).
Time Controls
The Auto Key button (page 2–648) turns on
animation mode. The other controls navigate
through time and play back an animation.
Command Panel
This collection of six panels provides handy
access to most of the modeling and animation
commands.
You can "tear off " the command panel and place it
anywhere you like.
By default, the command panel is docked at the
right of your screen. You can access a menu
that lets you float (page 3–620) or dismiss the
command panel by right-clicking just above it.
If it is not displayed, or you want to change its
location and docking or floating status, right-click
in a blank area of any toolbar, and choose from
the shortcut menu.
• Create (page 3–443) holds all object creation
tools.
These two lines display prompts and information
about your scene and the active command, toggles
controlling selections, precision, and display
properties. See Status Bar Controls (page 3–387).
Viewports
You can display from one to four viewports. These
can show multiple views of the same geometry, as
well as the Asset Browser and MAXScript Listener.
See Viewports (page 3–415).
Viewport Navigation Buttons
The button cluster at the lower-right corner of
the main window contains controls for zooming,
panning, and navigating within the viewports. See
Viewport Controls (page 3–415).
Special Controls
Autodesk VIZ uses some special user interface
controls, which are described in this topic.
• Right-click menus (page 1–10)
• Flyouts (page 1–11)
• Rollouts (page 1–11)
• Scrolling panels and toolbars (page 1–11)
• Spinners (page 1–12)
• Modify (page 3–444) holds modifiers and
editing tools.
• Numerical Expression Evaluator (page 1–12)
• Hierarchy (page 3–459) holds linking and
inverse kinematics parameters.
• Controls and color (page 1–13)
• Motion (page 3–459) holds animation
controllers and trajectories.
• Display (page 3–461) holds object display
controls.
• Entering numbers (page 1–12)
• Undoing actions (page 1–13)
Right-Click Menus
The program uses several different types of
right-click menus.
Special Controls
For object editing you can use the quad menu
(page 3–359). Commands on the quad menu vary
depending on the kind of object you are editing
and the mode you are in.
Rollouts
Right-clicking a viewport label displays the
viewport right-click menu (page 3–418), which
lets you change viewport display settings, choose
which view appears in the viewport, and so on.
Rollouts are areas in the command panels and
dialogs that you can expand (roll out) or collapse
(roll in) to manage screen space. In the illustration
above, the Keyboard entry rollout is collapsed, as
indicated by the + sign, and the Parameters rollout
is expanded, as indicated by the sign.
Also, the command panel and the Material Editor
have right-click menus that let you manage rollouts
and navigate the panel quickly. And most other
windows, including Schematic View and Track
View, have right-click menus that provide fast
access to commonly used functions.
Flyouts
1. Flyout arrow
2. Flyout buttons
To open and close a rollout:
• Click the rollout title bar to toggle between
expanded and collapsed.
To move a rollout:
• You can move a rollout in the expanded or
collapsed state. To move the rollout, drag the
rollout title bar to another location on the
command panel or dialog. As you drag, a
semi-transparent image of the rollout title bar
follows the mouse cursor. When the mouse is
positioned over or near a qualifying position
for the rollout, a blue, horizontal line appears at
the position where the rollout will drop when
you release the mouse button.
Scrolling Panels and Toolbars
A flyout (page 3–629) is similar to a menu, except
that its items are buttons. A flyout button is
indicated by a small arrow in the lower-right
corner. To display the flyout, click and hold the
button for a moment, then choose a button by
dragging the cursor to it and then releasing the
mouse button.
Sometimes a command panel or dialog is not large
enough to display all of its rollouts. In this case,
a pan ("hand") cursor appears over the inactive
parts of the panel. You can scroll command panels
and dialogs vertically, and you can scroll a toolbar
along its major axis.
Note: You can define customized text annotations
To scroll a panel:
for flyouts by editing the vizstart.cui file. See
Customize Menu (page 3–353).
1. Place the pointer over an empty area of a panel
to display the pan cursor.
2. When the pointer icon changes to a hand, drag
the panel up or down.
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Chapter 1: Getting Started with Autodesk VIZ
A thin scroll bar also appears on the right side
of the scrolling panel. You can use the pointer
to drag the scroll bar as well.
To scroll a toolbar:
You can scroll a toolbar only when some tool
buttons are not visible. This typically occurs when
the program window is smaller than full screen.
Numerical Expression Evaluator
While a numeric field is active, you can display
a calculator called the Numerical Expression
Evaluator. To display the calculator, press
Ctrl+N .
1. First, follow either of the procedures below:
• Place the pointer over an empty area of a
toolbar to display the pan cursor.
• Place the pointer over any part of a toolbar,
then press and hold the middle mouse
button.
2. When the pointer icon changes to a hand, drag
the toolbar horizontally.
Spinners
A spinner is a mouse-based control for numeric
fields. You can click or drag the spinner arrows to
change the value in the field.
To change a value using a spinner, do any of the
following:
• Click the spinner’s up arrow to increment the
value; click the down arrow to decrement the
value. Click and hold for continuous change.
• Drag upward to increase the value, or drag
downward to decrease it.
• Press Ctrl while you drag to increase the rate
at which the value changes.
• Press Alt while you drag to decrease the rate
at which the value changes.
• Right-click a spinner to reset the field to its
minimum value.
The expression you enter is evaluated, and its
result is displayed in the Result field. Click Paste
to replace the field value with the result of the
calculation. Click Cancel to exit the Expression
Evaluator.
The expressions you can enter are described in
Expression Techniques (page 1–120). You can’t use
variables in the Expression Evaluator, but you can
enter the constants pi (circular ratio), e (natural
logarithm base), and TPS (ticks per second).
These constants are case-sensitive: the Expression
Evaluator does not recognize PI, E, or tps.
You can also enter a vector expression, but the
result of the expression or function must be a
scalar value. Otherwise, the Expression Evaluator
won’t evaluate it.
Entering Numbers
You can change a numeric value by a relative offset
by highlighting the contents of a numeric field
(not in the Numerical Expression Evaluator) and
typing R or r followed by the offset amount.
For example, a Radius field shows 70 and you
highlight it:
• If you enter R30, 30 is added to the radius and
the value changes to 100.
• If you enter R-30, 30 is subtracted from the
radius and the value changes to 40.
Managing Files
Controls and Color
The user interface uses color cues to remind you
what state the program is in.
Note: You can customize most of these colors
by using the Colors panel (page 3–485) of the
Customize User Interface dialog (page 3–477).
• Red for animation: The Auto Key button,
the time slider background, and the border of
the active viewport turn red when you are in
Animate mode.
• Yellow for modal function buttons: When
you turn on a button that puts you in a generic
creation or editing mode, the button turns
yellow.
• Yellow for special action modes: When you
turn on a button that alters the normal behavior
of other functions, the button is highlighted
in yellow. Common examples of this behavior
include sub-object selection and locking your
current selection set.
You can exit a functional mode by clicking another
modal button. Other exit methods supported by
some buttons include right-clicking in a viewport,
or clicking the modal button a second time.
Use the Views menu > Undo and Redo commands
(page 1–34) to reverse the effects of most viewport
operations, such as zooming and panning. You
can also use Shift+Z for Undo View Change and
Shift+Y for Redo View Change.
You can also undo actions by using the Hold and
Fetch commands on the Edit menu. Choose Edit
menu > Hold to save a copy of your scene in a
temporary file. Then choose Edit menu > Fetch to
discard your current scene and revert to the held
scene at any time.
Managing Files
Autodesk VIZ supports many types of files for
working with image maps, rendering images and
animations.
File dialogs (such as Open, Save, Save As)
uniformly remember the previous path you used,
and default to that location.
Configuring File Paths
The locations that Autodesk VIZ searches to locate
all file types are specified on the Customize menu
> Configure Paths dialogs (page 3–495).
Undoing Actions
You can easily undo changes you make to your
scene and your viewports. There are separate
Undo buffers for both the scene objects and each
viewport.
Use the toolbar Undo and Redo buttons (page 1–91)
or the Edit menu > Undo and Redo commands to
reverse the effects of most scene operations. You
can also use Ctrl+Z for Undo and Ctrl+Y for
Redo. Most things you do in the program can be
undone.
You can choose to open and save files in any path
location. The Configure Paths dialog contains four
panels for the general categories of support files.
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Chapter 1: Getting Started with Autodesk VIZ
Setting General File Paths
The File I/O panel (page 3–498) contains paths for
most of the standard support files. You can specify
one path for each of file types Autodesk VIZ uses.
Importing, Merging, Replacing,
and Externally Referencing Scenes
Setting Plug-In File Paths
Many features of Autodesk VIZ are implemented
as plug-ins. This means you can change and
extend Autodesk VIZ functionality by adding new
plug-ins from Autodesk Media and Entertainment
or from third-party developers.
You tell Autodesk VIZ where to find additional
plug-in files by adding path entries on the 3rd
Party Plug-Ins panel (page 3–501). If you place
all of your plug-ins in a single directory, plug-in
file management can become messy. That’s why
the program supports multiple entries on the 3rd
Party Plug-Ins panel.
Setting Bitmap and Photometric File Paths
The External Files panel (page 3–499) contains
multiple path entries that the program searches
for image files (page 3–283), downloaded files (via
i-drop (page 3–212)), and foliage maps. Image files
are used for many purposes, such as material and
map definition, light projections, and environment
effects.
Setting XRefs File Paths
The XRefs panel (page 3–500) contains multiple
path entries that the program uses to search for
externally referenced files. These are used for
sharing files in a workgroup situation.
Gear model imported to become part of another scene
You can realize great productivity gains when you
reuse work by combining geometry from scenes
or other programs. Autodesk VIZ supports this
technique with the Import, Merge, and Replace
commands. You can also share scenes and objects
with others working on the same project using
XRef functionality.
Importing Geometry from Other
Programs
Use File menu > Import (page 3–172) to bring
objects from other programs into a scene. The
types of files that you can import are listed in
the Files Of Type list in the Select File To Import
dialog.
Depending on the file type you choose, you might
have options available for that import plug-in.
Using the Asset Browser
Merging Scenes Together
Using External References
Use XRef Objects (page 3–98) and XRef Scenes
(page 3–111) to use objects and scene setups
in your scene that are actually referenced from
external MAX files. These functions allow sharing
files with others in your workgroup, with options
for updating and protecting external files.
Using the Asset Browser
Left: Dragging geometry into the scene
Pipe and ashtray models merged into one scene
Use Merge (page 3–168) to combine multiple
scenes into a single large scene. When you merge
a file, you can select which objects to merge. If
objects being merged have the same name as
objects in your scene, you have the option to
rename or skip over the merged objects.
Replacing Scene Objects
Use Replace (page 3–171) to replace objects in
your scene with objects in another scene that have
duplicate names. Replace is useful when you want
to set up and animate your scene with simplified
objects, and then replace the simple objects with
detailed objects before rendering.
The Replace dialog looks and functions the same
as Merge, except that it lists only objects that have
the same name as objects in your current scene.
Right: Dragging a bitmap onto the geometry
The Asset Browser provides access from your
desktop to design content on the World Wide Web.
From within Autodesk VIZ you can browse the
Internet for texture samples and product models.
This includes bitmap textures (BMP, JPG, GIF,
TIF, and TGA) and geometry files (MAX, 3DS,
and so on).
You can drag these samples and models into
your scene for immediate visualization and
presentation. You can snap geometry into
predefined locations, or drag and drop them
interactively in your scene.
You can also use the Asset Browser to browse
thumbnail displays of bitmap textures and
geometry files on your hard disk or shared
network drives. Then you can either view them or
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Chapter 1: Getting Started with Autodesk VIZ
drag and drop them into your scene or into valid
map buttons or slots.
Note: The thumbnail display of a geometry file is a
bitmap representation of a view of the geometry.
Since the thumbnail display is not a vector-based
representation, you can’t rotate it or perform
zooms on it.
You can drag and drop most graphic images that
are embedded in a Web page into your scene. The
exception is images or regions of a Web page that
are tagged as hyperlinks or other HTML controls
(such as when a bitmap is tagged as a button).
Important: Downloaded content might be subject to
use restrictions or the license of the site owner. You are
responsible for obtaining all content license rights.
For complete details, see Asset Browser (page
3–191).
Startup Files and Defaults
When you start Autodesk VIZ, several auxiliary
files load, setting things like program defaults and
UI layout. You can even create a scene, named
vizstart.max, that automatically loads when you
start or reset the program. In some cases, the
program updates files when you change settings
and when you quit the program.
including the graphics driver, directories used
to access external files such as sounds and
images, preset render sizes, dialog positions,
snap settings, and other preferences and default
settings. If you edit this file, be sure to make a
copy first, so you can return to the original if
anything goes wrong.
Note: Many program defaults are set in
currentdefaults.ini, found within the \defaults
directory. For more information on this file, see
Market-Specific Defaults (page 3–476).
• vizstart.max: At startup and when you reset
the program, Autodesk VIZ looks for this file
in the VIZStart folder specified in Configure
User Paths > File I/O panel (page 3–498), and if
found, loads it. This allows you to specify the
default state of the workspace whenever you
start or reset the program. For example, if you
always use a ground plane, you can make it the
default setup by creating one, and then saving
it as vizstart.max.
If you save a different file over vizstart.max,
you can return to program defaults by deleting
the vizstart.max file, and then resetting the
program.
Note: Autodesk VIZ comes with several different
• vizstartui.cui: This is the default custom user
interface file. You can load and save CUI files,
and set the program to use a different default
CUI file. See Customize Menu (page 3–353).
market-specific defaults (page 3–476). These set
different program defaults on startup, based on
the type of files you expect to work on most often.
You can load the preset defaults that come with
Autodesk VIZ, or you can create your own.
• plugin.ini: This file contains directory paths
for plug-ins. Most other paths are kept in the
program INI file, but plugin.ini is maintained
as a separate file because third-party plug-ins
often add entries to the list at installation.
In general, you don’t need to work directly with the
auxiliary files, but it’s good to know about them.
Among the auxiliary files the program uses are:
Note: It is possible to use multiple plug-in
• 3dsviz.ini (page 1–17) : This file gets updated
when you start and exit Autodesk VIZ, as well
as when you change most Preferences settings.
It contains values relating to program defaults,
configuration files by nesting additional paths
in your plugin.ini file. This can be very useful
for allowing an entire network of users to share
one plugin.ini file, making the system easier
to maintain for the network administrator.
3dsviz.ini File
For more information, see Network Plug-In
Configuration (page 3–502).
• startup.ms: A MAXScript file that automatically
executes at startup time. For more information,
see Startup Script (page 3–685).
[Directories]—Defines the default paths for various
file operations.
[Performance]—Controls that speed up viewport
performance.
[PlugInKeys]—Turns on or off the keyboard
• splash.bmp: To substitute a custom splash
screen (startup screen) for the default image,
copy any Windows Bitmap (.bmp) file into
the program root directory and rename it
splash.bmp. The program will thereafter use
this image at startup.
Preset files.
3dsviz.ini File
[BitmapDirs]—Defines the default map paths for
bitmaps used by materials.
The file Autodesk VIZ uses to store settings
between sessions is named 3dsviz.ini. By default,
you can find it in the location indicated by the
MaxData setting on the Configure System Paths
dialog (page 3–497).
You can make changes to Autodesk VIZ startup
conditions by editing the 3dsviz.ini file in a text
editor such as Notepad. If you do edit the file, be
sure to maintain the structure and syntax of the
original file.
shortcuts for plug-ins.
[Renderer]—Controls for rendering alpha and filter
backgrounds.
[RenderPresets]—Defines the paths for Rendering
[Modstack]—Controls modifier stack button sets
and icon display.
[WindowState]—Settings for software display,
OpenGL, or Direct3D drivers.
[CustomMenus]—Defines path for the .mnu file.
[CustomColors]—Defines the path for the .clr file.
[KeyboardFile]—Defines the path for the .kbd file.
[Material Editor]—Material Editor settings.
Tip: If you encounter unusual and unexplained
[ObjectSnapSettings]—Settings associated with
user-interface problems using Autodesk VIZ,
try deleting the 3dsviz.ini file and restarting.
Autodesk VIZ writes a new 3dsviz.ini file to replace
the deleted one. Often this will fix problems
related to the state of the user interface.
snaps.
Note: Startup scene conditions are defined
by the vizstart.max file. To save a particular
startup condition, such as a Plane object
representing the ground, create a scene file
with the condition present and then save
it as maxstart.maxvizstart.maxvizstart.drf.
Autodesk VIZ automatically opens this file when
you start Autodesk VIZ.
The 3dsviz.ini file includes the following categories:
[CommandPanel]—Sets number of columns, and
controls rollout display in multiple columns.
Backing Up and Archiving Scenes
You should regularly back up and archive
your work. One convenient method is to save
incremental copies of your scenes. This method
creates a history of your work process.
Saving Incremental Files
If you turn on the Increment On Save option on
the Files panel (page 3–506) of the Preferences
dialog, the current scene is renamed by appending
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Chapter 1: Getting Started with Autodesk VIZ
a two-digit number to the end of the file and
incrementing the number each time you save. For
example, if you open a file named myfile.max and
then save it, the saved file is named myfile01.max.
Each time you save the file its name is incremented,
producing the files myfile02.max, myfile03.max,
and so on.
You can also use Save As (page 3–95) to increment
the file name manually with a two-digit number
by clicking the increment button (+) on the Save
As dialog.
Using Auto Backup
You can automatically save backup files at regular
intervals by setting the Auto Backup options
(page 3–507) on the Preferences dialog (see File
Preferences (page 3–506)). The backup files are
named AutoBackupN.max, where N is a number
from 1 to 99, and stored, by default, in the
\autoback folder. You can load a backup file like
any other scene file.
Archiving a Scene
Autodesk VIZ scenes can make use of many
different files. When you want to exchange scenes
with other users or store scenes for archival
purposes, you often need to save more than just
the scene file.
Use the File menu > Archive command (page
3–184) to pass the scene file and any bitmap
files used in the scene to an archiving program
compatible with PKZIP® software.
Crash Recovery System
If Autodesk VIZ encounters an unexpected crash,
it attempts to recover and save the file currently
in memory. This is fairly reliable, but it does
not always work: the recovered scene could be
damaged during the crash.
The recovered file is stored in the
configured Auto Backup path. It is saved
as "<filename>_recover.max" in this path. It is also
placed in the INI file as the most recently used file
in the File menu. This makes it easy to return to
the file, if you choose to do so.
The crash recovery system identifies when
something in an object’s modifier stack is corrupt.
In these cases, the corrupt object is replaced with
a red dummy object to maintain the object’s
position and any linked object hierarchy.
Note: We recommend that you not rely on this
file-recovery mechanism as an alternative to good
data backup practices:
• Save your work frequently.
• Take advantage of automatic incremental file
naming: Go to Customize menu > Preferences
> Files panel (page 3–506) > File Handling
group, and turn on Increment On Save.
• Use File menu > Save As to save incremental
copies of work in progress.
• If you are forgetful about saving, use the Auto
Backup feature. Go to Customize menu >
Preferences > Files tab > Auto Backup group,
and turn on Enable.
Viewing and Navigating 3D Space
Everything you create in Autodesk VIZ is located
in a three-dimensional world. You have a variety
of options for viewing this enormous stage-like
space, from the details of the smallest object to the
full extent of your scene.
Using the view options discussed in this section
you move from one view to another, as your
work and imagination require. You can fill your
screen with a single, large viewport, or set multiple
viewports to track various aspects of your scene.
For exact positioning, flat drawing views are
available, as are 3D perspective (page 3–665) and
axonometric views (page 3–609).
You navigate 3D space by adjusting the position,
rotation and magnification of your views. You
have full control over how objects are rendered
and displayed on the screen.
You can also use the Grab Viewport command
(page 1–33) to create snapshots of your work as
you go.
This section presents these brief topics designed to
help you quickly start learning how to organize
viewports and navigate through 3D space:
General Viewport Concepts (page 1–20)
Home Grid: Views Based on the World Coordinate
Axes (page 1–21)
Understanding Views (page 1–22)
Setting Viewport Layout (page 1–24)
Controlling Viewport Rendering (page 1–25)
Controlling Display Performance (page 1–26)
Using Standard View Navigation (page 1–26)
Zooming, Panning, and Rotating Views (page 1–27)
Navigating Camera and Light Views (page 1–31)
Grab Viewport (page 1–33)
For details about viewport commands, see
Viewport Controls (page 3–415).
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Chapter 2: Viewing and Navigating 3D Space
General Viewport Concepts
Another way to use viewports is to place a camera
in your scene and set a viewport to look through
its lens. When you move the camera, the viewport
tracks the change. You can do the same thing with
spotlights.
In addition to geometry, viewports can display
other tools, such as the MAXScript Listener and
the Asset Browser.
In addition to geometry, viewports can display
other views such as Track View and Schematic
View, which display the structure of the scene
and the animation. Viewports can be extended to
display other tools such as the MAXScript Listener
and the Asset Browser.
The Autodesk VIZ main window, with a docked toolbar and
viewport layout displaying multiple views.
Viewports are openings into the three-dimensional
space of your scene, like windows looking into
an enclosed garden or atrium. But viewports are
more than passive observation points. While
creating a scene, you can use them as dynamic and
flexible tools to understand the 3D relationships
among objects.
At times you might want to look at your scene
through a large, undivided viewport, giving you
a "picture-window" view of the world you’re
creating. Often you use multiple viewports, each
set to a different orientation.
If you want to move an object horizontally in the
world space, you might do this in a top viewport,
looking directly down on the object as you move it.
At the same time, you could be watching a shaded
perspective viewport to see when the object you’re
moving slides behind another. Using the two
windows together, you can get exactly the position
and alignment you want.
You also have pan and zoom features available in
either view, as well as grid alignment. With a few
mouse clicks or keystrokes, you can reach any level
of detail you need for the next step in your work.
In Autodesk VIZ, the default display is a single
maximized perspective viewport. Press Alt+W
on the keyboard, or click the Minimize Viewport
button on the Toolbox to see four viewports.
Active Viewport
One viewport, marked with a highlighted border,
is always active. The active viewport is where
commands and other actions take effect. Only one
viewport can be in the active state at a time. If other
viewports are visible, they are set for observation
only; unless disabled, they simultaneously track
actions taken in the active viewport.
Saving the Active Viewport
You can save the view in any active viewport and
later restore it with the Views menu’s Save Active
View (page 1–35) and Restore Active View (page
1–35) commands. One view can be saved for each
of the following view types: Top, Bottom, Left,
Right, Front, Back, User, Perspective.
For example, while in the Front view, you choose
Save Active Front View, and then zoom and pan
that view. You then activate the Top viewport,
choose Save Active Top View, and then click Zoom
Extents. You return to the Front view, and choose
Home Grid: Views Based on the World Coordinate Axes
Restore Active Front View to return to its original
zoom and pan. At any time, you can activate the
Top viewport, and then choose Restore Active Top
View to restore its saved view.
Axes, Planes, and Views
Home Grid: Views Based on the
World Coordinate Axes
The grid you see in each viewport represents
one of three planes that intersect at right angles
to one another at a common point called the
origin. Intersection occurs along three lines (the
world coordinate axes: X, Y, and Z) familiar from
geometry as the basis of the Cartesian coordinate
system.
Home Grid
Home grid axes and planes
Two axes define each plane of the home grid. In
the default Perspective viewport, you are looking
across the XY plane (ground plane), with the X
axis running left-to-right, and the Y axis running
front-to-back. The third axis, Z, runs vertically
through this plane at the origin.
Using the home grid to position houses
The three planes based on the world coordinate
axes are called the home grid; this is the basic
reference system of the 3D world.
To simplify the positioning of objects, only one
plane of the home grid is visible in each viewport.
The figure shows all three planes as they would
appear if you could see them in a single perspective
viewport.
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Chapter 2: Viewing and Navigating 3D Space
Home Grid and Grid Objects
• Axonometric views (page 3–609) show the scene
without perspective. All lines in the model are
parallel to one another. The Top, Front, Left,
and User viewports are axonometric views.
Axonometric view of a scene
Above: Inactive grid object in a scene
Below: Activated grid object
The home grid is aligned with the world coordinate
axes. You can turn it on and off for any viewport,
but you can’t change its orientation.
• Perspective views (page 3–665) show the
scene with lines that converge at the horizon.
The Perspective and Camera viewports are
examples of perspective views.
For flexibility, the home grid is supplemented by
grid objects: independent grids you can place
anywhere, at any angle, aligned with any object or
surface. They function as "construction planes"
you can use once and discard or save for reuse. See
Precision and Drawing Aids (page 2–597).
AutoGrid
The AutoGrid feature lets you create and activate
temporary grid objects on the fly. This lets you
create geometry off the face of any object by first
creating the temporary grid, then the object. You
also have the option to make the temporary grids
permanent. See AutoGrid (page 2–603).
Understanding Views
There are two types of views visible in viewports:
Perspective view of the same model
Perspective views most closely resemble human
vision, where objects appear to recede into the
distance, creating a sense of depth and space.
Axonometric views provide an undistorted view
of the scene for accurate scaling and placement. A
common workflow is to use axonometric views
to create the scene, then use a perspective view to
render the final output.
Understanding Views
Axonometric Views
There are two types of axonometric views you can
use in viewports: orthographic and rotated.
Note: Any saved views from Autodesk Architectural
Desktop are automatically converted to cameras
during the File Link process.
An orthographic view (page 3–661) is a straight-on
view of the scene, such as the view shown in the
Top, Front, and Left viewports. You can set a
viewport to a specific orthographic view using the
viewport right-click menu (page 3–418) or keyboard
shortcuts (page 3–569). For example, to set an
active viewport to Left view, press L .
You can also rotate an orthographic view to see
the scene from an angle while retaining parallel
projection. This type of view is represented by a
User viewport.
The viewport on the right is seen through a camera in the scene.
Perspective Views
A perspective viewport, labeled Perspective, is
the startup viewport in Autodesk VIZ. You can
change any active viewport to this "eye-like" point
of view by pressing P .
Camera View
Once you create a camera object in your scene,
you can change the active viewport to a camera
view by pressing C and then selecting from a list
of cameras in your scene. You can also create a
camera view directly from a perspective viewport,
using the Create Camera from View (page 1–46)
command.
A camera viewport tracks the view through the
lens of the selected camera. As you move the
camera (or target) in another viewport, you see the
scene move accordingly. This is the advantage of
the Camera view over the Perspective view, which
can’t be animated over time.
If you turn on Orthographic Projection on a
camera’s Parameters rollout, that camera produces
an axonometric view like a User view. See Cameras
(page 2–984).
Two and Three-Point Perspective and the
Camera Correction Modifier
By default, camera views use three-point
perspective, in which vertical lines appear to
converge with height (in traditional photography
this is known as keystoning). The Camera
Correction modifier (page 2–1008) applies
two-point perspective to a camera view. In
two-point perspective, vertical lines remain
vertical. A similar effect can be attained by putting
a Skew modifier on a camera.
Light View
Light view works much like a targeted camera
view. You first create a spotlight or directional light
and then set the active viewport to that spotlight.
The easiest way is to press the keyboard shortcut
$ . See Lights (page 2–891).
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Chapter 2: Viewing and Navigating 3D Space
Resizing the Viewport
After choosing a layout you can resize the
viewports so they have different proportions
by moving the splitter bars that separate the
viewports. This is only available when multiple
viewports are displayed.
The viewport on the right looks through the lens of a spotlight
in the scene.
Resized viewport
Setting Viewport Layout
Changing the View Type
Autodesk VIZ uses a single-viewport layout by
default, with the Perspective view maximized.
Thirteen other layouts are possible, but the
maximum number of viewports on the screen
remains four.
As you work, you can quickly change the view in
any viewport. For example, you can switch from
front view to back view. You can use either of two
methods: menu or keyboard shortcut.
Using the Layout panel (page 3–556) of the
Viewport Configuration dialog, you can pick from
the different layouts and customize the viewports
in each. Your viewport configuration is saved with
your work.
• Right-click the label of the viewport you want
to change and click Views. Then, click the view
type that you want.
• Click the viewport you want to change, and
then press one of the keyboard shortcuts in the
following table.
Key
V iew type
T
Top view
B
Bottom view
F
Front view
L
Left view
C
Camera view. If your scene has only one
camera, or you select a camera before using
this keyboard shortcut, that camera supplies
the view. If your scene has more than one
camera, and none are selected, a list of
cameras appears.
P
Perspective view. Retains viewing angle of
previous view.
Controlling Viewport Rendering
Key
U
V iew type
User (axonometric) view. Retains viewing
angle of previous view. Allows use of Zoom
Region (page 3–429).
you can select the object and choose Display
as Box on the Display properties rollout on the
display panel.
none
Right view. Use viewport right-click menu.
Using Viewport Rendering Controls
none
Shape view. Use viewport right-click menu.
Automatically aligns view to the extents of a
selected shape and its local XY axes.
Viewport rendering options are found on the
Rendering Method panel (page 3–553) of the
Viewport Configuration dialog. Using this panel
you choose a rendering level and any options
associated with that level. You can then choose
whether to apply those settings to the active
viewport or all viewports, or to all but the active
viewport.
See also
Viewport Layout (page 3–556)
Camera Viewport Controls (page 3–431)
Spotlight Parameters (page 2–958)
Precision and Drawing Aids (page 2–597)
Track View (page 2–795)
Controlling Viewport Rendering
The rendering level you choose is determined
by your need for realistic display, accuracy, and
speed. For example, Box Mode display is much
faster than Smooth Shading with Highlights. The
more realistic the rendering level, the slower the
display speed.
After choosing a rendering level, you can set
rendering options. Different options are available
for different rendering levels.
Viewport rendering has no effect on final
renderings produced by clicking Render Scene.
Rendering Methods and Display Speed
The rendering methods not only affect the quality
of your view display, they can also have a profound
effect on display performance. Using higher
quality rendering levels and realistic options slows
display performance.
Box display, wireframe display, and smooth shading
You can choose from multiple options to display
your scene. You can display objects as simple
boxes, or render them with smooth shading and
texture mapping. If you want, you can choose a
different display method for each viewport.
Tip: If you want to display individual objects as
wireframe, you can use Wireframe materials. If
you want individual objects to display as boxes,
After setting a rendering method, you can
choose additional options that adjust display
performance. One of these controls, Adaptive
Degradation, speeds up display performance when
you use realistic rendering levels.
Tip: If your scene mysteriously disappears and only
displays as boxes when you rotate your viewport,
you have pressed the “o” key on the keyboard, and
unintentionally turned on Adaptive Degradation.
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See Rendering Method (page 3–553).
Controlling Display Performance
Autodesk VIZ contains controls to help you adjust
display performance: the balance between quality
and time in displaying objects.
Depending on your needs, you might give up some
display speed to work at higher levels of rendering
quality, or you might choose to maximize display
speed by using Wireframe or Bounding Box
display. Which method you choose depends on
your preferences and the requirements of your
work.
Display Performance Controls
You use display performance controls to determine
how objects are rendered and displayed.
Viewport Preferences
The Customize > Preferences dialog’s Viewports
panel contains options for fine-tuning the
performance of the viewport display software. See
Viewport Preferences (page 3–508).
How Objects Are Displayed
To see and modify an object’s display properties,
right-click the object, select Properties, and go
to the Display Properties group box; see Object
Properties (page 1–109). These options affect
display performance much the same way as
viewport rendering options. For example, turning
on Vertex Ticks for an object with a lot of vertices
will slow performance.
Note: Display Properties are only available when
Which Objects Are Displayed
One way to increase display speed is not to display
something. You can use the Hide and Freeze
features on the Display panel or quad menu to
change the display state of objects in your scene.
The Hide and Freeze features also affect final
Rendering output. See Hide Rollout (page 1–51)
and Freeze Rollout (page 1–51).
Setting Adaptive Degradation
Adaptive Degradation dynamically adjusts your
rendering levels to maintain a desired level of
display speed. You have direct control over how
much "degradation" occurs and when it occurs.
Active and General Degradation use the same
choices as the viewport Rendering Levels panel.
Active Degradation controls rendering in the
active viewport while General Degradation
controls rendering in all other viewports.
The selected levels determine which rendering
levels Autodesk VIZ falls back to when it cannot
maintain the desired display speed. You can
choose as many levels as you want but you are
advised to choose only one or two levels for each
type of degradation.
See Adaptive Degradation (page 3–602).
Using Standard View Navigation
To navigate through your scene, use the view
navigation buttons located at the lower-right
corner of the program window. All view types,
except Camera views, use a standard set of view
navigation buttons.
the By Object/By Layer toggle is set to By Object.
To see and modify how objects are displayed, you
can use layers (page 3–327). You can then quickly
control the visibility and editability of similar
objects from the quad menu.
The standard navigation controls
Zooming, Panning, and Rotating Views
Button Operation
Clicking standard view navigation buttons
produces one of two results:
Zooming, Panning, and Rotating
Views
• Executes the command and returns to your
previous action.
• Activates a view navigation mode.
You can tell that you are in a mode because the
button remains selected and is highlighted. This
mode remains active until you right-click or
choose another command.
While in a navigation mode, you can activate other
viewports of the same type, without exiting the
mode, by clicking in any viewport. See Viewport
Controls (page 3–415).
Undoing Standard
View Navigation Commands
Use the Undo View Change and Redo View Change
commands (page 1–34) on the Views menu to
reset standard view navigation commands without
affecting other viewports or the geometry in your
scene. These commands are also found in the
menu displayed when you right-click a viewport
label.
Views menu > Undo and Views menu > Redo are
separate from Undo and Redo on the Edit menu
or the toolbar. Autodesk VIZ maintains separate
Undo/Redo buffers for scene editing and for each
viewport.
The View Undo/Redo buffer stores your last 20
view navigation commands for each viewport.
You can step back through the Undo View/Redo
View buffer until you have undone all of the stored
view-navigation commands.
Before and after zooming a viewport
Before and after rotating a viewport
When you click one of the view navigation buttons,
you can change these basic view properties:
View magnification—Controls zooming in and
out.
View position—Controls panning in any
direction.
View rotation—Controls rotating in any
direction
Zooming a View
Click Zoom (page 3–425) or Zoom All
(page 3–426) and drag in a viewport to change the
view magnification. Zoom changes only the active
view, while Zoom All simultaneously changes all
non-camera views.
If a perspective view is active, you can also
click Field of View (FOV) (page 3–427). The effect
of changing FOV is similar to changing the lens on
a camera. As FOV gets larger you see more of your
scene and perspective becomes distorted, similar
to using a wide-angle lens. As FOV gets smaller
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Chapter 2: Viewing and Navigating 3D Space
you see less of your scene and the perspective
flattens, similar to using a telephoto lens.
Warning: Be cautious using extreme Field of View
settings. These can produce unexpected results.
Zooming a Region
Click Zoom Region (page 3–429) to drag a
rectangular region within the active viewport and
magnify that region to fill the viewport. Zoom
Region is available for all standard views.
In a perspective viewport, Zoom Region
mode is available from the Field of View flyout
(page 3–427).
Rotating a View
Click Arc Rotate, Arc Rotate on Selection, or
Arc Rotate Sub-Object (page 3–430) to rotate your
view around the view center, the selection, or the
current sub-object selection respectively. When
you rotate an orthogonal view, such as a Top view,
it is converted to a User view.
With Arc Rotate, if objects are near the edges of
the viewport they might rotate out of view.
With Arc Rotate Selected, selected objects
remain at the same position in the viewport while
the view rotates around them. If no objects are
selected, the function reverts to the standard Arc
Rotate.
Zooming to Extents
Click the Zoom Extents or Zoom Extents
All flyout buttons to change the magnification
and position of your view to display the extents
of objects in your scene. Your view is centered on
the objects and the magnification changed so the
objects fill the viewport.
•
The Zoom Extents, Zoom Extents Selected
buttons (page 3–423) zoom the active viewport
to the extents of all visible or selected objects
in the scene.
•
The Zoom Extents All, Zoom Extents
All Selected buttons (page 3–423) zoom all
viewports to the extents of all objects or the
current selection.
Panning a View
Click Pan View (page 3–429) and drag in
a viewport to move your view parallel to the
viewport plane. You can also pan a viewport by
dragging with the middle mouse button held down
while any tool is active.
With Arc Rotate Sub-Object, selected
sub-objects or objects remain at the same position
in the viewport while the view rotates around
them.
Note: You can rotate a view by holding down
the Alt key while you drag in a viewport using
middle-button. This uses the current Arc Rotate
mode, whether or not the Arc Rotate button is
active. You can also activate Arc Rotate by pressing
Ctrl+R .
Using Walkthrough Navigation
Walkthrough navigation lets you move through
a viewport by pressing a set of shortcut keys,
including the arrow keys, much as you can navigate
a 3D world in many video games.
When you enter the walkthrough navigation
mode, the cursor changes to a hollow circle that
shows a directional arrow while you are pressing
one of the directional keys (forward, back, left, or
right).
Using Walkthrough Navigation
This feature is available for perspective and camera
viewports. It is not available for orthographic
views or for spotlight viewports.
shading type (between shaded and wireframe, for
example).
Interface
Animating a Walkthrough
When you use walkthrough navigation in a
Camera viewport, you can animate the camera
walkthrough using either Auto Key (page 3–405)
or Set Key (page 2–649). In either case, to get an
animated camera you have to change the frame
number manually (the easiest way is to use the
Time Slider (page 3–389)), and in the case of Set
Key, you have to change the frame number and
click Set Keys.
Tip: Select the camera before you animate it. If the
camera isn’t selected, its keys won’t appear in the
Track Bar (page 3–391).
Procedures
To begin using walkthrough navigation, do one of
the following:
• Press the Up Arrow key.
•
Click the Walk Through button (page
3–424) to turn it on.
This button is found on the Pan/Truck And
Walkthrough flyout (page 3–424).
The Walk Through button is the only graphical
element of the interface to walkthrough navigation.
The other features are provided by mouse actions
or by keyboard shortcuts. The following table
shows the keyboard actions:
Command
Shortcut
Accelerate Toggle
Q
Back
S , Down Arrow
Decelerate Toggle
Z
Decrease Rotation
Sensitivity
Decrease Step Size
[
Down
C , Shift+Down Arrow
Forward
W , Up Arrow
Increase Rotation Sensitivity
Increase Step Size
]
Invert Vertical Rotation
Toggle
Left
A , Left Arrow
Level
Shift+Spacebar
Lock Horizontal Rotation
Lock Vertical Rotation
Spacebar
Reset Step Size
Alt+[
• Right-click.
Right
D , Right Arrow
• Activate a different viewport.
Up
E , Shift+Up Arrow
To stop using walkthrough navigation, do one of
the following:
• Change the active viewport to a different type.
• Turn on a different viewport navigation tool
(such as Zoom or Pan).
• Turn on Select Object or one of the transform
tools.
Note: You do not exit walkthrough mode when
you select an object or change the viewport
If nothing appears in the Shortcut column, no
default key is assigned to this command. You can
set custom keystrokes using the Keyboard panel
(page 3–478) of the Customize User Interface
dialog.
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Chapter 2: Viewing and Navigating 3D Space
Forward, Backward, and Sideways Movement
For movement, you can use either the arrow keys,
or letters at the left of the keyboard pad.
Tip: When you are in a Perspective viewport,
you can use Undo View Change and Redo View
Change ( Shift+Z , Shift+Y ) to undo or redo
your navigation. However, when you are in
a Camera viewport, walkthrough animation
transforms the camera object, so you must use Edit
> Undo and Edit > Redo ( Ctrl+Z and Ctrl+Y ).
Holding down any of these keys causes the motion
to be continuous.
Forward— W or the Up Arrow . Moves the
camera or the viewpoint forward.
Note: If you are not already in walkthrough
navigation mode, pressing Up Arrow enters it.
Back— S or Down Arrow . Moves the camera or
the viewpoint backward.
When you are in a camera viewport, Forward and
Back are equivalent to dollying in or out.
Left— A or Left Arrow . Moves the camera or
(and pressing the alternate key turns off the first).
They are especially useful when you are navigating
by holding down keys.
The acceleration and deceleration toggles are
independent of the step size.
Adjusting Step Size
Increase Step Size and Decrease Step Size—Pressing
Increase Step Size ( ] ) increases the motion
increments when you move the camera or
viewpoint. Pressing Decrease Step Size ( [ )
reduces them. You can press either of these
shortcuts repeatedly, to increase the effect.
Changing the step size is apparent when you
navigate either by single clicks, or by holding down
keys. Step size changes are useful for adjusting
movement to the scale of the scene. They are saved
with the MAX file.
Reset Step Size—Pressing Reset Step Size ( Alt+[ )
restores the step size to its default value.
The step size is independent of acceleration or
deceleration.
the viewpoint to the left.
Rotation (Tilting)
Right— D or Right Arrow . Moves the camera
Tilt View—Click+drag to tilt the camera or
or the viewpoint to the right.
viewpoint.
When you are in a camera viewport, Left and
Right are equivalent to trucking left or right.
When you are in a camera viewport, Tilt View is
equivalent to panning the camera.
Up— E or Shift+Up Arrow . Moves the camera
Increase Rotation Sensitivity and Decrease Rotation
Sensitivity—Pressing Increase Rotation Sensitivity
or the viewpoint up.
Down— C or Shift+Down Arrow . Moves the
camera or the viewpoint down.
Acceleration and Deceleration
Accelerate Toggle and Decelerate Toggle—Pressing
Accelerate ( Q ) causes motion to be quicker.
Pressing Decelerate ( Z ) causes movement to be
slower. These controls are toggles: pressing the
key a second time restores the default motion rate
(no default key) increases the motion increments
when you use Tilt View. Pressing Decrease
Rotation Sensitivity (no default key) decreases
them. You can press either of these shortcuts
repeatedly, to increase the effect. They are useful
for adjusting movement to the scale of the scene.
They are saved with the MAX file.
Lock Horizontal Rotation—Pressing Lock
Horizontal Rotation (no default key) locks the
Navigating Camera and Light Views
horizontal axis, so the camera or viewpoint tilts
only vertically.
Lock Vertical Rotation—Pressing Lock Vertical
Rotation ( Spacebar ) locks the vertical axis, so
the camera or viewpoint tilts only horizontally.
• Changes made with Camera or Light view
navigation buttons can be animated the same
as other object changes.
Zooming a Camera or Light View
Invert Vertical Rotation Toggle—Pressing Invert
Vertical Rotation (no default key) inverts the tilt
direction when you drag the mouse. When this
toggle is off, dragging up causes scene objects to
descend in the view, and dragging down causes
them to rise (this is like tilting a physical camera).
When this toggle is on, objects in the view move in
the same direction you are dragging the mouse.
Level—Pressing Level ( Shift+Spacebar ) removes
any tilt or roll the camera or viewpoint might have,
making the view both level and vertical.
Navigating Camera and Light
Views
The camera navigation buttons
The Camera and Light view navigation buttons
are the same with a few exceptions. The buttons
are visible when a viewport with a Camera or
Light view is active. The Camera and Light view
navigation buttons do more than adjust your view.
They transform and change the parameters of the
associated camera or light object.
Light views treat the light (spotlight or directional
light) as if it were a camera. The light falloff is
treated the same as the camera field of view.
Keep in mind the following:
• Using the Camera and Light viewport
navigation buttons is the same as moving or
rotating the camera or Light, or changing their
base parameters.
Zooming a camera
You zoom a camera view by clicking FOV
(page 3–427) and then dragging in the Camera
viewport.
The field of view defines the width of your view as
an angle with its apex at eye level and the ends at
the sides of the view. The effect of changing FOV is
exactly like changing the lens on a camera. As the
FOV gets larger you see more of your scene and
the perspective becomes distorted, similar to using
a wide-angle lens. As the FOV gets smaller you
see less of your scene and the perspective flattens,
similar to using a telephoto lens. See Cameras
(page 2–984).
Click Light Hotspot (page 3–438) for a light
viewport to achieve the same effect as zooming.
The hotspot is the inner of the two circles or
rectangles visible in a light viewport. Objects
inside the hotspot are illuminated with the
full intensity of the light. Objects between the
hotspot and falloff are illuminated with decreasing
intensity as objects approach the falloff boundary.
See Using Lights (page 2–893).
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Moving a Camera or Light View
Changing Camera Perspective
You move a camera or light view by clicking one of
the following buttons and dragging in the camera
or light viewport.
•
Dolly (page 3–432) moves the camera or
light along its line of sight.
•
Truck (page 3–434) moves the camera or
light and its target parallel to the view plane.
•
Pan (page 3–435) moves the target in a
circle around the camera or light. This button
is a flyout that shares the same location with
Orbit.
•
Orbit (page 3–435) moves the camera
or light in a circle around the target. The
effect is similar to Arc Rotate for non-camera
viewports.
Changing perspective
Click Perspective (page 3–433), and drag in
a camera viewport to change the Field of View
(FOV) and dolly the camera simultaneously. The
effect is to change the amount of perspective flare
while maintaining the composition of the view.
Rolling a Camera or Light View
Adaptive Degradation Toggle
Views menu > Adaptive Degradation Toggle
Keyboard > O (the letter O)
Rolling a camera
Click Roll (page 3–434), and drag in a camera
or a light viewport to rotate the camera or light
about its line of sight. The line of sight is defined
as the line drawn from the camera or light to its
target. The line of sight is also the same as the
camera’s or the light’s local Z axis.
When on (the default), the Adaptive Degradation
Toggle supersedes the adaptive degradation
(page 3–602) that can occur when you transform
geometry, change the view, or play back an
animation in a shaded viewport. In this case,
the geometry remains shaded even if that slows
down viewport display and animation playback.
Animation playback might drop frames if the
graphics card cannot display frames in real time.
Turn off the Adaptive Degradation Toggle if you
have large models you need to navigate around
and if you are finding performance sluggish.
Adaptive degradation causes shaded objects to be
replaced by a quicker display mode. By default,
Grab Viewport
shaded objects are replaced by their bounding
boxes.
Procedure
You can change the display option, and set
other adaptive degradation parameters, on the
Viewport Configuration dialog (Customize menu
> Viewport Configuration > Adaptive Degradation
panel (page 3–558)).
1. Activate the viewport you want to capture.
Note: When you use arc rotate (page 3–430) in a
shaded viewport while the Adaptive Degradation
Toggle is off, objects degrade to bounding boxes
regardless of the adaptive degradation settings.
3. Enter a label for your snapshot, if desired.
Procedure
To turn off or override adaptive degradation, do one
of the following:
• Choose Views menu > Adaptive Degradation
Toggle.
To create a snapshot of a viewport:
2. Choose Tools menu > Grab Viewport.
A dialog appears that allows you to add a label
to your snapshot.
The label appears in the lower-right corner of
the image as you enter it into the dialog.
4. Click Grab.
The Rendered Frame Window opens to display
a snapshot of your viewport.
5. Use the controls in the Rendered Frame
Window to save your image.
Interface
• Press O (the letter O).
To change the level of adaptive degradation in the
viewport:
1. Right-click the viewport label and choose
Configure, or choose Customize > Viewport
Configuration.
2. On the Viewport Configuration dialog, open
the Adaptive Degradation panel.
3. Adjust settings in the General and Active
Degradation group boxes.
Label—Enter text here to add a label to your
screenshot. The text you enter is displayed in the
lower-right corner of your screenshot.
Grab—Opens the Rendered Frame Window with a
snapshot of the active viewport.
Grab Viewport
Cancel—Cancels the Grab Viewport command.
Tools menu > Grab Viewport
Grab Viewport creates a snapshot of the active
viewport in the Rendered Frame Window (page
2–1345), where you can save it as an Image file
(page 3–283).
View-Handling Commands
Menu bar > Views menu
These viewport-handling commands are provided
on the default main menu:
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Chapter 2: Viewing and Navigating 3D Space
Views Menu (page 3–346)
Undo View Change / Redo View Change (page
1–34)
Undo View Change / Redo View
Change
Save Active View (page 1–35)
Views menu > Undo View Change or Redo View Change
Restore Active View (page 1–35)
Keyboard > Shift+Z (Undo) or Shift+Y (Redo)
Grid Commands (page 2–623)
Viewport Image Dialog (page 1–36)
Select Background Image Dialog (page 1–40)
Update Background Image (page 1–42)
Reset Background Transform (page 1–43)
Show Transform Gizmo (page 1–43)
Show Ghosting (page 1–44)
Show Key Times (page 1–44)
Shade Selected (page 1–45)
Show Dependencies (page 1–45)
Create Camera From View (page 1–46)
Add Default Lights to Scene (page 1–46)
Redraw All Views (page 1–47)
Activate All Maps (page 1–48)
Deactivate All Maps (page 1–48)
Update During Spinner Drag (page 1–48)
Undo View Change cancels the last change made to
the current viewport. Redo View Change cancels
the last Undo in the current viewport.
These commands act like Undo and Redo on the
Main toolbar and Edit menu, but operate on a
different list of events. They affect changes made to
the viewport, rather than changes made to objects
in the viewport.
Use Undo View Change and Redo View Change
when you have inadvertently made a view unusable
by zooming in too close, or rotating the wrong
way. You can keep stepping back until a useful
view appears. The keyboard shortcuts are handy
for multiple commands.
You can also access Undo View Change and Redo
View Change of view changes by right-clicking the
viewport label and choosing Undo View or Redo
View. The last change made in that viewport will
be indicated (for example, "Undo View Zoom").
Each viewport has its own independent undo/redo
stack.
Expert Mode (page 1–48)
Camera and Spotlight viewports use object-based
Undo and Redo, because the viewport change is
actually a change to the camera or spotlight object.
In these viewports, use Edit > Undo ( Ctrl+Z ) or
Edit > Redo ( Ctrl+Y ).
See also
Interface
Adaptive Degradation Toggle (page 1–32)
Smart Object Culling (page 1–56)
Viewing and Navigating 3D Space (page 1–19)
Views Menu (page 3–346)
Quad Menu (page 3–359)
Undo V iew Change—Cancels viewport changes.
Undo is useful when you are working with a
background image in the viewport. You can zoom
into the geometry to adjust it, then use Undo
Save Active View
Viewport Zoom to restore the original alignment
of the geometry with the background.
Redo V iew Change—Cancels the previous Undo
View Change. The name of the change you’re
redoing appears in the View menu beside the
command.
Save Active View
Views menu > Save Active View (the name of the active
viewport is part of the command)
Save Active View stores the active view to an
internal buffer. If you have framed a shot in any
view other than a camera, use Save Active View
to preserve the viewport’s appearance. The saved
active view is saved with the scene file. Once saved,
you can retrieve it using Restore Active View (page
1–35).
The viewport that will be restored is displayed
in the menu item (for example, "Save Active
Perspective View"). You can save and restore up
to eight different views (Top, Bottom, Left, Right,
Front, Back, User, Perspective).
Viewport changes that are saved include viewport
type, zoom and rotations, and field-of-view
(FOV).
The options available on the viewport right-click
menu (page 3–418), such as Show Safe Frame and
Viewport Clipping, are not saved. If these settings
are important to the view, make a note of what they
are so you can reset them after restoring the view.
Procedure
To save an active view:
1. Activate the viewport with the view you want
to save.
2. Choose Views menu > Save Active View. The
view is now saved and can be recalled using
Restore Active View.
Restore Active View
Views menu > Restore Active View (the name of the
active viewport is part of the command.)
Restore Active View displays the view previously
stored with Save Active View (page 1–35).
The viewport to be restored is displayed in
the menu item (for example, "Restore Active
Perspective View").
The active view is restored if the same viewport
and layout are active.
If an active view won’t restore with this command,
check the following:
• Be sure the viewport is active.
• Make sure the layout is the same as before.
Use Viewport Configuration (right-click any
viewport label and choose Configure) and
choose Layout.
• If the layout and active viewport are the same,
be sure Viewport Clipping on the Viewport
Right-Click Menu (page 3–418) is set the same
as it was when the viewport was saved.
Procedure
To restore a saved view:
1. Activate the viewport where you saved the view.
2. Choose Views menu > Restore Active View.
This option is available only in a viewport with
a saved view.
3. The viewport returns to the saved view.
If you’re not sure whether a viewport has a
saved view, check the Views menu. Restore
Active View is unavailable unless a view is saved
in the active viewport.
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Chapter 2: Viewing and Navigating 3D Space
Viewport Image Dialog
See also
Select Background Image Dialog (page 1–40)
Views menu > Viewport Background > Viewport Image
dialog
Update Background Image (page 1–42)
Keyboard > Alt+B
Reset Background Transform (page 1–43)
The Viewport Image dialog controls display of an
image or animation as the background for one or
all viewports.You can use this for modeling, for
example, by placing front, top or side view sketches
in the corresponding viewports. Or use Viewport
background to match 3D elements with digitized
camera footage, or for rotoscoping (page 3–674).
You select the image or animation to display in
the active viewport, set the frame synchronization
between the animated image file and the current
scene, and turn the assigned image on and off.
These changes do not affect the rendered scene.
To place an image in the background of the
rendered scene, use the Environment And Effects
dialog > Environment panel (page 3–52), accessed
from the Rendering menu.
Procedures
To assign an image to one or all viewports:
1. Activate the viewport that is to display the
background image.
2. Choose Views menu > Viewport Background
or press Alt+B .
This opens the Viewport Image dialog.
3. In the Background Source group, click the Files
button.
This opens the Select Background Image dialog.
4. Use the dialog to open the image or animation
to use.
5. To display the image in all viewports, choose
All Views in the Apply Source And Display To
group.
Note: When safe frames are displayed in a viewport,
and the Aspect Ratio options are set to either
Match Viewport or Match Rendering Output, the
assigned viewport background image is confined
to the Live area of the safe frames and will correctly
match the rendered background bitmap.
Tip: If you are using a viewport driver with
hardware acceleration (OpenGL or Direct3D),
the viewport background might not appear. If
this happens, choose Customize > Preferences.
In the Viewports preferences (page 3–508), click
Configure Driver. Then in the Configure OpenGL
dialog (page 3–528) or the Configure Direct3D
dialog (page 3–531), go to the Background Texture
Size group and turn on Match Bitmap Size As
Closely As Possible (do not change the numeric
setting). Click OK in both dialogs to accept your
change.
6. Click OK.
The image is displayed in a single viewport or
all viewports.
To update the image or map in the viewport:
Because of the time it takes to render the image or
map in the viewport, the map is not automatically
updated when you alter the bitmap or assign a new
bitmap.
• Choose Views menu > Update Background
Image.
Viewport Image Dialog
The revised image or map is displayed in the
viewport.
To display the environment map in a viewport:
1. In the Environment dialog, assign an
environment map. (See the procedure “To
choose an environment map.” (page 3–53))
2. In the Environment dialog > Background
group, be sure Use Map is turned on (the
default).
3. Activate the viewport where you want the map
displayed.
4. Choose Views menu > Background Image.
5. In the Viewport Image dialog > Background
Source group, turn on Use Environment
Background.
6. Click OK.
The map is displayed in the viewport.
To display an animated background:
1. Assign an animation file (AVI, MOV, or IFL
file) as the viewport background.
2. Turn on Animate Background.
3. Choose Customize > Preferences. On the
Viewports panel, turn on Update Background
While Playing.
Now the background plays when you click Play,
or when you drag the time slider.
Tip: If you follow these steps and the background
still doesn’t appear to animate, open the Time
Configuration dialog (page 3–412) and in the
Playback group, turn off Real Time.
To use the environment map with animation
controls:
This procedure is useful if you’ve assigned an
animated environment map and want access to the
animation controls on the Viewport Image dialog.
1. In the Viewport Image dialog > Background
Source group, turn off Use Environment
Background.
2. In the same group, click File.
3. Choose the same map you’re using as the
environment map.
4. Set parameters in the Animation
Synchronization group.
5. Click OK.
The environment map appears in the viewport.
The image is renderable.
To match the viewport background with the
rendered background:
1. Activate the viewport to render.
2. Right-click the viewport label and choose Show
Safe Frame.
This turns on Safe Frames (page 3–557) in the
viewport.
Note: You can also use Views menu > Configure
> Safe Frame tab. In the Application group,
turn on Show Safe Frames In Active View.
3. In the Material Editor, create a material
that contains the bitmap for your rendered
background.
4. At the bitmap level of the Material Editor, on
the Coordinates rollout, choose Environ.
The Mapping control is automatically set to
Screen. This is the only mapping type that
works for this purpose.
5. On the main menu, choose Rendering >
Environment.
6. Drag the map from the Material Editor > Maps
rollout to the Environment Map button on the
Environment dialog. Click OK on the Instance
(Copy) Map dialog.
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Chapter 2: Viewing and Navigating 3D Space
7. In the Viewport Image dialog > Background
Interface
Source group, click Files to assign the same
bitmap.
8. In the Aspect Ratio group, turn on either Match
Viewport or Match Rendering Output. Click
OK.
9. Render the viewport.
The background displayed in the rendered
scene should exactly match the background
displayed in the Live area of the safe frames.
Note: When you use the Match Bitmap option,
the bitmap reverts to its original aspect ratio
and does not match the rendered scene, unless
you’re rendering to the same aspect ratio.
To remove a background image:
1. Activate the viewport in which the background
image is visible.
2. On the Views menu, choose Viewport
Background.
Notice the name and path of the background
file is displayed in the Current field in the
Background Source group
3. In the Background Source group, click Devices.
4. On the Select Image Input Device dialog,
choose No I/O Handlers from the drop-down
list, then click OK.
5. On the Bitmap Manager Error dialog, click OK.
The current field no longer displays the
background file name. Instead No I/O Handler
is listed in the Current field.
6. Click OK to close the Viewport Image dialog.
Next time you open up the Viewport Image
dialog, no file name will be displayed in the
Current field.
Tip: This technique will work only on systems
that don’t have any other Image Input Devices
installed.
Background Source group
Options let you select the background image,
either from a bitmap image file (page 3–610),
a video file, or from a device such as a video
recorder.
Files—Displays the Select Background Image dialog
(page 1–40), which lets you select a file or sequence
of files for your background.
Devices—Displays the Select Image Input Device
dialog. This lets you use a background from a
digital device. (No device is supported by the
default Autodesk VIZ installation.)
Use Environment Background—Lets you display
in the viewports the map you’ve assigned as your
environment background. If no environment
map has been assigned in the Environment
dialog, or Use Map in that dialog is off, then the
Use Environment Background check box is not
available.
Viewport Image Dialog
Animation Synchronization group
Controls how sequences of images (for example,
from IFL (page 3–290), AVI (page 3–284), or
MOV (page 3–294) files) are synchronized to the
viewport for rotoscoping (page 3–674).
Use Frame—The first field sets the first frame of the
incoming sequence that you want to use, and the
second field sets the last one.
Step—Sets the interval between the frames you
want to use. For example, if this spinner is set to 7,
Autodesk VIZ uses every seventh frame.
Start At—Specifies the frame number at which you
want the first input frame to appear. What happens
in the viewport before the start frame depends
on the option you choose for "Start Processing,"
below.
Hold After End—Specifies that the viewport
background will contain the last input frame until
the last frame in the animation.
Loop After End—Specifies that the viewport
background will loop from the end frame back to
the start frame, ad infinitum.
Aspect Ratio group
Controls the proportions of the viewport
background by matching it to the bitmap,
rendering output, or to the viewport itself.
Match Viewport—Changes the aspect ratio (page
3–607) of the image to match the aspect ratio of
the viewport.
Match Bitmap—Locks the aspect ratio of the image
to the native aspect ratio of the bitmap.
Sync Start To Frame—Determines which frame
Match Rendering Output—Changes the aspect
from your incoming sequence is displayed at the
Start At frame. For example, you could have a
30-frame IFL sequence that starts in your scene at
frame 10, but you could use the 5th frame from the
IFL on frame 10 by setting Sync Start to 5.
ratio of the image to match the aspect ratio of the
currently chosen rendering output device.
Start Processing group
Determines what happens in the viewport
background before the start frame.
Blank Before Start—Makes the viewport
background blank before the start frame.
Hold Before Start—Specifies that the viewport
background will contain the start frame.
End Processing group
Determines what happens in the viewport
background after the last input frame.
Blank After End—Makes the viewport background
blank after the last input frame.
Note: When the Match Bitmap or Match Rendering
Output option is chosen, Autodesk VIZ centers
the image and clears the edges of the viewport to
the background color.
Display Background
Turns on display of the background image or
animation in the viewport.
Lock Zoom/Pan
Locks the background to the geometry during
zoom and pan operations in orthographic or
user viewports. When you Zoom or Pan the
viewport, the background zooms and pans along
with it. When Lock Zoom/Pan is turned off, the
background stays where it is, and the geometry
moves independently of it. Use Match Bitmap
or Match Rendering Output to enable Lock
Zoom/Pan. This control is disabled if you choose
Match Viewport.
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Keyboard shortcut: Ctrl+Alt+B
Warning: If you zoom in too far, you can exceed the limit
of virtual memory, and crash Autodesk VIZ. When you
perform a zoom that requires more than 16 megabytes
of virtual memory, an alert asks if you want to display the
background during the zoom. Choose No to perform
the zoom and turn off the background. Choose Yes to
zoom with the background image. Your machine might
run out of memory as a result.
Select Background Image Dialog
Views menu > Viewport Background > Background
Source group > Files > Select Background Image dialog
Animate Background
Turns on animation of the background. Shows the
appropriate frame of the background video in the
scene.
Apply Source And Display To group
All Views—Assigns the background image to all
viewports.
Active Only—Assigns the background image to
only the active viewport.
Viewport
The name of the currently active viewport appears
in a list to the left of the OK and Cancel buttons.
This reminds you which viewport you’re working
with and lets you change the active viewport by
selecting its name from the list.
Note: When you use different images for different
viewports, the settings for each viewport are stored
separately. Each time you display the Viewport
Image dialog, the settings of the currently active
viewport are displayed. If you switch the viewport
using the list, the settings remain the same. This
is useful for copying settings from one viewport
to another.
Viewport Background
The Select Background Image dialog allows you
to choose a file or sequence of files for a viewport
background.
You can also convert a set of sequentially numbered
files to an Image File List (IFL) (page 3–290). This
is the same process used by the IFL Manager Utility
(page 3–292).
Procedures
To select a background image for a viewport:
1. Activate the viewport where you want the
image.
2. Choose Views menu > Viewport Background.
3. Under Background Source in the dialog that
displays, click Files.
4. In the Look In field, navigate to the directory
containing the file you want to use for the
background.
Note: The Select Background Image File dialog
uses the last location where a bitmap was
chosen, rather than the default bitmap path
defined on the Configure User Paths dialog
(page 3–495).
Select Background Image Dialog
5. Highlight the file name in the file list window.
Interface
6. Click Open to select the image and close the
dialog.
7. Click OK to close the Viewport Image dialog
and display the background image.
To select a set of still images as a viewport
background:
1. Activate the viewport where you want the
image.
2. Choose Views menu > Viewport Background.
3. Under Background Source, click Files.
4. In the Look In field, navigate to the directory
containing the sequence of files.
The files must be sequentially numbered
(for example, image01.bmp, image02.bmp,
image03.bmp).
History—Displays a list of the directories most
Tip: If necessary, change Files Of Type to match
recently searched.
the file extension of the sequence, or choose
All Formats.
Look In—Opens a navigation window to move to
5. Turn on Sequence, and choose the name of the
first sequential file (for example, image01.bmp).
Tip: Click the Setup button to display the Image
other directories or drives.
Up One Level—Move up a level in the
directory structure.
File List Control dialog (page 3–292).
6. In the Image File List Control dialog, use
the Browse button to set the Target Path to a
directory on your hard disk. Do not set this
path to a CD-ROM drive, because you cannot
save the file there.
7. Choose the options you want, and then click
Create New Folder—Lets you create a new
folder while in this dialog.
List—Displays the contents of a directory by
file name.
OK.
Details—Displays the contents of a directory
including all the file details.
The Image File List (IFL) file is saved to the
target directory.
List Window—When Details is on, the contents of
the directory are displayed with Name, Size, Type,
Date Modified, and Attributes. You can sort the
files by clicking the label of each parameter.
File Name—Displays the name of the file selected
in the list.
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Chapter 2: Viewing and Navigating 3D Space
Files of Type—Displays all the file types that can be
Preview—Displays the image as a thumbnail in the
displayed. This serves as a filter for the list.
Image Window.
Open—Selects the highlighted file and closes the
Image Window—Displays a thumbnail of the
dialog.
selected file if Preview is on.
Cancel—Cancels the selection and closes the
Statistics—Displays the resolution, color depth, file
dialog.
type and number of frames of the selected file.
Devices—Lets you select a background image from
Location—Displays the full path for the file. With
this information at the bottom of the dialog, you
always know exactly where you are.
a digital device. (No device is supported by the
default Autodesk VIZ installation.)
Setup—Displays the Image File List Control dialog
(page 3–292) to create an IFL file. Available only
when Sequence is on and there are sequentially
numbered files in the displayed directory.
Update Background Image
Views menu > Update Background Image (available only
when a viewport background is displayed)
Info—Displays expanded information about the
file, such as frame rate, compression quality, file
size, and resolution. The information here is
dependent on the type of information that is saved
with the file type.
This command updates the background image
displayed in the active viewport. If the active
viewport is not displaying a background image,
this command is unavailable.
View—Displays the file at its actual resolution. If
the file is a movie, the Media Player is opened to
play the file.
Use this command to update the background for
changes that are not updated automatically, such
as the following:
Gamma—Selects the type of gamma to be used
for the selected file. Available only when Enable
Gamma Selection is turned on in the Gamma
panel (page 3–511).
• Reassigning the map, or changing any
parameters affecting the map in the Materials
Editor, the Environment dialog, or the
Viewport Image dialog.
Use Image’s Own Gamma—Uses the gamma of the
• Changing the rendering resolution and aspect
ratio.
incoming bitmap.
Use System Default Gamma—Ignores the image’s
own gamma and uses the system default gamma
instead, as set in the Gamma panel (page 3–511).
Override—Defines a new gamma for the bitmap
that is neither the image’s own, nor the system
default.
Sequence—Creates an "Image File List" to your
specifications. Each selected image is checked to
see if a valid IFL sequence can be created. If the
selected image doesn’t yield a list, this option is
still available, but doesn’t do anything.
The following changes update the viewport
background image automatically:
• Changing the camera view.
• Undo (for views).
• Undo (for objects).
• Assigning a different view type.
• Toggling Safe Frames display on or off.
• Changing the rendering parameters.
• Moving the time slider when the viewport
contains an animated background image.
Reset Background Transform
Note: Viewports can use the current Environment
Map (set on the Environment panel (page 3–53)
of the Environment and Effects dialog) as the
background image.
Show Transform Gizmo
Views menu > Show Transform Gizmo
Keyboard > X
Procedure
To update the background image displayed in a
viewport:
1. Activate a viewport that contains a background
image.
2. Choose Views menu > Update Background
Image.
Reset Background Transform
Views menu > Reset Background Transform (available
only when a viewport background image is displayed and
Lock Zoom/Pan is turned on)
Reset Background Transform rescales and
recenters the current background to fit an
orthographic or user viewport. Use this command
when you want to reset the background to the
new position of your geometry. See Procedure for
detailed requirements.
Procedure
To reset the background to fit the viewport:
1. Activate an orthographic or user viewport that
has a background image.
2. Press Alt+B .
3. Turn on either Match Bitmap or Match
Rendering Output, and then turn on Lock
Zoom/Pan.
4. Click OK.
5. Choose Views menu > Reset Background
Transform.
The background image readjusts in the
viewport.
Show Transform Gizmo toggles the display of
the Transform gizmo axis tripod (page 1–342)
for all viewports when objects are selected and a
transform is active.
Additional controls for the Transform gizmo are
found on the Gizmo Preferences settings (page
3–518).
When the Transform gizmo is turned off, Show
Transform Gizmo controls the display of the axis
tripod on selected objects.
The state of Transform gizmo is saved in 3dsviz.ini,
so it’s maintained between scenes and sessions.
The related entries in the 3dsviz.ini file are:
• INI: Transformgizmo=1 (for Transform Gizmo
visibility, controlled by Preferences)
•
INI: ShowAxisIcon=1 (for Axis Icon visibility,
controlled in Views menu)
The visibility of the Axis tripod overrides the
visibility of the Transform Gizmo. If you turn off
the Transform Gizmo in Preferences, the Axis
tripod remains on the selected object. If you then
turn off the Show Transform Gizmo in the Views
menu, it actually turns off the Axis tripod. When
the Axis tripod is disabled, the Transform Gizmo
is also hidden.
Tip: The converse is not true. If the transform
gizmo is turned off, turning on the axis tripod
visibility does not display the transform gizmo.
Procedure
To scale the transform gizmo, do one of the following:
• Press – (hyphen) to shrink the Transform
gizmo.
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Chapter 2: Viewing and Navigating 3D Space
• Press = (equal sign) to enlarge the Transform
gizmo.
Show Ghosting
Views menu > Show Ghosting
Ghosting is a method of displaying wireframe
"ghost copies" of an animated object at a number
of frames before or after the current frame. Use it
to analyze and adjust your animation. Ghosts that
overlap indicate slower motion; ghosts that are
spread further apart show faster motion.
When this command is active, ghosting is
displayed for selected objects in the scene. Only
currently selected objects display the ghosting.
Show Key Times
Select an object with animation. > Views menu > Show
Key Times
Key Times shows the frame numbers along a
displayed animation trajectory (page 2–668).
Key times correspond to the settings in Time
Configuration (page 3–412) for Frames or SMPTE
(page 3–683). By default, key times are shown as
frame numbers.
Procedure
To display trajectory time values in the viewport:
1. Select an object with animation.
2.
On the Display panel > Display
Properties rollout, turn on Trajectory.
Tip: If the rollout controls are unavailable,
right-click the object in the active viewport,
choose Properties, and in the Display Properties
group, click By Layer to change to By Object.
This will make the Trajectory option become
available.
3. Choose Views menu > Show Key Times.
Ghosting helps to visualize animation.
To change Ghosting parameters choose Customize
> Preferences. On the Viewport panel of the
Preferences dialog you can determine the number
of ghosting frames, whether to ghost before or
after the current frame, or both, and you can also
show frame numbers with the ghosts.
Procedure
To show wireframe ghost copies of an animated
object:
• Choose Views menu > Show Ghosting.
The time values are displayed as white numbers
along the trajectory. They remain displayed in
red when the animated object is deselected.
Shade Selected
Procedure
To shade only selected objects in a scene:
1. Choose Views menu > Shade Selected.
2. Right-click the viewport label and choose
Wireframe.
3. Select the object.
Only the selected object is shaded.
Show Dependencies
Keyframes with frame number shown on a trajectory.
Shade Selected
Select an object to be shaded. > Views menu > Shade
Selected
Shade Selected shades only the selected objects in
the scene when the viewport is set to Wireframe
or Other. When Smooth + Highlights is on, all
objects are shaded whether they are selected or not.
Shade Selected lets you work with a wireframe
scene and shade only the selected objects when
you want to visualize them more clearly. All other
objects in the scene will appear in wireframe.
Selected objects shaded in a wireframe viewport.
Views menu > Show Dependencies
While you are using the Modify panel, this
command toggles viewport highlighting of objects
dependent on the currently selected object.
When Show Dependencies is on and the Modify
panel is active, any object that is dependent upon
the currently selected object in any way appears
magenta. This includes instances (page 3–639),
references (page 3–673), and shared modifiers (page
3–653). Default=off.
You can also see similar dependencies in Schematic
View (page 3–311).
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Chapter 2: Viewing and Navigating 3D Space
Procedure
To show dependencies between objects:
1. Select an object with an instanced modifier
(page 2–40).
2.
On the Modify panel, choose the
instanced modifier in the modifier stack.
3. Choose Views menu > Show Dependencies
Other objects with instances of the same
modifier appear in a different color.
camera to the active, Perspective viewport. This
functionality was adopted from the Match Camera
to View command, which is now available only as
an assignable main user interface shortcut (see
Keyboard Shortcuts (page 3–569)).
Note: Create Camera From View is available only
when a Perspective viewport is active.
To create a camera from a view, assuming any
existing cameras are unselected:
1. Activate a Perspective viewport.
2. If necessary, adjust the viewport using Pan,
Create Camera From View
Views menu > Create Camera From View
Create menu > Cameras > Create Camera From View
Keyboard > Ctrl+C
Zoom and Arc Rotate until you have a view you
like.
3. Leaving the viewport active, on the Views menu
choose Create Camera From View or press
Ctrl+C .
Autodesk VIZ creates a new camera, matching
its view to that of the Perspective viewport, and
then switches the Perspective viewport to a
Camera viewport, showing the view from the
new camera.
Add Default Lights to Scene
Views menu > Add Default Lights To Scene
Create Camera From View creates a Target camera
(page 2–989) whose field of view matches an
active, Perspective viewport. At the same time, it
changes the viewport to a Camera viewport (page
3–431) for the new camera object, and makes the
new camera the current selection.
Alternatively, if the scene already contains a camera
and the camera is selected, then Create Camera
From View does not create a new camera from
the view. Instead, it simply matches the selected
This command displays the Add Default Lights To
Scene dialog, which provides options that let you
convert the default scene lighting into actual light
objects (page 2–891).
The default lighting for viewports consists of a
key light, positioned in front and to the left of the
scene, and a fill light, positioned behind and to the
right of the scene. Both these default lights behave
as omni lights (page 2–915).
This command is available only when the active
viewport is configured to use two lights (the
default). When viewports use two lights, and you
invoke this command, the lights are added to the
Redraw All Views
scene as omni lights. You can add either the key
light, the fill light, or both.
Interface
Add Default Key Light—When on, adds the default
Two default lights are placed opposite to each other.
A, the key light is in front of the object, on the upper left side,
while B, the fill light is behind on the lower right side.
Note: You can use the Viewport Configuration
dialog (page 3–552) to change the default lighting
to a single key light. In that case, Add Default
Lights To Scene is not available.
You can add either the key light, the fill light, or
both. The omni light objects have the names
DefaultKeyLight and DefaultFillLight.
If you have already added one or both default
lights, a warning prompts you to rename or delete
the previous default light object before you add
another.
Procedure
To add the default lights as objects:
1. Choose Views menu > Add Default Lights To
Scene.
2. On the Add Default Lights To Scene dialog,
choose Key Light, Fill Light, or both.
3.
Activate the Top viewport, and on the
status bar, click Zoom Extents.
The lights are now visible in the viewport.
key light to the scene. The key light is in front of
the scene and to the left. The key light becomes
an omni light (page 2–915) with the name,
DefaultKeyLight. Default=on.
Add Default Fill Light—When on, adds the default
fill light to the scene. The fill light is behind the
scene and to the right. The fill light becomes
an omni light (page 2–915) with the name,
DefaultFillLight. Default=on.
Distance Scaling—Affects how far the lights are
placed from the origin (0,0,0). The default value
leaves the scene’s lighting unchanged. Larger
values move the lights farther away, dimming
the scene, and smaller values move them closer,
brightening the scene. Default=1.0. Range=0.0
to 1000.0.
Redraw All Views
Views menu > Redraw All Views
Keyboard > ‘ (accent grave)
Redraw All Views refreshes the display in all
viewports. When you move, rotate, scale, or
otherwise manipulate geometry, the viewports
may display the scene with some irregularities,
or with objects or parts of objects missing. Use
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Chapter 2: Viewing and Navigating 3D Space
Redraw All Views to redisplay your scene with all
lines and shading restored.
Update During Spinner Drag
Views menu > Update During Spinner Drag
Activate All Maps
Views menu > Activate All Maps
Activate All Maps turns on the Show Map In
Viewport flag for all materials assigned to the
scene.
To undo this action, use Views menu > Deactivate
All Maps. This will turn off the maps for all
materials. If you only want to turn off individual
maps, you need to turn off Show Map In Viewport
in the Material Editor.
Note: This command does not apply to XRef objects
(page 3–98) and objects in XRef scenes (page
3–111).
Deactivate All Maps
Views menu > Deactivate All Maps
Deactivate All Maps turns off the Show Map In
Viewport flag for all materials assigned to the
scene.
To undo this action, use Views menu > Activate All
Maps. This will turn on the maps for all materials.
If you only want to turn on individual maps, you
need to turn on Show Map in Viewport in the
Material Editor.
Note: This command does not apply to XRef objects
(page 3–98) and objects in XRef scenes (page
3–111).
When Update During Spinner Drag is on, dragging
a spinner (such as a Radius spinner for a sphere)
updates the effects in real time in the viewports.
Default=on.
When Update During Spinner Drag is off, the
effect is updated after the drag, when you release
the mouse. Use this option when you’re adjusting
processor-intensive controls.
Expert Mode
Views menu > Expert Mode
Keyboard > Ctrl+X
When Expert mode is on, the title bar, toolbar,
command panel, status bar, and all of the viewport
navigation buttons are removed from the display,
leaving only the menu bar, time slider, and
viewports. Use Expert mode when you need to
view your composition alone without the rest of
the interface.
With the ability to customize the user interface in
Autodesk VIZ, you can create your own versions
of Expert mode by hiding whatever you want
item-by-item. Expert mode is only a quick way to
hide everything that can be hidden at once.
You can assign keyboard shortcuts to hide and
unhide the command panel, toolbars, and so on
and then use these while in Expert mode. You can
also use the quad menu to access tools quickly in
Expert mode as well.
Procedures
To turn on Expert mode, do one of the following:
• Choose Views menu > Expert Mode.
Controlling Object Display
• Press Ctrl+X .
To turn off Expert mode and return to full display,
do one of the following:
• Click the Cancel Expert Mode button to the
right of the time slider.
• Press Ctrl+X .
• Choose Views menu > Expert Mode.
Controlling Object Display
You use the Display panel or layers (page 3–327)
to control how objects and selected objects are
displayed in viewports, and to hide or freeze
objects.
You can also use layers (page 3–327) to hide or
unhide objects in the viewport.
Tip: You can also use the Isolate Selection command
(page 1–69) to hide everything except your
selection set.
Display Color Rollout (page 1–49)
Hide By Category Rollout (page 1–50)
Hide Rollout (page 1–51)
Freeze Rollout (page 1–51)
Display Properties Rollout (page 1–52)
Display Color Rollout
Display panel > Display Color rollout
The Display Color rollout specifies whether
Autodesk VIZ displays objects using their object
colors or their diffuse material colors (page 3–619),
when the objects have their display properties (page
1–109) set to By Object. If the display properties
of an object is set to By Layer, the layer color
will be used for the display. You can choose one
method for wireframe display and a different one
for shaded display. In each shading mode you can
specify whether the material or the object color
is used.
As a default, all new objects have their display
properties set to By Layer. The default can be
changed in Customize > Preferences > Preferences
dialog > General panel > Layer Defaults group. If
you turn off Default To By Layer For New Nodes,
all new objects created in Autodesk VIZ will
display in the viewports based on the settings
in the Display Color rollout. You can switch
individual objects between By Object and By
Layer by setting the Display Properties in the
Object Properties dialog (page 1–109), accessible by
right-clicking any selected object.
If the object color box displays black and white
rectangles, this indicates that the object has its
display properties set to By Layer.
Link Display Rollout (page 1–55)
Object Display Culling Utility (page 1–56)
See also
Object Properties (page 1–109)
Interface
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Chapter 2: Viewing and Navigating 3D Space
Wireframe— Controls the color of objects when the
Interface
viewport is in wireframe display mode.
Object Color—Displays the wireframes in object
color.
Material Color—Displays the wireframes using the
material color.
Shaded—Controls the color of the object when the
viewport is in any shaded display mode.
Object Color—Displays the shaded objects using
the object color.
Material Color—Displays the shaded objects using
the material color.
Hide By Category Rollout
Display panel > Hide By Category rollout
The Hide By Category rollout toggles the display
of objects by category (objects, cameras, lights,
and so on).
By default, Autodesk VIZ displays all objects
in the scene. Objects hidden by category aren’t
evaluated in the scene, so hiding objects by
category improves performance.
You can use any of the default display filters
provided, or add new display filters for fast
selection of objects to hide.
Turn on the check boxes to hide objects of that
category. You can use the All, None, and Invert
buttons to quickly change the settings of the check
boxes.
The Display Filter box gives you finer control in
creating categories to hide. Click the Add button
to display a list of display filters. Hold down
the Ctrl key and click the filter name to select
whatever category you’d like to hide.
Geometry—Hides all geometry in the scene.
Shapes—Hides all shapes in the scene.
Lights—Hides all lights in the scene.
Cameras—Hides all cameras in the scene.
Helpers—Hides all helpers in the scene.
Point—Hides all points in the scene.
All—Hides everything in the scene.
None—Unhides everything in the scene
Invert—Hides everything that is visible and
unhides everything currently hidden.
Add—Adds a display filter category to the list.
Remove—Removes a display filter category.
Hide Rollout
None—Deselects all highlighted display filters in
the list.
Hide Rollout
Display panel > Hide rollout
The Hide rollout provides controls that let you
hide and unhide individual objects by selecting
them, regardless of their category.
You can also hide and unhide objects using the
Display Floater (page 3–461).
See also
Hide By Category Rollout (page 1–50)
Interface
Hide by Hit—Hides any object you click in the
viewport. If you hold the Ctrl key while selecting
an object, that object and all of its children are
hidden. To exit Hide by Hit mode, right-click,
press Esc , or select a different function. This
mode is automatically turned off if you hide all
objects in the scene.
Unhide All—Unhides all hidden objects. The
unhide buttons are available only when you have
specifically hidden one or more objects. They
won’t unhide objects hidden by category.
Note: If you click Unhide All in a scene with hidden
layers, a dialog will pop up prompting you to
unhide all layers. You cannot unhide an object on
a hidden layer.
Unhide by Name—Displays a dialog you use to
unhide objects you choose from a list. See Select
Objects dialog (page 1–75), which describes nearly
identical controls.
Note: If you select an object on a hidden layer, a
dialog will pop up prompting you to unhide the
object’s layer. You cannot unhide an object on a
hidden layer.
Hide Frozen Objects—Hides any frozen objects.
Turn it off to display hidden frozen objects.
Freeze Rollout
Display panel > Freeze rollout
Hide Selected—Hides the selected objects.
Hide Unselected—Hides all visible objects except
the selected ones. Use this to hide all objects except
the one you’re working on. Objects hidden by
category aren’t affected.
Hide by Name—Displays a dialog you use to
hide objects you choose from a list. See Select
Objects dialog (page 1–75), which describes nearly
identical controls.
The Freeze rollout provides controls that let you
freeze or unfreeze (page 3–631) individual objects
by selecting them, regardless of their category.
Frozen objects remain on the screen, but you can’t
select, transform, or modify them. By default,
frozen objects turn dark gray. Frozen lights and
cameras, and their associated viewports, continue
to work as they normally do.
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You can choose to have frozen objects retain their
usual color or texture in viewports. Use the Show
Frozen In Gray toggle in the Object Properties
dialog (page 1–109).
Interface
Unfreeze by Name—Displays a dialog that lets you
choose objects to unfreeze from a list. See Select
Objects dialog (page 1–75), which describes nearly
identical controls.
Note: If you unfreeze by name an object on a frozen
layer, a dialog opens prompting you to unfreeze
the object’s layer. You cannot unfreeze an object
on a frozen layer.
Unfreeze by Hit—Unfreezes any object you click in
the viewport. If you press Ctrl while selecting
an object, that object and all of its children are
unfrozen.
If you select an object on a frozen layer, a dialog
will pop up prompting you to unfreeze the object’s
layer. You cannot unfreeze an object on a frozen
layer.
Freeze Selected—Freezes the selected object(s).
Freeze Unselected—Freezes all visible objects
except the selected ones. Use this to quickly freeze
all the objects except the one you’re working on.
Freeze by Name—Displays a dialog that lets you
choose objects to freeze from a list. See Select
Objects dialog (page 1–75), which describes nearly
identical controls.
Freeze by Hit—Freezes any object you click in a
viewport. If you press Ctrl while selecting an
object, that object and all of its children are frozen.
To exit Freeze by Hit mode, right-click, press
Esc , or select a different function. This mode is
automatically turned off if you freeze all objects
in the scene.
Unfreeze All—Unfreezes all frozen objects.
Note: If you click Unfreeze All in a scene with
frozen layers, a dialog opens prompting you to
unfreeze all layers. You cannot unfreeze an object
on a frozen layer.
Display Properties Rollout
Display panel > Display Properties rollout
The Display Properties rollout provides controls
for altering the display of selected objects.
Note: In Autodesk VIZ, by default you set display
properties by layer rather than by object. To set a
layer’s display properties, open the Layer Manager
(page 3–329), right-click the layer name, choose
Layer Properties from the menu, and then use the
Layer Properties dialog (page 3–334).
See also
Link Display Rollout (page 1–55)
Procedure
To display trajectories using the Display panel:
1. Select one or more animated objects.
2. Right-click the selection, and choose
Properties.
Display Properties Rollout
3. In the Display properties group, click By Layer
Interface
to change it to By Object, and then click OK.
4. Expand the Display Properties rollout in the
Display panel.
5. Turn on Trajectory.
By default, object trajectories appear with the
following properties:
• The trajectory curve is drawn in red.
• Frame increments display as white dots on
the curve.
• Position keys display as red boxes
surrounding the appropriate frame dot on
the curve. The boxes are white when the
object is selected.
• If Views > Show Key Times is turned on, the
keyframe numbers are displayed along side
the keys on the trajectory.
Trajectories can also be displayed through
Object Properties. Right-click any object
and choose Properties, then in the Display
properties group change By Layer to By
Object. Turn on Trajectories when it
becomes available in the Display Properties
group.
The first three options reduce the displayed
geometric complexity of selected objects in a
scene, resulting in faster response time because the
computer has less to calculate. These options are
also available in the Display Properties group of
the Object Properties dialog > General panel (page
1–109) and the Display floater (page 3–461).
Display as Box—Toggles the display of selected
objects, including 3D objects and 2D shapes, as
bounding boxes (page 3–613). Produces minimum
geometric complexity.
You can change the colors for these items on
the Colors panel (page 3–485) of the Customize
User Interface dialog.
You can also use object properties to display
trajectories: right-click any object and choose
Properties, then turn on Trajectory.
Backface Cull—Toggles the display of faces, edges,
and vertices with normals (page 3–656) pointing
away from the point of view. When off, all entities
are visible. Default=off.
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Chapter 2: Viewing and Navigating 3D Space
Edges Only—Toggles the display of hidden edges
and polygon diagonals (page 3–618). When on,
only outside edges appear. When off, all mesh
geometry appears. Applies to Wireframe viewport
display mode, as well as other modes with Edged
Faces turned on.
Trajectory—Toggles trajectory (page 3–692) display
for the selected object so its trajectory is visible in
viewports.
See-Through—Makes the object or selection
Vertex Ticks—Displays the vertices in the selected
geometry as tick marks.
If the current selection has no displayed tick
marks, the check box is clear. If some of the
vertices in the current selection display tick marks,
the check box contains a gray X. If all vertices in
the current selection display tick marks, the check
box contains a black X.
translucent in viewports. This setting has no
effect on rendering: it simply lets you see what’s
behind or inside an object in a crowded scene, and
is especially useful in adjusting the position of
objects behind or inside the See-Through object.
This is very handy when you have objects within
other objects in your scene.
This option is also available from Object Properties
dialog (page 1–109) and the Tools > Display Floater
(page 3–461).
You can customize the color of see-through objects
by using the Colors panel (page 3–485) of the
Customize > Customize User Interface dialog (page
3–477).
Link Display Rollout
Keyboard shortcut (default): Alt+X
Link Display Rollout
Ignore Extents—When turned on, the object is
ignored when you use the display control Zoom
Extents. Use this on distant lights.
Show Frozen in Gray—When on, the object turns
gray in viewports when you freeze it. When off,
viewports display the object with its usual color or
texture even when it is frozen. Default=on.
Display panel > Link Display rollout
The Link Display rollout provides controls that
alter the display of hierarchical linkages (page
3–635).
Interface
Vertex Colors—Displays the effect of assigned
vertex colors. You assign vertex colors using the
Assign Vertex Color utility. Once vertex colors
have been assigned they can also be edited in the
Vertex Properties rollout in the editable mesh or
editable poly in vertex or face sub-object level.
The Shaded button determines whether the object
with the assigned vertex colors appears shaded in
the viewport. When this button is off, the colors
are unshaded and appear in their pure RGB values,
looking a little like self-illuminated materials.
When the Shaded button is on, the colors appear
like any other assigned color in the viewports.
Display Links—Displays a wireframe representation
of any hierarchical links affecting the selected
object.
Note: Display Links must be turned on in order to
see Joint Limits on a inverse kinematics chain.
Link Replaces Object—Replaces the selected
object with the wireframe representation of the
hierarchical link. This option offers another way
to reduce the geometric complexity of selected
objects in a scene. See also Display Properties
rollout (page 1–52).
The Draw Links As Lines option on the Viewports
panel (page 3–508) of the Preference Settings
dialog further reduces the display of links to a
single line.
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Object Display Culling Utility
Utilities panel > More button > Object Display Culling
minimizing object culling, and then raises it later,
if possible.
Affect Scene XRefs—When on, XRef scenes (page
3–111) are culled as well as native objects.
The Object Display Culling utility lets you
navigate and manipulate large and complex scenes
more easily and quickly by intelligently hiding
less-important objects as you work.
Interface
Static/Object(s) culled—If no culling is happening,
such as when you first open the utility, this
read-only field shows “Static”.
When Object Display Culling is enabled, this field
shows the number of objects currently hidden or
displayed as bounding boxes.
Culled Objects—Choose how to prevent display of
culled geometry:
• Hidden: Culled objects don’t appear in the
viewports.
• Display as Bounding Box: Culled objects
appear as bounding boxes (page 3–613).
Close—Closes the rollout.
Enable—Turns Object Display Culling on and off.
Default=off. Keyboard shortcut: Alt+O .
You can also toggle Object Display Culling from
the Views menu.
Target Framerate—The desired frame rate. If the
frame rate drops below this, Autodesk VIZ culls
objects as necessary to achieve the frame rate,
beginning with those farthest from the current
viewpoint.
If Self-Adjust Framerate is on, Autodesk VIZ sets
this value automatically.
Self-Adjust Framerate—When on, Autodesk VIZ
sets the Target Framerate value automatically. The
software lowers the frame rate as necessary while
Selecting Objects
Most actions in Autodesk VIZ are performed on
selected objects in your scene. You must select
an object in a viewport before you can apply a
command. As a result, the act of selection is an
essential part of the modeling and animation
process.
This section presents the selection tools available
in Autodesk VIZ. Besides the basic techniques
of selecting single and multiple objects using
mouse and keyboard, these topics cover the use of
named selection sets and other features that help
you manage object selection, such as hiding and
freezing objects and layers. Also included is an
introduction to sub-object selection, essential to
working with an object’s underlying geometry.
Lastly, a technique for grouping objects is
presented. Grouping lets you create more
permanent selections that have many of the
characteristics of independent objects.
This section presents the following topics:
Introducing Object Selection (page 1–57)
Basics of Selecting Objects (page 1–60)
Selecting by Region (page 1–62)
Using Select By Name (page 1–63)
Using Named Selection Sets (page 1–63)
Using Selection Filters (page 1–64)
Selecting with Track View (page 1–65)
Selecting with Schematic View (page 1–66)
Freezing and Unfreezing Objects (page 1–66)
Hiding and Unhiding Objects by Selection (page
1–67)
Hiding and Unhiding Objects by Category (page
1–68)
Isolate Selection (page 1–69)
Introduction to Sub-Object Selection (page 1–70)
Using Assemblies (page 1–95)
Using Groups (page 1–93)
Introducing Object Selection
Autodesk VIZ is an object-oriented program. This
means that each object in the 3D scene carries
instructions that tell the program what you can
do with it. These instructions vary with the type
of object.
Because each object can respond to a different
set of commands, you apply commands by
first selecting the object and then selecting the
command. This is known as a noun-verb interface,
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Chapter 3: Selecting Objects
because you first select the object (the noun) and
then select the command (the verb).
Identifying the Selection Interface
Selection Buttons
Another way to select an object is to click one of
these buttons, then click the object.
In the user interface, selection commands or
functions appear in the following areas:
Select
• Main toolbar
Selection Objects
• Edit menu
• Quad menu (while objects are selected)
Select And Move Mode
• Tools menu
• Track View
• Display panel
• Schematic View
The buttons on the main toolbar are a direct means
of selection. The Selection Floater, available from
the Tools menu, is easy to use, while the Edit menu
provides more general selection commands, plus
methods of selecting objects by property. Track
View and Schematic View let you select objects
from a hierarchical list.
Selecting From the Quad Menu
The quickest way to select an object is from the
Transform quadrant of the quad menu, where you
can easily switch among the Move, Rotate, Scale,
and Select modes. Choose any of these and click
on the object you want to select in the viewport.
Selecting by Name
Another quick way to select an object is to
use keyboard shortcuts for the Select by Name
command. Press H on the keyboard then select
the object by name from the list. This is the most
foolproof way to ensure you select the correct
object when you have many overlapping objects
in the scene.
Select And Rotate Mode
Select And Uniform Scale Mode
Select And Manipulate
The main toolbar has several selection-mode
buttons. When any of the selection buttons is
active, the program is in a state where you can
select objects by clicking them.
Of the selection buttons, you use Select Object
or Selection Floater when you want selection
only. The remaining buttons let you both select
and transform or manipulate your selection.
Use transforms to move, rotate, and scale your
selection. See Moving, Rotating, and Scaling
Objects (page 1–341) and Select and Manipulate
(page 2–611).
Introducing Object Selection
Crossing Versus Window Selection
Select All (page 1–84)
Select None (page 1–84)
Select Invert (page 1–84)
Select By Color (page 1–84)
Select By Name (Edit Menu) (page 1–85) (also a
toolbar button)
Select by Rectangular Region (page 1–86)
Select by Circular Region (page 1–86)
Select by Fence Region (page 1–87)
Select by Lasso Region (page 1–87)
Region Window (page 1–89) (also a toolbar button)
Region Crossing (page 1–90) (also a toolbar button)
Edit Named Selections (page 1–80)
Tools Menu Commands
Above: Window selection selects the trash can and bench, but
not the streetlight.
Below: Crossing selection selects all three: trash can, bench,
and streetlight.
The Selection toggle, available from the
toolbar, switches between Window and Crossing
modes when you select by region. In Window
mode, you select only the objects within the
selection. In Crossing mode, you select all objects
within the region, plus any objects crossing the
boundaries of the region.
Edit Menu Commands
The Edit menu contains selection commands that
operate globally on your objects.
Edit menu selection commands include:
The Tools menu contains two options for modeless
(page 3–652) selection dialogs or "floaters."
You can place them anywhere on the screen, or
minimize them by right-clicking the title bar and
choosing Minimize.
Selection Floater
• Same features as Select By Name. See Selection
Floater (page 1–76).
Display Floater
• Provides options for hiding and freezing
selections as well as some display options. See
Display Floater (page 3–461).
Selection Floater
The Tools menu contains an option for a modeless
(page 3–652) selection dialog called the Selection
Floater. You can place it anywhere on the screen.
The Selection Floater has the same features as
Select By Name. See Selection Floater (page 1–76).
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Track/Schematic View Selection
Track View (page 2–795) is primarily designed
as an animation tool, but you can also use its
Hierarchy List window as an alternative method
of selecting objects by name and hierarchy. This
works in both the Curve Editor and Dope Sheet
modes of Track View.
Basics of Selecting Objects
Schematic View (page 3–311) is specifically
designed to let you navigate your scene efficiently,
presenting a hierarchical view and letting you
select objects and their properties by name.
Display Panel Selection
Bed selected in wireframe
The Display panel provides options for hiding and
freezing objects. These techniques exclude objects
from other selection methods, and are useful in
simplifying complex scenes. Frozen objects are
still visible, but hidden objects are not.
Bed selected in smooth and shaded view
The most basic selection techniques use either
the mouse, or the mouse in conjunction with a
keystroke.
Procedures
To select an object:
1. Click one of the selection buttons on the
toolbar: Select Object, Select by Name, Select
and Move, Select and Rotate, or Select and
Scale, or Select and Manipulate.
2. In any viewport, move the cursor over the
object you want to select.
Basics of Selecting Objects
The cursor changes to a small cross when it’s
positioned over an object that can be selected.
The valid selection zones of an object depend
on the type of object and the display mode
in the viewport. In shaded mode, any visible
surface of an object is valid. In wireframe
mode, any edge or segment of an object is valid,
including hidden lines.
3. While the cursor displays the selection cross,
click to select the object (and to deselect any
previously selected object).
A selected wireframe object turns white. A
selected shaded object displays white brackets
at the corners of its bounding box.
To select all objects do one of the following:
• Choose Edit menu > Select All.
This selects all objects in your scene.
Tip: You can also hold down Alt while you
click to remove objects from selections.
To lock a selection:
1. Select an object.
2.
Click the Selection Lock Toggle (page
3–395) on the status bar to turn on locked
selection mode.
While your selection is locked, you can drag the
mouse anywhere on the screen without losing
the selection. The cursor displays the current
selection icon. When you want to deselect or
alter your selection, click the Lock button again
to turn off locked selection mode. SPACEBAR
is the keyboard toggle for locked selection
mode.
To deselect an object, do any of the following:
• On the keyboard press Ctrl+A .
• Click an empty area anywhere outside the
current selection.
To invert the current selection do one of the
following:
• Hold down the Alt key, and either click an
object, or drag a region around the object to
deselect it.
• Choose Edit menu > Select Invert.
This reverses the current selection pattern. For
example, assume you begin with five objects in
your scene, and two of them are selected. After
choosing Invert, the two are deselected, and the
remaining objects are selected.
• On the keyboard press Ctrl+I .
To extend or reduce a selection:
• Hold down Ctrl while you click to make
selections.
This toggles the selection state of the objects
you select. Use this method to select or deselect
objects. For example, if you have two objects
selected and Ctrl +click to select a third, the
third object is added to the selection. If you
now Ctrl +click any of the three selected
objects, that object is deselected.
• Hold down the Ctrl key and click to deselect a
selected object. This also selects non-selected
objects.
• Choose Edit menu > Select None to deselect
all objects in the scene.
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Selecting by Region
Setting Region Type
The type of region you define when you drag the
mouse is set by the Region flyout button to the
right of the Select By Name button. You can use
any of five types of region selection:
Top Left: Selecting face sub-objects with a rectangular region
Top Right: Selecting vertex sub-objects with a circular region
Center: Selecting face sub-objects with a painted region
Bottom Left: Selecting edge sub-objects with a fence region
Bottom Right: Selecting edge sub-objects with a lasso region
The region-selection tools let you use the mouse to
select one or more objects by defining an outline
or area.
Region Selection
By default, when you drag the mouse a rectangular
region is created. When you release the mouse
all objects within and touched by the region are
selected. The remainder of this topic describes
how you can change each of these settings.
Note: If you hold down Ctrl while specifying
a region, the affected objects are added to the
current selection. Conversely, if you hold down
Alt while specifying a region, the affected objects
are removed from the current selection.
• Rectangular Region—Dragging the mouse
selects a rectangular region. See Rectangular
Selection Region (page 1–86).
• Circular Region—Dragging the mouse selects a
circular region. See Circular Selection Region
(page 1–86).
• Fence Region—Draw an irregular
selection-region outline by alternating
between moving the mouse and clicking (begin
with a drag). See Fence Selection Region (page
1–87).
• Lasso Region—Dragging the mouse outlines an
irregular selection region. See Lasso Selection
Region (page 1–87).
• Paint Region—Drag the mouse over objects or
sub-objects to be included in the selection. See
Paint Selection Region (page 1–88)
Setting Region Inclusion
This option lets you specify whether to include
objects touched by the region border. It applies to
all region methods.
Using Select By Name
Choose Edit menu > Region to display a submenu
of the following two items. Only one can be active
at a time. The option is also available on the main
toolbar.
• Window—Selects only objects that are
completely within the region. See Select Region
Window (page 1–89)
• Crossing—Selects all objects that are within
the region and crossing the boundaries of the
region. This is the default region. See Select
Region Crossing (page 1–90).
The Window/Crossing toggle (page 1–90) on the
main toolbar also switches between these two
modes.
You can set up a preference to automatically
switch between Window and crossing based
on the direction of your cursor movement. See
Auto Window/Crossing by Direction in General
Preferences (page 3–503).
Using Select By Name
You can select objects by their assigned names,
avoiding mouse clicks completely, from the Select
Objects dialog.
Procedure
To select objects by name:
1. Do one of the following:
•
On the main toolbar, click Select By
Name.
• Choose Edit menu > Select By > Name.
• Choose Tools menu > Selection Floater.
The Select Objects or Selection Floater
dialog is displayed. By default, these dialogs
list all objects in the scene. Any selected
objects are highlighted in the list.
2. Choose one or more objects in the list. Use
Procedure
To make a region selection using defaults:
1. Click Select Object (page 1–73).
2. Drag the mouse to define a region.
A rubber-band rectangle appears.
3. Release the mouse button to select all objects
Ctrl to add to the selection.
3. Click Select to make the selection.
Select Object closes, while Selection Floater
remains active.
For more information, see the Select Objects dialog
description (page 1–75).
within or touching the region.
The selected objects turn white.
You can also use the Select and Transform buttons
on the main toolbar to select by region. You must
start defining the region over an unselectable area
of the viewport. Otherwise, you’ll transform the
object beneath your mouse when you begin to
drag.
Using Named Selection Sets
You can assign a name to the current selection, and
then later reselect those objects by choosing their
selection name from a list.
Named Selection Sets
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Chapter 3: Selecting Objects
To edit named selection sets:
You can also edit the contents of named sets
from the Named Selection Sets dialog (page 1–80).
Editing Named Selections
As you model and create a scene, you’re likely
to rearrange the objects making up your named
selection sets. If you do, you’ll need to edit the
contents of those sets.
•
On the main toolbar, click Named
Selection Sets to display the Named Selection
Sets dialog.
Using Selection Filters
Procedures
To assign a name to a selection set:
1. Select one or more objects or sub-objects using
any combination of selection methods.
2. Click in the Named Selection field on the main
toolbar.
3. Enter a name for your set. The name can contain
any standard ASCII characters, including
letters, numerals, symbols, punctuation, and
spaces.
Note: Names are case-sensitive.
4. Press Enter to complete the selection set.
You can now select another combination of objects
or sub-objects and repeat the process to create
another named selection set.
To retrieve a named selection set:
1. In the Named Selection field, click the arrow.
Note: If you’re working with a sub-object
selection set, you must be at the same level
at which you created the selection set (for
example, editable mesh > vertex) for it to
appear on the list.
2. On the list, click a name.
You can use the Selection Filter list on the main
toolbar to deactivate selection for all but a specific
category of object. By default, all categories can be
selected, but you can set the Selection Filter so that
only one category, such as lights, can be selected.
You can also create combinations of filters to add
to the list.
Using Combos
The Combos feature allows you to combine two or
more categories into a single filter category.
Procedures
To use the selection filter:
• Click the Selection Filter arrow and click a
category from the Selection Filter list.
Selection is now limited to objects defined in
this category. The category remains in effect
until you change it.
Selecting with Track View
The following categories are available:
All—All categories can be selected. This is the
Selecting with Track View
default setting.
Geometry—Only geometric objects can be
selected. This includes meshes, patches, and
other kinds of objects not specifically included
in this list.
Shapes—Only shapes can be selected.
Lights—Only lights (and their targets) can be
selected.
Cameras—Only cameras (and their targets) can
be selected.
Helpers—Only helper objects can be selected.
Combos—Displays a Filter Combinations dialog
(page 1–78) that lets you create custom filters.
Point—Only point objects can be selected.
To create a combination category:
1. From the drop-down list, choose Combos to
display the Filter Combinations dialog (page
1–78).
All single categories are listed.
2. Select the categories you want to combine.
3. Click Add.
The combination appears in a list to the right,
abbreviated by the first letter of each category.
Click OK.
For example, if you selected Geometry, Lights,
and Cameras, the Combo would be named
GLC. This name appears below Combo on the
drop-down list. For more information, see
Selection Filters List (page 1–77).
Track View provides sophisticated methods to edit
your animation tracks. In addition, its Hierarchy
list displays all objects in the scene by name and
hierarchy. Using Track View, you can select any
object in the scene by clicking its object icon in the
Hierarchy list.
Procedure
You can use Track View selection functionality in
both the Curve Editor (page 2–802) and the Dope
Sheet (page 2–802). This procedure illustrates
usage of the Curve Editor; the same methods work
in the Dope Sheet.
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To open Track View and display and select objects:
1.
On the main toolbar, click Curve Editor
(Open).
2. Click any cube icon in the list to select the
named object.
You can make the following kinds of selections:
• Select several adjacent objects in the list. Click
the first object, hold down Shift , and click
another object elsewhere in the list.
• Modify the selection by pressing Ctrl while
clicking. Ctrl lets you toggle individual items
on and off without deselecting others in the list.
• Select an object and all its descendants. Press
and hold Alt , right-click the object’s cube
icon (keep the right mouse button held down),
and choose Select Children from the menu.
You can open a Track View window for the
sole purpose of selecting objects by name.
Shrink the window until only a portion of the
Hierarchy appears, and then move the window to
a convenient area on your screen.
Procedure
To open Schematic View and display and select
objects:
1.
Click Open Schematic View on the main
toolbar.
2. Click the rectangle containing the name of your
object.
You can select any number of objects in Schematic
View using standard methods, including dragging
a region. For more information, see Using
Schematic View (page 3–313).
Freezing and Unfreezing Objects
You can freeze any selection of objects in your
scene. By default, frozen objects, whether
wireframe or rendered, turn a dark gray. They
remain visible, but can’t be selected, and therefore
can’t be directly transformed or modified.
Freezing lets you protect objects from accidental
editing and speeds up redraws.
Selecting with Schematic View
Schematic view is a window that displays the
objects in your scene in a hierarchical view. It
gives you an alternate way to select and choose the
objects in your scene and navigate to them.
When the Modify panel is open, double-clicking
an object modifier in Schematic view navigates the
modifier stack to that modifier for quick access
to its parameters.
Above: No layers frozen
Below: Trash can and streetlight are frozen, and displayed in
gray
Hiding and Unhiding Objects by Selection
You can choose to have frozen objects retain their
usual color or texture in viewports. Use the Show
Frozen In Gray toggle in the General tab of the
Object Properties dialog (page 1–109).
Frozen objects are similar to hidden objects.
Linked, instanced, and referenced objects behave
when frozen just as they would if unfrozen. Frozen
lights and cameras and any associated viewports
continue to work as they normally do.
For more information, see Freeze Rollout (page
1–51).
Hiding and Unhiding Objects by
Selection
You can hide any selection of individual objects in
your scene. They disappear from view, making it
easier to select remaining objects. Hiding objects
also speeds up redraws. You can then unhide
all objects at once or by individual object name.
You can also filter the names by category, so only
hidden objects of a certain type are listed.
Note: Hiding a light source doesn’t alter its effect; it
still illuminates the scene.
Freezing Objects
You can freeze one or more selected objects. This
is the usual method to put objects "on hold."
You can also freeze all objects that are not selected.
This method lets you keep only the selected object
active, useful in a cluttered scene, for example,
where you want to be sure no other objects are
affected.
Procedure
To access Freeze options, do one of the following:
•
Original scene
Open the Display panel, then expand
the Freeze rollout.
• Choose Tools menu > Display Floater. This
modeless dialog has the same options as the
Freeze rollout. It also contains Hide options.
• Access the Object Properties dialog (page 1–109)
from either the right-click (quad) menu or the
Edit menu. Turn on Hide and/or Freeze.
• In the Layer Manager, click in the Freeze
column to freeze/unfreeze each layer in the list.
• Right-click in the active viewport and choose
a Freeze or Unfreeze command from the quad
menu > Display quadrant.
Scene with bed hidden
Hiding objects is similar to freezing objects.
Linked, instanced, and referenced objects behave
when hidden just as they would if unhidden.
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Hidden lights and cameras and any associated
viewports continue to work normally.
Procedure
For more information, see Hide Rollout (page
1–51).
• Open the Layer Manager (page 3–329).
To access Hide options, do one of the following:
In the Layer Manager, you can easily hide
groups of objects or layers.
Hiding Objects
Hiding objects is similar to freezing objects. See
Freezing and Unfreezing Objects (page 1–66). You
can hide one or more selected objects. You can
also hide all objects that are not selected.
Another option is to hide objects by category. See
Hiding and Unhiding Objects by Category (page
1–68).
Unhiding Objects
You can unhide objects in either of two ways:
• Use Unhide All to unhide all objects at the same
time.
• Use All On to display all objects at the same
time.
• Use Unhide By Name to unhide object
selectively. When you click Unhide By Name,
the same dialog is displayed as for hiding, now
called Unhide Objects.
The Unhide buttons are unavailable when no
object in the scene is hidden.
Objects that were first hidden by selection and then
hidden by category do not reappear. Although
they are unhidden at the selection level, they are
still hidden at the category level. See Hiding and
Unhiding Objects by Category (page 1–68) for more
details.
Important: Objects on a hidden layer cannot be
unhidden. If you try to unhide an object on a hidden
layer, you are prompted to unhide the object’s layer.
•
Open the Display panel. Click Hide, if
necessary, to expand the rollout.
• Choose Tools menu > Display Floater. This
modeless dialog has the same options as the
Hide rollout. It also contains Freeze options.
• Access the Object Properties dialog (page 1–109)
from either the right-click (quad) menu or the
Edit menu. Turn on Hide, Freeze, or both. If the
button is unavailable because By Layer is turned
on, click By Layer to change it to By Object.
• Right-click in the active viewport and choose a
Hide or Unhide command from the quad menu
> Display quadrant.
Hiding and Unhiding Objects by
Category
You can hide objects by category, the basic types
of objects. For example, you can hide all lights
in your scene at one time, or all shapes, or any
combination of categories. By hiding all categories,
your scene appears empty. Hidden objects, while
not displayed, continue to exist as part of the
geometry of your scene but cannot be selected.
Isolate Selection
• Lights hidden by category continue to shine.
Views through cameras and targeted lights are
still active.
• Linked, instanced, and referenced objects
behave when hidden just as they would if
visible.
Procedures
To hide a category of objects:
1.
Open the Display panel.
2. Click Hide by Category, if necessary, to expand
the rollout. By default, all categories are turned
off (unhidden) on this rollout.
3. Choose the category you want to hide. All
objects of that category disappear from your
scene as soon as you make the choice.
The same Hide By Category options appear on the
Object Level panel of the Display Floater (Tools
menu > Display Floater).
Above: All objects displayed
Below: Lights and shapes are hidden
To unhide a category of objects:
• Deselect the category.
Effects of Hiding by Category
• If you create an object in a category that is
hidden, the category selection is cleared and
the objects in that category are unhidden.
• Unhiding by category has no effect on objects
hidden with the controls on the Hide rollout
(see Hiding and Unhiding Objects by Selection
(page 1–67)). These objects remain hidden.
You need to use the controls on that rollout to
unhide them.
• Unhiding by selection does not return a hidden
object to the scene if the category of the object is
hidden. The Unhide All and Unhide By Name
controls continue to work, but the effect is not
seen until the category is cleared.
All objects in the category reappear, unless
some have been hidden by selection. See
“Effects of Hiding by Category”.
Isolate Selection
Tools menu > Isolate Selection
Right-click to open the quad menu. > Display
(upper-right) quadrant > Isolate Selection
Keyboard > Alt + Q
The Isolate Selection tool lets you edit a single
object or selection set of objects while hiding the
rest of the scene on a temporary basis. This guards
against selecting other objects while working
on a single selection. It allows you to focus on
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the objects you need to see, without the visual
distraction of the surroundings. It also reduces
the performance overhead that can come from
displaying other objects in the viewports.
When an isolated selection includes multiple
objects, you can select a subset of these, and
choose Isolate Selection once again. This isolates
the subset. However, clicking Exit Isolation
unhides the entire scene. You can’t “step back”
through individual levels of isolation.
(page 1–262); for a discussion of NURBS
sub-object selection, see Sub-Object Selection
(page 2–430).
When you model an object, often you edit a
portion of its underlying geometry, such as
a set of its faces or vertices. Or when you are
working with a model, you may want to apply
mapping coordinates to a portion of its underlying
geometry. Use the methods described in this topic
to make sub-object selections.
Note: Isolate Selection works only at the object
level. You can’t choose it while at the sub-object
level. If you go to a sub-object level while working
with an isolated object, you can click Exit Isolation,
but you can’t isolate sub-objects.
Tip: You can also use Isolate Unselected to isolate
all of the unselected objects in your scene.
Interface
While the Isolate tool is active, a dialog labeled
Warning: Isolated Selection appears.
Left: A selection of face sub-objects
Middle: A selection of edge sub-objects
Right: A selection of vertex sub-objects
Exit Isolation Mode—Click to end isolation, close
the dialog, and unhide the rest of the scene.
The views are restored to what they showed before
you chose Isolate Selection.
Introduction to Sub-Object
Selection
This is a general introduction to sub-object
selection. For specific information, see Editable
Mesh (page 2–342), Editable Patch (page 2–314),
Editable Poly (page 2–367), and Editable Spline
You can access sub-object geometry through a
variety of methods. The most common technique
is to convert an object into "editable" geometry
such as a mesh, spline, patch, NURBS, or poly
object. These object types let you select and edit
geometry at the sub-object level.
If you have a primitive object and want to retain
control of its creation parameters, you can apply
a modifier such as Edit Mesh (page 2–74), Edit
Spline (page 2–117), Edit Patch (page 2–75), or
Mesh Select (page 2–141).
Spline Lines and NURBS curves and surfaces are
the exception: you can edit their sub-objects as
soon as you create these kinds of objects.
You choose a sub-object level in the stack
display. Click the plus sign that appears next to
Introduction to Sub-Object Selection
the name of an object that has sub-objects. This
expands the hierarchy, showing the available
sub-object levels. Click a level to choose it. The
name of the sub-object level highlights in yellow,
and the icon for that sub-object level appears to
the right of both its name and the name of the
top-level object.
Click the top-level object name to exit sub-object editing.
Procedures
To make a sub-object selection:
Stack display shows the sub-object hierarchy, letting you
choose a sub-object level.
Editing at the Sub-Object Level
When you edit an object at the sub-object level,
you can select only components at that level, such
as vertex, edge, face sub-objects, and so on. You
can’t deselect the current object, nor can you select
other objects. To leave sub-object editing and
return to object-level editing, click the top-level
name of the object in the modifier stack, or click
the highlighted sub-object level.
These methods assume the object has sub-object
levels. If the object has no sub-object levels (for
example, a primitive such as a sphere), the + icon
is not present. In that case, you need to collapse
the object or apply an Edit modifier before you can
edit its sub-object geometry.
1. Select the object you want to edit.
2. Apply an Edit Mesh modifier (optional,
depending on the object you select).
3.
4.
Open the Modify panel.
On the modifier stack display, click the +
icon to expand the object’s hierarchy.
5. On the stack display, click to choose a level of
selection, such as vertex, edge, face, and so on.
Tip: For some kinds of objects, such as editable
meshes, shaded viewports don’t display
sub-object selections. If this is the case,
right-click the viewport label and choose
Wireframe or Edged Faces view.
Tip: For a detailed selection, you might want to
zoom in on the object.
6. Click one of the toolbar selection buttons, and
then use the same selection methods you’d use
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on objects to select the sub-object components.
Or from the quad menu > Transform quadrant,
choose one of the selection methods and select
the sub-object components.
There are two alternative ways to go to a sub-object
level:
•
•
Select the object and go to the Modify
panel. Then right-click the object, and use the
quad menu > Tools 1 (upper-left) quadrant >
Sub-objects submenu.
Choose the selection level using buttons
in the Modify panel’s Selection rollout, if one is
present for the type of object you’re editing.
Tip: Once you’re at a sub-object level, the INSERT
key cycles through the levels of other kinds of
sub-objects.
To exit sub-object selection mode, do one of the
following:
you can’t select any of the other categories. To
fix this, select All in the Selection Filter list.
Selection Commands
Selection commands appear on the quad menu,
on the main toolbar, on the Edit menu, and on the
status bar.
The simplest method of selection is to turn on
Select Object mode (page 1–73), and then click
an object in a viewport (or drag to surround the
object). While the method is simple, it is not
effective for selecting multiple objects, especially
in a crowded scene. Other tools let you select
objects by name, filter out the kinds of objects you
want to select, and to create named selection sets
you can select repeatedly.
See also
• In the stack display, click the highlighted
sub-object name or the top-level name of the
object.
Basics of Selecting Objects (page 1–60)
• If the object has a Selection rollout, click to turn
off the button of the active sub-object level.
Selection Floater (page 1–76)
• Right-click the object, and then in the Tools
1 (upper-left) quadrant of the quad menu,
choose Top-level.
• Open another command panel. This turns off
sub-object editing.
If you think you’ve turned off sub-object editing
but top-level object selection is still not restored, it
might be due to the following reasons:
Isolate Selection (page 1–69)
Selection Commands on the Main
Toolbar
The following selection commands appear by
default on the Main toolbar.
Select Object (page 1–73)
Select By Name (page 1–74)
Rectangular Selection Region (page 1–86)
Circular Selection Region (page 1–86)
•
Your selection is locked. Click the Lock
Selection Set button in the prompt line to turn
it off.
• You’ve set the Selection Filter (page 1–64) on the
main toolbar to a specific category of object, so
Fence Selection Region (page 1–87)
Lasso Selection Region (page 1–87)
Paint Selection Region (page 1–88)
Select Object
Selection Filter List (page 1–77)
Window/Crossing Selection Toggle (page 1–90)
Select Object
Named Selection Sets (page 1–79)
Main toolbar > Select Object
The Window/Crossing toggle determines how the
region selection options (on the toolbars) behave.
Right-click to open quad menu. > Transform quadrant
> Select
Selection Commands on the Edit Menu
The following selection commands appear by
default on the Edit menu. They complement the
toolbar selection commands.
Select All (page 1–84)
Select None (page 1–84)
Select Invert (page 1–84)
Select By (page 1–84)
Select By Color (page 1–84)
Select By Name (Edit Menu) (page 1–85)
Region (page 1–89)
Region Window (page 1–89)
Region Crossing (page 1–90)
Edit Named Selections (page 1–80)
Selection Command on the Status Bar
The Selection Lock Toggle (page 3–395) is located
on the status bar. Locking a selection is useful
when you are doing a lot of editing on a selection,
and don’t want to select something else by mistake.
Select Object lets you select an objects and
sub-objects for manipulation.
Object selection is affected by several other
controls:
• The active Selection Region type: Rectangular
(page 1–86), Circular (page 1–86), Fence (page
1–87), Lasso (page 1–87), or Paint (page 1–88).
• The active selection filter (All, Geometry,
Shapes, Lights, and so forth).
• The state of the crossing selection tool (which
determines whether completely surrounded
objects or surrounded and crossing objects are
selected).
You can also select objects by name using
the Select By Name list; press the H key to access
the list.
A number of objects selected together are called a
selection set (page 1–63). You can name selection
sets in the Named Selection Sets field on the main
toolbar and then recall them for later use.
Note: The Smart Select command activates
the Select Object function and, with repeated
invocations, cycles through the available Selection
Region methods. By default, Smart Select is
assigned to the Q key; you can use Customize
User Interface (page 3–477) to assign it to a
different keyboard shortcut, a menu, etc.
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Procedures
To add or remove individual objects from a selection
set:
• Hold down the Ctrl key and select the objects
to add or remove.
• Hold down the Alt key and select objects to
remove from the current selection set.
Note: Adding and removing objects doesn’t
change a named selection set.
To toggle the selected/deselected state of multiple
objects in the selection set:
• Hold down the Shift key and drag to
region-select the objects to toggle.
To select objects and move, rotate, or scale them:
•
Use the Select And Move, Select
And Rotate, or Select And Scale tools, available
from the Main toolbar and the quad menu >
Transform quadrant.
When you rotate a selection set, the pivot of
rotation depends on which option is selected
on the Use Center flyout (page 1–363) on the
toolbar.
These tools are restricted to a specific axis
or plane, which you choose from the axis
constraints toolbar. Right-click any blank area
of the toolbar and activate the Axis Constraints
toolbar to access these tools.
Select By Name
main toolbar > Select By Name
Keyboard > H
Edit menu > Select By > Name
Select By Name lets you select objects by choosing
them from a list of all objects currently in the scene
presented via the Select Objects dialog.
Note: The Select Objects dialog name and
functionality are context dependent. When a
transform such as Select And Move is active, the
dialog lets you choose from all objects in the scene.
But when certain modes are active, the choices in
the dialog are more limited. For example, when
Select And Link is active, the dialog is entitled
Select Parent, and shows linkable objects but
not the child object already selected. Similarly,
if Group > Attach is active, the dialog is named
Attach to Group and lists groups but not solitary
objects.
See also
Selection Floater (page 1–76)
Procedure
To select objects by name:
1. Do one of the following:
•
Click the Select By Name button on
the main toolbar.
• Choose Edit menu > Select By > Name.
• Press H .
The Select Objects dialog appears. By
default, it lists all objects in the scene.
Currently selected objects are highlighted
in the list.
Select By Name
2. Choose one or more objects in the list by doing
one of the following:
• Drag, or click and then Shift +click to
select a continuous range of objects and
Ctrl +click to select noncontinuous objects.
• In the field above the list, type a name to
select that object. You can use the asterisk
(*) and the question mark (?) as wildcards
to select multiple names. You can also
enable Find Case Sensitive to list objects
with uppercase letters at the top of the list
and objects with lowercase letters at the
bottom of the list.
3. Click Select.
The selection is made as the dialog disappears.
Interface
if the list contains objects named apple and Apple
and Find Case Sensitive is on, typing “a” will
highlight only the apple entry. Also, sorts the list
so uppercase names come before lowercase.
Select Objects list
Objects are listed according to the current Sort
and List Types selections.
Influences—When you highlight an object
in the list window and then click the Influences
button, the selected object’s influences are
highlighted as well.
You can choose to load and save influences with or
without their dependents.
All, None, and Invert—These buttons alter the
pattern of selection in the list window.
Display Subtree—Displays each item in the list so
that its hierarchical branch (page 3–635) is included
(for example, Window/Frame/Glass). Hierarchical
branches are indented.
Select Subtree—When this is on and you select
an item in the list window, all of its hierarchical
children are selected as well.
Display Influences—When this is on and you
select an item in the list window, all of its influences
are shown in blue. If you want to highlight these
influences, click Influences.
You can choose to load and save influences with or
without their dependents.
Select Dependents—When this is on and you select
an item in the list window, all of its dependent
objects are selected as well.
[select objects field]
Enter a name to highlight objects in the list whose
names begin with the text you specify.
Find Case Sensitive—When on, the select objects
field above the list is case-sensitive. For example,
When both Select Subtree and Select Dependents
are on, the subtree of any newly selected node is
selected, and then the dependents are selected.
(Dependents of the subtree are selected, but not
the subtrees of all dependents.)
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If you click Select By Name while Select And
Link is active, then the Select Subtree and Select
Dependents check boxes are not available.
You can choose to load and save dependents
with or without their influences. To maintain the
behavior and relationship between the dependents
and their influences, you need to load and save
dependents with their influences.
Selection Floater
Tools menu > Selection Floater
This modeless dialog lets you select objects in the
scene.
Sort group
Specifies the sort order of the items displayed in
the list.
Alphabetical—Sorts from numeric characters at
the top, then A to Z at the bottom.
By Type—Sorts by category, using the same order
as the check boxes in the List Types group.
By Color—Sorts by object wireframe color. The
sorting order is arbitrary; the value of this option is
that objects of the same color are grouped together.
By Size—Sorts based on the number of faces in
each object. The object with the least number
of faces is listed first, followed by objects with
successively greater number of faces.
List Types group
Determines the types of objects to display in the
list.
All, None, and Invert—These buttons alter the
pattern of activation of the List Types options.
Selection Sets group
Lists any named selection sets that you have
defined in the scene. When you choose a selection
set from the drop-down list, Autodesk VIZ
highlights its component objects in the main list.
You can leave this dialog up while you work in
your scene, making it easier to select objects. The
selection options are the same as those in the Select
Objects dialog (page 1–75).
You can display the Selection Floater only from
the Tools menu. If you use the H key during
selection, the modal Select Objects dialog appears
instead.
Selection Region Flyout
Selection Region Flyout
Main toolbar > Selection Region flyout
Customize User Interface (page 3–477) to assign it
to a different keyboard shortcut, a menu, etc.
Procedure
To select using a region (general method):
1. Choose a Selection Region method from the
flyout.
2. Drag in a viewport, then release the mouse.
The first location you click is one corner of the
rectangle, and where you release the mouse is
the opposite corner.
Selection Region flyout
The Selection Region flyout provides access to
five methods you can use to select objects by
region. Clicking the Selection Region button
displays a flyout containing the Rectangle (page
1–86), Circular (page 1–86), Fence (page 1–87),
Lasso (page 1–87), and Paint (page 1–88) Selection
Region buttons.
For the first four methods, you can select either
objects that are completely within the selection
region (window method), or objects that are
within or touched by the selection shape (crossing
method). Toggle between the window and crossing
selection methods by using the Window/Crossing
Selection button (page 1–90) on the Main toolbar.
Important: If you’re using Select Object (page 1–73),
you can start dragging anywhere to select a region:
on an object or off. However, if you’re using one of
the transform tools, such as Select and Move (page
1–357), start the drag operation away from an object;
that is, in an empty part of the viewport. Otherwise,
if you start dragging on an object, most likely the
software will assume you intend to select where
you click and will begin the transform operation
immediately.
To cancel the selection, right-click before you
release the mouse.
Selection Filter List
Main toolbar > Selection Filter
Note: If you hold down Ctrl while specifying
a region, the affected objects are added to the
current selection. Conversely, if you hold down
Alt while specifying a region, the affected objects
are removed from the current selection.
Note: The Smart Select command activates the
Select Object (page 1–73) function and, with
repeated invocations, cycles through the available
Selection Region methods. By default, Smart
Select is assigned to the Q key; you can use
The Selection Filter list lets you restrict to specific
types and combinations of objects that can be
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selected by the selection tools. For example, if you
choose Cameras, you can select only cameras with
the selection tools. Other objects do not respond.
When you need to select objects of a certain type,
this is useful as a quick method of freezing all other
objects.
Use the drop-down list to select a single filter.
Choose Combos from the drop-down list to use
multiple filters from the Filter Combinations dialog
(page 1–78).
Combos are stored in the 3dsviz.ini (page 1–17)
file, so they remain in effect for all scenes
through all sessions.
To delete a combination filter:
1. Open the Selection Filter list and choose
Combos.
The Filter Combinations dialog appears.
2. Choose one or more of the combos in the
Current Combinations list.
3. Click the Delete button.
Filter Combinations Dialog
Main toolbar > Selection Filter list > Combos > Filter
Combinations dialog
Use the Filter Combinations dialog to create your
own custom combinations of categories to add to
the Selection Filters list (page 1–77).
You can also add specific types of objects, or Class
IDs, to the list. For example, you can set a filter
that lets you select only Sphere primitives.
Procedures
To create a combination filter:
1. Open the Selection Filter list and choose
Combos.
The Filter Combinations dialog appears.
2. Turn on one or more of the check boxes in the
Create Combination group.
3. Click the Add button.
The specified combination appears in the
Current Combinations list to the right as a
combination of the first letters of each selected
category.
4. Click OK.
The new combo item appears at the bottom of
the Select Filter list.
4. Click OK.
Interface
Named Selection Sets
Create Combination group
Geometry, Shapes, Lights, Cameras,
Helpers—Choose the category or categories
Named Selections
you want included in the combination.
Add—After choosing the categories to include
in a combination, click this button to place the
categories, labeled with the categories’ initials, in
the Current Combinations list, as well as at the
bottom of the Selection Filter list.
Named Selection Sets
Main toolbar > Named Selection Sets
Current Combinations group
Current Combinations list—Lists current
combinations. To delete one or more
combinations, choose them, and then click Delete.
Delete—After choosing one or more combinations
in the Current Combinations list, click this button
to delete them.
All Class ID group
Class ID list—Lists all the available categories that
can be added to custom filters for display and
selection. Highlight a category to add, then click
Add.
Add—After choosing a class to include in the
filter list, click this button to place the class in the
Current Class ID Filter list, as well as at the bottom
of the Selection Filter list.
Current Class ID Filter group
Class ID list—Lists current classes to filter. To delete
a class, choose it, and then click Delete.
Delete—After choosing a class in the Current Class
ID Filter list, click this button to delete the class.
The Named Selection Sets list allows you to name a
selection set and recall the selection for later use. It
supports selection sets both at the object level and
at sub-object levels. You edit named object-level
selection sets with the Named Selections Sets dialog
(page 1–80)and sub-object level sets with the Edit
Named Selections dialog (page 1–83).
A named selection set is removed from the list if
all of its objects have been deleted from the scene,
or if all of its objects have been removed from the
named set in the Named Selections Sets dialog.
Selection set names are case sensitive at both the
object level and at sub-object levels.
You can transfer sub-object named selections from
one level in the stack to another. The Copy and
Paste buttons let you copy named selections from
one modifier to another.
While at a specific sub-object level, such as Vertex,
you can make selections and name those selections
in the Named Selection Sets field of the toolbar.
The named sets are specific to both the selection
level and the level on the stack.
Keep in mind the following restrictions:
• You can transfer named selections only between
the same type of sub-object level. In other
words, you can transfer named selections
from vertex sub-object to another vertex
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sub-object, but you can’t transfer it to face or
edge sub-object level.
• You must transfer the selection between
modifiers that handle like geometry. You can
copy and paste between an editable mesh and
a mesh select modifier, but you can’t copy and
paste between a mesh select modifier and an
editable spline.
• You can copy and paste between two modifiers
in two different objects, as long as you’re at the
same level and both modifiers handle the same
type of geometry.
• If you change the topology of a mesh after
creating a named selection (such as deleting
some vertices), the named selections will
probably no longer select the same geometry.
Procedures
To create a named selection set:
1. Select the objects you want to be in a set.
2. Type the name of the set in the Named Selection
Set field and press Enter .
3. Whenever you want to access the selection,
choose its name from the Named Selection Sets
list.
Named Selection Sets Dialog
Edit menu > Edit Named Selections
Main toolbar > Named Selection Sets
The Named Selection Sets dialog, available from
the Edit menu, is a modeless dialog (page 3–652)
that lets you create named selection sets or select
objects to add to (or remove from) a selection set,
directly from the viewport. The dialog also lets
you organize your current named selection sets,
browse their members, delete or create new sets, or
identify which named selection sets a particular
object belongs to.
Note: This dialog applies to objects only. For editing
sub-object named selection sets, see Edit Named
Selections Dialog (page 1–83).
See also
Named Selection Sets (page 1–79)
Using Named Selection Sets (page 1–63)
Edit Named Selections Dialog (page 1–83)
Procedures
To create a named selection:
To select a named selection set, do one of the
following:
1. In the viewport, select the objects you want to
gather as a selection set.
• To select a single item, click it in the list.
• To select more than one item in the list, select
one, and then select others while holding down
the Ctrl key.
• To deselect single items after you’ve selected
multiple items, hold down the Alt key.
2.
Click the toolbar Named Selection Sets
button or choose Edit > Edit Named Selections.
3.
On the Named Selection Sets dialog, click
Create New Set.
4. Enter a name for the new selection set.
To add objects to a named selection set:
1.
Click the toolbar Named Selection Sets
button or choose Edit > Edit Named Selections.
Named Selection Sets Dialog
2. Choose the named selection set in the dialog.
Interface
3. Select one or more objects in the viewport.
4.
In the dialog, click Add Selected Objects.
To remove objects from a named selection set:
1.
Click the toolbar Named Selection Sets
button or choose Edit > Edit Named Selections.
2. Choose the named selection set in the dialog.
3. In the viewport, select the objects you want to
remove.
4.
In the dialog, click Subtract Selected
Objects.
Note: You can also remove objects by
selecting them in the Named Selection Sets dialog,
then clicking Remove or pressing Delete .
To move an object from one set to another:
1.
Click the toolbar Named Selection Sets
button or choose Edit > Edit Named Selections.
2. In the Named Selection Sets dialog, expand the
selection sets.
3. Drag an object from one set to another.
The object is moved into the second set. If you
use Ctrl +drag, the object will be copied into
the second set.
Tip: You can also copy the contents of an entire
set into another, by dragging them into the
desired selection set.
To select objects in a set:
1. Highlight the set in the Named Selection Sets
dialog.
2.
Click Select Objects In Set to select all of
the objects in the highlighted set.
In the Named Selection Sets dialog, all of the
current named selection sets are displayed. By
clicking the plus (+) or minus (-) icon, you can
expand or collapse (respectively) the object list for
each set.
The buttons along the top of the dialog let you
create or delete sets, add or remove objects from a
set, select objects (independently or as a selection
set), and see which named selection set(s) a
particular object belongs to.
Create New Set—Creates a new selection
set, including any currently selected objects as
members.
Note: If no objects are selected, an empty set is
created.
Remove—Removes the selected object or
selection set.
Note: Deleting an object or its selection set does not
delete the object; it only destroys the named set.
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Add Selected Objects—Adds the currently
selected objects to the selected named selection set.
Subtract Selected Objects—Removes currently
selected objects from the selected named selection
set.
Select Objects in Set—Selects all members of
the current named selection.
Select Objects by Name—Opens the Select
Objects dialog (page 1–75), where you can select a
group of objects. The selected objects can then be
added to or removed from any named selection set.
Tip: You can copy an object or set by pressing
Ctrl+C .
Paste—Adds a Cut or Copied object or set into
another set.
Tip: You can paste an object or set by pressing
Ctrl+V .
Collapse All—Collapses all expanded selection sets.
Expand All—Expands all collapsed selection sets.
Create New Set—Creates a new selection set,
including any currently selected objects as
members.
Remove—Removes the selected object or selection
set.
Highlight Selected Objects—Highlights all of
the named selection sets that contain the current
scene selection.
Add Selected Objects—Adds currently selected
objects to the selected named selection set.
Subtract Selected Objects—Removes currently
Status Bar—Displays the
current named selection set, as well as what’s
currently selected in the scene. If more than one
object is selected, the number of selected objects is
displayed.
selected objects from the selected named selection
set.
Select Objects in Set—Selects all members of the
current named selection.
Select Objects by Name—Opens the Select Objects
Right-click menu
Additional commands are available when you
right-click in the Named Selection Sets dialog.
Rename—Lets you rename the selected set or
object.
Tip: You can rename objects or sets by pressing
F2 .
Cut—Removes the selected object or set and stores
it in a buffer for reuse with the Paste command,
similar to the Cut command in Windows.
Tip: You can cut an object or set by pressing
Ctrl+X .
Copy—Copies the selected object or set and stores
it in a buffer for reuse with the Paste command,
similar to the Copy command in Windows.
dialog (page 1–75), and adds all objects selected
there to the current named selection set.
Highlight Selected Objects—Highlights all of the
named selection sets that contain the current scene
selection.
Find Next—Toggles through selection sets
containing the selected object, when used in
collaboration with the Highlight Selected Objects
command.
Tip: You can use Ctrl+G to toggle through the
sets.
Edit Named Selections Dialog
Edit Named Selections Dialog
Interface
Make a sub-object selection. > Edit menu > Edit Named
Selections
Make a sub-object selection. > Main toolbar > Named
Selection Sets
Edit Named Selections displays the Edit Named
Selections dialog, letting you manage named
selection sets of sub-objects (page 1–70). Unlike
the Named Selection Sets dialog (page 1–80), which
applies to objects only, it is a modal dialog, which
means that you must close it in order to work in
other areas of Autodesk VIZ. Also, you can work
only with existing named sub-object selections;
you cannot use the dialog to create new selections.
Procedure
To edit named sub-object selections:
1. At a sub-object level, create one or more named
selection sets (page 1–79).
2.
Click the toolbar Named Selection
Sets button or choose Edit > Edit Named
Selections.
The Edit Named Selections dialog opens,
listing all named selection sets for the current
sub-object level.
3. Use the dialog controls to edit the named
selection sets.
The dialog window lists all named selections at
the current sub-object level. The buttons beneath
the windows let you delete, merge, and edit the
listed items. Use standard mouse-plus-keyboard
methods (using Ctrl or Shift ) to highlight
list items and designate them for subsequent
operations.
To rename a set, click it in the list, and then edit its
name in the one-line window immediately below
the list.
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Combine—Merges all objects from the highlighted
selection sets into a single, new selection set. Select
two or more selection sets, and then click Combine
and enter a new name for the selection set. Use
Delete to delete the original sets.
Delete—Deletes all highlighted items from the
Named Selections window. This affects only
selection sets, not the sub-objects they refer to.
Select None
Edit menu > Select None
Keyboard > Ctrl + D
This command deselects all objects in the scene
conforming to the current selection filter type (page
1–77) on the main toolbar.
Subtract (A-B)—Removes the sub-objects contained
in one selection set from another. Select one
item in the Named Selections window, and then
select the other. The top highlighted item in the
window is operand A, and the bottom is operand
B (regardless of the order of their selection). Click
Subtract (A-B) to subtract the sub-objects in the
bottom item from those in the top item. There
must be some overlap between the two selection
sets for this command to have any effect.
Subtract (B-A)—Subtracts the sub-objects in the
Select Invert
Edit menu > Select Invert
Keyboard > Ctrl + I
This command inverts the current selection set.
All objects not currently selected are selected,
and all objects currently selected are deselected,
respecting the current selection filter type (page
1–77) on the main toolbar.
top selected item from those in the bottom item.
Intersection—Creates a selection set that consists
only of sub-objects that all highlighted selection
sets have in common. Highlight two or more items
in the Named Selections window, and then click
Intersection. In the dialog that appears, enter a
new set name and click OK.
Select All
Select By
Edit menu > Select By
The Select By submenu on the Edit menu provides
commands for selecting objects in the scene by
color, name, and other characteristics. It also
gives quick access to the various Region selection
options.
Edit menu > Select All
Select By Color (page 1–84)
Keyboard > Ctrl + A
Select By Name (Edit Menu) (page 1–85)
This command selects all objects in the scene
matching the current selection filter type (page
1–77) on the main toolbar.
Select By Layer (page 1–85)
Select By Color
Edit menu > Select By > Color
Select By Color lets you select all objects having the
same color as the selected object. Selection is made
Select By Name (Edit Menu)
by wireframe color (see Object Color Dialog (page
1–133)), rather than by any materials associated
with the objects.
After you choose this command, click any object
in the scene to determine the color for the selection
set.
Tip: To select objects by material, use Schematic
View (page 3–313).
Select By Name (Edit Menu)
(page 3–165), as defined in AutoCAD Architecture
(formerly known as ADT, or Architectural
Desktop). For example, if you’ve imported or
linked to a DWG file that contains walls in several
different styles, such as CMU-8, Concrete-8, and
Stud-4, you could select all CMU-8 wall segments
in the same layer by selecting one and then
invoking Select Similar.
If you start by selecting multiple objects with
different styles, Select Similar will select all objects
with those styles.
Edit menu > Select By > Name
Keyboard > H
Select By Name lets you select objects by choosing
them from a list of all objects in the scene.
For a full description of the Select By Name
function, see Select By Name (page 1–74).
Tip: To select objects by material, use Select By
Material (page 2–1059).
Select By Layer
Edit menu > Select By > Select By Layer
Region Selection
Selection Region
Edit Menu > Selection Region
The Selection Region submenu on the Edit menu
provides quick access to the various Region
selection (page 1–62) options.
Rectangular Selection Region (page 1–86)
Circular Selection Region (page 1–86)
Select By Layer lets you select all objects in one or
more layers by picking them from a list of all layers
in the scene. Choosing this command opens the
Select By Layer dialog; use standard methods to
highlight one or more layers, and then click OK.
The dialog closes, and all objects in the highlighted
layer or layers are selected.
Select Similar
Edit menu > Select Similar
Use this command to select all items in the selected
object’s or objects’ layer that have the same style(s)
Fence Selection Region (page 1–87)
Lasso Selection Region (page 1–87)
Paint Selection Region (page 1–88)
Window (page 1–89)
Crossing (page 1–90)
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Rectangular Selection Region
Circular Selection Region
Main toolbar > Rectangular Selection Region (Selection
Region flyout)
Main toolbar > Circular Selection Region (Selection
Region flyout)
Edit menu > Selection Region > Rectangular Region
Edit menu > Selection Region > Circular Region
The Rectangular Selection Region option, available
from the Selection Region flyout (page 1–77) and
the Edit menu, provides one of five methods you
can use to select objects by region. The other
methods are Circular (page 1–86), Fence (page
1–87), Lasso (page 1–87), and Paint (page 1–88).
The Circular Selection Region option, available
from the Selection Region flyout (page 1–77) and
the Edit menu, provides one of five methods you
can use to select objects by region. The other
methods are Rectangular (page 1–86), Fence (page
1–87), Lasso (page 1–87), and Paint (page 1–88).
You can use Rectangular to select either objects
that are completely within the selection region
(window method), or objects that are either
within or touched by the selection shape (crossing
method). Toggle between the window and crossing
selection methods by using the Window/Crossing
Selection button (page 1–90) on the main toolbar.
You can use Circular to select either objects that are
completely within the selection region (window
method), or objects that are either within or
touched by the selection shape (crossing method).
Toggle between the window and crossing selection
methods by using the Crossing Selection button
(page 1–90) on the main toolbar.
Note: If you hold down Ctrl while specifying
a region, the affected objects are added to the
current selection. Conversely, if you hold down
Alt while specifying a region, the affected objects
are removed from the current selection.
Note: If you hold down Ctrl while specifying
a region, the affected objects are added to the
current selection. Conversely, if you hold down
Alt while specifying a region, the affected objects
are removed from the current selection.
Procedure
Procedure
To select using a rectangle:
To select using a circle:
1.
Click the Rectangular Selection Region
button.
2. Drag in a viewport, then release the mouse.
1.
Click the Circular Selection Region
button.
2. Drag in a viewport, then release the mouse.
The first location you click is one corner of the
rectangle, and where you release the mouse is
the opposite corner.
The first location you click is the center of the
circle, where you release the mouse defines the
circle’s radius.
To cancel the selection, right-click before you
release the mouse.
To cancel the selection, right-click before you
release the mouse.
Fence Selection Region
Fence Selection Region
A pair of cross hairs appears when you’re near
enough to click the first point. This creates a
closed fence.
Main toolbar > Fence Selection Region (Selection Region
flyout)
Double-clicking creates an open fence, which
can select objects only by the crossing method.
Edit menu > Selection Region > Fence Region
To cancel the selection, right-click before you
release the mouse.
The Fence Selection Region option, available from
the Selection Region flyout (page 1–77) and the Edit
menu, provides one of five methods you can use
to select objects by region. The other methods
are Rectangular (page 1–86), Circular (page 1–86),
Lasso (page 1–87), and Paint (page 1–88).
You can use Fence to select either objects that are
completely within the selection region (window
method), or objects that are either within or
touched by the selection shape (crossing method).
Toggle between the window and crossing selection
methods by using the Window/Crossing button
(page 1–90) on the main toolbar.
Note: If you hold down Ctrl while specifying
a region, the affected objects are added to the
current selection. Conversely, if you hold down
Alt while specifying a region, the affected objects
are removed from the current selection.
Procedure
To select using a fence:
1.
Click the Fence Selection Region button.
2. Drag to draw the first segment of a polygon,
then release the mouse button.
A "rubber-band line" is now attached to the
cursor, anchored at the point of release.
3. Move the mouse and click to define the next
segment of the fence. You can make as many
steps as you want.
4. To complete the fence, either click the first
point, or double-click.
Lasso Selection Region
Main toolbar > Lasso Selection Region (Selection Region
flyout)
Edit menu > Selection Region > Lasso Region
The Lasso Selection method lets you select
multiple objects within a complex or irregular
region with a single mouse action.
The Lasso Selection Region option, available from
the Selection Region flyout (page 1–77) and the Edit
menu, provides one of five methods you can use
to select objects by region. The other methods
are Rectangular (page 1–86), Circular (page 1–86),
Fence (page 1–87), and Paint (page 1–88).
You can use Lasso to select either objects that are
completely within the selection region (window
method), or objects that are either within or
touched by the selection shape (crossing method).
Toggle between the window and crossing selection
methods by using the Window/Crossing button
(page 1–90) on the Main toolbar.
Note: If you hold down Ctrl while specifying
a region, the affected objects are added to the
current selection. Conversely, if you hold down
Alt while specifying a region, the affected objects
are removed from the current selection.
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Procedure
To select using a lasso:
1.
Click the Lasso Selection Region button.
2. Drag to draw a shape around the object(s) that
should be selected, then release the mouse
button.
Note: To cancel the selection, right-click before
you release the mouse.
select the item. To resolve this, enlarge the brush
or choose Select Region Crossing (page 1–90).
Note: With editable poly (page 2–367) and Edit
Poly (page 2–77) objects, you can also paint soft
selections (page 2–312) and deformation (page
2–370).
The Paint Selection Region button, available from
the Selection Region flyout (page 1–77), provides
one of five methods you can use to select objects by
region. The other methods are Rectangular (page
1–86), Circular (page 1–86), Lasso (page 1–87),
and Fence (page 1–87).
Paint Selection Region
Procedure
Main toolbar > Paint Selection Region (Selection Region
flyout)
To select by painting a region:
Edit menu > Selection Region > Paint Region
Choose Paint Selection Region from the
1.
The Paint Selection method lets you select multiple
objects or sub-objects by dragging the mouse over
them. To change the brush size, right-click the
Paint Selection Region button, and then, on the
Preference Settings dialog > General tab > Scene
Selection group, change the Paint Selection Brush
Size value.
If you hold down Ctrl while specifying a region,
the affected objects are added to the current
selection. Conversely, if you hold down Alt
while specifying a region, the affected objects are
removed from the current selection.
Tip: You can also create custom tools for changing
the brush size; choose Customize menu >
Customize User Interface and set keyboard
shortcuts or other user interface items for the
actions Paint Selection Size Up and Paint Selection
Size Down.
Note: Paint Selection Region respects the
Window/Crossing selection toggle (page 1–90)
setting. If the toggle is set to Select Region Window
(page 1–89) and the brush is smaller than an object
or sub-object to be selected, you won’t be able to
flyout.
2. Drag over the object(s) to select, then release
the mouse button. As you drag, a circle showing
the brush radius appears attached to the mouse.
Note: To cancel the selection, right-click before
you release the mouse.
3. To change the brush size, right-click the
Paint Selection Region button, and then, on
the Preference Settings dialog > General tab
> Scene Selection group, change the Paint
Selection Brush Size value.
You can also set keyboard shortcuts for
changing the brush size. To do so, use the
Paint Selection Size Up and Paint Selection Size
Down action items. See Keyboard Panel (page
3–478).
Region
Region
Select Region Window
Edit menu > Region
Edit menu > Selection Region > Window
Main toolbar > Window Selection or Crossing Selection
Main toolbar > Window/Crossing Selection
When dragging the mouse to select one or more
objects, the Region options let you switch between
selecting objects within, or crossed by, a window
region that you draw with the mouse. Choose the
appropriate Region submenu command.
You can automatically switch between Window
and Crossing Region Selection based on cursor
movement direction. To set this up, choose
Customize > Preferences and on the General
tab in the Scene Selection group turn on Auto
Window/Crossing Selection by Direction.
See also
Select Region Window (page 1–89)
Select Region Crossing (page 1–90)
Select Region Window selects only those objects completely
inside the window: the trash can and bench.
Select Region Window selects objects within a
selection region (page 1–77).
After you choose this command, draw a selection
region around any objects in the scene. Only those
objects that are entirely inside the region boundary
are selected.
Procedure
To select objects within a selection region:
1. Do one of the following:
• Choose Edit > Selection Region > Window.
• Click the Window/Crossing Selection Toggle
(page 1–90) to display the Window icon.
2. From the Main toolbar, click the Selection
Region flyout (page 1–77) and choose a method:
Rectangular, Circular, Fence or Lasso Selection
region.
Note: This setting also applies to Paint Selection
Region, but in this case the boundary is that of
the brush, not the region. In other words, when
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painting a selection region, the brush must
completely encompass an object or sub-object
to select it.
3. Drag to specify the region and select the objects.
2. From the Main toolbar, click the Selection
Region flyout (page 1–77) and choose a method:
Rectangular, Circular, Fence or Lasso Selection
region.
Note: This setting also applies to Paint Selection
Select Region Crossing
Edit menu > Selection Region > Crossing
Main toolbar > Crossing Selection
Region, but in this case the boundary is that of
the brush, not the region. In other words, when
painting a region in Crossing mode, the brush
selects every object or sub-object it touches or
encompasses.
3. Drag to specify the region and select the objects.
Window/Crossing Selection
Toggle
Main Toolbar > Crossing Selection or Window Selection
from the Window/Crossing toggle
Edit menu > Region > Window or Crossing
Select Region Crossing selects objects within the window and
also objects it crosses: the trash can, bench, and streetlight.
Select Region Crossing selects objects within and
crossed by a selection region (page 1–77) boundary.
After you choose this command, draw a selection
region around or crossing objects in the scene.
Objects within the region boundary as well as
those that intersect the boundary are selected.
Procedure
To select objects within and crossed by a selection
region:
1. Do one of the following:
1. Choose Edit > Selection Region > Crossing.
2. Click the Window/Crossing Selection Toggle
(page 1–90) to display the Crossing icon.
The Window/Crossing Selection toggle switches
between window and crossing modes when you
select by region.
• In Window mode (page 1–89), you select only
the objects or sub-objectswithin the selection.
• In Crossing mode (page 1–90), you select
all objects or sub-objects within the region,
plus any objects or sub-objects crossing the
boundaries of the region.
Tip: If you’re making sub-object selections of faces
and you select more faces than you want, make
sure you’re in Window mode.
The Selection Region flyout (page 1–77) on the
toolbar allows you to create different-shaped
boundaries.
Autodesk VIZ automatically saves the
Window/Crossing setting in the 3dsviz.ini (page
1–17) file.
Edit Commands
Edit Commands
These commands on the Edit menu (page 3–345)
are for basic edit manipulations of selections.
Undo and Redo work as in standard Windows
applications. These commands are available on the
default main toolbar as well. Autodesk VIZ also
provides a history of commands. Right-clicking
the Undo or Redo buttons displays a list of
commands you can undo or redo. Not all
operations are reversible using Undo.
Note: Viewport changes such as panning and
zooming have a separate Undo and Redo. See
View-Handling Commands (page 1–33).
The Hold and Fetch command pair serves as an
alternative to Undo and Redo. Hold saves the
current state of the scene. After using Hold, you
can restore that state at a later point by using Fetch.
Sometimes, when you are about to perform a risky
operation, an alert prompts you to first use Hold.
Autodesk VIZ does not have the Cut or Paste
functions found in many Windows applications.
The Delete command simply removes the selection
from the scene.
Undo/Redo (page 1–91)
Hold/Fetch (page 1–92)
Delete (page 1–92)
Undo/Redo
Edit menu > Undo or Redo
the last operation performed by the Undo
command.
Some actions cannot be undone: for example,
applying the Collapse utility or Reset Transform
utility, or saving a file, which overwrites the
previous version. When you know something
cannot be undone, use Hold (page 1–92) first.
Then if you want to undo it, use Fetch. Hold and
Fetch are also commands on the Edit menu (page
3–345).
Afer you perform an action that is undoable, the
Edit menu shows the name of the function to be
undone. After you undo an action, the Edit menu
shows the name of the function you can redo.
Undo and Redo are also available as buttons on
the main toolbar. You can right-click the Undo
or Redo button to display a box that lists the
last operations performed. You can highlight
and reverse any number of these operations
in sequence with the respective Undo or Redo
command. By default, there are 20 levels of Undo.
You can change the number of levels with the
Customize > Preferences > General tab (page
3–503) > Scene Undo group.
Undo/Redo and Object Creation
When you create an object, the Create operation is
recorded by Autodesk VIZ and displayed next to
the activated Undo command in the Edit menu.
When you undo the Create operation, the Redo
Create operation is displayed next to the activated
Redo command in the Edit menu. The Undo and
Redo commands in the Edit menu are unavailable
when no valid operation was performed or
recorded.
Main toolbar > Undo or Redo
Keyboard > Ctrl+Z (Undo) or Ctrl+Y (Redo)
Procedures
To undo the most recent action:
The Undo command reverses the last operation
performed on any selected objects. Redo reverses
•
Click Undo, choose Edit menu > Undo, or
press Ctrl+Z .
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To undo several actions:
1.
Right-click Undo.
2. From the list, select the level where you want
to return. You must choose a continuous
selection; you can’t skip over items in the list.
3. Click the Undo button.
To exit the list without performing an action,
click the Cancel button, or click somewhere
outside of the list.
To redo an action, do one of the following:
•
Click Redo.
• Edit menu > Redo.
• Press Ctrl+Y .
To redo several actions:
1.
Right-click Redo.
Use Hold before you perform an operation
that might not work as expected, that is new or
unfamiliar to you, or that cannot be undone. If
the results aren’t as expected, you can use Fetch to
return to the point where you chose Hold.
Tip: Also use Save or Save As before you perform
an operation that cannot be undone: for example,
applying the Reset Transform utility.
If you experience an unexpected end of operation
or crash after you perform Hold, you can retrieve
your scene from the buffer with the Fetch
command after you restart Autodesk VIZ.
Additional Details
• The Hold buffer is a temporary file (vizhold.mx)
in the directory specified by the AutoBackup
path on the Configure User Paths dialog > File
I/O panel (page 3–498).
• Fetch also deletes all operations recorded in the
Undo and Redo History lists.
2. From the list, click the action to return to.
Your selection must be continuous: you can’t
skip over any items in the list.
3. Click the Redo button.
To exit the list without performing an action,
click the Cancel button or click somewhere
outside of the list.
Hold/Fetch
Edit menu > Hold or Fetch
Hold saves the scene and its settings to a disk-based
buffer. Fetch restores the contents of the buffer
stored by the previous Hold command. The
information stored includes geometry, lights,
cameras, the viewport configuration, and selection
sets.
Delete
Make a selection. > Edit menu > Delete
Make a selection. > Keyboard > Delete
The Delete command deletes the current selection
from the model.
The Undo command (page 1–91) can restore
the deleted selection to the model. (The Undo
command is also available as a button on the main
toolbar.)
Note: Actively file-linked objects (page 3–126)
cannot be deleted.
Groups and Assemblies
Groups and Assemblies
You use groups and assemblies in Autodesk VIZ
to combine arbitrary sets of scene entities into
a single, non-hierarchical object that you can
then manipulate as one. Grouping works with all
objects, while assemblies are best used for light
fixtures.
For more information about groups, see Using
Groups (page 1–93) and Group Commands (page
1–99).
For more information about assemblies, see Using
Assemblies (page 1–95) and Assembly Commands
(page 1–102)
The commands to manage groups are on the
default Group menu (page 3–346).
General Features of Groups
Once you group objects, you can treat them as
a single object in your scene. You can click any
object in the group to select the group object.
When you create a group, all of its member objects
are rigidly linked to an invisible dummy object.
The group object uses the pivot point and the
local transform coordinate system of this dummy
object.
Groups can be nested. That is, groups can contain
other groups, up to any level.
Transforming and Modifying a Group
Using Groups
You can transform or modify a group as if it were a
single object, and you can animate the transforms.
When you apply a modifier to the group, this
applies an instance of the modifier to each object
in the group. A grouped object retains its modifier
instance, even if you later remove it from the
group.
When you apply a transform to the group, on
the other hand, this applies only to the group as
a whole. More precisely, Autodesk VIZ applies
transforms to the dummy object that represents
the group.
Object on the right is a group and treated as a single entity.
Grouping lets you combine two or more objects
into a single grouped object. The grouped object
is given a name, and then treated much like any
other object.
Group names are similar to object names, except
that they’re carried by the group object. In lists like
the one for the Select Object dialog, group names
appear in square brackets, for example [Group01].
You can transform and animate individual objects
within a group independently from the group
itself. However, when you transform the group
itself, the transform affects all grouped objects
equally. The group transform is uniformly added
to objects that have independent motions. An
analogy is a cage of birds, each flying around on
its own, while the cage itself is being moved. In
the case of groups, the "cage" (the dummy object)
expands to surround all objects in the group,
wherever the objects’ independent transforms take
them.
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Accessing Objects in a Group
You can open and close groups to access the
individual objects contained in them without
dissolving the group. These commands maintain
the integrity of the group.
• Open (page 1–100): Temporarily opens the
group so that you can access its member
objects. While a group is open, you can treat
the objects (or nested groups) as individuals.
You can transform them, apply modifiers, and
access their modifier stacks.
• Close (page 1–100): Restores the group when
you’re finished working with the individual
objects.
is more permanent than selection sets, but less
permanent than attaching objects.
• Selection sets (page 1–60): Form a temporary
collection of objects to which you apply the
current commands. As soon as you select
another object, the selection set is gone.
• Named selection sets (page 1–63): Let you
reselect the same pattern of objects, but the
positional relationship between those objects
(their transforms) might be different each time
you recall the named set.
• Grouped objects: Maintain their positional
relationships unless you open the group and
rearrange them. A group also keeps its identity
as an individual object.
Dissolving Groups
Each object in a group retains its modifier stack,
including its base parameters. At any time, you
can open the group to edit an object, and then
close the group to restore the group identity.
You can permanently dissolve groups by either
ungrouping or exploding them. Both commands
dissolve groups, but to different levels.
• Ungroup (page 1–100): Goes one level deep in
the group hierarchy. It separates the current
group into its component objects (or groups),
and deletes the group dummy object.
• Explode (page 1–101): Similar to Ungroup,
but dissolves all nested groups as well, leaving
independent objects.
When you Ungroup or Explode a group, the
objects within the group lose all group transforms
not on the current frame. However, objects retain
any individual animation.
To transform or modify the objects within a group,
you must first remove them from the group, either
temporarily or permanently. The Open command
lets you do this.
Comparing Groups with Other Selection
Methods
Compared to the other methods you can use
to combine objects in Autodesk VIZ, grouping
• Attached objects (see Editable Mesh (Object)
(page 2–347)): Attached objects form a
single object. The modifier stacks of the
original objects are lost, including their base
parameters. You can regain the form of the
original objects by detaching them, but they
become plain meshes.
•
Assemblies (page 1–95) are useful for creating
combinations of geometry and light objects
that act as lighting fixtures.
Using Assemblies
Using Assemblies
Object on the right is an assembly and is treated as a single
entity.
Some of the objects you may merge from 3ds Max
or Autodesk VIZ are collections of objects known
as assemblies.
Assemblies are useful for creating combinations
of geometry and light objects that act as lighting
fixtures; you use them to represent the housing of
a lamp and its light source or sources. You can use
assemblies to represent lighting fixtures such as
simple desk lamps, lighting strips, track systems,
wall sconces with fluorescent or incandescent
lights, chandelier systems, line voltage cable
systems, and so on.
When you create light assemblies, first you create
your objects and build a hierarchy, then set joint
parameters and assign inverse kinematics (IK)
(page 2–758). As a final step, you assemble the
object hierarchy. The lights you use in the assembly
have light-multiplier and filter color controls. You
wire (page 2–735) the Dimmer and Filter Color
parameters of the Luminaire helper object to the
parameters of the light sources that are members
of the light assembly.
Assemblies and Groups
Assembly functionality is a superset of grouping
(page 1–93). Like grouping, creating an assembly
lets you combine two or more objects and treat
them as a single object. The assembled object
is given a name, and then treated much like any
other object.
The main difference with assemblies is that,
when you assemble (page 1–102) the member
objects, you specify a head object (page 1–106): a
Luminaire helper object (page 1–106). The head
object acts as a front end for the assembly, and its
parameters appear in the Modify panel when the
assembly is selected. You can use these parameters
to control the light sources in the assembly via
parameter wiring (page 2–735). You can create
other types of head objects with MAXScript;
for further information, open the MAXScript
Reference, available from the Help menu, and look
in Creating MAXScript Tools > Scripted Plug-ins
> Scripted Helper Plug-ins.
Assembly names are similar to object names,
except that they’re carried by the assembly. In lists
like the one in the Select Object dialog, assembly
names appear in square brackets, for example
[Assembly01].
You’ll find the commands to manage assemblies on
the Group menu (page 3–346) > Assembly submenu
(page 1–102).
Tip: After you’ve created one fixture and assembled
the parts, use instancing (page 3–639) to copy (page
2–1) the fixture, and then distribute them in your
scene. That way, if you change the attributes for
a light source in an assembly, the change will be
reflected in all the instanced light sources. For
example, in the early design stages, you might
use shadow maps, but later you might want to
switch to advanced ray-trace shadows for greater
accuracy in rendering. Using instancing makes it
easier to change such settings globally.
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General Features of Assemblies
Once you assemble objects, you can treat them as
a single object in your scene. You can click any
object in the assembly to select the entire assembly.
When you create an assembly, all of its member
objects are rigidly linked to an invisible Luminaire
helper object. The assembly uses the pivot point
and the local transform coordinate system of this
helper object.
You can nest assemblies. That is, assemblies can
contain other assemblies (or groups), up to any
level.
The head object parameters appear in the Modify
panel when the assembly is selected. You can use
the Autodesk VIZ Wire Parameters (page 2–735)
functionality to connect these parameters to those
of light objects in the assembly. For a step-by-step
procedure, see To wire a head object to a light
source (page 1–103).
Thus, deforming modifiers such as Bend don’t
have any effect on assemblies.
When you apply a transform to the assembly, it
applies to the assembly as a whole. More precisely,
Autodesk VIZ applies transforms to the dummy
object that represents the assembly. To modify
member objects, you must first open the assembly,
select the objects, and then apply modifiers. Such
modifiers do not appear in the modifier stack
when the assembly is closed.
You can transform and animate individual objects
within an assembly independently from the
assembly itself. However, when you transform the
assembly itself, the transform affects all assembled
objects equally. The assembly transform is
uniformly added to objects that have independent
motions. An analogy is a cage of birds, each flying
around on its own, while the cage itself is being
moved. In the case of assemblies, the "cage" (the
dummy object) expands to surround all objects in
the assembly, wherever the objects’ independent
transforms take them.
Accessing Objects in an Assembly
You can open and close assemblies to access the
individual objects contained in them without
dissolving the assembly. These commands
maintain the integrity of the assembly.
Luminaire types
Left: Fixed
Middle: Orientable
Right: Multiple lights
Transforming and Modifying an
Assembly
You can transform or modify an assembly as if
it were a single object, and you can animate the
transforms.
Unlike a group, when you apply a modifier to the
assembly, only the luminaire receives the modifier.
• Open (page 1–104): Temporarily opens the
assembly so that you can access its member
objects. While an assembly is open, you can
treat the objects (or nested assemblies/groups)
as individuals. You can transform them, apply
modifiers, and access their modifier stacks.
• Close (page 1–104): Restores the assembly when
you’re finished working with the individual
objects.
Using Assemblies
Using Make Unique with Assemblies
When you clone assemblies using instancing,
and then make the clones unique, it’s important
to consider how this affects parameter wiring.
Consider the following typical usage case:
1. Drag an assembly, such as a light fixture, into
the scene.
2. Clone the assembly several times using the
Instance option and position the instances in
the scene.
3. To make the scene look more realistic, giving
the appearance of randomness to the objects in
the scene, make some of the assembly instances
unique and adjust their parameters to differ
from the rest of the instances.
When you clone-instance an assembly, all objects
in the assembly, along with all the parameter wires,
are instanced. So if you change a wired luminaire
parameter, all instanced assemblies are affected.
When the modifier stack displays an assembly
head that is an instance or reference, the Make
Unique (page 3–455) button is active. By clicking
it, the assembly head object is made unique
with respect to its instances and all the assembly
members are also made unique.
The parameter wiring between the unique
assembly head and its members is de-coupled from
the other instances of the assembly. Changing the
parameters of the unique assembly head object
affects only the parameters of its own members,
not the members of the other instances of the
assembly.
and parameter wires are reconnected inside
each unique assembly. That is, the parameters
of each unique assembly head drives only the
parameters of its own members, not that of the
members in any other assembly instances.
• If you answer No, then the selected assemblies
are made unique only with respect to the other
assembly instances. The parameters of unique
assembly heads drive only the parameters of
their members, not the members of the other
assembly instances.
Note: If you chose to instance the controllers
when you instanced the assembly, the Modify
panel > Make Unique command does not make
the controllers unique. You can make them
unique by doing the following: Open Track
View, select the Transform track for object
whose controller you want to make unique, and
click the Make Unique button in the Track View
toolbar.
Dissolving Assemblies
You can permanently dissolve assemblies by either
disassembling or exploding them. Both commands
dissolve assemblies, but to different levels.
• Disassemble (page 1–105): Goes one level deep
in the assembly hierarchy. It separates the
current assembly into its component objects (or
assemblies/groups), and deletes the assembly
head object.
• Explode (page 1–105): Similar to Disassemble,
but dissolves all nested assemblies and groups
as well, leaving independent objects.
When multiple assembly instances are selected, the
Make Unique command works the same as when
multiple instances of an object are selected. You’re
asked whether you want to make the selected
assemblies unique one with respect to each other.
When you disassemble or explode an assembly,
any transform animation applied to the assembly is
lost, and objects remain as they were in the frame
at which the dissolution is performed. However,
objects retain any individual animation.
• If you answer Yes, Autodesk VIZ makes the
assemblies unique one with respect to another
To transform or modify the objects within an
assembly, you must first remove them from the
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assembly, either temporarily or permanently. The
Open command lets you do this.
Comparing Assemblies with Other
Selection Methods
Procedures
To insert and place an existing assembly:
1. Turn on AutoGrid (page 2–603).
2. Drag the assembly from a Web page (if it’s an
i-drop object (page 3–212)) or from your local
disk and drop it into your scene, placing it on
any existing surface.
Compared to the other methods you can use to
combine objects in Autodesk VIZ, assembling
is more permanent than selection sets, but less
permanent than attaching objects.
On the main toolbar, click Use
Pivot Point Center (page 1–364).
• Selection sets (page 1–60): Form a temporary
collection of objects to which you apply the
current commands. As soon as you select
another object, the selection set is gone.
3.
• Named selection sets (page 1–79): Let you
reselect the same pattern of objects, but the
positional relationship between those objects
(their transforms) might be different each time
you recall the named set.
5. If necessary, wire (page 1–103) the assembly
• Assembled and grouped (page 1–93) objects:
Maintain their positional relationships unless
you open the assembly and rearrange them. An
assembly also keeps its identity as an individual
object.
Each object in an assembly retains its modifier
stack, including its base parameters. At any
time, you can open the assembly to edit an
object, and then close the assembly to restore
the assembly identity.
• Attached objects (see Editable Mesh (Object)
(page 2–347)): Attached objects form a
single object. The modifier stacks of the
original objects are lost, including their base
parameters. You can regain the form of the
original objects by detaching them, but they
become plain meshes.
See also
Lights (page 2–891)
4. Position the assembly as you would any other
object to aim it in a specific direction.
luminaire to its light source or sources.
6. Select the assembly, and then use the Modify
panel settings to adjust the intensity of the light
with the Dimmer control.
To create your own luminaire:
1. Create the geometry of the lighting fixture.
2. Create a light source (page 2–893) or on the
Create panel, click Lights to add a standard
or photometric light to the geometry of the
lighting fixture you just made.
3. Select all the objects in the assembly, including
geometrical objects and lights.
Note: If using IK, leave the light targets out of
the assembly so that you can manipulate them
independently.
4. Choose Assembly menu > Assemble.
A dialog appears requesting a name for the
assembly and that you specify a head object.
The only head object type available by default is
Luminaire (page 1–106).
5. Enter a name for the assembly and click OK.
6. Wire (page 1–103) the assembly luminaire to its
light source or sources. More information on
Group Commands
parameter wiring is available at the link in this
step.
If more than one light source is present
inside the assembly, create a chain of wired
parameters. Then enter the desired relationship
expression in the expression text box.
To adjust the pivot location of an assembly:
• When you adjust the pivot point of a closed
group or assembly, the pivot point of all group
and assembly members are affected, not only
the pivot point of the group or assembly head
object. Therefore, we recommend that you
open the assembly, adjust the pivot of the head
object, and then close the assembly.
To use an assembly with radiosity:
• Right-click the Luminaire, choose Properties,
and on the Object Properties dialog (page 1–109)
choose the Radiosity tab. You can exclude and
control radiosity parameters of the geometry
and lights independently.
To adjust the properties of an assembly:
1. After wiring the Dimmer and Filter Color
parameters, select the Luminaire, and then
go to Modify panel to display the luminaire
parameters.
2. Adjust the parameters.
The effect is visible in the viewport.
Group Commands
The commands to manage groups are on the
Group menu (page 3–346).
Group (page 1–99)
Open Group (page 1–100)
Close Group (page 1–100)
Ungroup (page 1–100)
Attach Group (page 1–101)
Detach Group (page 1–101)
Explode Group (page 1–101)
See also
Using Groups (page 1–93)
Group
Group menu > Group
The Group command combines a selection set of
objects or groups into a single group.
Once you group objects, you can treat them as
a single object in your scene. You can click any
object in the group to select the group object. You
can transform the group as a single object, and you
can apply modifiers as if it were a single object.
Groups can contain other groups, up to any level.
Group names are similar to object names, except
that they’re carried by the group object. In lists
like the one in the Select Objects dialog (page
1–75), group names appear in square brackets. For
example: [Group01].
If a group is selected, its name will appear in
“bolded” text in the Name And Color rollout.
All members of a group inherit the visibility of
the parent when a visibility controller is assigned
to the parent.
Groups are considered whole objects in the Light
Exclude/Include dialog, so you can exclude (or
include) all objects in a group by selecting the
group in the list. If a group is nested within
another group, only the "outer" group is available
in the list. To exclude only certain objects in
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a group, open the group before displaying the
Exclude/Include dialog.
To open nested groups:
Procedures
2. Choose Group > Open.
1. Select the group within the opened group.
To define a group:
1. Select two or more objects.
2. Choose Group menu > Group.
A dialog appears requesting a name for the
group.
3. Enter a name for the group and click OK.
To define a nested group:
1. Select two or more groups or any combination
of groups and objects.
2. Choose Group > Group.
A dialog appears requesting a name for the
group.
3. Enter a name for the new group object and click
OK.
Close Group
Select the pink dummy object of an opened group. >
Group menu > Close
The Close command regroups an opened group.
For nested groups, closing the outermost group
object closes all open inner groups.
When you link an object to a closed group, the
object becomes a child of the group parent rather
than of any member of the group. The entire group
flashes to show that you’ve linked to the group.
Procedures
To close all opened groups nested within a main
group:
1. Select the pink bounding box representing the
Open Group
main group.
2. Choose Group > Close.
Select one or more groups. > Group menu > Open
To close a nested group:
The Open command lets you ungroup a group
temporarily, and access objects within a group.
1. Select any object in the nested group or its
You can transform and modify the objects within
the group independently from the rest of the
group, then restore the original group using the
Close command.
2. Choose Group > Close.
Procedures
To open a group:
1. Select one or more groups.
2. Choose Group > Open. A pink bounding box
appears, and the objects in the group are now
accessible.
dummy.
Ungroup
Select one or more groups. > Group menu > Ungroup
Ungroup separates the current group into its
component objects or groups.
The Ungroup command ungroups one level,
unlike Explode (page 1–101), which ungroups all
levels of nested groups.
Explode Group
When you Ungroup a group, the objects within the
group lose all group transforms that were applied
on nonzero frames, but they retain any individual
animation.
All ungrouped entities remain in the current
selection set.
Procedure
To ungroup a group:
1. Select one or more groups.
2. Choose Group > Ungroup.
All components of the group remain selected,
but are no longer part of the group. The group
dummy is deleted.
Explode Group
Select one or more groups. > Group menu > Explode
The Explode command ungroups all objects in a
group, regardless of the number of nested groups,
unlike Ungroup (page 1–100), which ungroups one
level only.
As with the Ungroup command, all exploded
entities remain in the current selection set.
Warning: Ungroup and Explode remove all transform
animations that have been applied to the group as a
whole. As with the Ungroup command, all exploded
entities remain in the current selection set.
Detach Group
Select a group. > Group menu > Open > Select one or
more objects detach. > Group menu > Detach
The Detach command detaches the selected object
from its group.
This command becomes active when you open the
group by choosing the Open command from the
Group menu.
Procedure
To detach an object from a group:
1. Open the group.
2. Choose Group > Detach.
The selected objects are now separate,
independent objects, no longer members of the
group.
Attach Group
Select one or more objects. > Group menu > Attach
The Attach command makes the selected object
part of an existing group.
With an object selected, choose this command,
and then click a group in the scene.
Procedure
To attach an object to a group:
Procedure
To explode a group:
1. Select one or more groups.
2. Choose Group > Explode.
All objects in the groups remain selected but no
longer belong to groups. All nested groups are
exploded. All group dummies in the selection
are deleted.
1. Select one or more objects to attach.
2. Choose Group > Attach.
3. Click any member of a closed group.
The selected objects become part of the group,
which is now selected.
Note: To attach an object to an open group, click
the pink bounding box.
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Assembly Commands
The commands to manage assemblies are available
from the Group > Assembly submenu.
Assemble (page 1–102)
Disassemble (page 1–105)
Each member of an assembly inherits the visibility
of the parent when a visibility controller is assigned
to the parent, providing its Object Properties
> Rendering Control group > Inherit Visibility
check box is turned on, or if its Rendering Control
is set to By Layer and Inherit Visibility is turned
on for its layer.
Explode Assembly (page 1–105)
Assemblies are considered whole objects in the
Light Exclude/Include dialog, so you can exclude
(or include) all objects in an assembly by selecting
the assembly in the list. If an assembly is nested
within another assembly, only the "outer" assembly
is available in the list. To exclude only certain
objects in an assembly, open the assembly before
displaying the Exclude/Include dialog.
See also
See also
Using Assemblies (page 1–95)
Using Assemblies (page 1–95)
Open Assembly (page 1–104)
Close Assembly (page 1–104)
Attach Assembly (page 1–105)
Detach Assembly (page 1–105)
Assemble
Select the objects to assemble. > Group menu >
Assembly menu > Assemble
Procedures
To define an assembly:
1. Select two or more objects.
2. Choose Group menu > Assembly > Assemble.
The Assemble command combines a selection set
of objects, assemblies, and/or groups into a single
assembly, and adds a Luminaire helper object (page
1–106) as a head object (page 1–106).
Once you assemble objects, you can treat them as
a single object in your scene. You can click any
object in the group to select the entire assembly.
You can transform the assembly as a single object,
and you can apply modifiers as if it were a single
object.
Assemblies can contain other assemblies and/or
groups, up to any level.
Assembly names are similar to object names,
except that they’re carried by the assembly. In
lists like the one in the Select Objects dialog (page
1–75), assembly names appear in square brackets.
For example: [Assembly01].
The Create Assembly dialog appears. It requests
you to specify a name for the assembly and
a head object (page 1–106). The default head
object type is Luminaire (page 1–106).
3. Enter a name for the assembly, choose
Luminaire (page 1–106) from the list, and click
OK.
The selected objects are assembled. The
assembly head object position and orientation
is determined as follows:
• If there are multiple immediate children
of the assembly head (for example, you’re
assembling several non-hierarchical
objects), the head object is aligned with
center of bottom face of the assembly
bounding box.
Assemble
• If there’s only one immediate child of the
assembly head, the assembly head pivot
point is aligned with that object’s pivot
point. For example, if you’re assembling a
single hierarchy, the topmost object in the
hierarchy would be the single immediate
child of the assembly head.
To define a nested assembly:
1. Select two or more assemblies or any
combination of assemblies and objects.
(LuminaireHelper). Click the Dimmer item to
highlight it.
6. On the other side, find the assembly and
expand its hierarchy branch (click the + symbol
in the square box). Find and expand the branch
for the light source, and then expand its Object
branch. Click the Multiplier item to highlight it.
7. Between the two hierarchy lists, click the
Control Direction arrow button that points
from the selected Dimmer item to the selected
Multiplier item.
2. Choose Group menu > Assembly > Assemble.
The Create Assembly dialog appears. It requests
a name for the assembly, and a head object.
3. Enter a name for the new assembly object and
click OK.
To wire a head object to a light source:
1. Create a hierarchy of lights and geometrical
objects that models a lighting fixture. Sets up all
the necessary IK chains and other constraints
that make the model behave properly when the
user interacts with it (orients, positions, aims,
etc.).
Important: For any photometric lights that
you want to control with the head object, be
sure to turn on the Multiplier check box on the
Intensity/Color/Distribution rollout.
2. Select all objects in the fixture and define them
as an assembly.
When the assembly is selected, the luminaire
parameters Dimmer and Filter Color appear in
the Modify panel.
3. From the Animation menu, choose Wire
Parameters > Parameter Wire Dialog.
4. The Parameter Wiring dialog (page 2–736)
appears.
5. On one side of the dialog, find the assembly
and expand the branch titled Object
8. If you’re wiring a photometric light, skip this
step. If you’re wiring a standard light, or any
light whose default Multiplier setting is 1.0, do
this:
• The Expression box below the selected
Multiplier item contains the word "Dimmer."
Edit this to read "Dimmer/100". This divides
the Dimmer value by 100, giving a 1:1 value
ratio between it and the Multiplier setting.
9. Click the Connect button.
Now, when you change the luminaire’s Dimmer
setting, the light source intensity changes as
well.
10. If you like, use the same method to wire the
luminaire to any additional light sources in the
light fixture.
You can also use this method to wire the
luminaire’s Filter Color parameter to any light
sources’ color settings.
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Interface
Procedure
To open nested assemblies:
1. Select the assembly within the opened assembly.
2. Choose Group menu > Assembly > Open.
Close Assembly
Select the luminaire. > Group menu > Assembly > Close
The Close command reassembles an opened
assembly. For nested assemblies, closing the
outermost assembly object closes all open inner
assemblies.
Name—Specifies the name of the new assembly.
The default name is "Assembly" followed by
a two-place number starting with 01 and
incremented by one for each new assembly.
Choose Head Object—Lets you choose the type
When you link an object to a closed assembly,
the object becomes a child of the assembly parent
rather than of any member of the assembly. The
entire assembly flashes to show that you’ve linked
to the assembly.
Procedures
To close all opened assemblies nested within a main
assembly:
of object to serve as the assembly head object.
By default, this is a Luminaire helper object (page
1–106), but you can create other helper objects
using MAXScript.
1. Select any object in the main assembly or its
Open Assembly
2. Choose Group menu > Assembly > Close.
Select one or more assemblies. > Group menu >
Assembly > Open
luminaire head object.
Note: If you select an object within an opened
inner assembly, using Close will close only that
assembly.
To close a nested assembly:
1. Select any object in the nested assembly or its
The Open command lets you temporarily
disassemble an assembly and access its head and
member objects individually.
You can transform and modify the head
and member objects within the assembly
independently from the rest of the assembly, then
restore the original assembly using the Close
command (page 1–104).
luminaire.
2. Choose Group menu > Assembly > Close.
Disassemble
Disassemble
Select one or more assemblies. > Group menu >
Assembly menu > Disassemble
Disassemble separates the current assembly into
its component objects or assemblies.
The Disassemble command separates one level,
unlike Explode (page 1–105), which separates all
levels of nested assemblies.
When you disassemble an assembly, all
components of the assembly remain selected, but
are no longer part of the assembly. Any transform
animation applied to the assembly is lost, and
objects remain as they were in the frame at which
the dissolution is performed. However, objects
retain any individual animation.
All disassembled entities remain in the current
selection set.
Note: If you have wired the luminaire head to
any other parameters, those parameters are still
controlled by the wiring setup after disassembly
and are not adjustable until you apply a standard
controller, such as Bezier Float. Use Track View
to do this.
Explode Assembly
Select one or more assemblies. > Group menu >
Assembly menu > Explode
performed. However, objects retain any individual
animation.
Note: If you have wired the luminaire head to
any other parameters, those parameters are still
controlled by the wiring setup after exploding
and are not adjustable until you apply a standard
controller, such as Bezier Float. Use Track View
to do this.
Detach Assembly
Select an assembly. > Group menu > Assembly > Open
> Select one or more objects to detach. > Assembly >
Detach
Select one or more objects to detach in an open assembly.
> Group menu > Assembly > Detach
The Detach command detaches the selected object
from its assembly. If the object is a member of a
nested assembly, after you detach it, it is no longer
a member of any assembly.
This command becomes active when you open the
assembly by choosing Open (page 1–104) from the
Assembly menu.
Attach Assembly
Select one or more objects. > Group menu > Assembly
> Attach
The Attach command makes the selected object
part of an existing assembly.
The Explode command separates all objects in
an assembly, regardless of the number of nested
assemblies and/or groups, unlike Disassemble
(page 1–105), which separates one level only.
With an object selected, choose this command,
and then click either a closed assembly in the
scene, or the head object of an open assembly.
When you explode an assembly, all components of
the assembly remain selected, but are no longer
part of the assembly. Any transform animation
applied to the assembly is lost, and objects remain
as they were in the frame at which the dissolution is
Procedure
To attach an object to an assembly:
1. Select one or more objects to attach.
2. Choose Group menu > Assembly > Attach.
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3. Click any member of an assembly.
The selected objects become part of the
assembly, which is now selected.
Assembly Head Helper
Objects
Assembly Head Helper Object
When you create an assembly (page 1–95) in
Autodesk VIZ, the program automatically adds
a special type of helper object called a head
object, or assembly head. This object serves as
the fulcrum of the assembly and also exposes
parameters, available in the Modify panel when
the assembly is selected, that you can wire (page
2–735) to properties of objects inside the assembly.
Thus, you can change and animate parameters of
assembly member objects without having to open
the assembly, as you would with a group.
A luminaire object groups and manages the components as a
whole.
Interface
When a selected assembly is closed, the Modify
panel displays the Luminaire parameters.
However, when you open an assembly,
Autodesk VIZ shows you the parameters of the
whichever object is selected. The Luminaire object
provides Dimmer and Filter Color parameters.
You wire these to the light objects that are part of
the assembly.
Luminaire Helper Object
Create panel > Helpers > Assembly Heads > Object Type
rollout > Luminaire
The Luminaire helper object serves primarily as a
head, or control, object for light fixtures. When
you assemble (page 1–102) a set of objects into
a light fixture, you specify that a new luminaire
object should be used as the assembly head object.
The luminaire’s parameters, available from the
Modify panel, let you control the light sources in
the fixture. See Using Assemblies (page 1–95) for
more information.
You can also add a Luminaire object separately
from the Create panel, but in general it’s not
necessary.
Luminaire icon in the viewport
Luminaire rollout
Dimmer—Emulates the dimmer switch of a
real-world lighting fixture. The setting determines
the percentage of the default light intensity is
emitted by the light source of a lighting fixture.
Luminaire Helper Object
You wire this parameter to one or more light
sources’ Multiplier settings.
Filter Color—An RGB color parameter that you
link to a light source’s color or filter color.
The Dimmer option can control the intensity of all the lights in
the luminaire
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Object Properties
The Object Properties dialog, available from the
Edit and right-click menus, lets you view and edit
parameters for how selected objects behave in
viewports and renderings. Note that you cannot
necessarily edit all properties; parameters that
apply to renderable geometry are unavailable for
non-renderable objects. However, parameters
that apply to any object, such as Hide/Unhide,
Freeze/Unfreeze, Trajectory, and so on, remain
available for these non-renderable objects.
With the Object Properties dialog you can specify
settings per object or by layer (page 3–613). Object
settings affect only the object or objects selected.
When an object is set to By Layer, it inherits its
properties from the layer settings, which you set
with the Layer Properties dialog (page 3–334).
The Object Properties dialog panels are:
• General Panel (Object Properties Dialog) (page
1–109)
• Advanced Lighting Panel (Object Properties
Dialog) (page 1–115)
• mental ray Panel (Object Properties Dialog)
(page 1–118)
• User Defined Panel (Object Properties Dialog)
(page 1–119)
Object Properties Dialog
Panels
General Panel (Object Properties
Dialog)
Edit menu > Object Properties > Object Properties dialog
> General panel
Select object or objects. > Right-click. > Transform
(lower-right) quadrant of the quad menu > Properties >
Object Properties dialog > General panel
Layer manager > Click the icon next to an object’s name.
> Object Properties dialog > General panel
This panel of the Object Properties dialog displays
general object information, as well as controls for
rendering the object and displaying it in viewports.
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Interface
the shape renderable. Faces for renderable shapes
are generated only at rendering time.
Shape Vertices and Shape Curves—Appear only
for shape objects. Shape Vertices is the number
of vertices in the shape, and Shape Curves is the
number of polygons. (Shape Curves is the value
that appeared as "Polygons" in previous releases.)
These values can change over time: they are valid
only for the current frame and the current view.
Parent—Displays the name of the object’s parent in
a hierarchy. Shows "Scene Root" if the object has
no hierarchical parent.
Material Name—Displays the name of the material
assigned to the object. Displays "None" if no
material is assigned.
Num. Children—Displays the number of children
hierarchically linked to the object.
In Group/Assembly—Displays the name of the
group or assembly to which the object belongs.
Displays "None" if the object is not part of a group.
Layer—Displays the name of the layer which the
Object Information group
object is assigned to.
This group displays information about the selected
object, including the following:
Interactivity Group
Name—Shows the name of the object. When a
single object is selected, you can edit this field to
give the object a new name. When multiple objects
are selected, this field shows "Multiple Selected,"
and cannot be edited.
Hide— Hides the selected object or objects.
Hidden objects exist in the scene, but do not
appear in the viewports or rendered images. To
unhide hidden objects, use the Display panel (page
3–461) or choose Tools > Display Floater (page
3–461).
Color—The color swatch shows the object’s color.
You can click it to display the Object Color dialog
(page 1–133) and select a different color.
Note: Objects residing on a hidden layer are
Dimensions—Displays the X, Y, and Z dimensions
Tip: The Layer Manager (page 3–329) is the easiest
of the object’s extents (page 3–624).
Vertices and Faces—Display the number of vertices
and faces in the object. For shapes (page 1–236),
these values are the values used if you have made
automatically hidden, regardless of this setting.
way to hide groups of objects or layers.
Freeze—Freezes the selected object or objects.
Frozen objects appear in the viewports, but cannot
be manipulated. To unfreeze frozen objects, use
General Panel (Object Properties Dialog)
the Display panel (page 3–461) or choose Tools >
Display Floater (page 3–461).
Note: Objects residing on a frozen layer are
automatically frozen, regardless of this setting.
Tip: The Layer Manager (page 3–329) is the easiest
way to freeze groups of objects or layers.
Display Properties group
Display as Box—Toggles the display of selected
objects, both 3D objects and 2D shapes, as
bounding boxes (page 3–613). Produces minimum
geometric complexity for rapid display in
viewports. Default=off.
Note: This option is also available in the Display
panel (page 3–461) and by choosing Tools >
Display Floater (page 3–461).
By Object/By Layer—Toggles between object
settings or object layer settings. Object settings
affect only the object or objects selected. Object
layer settings affect all objects on the same layer as
the selected object.
Note: If multiple objects are selected and have
different By Layer settings, this button will read
‘Mixed’.
See-Through—Makes the object or selection
translucent in viewports. This setting has no
effect on rendering: it simply lets you see what
is behind an object in a crowded scene, and
especially to adjust the position of objects behind
the see-through object. Default=off.
Note: This option is also available in the Display
panel (page 3–461) and by choosing Tools >
Display Floater (page 3–461).
You can customize the color of see-through objects
by using the Colors panel (page 3–485) of the
Customize > Customize User Interface dialog (page
3–477).
Backface Cull—Toggles the display of faces with
normals (page 3–656) that point away from the
view. When on, you see through the wireframe
to the backfaces. Applies only to wireframe
viewports. Default=on.
Note: This option is also available in the Display
panel (page 3–461) and by choosing Tools >
Display Floater (page 3–461).
Keyboard shortcut (default): Alt+X
Edges Only—Toggles the display of hidden edges
and polygon diagonals (page 3–618). When on,
only outside edges appear. When off, all mesh
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geometry appears. Applies to Wireframe viewport
display mode, as well as other modes with Edged
Faces turned on.
Note: This option is also available in the Display
panel (page 3–461) and by choosing Tools >
Display Floater (page 3–461).
Ignore Extents—When on, this object is ignored
when you use the display controls Zoom Extents
(page 3–426) and Zoom Extents All (page 3–423).
Note: This option is also available in the Display
panel (page 3–461) and by choosing Tools >
Display Floater (page 3–461).
Vertex Ticks—Displays the object’s vertices as tick
marks. Default=off.
Note: This option is also available in the Display
panel (page 3–461) and by choosing Tools >
Display Floater (page 3–461).
Keyboard shortcut: No default, but you can
customize it using the Keyboard panel (page 3–478)
of the Customize > Customize User Interface dialog
(page 3–477).
Show Frozen in Gray—When on, the object turns
gray in viewports when you freeze it. When off,
viewports display the object with its usual color or
texture even when it is frozen. Default=on.
Note: This option is also available in the Display
panel (page 3–461) and by choosing Tools >
Display Floater (page 3–461).
Vertex Channel Display—For editable mesh (page
Trajectory—Displays the object’s trajectory (page
3–692). Default=off.
Note: This option is also available in the Display
panel (page 3–461) and by choosing Tools >
Display Floater (page 3–461).
2–342), editable poly (page 2–367), and editable
patch (page 2–314) objects, displays the assigned
vertex colors in viewports. The drop-down list
lets you choose to display Vertex Color, Vertex
Illumination, Vertex Alpha, Map Channel Color,
or Soft Selection Color. Default=off.
You can assign vertex colors at all sub-object levels
except Edge.
Note: This option is also available on the Display
panel (page 3–461).
General Panel (Object Properties Dialog)
Map Channel—Sets the map channel for the vertex
color. Available only when the Map Channel Color
option is active.
You can animate this parameter. Animating
Visibility assigns a visibility controller to the
object. By default this is a Bezier float controller
(page 2–676).
Renderable—Makes an object or selected objects
appear or disappear from rendered output.
Nonrenderable objects don’t cast shadows or
affect the visual component of the rendered scene.
Like dummy objects, nonrenderable objects can
manipulate other objects in the scene.
Shaded—When on, shaded viewports add shading
to the vertex coloring. When off, colors are
unshaded. Default=off.
Note: This option is also available on the Display
panel and by choosing Tools > Display Floater
(page 3–461).
Rendering Control group
You can set rendering control for lights to By
Object or By Layer (the latter is the default setting),
and you can also change their Renderable setting.
This allows you to turn individual lights on and off
in your renderings, but more importantly, you can
quickly turn large groups of lights on or off using
the Layer Manager (page 3–329).
By Object/By Layer—Toggles between object
settings or object layer settings. Object settings
affect only the object or objects selected. Object
layer settings affect the rendering controls of all
objects on the same layer as the selected object.
Note: If multiple objects are selected and have
different By Layer settings, this button will read
‘Mixed’.
Visibility—Controls the rendered visibility of the
object. At 1.0, the object is fully visible. At 0.0,
the object is completely invisible when rendered.
Default=1.0.
Shape (page 1–236) objects have the Renderable
option turned on by default. In addition, each
shape has an Enable In Renderer parameter.
When both check boxes are on, the shape appears
in rendered output. If Renderable in the Object
Properties dialog is off, the shape is not renderable,
regardless of the state of its local Enable In
Renderer check box.
If you apply a modifier that converts the shape
into a mesh object, such as a Lathe modifier (page
2–132) or Extrude modifier (page 2–117), the shape
automatically becomes renderable regardless of
the state of its local Enable In Renderer setting.
For shapes, the Renderable check box in the
Object Properties dialog affects the main object,
so the check box also affects all instances of and
references to the shape.
Inherit Visibility—Causes the object to inherit
a percentage of the visibility of its parent (as
determined by the parent’s Visibility track in Track
View). When a group parent is assigned a visibility
track, Inherit Visibility is automatically turned on
for all children in the group. The children will have
the maximum visibility of the parent. Transparent
materials and hidden objects have no effect on this
function.
Visible to Camera—When on, the object is visible
to cameras in the scene. When off, cameras do
not view this object; however, its shadows and
reflections are rendered. Default=on.
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Visible to Reflection/Refraction—When on, the
object has “secondary” visibility: it appears in
rendered reflections and refractions. When off,
the object does not appear in rendered reflections
or refractions. Default=on.
Warning: The mental ray renderer (page 2–1403) does
not recognize Z-depth with G-buffers. G-buffer data is
saved on a single layer. Also, the mental ray renderer
does not support the following effects:
Note: An object can have Visible To Camera on but
Visible To Reflection/Refraction off, in which case
the object renders in the scene but does not appear
in reflections or refractions.
• Ring lens effect (page 3–11) (rendering effect)
Receive Shadows—When on, the object can receive
shadows. Default=on.
Cast Shadows—When on, the object can cast
shadows. Default=on.
Apply Atmospherics—When on, atmospheric
effects are applied to the object. When off,
atmospheric effects do not change the rendered
appearance of this object. Default=on.
Render Occluded Objects—Allows special effects
to affect objects in the scene that are occluded by
this object. The special effects, typically applied
by plug-ins (page 3–667) such as Glow (page
3–7), use G-buffer (page 3–632) layers to access
occluded objects. Turning on this control makes
the object transparent for the purposes of special
effects. This makes no difference when you render
to most image files. When you render to either
the RLA (page 3–304) or RPF (page 3–305) file
format, however, occluded objects appear with the
effect applied on their designated G-buffer layer.
Default=off.
G-Buffer group
Allows you to tag an object as a target for a render
effect (page 3–2) based on the G-buffer (page
3–632) channel. Assigning the object a nonzero ID
creates a G-buffer channel that can be associated
with a render effect.
• Glow lens effect (page 3–7) (rendering effect)
Object Channel—Setting this spinner to a nonzero
number means that the object will receive the
rendering effects associated with that channel in
Render Effects.
To save the channel data with the rendering,
render to either the RLA (page 3–304) or RPF
(page 3–305) file format.
Motion Blur group
By Object/By Layer—Toggles between object
settings or object layer settings. Object settings
affect only the object or objects selected. Object
layer settings affect all objects on the same layer as
the selected object.
Note: If multiple objects are selected and have
different By Layer settings, this button will read
‘Mixed’.
Multiplier—Affects the length of the motion-blur
streak.
If you choose either form of motion blur here in
the Object Properties dialog, you must also choose
to apply that type of blur in the Render Scene dialog
(page 2–1342).
The rendering speed of object motion blur
depends on the complexity of the geometry to
which it’s assigned. The rendering speed of image
motion blur depends on the amount of rendered
screen space taken up by the blurring object.
In most cases image motion blur renders more
quickly. Object motion blur renders more quickly
when applied to very simple objects, and image
motion blur renders more slowly when the object
Advanced Lighting Panel (Object Properties Dialog)
takes up a lot of screen space, and moves all the
way across the screen in a single frame.
Advanced Lighting Panel (Object
Properties Dialog)
Select object or objects. > Edit menu > Object Properties
> Object Properties dialog > Advanced Lighting panel
Select object or objects. > Right-click. > Transform
(lower-right) quadrant of the quad menu > Properties >
Object Properties dialog > Advanced Lighting panel
Layer manager > Click the icon next to an object’s name.
> Object Properties dialog > Advanced Lighting panel
Changing the Object Blur Multiplier value.
Enabled—When on, enables motion blur for
this object. When off, motion blur is disabled
regardless of the other blur settings. Default=on.
You can animate the Enabled check box. The
main use of animating Enable is to apply motion
blur over only a limited range of frames. This can
save a tremendous amount of time when you are
rendering an animation.
You can enable motion blur for lights and cameras.
With the mental ray renderer, moving lights and
cameras can generate motion blur. However,
they do not generate motion blur with the default
scanline renderer.
• None—Turns off the state of motion blur for the
object.
• Object—Object motion blur (page 3–658)
provides a time-slice blur effect.
• Image—Image motion blur (page 3–638) blurs
the object’s image based on the velocity of each
pixel.
This panel of the Object Properties dialog lets you
customize how objects behave under advanced
lighting (radiosity (page 2–1377)).
Interface
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Selection Information rollout
Num. Geometric Objects—The number of
geometric objects present in the current selection.
Tip: Increasing this setting is most useful for
objects with large, smooth surfaces. More complex
geometry tends not to show advanced lighting
artifacts as much as smooth surfaces do.
Num. Light Objects—The number of lights present
in the current selection.
Geometric Object Radiosity Properties rollout
Exclude from Adv. Lighting Calculations—When on,
the current selection is excluded from advanced
lighting (radiosity). Objects excluded from
advanced lighting will not contribute to indirect
illumination.
By Layer/By Object—Toggles between object
settings and object layer settings. Object settings
affect only the object or objects selected. Object
layer settings affect all objects on the same layer as
the selected object. Most settings on this rollout
are available only when this toggle is set to By
Object. Default=By Layer.
Radiosity-only Properties group
Diffuse (reflective & translucent)—When on, the
radiosity solution will process diffuse reflection
and translucency (page 3–694) of the selected
objects.
Specular (transparent)—When on, radiosity will
process transparency of the selected objects.
Exclude from Regathering—When on, objects
are excluded from the regathering process when
rendering.
For more information on the Radiosity-only
Properties group, see Radiosity Control Panel (page
2–1387).
Note: If multiple objects with different settings are
Object Subdivision Properties group
selected, this button will read “Mixed.”
Use Global Subdivision Settings—When on, the
Adv. Lighting General Properties group
Cast Shadows—Determines whether objects will
cast shadows in the radiosity solution.
Note: When disabling Cast Shadows, you should
also turn off Diffuse (reflective & translucent)
and Specular (transparent) in the Radiosity-only
Properties group. If these switches are left turned
on, objects will still generate light that can produce
artifacts in the solution.
Receive Illumination—Determines whether objects
will receive indirect illumination.
Num. Regathering Rays Multiplier— Lets you
adjust the number of rays cast by this object, per
pixel. If an object looks “blotchy” after rendering,
Increasing this value can improve its appearance.
Default=1.0.
object’s meshing settings correspond to the global
subdivision settings on the Radiosity Control
Panel. When off, you can change the meshing
settings for each object. Default=on.
• Subdivide—When on, a radiosity mesh is
created for the objects regardless of the
global meshing state. The subdivision that is
performed is determined by the Use Adaptive
Subdivision switch. When off, the settings
in the Mesh Settings group are unavailable.
Default=on.
• Use Adaptive Subdivision—Toggles adaptive
subdivision. Default=on.
Tip: Adaptive meshing is computed for an
object only if Shoot Direct Lights is turned on in
the Radiosity Meshing Parameters rollout (page
2–1393).
Note: The Mesh Settings group parameters
Contrast Threshold, Min Mesh Size, and Initial
Advanced Lighting Panel (Object Properties Dialog)
Mesh Size are available only when Use Adaptive
Subdivision is turned on.
Mesh Settings group
Max Mesh Size—The size of the largest faces after
By Object/By Layer—Toggles between object
settings or object layer settings. Object settings
affect only the object or objects selected. Object
layer settings affect all objects on the same layer as
the selected object.
adaptive subdivision. Default=36” for imperial
units and 100cm for metric units.
Note: If multiple objects are selected and have
When Use Adaptive Subdivision is off, Max Mesh
Size sets the size of the radiosity mesh in world
units.
Store Direct Illumination in Mesh—When on, the
light’s direct illumination is added to the radiosity
mesh, even if the global rendering mode is Render
Direct Illumination. This is comparable to the
Re-Use Direct Illumination option when rendering
radiosity, but only for this particular light.
Min Mesh Size—Faces are not divided smaller than
the minimum mesh size. Default=3 inches for
Imperial units and 10cm for metric units.
Contrast Threshold—Faces that have vertex
illuminations that differ by more than the Contrast
Threshold setting are subdivided. Default=75.0.
Initial Mesh Size—When improving the face shape,
faces that are smaller than the Initial Mesh Size
are not subdivided. The threshold for deciding
whether a face is poorly shaped also gets larger
as the face size is closer to the Initial Mesh Size.
Default=12 inches for Imperial units and 30cm for
metric units.
Radiosity Refine Iterations—The number of refine
iterations in the radiosity process for the current
selection.
Iterations Done—The number of refine iterations
performed on the current selection.
Light Object Radiosity Properties rollout
These options are available only for light objects.
Exclude from Radiosity Processing—When on, the
current selection is excluded from the radiosity
solution. When lights are excluded from radiosity,
their direct contribution is only used for rendering.
This option is available only when By Object is
selected.
different settings, this button reads “Mixed.”
When off, the light’s direct illumination is
used only when you render the scene. This is
comparable to the Render Direct Illumination
option.
for more information about the Re-Use Direct
Illumination and Render Direct Illumination
options, see Rendering Parameters Rollout
(Radiosity) (page 2–1397). In general, re-using
direct illumination stored in the radiosity mesh
improves render time, but shadows appear coarse
and inaccurate unless the mesh is very fine.
Rendering direct illumination and shadows (using
the radiosity mesh to provide only indirect light)
takes more time but gives you a more finished and
accurate image.
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mental ray Panel (Object
Properties Dialog)
Interface
Edit menu > Object Properties > Object Properties dialog
> mental ray panel
Select object or objects. > Right-click. > Transform
(lower-right) quadrant of the quad menu > Properties >
Object Properties dialog > mental ray panel
Layer manager > Click the icon next to an object’s name.
> Object Properties dialog > mental ray panel
This panel of the Object Properties dialog supports
mental ray rendering; specifically, the indirect
illumination features caustics (page 2–1417) and
global illumination (page 2–1419). They control
whether objects generate or receive caustics or
global illumination.
These settings are ignored where they aren’t
appropriate. For example, lights can be set to
generate caustics, but for a light, the Receive
Caustics setting has no effect, as lights aren’t
renderable. Similarly, these settings have no
meaning for cameras.
The mental ray panel contains parameters for the mental ray
renderer.
Indirect Illumination group
Generate Caustics—When on, the object can
generate caustics. (For this to happen, Caustics
must also be enabled using the Render Scene
dialog’s Caustics And Global Illumination rollout
(page 2–1431).) When off, the object does not
generate caustics. Default=off.
Receive Caustics—When on, the object can receive
caustics. That is, caustic effects are cast onto
this object. (For this to happen, Caustics must
also be enabled using the Caustics And Global
Illumination rollout.) When off, the object does
not receive caustics. Default=on.
Generate Global Illumination—When on, the object
can generate global illumination. (For this to
User Defined Panel (Object Properties Dialog)
happen, Global Illumination must also be enabled
using the Caustics And Global Illumination
rollout.) When off, the object does not generate
global illumination. Default=off.
Interface
Receive Global Illumination—When on, the object
can receive global illumination. That is, reflected
light is cast onto this object. (For this to happen,
Global must also be enabled using the Caustics
And Global Illumination rollout.) When off,
the object does not receive global illumination.
Default=on.
User Defined Panel (Object
Properties Dialog)
Edit menu > Object Properties > Object Properties dialog
> User Defined panel
Select object or objects. > Right-click. > Transform
(lower-right) quadrant of the quad menu > Properties >
Object Properties dialog > User Defined panel
Layer manager > Click the icon next to an object’s name.
> Object Properties dialog > User Defined panel
This panel of the Object Properties dialog lets
you enter properties or comments that you define
yourself.
URL—This field lets you assign a URL to the
selected object. This does not affect the object in
any way; it is only for reference.
User Defined Properties—In this text box, you can
enter properties for the object, or comments about
it, that you define yourself. Autodesk VIZ doesn’t
use these properties, but it saves them with the
scene, and they reappear whenever you view the
Object Properties dialog for the object.
Rename Objects Tool
Tools menu > Rename Objects
The Rename Objects tool helps you rename several
objects at once.
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• Step—The step by which the base number is
incremented in succeeding renamed objects.
Rename—Click to rename the affected objects and
have your changes take effect.
Expression Techniques
In Autodesk VIZ, you can use mathematical
expressions (rather than constant numbers) to
express parameter values. For example, you could
use the expression 24*6 to represent the number
144.
Selected—When chosen, renaming affects
currently selected objects.
Pick—Click to display a Pick Objects To Rename
dialog to choose which objects to rename. This
dialog has the same controls as the Select Objects
dialog (page 1–75).
Base Name—Enter a base name for all objects. The
toggle enables or disables this name.
Prefix—When on, lets you enter a string that will
be a prefix to the name of all renamed objects.
Remove First N Digits—When on, the first N
characters in the base name are removed from
object names. The spinner sets the value of N.
Suffix—When on, lets you enter a string that will
be a suffix to the name of all renamed objects.
You can use mathematical expressions to control
the following object properties:
• Object parameters, such as length, width, and
height
• Transform and modifier values, such as an
object’s position coordinates
Parameter wiring (page 2–735) and the numerical
expression evaluator (page 1–12) use expressions,
which are described in this topic.
An expression is a mathematical function that
returns a value. You can use expressions to control
the following scene elements:
Scene element
Calculatable property
Creation
parameters
Any numeric creation parameter
Transforms
Position [X, Y, Z]
X Rotation
Remove Last N Digits—When on, the last N
Y Rotation
characters in the base name are removed from
object names. The spinner sets the value of N.
Z Rotation
Numbered—When on, lets you number object
names incrementally.
• Base Number—The base number appended to
the name of the first renamed object.
Scale [X%, Y%, Z%]
Modifiers
Any numeric modifier parameter
(including creation parameters)
Materials
Colors [R, G, B]
Any numeric material parameter
Expression Techniques
Note: Expressions only work with the individual
Operator
Use
Meaning
XYZ components of Euler rotation. You can’t
assign an expression to TCB rotation or other
kinds of rotation controllers.
=
p=q
equal to
<
p<q
less than
>
p>q
The links below are to the sections that follow in
this topic.
Greater than
<=
p<=q
less than or equal
to
Operators (page 1–121)
>=
p>=q
Greater than or
equal to
|
p|q
Logical OR,
returns 1 if either
p or q is nonzero;
otherwise, returns
0
&
p&q
Logical AND,
returns 1 if p and q
are both nonzero;
otherwise, returns
0
Variables (page 1–122)
Functions (page 1–122)
See also
Trigonometric Functions (page 1–123)
Vectors (page 1–125)
Operators
In the following tables, p and q are any scalar value
or expression, V and W are any vector value or
expression. (The character "x" is used as the vector
cross-product operator.)
Scalar Operators
These are the arithmetic operators for scalar
values:
Tip: Logical operators are useful with the "if "
function.
Vector Operators
For vectors that have a variable name, you can use
a special component operator (.) to refer to the
three scalar components of the vector:
Use
Meaning
Operator
Use
Meaning
V.x
first component (X)
+
p+q
Addition
V.y
second component (Y)
-
p-q
Subtraction
V.z
third component (Z)
-
-p
Additive inverse
*
p*q
Multiplication
/
p/q
Division
^
**
p^q
p**q
power (p to the
power of q)
^ and ** are the
same operation
You can also use logical (Boolean) operators with
scalar values. These operators all return 1 if true, 0
otherwise:
These are the operators for vector arithmetic:
Operator
Use
Meaning
+
V+W
Addition
-
V-W
subtraction
*
p*V
scalar multiplication
*
V*p
scalar multiplication
*
V*W
dot product
X
VxW
cross product
/
V/p
scalar division
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Operator Precedence
Functions
Expressions have eight levels of precedence. The
higher the operator is on the list, the earlier it is
evaluated.
Following is a list of the functions provided for
expressions. In this list, p, q, and r represent scalar
values or scalar expressions. V and W represent
vector values or vector expressions.
Operator
Level of Precedence
-+
as unary operators, as in -8, +25
.
the component operator, as in V.x
Trigonometric Functions
** ^
X
To use a function in an expression, enter the name
of the function and appropriate arguments to it.
cross product
= < > <= >=
The sine, cosine, and tangent functions take an
angle in degrees and return a floating-point value.
The arc functions take a floating-point value and
return a value in degrees.
|&
Function
Meaning
sin(p)
sine
cos(p)
cosine
tan(p)
tangent
asin(p)
arc sine
acos(p)
arc cosine
atan(p)
arc tangent
*/
+-
Parentheses are a special case. They are a grouping
or subexpression operator that is provided so you
can override the precedence order of the other
operators.
Variables
In expressions used for parameter wiring (page
2–735) and the numerical expression evaluator
(page 1–12), you can use predefined variables with
constant values.
Predefined Variables with Constant Values
These are the predefined variables that have a
constant value (variable names are case-sensitive):
Hyperbolic Functions
Hyperbolic functions take a floating-point value
and return a floating-point value.
Function
Meaning
sinh(p)
hyperbolic sine
cosh(p)
hyperbolic cosine
tanh(p)
hyperbolic tangent
Variable
Name
Constant
Value
Use
pi
3.14159
Ratio of a circle’s
circumference to its diameter.
Conversion Between Radians and Degrees
e
2.71828
Base of natural logarithms.
Function
Meaning
TPS
4800
Ticks per second. The tick
is the basic time unit of
Autodesk VIZ animation.
radToDeg(p)
takes p in radians and
returns the same angle in
degrees
degToRad(p)
takes p in degrees and
returns the same angle in
radians
Trigonometric Functions
Rounding Functions
Function
Meaning
Function
Meaning
comp(V,i)
ceil(p)
smallest integer greater
than or equal to p
i’th component (I=0,1,2):
comp([5,6,7],1)=6
unit(V)
returns a unit vector in the
same direction as V
floor(p)
largest integer less than or
equal to p
Note: The comp function is an alternative to the
notation V.x, V.y, V.z.
Standard Calculations
Function
Meaning
Special Animation Function
ln(p)
natural (base e) logarithm
Function
Meaning
log(p)
common (base 10)
logarithm
noise(p,q,r)
3D noise: returns a randomly
generated position
exp(p)
exponential function
exp(p)=e^p
pow(p,q)
p to the power of q (p^q)
sqrt(p)
square root
abs(p)
absolute value
min(p,q)
minimum returns p or q,
depending on which is
smaller
max(p,q)
maximum returns p or q,
depending on which is
greater
mod(p,q)
remainder of p divided by q
Conditional Functions
Function
Meaning
if(p,q,r)
works like the common
spreadsheet "if" (If p is
nonzero then "if" returns q,
otherwise "if" returns r.)
vif(c,V1,V2)
"Vector If" (Value is V1 if c is
true, else V2.)
Vector Handling Functions
Function
Meaning
length(V)
length of V
The arbitrary values p, q and r, are used as a
random-generation seed. You can reuse these
values to ensure that noise() returns the same
value.
Trigonometric Functions
This topic is a quick review for readers who need a
reminder about this area of mathematics. If you’re
familiar with trigonometry, you can skip this topic.
If you find this topic difficult to follow, you might
consult a more basic reference on mathematics.
Trigonometric functions are principally used to
model or describe:
• The relation between angles in a triangle (hence
the name).
• Rotations about a circle, including locations
given in polar coordinates.
• Cyclical or periodic values, such as sound
waves.
The three basic trigonometric functions are
derived from an angle rotating about a unit circle.
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Chapter 4: Object Properties
applies to values of x restricted by –∏/2 ≤ X ≤ ∏/2.
The graphs for these functions appear like the
basic trigonometric function graphs, but turned
on their sides.
Trigonometric functions based on the unit circle
Graphs of basic arc functions
The tangent function is undefined for x=0.
Another way to define the target is:
The hyperbolic functions are based on the
exponential constant e instead of on circular
measurement. However, they behave similarly to
the trigonometric functions and are named for
them. The basic hyperbolic functions are:
Because XYR defines a right-angled triangle, the
relation between the sine and cosine is:
The graphs of the basic trigonometric functions
illustrate their cyclical nature.
Graphs of basic trigonometric functions
The sine and cosine functions yield the same
values, but the phase differs along the X axis by
∏/2: in other words, 90 degrees.
The inverse functions for the trigonometric
functions are the arc functions; the inverse only
Graphs of basic hyperbolic functions
Vectors
Vectors
original two. Vector addition is commutative:
V+W=W+V.
This topic is a quick review for readers who need
a reminder about vector arithmetic. If you’re
familiar with vectors and vector calculations,
you can skip this topic. If this topic is difficult to
follow, you might consult a more basic reference
on mathematics.
A vector expresses a length and a direction in
a particular space. The vector is expressed as a
point; for example, [5, 5, 7]. The length is the
distance from the origin to that point, and the
direction is similarly from the origin to (and
through) the point.
In Autodesk VIZ, vectors have three values and
describe positions in three-dimensional space.
They can also represent percent scaling in X, Y,
and Z; and (more abstractly) describe locations in
RGB color space.
Adding two vectors
Subtracting two vectors gives the vector between
the two points.
Unit Vectors and Basic Vectors
A unit vector has a length of one. Unit vectors are
often used to express direction only. The three
basic vectors are unit vectors that describe the
three axes (X, Y, and Z) of 3D space.
Subtracting two vectors
Scalar Multiplication and Division
Basic vectors and the XYZ axes
Adding and Subtracting Vectors
Adding two vectors creates a new vector that
combines the length and direction of the
Multiplying a vector by a scalar changes the
vector’s length, as does dividing the vector by a
scalar.
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Vector Length and Direction
The length of a vector is obtained from the
Pythagorean theorem.
In Autodesk VIZ expressions, the length()
function returns this value.
The direction of the vector is the vector divided
by its length; this gives you a unit vector with the
same direction.
The distance between two points is the length of
the vector between them.
Subtracting vectors to obtain a distance
Creating Geometry
The solid 3D objects in the scene, and the objects
used to create them, are known as geometry.
Usually, geometry comprises the subject of your
scene and the objects that you render.
This section describes the types of geometry you
can create using the Create panel (page 3–443).
Basics of Creating and Modifying Objects (page
1–127)
Geometric Primitives (page 1–142)
a scene. Despite the variety of object types, the
creation process is consistent for most objects.
The Modify panel (page 3–444) provides controls
to complete the modeling process. Any object
can be reworked, from its creation parameters
to its internal geometry. Both object-space and
world-space modifiers let you apply a wide range
of effects to objects in your scene. The modifier
stack allows editing of the modifier sequence.
Shapes (page 1–236)
In Autodesk VIZ, you model basic parametric
(page 3–663) objects into more complex ones by:
Compound Objects (page 1–287)
• Changing parameters (page 3–663)
Systems (page 1–335)
• Applying modifiers
• Directly manipulating sub-object geometry
See also
Surface Modeling (page 2–309)
These topics will help you start creating and
modifying objects:
Using the Create Panel (page 1–128)
Creating an Object (page 1–131)
Basics of Creating and
Modifying Objects
This section provides an introduction to
techniques for creating and modeling objects.
The Create panel (page 3–443) contains controls
for creating new objects, the first step in building
Using the Modify Panel (page 2–28)
Using the Modifier Stack (page 2–31)
Editing the Stack (page 2–33)
Modifying at the Sub-Object Level (page 2–35)
Using the Stack at the Sub-Object Level (page 2–37)
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Chapter 5: Creating Geometry
Modifying Multiple Objects (page 2–38)
How Instanced Modifiers Work (page 2–40)
Transforms, Modifiers, and Object Data Flow (page
2–24)
Varying the Parameters
Unlike physical objects, with a fixed shape and
size, you can change the creation parameters of
objects and shapes to dramatically alter topology.
Here are some examples of changes you can make:
• Turn a cone into a four-sided pyramid by
reducing the number of sides and turning the
Smooth option off.
• Slice any circular object as if it were a pie.
these mapping coordinates if you plan to apply
a mapped material to them. Mapped materials
include a wide range of rendered effects, from
2D bitmaps to reflections and refractions. See
Mapping Coordinates (page 2–1026) and Using
Maps to Enhance a Material (page 2–1023). If
mapping coordinates have already been applied to
an object, the check box for this feature is turned
on.
Using the Create Panel
The Create panel provides the controls for creating
objects and adjusting their parameters.
To access the Create panel:
• Render splines directly at any assigned width.
• Break, detach, and divide wall segments.
• Change the number of risers without affecting
the overall rise of the stairs.
Collapsing Primitives to Base Geometry
You can collapse a geometric primitive or shape to
one of a variety of base geometric types once you
no longer need access to its creation parameters.
For example, you can convert any standard
primitive to an editable mesh (page 2–342), editable
poly (page 2–367), editable patch (page 2–314), or
NURBS (page 2–436) object, and you can convert
a spline shape to an editable mesh, editable spline
(page 1–262), or NURBS object. The easiest way
to collapse an object is to select it, right-click it,
and choose a "Convert to" option from the quad
menu > Transform quadrant. This lets you use
explicit editing methods with the object, such as
transforming vertices. You can also use the Modify
panel to collapse a primitive.
Mapping Coordinates
Most Geometry objects have an option for
generating mapping coordinates. Objects need
1.
Click the Create tab in the command
panels (page 3–442).
By default, this panel is open when you start the
program. If the command panel isn’t visible,
choose it from the Customize Display right-click
menu (page 3–473).
2. Click an object type to display its Parameters
rollout.
The Creation Process
The actual creation of objects is accomplished
with a single click of the mouse, a drag, or some
combination, depending on the object type. This
is the general sequence:
• Choose an object type.
• Click or drag in a viewport to create an object
of approximate size and location.
• Adjust the object’s parameters and position,
either immediately or later.
See Creating an Object (page 1–131).
Identifying the Basic Building Blocks
Create Panel Interface
Controls in the Create panel vary depending on
the kind of object you are creating. However,
certain controls are always present, and others are
shared by nearly all object types.
Category—Buttons at the top of the panel access
the six main categories of objects. Geometry is the
default category.
Subcategory—A list lets you select subcategories.
For example, subcategories under Geometry
include Standard Primitives, Extended Primitives,
Compound Objects, Patch Grids, NURBS
Surfaces, AEC Extended, Stairs, Doors, and
Windows.
Each subcategory contains one or more object
types. If you’ve installed plug-in components for
additional object types, these might be grouped
as a single subcategory.
Object Type—A rollout contains labeled buttons
for creating objects in a particular subcategory.
Name and Color—The Name shows the
automatically assigned name of the object. You can
edit this name or replace it with another. (Different
objects can have the same name, though this is not
recommended.) Clicking the square color swatch
brings up an Object Color dialog (page 1–133)
to change the color of the object as it appears in
viewports (the wireframe color).
Creation Method—This rollout provides a choice of
how you use the mouse to create an object. For
example, you can use either the center (radius) or
edge (diameter) to define the size of a Circle shape.
A default creation method is always selected
when you access the tool. If you want to use an
alternate method, choose the option before you
create the object. The creation method has no
effect on a finished object; the options are for your
convenience during creation.
Keyboard Entry—This rollout lets you enter
creation parameters from the keyboard for
geometric primitive and shape objects.
Parameters—This rollout shows creation
parameters: the defining values for an object.
Some parameters can be preset, while others
are only for adjustment after an object has been
created.
Other rollouts—Additional rollouts can appear
on the Create panel, depending on what kind of
object you create.
Identifying the Basic Building
Blocks
On the Create panel, the categories for Geometry
and Shapes supply the "building blocks" to
combine and modify into more sophisticated
objects. These parametric (page 3–663) objects are
ready to use. By adjusting values and turning some
buttons on or off, you can create dozens of "new"
building blocks from the ones listed here.
You can choose these types from the sub-categories
list on the Create panel.
Geometry Types
Standard Primitives—Relatively simple 3D objects
such as Box, Sphere, and Cylinder, as well as
Torus, Plane, Cone, GeoSphere, Tube, Teapot, and
Pyramid.
Extended Primitives—More complex 3D objects
such as Capsule, OilTank, Spindle, Hedra, Torus
Knot, and Prism.
Compound Objects—Compound objects include
Scatter, Connect, ShapeMerge, Booleans, Terrain,
and Loft. Booleans combine the geometry of two
objects using union, intersection, and difference
operations. ShapeMerge lets you embed a spline
shape into a geometric mesh. Loft (page 1–313)
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Chapter 5: Creating Geometry
uses shapes as cross sections along a path to
produce a 3D object.
Patch Grids—Simple 2D surfaces ready for
modeling or repairing existing meshes.
NURBS Surfaces—Analytically generated surfaces
especially suited for modeling surfaces with
complicated curves.
AEC Extended—Elements useful for AEC design,
including Terrain, Foliage (plants and trees),
Railing, for creating custom railings, and Wall, for
the production of Wall objects.
Stairs—Four types of stairs: Spiral, L-Type,
Straight, and U-Type.
Doors—Parametric door styles include Pivot,
BiFold, and Sliding.
Windows—Parametric window styles include
Awning, Fixed, Projected, Casement, Pivoted, and
Sliding.
Note: Default materials are automatically applied
to Foliage, as well as to the following object types:
Railing, Stairs, Doors, and Windows.
Shape Types
Splines—Common 2D shapes such as a Line,
Rectangle, Circle, Ellipse, Arc, Donut, NGon, and
Star. Text shapes support TrueType fonts. Section
creates a spline from the cross-section of an object.
Helix is a 3D shape.
NURBS Curves—A Point Curve and CV Curve
provide the starting points for complex surfaces.
See Introduction to NURBS Modeling (page 2–424).
Extended Splines—More complex 2D shapes
including Walled Rectangle, Channel Spline,
Angle Spline, Tee Spline, and Wide Flange Spline.
Extended splines can be used in architectural and
similar applications.
Varying the Parameters
Unlike physical building blocks, with fixed shape
and size, you can change the parameters of objects
and shapes to dramatically alter topology. Here are
some examples of changes you can make:
• Turn a cone into a four-sided pyramid by
reducing the number of sides and turning the
Smooth option off.
• Slice any circular object as if it were a pie.
• Render splines directly at any assigned width.
• Break, detach, and divide wall segments.
• Change the number of risers without affecting
the overall rise of the stairs.
Collapsing Primitives to Base Geometry
You can collapse a building-block object to one
of a variety of base geometric types once you no
longer need access to its creation parameters. For
example, you can convert any standard primitive
to an editable mesh (page 2–342), editable poly
(page 2–367), editable patch (page 2–314), or
NURBS (page 2–436) object, and you can convert
a spline shape to an editable mesh, editable spline
(page 1–262), or NURBS object. The easiest way
to collapse an object is to select it, right-click it,
and choose a "Convert to" option from the quad
menu > Transform quadrant. This lets you use
explicit editing methods with the object, such as
transforming vertices. You can also use the Modify
panel to collapse a primitive.
Mapping Coordinates
Most Geometry objects have an option for
generating mapping coordinates. Objects need
these mapping coordinates if you plan to apply
a mapped material to them. Mapped materials
include a wide range of rendered effects, from
2D bitmaps to reflections and refractions. See
Mapping Coordinates (page 2–1026) and Using
Maps to Enhance a Material (page 2–1023). If
Creating an Object
mapping coordinates have already been applied to
an object, the check box for this feature is turned
on.
To choose an object category:
Click the Create tab to view the Create
1.
panel.
Creating an Object
With some variations, the steps shown in the
following images apply to creating any type of
object on the Create panel. For specific examples,
see the Procedures section in any object’s topic.
2. Click one of the buttons at the top of the Create
panel. For example, Geometry.
3. Choose the subcategory Standard Primitives
from the list.
A number of buttons appear on the Object
Type rollout.
To choose an object type:
• Click the button for the type of object you want
to create.
The button highlights, showing that it is
active. Four rollouts appear: Name and
Color, Creation Method, Keyboard Entry, and
Parameters.
To choose a creation method (optional):
1. Radius defined
2. Height defined
You can accept the default method and skip this
step.
• Choose a method in the Creation Method
rollout.
To preset the creation parameters (optional):
You can adjust all creation parameters after you
create an object. Skip this step if you prefer.
• In the Parameters rollout, you can set
parameters before you create an object.
However, the values of parameters you set by
dragging the mouse (for example, the Radius
and Height of a cylinder) have no effect until
after you create the object.
3. Sides increased
To create the object:
4. Height Segments increased
1. Put the cursor at a point in any viewport where
you want to place the object, and hold the
mouse button down (do not release the button).
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Chapter 5: Creating Geometry
2. Drag the mouse to define the first parameter
of the object; for example, the circular base of
a cylinder.
3. Release the mouse button. The first parameter
is set with this release.
4. Move up or down without touching the mouse
button. This sets the next parameter; for
example, the height of a cylinder.
If you want to cancel: Until you complete the
next step, you can cancel the creation process
with a right-click.
5. Click when the second parameter has the value
you want, and so on.
The number of times you press or release the
mouse button depends on how many spatial
dimensions are required to define the object.
(For some kinds of objects, such as Line, the
number is open-ended.)
When the object is complete, it is in a selected state
and ready for adjustments.
To name the object (optional):
• Highlight the default object name in the Name
and Color rollout, and then enter a name. This
option is available only when a single object is
selected.
To adjust the object’s parameters:
• You can change the creation parameters
immediately after you complete an object, while
it’s still selected. Or, you can select the object
later and adjust its creation parameters on the
Modify panel.
While making adjustments, you can use viewport
navigation controls like Zoom, Pan, and Arc
Rotate to change your view of the selected object.
You can also adjust the time slider.
To end the creation process:
While the object type button remains active, you
can continue creating objects of the same type
until you do one of the following:
• Select an object other than the one you created
most recently.
• Transform an object.
• Change to another command panel.
• Use commands other than viewport navigation
or the time slider.
After you end the creation process, changing
parameters on the Create panel will have no effect
on the object; you must go to the Modify panel
to adjust the object’s parameters. See Using the
Modify Panel (page 2–28).
Naming objects is a good practice for
organizing your scenes. To name a set of
selected objects, see Named Selection Sets (page
1–63).
To change the object’s display color (optional):
• The color swatch next to the object name field
displays the selected object’s color and lets you
select a new one. The color is the one used to
display the object in viewports. Click the color
swatch to display the Object Color dialog (page
1–133).
You can also change object colors with Layers
(page 3–329).
Assigning Colors to Objects
Autodesk VIZ is a truecolor (page 3–694) program.
When you pick a color in the program, you are
specifying 24 bits of color data, which provide a
range of over 16 million colors.
Object wireframe colors are used primarily as an
organizational tool. Object naming strategies,
named selection sets, and object wireframe color
Object Color Dialog
strategies provide a rich set of tools for organizing
even the most complex scenes.
You can use two dialogs to specify colors:
• The Object Color dialog (page 1–133) contains
two preset palettes of colors that you use to set
an object’s wireframe color. This is also the
surface color you see in a rendered viewport.
The two color palettes are Default palette and
AutoCAD ACI palette.
• The Color Selector (page 1–135) is a generic
dialog that you use to define any color in the
24-bit color range. For the purpose of defining
colors to assign to objects, it is available only
through the Default palette.
Note:
The Layers functionality lets you organize your
scene and can also be used for assigning object
colors. For more information, see Layer Manager
(page 3–329).
Object Color Dialog
Click the color swatch by the object’s name in any
command panel.
The Object Color dialog contains two preset
palettes of colors that you use to set an object’s
wireframe color. This is also the surface color you
see in a shaded viewport.
Using Random Color Assignment
By default, Autodesk VIZ assigns colors to objects
by layer. This means each object receives the
wireframe color set by the current layer. You can
change the color of the current layer with the Layer
Manager (page 3–329). If you turn off Customize
> Preferences > General tab (page 3–503) >
Default to By Layer for New Nodes, new objects
are assigned colors by object rather than layer.
For individual objects, you can click the By
Layer/By Object button on the Object Color dialog
to change the method used to set the object color.
Defining Custom Colors
When using the Default palette, the Object Color
dialog contains a palette of 16 custom color
swatches. You can define any color for each of the
16 color swatches by selecting a swatch from the
Custom Colors group, then clicking Add Custom
Colors.
Switching Between Palettes
You can alternate between two versions of the
Object Color dialog at any time by clicking the
appropriate Basic Colors toggle:
• Default palette: Contains a fixed palette of 64
colors, plus a custom palette of 16 user-defined
custom colors.
Use this version when you want to work with a
smaller palette of colors or when you want to
define custom object wireframe colors.
• AutoCAD-compatible version: Contains a
fixed palette of 256 colors matching the colors
in the AutoCAD Color Index (ACI).
Use this version when you want to assign object
colors that match the AutoCAD Color Index.
Using ACI colors is useful if you plan to export
objects to AutoCAD and want to organize
them by object color, or when you want a wide
selection of colors to choose from.
Procedures
To set object color:
This is the general procedure for selecting object
color.
1. Select one or more objects.
2. On any command panel, click the color swatch
to the right of the Object Name field to display
the Object Color dialog.
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Chapter 5: Creating Geometry
3. On the Object Color dialog, click the By Layer /
By Object toggle to set it to By Object.
4. Click a color swatch from the palette, and then
click OK to apply the color to the selection.
To define a custom color:
1. With the Default palette option active, click one
of the 16 custom color swatches.
2. Click Add Custom Colors to display the Color
Selector (page 1–135).
3. Define a custom color and click Add Color.
The custom color is stored in the selected color
swatch of the Object Color dialog and is set as
the current color.
To copy a custom color from an object in your scene
to one of your custom color swatches:
• Drag the Active Color swatch up to one of the
custom color swatches.
The Active Color swatch is in the Object Color
dialog, to the left of the OK button.
To select objects by color:
•
Click Select By Color. This displays the
Select Objects dialog (page 1–75). All objects
that have the same color as the current object
are highlighted in the list. Click Select.
Interface
Palette—Choose one of these:
• Default palette—When chosen, the dialog
displays Basic Colors and Custom Colors
groups, and you have the option to add custom
colors.
• AutoCAD ACI palette—When chosen, the
AutoCAD ACI palette is shown. When you
click a color, its ACI# is displayed at the bottom
of the dialog.
Basic Colors—A set of 64 default colors, available
only when Default Palette is active.
Custom Colors—Displays 16 custom colors when
Default Palette is active. To choose a custom color,
click its swatch. To define or change a custom
color, click its swatch and then click Add Custom
Colors.
Add Custom Colors—Available only when Default
Palette is active. Clicking this option displays the
Color Selector (page 1–135), which allows you to
modify the currently selected custom color. If
you click Add Custom Colors with a basic color
chosen, the dialog switches to the first custom
color before opening the Color Selector.
By Layer/By Object—Sets the object’s color by layer
or by object. If color is set by object, choosing a
new color on the Object Color dialog changes the
object’s wireframe color in viewports.
ACI#—Displays the ACI number for the selected
color. Available only when AutoCAD ACI palette
is active.
Select by Color—Displays a Select Objects
dialog (page 1–75) listing all objects that use the
current color as their wireframe color.
Note: This button is available only if at least one
object in the scene has the Current Color as its
wireframe color.
Assign Random Colors—When on, Autodesk VIZ
will assign a random color to each object created.
Color Selector Dialog
When off, Autodesk VIZ will assign the same color
to every object created until the color swatch is
changed. This setting affects wireframe colors only
when By Object is turned on as the color method.
The dialog is divided into three different color
selection models. You can use the controls for any
model to define a color. The three color models
are:
Active/Current Color—Displays the active color (if
• Hue/Blackness/Whiteness (HBW)
no object is selected) or current color. When you
click the color swatch, the Color Selector dialog
(page 1–135) opens, where you can mix a custom
color.
Color Selector Dialog
Any command panel > Name and Color fields > Click
color swatch. > Object Color dialog > Add Custom Colors
button or Current Color swatch.
Material Editor > Click any color swatch.
Select or add a light object. > Modify panel >
Intensity/Color/(Distribution/Attenuation) rollout > Click
color or Filter Color swatch.
Rendering menu > Environment > Environment and
Effects dialog > Click color swatch for Background, Tint,
and Ambient components of Global Lighting, and various
components of atmospheric effects such as Fire, Fog, and
so on..
The Color Selector dialog lets you specify a custom
color parameter in Autodesk VIZ. You can work
simultaneously with three different color models
to help you zero in on the exact color you want.
You can use the Color Selector to specify many
color parameters, such as light colors, material
colors, background colors, and custom object
colors. (Another way to choose an object’s
viewport color is to use the predefined colors in
the Object Color dialog (page 1–133).)
In most contexts, the Color Selector is modeless
(page 3–652); that is, it remains on the screen until
you dismiss it, and you can use other controls or
work in a viewport while the dialog is still visible.
In other contexts, the Color Selector is modal, and
you must close the dialog before proceeding.
The most prominently displayed and intuitive
color model is the HBW model. This model
represents a natural, pigment-based way of
mixing color by starting with a pure color (hue)
and then making it darker by adding black, or
lighter by adding white.
The main feature of the HBW model is a large
square box displaying the color spectrum.
Across the top of this box you have the spectrum
of pure colors, or hue. Down the side of the box
you see increasing levels of blackness, making
the color dark as you approach the bottom.
To the right of the color spectrum box is the
Whiteness box, which controls the amount
of white in the color. Use higher positions to
decrease the whiteness, or lower positions to
increase the whiteness.
• Red/Blue/Green (RGB)
The RGB model adjusts the mix of Red,
Green, and Blue to define a color. This model
represents the way colored light can be mixed.
This is additive color mixing, as opposed to the
subtractive color mixing for paint and other
pigments. You can adjust values using the color
sliders, the numeric fields to their right (via the
keyboard), or the spinners to the right of the
numeric fields.
• Hue/Saturation/Value (HSV)
The HSV color model adjusts Hue, Saturation,
and Value. Hue sets the color; Saturation
(labeled "Sat") sets the color’s purity; and Value
sets the color’s brightness, or intensity. You
can adjust values using the color sliders, the
numeric fields to their right (via the keyboard),
or the spinners to the right of the numeric fields.
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As you adjust the controls of one color model, the
controls of the other two models change to match.
The color defined by the color model is displayed
in the right half of the Color Output box. The
original color, before you began making changes,
is displayed in the left half.
Procedures
To display the Color Selector:
1. Click the color swatch of a color parameter
such as the color of a light or of a material
component.
Note: The object color displayed next to an
object’s name on command panels uses the
Object Color dialog (page 1–133). On the Object
Color dialog, clicking the Active (or Current)
Color swatch or the Add Custom Colors button
displays a Color Selector.
2. Make a color selection and click Close or the
Close button (X).
If using the Add Color version of the Color
Selector, be sure to click Add Color first.
3. To revert to the original color, click Reset.
To choose the hue of a color, do one of the following:
• Click anywhere in the Hue rainbow (the large,
multicolored square).
• Use the Saturation spinner to decrease
saturation.
• Drag the Value slider to the right.
• Use the Value spinner to increase the value.
To make a color darker, do one of the following:
• Drag the vertical Whiteness slider (at the right
of the Hue rainbow) upward.
• Drag the vertical Blackness slider (at the left of
the Hue rainbow) downward.
• Drag the Saturation (Sat.) slider to the right.
• Use the Saturation spinner to increase
saturation.
• Drag the Value slider to the left.
• Use the Value spinner to decrease the value.
To return to the original color:
• Click Reset.
The new color is replaced by the original color,
and all parameter values are reset.
To dismiss the Color Selector, do one of the following:
• Click Close.
• Click the dialog’s Close (X) button.
Interface
• Drag the Hue slider at the top of the rainbow.
• Drag the Red, Green, and Blue sliders.
• Drag the Hue slider.
• Use the Red, Green, Blue, or Hue spinners.
To make a color lighter, do one of the following:
• Drag the vertical Whiteness slider (at the right
of the Hue rainbow) downward.
• Drag the vertical Blackness slider (at the left of
the Hue rainbow) upward.
Hue—Define a pure color by dragging the hue
• Drag the Saturation (Sat.) slider to the left.
Blackness—Drag the blackness pointer down the
side to darken the pure color by adding black. You
pointer across the top of the box.
Color Selector Dialog
can also click or drag inside the box to change hue
and blackness at the same time.
Whiteness—The vertical bar to the right controls
the amount of whiteness. The color set by the hue
and blackness pointers is displayed at the top of
the bar and pure white at the bottom. Drag the
whiteness pointer down to lighten the color by
adding white.
Red, Green, and Blue—When a red, green, or blue
slider is all the way to the left, its numeric field
contains 0; none of the color controlled by that
slider is used. If the slider is all the way to the right,
the field reads 255; the maximum amount of that
color is being used.
Color Output—This pair of color swatches, below
the Value slider, lets you compare the new color,
shown on the right, to the original color, shown
on the left.
Close—Closes the dialog.
Reset—Click to restore color settings to the
original color.
Color Selector for mental ray Materials and
Shaders
When you click a color swatch in the interface
for a mental ray material (page 2–1158) or mental
ray shader (page 2–1307), you see a variant of the
Color Selector.
The spinners to the right of each slider are another
way of setting the red, blue, or green component.
The colors in the sliders change to show an
approximation of what the color result will be
if you move the slider to that location, without
adjusting any other color parameter.
Hue—Sets the pure color. Locating the slider all
the way to the left gives you pure red. As you
drag the slider to the right you move through
the spectrum of Red, Yellow, Green, Cyan, Blue,
Magenta, and back to Red again. Hue is more
accurately represented as a color wheel rather than
a linear slider. That is why the Hue slider is red at
both ends. Think of the hue range from 0 to 255 as
being points on a circle where the numbers 0 and
255 are right next to each other.
Saturation ("Sat")—Sets the purity or strength of
the color. A weak color, with a saturation near 0,
is dull and gray. A strong color, with a saturation
near 255 is very bright and pure.
Value—Sets the lightness or darkness of a color.
Low values darken the color toward black. High
values lighten the color toward white. A value in
the middle, at a setting of 127, gives you the color
defined only by hue and saturation.
This dialog differs from the standard Color
Selector in two ways:
• The RGB and HSV values appear as normalized
values between 0.0 and 1.0, rather than as 8-bit
integers (0–255).
• An additional Alpha slider and spinner let you
explicitly set the alpha value for this color. This
value is also normalized, where 0.0 represents
fully transparent, and 1.0 represents fully
opaque.
This version of the Color Selector also appears
when you use the mental ray renderer’s Sampling
Quality rollout (page 2–1423).
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Color Clipboard Utility
Interface
Tools menu > Color Clipboard
Utilities panel > Utilities rollout > More button > Utilities
dialog > Color Clipboard button
The Color Clipboard utility stores color swatches
for copying from one map or material to another.
For example, if in the Material Editor, you want
to copy a color from a swatch in one level of a
material to a swatch in another level (or from
another material), there would be no way to do
it with drag and drop. This is because you can’t
have two materials/maps visible at the same time.
However, you can drag the color from one material
to the color clipboard, switch to the other material,
and then drag the color from the clipboard to the
swatch in the new material.
You can save and load color clipboard files. The
saved file, which is given a .ccb (color clip board)
extension, is an ASCII file that contains a palette
description. The first 12 lines of the file consist
of three RGB numbers, so you can easily edit or
create your own clipboard files. This file format is
also used by the VertexPaint modifier (page 2–284).
Color swatches—Click a color swatch to edit its
value with the Color Selector.
Note: The Color Selector invoked by this utility
uses decimal numbers in the range 0.0 to 1.0,
instead of integers in the range 0 to 255 as with
other color-selection dialogs in Autodesk VIZ.
New Floater—Displays a floating clipboard with 12
slots, plus buttons for opening and saving color
clipboard files. You can open up as many of these
floaters as you want and you can minimize them.
If you exit the Utilities panel or select the Close
button to exit the Color Clipboard utility, any
visible floaters remain open. When you close a
floater, any changed values are lost.
Procedure
To copy a color from a swatch to the color clipboard:
1. On the Utilities panel, click Color Clipboard.
2. Open the Material Editor.
3. Select a color from any swatch in a material.
4. Drag the color to a swatch in the color
clipboard.
5. A dialog appears asking if you want to copy or
swap the material. Choose copy to replace the
swatch in the color clipboard with the swatch
from the material you selected. Choose swap
to swap colors on the Color Clipboard swatch
and material swatch.
Close—Exits the Clipboard utility.
Adjusting Normals and Smoothing
Adjusting Normals and
Smoothing
In general, you adjust normals and smoothing to
prepare objects for rendering.
A normal (page 3–656) is a unit vector that defines
which way a face or vertex is pointing. The
direction in which the normal points represents
the front, or outer surface of the face or vertex,
which is the side of the surface that is normally
displayed and rendered.
You can manually flip or unify face normals to fix
surface errors caused by modeling operations or
by importing meshes from other programs.
Smoothing groups define whether a surface is
rendered with sharp edges or smooth surfaces.
Smoothing groups are numbers assigned to the
faces of an object. Each face can carry any number
of smoothing groups up to the maximum of 32.
If two faces share an edge and share the same
smoothing group, they render as a smooth surface.
If they don’t share the same smoothing group, the
edge between them renders as a corner. You can
manually change or animate smoothing group
assignment. Changing smoothing groups does not
alter geometry in any way; it only changes the way
faces and edges are shaded.
See also
Viewing and Changing Normals (page 1–139)
Viewing and Changing Smoothing (page 1–140)
Viewing and Changing Normals
When you create an object, normals (page 3–656)
are generated automatically. Usually objects render
correctly using these default normals. Sometimes,
however, you need to adjust the normals.
Left: The normals shown as spikes indicate the orientation of
faces on the pyramid.
Right: Flipping normals can make faces invisible (or visible) in
shaded viewports and renderings.
Undesired normals can appear in these objects:
• Meshes imported from other applications.
• Geometry generated by complex operations
such as Boolean objects, lathe objects, or lofts.
Normals are used to define which side of a face or
vertex is considered the "out" side. The out side of
a face or vertex is the side that gets rendered unless
you are using two-sided materials, or turn on the
Force 2-Sided option in the Render Scene dialog
> Common panel > Common Parameters rollout
(page 2–1360).
Do one of the following to view or change face
normals:
• Apply a Normal modifier (page 2–157). If a Face
sub-object selection is active, Normal applies
to the selected faces. If no faces are selected,
Normal applies to the entire object.
• Apply an Edit Mesh modifier (page 2–74),
enable Face, Polygon or Element sub-object
mode, and then use the features on the Surface
Properties rollout to change the directions in
which normals point.
• Convert the object to an editable mesh (page
2–342), enable Face, Polygon or Element
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sub-object mode, and use the features on the
Surface Properties rollout
Parameters rollout to adjust the normals. You can
also use the Normal modifier with both Unify and
Flip turned on to fix inside-out lathed objects.
Viewing Normals
The easiest way to view normals is to look at an
object in a shaded viewport. In this case, you are
not viewing the normal arrows themselves, but
rather their effects on the shaded surface. If the
object looks as if it is inside-out, or has holes, then
some of the normals might be pointing in the
wrong direction.
You can display the normal vectors for selected
faces or vertices by enabling Show Normals on the
Selection rollout of an editable mesh object or the
Edit Mesh modifier.
Viewing and Changing Smoothing
Smoothing blends the shading at the edges
between faces to produce the appearance of a
smooth, curved surface. You can control how
smoothing is applied to a surface so your objects
can have both smooth surfaces and sharp faceted
edges at the appropriate places.
Unifying Normals
Use Unify Normals to make normals point in a
consistent direction. If an object has normals that
are inconsistent (some point outward and others
inward) the object will appear to have holes in its
surface.
Unify Normals is found on the Surface Properties
rollout and on the Normal modifier.
If you are animating the creation of a complex
object such as a nested Boolean or a loft, and you
think the operation might result in inconsistent
faces, apply a Normal modifier (page 2–157) to the
result, and turn on Unify Normals.
Flipping Normals
The face labeled “1-2” shares smoothing groups with adjacent
faces, so the edges between them are smoothed over in
renderings.
The face labeled “3” does not share a smoothing group, so its
edge is visible in renderings.
Smoothing does not affect geometry. It affects only
the way geometry is colored when rendered.
Flip Normals is found on the Surface Properties
rollout and on the Normal modifier.
Smoothing is controlled by smoothing groups,
which are numbered groups ranging from 1 to 32.
Each face is assigned to one or more smoothing
groups. When a scene is rendered, the renderer
checks each adjacent pair of faces to see if they
share a smoothing group, and renders the object
as follows:
The Lathe modifier (page 2–132) sometimes creates
an object with normals pointing inward. Use the
Flip Normals check box on the Lathe modifier’s
• If faces have no smoothing groups in common,
the faces are rendered with a sharp edge
between them.
Use Flip Normals to reverse the direction of all
selected faces. Flipping the normals of an object
turns it inside-out.
Viewing and Changing Smoothing
• If faces have at least one smoothing group
in common, the edge between the faces is
“smoothed”, meaning it is shaded in such a
way that the area where the faces meet appears
smooth.
Because each face has three edges, only three
smoothing groups can be in effect for any face.
Extra smoothing groups assigned to a face are
ignored.
Do one of the following to view or change
smoothing group assignments:
• Turn on the Smooth check box on the
Parameters rollout of a parametric object to set
default smoothing for the object.
• Turn on the Auto Smooth check box on the
Rendering rollout of a spline shape to turn on
smoothing.
• Apply a Smooth modifier (page 2–190). If a Face
sub-object selection is active, Smooth applies
to the selected faces. If no faces are selected,
Smooth applies to the entire object.
an editable poly object on the Polygon Properties
rollout.
Smoothing Group buttons appear as follows:
• Group numbers not used by any face in the
selection, appear normal.
• Group numbers used by all faces in the
selection, appear selected.
• Group numbers used by some, but not all, faces
in the selection, appear blank.
Automatically Smoothing an Object
Click Auto Smooth to assign smoothing
automatically. You set a Threshold angle to
determine whether to smooth adjacent faces.
• If the angle between face normals is less than or
equal to the threshold, the faces are assigned to
a common smoothing group.
• If the angle between face normals is greater
than the threshold, the faces are assigned to
separate groups.
• Apply an Edit Mesh modifier (page 2–74),
enable Face (or Polygon or Element) sub-object
mode, then use the features on the Surface
Properties rollout.
Auto Smooth is found on the Surface Properties
rollout and on the Smooth modifier.
• Convert the object to an editable mesh (page
2–342), enable Face (or Polygon or Element)
sub-object mode, then use the features on the
Surface Properties rollout.
You manually assign smoothing groups to a
selection of faces by clicking Smoothing Group
buttons on the Surface Properties rollout or the
Smooth modifier. The smoothing group of each
button you click is assigned to the selection.
Viewing Smoothing Groups
The easiest way to view smoothing is to look at an
object in a shaded viewport. In this case, you are
not viewing the smoothing groups themselves but
rather their effects on the shaded surface.
You can see the smoothing group numbers for
selected faces of an editable mesh object or the Edit
Mesh modifier by looking at the Smoothing Group
buttons on the Surface Properties rollout, or of
Manually Applying Smoothing Groups
Selecting Faces by Smoothing Group
You can also select faces according to the assigned
smoothing groups. Click Select By SG on the
Surface Properties rollout (editable mesh) or
Polygon Properties rollout (editable poly) and then
click the smoothing group of the faces to select.
This is a convenient way to examine smoothing
groups on an object someone else created.
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Procedures
Creating Geometric
Primitives
Geometric primitives are basic shapes that
Autodesk VIZ provides as parametric objects (page
3–663). Primitives are divided into two categories:
Standard Primitives (page 1–143)
Extended Primitives (page 1–159)
To open the Keyboard Entry rollout:
1. On the Create panel for Standard or Extended
Primitives, click any of the primitive Object
Type rollout buttons, except Hedra or
RingWave.
2. Click the Keyboard Entry rollout to open it.
This rollout is closed by default.
Note: The buttons on the Creation Method
rollout have no effect on keyboard entry.
See also
Basics of Creating and Modifying Objects (page
1–127)
Creating an Object (page 1–131)
Creating Primitives from the Keyboard (page 1–142)
Creating Primitives from the
Keyboard
Create panel > Geometry > Standard or Extended
Primitives > Keyboard Entry rollout
You can create most geometric primitives from
your keyboard using the Keyboard Entry rollout.
In a single operation, you define both the initial
size of an object and its three-dimensional
position. The object’s name, color, and default
material (optional), are automatically assigned.
See Object Name and Wireframe Color (page
3–443).
To create a primitive from the keyboard:
1. On the Keyboard Entry rollout, select a numeric
field with the mouse and then enter a number.
2. Press Tab to move to the next field. You do
not have to press Enter after entering a value.
Press Shift+Tab to reverse direction.
3. When you have all fields set, press Tab to move
the focus to the Create button. Press Enter .
4. The object appears in the active viewport.
Once created, a new primitive is unaffected by the
numeric fields in the Keyboard Entry rollout. You
can adjust parameter values on the Parameters
rollout, either immediately after creation or on the
Modify panel.
Interface
This method is generally the same for all
primitives; differences occur in the type and
number of parameters. The Hedra primitive, a
complex and highly visual family of objects, is
unsuited to this method and has no keyboard
entry.
The Keyboard Entry rollout contains a common
set of position fields, labeled X, Y, and Z. The
Standard Primitives
numbers you enter are offsets along the axes of the
active construction plane; either the home grid or
a grid object. Plus and minus values correspond
to positive and negative directions for these axes.
Defaults=0,0,0; the center of the active grid.
The location set by X,Y is equivalent to the first
mouse-down position in the standard method of
creating objects.
Each standard primitive has the following
parameters on its Keyboard Entry rollout.
Primitive
Parameters
XYZ point
Box
Length, Width,
Height
Center of base
Cone
Radius 1, Radius 2, Center of base
Height
Sphere
Radius
Center
GeoSphere
Radius
Center
Cylinder
Radius, Height
Center of base
Tube
Radius 1, Radius 2, Center of base
Height
Torus
Radius 1, Radius 2 Center
Pyramid
Width, Depth,
Height
Center of base
Teapot
Radius
Center of base
Plane
Length, Width
Center
A collection of standard primitive objects
Autodesk VIZ includes a set of 10 basic primitives.
You can easily create the primitives with the mouse
in the viewport, and most can be generated from
the keyboard as well.
These primitives are listed in the Object Type
rollout and on the Create menu:
Box Primitive (page 1–144)
Standard Primitives
Geometric primitives are familiar as objects in
the real world such as beach balls, pipes, boxes,
doughnuts, and ice cream cones. In Autodesk VIZ,
you can model many such objects using a single
primitive. You can also combine primitives into
more complex objects, and further refine them
with modifiers.
Cone Primitive (page 1–145)
Sphere Primitive (page 1–147)
GeoSphere Primitive (page 1–149)
Cylinder Primitive (page 1–150)
Tube Primitive (page 1–152)
Torus Primitive (page 1–153)
Pyramid Primitive (page 1–155)
Teapot Primitive (page 1–156)
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Plane Primitive (page 1–158)
Also available from the Object Type rollout is the
AutoGrid option (page 2–603).
You can convert standard primitive objects to
editable mesh objects (page 2–342), editable poly
objects (page 2–367), and NURBS surfaces. (page
2–461) You can also convert primitives to patch
objects; see the path annotation at Editable Patch
(page 2–314) (the information at the start of the
topic that tells you how to create this type of
object).
All primitives have name and color controls, and
allow you to enter initial values from the keyboard.
See these topics:
Object Name and Wireframe Color (page 3–443)
Creating Primitives from the Keyboard (page 1–142)
The remaining rollouts are covered in the topic for
each primitive.
Examples of boxes
Procedures
To create a box:
1. On the Object Type rollout, click Box.
2. In any viewport, drag to define a rectangular
base, then release to set length and width.
3. Move the mouse up or down to define the
height.
Box Primitive
Create panel > Geometry button > Standard Primitives >
Object Type rollout > Box button
Create menu > Standard Primitives > Box
Box produces the simplest of the primitives. Cube
is the only variation of Box. However, you can vary
the scale and proportion to make many different
kinds of rectangular objects, from large, flat panels
and slabs to tall columns and small blocks.
4. Click to set the finished height and create the
box.
To create a box with a square base:
• Hold down Ctrl as you drag the base of the
box. This keeps length and width the same.
Holding the Ctrl key has no effect on height.
To create a cube:
1. On the Creation Method rollout, choose Cube.
2. In any viewport, drag to define the size of the
cube.
3. As you drag, a cube emerges with the pivot
point at the center of its base.
4. Release to set the dimensions of all sides.
Cone Primitive
Interface
Creation Method rollout
Cube—Forces length, width, and height to be equal.
Creating a cube is a one-step operation. Starting at
the center of the cube, drag in a viewport to set all
three dimensions simultaneously. You can change
a cube’s individual dimensions in the Parameters
rollout.
Box—Creates a standard box primitive from one
corner to the diagonally opposite corner, with
different settings for length, width, and height.
For example, if you’re going to bend (page 2–54) a
box on the Z axis, you might want to set its Height
Segments parameter to 4 or more.
Generate Mapping Coords—Generates coordinates
for applying mapped materials to the box.
Default=on.
Real-World Map Size—Controls the scaling method
used for texture mapped materials that are applied
to the object. The scaling values are controlled
by the Use Real-World Scale settings found in
the applied material’s Coordinates rollout (page
2–1224). Default=off.
Parameters rollout
Cone Primitive
Create panel > Geometry button > Standard Primitives
> Object Type rollout > Cone button
Create menu > Standard Primitives > Cone
The Cone button on the Creation command panel
lets you produce round cones, either upright or
inverted.
The defaults produce a box with one segment on
each side.
Length, Width, Height—Sets the length, width, and
height of the Box object. These fields also act
as readouts while you drag the sides of the box.
Default=0,0,0.
Length, Width, Height Segments—Sets the number
of divisions along each axis of the object. Can be
set before or after creation. By default, each side of
the box is a single segment. When you reset these
values, the new values become the default during a
session. Default=1,1,1.
Tip: Increase the Segments settings to give objects
extra resolution for being affected by modifiers.
Examples of cones
Procedure
To create a cone:
1. On the Create menu choose Standard
Primitives > Cone.
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2. In any viewport, drag to define a radius for the
base of the cone, then release to set it.
3. Move to up or down to define a height, either
positive or negative, then click to set it.
4. Move to define a radius for the other end of the
cone. Decrease this radius to 0 for a pointed
cone.
5. Click to set the second radius and create the
cone.
particularly those with pointed tips, increase the
number of height segments.
Radius 1, Radius 2—Set the first and second radii
for the cone. The minimum value for both is 0.0.
If you enter a negative value, the software converts
it to 0.0. You can combine these settings to create
pointed and flat-topped cones, upright or inverted.
The following combinations assume a positive
height:
Radius Combinations
Effect
Creation Method rollout
Radius 2 is 0
Creates a pointed cone
Edge—Draws a cone from edge to edge. You can
Radius 1 is 0
Creates an inverted pointed
cone
Radius 1 is larger than
Radius 2
Creates a flat-topped cone
Center—Draws a cone from the center out.
Parameters rollout
Radius 2 is larger than
Radius 1
Creates an inverted
flat-topped cone
Interface
change the center location by moving the mouse.
If Radius 1 and 2 are the same, a cylinder is
created. If the two radius settings are close in size,
the effect is similar to applying a Taper modifier
to a cylinder.
Effect of Radius settings
Height—Sets dimension along the central axis.
Negative values create the cone below the
construction plane.
Height Segments—Sets the number of divisions
along the cone’s major axis.
The defaults produce a smooth, round cone of 24
sides with five height segments, one cap segment,
and the pivot point at the center of the base. For
improved rendering of smoothly shaded cones,
Cap Segments—Sets the number of concentric
divisions around the center of the cone’s top and
bottom.
Sides—Sets the number of sides around the cone.
Higher numbers shade and render as true circles
Sphere Primitive
with Smooth selected. Lower numbers create
regular polygonal objects with Smooth off.
Smooth—Blends the faces of the cone, creating a
smooth appearance in rendered views.
Slice On—Enables the Slice function. Default=off.
When you create a slice and then turn off Slice On,
the complete cone reappears. You can use this
check box to switch between the two topologies.
Slice From, Slice To—Sets the number of degrees
around the local Z axis from a zero point at the
local X axis.
For both settings, positive values move the end of
the slice counterclockwise; negative values move it
clockwise. Either setting can be made first. When
the ends meet, the whole cone reappears.
Generate Mapping Coords—Generates coordinates
for applying mapped materials to the cone.
Default=on.
Real-World Map Size—Controls the scaling method
used for texture mapped materials that are applied
to the object. The scaling values are controlled
by the Use Real-World Scale settings found in
the applied material’s Coordinates rollout (page
2–1224). Default=on.
Sphere Primitive
Create panel > Geometry button > Standard Primitives >
Object Type rollout > Sphere button
Create menu > Standard Primitives > Sphere
Sphere produces a full sphere, or a hemisphere or
other portion of a sphere. You can also "slice" a
sphere about its vertical axis.
Examples of spheres
Procedures
To create a sphere:
1. On the Create menu choose Standard
Primitives > Sphere.
2. In any viewport, drag to define a radius.
As you drag, a sphere emerges with its center
at the pivot point.
3. Release the mouse to set the radius and create
the sphere.
To create a hemisphere:
You can reverse the order of the following steps,
if you like.
1. Create a sphere of desired radius.
2. Type 0.5 in the Hemisphere field.
The sphere is reduced to exactly the upper half,
a hemisphere. If you use the spinner, the sphere
changes in size.
Interface
Creation Method rollout
Edge—Draws a sphere from edge to edge. You can
change the center location by moving the mouse.
Center—Draws a sphere from the center out.
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Parameters rollout
Squash—Maintains the number of vertices and
faces in the original sphere, "squashing" the
geometry into a smaller and smaller volume
toward the top of the sphere.
Effects of Chop and Squash during hemisphere creation
Slice On—Uses the From and To angles to create
a partial sphere. The effect is similar to lathing a
semicircular shape fewer than 360 degrees.
Slice From—Sets the start angle.
Slice To—Sets the stop angle.
The defaults produce a smooth sphere of 32
segments with the pivot point at its center.
Radius—Specifies the radius of the sphere.
Segments—Sets the number of polygonal divisions
for the sphere.
Smooth—Blends the faces of the sphere, creating a
smooth appearance in rendered views.
Hemisphere—Increasing values progressively will
"cut off " the sphere, starting at the base, to create a
partial sphere. Values range from 0.0 to 1.0. The
default is 0.0, producing a full sphere. A setting of
0.5 produces a hemisphere, and 1.0 reduces the
sphere to nothing. Default=0.0.
Chop and Squash toggle creation options for
Hemisphere.
Chop—Reduces the number of vertices and faces
in the sphere by "chopping" them out as the
hemisphere is cut off. Default=on.
For both settings, positive values move the end of
the slice counterclockwise; negative values move it
clockwise. Either setting can be made first. When
the ends meet, the whole sphere reappears.
Smoothing groups are assigned to sliced spheres
as follows: The surface of the sphere is always
assigned group 1; the bottom, when Smooth is on,
gets group 2. Facing the pie-slice surfaces, the cut
on the left gets group 3, and the cut on the right
gets group 4.
Material IDs are assigned to sliced spheres as
follows: The bottom is 1 (when Hemisphere is
greater than 0.0), the surface is 2, and the slice
surfaces are 3 and 4.
Base To Pivot—Moves a sphere upward along its
local Z axis so the pivot point is at its base. When
off, the pivot point is on the construction plane at
the center of the sphere. Default=off.
Turning on Base To Pivot lets you place spheres so
they rest on the construction plane, like pool balls
on a table.
GeoSphere Primitive
Examples of geospheres
Effect of using Base To Pivot setting
Generate Mapping Coords—Generates coordinates
for applying mapped materials to the sphere.
Default=on.
Real-World Map Size—Controls the scaling method
used for texture mapped materials that are applied
to the object. The scaling values are controlled
by the Use Real-World Scale settings found in
the applied material’s Coordinates rollout (page
2–1224). Default=off.
Geospheres produce a more regular surface than
standard spheres. They also render with a slightly
smoother profile than a standard sphere given
the same number of faces. Unlike a standard
sphere, a geosphere has no poles, which can be an
advantage when you apply certain modifiers such
as Free-Form Deformation (FFD) modifiers (page
2–122).
Procedures
To create a geosphere:
1. On the Create menu choose Standard
Primitives > Geosphere.
2. In any viewport, drag to set the center and
GeoSphere Primitive
radius of the geosphere.
3. Set parameters such as Geodesic Base Type and
Create panel > Geometry button > Standard Primitives >
Object Type rollout > GeoSphere button
Create menu > Standard Primitives > GeoSphere
Use GeoSphere to make spheres and hemispheres
based on three classes of regular polyhedrons.
Segments.
To create a geo-hemisphere:
1. Create a geosphere.
2. In the Parameters rollout, turn on the
Hemisphere check box. The geosphere is
converted to a hemisphere.
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Interface
Creation Method rollout
Diameter—Draws a geosphere from edge to edge.
You can change the center location by moving the
mouse.
Center—Draws a geosphere from the center out.
Parameters rollout
size. The sphere can be divided into eight equal
segments.
• Icosa—Based on a 20-sided icosahedron. The
facets are all equally sized equilateral triangles.
The sphere can be divided into any number
of equal segments, based on multiples and
divisions of 20 faces.
Smooth—Applies smoothing groups to the surface
of the sphere.
Hemisphere—Creates a half-sphere.
Base To Pivot—Sets the pivot point location. When
on, the pivot is at the bottom of the sphere. When
off, the pivot is at the center of the sphere. This
option has no effect when Hemisphere is on.
Generate Mapping Coords—Generates coordinates
for applying mapped materials to the geosphere.
Default=on.
Radius—Sets the size of the geosphere.
Segments—Sets the total number of faces in the
geosphere. The number of faces in a geosphere is
equal to the sides of the base polyhedron times the
segments squared.
Lower segment values work best. Using the
maximum segment value of 200 can generate up to
800,000 faces, impairing performance.
Geodesic Base Type group
Lets you choose one of three types of regular
polyhedrons for the geosphere’s basic geometry.
• Tetra—Based on a four-sided tetrahedron. The
triangular facets can vary in shape and size. The
sphere can be divided into four equal segments.
• Octa—Based on an eight-sided octahedron.
The triangular facets can vary in shape and
Real-World Map Size—Controls the scaling method
used for texture mapped materials that are applied
to the object. The scaling values are controlled
by the Use Real-World Scale settings found in
the applied material’s Coordinates rollout (page
2–1224). Default=off.
Cylinder Primitive
Create panel > Geometry button > Standard Primitives >
Object Type rollout > Cylinder button
Create menu > Standard Primitives > Cylinder
Cylinder produces a cylinder, which you can
"slice" around its major axis.
Cylinder Primitive
Parameters rollout
Examples of cylinders
Procedure
To create a cylinder:
1. On the Create panel, choose Standard
Primitives > Cylinder.
2. In any viewport, drag to define the radius of the
base, then release to set the radius.
3. Move up or down to define a height, either
positive or negative.
4. Click to set the height and create the cylinder.
Interface
Creation Method rollout
Edge—Draws a cylinder from edge to edge. You
can change the center location by moving the
mouse.
Center—Draws a cylinder from the center out.
The defaults produce a smooth cylinder of 18 sides
with the pivot point at the center of the base. There
are five height segments and one cap segment. If
you don’t plan to modify the cylinder’s shape, such
as with a Bend modifier, set Height Segments to 1
to reduce scene complexity. If you plan to modify
the ends of the cylinder, consider increasing the
Cap Segments setting.
Radius—Sets the radius of the cylinder.
Height—Sets the dimension along the central axis.
Negative values create the cylinder below the
construction plane.
Height Segments—Sets the number of divisions
along the cylinder’s major axis.
Cap Segments—Sets the number of concentric
divisions around the center of the cylinder’s top
and bottom.
Sides—Sets the number of sides around the
cylinder. With Smooth on, higher numbers shade
and render as true circles. With Smooth off, lower
numbers create regular polygonal objects.
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Smooth—The faces of the cylinder are blended
together, creating a smooth appearance in
rendered views.
Slice On—Enables the Slice function. Default=off.
When you create a slice and then turn off Slice On,
the complete cylinder reappears. You can use this
check box to switch between the two topologies.
Slice From, Slice To—Sets the number of degrees
around the local Z axis from a zero point at the
local X axis.
For both settings, positive values move the end of
the slice counterclockwise; negative values move it
clockwise. Either setting can be made first. When
the ends meet, the whole cylinder reappears.
Examples of tubes
Generate Mapping Coords—Generates coordinates
1. On the Create menu choose Standard
for applying mapped materials to the cylinder.
Default=on.
Real-World Map Size—Controls the scaling method
used for texture mapped materials that are applied
to the object. The scaling values are controlled
by the Use Real-World Scale settings found in
the applied material’s Coordinates rollout (page
2–1224). Default=off.
Procedures
To create a tube:
Primitives > Tube.
2. In any viewport, drag to define the first radius,
which can be either the inner or outer radius of
the tube. Release to set the first radius.
3. Move to define the second radius, then click
to set it.
4. Move up or down to define a height, either
positive or negative.
5. Click to set the height and create the tube.
Tube Primitive
To create a prismatic tube:
Create panel > Geometry button > Standard Primitives
> Object Type rollout > Tube button
Create menu > Standard Primitives > Tube
1. Set the number of sides for the kind of prism
you want.
2. Turn Smooth off.
Tube produces both round and prismatic tubes.
The tube is similar to the cylinder with a hole in it.
3. Create a tube.
Interface
Creation Method rollout
Edge—Draws a tube from edge to edge. You can
change the center location by moving the mouse.
Center—Draws a tube from the center out.
Torus Primitive
Parameters rollout
Sides—Sets the number of sides around the tube.
Higher numbers shade and render as true circles
with Smooth on. Lower numbers create regular
polygonal objects with Smooth off.
Smooth—When on (the default), faces of the
tube are blended together, creating a smooth
appearance in rendered views.
Slice On—Enables the Slice feature, which removes
part of the tube’s circumference. Default=off.
When you create a slice and then turn off Slice On,
the complete tube reappears. You can therefore
use this check box to switch between the two
topologies.
Slice From, Slice To—Sets the number of degrees
around the local Z axis from a zero point at the
local X axis.
The defaults produce a smooth, round tube of
18 sides with the pivot point at the center of the
base. There are five height segments and one cap
segment. If you don’t plan to modify the cylinder’s
shape, such as with a Bend modifier, set Height
Segments to 1 to reduce scene complexity. If you
plan to modify the ends of the cylinder, consider
increasing the Cap Segments setting.
Radius 1, Radius 2—The larger setting specifies
the outside radius of the tube, while the smaller
specifies the inside radius.
For both settings, positive values move the end of
the slice counterclockwise; negative values move it
clockwise. Either setting can be made first. When
the ends meet, the whole tube reappears.
Generate Mapping Coords—Generates coordinates
for applying mapped materials to the tube.
Default=on.
Real-World Map Size—Controls the scaling method
used for texture mapped materials that are applied
to the object. The scaling values are controlled
by the Use Real-World Scale settings found in
the applied material’s Coordinates rollout (page
2–1224). Default=off.
Height—Sets the dimension along the central
axis. Negative values create the tube below the
construction plane.
Height Segments—Sets the number of divisions
Torus Primitive
along the tube’s major axis.
Create panel > Geometry button > Standard Primitives
> Object Type rollout > Torus button
Cap Segments—Sets the number of concentric
Create menu > Standard Primitives > Torus
divisions around the center of the tube’s top and
bottom.
Torus produces a torus, or a ring with a circular
cross section, sometimes referred to as a doughnut.
You can combine three smoothing options with
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rotation and twist settings to create complex
variations.
Parameters rollout
Examples of tori
Procedure
To create a torus:
1. From the Create menu, choose Standard
Primitives > Torus.
2. In any viewport, drag to define a torus.
3. As you drag, a torus emerges with its center at
the pivot point.
4. Release to set the radius of the torus ring.
5. Move to define the radius of the cross-sectional
circle, then click to create the torus.
Interface
The defaults produce a smooth torus with 12 sides
and 24 segments. The pivot point is at the center
of the torus on the plane, cutting through the
center of the torus. Higher settings for sides and
segments produce a more dense geometry that
might be required for some modeling or rendering
situations.
Creation Method rollout
Radius 1—Sets the distance from the center of the
Edge—Draws a torus from edge to edge. You can
torus to the center of the cross-sectional circle.
This is the radius of the torus ring.
change the center location by moving the mouse.
Center—Draws a torus from the center out.
Radius 2—Sets the radius of the cross-sectional
circle. This value is replaced each time you create a
torus. Default = 10.
Pyramid Primitive
• Sides—Smoothes the edges between adjacent
segments, producing smooth bands running
around the torus.
• None—Turns off smoothing entirely, producing
prism-like facets on the torus.
Radius 1 and Radius 2
Rotation—Sets the degree of rotation. Vertices
are uniformly rotated about the circle running
through the center of the torus ring. Positive and
negative values for this setting "roll" the vertices in
either direction over the surface of the torus.
• Segments—Smoothes each segment
individually, producing ring-like segments
along the torus.
Slice On—Creates a portion of a sliced torus rather
than the entire 360 degrees.
Slice From—When Slice On is on, specifies the
angle where the torus slice begins.
Slice To—When Slice On is on, specifies the angle
where the torus slice ends.
Rotation and Twist
Twist—Sets the degree of twist. Cross sections
are progressively rotated about the circle running
through the center of the torus. Beginning with
twist, each successive cross section is rotated until
the last one has the number of degrees specified.
Twisting a closed (unsliced) torus creates a
constriction in the first segment. You can avoid
this by either twisting in increments of 360 degrees,
or by turning Slice on and setting both Slice From
and Slice To to 0 to maintain a complete torus.
Segments—Sets the number of radial divisions
Generate Mapping Coords—Generates coordinates
for applying mapped materials to the torus.
Default=on.
Real-World Map Size—Controls the scaling method
used for texture mapped materials that are applied
to the object. The scaling values are controlled
by the Use Real-World Scale settings found in
the applied material’s Coordinates rollout (page
2–1224). Default=off.
Pyramid Primitive
around the torus. By reducing this number, you
can create polygonal rings instead of circular ones.
Create panel > Geometry button > Standard Primitives >
Object Type rollout > Pyramid button
Sides—Sets the number of sides on the
Create menu > Standard Primitives > Pyramid
cross-sectional circle of the torus. By reducing this
number, you can create prism-like cross sections
instead of circular ones.
Smooth group
Choose one of four levels of smoothing:
• All—(default) Produces complete smoothing on
all surfaces of the torus.
The Pyramid primitive has a square or rectangular
base and triangular sides.
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Parameters rollout
Examples of pyramids
Procedure
To create a Pyramid:
1. On the Create menu choose Standard
Primitives > Pyramid.
2. Choose a creation method, either Base/Apex
or Center.
Note: Hold the Ctrl key while using either
creation method to constrain the base to a
square.
3. In any viewport, drag to define the base of the
pyramid. If you’re using Base/Apex, define the
opposite corners of the base, moving the mouse
horizontally or vertically to define the width
and depth of the base. If you’re using Center,
drag from the center of the base.
4. Click, and then move the mouse to define the
Width, Depth and Height—Sets the dimension of
the corresponding side of the pyramid.
Width, Depth and Height Segs—Sets the number
of segments to the corresponding sides of the
pyramid.
Generate Mapping Coords—Generates coordinates
for applying mapped materials to the pyramid.
Default=on.
Real-World Map Size—Controls the scaling method
used for texture mapped materials that are applied
to the object. The scaling values are controlled
by the Use Real-World Scale settings found in
the applied material’s Coordinates rollout (page
2–1224). Default=off.
Height.
5. Click to complete the pyramid.
Interface
Creation Method rollout
Teapot Primitive
Create panel > Geometry button > Standard Primitives >
Object Type rollout > Teapot button
Create menu > Standard Primitives > Teapot
Base/Apex—Creates the pyramid base from one
corner to the diagonally opposite corner.
Center—Creates the pyramid base from the center
out.
Teapot produces a teapot. You can choose to make
the whole teapot at once (the default), or any of
its parts. Since the Teapot is a parametric object,
Teapot Primitive
you can choose which parts of the teapot to display
after creation.
To create a teapot part:
1. In Parameters rollout > Teapot Parts group,
turn off all parts except the one you want to
create.
2. Create a teapot.
The part you left on appears. The pivot point
remains at the center of the teapot’s base.
3. In Parameters rollout > Teapot Parts group,
turn off all parts except the one you want.
Examples of teapots
History of the Teapot
This teapot derives from the original data
developed by Martin Newell in 1975. Beginning
with a graph-paper sketch of a teapot that he kept
on his desk, Newell calculated cubic Bezier splines
(page 3–610) to create a wireframe model. James
Blinn, also at the University of Utah during this
period, produced early renderings of exceptional
quality using this model.
The teapot has since become a classic in computer
graphics. Its complexly curved and intersecting
surfaces are well suited to testing different kinds
of material mappings and rendering settings on a
real-world object.
Procedures
To create a teapot:
1. On the Create menu, choose Standard
Primitives > Teapot.
2. In any viewport, drag to define a radius.
As you drag, a teapot emerges with the pivot
point at the center of its base.
3. Release the mouse to set the radius and create
the teapot.
The teapot has four separate parts: body, handle,
spout, and lid. Controls are located in the Teapot
Parts group of the Parameters rollout. You can
check any combination of parts to create at the
same time. The body alone is a ready-made bowl,
or a pot with optional lid.
To turn a part into a teapot:
1. Select a teapot part in the viewport.
2. On the Modify panel > Parameters rollout, turn
on all parts. (This is the default.)
The whole teapot appears.
You can apply modifiers to any separate part. If
you later turn on another part, the modifier affects
the additional geometry as well.
Interface
Creation Method rollout
Edge—Draws a teapot from edge to edge. You can
change the center location by moving the mouse.
Center—Draws a teapot from the center out.
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Parameters rollout
Plane Primitive
Create panel > Geometry button > Standard Primitives
> Object Type rollout > Plane button
Create menu > Standard Primitives > Plane
The Plane object is a special type of flat polygon
mesh that can be enlarged by any amount at render
time. You can specify factors to magnify the size
or number of segments, or both. Use the Plane
object for creating a large-scale ground plane that
doesn’t get in the way when working in a viewport.
You can apply any type of modifier to the plane
object, such as Displace (page 2–70) to simulate
a hilly terrain.
Radius—Sets the radius of the teapot
Segments—Sets the number of divisions for the
teapot or its individual parts.
Smooth—Blends faces of the teapot, creating a
smooth appearance in rendered views.
Teapot Parts group
Turn check boxes on or off for teapot parts. By
default, all are on, producing a complete teapot.
Generate Mapping Coords—Generates coordinates
for applying mapped materials to the teapot.
Default=on.
Real-World Map Size—Controls the scaling method
used for texture mapped materials that are applied
to the object. The scaling values are controlled
by the Use Real-World Scale settings found in
the applied material’s Coordinates rollout (page
2–1224). Default=off.
Example of plane
Procedure
To create a plane:
1. On the Create menu choose Standard
Primitives > Plane.
2. In any viewport, drag to create the Plane.
Interface
Creation Method rollout
Rectangle—Creates the plane primitive from
one corner to the diagonally opposite corner,
Extended Primitives
interactively setting different values for length and
width.
Square—Creates a square plane where length and
width are equal. You can change dimensions in the
Parameters rollout subsequent to creation.
Parameters rollout
Render Segs—Specifies the factor by which the
number of segments in both length and width are
multiplied at render time.
Generate Mapping Coords—Generates coordinates
for applying mapped materials to the plane.
Default=on.
Real-World Map Size—Controls the scaling method
used for texture mapped materials that are applied
to the object. The scaling values are controlled
by the Use Real-World Scale settings found in
the applied material’s Coordinates rollout (page
2–1224). Default=off.
Extended Primitives
Length, Width—Sets the length and width of the
plane object. These fields act also as readouts
while you drag the sides of the box. You can revise
these values. Defaults= 0.0, 0.0.
Length Segs, Width Segs—Sets the number of
divisions along each axis of the object. Can be set
before or after creation. By default, each side of
the plane has four segments. When you reset these
values, the new values become the default during a
session.
Render Multipliers group
Render Scale—Specifies the factor by which both
length and width are multiplied at render time.
Scaling is performed from the center outward.
A collection of extended primitive objects
Extended Primitives are a collection of complex
primitives for Autodesk VIZ. The topics that
follow describe each type of extended primitive
and its creation parameters.
These primitives are available from the Object
Type rollout on the Create panel and from the
Create menu > Extended Primitives.
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Hedra Extended Primitive
Create panel > Geometry button > Extended Primitives >
Object Type rollout > Hedra button
Create menu > Extended Primitives > Hedra
Use Hedra to produce objects from several families
of polyhedra.
AutoGrid (page 2–603)
Hedra Extended Primitive (page 1–160)
Torus Knot Extended Primitive (page 1–162)
ChamferBox Extended Primitive (page 1–164)
ChamferCyl Extended Primitive (page 1–165)
OilTank Extended Primitive (page 1–167)
Capsule Extended Primitive (page 1–168)
Examples of hedra
Spindle Extended Primitive (page 1–169)
Procedure
L-Ext Extended Primitive (page 1–171)
To create a polyhedron:
Gengon Extended Primitive (page 1–172)
1. From the Create menu, choose Extended
C-Ext Extended Primitive (page 1–173)
Primitives > Hedra.
2. In any viewport, drag to define a radius, then
RingWave Extended Primitive (page 1–175)
release to create the polyhedron.
Hose Extended Primitive (page 1–178)
As you drag, a polyhedron emerges from the
pivot point.
Prism Extended Primitive (page 1–177)
All primitives have name and color controls, and
allow you to enter initial values from the keyboard.
See these topics:
Object Name and Wireframe Color (page 3–443)
Creating Primitives from the Keyboard (page 1–142)
(not applicable to Hedra, RingWave, or Hose)
The remaining rollouts are covered in the topic for
each primitive.
3. Adjust the Family Parameter and Axis Scaling
spinners to vary the Hedra’s appearance.
Hedra Extended Primitive
Interface
Dodec/Icos—Creates a dodecahedron or
icosahedron (depending on parameter settings).
Star1/Star2—Creates two different star-like
polyhedra.
Family parameters group
P, Q—Interrelated parameters that provide a
two-way translation between the vertices and
facets of a polyhedron. They share the following:
• Range of possible values is 0.0 through 1.0.
• The combined total of the P and Q values can
be equal to or less than 1.0.
• Extremes occur if either P or Q is set to 1.0; the
other is automatically set to 0.0.
• Midpoint occurs when both P and Q are 0.
In the simplest terms, P and Q change the
geometry back and forth between vertices and
facets. At the extreme settings for P and Q,
one parameter represents all vertices, the other
represents all facets. Intermediate settings are
transition points, with the midpoint an even
balance between the two parameters.
Axis Scaling group
Polyhedra can have as many as three kinds of
polygonal facets, such as triangle, square, or
pentagon. These facets can be regular or irregular.
If a polyhedron has only one or two types of facet,
only one or two of the axis scaling parameters are
active. Inactive parameters have no effect.
Use this group to select the type of polyhedron to
create.
P, Q, R—Controls the axis of reflection for one of
the facets of a polyhedron. In practice, these fields
have the effect of pushing their corresponding
facets in and out. Defaults=100.
Tetra—Creates a tetrahedron.
Reset—Returns axes to their default setting.
Family group
Cube/Octa—Creates a cubic or octahedral
polyhedron (depending on parameter settings).
Vertices group
Parameters in the Vertices group determine the
internal geometry of each facet of a polyhedron.
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Center and Center & Sides increase the number
of vertices in the object and therefore the number
of faces.
Basic—Facets are not subdivided beyond the
minimum.
Center—Each facet is subdivided by placing an
additional vertex at its center, with edges from
each center point to the facet corners.
Center & Sides—Each facet is subdivided by placing
an additional vertex at its center, with edges from
each center point to the facet corners, as well as
to the center of each edge. Compared to Center,
Center & Sides doubles the number of faces in the
polyhedron.
Note: If you scale the axis of the object, the Center
Example of torus knot
Procedure
To create a Torus Knot:
option is used automatically, unless Center & Sides
is already set.
1. On the Create menu, choose Extended
To see the internal edges shown in the figure, turn
off Edges Only on the Display command panel.
2. Drag the mouse to define the size of the torus
Radius—Sets the radius of any polyhedron in
current units.
Generate Mapping Coords—Generates coordinates
for applying mapped materials to the polyhedron.
Default=on.
Primitives > Torus Knot.
knot.
3. Click, then move the mouse vertically to define
the radius.
4. Click again to finish the torus.
5. Adjust the parameters on the Modify panel.
Interface
Creation Method rollout
Torus Knot Extended Primitive
Diameter—Draws the object from edge to edge.
Create panel > Geometry > Extended Primitives > Object
Type rollout > Torus Knot button
You can change the center location by moving the
mouse.
Create menu > Extended Primitives > Torus Knot
Radius—Draws the object from the center out.
Use Torus Knot to create a complex or knotted
torus by drawing 2D curves in the normal planes
around a 3D curve. The 3D curve (called the Base
Curve) can be either a circle or a torus knot.
You can convert a torus knot object to a NURBS
surface (page 2–461).
Torus Knot Extended Primitive
Parameters rollout > Base Curve group
Parameters rollout > Cross Section group
Provides parameters that affect the base curve.
Provides parameters that affect the cross section
of the torus knot.
Knot/Circle—With Knot, the torus interweaves
itself, based on various other parameters. With
Circle, the base curve is a circle, resulting in a
standard torus if parameters such as Warp and
Eccentricity are left at their defaults.
Radius—Sets the radius of the base curve.
Segments—Sets the number of segments around
the perimeter of the torus.
P and Q—Describes up-and-down (P) and
around-the-center (Q) winding numbers. (Active
only when Knot is chosen.)
Warp Count—Sets the number of "points" in a star
shape around the curve. (Active only when Circle
is chosen.)
Warp Height—Sets the height of the "points" given
as a percentage of the base curve radius.
Radius—Sets the radius of the cross section.
Sides—Sets the number of sides around the cross
section.
Eccentricity—Sets the ratio of the major to minor
axes of the cross section. A value of 1 provides
a circular cross section, while other values create
elliptical cross sections.
Twist—Sets the number of times the cross section
twists around the base curve.
Lumps—Sets the number of bulges in the torus
knot. Note that the Lump Height spinner value
must be greater than 0 to see any effect.
Lump Height—Sets the height of the lumps, as a
percentage of the radius of the cross section. Note
that the Lumps spinner must be greater than 0 to
see any effect.
Lump Offset—Sets the offset of the start of the
lumps, measured in degrees.
Parameters rollout > Smooth group
Provides options to alter the smoothing displayed
or rendered of the torus knot. This smoothing
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does not displace or tesselate the geometry, it only
adds the smoothing group information.
All—Smoothes the entire torus knot.
Sides—Smoothes only the adjacent sides of the
torus knot.
None—The torus knot is faceted.
Parameters rollout > Mapping Coordinates
group
Examples of chamfered boxes
Procedures
To create a standard chamfered box:
1. From the Create menu, choose Extended
Primitives > Chamfer Box.
Provides methods of assigning and adjusting
mapping coordinates.
Generate Mapping Coords—Assigns mapping
coordinates based on the geometry of the torus
knot. Default=on.
Offset U/V—Offset the mapping coordinates along
U and V.
Tiling U/V—Tile the mapping coordinates along U
and V.
2. Drag the mouse to define the diagonal corners
of the base of the chamfered box. (Press Ctrl
to constrain the base to a square.)
3. Release the mouse button, and then move the
mouse vertically to define the height of the box.
Click to set the height
4. Move the mouse diagonally to define the width
of the fillet, or chamfer (toward the upper left
increases the width; toward the lower right
decreases it).
5. Click again to finish the chamfered box.
ChamferBox Extended Primitive
Create panel > Geometry button > Extended Primitives >
Object Type rollout > ChamferBox button
Create menu > Extended Primitives > Chamfer Box
Use ChamferBox to create a box with beveled or
rounded edges.
To create a cubic chamfered box:
1. On the Creation Method rollout, click Cube.
2. Beginning at the center of the cube, drag
in a viewport to set all three dimensions
simultaneously.
3. Release the button, and move the mouse to set
the fillet or chamfer.
4. Click to create the object.
You can change a cube’s individual dimensions
in the Parameters rollout.
ChamferCyl Extended Primitive
Interface
Creation Method rollout
Cube—Forces length, width, and height to be
equal. You can change a cube’s individual
dimensions in the Parameters rollout.
Box—Creates a standard chamfered box primitive
from one corner to the diagonally opposite corner,
with individual settings for length, width, and
height.
Parameters rollout
Smooth—Blends the display of the faces of the
chamfered box, creating a smooth appearance in
rendered views.
Generate Mapping Coords—Generates coordinates
for applying mapped materials to the chamfered
box. Default=on.
Real-World Map Size—Controls the scaling method
used for texture mapped materials that are applied
to the object. The scaling values are controlled
by the Use Real-World Scale settings found in
the applied material’s Coordinates rollout (page
2–1224). Default=off.
ChamferCyl Extended Primitive
Create panel > Geometry button > Extended Primitives >
Object Type rollout > ChamferCyl button
Create menu > Extended Primitives > Chamfer Cylinder
Use ChamferCyl to create a cylinder with beveled
or rounded cap edges.
Length, Width, Height—Sets the corresponding
dimensions of the chamfered box.
Fillet—Slices off the edges of the chamfered box.
Higher values result in a more refined fillet on the
edges of the chamfered box.
Examples of chamfered cylinders
Length, Width, Height Segs—Sets the number of
Procedure
divisions along the corresponding axis.
Fillet Segs—Sets the number of segments in the
filleted edges of the box. Adding fillet segments
increases the edge roundness.
To create a chamfered cylinder:
1. From the Create menu, choose Extended
Primitives > Chamfer Cylinder.
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2. Drag the mouse to define the radius of the base
of the chamfered cylinder.
3. Release the mouse button, and then move the
mouse vertically to define the height of the
cylinder. Click to set the height.
4. Move the mouse diagonally to define the width
of the fillet, or chamfer (toward the upper left
increases the width; toward the lower right
decreases it).
5. Click to finish the cylinder.
Interface
Creation Method rollout
Edge—Draws the object from edge to edge. You
can change the center location by moving the
mouse.
Center—Draws the object from the center out.
Parameters rollout
Height—Sets the dimension along the central axis.
Negative values create the chamfered cylinder
below the construction plane.
Fillet—Chamfers the top and bottom cap edges of
the chamfered cylinder. Higher numbers result in
a more refined fillet along the cap edge.
Height Segs—Sets the number of divisions along
the corresponding axis.
Fillet Segs—Sets the number of segments in
the filleted edges of the cylinder. Adding fillet
segments curves the edges, producing a filleted
cylinder.
Sides—Sets the number of sides around the
chamfered cylinder. Higher numbers shade and
render as true circles with Smooth on. Lower
numbers create regular polygonal objects with
Smooth off.
Cap Segs—Sets the number of concentric divisions
along the center of the chamfered cylinder’s top
and bottom
Smooth—Blends the faces of the chamfered
cylinder, creating a smooth appearance in
rendered views.
Slice On—Enables the Slice function. Default=off.
When you create a slice and then turn off Slice On,
the complete chamfered cylinder reappears. You
can use this check box to switch between the two
topologies.
Slice From, Slice To—Sets the number of degrees
around the local Z axis from a zero point at the
local X axis.
For both settings, positive values move the end of
the slice counterclockwise; negative values move it
clockwise. Either setting can be made first. When
the ends meet, the whole chamfered cylinder
reappears.
Radius—Sets the radius of the chamfered cylinder.
OilTank Extended Primitive
Generate Mapping Coords—Generates coordinates
for applying mapped materials to the chamfered
cylinder. Default=on.
Real-World Map Size—Controls the scaling method
used for texture mapped materials that are applied
to the object. The scaling values are controlled
by the Use Real-World Scale settings found in
the applied material’s Coordinates rollout (page
2–1224). Default=off.
OilTank Extended Primitive
Create panel > Geometry button > Extended Primitives >
Object Type rollout > OilTank button
4. Move the mouse diagonally to define the height
of the convex caps (toward the upper left to
increase the height; toward the lower right to
decrease it).
5. Click again to finish the oil tank.
Interface
Creation Method rollout
Edge—Draws the object from edge to edge. You
can change the center location by moving the
mouse.
Center—Draws the object from the center out.
Parameters rollout
Create menu > Extended Primitives > Oil Tank
Use OilTank to create a cylinder with convex caps.
Examples of oil tanks
Procedure
To create an oil tank:
1. From the Create menu, choose Extended
Primitives > Oil Tank.
2. Drag the mouse to define the radius of the base
of the oil tank.
3. Release the mouse button, and then move the
mouse vertically to define the height of the oil
tank. Click to set the height.
Radius—Sets the radius of the oil tank.
Height—Sets the dimension along the central
axis. Negative values create the oil tank below the
construction plane.
Cap Height—Sets the height of the convex caps.
The minimum value is 2.5% of the Radius setting.
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The maximum value is the Radius setting, unless
the absolute value of the Height setting is less
than the double Radius setting, in which case cap
height cannot exceed ½ of the absolute value of
the Height setting.
Overall/Centers—Determines what the Height
value specifies. Overall is the overall height of the
object. Centers is the height of the midsection of
the cylinder, not including its convex caps.
Blend—When greater than 0, creates a bevel at the
edge of the caps.
Sides—Sets the number of sides around the oil
tank. To create a smoothly rounded object, use
a higher number of sides and turn Smooth on.
To create an oil tank with flat sides, use a lower
number of sides and turn Smooth off.
by the Use Real-World Scale settings found in
the applied material’s Coordinates rollout (page
2–1224). Default=off.
Capsule Extended Primitive
Create panel > Geometry button > Extended Primitives >
Object Type rollout > Capsule button
Create menu > Extended Primitives > Capsule
Use Capsule to create a cylinder with hemispherical
caps.
Height Segs—Sets the number of divisions along
the oil tank’s major axis.
Smooth—Blends the faces of the oil tank, creating
a smooth appearance in rendered views.
Slice On—Turns on the Slice function. Default=off.
When you create a slice and then turn off Slice
On, the complete oil tank reappears. You can
therefore use this check box to switch between the
two topologies.
Examples of capsules
Procedure
Slice From, Slice To—Sets the number of degrees
To create a capsule:
around the local Z axis from a zero point at the
local X axis.
1. From the Create menu, choose Extended
For both settings, positive values move the end of
the slice counterclockwise; negative values move it
clockwise. Either setting can be made first. When
the ends meet, the whole oil tank reappears.
2. Drag the mouse to define the radius of the
Generate Mapping Coords—Generates coordinates
for applying mapped materials to the oil tank.
Default=on.
Real-World Map Size—Controls the scaling method
used for texture mapped materials that are applied
to the object. The scaling values are controlled
Primitives > Capsule.
capsule.
3. Release the mouse button, and then move the
mouse vertically to define the height of the
capsule.
4. Click to set the height and finish the capsule.
Spindle Extended Primitive
Interface
Height Segs—Sets the number of divisions along
Creation Method rollout
the capsule’s major axis.
Edge—Draws the object from edge to edge. You
Smooth—Blends the faces of the capsule, creating a
smooth appearance in rendered views.
can change the center location by moving the
mouse.
Center—Draws the object from the center out.
Parameters rollout
Slice On—Turns on the Slice function. Default=off.
When you create a slice and then turn off Slice On,
the complete capsule reappears. You can use this
check box to switch between the two topologies.
Slice From, Slice To—Sets the number of degrees
around the local Z axis from a zero point at the
local X axis.
For both settings, positive values move the end of
the slice counterclockwise; negative values move it
clockwise. Either setting can be made first. When
the ends meet, the whole capsule reappears.
Generate Mapping Coords—Generates coordinates
for applying mapped materials to the capsule.
Default=on.
Real-World Map Size—Controls the scaling method
used for texture mapped materials that are applied
to the object. The scaling values are controlled
by the Use Real-World Scale settings found in
the applied material’s Coordinates rollout (page
2–1224). Default=off.
Radius—Sets the radius of the capsule.
Height—Sets the height along the central axis.
Spindle Extended Primitive
Negative values create the capsule below the
construction plane.
Create panel > Geometry button > Extended Primitives >
Object Type rollout > Spindle button
Overall/Centers—Determines what the Height
Create menu > Extended Primitives > Spindle
value specifies. Overall specifies the overall height
of the object. Centers specifies the height of
the midsection of the cylinder, not including its
domed caps.
Sides—Sets the number of sides around the
capsule. Higher numbers shade and render as true
circles with Smooth on. Lower numbers create
regular polygonal objects with Smooth off.
Use the Spindle primitive to create a cylinder with
conical caps.
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Parameters rollout
Examples of spindles
Procedure
To create a spindle:
1. From the Create menu, choose Extended
Primitives > Spindle.
2. Drag the mouse to define the radius of the base
of the spindle.
3. Release the mouse button, and then move the
mouse vertically to define the height of the
spindle. Click to set the height.
4. Move the mouse diagonally to define the height
of the conical caps (toward the upper left to
increase the height; toward the lower right to
decrease it).
5. Click again to finish the spindle.
Interface
Creation Method rollout
Radius—Sets the radius of the spindle.
Height—Sets the dimension along the central
axis. Negative values create the spindle below the
construction plane.
Cap Height—Sets the height of the conical caps.
The minimum value is 0.1; the maximum value is
½ the absolute value of the Height setting.
Overall/Centers—Determines what the Height
can change the center location by moving the
mouse.
value specifies. Overall specifies the overall height
of the object. Centers specifies the height of
the midsection of the cylinder, not including its
conical caps.
Center—Draws the object from the center out.
Blend—When greater than 0, creates a fillet where
Edge—Draws the object from edge to edge. You
the caps meet the body of the spindle.
Sides—Sets the number of sides around the
spindle. Higher numbers shade and render as true
L-Ext Extended Primitive
circles with Smooth on. Lower numbers create
regular polygonal objects with Smooth off.
Cap Segs—Sets the number of concentric divisions
along the center of the spindle’s top and bottom.
Height Segs—Sets the number of divisions along
the spindle’s major axis.
Smooth—Blends the faces of the spindle, creating a
smooth appearance in rendered views.
Slice On—Turns on the Slice function. Default=off.
When you create a slice and then turn off Slice On,
the complete spindle reappears. You can therefore
use this check box to switch between the two
topologies.
Slice From, Slice To—Sets the number of degrees
around the local Z axis from a zero point at the
local X axis.
For both settings, positive values move the end of
the slice counterclockwise; negative values move it
clockwise. Either setting can be made first. When
the ends meet, the whole spindle reappears.
Generate Mapping Coords—Sets up the required
coordinates for applying mapped materials to the
spindle. Default=on.
Real-World Map Size—Controls the scaling method
used for texture mapped materials that are applied
to the object. The scaling values are controlled
by the Use Real-World Scale settings found in
the applied material’s Coordinates rollout (page
2–1224). Default=off.
L-Ext Extended Primitive
Create panel > Geometry button > Extended Primitives
> Object Type rollout > L-Ext button
Create menu > Extended Primitives > L-Extrustion
Use L-Ext to create an extruded L-shaped object.
Example of L-Ext
Procedure
To create an L-Ext object:
1. From the Create menu, choose Extended
Primitives > L-Ext.
2. Drag the mouse to define the base. (Press Ctrl
to constrain the base to a square.)
3. Release the mouse and move it vertically to
define the height of the L-extrusion.
4. Click, and then move the mouse vertically to
define the thickness or width of the walls of the
L-extrusion.
5. Click to finish the L-extrusion.
Interface
Creation Method rollout
Corners—Draws the object from corner to corner.
You can change the center location by moving the
mouse.
Center—Draws the object from the center out.
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Parameters rollout
the applied material’s Coordinates rollout (page
2–1224). Default=off.
Gengon Extended Primitive
Create panel > Geometry button > Extended Primitives >
Object Type rollout > Gengon button
Create menu > Extended Primitives > Gengon
Use Gengon to create an extruded, regular-sided
polygon with optionally filleted side edges.
Side/Front Length—Specify the lengths of each
"leg" of the L.
Side/Front Width—Specify the widths of each "leg"
of the L.
Examples of gengons
Height—Specifies the height of the object.
Side/Front Segs—Specify the number of segments
Procedure
for a specific "leg" of the object.
To create a gengon:
Width/Height Segs—Specify the number of
1. From the Create menu, choose Extended
segments for the overall width and height.
Note: The object’s dimensions (Back, Side, Front)
are labeled as though it were created in the Top or
Perspective viewports, and seen from the front in
world space.
Primitives > Gengon.
2. Set the Sides spinner to specify the number of
side wedges in the gengon.
3. Drag the mouse to create the radius of the
gengon.
Generate Mapping Coords—Sets up the required
coordinates for applying mapped materials to the
object. Default=on.
4. Release the mouse button, then move the
Real-World Map Size—Controls the scaling method
5. Move the mouse diagonally to specify the size
used for texture mapped materials that are applied
to the object. The scaling values are controlled
by the Use Real-World Scale settings found in
mouse vertically to define the height of the
gengon. Click to set the height.
of the chamfer along the side angles (toward the
upper left to increase the size; toward the lower
right to decrease it).
C-Ext Extended Primitive
6. Click to finish the gengon.
Tip: In the Parameters rollout, increase the Fillet
Segs spinner to round the chamfered corners into
fillets.
Interface
Creation Method rollout
Edge—Draws the object from edge to edge. You
can change the center location by moving the
mouse.
Center—Draws the object from the center out.
Parameters rollout
Side Segs—Sets the number of divisions around
the gengon.
Height Segs—Sets the number of divisions along
the gengon’s major axis.
Fillet Segs—Sets the number of divisions for the
edge filleting. Increasing this setting will produce
round, filleted corners instead of chamfers.
Smooth—Blends the faces of the gengon, creating a
smooth appearance in rendered views.
Generate Mapping Coords—Sets up the required
coordinates for applying mapped materials to the
gengon. Default=on.
Real-World Map Size—Controls the scaling method
used for texture mapped materials that are applied
to the object. The scaling values are controlled
by the Use Real-World Scale settings found in
the applied material’s Coordinates rollout (page
2–1224). Default=off.
C-Ext Extended Primitive
Create panel > Geometry > Extended Primitives > Object
Type rollout > C-Ext button
Create menu > Extended Primitives > C-Extrusion
Use C-Ext to create an extruded C-shaped object.
Sides—Sets the number of sides around the
gengon. Higher numbers shade and render as true
circles with Smooth on. Lower numbers create
regular polygonal objects with Smooth off.
Radius—Sets the radius of the gengon.
Fillet—Sets the width of the chamfered corners.
Height—Sets the dimension along the central
axis. Negative values create the gengon below the
construction plane.
Example of C-Ext
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Procedure
Parameters rollout
To create a C-Ext object:
1. From the Create menu, choose Extended
Primitives > C-Extrusion.
2. Drag the mouse to define the base. (Press Ctrl
to constrain the base to a square.)
3. Release the mouse and move it vertically to
define the height of the C-extrusion.
4. Click, and then move the mouse vertically to
define the thickness or width of the walls of the
C-extrusion.
5. Click to finish the C-extrusion.
Interface
Creation Method rollout
Corners—Draws the object from corner to corner.
You can change the center location by moving the
mouse.
Center—Draws the object from the center out.
Back/Side/Front Length—Specify the length of each
of the three sides.
Back/Side/Front Width—Specify the width of each
of the three sides.
Height—Specifies the overall height of the of the
object.
Back/Side/Front Segs—Specify the number of
segments for a specific side of the object.
Note: The object’s dimensions (Back, Side, Front)
are labeled as though it were created in the Top or
Perspective viewports, and seen from the front in
world space.
Width/Height Segs—Set these to specify the
number of segments for the overall width and
height of the object.
RingWave Extended Primitive
Generate Mapping Coords—Sets up the required
coordinates for applying mapped materials to the
object. Default=on.
Real-World Map Size—Controls the scaling method
used for texture mapped materials that are applied
to the object. The scaling values are controlled
by the Use Real-World Scale settings found in
the applied material’s Coordinates rollout (page
2–1224). Default=off.
RingWave Extended Primitive
Create panel > Geometry button > Extended Primitives >
Object Type rollout > RingWave button
Create menu > Extended Primitives > RingWave
Example of ringwave
Use the RingWave object to create a ring,
optionally with irregular inner and outer edges.
Interface
Parameters rollout
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RingWave Size group
Use these settings to change the ringwave’s basic
parameters.
Radius—Sets the outside radius of the ringwave.
Radial Segs—Sets the segment count between the
inner and outer surfaces in the direction of the
radius.
Ring Width—Sets the mean ring width as measured
inward from the outer radius.
Sides—Sets the number of segments in the
circumferential direction for both the inner, outer,
and end (cap) surfaces.
Height—Sets the height of the ringwave along its
major axis.
Tip: If you leave the Height at 0, you will want to
apply a two-sided material so that the ring can be
seen from both sides.
Height Segs—Sets the number of segments in the
direction of the height.
RingWave Timing group
period of frames specified by Grow Time, then
repeating the growth from until the End Time is
reached.
Start Time—The frame number where the ringwave
starts “growing” when Grow and Stay or Cyclic
Growth is turned on. If this value is 0 or larger and
Grow and Stay or Cyclic Growth is turned on, the
ringwave will evaluate to nothing.
Grow Time—The number of frames after Start
Time the ringwave takes to reach full size. Grow
Time has an effect only if Grow and Stay or Cyclic
Growth is chosen.
End Time—The frame number after which the
ringwave disappears. When this value is a negative
number, the ringwave evaluates to nothing.
Outer Edge Breakup group
Use these settings to change the shape of the
ringwave’s outer edge.
On—Turns on breakup of the outer edge. The
remaining parameters in this group are active only
when this is on. Default=off.
Use these parameters to change the shape of the
ringwave. The ringwave is evaluated as it would
appear at frame 0 based on the parameter values.
Major Cycles—Sets the number of major waves
No Growth—Creates a ringwave based on
Width Flux—Sets the size of the major waves,
parameters in groups other than the Ringwave
Timing group.
expressed as a percentage of the unmodulated
width.
Grow and Stay—Evaluates the ringwave at frame 0
Crawl Time—Sets the number of frames each
major wave takes to move around the outer
circumference of the RingWave. This parameter is
used for animation of the ringwave, which is not
available in Autodesk VIZ.
based on the Start Time and Grow Time values.
This setting has an effect on the ringwave’s shape
only if Start Time is a negative frame number,
and the Grow Time causes the ringwave to still be
“growing” at frame 0. If Start Time is 0 or greater,
turning on Grow and Stay will cause the ringwave
to evaluate to nothing.
Cyclic Growth—Evaluates the ringwave at frame 0
based on cyclic growth. The ringwave is evaluated
as if it were growing from the Start Time over the
around the outer edge. This parameter has an
effect only when Width Flux is greater than 0.
Minor Cycles—Sets the number of random-sized
smaller waves in each major cycle. This parameter
has an effect only when Width Flux is greater than
0.
Prism Extended Primitive
Width Flux—Sets the average size of the
smaller waves, expressed as a percentage of the
unmodulated width.
Crawl Time—Sets the number of frames each minor
wave takes to move across its respective major
wave. This parameter is used for animation of the
ringwave, which is not available in Autodesk VIZ.
Inner Edge Breakup group
differ by a multiple of two to four. For example, a
major wave of 11 or 17 cycles using a width flux
of 50 combined with a minor wave of 23 or 31
cycles with a width flux of 10 to 20 makes a nice
random-appearing edge.
Texture Coordinates—Sets up the required
coordinates for applying mapped materials to the
object. Default=on.
Use these settings to change the shape of the
ringwave’s inner edge.
Smooth—Applies smoothing to the object by
setting all polygons to smoothing group 1.
Default=on.
On—Turns on the breakup of the inner edge. The
remaining parameters in this group are active only
when this is on. Default=on.
Prism Extended Primitive
Major Cycles—Sets the number of major waves
around the inner edge. This parameter has an
effect only when Width Flux is greater than 0.
Width Flux—Sets the size of the major waves,
expressed as a percentage of the unmodulated
width.
Create panel > Geometry button > Extended Primitives
> Object Type rollout > Prism button
Create menu > Extended Primitives > Prism
Use Prism to create a three-sided prism with
independently segmented sides.
Crawl Time—Sets the number of frames each
major wave takes to move around the inner
circumference of the RingWave. This parameter is
used for animation of the ringwave, which is not
available in Autodesk VIZ.
Minor Cycles—Sets the number of random-sized
smaller waves in each major cycle. This parameter
has an effect only when Width Flux is greater than
0.
Width Flux—Sets the average size of the
smaller waves, expressed as a percentage of the
unmodulated width.
Crawl Time—Sets the number of frames each minor
wave takes to move across its respective major
wave. This parameter is used for animation of the
ringwave, which is not available in Autodesk VIZ.
Tip: To produce the best "random" results, use
prime numbers for major and minor cycles that
Example of a prism
Procedures
To create a prism with an isosceles triangle as its
base:
1. Choose Isosceles on the Creation Method
rollout.
2. Drag horizontally in the viewport to define
the length of Side 1 (along the X axis). Drag
vertically to define the length of Sides 2 and 3
(along the Y axis).
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(To constrain the base to an equilateral triangle,
press Ctrl before performing this step.)
Parameters rollout
3. Release the mouse, and move it vertically to
define the height of the prism.
4. Click to complete the prism.
5. On the Parameters rollout, alter the length of
the sides as needed.
To create a prism with a scalene or obtuse triangle
at its base:
1. Choose Base/Apex in the Creation Method
rollout.
2. Drag horizontally in the viewport to define
the length of Side 1 (along the X axis). Drag
vertically to define the length of Sides 2 and 3
(along the Y axis).
3. Click, and then move the mouse to specify
the placement of the apex of the triangle. This
alters the length of sides 2 and 3, and the angles
of the corners of the triangle.
4. Click, and then move the mouse vertically to
define the height of the prism.
Side (n) Length—Sets the length of triangle’s
corresponding side (and thus the triangle’s corner
angles).
Height—Sets the dimension of the prism’s central
axis.
Side (n) Segs—Specifies the number of segments
5. Click to complete the prism.
for each side of the prism.
Interface
Height Segs—Sets the number of divisions along
Creation Method rollout
Isosceles—Draws a prism with an isosceles triangle
at its base.
the prism’s central axis.
Generate Mapping Coordinates—Sets up the
required coordinates for applying mapped
materials to the prism. Default=off.
Base/Apex—Draws a prism with a scalene or
obtuse triangle at its base.
Hose Extended Primitive
Create panel > Geometry > Extended Primitives > Object
Type rollout > Hose button
Create menu > Extended Primitives > Hose
The Hose object is a flexible object that you can
connect between two objects, whereupon it reacts
to their movement. You can specify the overall
Hose Extended Primitive
diameter and length of the hose, the number of
turns, and the diameter and shape of its "wire."
Interface
Hose Parameters rollout > End Point Method
group
Free Hose—Choose this when using the hose as a
simple object that’s not bound to other objects.
Hose models a workable spring on a motorcycle
Procedures
Bound to Object Pivots—Choose this when binding
the hose to two objects, using the buttons in the
Binding Objects group.
To create a hose:
1. From the menu bar, choose Create > Extended
Primitives > Hose.
Hose Parameters rollout > Binding Objects
group
2. Drag the mouse to define the radius of the hose.
3. Release the mouse, and then move it to define
the length of the hose.
4. Click to finish the hose.
To bind a hose to two objects:
1. Add a hose and two other objects. Select the
hose.
2. In the Modify panel > Hose Parameters rollout
> End Point Method group, choose Bound To
Object Pivots.
3. In the Binding Objects group, click Pick Top
Object, and then select one of the two objects.
4. In the Binding Objects group, click Pick Bottom
Object, and then select the second of the two
objects.
The two ends of the hose attach themselves to
the two objects.
5. Move one of the objects.
The hose adjusts itself to remain attached to
both objects.
Available only when Bound To Object Pivots is
chosen. Use the controls to pick the objects to
which the hose is bound and to set the tension
between them. "Top" and "Bottom" are arbitrary
descriptors; the two bound objects can have any
positional relationship to each other.
Each end point of the hose is defined by the center
of the overall diameter. This end point is placed at
the pivot point of the object to which it is bound.
You can adjust the relative position of the binding
object to the hose by transforming the binding
object while the Affect Object Only button is
turned on in the Hierarchy panel > Adjust Pivot
rollout.
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Top (label)—Displays the name of the "top" binding
object.
Hose Parameters rollout > Common Hose
Parameters group
Pick Top Object—Click this button and then select
the "top" object.
Tension—Determines the tension of the hose curve
near the Top object as it reaches for the Bottom
object. Lower the tension to have the bend occur
closer to the Top object, raise the tension to have
the bend occur further away from the Top object.
Default=100.
Bottom (label)—Displays the name of the "bottom"
binding object.
Pick Bottom Object—Click this button and then
select the "bottom" object.
Tension—Determines the tension of the hose curve
near the Bottom object as it reaches for the Top
object. Lower the tension to have the bend occur
closer to the Bottom object, raise the tension to
have the bend occur further away from the Bottom
object. Default=100.
Hose Parameters rollout > Free Hose Parameters
group
Height—Use this field to set the straight-line height
or length of the hose when it is not bound. This
is not necessarily the actual length of the hose.
Available only when Free Hose is chosen.
Segments—The total number of segments in the
hose’s length. Increase this setting for a smooth
profile when the hose is curved. Default=45.
Flex Section Enable—When on, lets you set the
following four parameters for the central, flexible
section of the hose. When off, the hose’s diameter
is uniform throughout its length.
Starts—The percentage of the hose length from
the starting extremity of the hose at which the flex
section begins. By default, the starting end of the
hose is the end at which the object pivot appears.
Default=10%.
Ends—The percentage of the hose length from the
end extremity of the hose at which the flex section
ends. By default, the end extremity of the hose is
opposite the end at which the object pivot appears.
Default=90%.
Cycles—The number of corrugations in the flex
section. The number of visible cycles is limited by
the number of segments; if Segments isn’t high
Hose Extended Primitive
enough to support the number of cycles, then not
all cycles will appear. Default=5.
Hose Parameters rollout > Hose Shape group
Tip: To set the appropriate number of segments,
first set Cycles, and then increase Segments until
the number of visible cycles stops changing.
Diameter—The relative width of the "outside"
parts of the cycles. At negative settings, these are
smaller than the overall hose diameter. At positive
settings, these are larger than the overall hose
diameter. Default=-20%. Range=-50% to 500%.
Smoothing—Defines the geometry that gets
smoothed. Default=All:
• All—The entire hose is smoothed.
• Sides—Smoothing is applied along the length
of the hose but not around its circumference.
• None—No smoothing is applied.
• Segments—Smoothing is applied only on the
inner section of the hose.
Renderable—When on, the hose is rendered using
the specified settings. When off, the hose is not
rendered. Default=on.
Generate Mapping Coords—Sets up required
coordinates for applying mapped materials to the
hose. Default=on.
Sets the shape of the hose cross section.
Default=Round Hose.
Round Hose—Sets a circular cross section.
Diameter—The maximum width of the hose at the
ends.
Sides—The number of sides of the hose. A Sides
setting of 3 gives a triangular cross section; 4 gives
a square cross section; and 5 gives a pentagonal
cross section. Increase Sides for a circular cross
section. Default=8.
Rectangular Hose—Lets you specify different
settings for width and depth.
Width—The width of the hose.
Depth—The height of the hose.
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Fillet—The amount by which the cross-section
Stairs (page 1–204)
corners are rounded. For this to be visible, Fillet
Segs must be set to 1 or higher. Default=0.
Doors (page 1–219)
Fillet Segs—The number of segments across each
Windows (page 1–226)
filleted corner. A Fillet Segs setting of 1 cuts the
corner straight across; use higher settings for
rounded corners. Default=0.
Rotation—The orientation of the hose along its
AEC Extended Objects
long axis. Default=0.
D-Section Hose—Similar to Rectangular Hose, but
rounds one side for a D-shaped cross-section.
Width—The width of the hose.
Depth—The height of the hose.
Round Sides—The number of segments on the
rounded side. Increase for a smoother profile.
Default=4.
Create panel > Geometry > AEC Extended
Create menu > AEC Objects
AEC Extended objects are designed for use in
the architectural, engineering, and construction
fields. Use Foliage to create plants, Railing to create
railings and fences, and Wall to create walls.
Fillet—The amount by which the two cross-section
corners opposite the rounded side are rounded.
For this to be visible, Fillet Segs must be set to 1 or
higher. Default=0.
Fillet Segs—The number of segments across each
filleted corner. A Fillet Segs setting of 1 cuts the
corner straight across; use higher settings for
rounded corners. Default=0.
Rotation—The orientation of the hose along its
long axis. Default=0.
Interface
Foliage (page 1–186)
Railing (page 1–190)
Wall (page 1–195)
The Object Name and Wireframe Color rollout (page
3–443) in each AEC Extended object’s creation
panel functions identically. The remaining rollouts
are covered in each object’s topic.
Architectural Objects
Autodesk VIZ provides an array of architectural
objects, useful as building blocks for models of
homes, businesses, and similar projects. These
include:
AEC Extended Objects (page 1–182): Foliage,
Railing, and Wall
Working with AEC Design
Elements
Autodesk VIZ is designed for architects, interior
designers, land planners, civil and mechanical
engineers. With that in mind, Autodesk VIZ
includes such features as Foliage, Doors, Windows,
Working with AEC Design Elements
Stairs, Railing, and Wall to make exploring
three-dimensional design ideas much easier.
This section provides general information about
these features. For detailed explanations and
procedures, see the topics listed below:
Doors (page 1–219)
Windows (page 1–226)
Stairs (page 1–204)
Railing (page 1–190)
Wall (page 1–195)
Foliage (page 1–186)
Doors and Windows
Autodesk VIZ supplies a number of parametric
window and door objects that you can place into
wall openings to add realism to an architectural
model. These objects let you control details like
trim and panel fill in your model.
Tip: Use Snaps (page 2–635) for added precision
when adding doors and windows.
When you create a new door or window, you must
select four points in the scene that define the size
and orientation of the rectangle that will be the
door or window. You may find it easier to select
these points in a given sequence, depending on
your scene and views of the scene.
If you already have a rectangular hole you want to
fill, you can still create a door or window to your
specifications by using the following procedure.
To create a door or window:
1. Set up an angled User view so that you can see
the bottom and one vertical edge of the opening
and its full height.
2. Set the appropriate object snaps, such as Vertex
or Endpoint. This helps make the model more
precise.
3. After clicking Window or Door, choose one of
two Creation Methods: Width/Depth/Height
or Width/Height/Depth.
4. Make parameter adjustments to define details.
The width and orientation of the door/window
is always defined by the first mouse click and
subsequent mouse drag. Depending on the
creation method you use, either the height or
depth of the object is defined next.
If you have no object snaps set and are working
in a Perspective or User Viewport, using
the Width/Depth/Height Creation Method
creates an upright Door or Window. The
Width/Height/Depth Creation Method creates the
object as if it were lying on its side.
Allowing Non-vertical Jambs
The Allow Non-vertical Jambs toggle is useful
for creating doors or windows that do not fit in
a vertical plane, such as a skylight window in a
sloping roof. By default, this toggle is off, making
the third point in the creation sequence either
directly above (Width/Height/Depth) or on the
same horizontal plane (Width/Depth/Height)
with the second point.
When you turn on Allow Non-vertical Jambs, the
third point in the creation sequence falls wherever
you choose and the fourth point is added by the
program. Its offset from the plane is determined
by the first three points.
Using the Width/Height/Depth Creation Method
in Perspective and User viewports with Allow
Non-vertical Jambs off can be an efficient way
to create doors and windows with Object Snaps.
However, it can also be confusing at first. Keep
in mind that the third point you define, the
Height, is interpreted as a point on the home
grid until you indicate a point higher or lower
than the grid. If you are using an Object Snap
setting, Autodesk VIZ might not know you mean
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a point off the grid unless you bring the cursor in
proximity to a nonplanar point to which it can
snap.
Additional Parameters
There are additional parameters specific to
each door and window type that control overall
dimension parameters, as well as detailed
parameters for sub-object components such as
mullions, trim, and panels within leaves. See Doors
(page 1–219) and Windows (page 1–226) for more
information on these parameters.
Animating Doors and Windows
Most creation parameters cannot be animated
in Autodesk VIZ. However, since opening and
closing door and window objects is frequently
desired for animated walkthroughs, certain door
and window creation parameters (typically the
Open parameter) can be animated. See Doors
(page 1–219) and Windows (page 1–226) for more
information.
Creating Stairs and Railings
Autodesk VIZ contains four types of stair objects:
spiral stairs (page 1–208), U-type stairs (page
1–216) with an intermediate landing, L-type
stairs (page 1–205) with a landing at the bend
in the stair, and straight stairs (page 1–212) with
no intermediate landing. A complementary
Railing object can be used to create any number of
handrail designs that follow along a spline path.
For more information, see Stairs (page 1–204).
The Railing Object
Use the Railing button on the Create panel in the
to produce railing objects. Railing components
include rails, AEC Extended category (page
1–182)posts, and fencing. Fencing includes pickets
(balusters) or solid-filled material (such as glass or
wood strips).
You can create a railing in two ways: specify the
orientation and height of the railing, or pick a
spline path and apply the railing to that path.
The spline path with a railing is called a rail path.
Later, if you edit the rail path, the Railing object
automatically updates to follow the changes you
make. Rail paths can occupy three-dimensional
space.
When you create the lower rails, posts, and fencing
components of a Railing object, you use a special
version of the Spacing Tool to specify the spacing
of those components. The program displays the
Spacing Tool dialog for each railing component:
Lower Rail, Post Spacing, or Picket Spacing. For
more information on the Spacing Tool, see Spacing
Tool (page 1–372).
For details on Railing parameters and information
on creating a Railing object, see Railing (page
1–190).
Creating Walls
Use the Wall button (page 1–195) on the Create
panel, in the AEC Extended category, to produce
straight-wall objects. A wall object is made up of
sub-object segments that you can edit with the
Modify panel.
You can:
• Break or insert wall segments to create separate
wall objects.
• Delete wall segments.
• Connect two wall objects.
When you create two wall segments that meet at
a corner, Autodesk VIZ removes any duplicate
geometry. This “cleaning up” of the corners
might involve trimming. Autodesk VIZ cleans up
only the first two wall segments of a corner, not
other wall segments that might share the corner.
Autodesk VIZ does not clean up intersections.
Working with AEC Design Elements
You can edit the segments of a wall using
sub-object selection mode on the Modify panel.
For example, you can define a wall’s height profile.
Autodesk VIZ moves the active grid to the plane of
the wall you’re editing. This allows you to snap to
the profile vertices in the plane of the wall.
If you move, scale, or rotate the wall object, the
linked door and window moves, scales, or rotates
along with the wall. If you move the linked door or
window along the wall, using the door or window’s
Local coordinate system and activating Restrict
to XY Plane in the Axis Constraints toolbar (page
1–355), the opening will follow. Also, if you change
a door or window’s overall width and height in the
Modify panel, the hole will reflect those changes.
Usage Tips
The following are a few tips for working with wall
objects:
• Use the Top viewport when creating wall
objects.
• Single walls with many windows and doors can
slow down snap calculations and movement
of the wall object. To speed up insertion and
editing, use multiple walls instead of a single
wall.
• You can speed up performance in a scene with
many walls, windows, and doors by collapsing
them. First save an uncollapsed version for any
future parametric changes you might want to
make. Then right-click the wall and pick Select
Children from the right-click menu. Next use
Collapse in the Utility rollout to collapse them
all.
For complete information, see Wall (page 1–195).
To create a wall:
1. On the Create panel, in the AEC Extended
category, click Wall.
2. Use Customize > Units Setup to establish
precision, and then set the parameters for the
Width, Height, and Justification of the wall.
3. In any viewport, click, release the mouse, drag
the wall segment to the length you want and
click again.
This creates a wall segment. You can end the
wall or you can continue to create another wall
segment.
4. To complete the wall, right-click, or to add
another wall segment, drag the next wall
segment to the length you want and click again.
If you create a room by ending a segment at
the end of another segment of the same wall
object, the program displays the Weld Point
dialog. This dialog lets you convert the two end
vertices into a single vertex, or keep the two end
vertices separate.
5. If you want the wall segments to be welded at
a corner (when you move one wall, the other
wall stays at the corner), click Yes. Otherwise,
click No.
6. Right-click to complete the wall, or continue to
add another wall segment.
To attach separate walls:
1. Select a wall object.
2. On the Modify panel, click Attach, and then
pick another wall object.
The two wall objects become part of the same
wall object, but are not physically connected.
Attach stays active, and you can continue
clicking wall segments to attach. To stop
attaching, click the Attach button or right-click
in the active viewport.
To attach multiple wall objects simultaneously
to the selected wall object, click Attach Multiple
on the Modify panel to open the Attach
Multiple dialog. This works the same as the
Select Objects dialog (page 1–75), except that it
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shows only wall objects; choose multiple walls
to attach, and then click the Attach button.
7. Right-click to finish working on this segment.
You can now insert vertices in other segments,
or right-click again to exit Insert mode.
To connect vertices in a wall:
This method lets you connect two separate wall
sections with a new segment.
Foliage
Tip: It is easier to work with wall vertices in
wireframe view mode.
Create panel > Geometry > AEC Extended > Foliage
button
1. Select a wall object that has more than one
Create menu > AEC Objects > Foliage
section. Typically you would use Attach to
create such an object.
2. In the modifier stack (page 3–446), go to the
Vertex sub-object level.
Foliage produces various types of plant objects
such tree species. Autodesk VIZ generates mesh
representations to create fast, efficient, and
good-looking plants.
3. Click Connect and point the mouse over an end
vertex until the cursor changes to a cross.
4. Click once over the end vertex.
5. Move the cursor to another end vertex, and
then click to connect the two segments.
To insert a vertex in a wall:
It is easier to work with wall vertices in wireframe
view mode.
1. Select a wall segment.
2. In the modifier stack (page 3–446), go to the
Vertex sub-object level.
3. Click Insert.
A highlighted line appears along the bottom of
the wall, showing where you can insert vertices.
4. Click anywhere on the highlighted line to insert
a vertex.
The new vertex is attached to the mouse cursor.
5. Move the mouse to position the vertex, and
then click to place it.
Now the mouse is attached to one of the new
segments.
6. Move the mouse along the segment and click to
add vertices.
You control height, density, pruning, seed, canopy
display, and level of detail. The seed option
controls creation of different representations
of the same species. You can create millions of
variations of the same species, so each object can
be unique. With the viewport canopy mode (page
1–190) option, you can control the amount of
plant detail, reducing the number of vertices and
faces Autodesk VIZ uses to display the plant.
Foliage
branches, and if you want, to view the plant in
canopy mode.
Interface
Some of the plants that can be created from the standard
library
Tips
• Use the Spacing tool (page 1–372) to place plants
along a path.
• Use vertex or face snapping (see Snaps Settings
(page 2–630)) to position plants on a surface.
Object Name and Wireframe Color rollout
This rollout lets you set the foliage object’s
name, color, and default material. For detailed
information, see Object Name and Wireframe
Color (page 3–443).
When Favorite Plants rollout > Automatic
Materials is on, each plant is assigned its own
default material. For more information, see
Favorite Plants rollout, following.
Keyboard Entry rollout
See Creating Primitives from the Keyboard (page
1–142).
Using the Spacing tool to distribute trees along paths
Procedure
To add plants to a scene:
1. Click the Favorite Plants rollout > Plant Library
button to display the Configure Palette dialog.
2. Double-click the row for each plant you want to
add or remove from the Palette and click OK.
3. On the Favorite Plants rollout, select a plant and
drag it to a location in a viewport. Alternatively,
select a plant in the rollout and then click in the
viewport to place the plant.
4. On the Parameters rollout, click the New button
to display different seed variations of the plant.
5. Adjust the remaining parameters to show
elements of the plants, such as leaves, fruit,
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Favorite Plants rollout
Then, from the list pane, double-click the material
list item for the plant to display the materials in the
Basic Parameters rollout of the Material Editor.
If you turn off Automatic Materials, Autodesk VIZ
assigns no materials to the object, unless the Name
And Color rollout > Default Material check box
is on and a default material is assigned. This way
you can specify a particular default material for all
foliage objects. For more information, see Object
Name and Wireframe Color (page 3–443).
When on, Automatic Materials overrides the
Default Material settings.
Note: Even if Automatic Materials is off,
Autodesk VIZ still assigns material IDs to the
foliage objects, so that the object is ready for a
multi/sub-object material.
Plant Library—Displays the Configure Palette
The palette displays the plants currently loaded
from the Plant Library. There are three ways to
add a plant to the scene:
• Use keyboard entry.
• Click the icon in the Favorite Plants list and then
click a location in a viewport. Double-click the
icon to place the plant at the world origin.
• Drag the plant from the palette and drop it into
a viewport.
Automatic Materials—Assigns default materials for
the plant. To modify these material assignments,
use the Material Editor (page 2–1029). Select the
plant in the viewport, and click Main toolbar >
Material Editor. Click the Get Material button
(page 2–1059) to display the Material/Map
Browser. Under Browse From, choose Selected.
dialog. Using this window, you can view
information on the available plants including
their names, whether they’re in the palette, their
scientific names, types, descriptions, and the
approximate number of faces per object. You can
also add and remove plants from the palette, and
clear the palette, which removes all plants from the
palette.
Tip: To quickly add or remove a plant from the
palette, double-click its row in the Configure
Palette dialog. The Fav. (Favorite Plants) column
entry switches between "no" and "yes." Click OK
to accept the changes and exit the window.
Foliage
Parameters rollout
Pruning—Applies only to plants with branches.
Removes branches that lie below an invisible plane
parallel to the construction plane. A value of 0
prunes nothing, a value of .5 prunes the plant at a
plane halfway up its height from the construction
plane, and a value of 1 prunes everything possible
from the plant. What Autodesk VIZ prunes from
the plant depends on the type of plant. The trunk
is never pruned.
Three pairs of trees, showing different values of pruning
New—Displays a random variation of the current
plant. Autodesk VIZ displays the seed value in the
numeric field next to the button.
Tip: Click the New button repeatedly until you find
the variation you want. This is often easier than
trying to adjust the tree using modifiers.
Height—Controls the approximate height of the
plant. Autodesk VIZ applies a random noise
factor to the height of all of the plants. Therefore,
the actual height of a plant, as measured in the
viewports, won’t necessarily match the setting
given in the Height parameter.
Density—Controls the amount of leaves and
flowers on the plant. A value of 1 displays a plant
with all its leaves and flowers, .5 displays a plant
with half its leaves and flowers, and 0 displays a
plant with no leaves or flowers.
Two trees with varying foliage densities
Seed—A value between 0 and 16,777,215
representing the possible variations of branch and
leaf placement and shape and angle of the trunk of
the current plant.
Generate Mapping Coords—Applies default
mapping coordinates (page 3–647) to the plant.
Default=on.
Show group
Controls the display of leaves, fruit, flowers,
trunk, branches, and roots of plants. Available
options depend on the type of plant you select. For
example, if a plant doesn’t have fruit, Autodesk VIZ
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disables that option. Turning off options reduces
the number of vertices and faces displayed.
Viewport Canopy Mode group
Medium—Renders a reduced-face-count version
of the plant. How Autodesk VIZ reduces the face
count varies from plant to plant, but it usually
involves removing smaller elements of the plant
or reducing the number of faces in the branches
and trunk.
High—Renders all the faces of the plant, providing
the highest level of detail.
In Autodesk VIZ, the canopy of a plant is a shell
covering the outermost parts of the plant, such
as the leaves or the tips of the branches and
trunk. The term derives from "forest canopy."
Use reasonable parameters when you create many
plants and want to optimize display performance.
Because this setting applies only to the plant’s
representation in the viewports, it has no effect
on how Autodesk VIZ renders the plant. For
information on how Autodesk VIZ renders the
plant, see Level-of-Detail (page 1–190).
When Not Selected—Displays the plant in canopy
mode when it’s not selected.
Always—Always displays the plant in canopy
Tip: Set the parameters before creating multiple
plants. This can avoid slowing down the display,
and might reduce editing you have to do on the
plants.
Railing
Create panel > Geometry > AEC Extended > Railing
button
Create menu > AEC Objects > Railing
Components of the railing object include rails,
posts, and fencing. Fencing includes either pickets
(balusters) or solid-filled material, such as glass
or wood strip.
mode.
Never—Never displays the plant in canopy mode.
Autodesk VIZ displays all the features of the plant.
Level-of-Detail group
Controls how Autodesk VIZ renders the plant. For
information on how Autodesk VIZ displays the
plant in the viewports, see Viewport Canopy Mode
(page 1–190).
Low—Renders the plant canopy, providing the
lowest level of detail.
Railings used to create fences in a field.
You can create a railing object either by specifying
the orientation and height of the railing, or by
picking a spline path and applying the railing to
that path. When Autodesk VIZ applies railing
Railing
to a spline path, the latter is called a rail path.
Later, if you edit the rail path, the railing object
automatically updates to follow the changes you
made. You can use three-dimensional splines as
rail paths.
When you create the lower rails, posts, and fencing
components of a railing, you use the Spacing
tool (page 1–372) to specify the spacing of those
components. Autodesk VIZ names the Spacing
tool dialog for each railing component: Lower Rail
Spacing, Post Spacing, or Picket Spacing.
Tip: Use Railing to create complete railings
for stairs. See Stairs (page 1–204) for more
information.
You can create a railing object in any viewport,
but for best results, use a Perspective, Camera, or
Top viewport.
To create a railing:
1. Click and drag the railing to the desired length.
2. Release the mouse button, and then move the
mouse vertically to set the height. Click to
finish.
By default, Autodesk VIZ creates the top rail
along with two posts, a lower rail at half the
railing height, and two evenly spaced pickets.
3. If you need to, change any of the parameters
to adjust the segments, length, profile, depth,
width, and height of the rail.
Railings and Materials
By default, Autodesk VIZ assigns five different
material IDs to railings. The aectemplates.mat
material library includes Rail-Template, a
multi/sub-object material (page 2–1205) designed
to be used with railings. Each component of
the railing/material is listed below along with its
corresponding Material ID.
Material ID
Railing/Material Component
1
Lower rails
2
Posts of the railing
3
Solid fill of the railing
4
Top of the railing
5
Pickets of the railing
Note: Autodesk VIZ does not automatically assign
a material to the railing object. To use the included
material, open the library and then assign the
material to your object.
Procedures
The following procedures describe how to create
railings combining each of the components: upper
rail, lower rails, posts, picket fencing, and solid
filled fencing.
To adjust lower rails:
1. To modify the lower rail, or add more, choose
an option from the Lower Rail(s) group >
Profile list.
2.
Specify the depth and width for the lower
rails and then click the Lower Rail(s) > Spacing
button.
3. Specify the number of lower rails you want
using the Count option. Click Close to apply
your changes. For more information on spacing
options in this dialog, see Spacing Tool (page
1–372).
To create posts:
1. If you want to modify the posts, or add more,
choose an option from the Profile list under the
Posts rollout.
2.
Specify the depth and width of the posts
and how much they should extend above the
top rail. Then click the Posts rollout > Spacing
button.
3. Specify the number of posts you want using
the Count option. Click Close to apply your
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changes. For more information on spacing
options in this dialog, see Spacing Tool (page
1–372).
To create picket fencing:
5. Complete the remainder of the railing options
as described in the preceding procedures.
Thereafter, the spline is associated with the
railing; any changes you make to the spline
shape are reflected in the railing.
1. Choose Fencing rollout > Type list > Pickets.
The Solid Fill options will be unavailable.
2.
Choose an option from the Profile list,
specify the depth and width of the pickets, and
then click the Picket rollout > Spacing button.
3. Specify the number of pickets you want using
the Count option. Click Close to apply your
changes. For more information on spacing
options in this dialog, Spacing Tool (page
1–372).
Interface
Name and Color rollout
This rollout lets you set the selected railing’s name
and color. For detailed information, see Object
Name and Wireframe Color (page 3–443).
Railing rollout
To create solid-fill fencing:
1. Choose Fencing rollout > Type list > Solid Fill.
(The options under Picket are unavailable).
2. Under Solid Fill, adjust the options for
Thickness and offsets.
To create railings along a spline path:
Before you can create railings along a spline path,
you need to create a spline, or use an existing
spline from your scene.
1. Click Create panel > Geometry > AEC
Extended > Railing.
2. Click Pick Railing Path, then select a spline in
your scene.
Since the number of segments is 1 by default,
the upper rail extends for one segment between
the start and end of the spline.
3. Change the amount of segments using the
Modify panel > Segment setting.
The higher the segment value, the more closely
the railing approximates the spline shape.
4. If you want the railing to contain corners where
the spline does, turn on Respect Corners.
Pick Railing Path—Click this, and then click a
spline in the viewport to use as the railing path.
Autodesk VIZ uses the spline as the path along
which to apply the railing object.
Railing
If you edit the spline you’ve used as a railing
path, the railing adjusts to the changes you make.
Autodesk VIZ doesn’t immediately recognize
2D Shapes from a linked AutoCAD drawing.
To recognize Shapes from a linked AutoCAD
drawing, edit the Shape with Edit Spline (page
2–117) in the Modify panel.
Tip: When you create a railing using a closed
spline for the rail path, open the Post Spacing
dialog (page 1–372), turn off Start Offset and End
Offset, and lock End Offset. This will ensure that
Autodesk VIZ properly creates the railing with any
fill, pickets, and posts you specify.
Note: Railing objects that use Pick Path do not stay
on the path when substituted using the Substitute
modifier. Substituted externally referenced
railings do not undo when railings are associated
with a path.
Segments—Sets the number of segments of the
railing object. Available only when you’re using
a railing path.
For a close approximation to a railing path,
increase the number of segments. Be aware that a
high number of segments increases file size and
slows down the rendering speed. You might use
fewer segments when the spline path has a low
curvature (or none) and fewer segments provide
an adequate approximation.
1. Width
2. Depth
3. Height
4. Profile for the square top rail
5. Profile for the round top rail
Profile—Sets the cross-section shape of the top rail.
Depth—Sets the depth of the top rail.
Width—Sets the width of the top rail.
Height—Sets the height of the top rail. During
creation, you can drag the top rail to the height
you want using the mouse in the viewport. Or you
can enter the height amount from the keyboard
or use the spinners.
Lower Rail(s) group
Controls the profile, depth, width, and spacing
between the lower rails. You specify how many
lower rails you want using the Lower Rail Spacing
button.
Respect Corners—Puts corners in the railing to
match the corners of the railing path.
Length—Sets the length of the Railing object.
When you drag the mouse, the length displays in
the edit box.
Top Rail group
The defaults produce a top rail component,
consisting of one segment by the length you
specify, a square profile, four units deep, three
units wide, and the height you specify.
A railing with the rails defined by their profile, depth, and width
as planks.
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Profile—Sets the cross-section shape of the lower
Profile—Sets the cross-section shape of the posts:
rails.
none, Square, or Round.
Depth—Sets the depth of the lower rails.
Depth—Sets the depth of the posts.
Width—Sets the width of the lower rails.
Width—Sets the width of the posts.
Lower Rail Spacing—Sets the spacing of the
lower rails. When you click this button, the Lower
Rail Spacing dialog displays. Specify the number
of lower rails you want using the Count option.
For more information on spacing options in this
dialog, see Spacing Tool (page 1–372).
Generate Mapping Coords—Assigns mapping
coordinates (page 3–647) to the railing object.
Note: If a visible viewport is set to a non-wireframe
or non-bounding-box display, Generate Mapping
Coordinates is on for all primitives to which you
apply a material containing a map with Show
Map In Viewport on. If all viewports are set to
wireframe or bounding box, Autodesk VIZ turns
on Generate Mapping Coordinates for primitives
containing mapped materials at render time.
Real-World Map Size—Controls the scaling method
used for texture mapped materials that are applied
to the object. The scaling values are controlled
by the Use Real-World Scale settings found in
the applied material’s Coordinates rollout (page
2–1224). Default=off.
Posts rollout
Controls the profile, depth, width, extension, and
spacing between the posts. You specify how many
posts you want using the Post Spacing button.
Extension—Sets the amount the posts extend above
the bottom of the top railing.
Post Spacing—Sets the spacing of the posts.
When you click this button, the Post Spacing
dialog displays. Specify the number of posts
you want using the Count option. For more
information on spacing options in this dialog, see
Spacing Tool (page 1–372).
Tip: Setting Profile to (none) makes an "invisible"
post. You might want to do this to create a railing
with gaps between solid fill fencing. Or you could
use it to make a railing with openings between
groups of pickets. This is different from setting the
post count to 0 in the Post Spacing dialog.
Fencing rollout
Wall
Type—Sets the type of fencing between the posts:
none, Pickets, or Solid Fill.
Picket group
Controls the profile, depth, width, and spacing
between the pickets. Specify how many pickets you
want using the Picket Spacing button. Available
only when you set Type to Pickets.
Bottom Offset—Sets the offset of the solid fill from
the bottom of the railing object.
Left Offset—Sets the offset between the solid fill
and the adjacent left post.
Right Offset—Sets the offset between the solid fill
and the adjacent right post.
Wall
Create panel > Geometry > AEC Extended > Object Type
rollout > Wall button
Create menu > AEC Objects > Wall
1. A railing with pickets using a square profile
2. A railing with pickets using a round profile
Profile—Sets the cross-section shape of the pickets.
Depth—Sets the depth of the pickets.
Width—Sets the width of the pickets.
Extension—Sets the amount the pickets extend
above the bottom of the top railing.
Bottom Offset—Sets the amount the pickets are
offset from the bottom of the railing object.
Picket Spacing—Sets the spacing of the
pickets. When you click this button, the Picket
Spacing dialog displays. Specify the number of
pickets you want using the Count option. For more
information on spacing options in this dialog, see
Spacing Tool (page 1–372).
Solid Fill group
Controls the thickness and offsets of the solid fill
between the posts. Available only when you set
Type to Solid.
Thickness—Sets the thickness of the solid fill.
Top Offset—Sets the offset of the solid fill from the
bottom of the top rail.
The Wall object is made up of three sub-object
types that you can edit in the Modify panel.
Similarly to the way you edit splines, you can edit
the wall object (page 1–201), its vertices (page
1–201), its segments (page 1–202), and its profile
(page 1–203).
When you create two wall segments that meet at
a corner, Autodesk VIZ removes any duplicate
geometry. This "cleaning up" of the corners might
involve trimming. Autodesk VIZ cleans up only
the first two wall segments of a corner, not any
other wall segments that might share the corner.
Autodesk VIZ does not clean up intersections.
Inserting Doors and Windows in a Wall
Autodesk VIZ can automatically make openings
for doors and windows in a wall. At the same time,
it links the door or window to the wall as it child.
The most effective way of doing both is to create
the doors and windows directly on a wall segment
by snapping to the faces, vertices, or edges of the
wall object.
If you move, scale, or rotate the wall object, the
linked door or window moves, scales, or rotates
along with the wall. If you move the linked door or
window along the wall, using the door or window’s
local coordinate system and constraining motion to
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the XY plane (page 3–357), the opening will follow.
Also, if you change a door or window’s overall
width and height on the Modify panel, the hole
will reflect those changes.
For further information, see the procedure To
create and place a window or door in a wall (page
1–199).
Walls and Materials
By default, Autodesk VIZ assigns five different
material IDs to walls. The aectemplates.mat
material library includes Wall-Template, a
multi/sub-object material (page 2–1205) designed
to be used with walls. Each component of
the wall/material is listed below along with its
corresponding Material ID.
such as a box or an extruded archway shape,
as Operand B. The wall will still be accessible
at the Boolean sub-object level. Then, you can
add a window or door in the passageway, and
link (page 2–745) it as a child of the wall.
• Single walls with many windows and doors
can become slow to use because of the amount
of boolean calculations used. To speed up
movement and editing, you might consider
using multiple walls instead of a single wall.
• You can speed up performance in a scene with
many walls, windows and doors by collapsing
them. First save an uncollapsed version for any
future parametric changes you might want to
make. Then double-click the wall to select it
and its children. Next use Convert To from the
right-click menu to convert them to an editable
mesh, and so on.
Material ID
Wall/Material Component
1
Vertical ends of the wall
2
Outside of the wall
Procedures
3
Inside of the wall
To create a wall:
4
Top of the wall, including any edges cut
out of the wall
5
Bottom of the wall
Note: Autodesk VIZ does not automatically assign
a material to the wall object. To use the included
material, open the library and then assign the
material to your object.
Note: The definitions of slots 2 and 3 are
interchangeable; inside and outside simply depend
on your point of view, and how you created the
wall.
You can create a wall in any viewport, but for
vertical walls, use a Perspective, Camera, or Top
viewport.
1. Set parameters for the Width, Height, and
Justification of the wall.
2. In a viewport, click and release, move the
mouse to set the desired length for the wall
segment, and click again.
This creates a wall segment. You can end the
wall by right-clicking or you can continue to
create another wall segment.
3. To add another wall segment, move the mouse
See also
Editing Wall Objects (page 1–200)
Tips
• To make a passageway through a wall you can
perform a Boolean operation (page 1–300) with
the wall as Operand A, and another object,
to set the length of the next wall segment and
click again.
If you create a room by ending a segment at
the end of another segment of the same wall
object, Autodesk VIZ displays the Weld Point
dialog. This dialog lets you convert the two end
Wall
vertices into a single vertex, or to keep the two
end vertices distinct.
4. If you want the wall segments to be welded at
that corner so that when you move one wall,
the other wall stays correct at the corner, click
Yes. Otherwise, click No.
5. Right-click to end the wall, or continue to add
other wall segments.
To attach separate walls:
1. Select a wall object.
2. On the Modify panel, click Attach, and then
pick another wall object.
The two wall objects become part of the same
wall object, but are not physically connected.
Attach stays active, and you can continue
clicking wall segments to attach. To stop
attaching, click the Attach button or right-click
in the active viewport.
To attach multiple wall objects simultaneously
to the selected wall object, click Attach Multiple
on the Modify panel to open the Attach
Multiple dialog. This works the same as the
Select Objects dialog (page 1–75), except that it
shows only wall objects; choose multiple walls
to attach, and then click the Attach button.
To connect vertices in a wall:
This method lets you connect two separate wall
sections with a new segment.
Tip: It is easier to work with wall vertices in
wireframe view mode.
1. Select a wall object that has more than one
section. Typically you would use Attach to
create such an object.
2. In the modifier stack (page 3–446), go to the
Vertex sub-object level.
3. Click Connect and point the mouse over an end
vertex until the cursor changes to a cross.
4. Click once over the end vertex.
5. Move the cursor to another end vertex, and
then click to connect the two segments.
To insert a vertex in a wall:
It is easier to work with wall vertices in wireframe
view mode.
1. Select a wall segment.
2. In the modifier stack (page 3–446), go to the
Vertex sub-object level.
3. Click Insert.
A highlighted line appears along the bottom of
the wall, showing where you can insert vertices.
4. Click anywhere on the highlighted line to insert
a vertex.
The new vertex is attached to the mouse cursor.
5. Move the mouse to position the vertex, and
then click to place it.
Now the mouse is attached to one of the new
segments.
6. Move the mouse along the segment and click to
add vertices.
7. Right-click to finish working on this segment.
You can now insert vertices in other segments,
or right-click again to exit Insert mode.
To detach and reorient a copy of a wall segment:
Tip: It is easier to work with wall vertices in
wireframe view mode.
1. Select a wall.
2. In the modifier stack (page 3–446), go to the
Segment sub-object level.
3. Select a wall segment.
4. Turn on both Reorient and Copy, and then
click Detach.
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5. Enter a name for the new wall object in the
Detach dialog or click OK to accept the default
name.
Autodesk VIZ copies the original wall’s Local
coordinate system (page 3–643) when it makes
the copy of the detached segment. It places the
new object so that its Local coordinate system
is coincident with the World space origin (page
3–699).
To add a gable point to a wall profile or adjust for
uneven terrain:
Tip: It is easier to work with wall vertices in
wireframe view mode.
1. Select a wall.
2. In the modifier stack (page 3–446), go to the
Profile sub-object level.
3. Select a wall profile by clicking a wall segment.
A grid appears.
4. To add a gable point procedurally, set the height
and click Create Gable.
If you prefer to add the profile point manually,
click Insert, click a point on the highlighted top
profile, drag the new point into place and then
release where you want to place the new gable
point. You can move profile points you create
with Insert only within the plane of the wall
segment, and you cannot move them below the
original top edge.
If you want to adjust the profile for uneven
terrain below a wall, click Insert, pick the
highlighted bottom profile and add points as
necessary.
If you want to extend multiple segments
uniformly downward below floor level, do the
following: At the Segment sub-object level,
select the segments and, on the Edit Segment
rollout, enter a negative Bottom Offset value
to move the segments downward. Add the
absolute value of the Bottom Offset setting back
to the Height value to bring the top of the wall
height back up and make it flush with the other
wall segments.
To apply a texture to a wall:
Walls are created with five different material IDs
(page 3–649) for their various parts.
The aectemplates.mat material library includes
Wall-Template, a Multi/Sub-Object material
designed for use with walls. You can copy or copy
and modify this template, or create your own
material as follows:
1. Create a Multi/Sub-Object material (page
2–1205) using five textures for the following
Material IDs:
• Slot #1 is the material for the vertical ends
on the wall
• Slot #2 is the material for the outside of the
wall
• Slot #3 is the material for the inside of the
wall
• Slot #4 is the material for the top of the wall,
as well as any inside edges cut out of the wall
• Slot #5 is the material for the bottom of the
wall
Note: The definitions of slots 2 and 3 are
interchangeable; inside and outside simply
depend on your point of view, and how you
created the wall.
2. If the top and bottom surfaces of the wall aren’t
visible in the rendered scene, you can use a
three-sided material instead. The inside and
outside of the wall are relative to the direction
in which the wall was created. To swap a texture
between slots in the Material Editor, drag one
of the textures over the other slot in the Basic
Parameters rollout of the Multi/Sub-Object
material, and then choose Swap.
Wall
3. For greater control in tiling across the wall
surface, apply a Map Scaler world-space modifier
(page 2–47) to the wall. Then adjust the scale of
the map in the Map Scaler’s Parameters rollout.
To create and place a window or door in a wall:
5. On the Coordinate Display (page 3–396),
activate Offset mode and then enter the offset
distances on the X axis for horizontal and the Y
axis for vertical.
Note: For best results, do not position an inserted
window or door at the bottom of a wall.
For best results, perform this procedure in a
wireframe viewport.
Interface
1. Create a window (page 1–226) or door (page
Keyboard Entry rollout
1–219) (hereafter referred to as "window" for
brevity) directly on an existing wall. You can
define the window’s exact dimensions after
insertion. Use edge snap (page 2–630) for the
first snaps to place and align the window on the
wall and to establish its exact depth. Snap to
and then click the near top edge of the wall to
start creation. Drag to another edge snap point
on the near top edge of the wall and release to
align the window with the wall segment and to
set its width. Snap to the rear top edge of the
wall to set the proper depth and click. Move
the cursor downward and click to define the
window height. This final click doesn’t require
a snap, as it simply defines a rough height.
2. The window should now be cut out of the wall.
On the Modify panel for windows or doors,
set the correct width and height. Change the
depth if it’s different from the snap depth you
set above.
3. Use vertex snap to move the window or door
from a reference point to a known point on the
wall segment. Then
Next, use relative offset values from this new
position to accurately locate the window or
door. As an example, following the next two
steps, you could move a window from its top
left corner to the top left corner of the wall
segment so that you can then move it 3 feet to
the right and 2 feet down.
4. With the window or door selected, set the
coordinate system to Local.
X—Sets the coordinate position along the X axis
for the start point of a wall segment in the active
construction plane.
Y—Sets the coordinate position along the Y axis
for the start point of a wall segment in the active
construction plane.
Z—Sets the coordinate position along the Z axis
for the start point of a wall segment in the active
construction plane.
Add Point—Adds the point from the X, Y, and Z
coordinate values you enter.
Close—Ends creation of the wall object and creates
a segment between the end point of the last
segment and the start point of the first segment, to
make a closed wall.
Finish—Ends creation of the wall object, leaving
it open ended.
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Pick Spline—Lets you use a spline as the wall
path. Click this, and then click a spline in the
viewport to use as the wall path. Autodesk VIZ
uses the spline as the path along which to apply the
wall object. Autodesk VIZ doesn’t immediately
recognize 2D Shapes from a linked AutoCAD
drawing. To recognize Shapes from a linked
AutoCAD drawing, edit the Shape with Edit Spline
(page 2–117) from the Modify panel.
Note: If you designate a curved spline as the path,
Autodesk VIZ creates straight wall segments that
approximate the spline as closely as possible, with
one wall segment per spline segment.
Parameters rollout
which is equal to the wall thickness). If you turn
Grid Snap on, the left edge of the wall’s baseline
snaps to the grid line.
Center—Justifies the wall at the center of its
baseline. If you turn Grid Snap on, the center of
the wall’s baseline snaps to the grid line. This is
the default.
Right—Justifies the wall at the right edge of its
baseline. If you turn Grid Snap on, the right edge
of the wall’s baseline snaps to the grid line.
Generate Mapping Coords—Assigns mapping
coordinates (page 3–647) to the wall. Default=on.
Real-World Map Size—Controls the scaling method
used for texture mapped materials that are applied
to the object. The scaling values are controlled
by the Use Real-World Scale settings found in
the applied material’s Coordinates rollout (page
2–1224). Default=off.
Editing Wall Objects
Select a wall object. > Modify panel
The following reference describes the Wall options
on the Modify panel. It’s generally easiest to edit
wall objects in wireframe mode.
See also
Wall (page 1–195)
The defaults produce a wall object 5 units wide, 96
units high, and justified at the center of the wall.
Width—Sets the thickness of the wall. Range=0.01
unit to 100,000 units. Default=5.
Height—Sets the height of the wall. Range=0.01
unit to 100,000 units. Default=96.
Justification group
Left—Justifies the wall at the left edge of its baseline
(the line between the wall’s front and back sides,
Editing Wall Objects
Interface
Edit Object rollout
by the Use Real-World Scale settings found in
the applied material’s Coordinates rollout (page
2–1224). Default=off.
Edit Vertex rollout
Appears at the Vertex sub-object level. Each wall
segment has two vertices; one in each bottom
corner. In wireframe views, wall vertices appear as
+ symbols. Connected segments in the same wall
object each share a vertex. Moving a wall vertex
has the effect of scaling attached segments as well
as rotating them about their other vertices. You
cannot rotate or scale wall vertices.
This rollout appears when you select a wall object
at the object level; other rollouts, discussed below
appear at the different sub-object levels.
Attach—Attaches another wall in a viewport to
the selected wall by a single pick. The object you
attach must also be a wall. Autodesk VIZ applies
the material of the selected wall to the wall being
attached.
Attach Multiple—Attaches other walls in a viewport
to the selected wall. Click this button to open the
Attach Multiple dialog, which lists all the other
wall objects in the scene. Select the walls you want
to attach from the list and click the Attach button.
Autodesk VIZ applies the material of the selected
wall to the walls being attached.
Justification group
See Justification (page 1–200).
Generate Mapping Coords.—Assigns mapping
coordinates (page 3–647) to the wall. Default=on.
Real-World Map Size—Controls the scaling method
used for texture mapped materials that are applied
to the object. The scaling values are controlled
Connect—Lets you connect any two vertices,
creating a new linear segment between the vertices.
Click this button, click a vertex, and then click a
second vertex on a different segment. When you
move the cursor over a valid second vertex, the
mouse icon changes to a Connect icon.
Break—Lets you disconnect segments at a shared
vertex.
Tip: Select a vertex shared between wall segments,
and then click the Break button. The segments
become disconnected, and each has its own end
vertex at the position of the previously shared
vertex.
Refine—Adds a vertex to the position along a wall
segment that you click. When you move the cursor
over a valid Refine point, the mouse icon changes
to a Refine icon.
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Insert—Inserts one or more vertices, creating
additional segments. When you move the cursor
over the a valid Insert point, the mouse icon
changes to an Insert icon. Right-click to stop
inserting new vertices and segments.
Delete—Deletes the currently selected vertex or
vertices, including any segments in between.
Deleting vertices shared by two or more segments
doesn’t create a gap, but rather results in a single
segment connecting vertices adjacent to those
being deleted.
Edit Segment rollout
This rollout appears when you select a wall object
and then access Segment sub-object level.
Each wall segment is defined by, and effectively
connects, two wall vertices. Moving a segment is
the same as moving its two vertices in tandem. It
has the effect of scaling adjacent wall segments as
well as rotating them about their other vertices.
You can scale a wall segment horizontally only
(any Scale function does this). You cannot rotate
a segment.
Break—Specifies a break point in a wall segment.
You needn’t select a segment first. When you move
the cursor over the object, the mouse icon changes
to a Break icon. The position you select on the
segment becomes two coincident vertices, and
Autodesk VIZ breaks the segment in two.
Detach—Detaches wall segments you select and
creates a new wall object out of them.
Same Shape—Detaches the wall segment keeping
it part of the same wall object. If you also turn on
Copy, Autodesk VIZ places a detached copy of the
segment in the same location.
Reorient—Detaches the wall segment, copies the
object’s Local coordinate system (page 3–643),
and places the segment so that its object Local
coordinate system is coincident with the World
space origin (page 3–699). If you also turn on Copy,
Autodesk VIZ detaches a copy of the segment and
leaves the original segments in place.
Copy—Copies the detached wall segment rather
than moving it.
Editing Wall Objects
Divide—Subdivides each segment by the number
of vertices specified in the Divisions spinner.
Select one or more segments, set the Divisions
spinner, and then click Divide.
can insert and delete vertices along the horizontal
edges, move an inserted vertex along the grid to
change the profile, create gables, and change the
grid properties.
Divisions—Sets the number by which to divide the
segment.
Insert—Provides the same function as the Insert
button in Vertex sub-object selection. Inserts one
or more vertices, creating additional segments.
When you move the cursor over the a valid Insert
point, the mouse icon changes to an Insert icon.
Right click to stop inserting new vertices and
segments.
Delete—Deletes any selected wall segments in the
current wall object.
Refine—Provides the same function as the Refine
button at the Vertex sub-object level. Adds a vertex
to the position along a wall segment you select.
When you move the cursor over a valid Refine
point, the mouse icon changes to a Refine icon.
Parameters group
Width—Changes the width of a selected segment
or segments.
Height—Changes the height of a selected segment
or segments.
Bottom Offset—Sets the distance of the bottom of
the selected segment or segments from the floor.
Insert—Inserts a vertex so that you can adjust the
profile of the selected wall segment.
Use this option to adjust the profile of walls under
gables or to align walls to a slope. When you move
the cursor over the selected segment, the mouse
icon changes to an Insert icon. Click to insert a
new profile point, then drag and release to position
and place it. You can add new profile points to
both the top and the bottom of the wall, but you
cannot position profile points below the original
top edge or above the original bottom edge.
Delete—Deletes the selected vertices on the profile
of the selected wall segment.
Edit Profile rollout
Create Gable—Creates a gable by moving the center
This rollout appears when you select a wall object
and then access Profile sub-object level.
point of the top profile of the selected wall segment
to a height you specify.
The term "profile" refers to the outline of a wall
segment’s top and bottom edges. When in Profile
sub-object mode, the selected wall object’s inner
horizontal edges appear dark orange. Click any of
these edges to select the corresponding segment,
highlight it in red, and place a temporary active
grid in the plane of the segment. At that point, you
Select the segment, set the height, and then click
Create Gable.
Height—Specifies the height of a gable.
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Grid Properties group
Material ID
Railing/Material Component
The grid constricts profile point insertion and
movement to the plane of the wall and allows you
to snap to grid points on the plane of the wall.
4
Center pole of the stairs
5
Handrails of the stairs
6
Carriage of the stairs
Width—Sets the width of the active grid.
7
Stringers of the stairs
Length—Sets the length of the active grid.
Spacing—Sets the size of the smallest square in the
active grid.
Note: Autodesk VIZ does not automatically assign
a material to the stairs object. To use the included
material, open the library and then assign the
material to your object.
Procedure
To create railings on stairs:
Stairs
1. Create the stairs. See individual stair-type
Create panel > Geometry > Stairs
Create menu > AEC Objects
You can create four different types of stairs in
Autodesk VIZ:
topics for more information.
2. In the Generate Geometry group, turn on Rail
Path > Left and Right.
Autodesk VIZ places left and right rail paths
above the stairs.
Spiral Stair (page 1–208)
3. In the Railings rollout, set Height to 0.0.
Straight Stair (page 1–212)
4. Click Create panel > AEC Extended > Railing
L-Type Stair (page 1–205)
U-Type Stair (page 1–216)
Railings and Materials
By default, Autodesk VIZ assigns seven different
material IDs to stairs. The aectemplates.mat
material library includes Stair-Template, a
multi/sub-object material (page 2–1205) designed
to be used with stairs. Each component of
the stair/material is listed below along with its
corresponding Material ID.
Material ID
Railing/Material Component
1
Treads of the stairs
2
Front riser of the stairs
3
Bottom, back, and sides of the risers of
the stairs
(page 1–190) to create the first railing.
5. Click Railing rollout > Pick Railing Path and
select one of the rail paths on the stairs.
6. Adjust the railing parameters.
Autodesk VIZ remembers the parameters you
set. When you create the next railing, it will
have the same parameters as you set for the first
railing.
7. Right-click to end the creation of the first
railing.
8. Click Railing again to create the second railing.
9. Click Pick Railing Path and select the other rail
path on the stairs.
L-Type Stair
Interface
Object Type rollout
3. Adjust the stairs by using the options in the
Parameters rollout.
Interface
Parameters rollout > Type group
Stair Selection Buttons—Click one of these to
specify the type of stairs you want to create.
Name and Color rollout
Open—Creates an open riser stair, as shown on the
left in the illustration above.
This rollout lets you set the stairs object’s name
and color. For detailed information, see Object
Name and Wireframe Color (page 3–443).
Closed—Creates a closed riser stair, as shown in
the center in the illustration above.
L-Type Stair
Create panel > Geometry > Stairs > L-Type Stair button
Box—Creates a stair with closed risers and closed
stringers on both sides, as shown on the right in
the illustration above.
Generate Geometry group
Create menu > AEC Objects > L-Type Stair
The L-Type Stair object lets you create a staircase
with two flights at right angles to each other.
Types of L-type stair: open, closed, and boxed
Stringers—Creates stringers along the ends of
L-type stairs have two flights at right angles, and a landing.
the treads of the stairs. To modify the stringers’
depth, width, offset and spring from the floor, see
Stringers rollout (page 1–207).
Procedure
To create L-Type stairs:
1. In any viewport, drag to set the length for the
first flight. Release the mouse button, then
move the cursor and click to set the length,
width, and direction for the second flight.
2. Move the cursor up or down to define the rise
of the stairs, then click to end.
Carriage—Creates an inclined, notched beam
under the treads which supports the steps or adds
support between the stringers of the stairs. You
might also know this as a carriage piece, a horse, or
a rough string. See Carriage rollout (page 1–207) to
modify the parameters.
Handrail—Creates left and right handrails. See
Railings rollout (page 1–208) to modify the
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Chapter 5: Creating Geometry
handrails’ height, offset, number of segments, and
radius.
pin and allows the spinner values of the parameter
with the raised push pins to change.
Rail Path—Creates left and right paths you can use
Overall—Controls the height of the flight of stairs.
to install railings on the stairs. See Stairs (page
1–204) for the instructions on how to do this.
Riser Ht—Controls the height of the risers.
Riser Ct—Controls the number of risers. There will
Layout group
always be one more riser than steps. This implied
riser is between the top step of the stair and the
upper floor.
Length 1—Controls the length of the first flight of
stairs.
Length 2—Controls the length of the second flight
of stairs.
Width—Controls the width of the stairs, including
the steps and the landing.
Angle—Controls the angle of the second flight
Linear stair with five risers
1 through 4. Risers
from the landing. Range=-90 to 90 degrees.
5. The implied riser
Offset—Controls the distance of the second flight
7. The lower floor you snap to
from the landing. The length of the landing adjusts
accordingly.
8. The steps
6. The upper floor you snap to
Steps group
Rise group
Thickness—Controls the thickness of the steps.
Autodesk VIZ keeps one Rise option locked while
you adjust the other two. To lock an option, you
click a push pin. To unlock an option you click a
raised push pin. Autodesk VIZ locks the spinner
value of the parameter with the depressed push
Step thickness variance between two stairs
L-Type Stair
Depth—Controls the depth of the steps.
Width—Controls the width of the stringers.
Offset—Controls the vertical distance of the
stringers from the floor.
Step depth variance between two stairs
Generate Mapping Coords—Applies default
Spring from Floor—Controls whether the stringer
starts at the floor, flush with the start of the first
riser, or if the stringer extends below the floor. You
control the amount the stringer extends below the
floor with the Offset option.
mapping coordinates (page 3–647) to the stairs.
Note: If a visible viewport is set to a non-wireframe
or non-bounding-box display, Generate Mapping
Coordinates is on for all primitives to which you
apply a material containing a map with Show
Map In Viewport on. If all viewports are set to
wireframe or bounding box, Autodesk VIZ turns
on Generate Mapping Coordinates for primitives
containing mapped materials at render time.
Real-World Map Size—Controls the scaling method
used for texture mapped materials that are applied
to the object. The scaling values are controlled
by the Use Real-World Scale settings found in
the applied material’s Coordinates rollout (page
2–1224). Default=off.
Left: The stringer extending below the floor. (Spring From Floor
off.)
Right: The stringer springing from the floor. (Spring From Floor
on.)
Carriage rollout
These controls are available only when you turn
on Carriage on the Parameters rollout > Generate
Geometry group.
Stringers rollout
These controls are available only when you turn
on Stringers on the Parameters rollout > Generate
Geometry group.
Depth—Controls how far down the carriage
reaches toward the floor.
Width—Controls the width of the carriage.
Carriage Spacing—Sets the spacing of the carriage.
Depth—Controls how far down the stringers reach
toward the floor.
When you pick this button, the Carriage Spacing
dialog displays. Specify the number of carriages
you want using the Count option. For more
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Chapter 5: Creating Geometry
information on spacing options in this dialog, see
Spacing Tool (page 1–372).
Spring from Floor—Controls whether the carriage
starts at the floor, flush with the start of the first
riser, or if the carriage extends below the floor. You
control the amount the carriage extends below the
floor with the Offset option.
Radius—Controls the thickness of the railings.
Spiral Stair
Create panel > Geometry > Stairs > Spiral Stair button
Create menu > AEC Objects > Spiral Stair
The Spiral Stair object lets you specify the radius
and number of revolutions, add stringers and a
center pole, and more.
Left: The carriage springing from the floor. (Spring From Floor
on.)
Right: The carriage extending below the floor. (Spring from
Floor off.)
Railings rollout
These controls are available only when you turn on
one or more of the Handrail or Rail Path options
on the Parameters rollout > Generate Geometry
group. Also, Segments and Radius aren’t available
if neither of the Handrail options is on.
Types of spiral stair: open, closed, and boxed
Spiral stairs wind around a center
Procedure
To create spiral stairs:
1. In any viewport, click for the start point of the
stairs, and drag to the specify the radius you
want.
2. Release the mouse button, move the cursor up
or down to specify the overall rise, and click
to end.
3. Adjust the stairs with options in the Parameters
rollout.
Interface
Parameters rollout > Type group
Height—Controls the height of the railings from
the steps.
Offset—Controls the offset of the railings from the
ends of the steps.
Segments—Controls the number of segments
in the railings. Higher values display smoother
railings.
Open—Creates an open riser stair, as shown on the
left of the illustration above.
Spiral Stair
Closed—Creates a closed riser stair, as shown in
the center of the illustration above.
Layout group
Box—Creates a stair with closed risers and closed
stringers on both sides, as shown on the right of
the illustration above.
Generate Geometry group
CCW—Orients the spiral stairs to be a right-hand
flight of stairs.
CW—Orients the spiral stairs to be a left-hand
flight of stairs.
Stringers—Creates stringers along the ends of
the treads of the stairs. To modify the stringers’
depth, width, offset and spring from the floor, see
Stringers rollout (page 1–210).
Carriage—Creates an inclined, notched beam
under the treads which supports the steps or adds
support between the stringers of the stairs. You
might also know this as a carriage piece, a horse, or
a rough string. See Carriage rollout (page 1–211) to
modify the parameters.
Center Pole—Creates a pole at the center of the
spiral. See Center Pole rollout (page 1–211) to
modify the parameters of the pole.
Left: CCW (counterclockwise) right-hand spiral stairs. The
arrow indicates “Up.”
Right: CW (clockwise) left-hand spiral stairs. The arrow
indicates “Up.”
Radius—Controls the size of the radius of the
spiral.
Revs—Controls the number of revolutions in the
spiral.
Width—Controls the width of the spiral stairs.
Rise group
Handrail—Creates inside and outside handrails.
See Railings rollout (page 1–212) to modify the
handrails’ height, offset, number of segments, and
radius.
Rail Path—Creates inside and outside paths which
you can use to install railings on the stairs. See
Stairs (page 1–204) for the instructions on how to
do this.
Autodesk VIZ keeps one Rise option locked while
you adjust the other two. To lock an option, click
a pushpin button. To unlock an option, click a
raised pushpin. Autodesk VIZ locks the spinner
value of the parameter with the depressed pushpin
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Chapter 5: Creating Geometry
and allows the spinner values of the parameter
with the raised pushpins to change.
Overall—Controls the height of the flight of stairs.
Riser Ht—Controls the height of the risers.
Riser Ct—Controls the number of risers. There will
Step thickness variance between two stairs
always be one more riser than steps. This implied
riser is between the top step of the stair and the
upper floor.
Depth—Controls the depth of the steps.
Step depth variance between two stairs
Segs—Controls the number of segments
Autodesk VIZ uses to construct the steps.
Generate Mapping Coords—Applies default
mapping coordinates (page 3–647) to the stairs.
Note: If a visible viewport is set to a non-wireframe
Linear stair with five risers
1 through 4. Risers
5. The implied riser
6. The upper floor you snap to
7. The lower floor you snap to
8. The steps.
Steps group
Thickness—Controls the thickness of the steps.
or non-bounding-box display, Generate Mapping
Coordinates is on for all primitives to which you
apply a material containing a map with Show
Map In Viewport on. If all viewports are set to
wireframe or bounding box, Autodesk VIZ turns
on Generate Mapping Coordinates for primitives
containing mapped materials at render time.
Real-World Map Size—Controls the scaling method
used for texture mapped materials that are applied
to the object. The scaling values are controlled
by the Use Real-World Scale settings found in
the applied material’s Coordinates rollout (page
2–1224). Default=off.
Stringers rollout
These controls are available only when you turn
on Stringers on the Parameters rollout > Generate
Geometry group.
Spiral Stair
Depth—Controls how far down the stringers reach
toward the floor.
Width—Controls the width of the stringers.
Offset—Controls the vertical distance of the
stringers from the floor.
Spring from Floor—Controls whether the stringer
starts at the floor, flush with the start of the first
riser, or if the stringer extends below the floor. You
control the amount the stringer extends below the
floor with the Offset option.
Depth—Controls how far down the carriage
reaches toward the floor.
Width—Controls the width of the carriage.
Carriage Spacing—Sets the spacing of the carriage.
When you pick this button, the Carriage Spacing
dialog displays. Specify the number of carriages
you want using the Count option. For more
information on spacing options in this dialog, see
Spacing Tool (page 1–372).
Spring from Floor—Controls whether the carriage
starts at the floor, flush with the start of the first
riser, or if the carriage extends below the floor. You
control the amount the carriage extends below the
floor with the Offset option.
Left: The stringer extending below the floor. (Spring From Floor
turned off.)
Right: the stringer springing from the floor. (Spring From Floor
turned on.)
Carriage rollout
These controls are available only when you turn
on Carriage on the Parameters rollout > Generate
Geometry group.
Left: The carriage springing from the floor. (Spring From Floor
turned on.)
Right: The carriage extending below the floor. (Spring From
Floor turned off.)
Center Pole rollout
These controls are available only when you turn on
Center Pole on the Parameters rollout > Generate
Geometry group.
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Radius—Controls the radius size of the center pole.
Segments—Controls the number of segments in
the center pole. Higher values display a smoother
pole.
Height—Controls the height of the railings from
Height—The spinner controls the height of the
ends of the steps.
center pole. Turning on Height lets you adjust
the height of the pole independently of the stairs.
Turning off Height makes the spinner unavailable
and locks the top of the pole to the top of the
implied last riser. Typically, this riser would attach
to the fascia of a landing.
Segments—Controls the number of segments
the steps.
Offset—Controls the offset of the railings from the
in the railings. Higher values display smoother
railings.
Radius—Controls the thickness of the railings.
Straight Stair
Create panel > Geometry > Stairs > Straight Stair button
Create menu > AEC Objects > Straight Stair
Left: The center pole locked to the top of the implied last riser.
(Height turned off.)
The Straight Stair object lets you create a simple
staircase, with optional stringers, carriage, and
handrail.
Right: The center pole adjusted to the height you specify.
(Height turned on.)
Railings rollout
These controls are available only when you turn on
one or more of the Handrail or Rail Path options
on the Parameters rollout > Generate Geometry
group. Also, Segments and Radius aren’t available
if neither of the Handrail options is on.
Types of straight stair: open, closed, and boxed
Straight stairs have a single flight.
Straight Stair
Procedures
To create straight stairs:
1. In any viewport, drag to set the length. Release
the mouse button, then move the cursor and
click to set the width you want.
2. Move the cursor up or down to define the rise
of the stairs, and click to end.
3. Adjust the stairs with the options in the
Parameters rollout.
Interface
Parameters rollout > Type group
Carriage—Creates an inclined, notched beam
under the treads which supports the steps or adds
support between the stringers of the stairs. You
might also know this as a carriage piece, a horse, or
a rough string. See Carriage rollout (page 1–215) to
modify the parameters.
Handrail—Creates left and right handrails. See
Railings rollout (page 1–215) to modify the
handrails’ height, offset, number of segments, and
radius.
Rail Path—Creates left and right paths you can use
to install railings on the stairs. See Stairs (page
1–204) for the instructions on how to do this.
Layout group
Open—Creates an open riser stair as shown on the
left of the illustration above.
Closed—Creates a closed riser stair as shown in the
center of the illustration above.
Length—Controls the length of the stairs.
Width—Controls the width of the stairs.
Box—Creates a stair with closed risers and closed
stringers on both sides as shown on the right of the
illustration above.
Rise group
Generate Geometry group
Stringers—Creates stringers along the ends of
the treads of the stairs. To modify the stringers’
depth, width, offset and spring from the floor, see
Stringers rollout (page 1–214).
Autodesk VIZ keeps one Rise option locked while
you adjust the other two. To lock an option, you
click a push pin. To unlock an option you click a
raised push pin. Autodesk VIZ locks the spinner
value of the parameter with the depressed push
pin and allows the spinner values of the parameter
with the raised push pins to change.
Overall—Controls the height of the flight of stairs.
Riser Ht—Controls the height of the risers.
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Riser Ct—Controls the number of risers. There will
always be one more riser than steps. This implied
riser is between the top step of the stair and the
upper floor.
Step depth variance between two stairs
Generate Mapping Coords—Applies default
mapping coordinates (page 3–647) to the stairs.
Note: If a visible viewport is set to a non-wireframe
Linear stair with five risers
1 through 4. Risers
5. The implied riser
6. The upper floor you snap to
7. The lower floor you snap to
8. The steps.
or non-bounding-box display, Generate Mapping
Coordinates is on for all primitives to which you
apply a material containing a map with Show
Map In Viewport on. If all viewports are set to
wireframe or bounding box, Autodesk VIZ turns
on Generate Mapping Coordinates for primitives
containing mapped materials at render time.
Real-World Map Size—Controls the scaling method
used for texture mapped materials that are applied
to the object. The scaling values are controlled
by the Use Real-World Scale settings found in
the applied material’s Coordinates rollout (page
2–1224). Default=off.
Steps group
Stringers rollout
These controls are available only when you turn
on Stringers on the Parameters rollout > Generate
Geometry group.
Thickness—Controls the thickness of the steps.
Step thickness variance between two stairs
Depth—Controls the depth of the steps.
Depth—Controls how far down the stringers reach
toward the floor.
Width—Controls the width of the stringers.
Straight Stair
Offset—Controls the vertical distance of the
stringers from the floor.
Spring from Floor—Controls whether the stringer
information on spacing options in this dialog, see
Spacing Tool (page 1–372).
starts at the floor, flush with the start of the first
riser, or if the stringer extends below the floor. You
control the amount the stringer extends below the
floor with the Offset option.
Spring from Floor—Controls whether the carriage
starts at the floor, flush with the start of the first
riser, or if the carriage extends below the floor. You
control the amount the carriage extends below the
floor with the Offset option.
Left: The stringer extending below the floor. (Spring From Floor
off.)
Left: The carriage springing from the floor. (Spring From Floor
on.)
Right: The stringer springing from the floor. (Spring From Floor
on.)
Right: The carriage extending below the floor. (Spring From
Floor off.)
Carriage rollout
Railings rollout
These controls are available only when you turn
on Carriage on the Parameters rollout > Generate
Geometry group.
These controls are available only when you turn on
one or more of the Handrail or Rail Path options
on the Parameters rollout > Generate Geometry
group. Also, Segments and Radius aren’t available
if neither of the Handrail options is on.
Depth—Controls how far down the carriage
reaches toward the floor.
Width—Controls the width of the carriage.
Carriage Spacing—Sets the spacing of the carriage.
When you pick this button, the Carriage Spacing
dialog displays. Specify the number of carriages
you want using the Count option. For more
Height—Controls the height of the railings from
the steps.
Offset—Controls the offset of the railings from the
ends of the steps.
Segments—Controls the number of segments
in the railings. Higher values display smoother
railings.
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Chapter 5: Creating Geometry
Radius—Controls the thickness of the railings.
U-Type Stair
Open—Creates an open riser stair as shown on the
left in the illustration above.
Closed—Creates a closed riser stair as shown in the
center in the illustration above.
Create panel > Geometry > Stairs > U-Type Stair button
Box—Creates a stair with closed risers and closed
Create menu > AEC Objects > U-Type Stair
stringers on both sides as shown on the right in the
illustration above.
The U-Type Stair object lets you create a two-flight
staircase, with the two flights parallel to each other
and a landing between them.
Generate Geometry group
Types of U-type stair: open, closed, and boxed
U-type stairs have two flights in opposite directions, and a
landing.
Stringers—Creates stringers along the ends of
Procedure
To create U-Type stairs:
1. In any viewport, drag to set the length for the
first flight. Release the mouse button, then
move the cursor and click to set the width of
the landing, or the distance separating the two
flights.
2. Click and move the cursor up or down to define
the rise of the stairs, then click to end.
3. Adjust the stairs by using the options in the
Parameters rollout.
Interface
Parameters rollout > Type group
the treads of the stairs. To modify the stringers’
depth, width, offset and spring from the floor, see
Stringers rollout (page 1–218).
Carriage—Creates an inclined, notched beam
under the treads which supports the steps or adds
support between the stringers of the stairs. You
might also know this as a carriage piece, a horse,
or a roughstring. See Carriage rollout (page 1–218)
to modify the parameters.
Handrail—Creates left and right handrails. See
Railings rollout (page 1–219) to modify the
handrails’ height, offset, number of segments, and
radius.
Rail Path—Creates left and right paths you can use
to install railings on the stairs. See Stairs (page
1–204) for the instructions on how to do this.
U-Type Stair
Layout group
Riser Ct—Controls the number of risers. There will
always be one more riser than steps. This implied
riser is between the top step of the stair and the
upper floor.
Left/Right—Controls the position of the two flights
(Length 1 and Length 2) relative to each other.
If you select left, then the second flight is on the
left from the landing. If you select right, then the
second flight is the right from the landing.
Length 1—Controls the length of the first flight of
stairs.
Linear stair with five risers
Length 2—Controls the length of the second flight
1 through 4. Risers
of stairs.
5. The implied riser
Width—Controls the width of the stairs, including
the steps and the landing.
6. The upper floor you snap to
7. The lower floor you snap to
8. The steps.
Offset—Controls the distance separating the two
flights and thus the length of the landing.
Steps group
Rise group
Thickness—Controls the thickness of the steps.
Autodesk VIZ keeps one Rise option locked while
you adjust the other two. To lock an option, you
click a push pin. To unlock an option you click a
raised push pin. Autodesk VIZ locks the spinner
value of the parameter with the depressed push
pin and allows the spinner values of the parameter
with the raised push pins to change.
Overall—Controls the height of the flight of stairs.
Riser Ht—Controls the height of the risers.
Step thickness variance between two stairs
Depth—Controls the depth of the steps.
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Chapter 5: Creating Geometry
Offset—Controls the vertical distance of the
stringers from the floor.
Step depth variance between two stairs
Generate Mapping Coords—Applies default
Spring from Floor—Controls whether the stringer
starts at the floor, flush with the start of the first
riser, or if the stringer extends below the floor. You
control the amount the stringer extends below the
floor with the Offset option.
mapping coordinates (page 3–647) to the stairs.
Note: If a visible viewport is set to a non-wireframe
or non-bounding-box display, Generate Mapping
Coordinates is on for all primitives to which you
apply a material containing a map with Show
Map In Viewport on. If all viewports are set to
wireframe or bounding box, Autodesk VIZ turns
on Generate Mapping Coordinates for primitives
containing mapped materials at render time.
Real-World Map Size—Controls the scaling method
used for texture mapped materials that are applied
to the object. The scaling values are controlled
by the Use Real-World Scale settings found in
the applied material’s Coordinates rollout (page
2–1224). Default=off.
Left: The stringer extending below the floor. (Spring From Floor
off.)
Right: The stringer springing from the floor. (Spring From Floor
on.)
Carriage rollout
These controls are available only when you turn
on Carriage on the Parameters rollout > Generate
Geometry group.
Stringers rollout
These controls are available only when you turn
on Stringers on the Parameters rollout > Generate
Geometry group.
Depth—Controls how far down the carriage
reaches toward the floor.
Width—Controls the width of the carriage.
Carriage Spacing—Sets the spacing of the carriage.
Depth—Controls how far down the stringers reach
toward the floor.
Width—Controls the width of the stringers.
When you pick this button, the Carriage Spacing
dialog displays. Specify the number of carriages
you want using the Count option. For more
Doors
information on spacing options in this dialog, see
Spacing Tool (page 1–372).
Spring from Floor—Controls whether the carriage
starts at the floor, flush with the start of the first
riser, or if the carriage extends below the floor. You
control the amount the carriage extends below the
floor with the Offset option.
Radius—Controls the thickness of the railings.
Doors
Create panel > Geometry > Doors
Create menu > AEC Objects
Left: The carriage springing from the floor. (Spring From Floor
on.)
The door models provided let you control details
of a door’s appearance. You can also set the door
to be open, partially open, or closed and you can
animate the opening.
Right: The carriage extending below the floor. (Spring From
Floor off.)
Railings rollout
These controls are available only when you turn on
one or more of the Handrail or Rail Path options
on the Parameters rollout > Generate Geometry
group. Also, Segments and Radius aren’t available
if neither of the Handrail options is on.
Different door types in a model of a house
Height—Controls the height of the railings from
the steps.
Offset—Controls the offset of the railings from the
ends of the steps.
Segments—Controls the number of segments
in the railings. Higher values display smoother
railings.
There are three kinds of doors. The Pivot door
(page 1–224) is the familiar door that is hinged
on one side only. The Bifold door (page 1–225) is
hinged in the middle as well as the side, like many
closet doors. You can also make these kinds of
doors a set of double doors. The Sliding door (page
1–225) has a fixed half and a sliding half.
The topic for each kind of door describes its unique
controls and behavior. Most door parameters are
common to all kinds of doors, and are described
here.
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Doors and Materials
By default, Autodesk VIZ assigns five different
material IDs to doors. The aectemplates.mat
material library includes Door-Template, a
multi/sub-object material designed to be used with
doors. Each component of the door/material is
listed below along with its corresponding Material
ID.
Material ID
Door/Material Component
1
Front
2
Back
3
Inner Bevel (used for glazing when
Panels set to Glass or Beveled).
4
Frame
5
Inner Door
Note: Autodesk VIZ does not automatically assign
a material to the door object. To use the included
material, open the library and then assign the
material to your object.
Making an Opening for a Door
To make an opening in a wall, you can perform a
Boolean operation (page 1–300) with the wall as
Operand A, and another object, such as a box, as
Operand B. Then, you can create and add a door
in the opening, and link (page 2–745) it, if you
choose, as a child of the wall.
on Allow Non-vertical Jambs if you want an
inclined door.
3. Drag the mouse in the viewport to create the
first two points, defining the width and angle
of the base of the door.
4. Release the mouse and move to adjust the depth
of the door (default creation method), and then
click to set.
By default, the depth is perpendicular to the
line between the first two points and parallel
to the active grid.
5. Move the mouse to adjust the height, and then
click to finish.
The height is perpendicular to the plane defined
by the first three points and perpendicular to
the active grid.
You can adjust the Height, Width, and Depth
values on the Parameters rollout.
On the Creation Method rollout, you can change
the creation order to width-height-depth instead
of width-depth-height.
To create a door material:
1. Create a door or select an existing door.
2. Open the Material Editor, and select a slot for
the material.
3. Click the Type button below the Material Editor
Note: Using snaps, you can insert a door in a wall
toolbar.
object, automatically linking the two and creating
a cutout for the door. See the procedure To create
and place a window or door in a wall: (page 1–199).
The Material/Map Browser dialog opens.
Procedures
To create a door:
1. On the Object Type rollout, click the button for
the type of door you want to create.
2. Choose options as needed, such as changing
the default creation method. Turn off Create
Frame to eliminate the door frame. Turn
4. In the Material list, double-click the
Multi/Sub-Object item, and then on the
Replace Material dialog that appears, choose
either option and click OK.
5. On the Multi/Sub-Object Basic Parameters
rollout, click Set Number and change Number
Of Materials to 5. Click OK.
6. Optionally, change the sub-material names to
those specified in the above table.
Doors
7. Edit the material as you would any
Multi/Sub-Object material.
of door to make a set of double doors. See BiFold
Door (page 1–225).
To animate a door:
Name and Color rollout
You can animate a door opening and closing by
keyframing the Open setting.
See Object Name and Wireframe Color (page
3–443).
1. Create a door or select an existing door.
If using an existing door, also access the Modify
panel.
Creation Method rollout
2. Set the Parameters rollout > Open parameter
to the amount you want the door to be open at
the start of the animation. If you want it to be
closed, set it to 0.
3. Click the Auto Key button and advance to the
first keyframe.
4. Change the Open setting.
5. Continue moving to any additional keyframes
and changing the Open setting as necessary.
6. Play the animation.
Interface
The topic for each kind of door describes its unique
controls and behavior. Most door parameters are
common to all kinds of doors, and are described
here.
Object Type rollout
There are three kinds of doors in Autodesk VIZ:
Pivot—The familiar door type that is hinged on
one side only. See Pivot Door (page 1–224).
Sliding—Has a fixed half and a sliding half. See
Sliding Door (page 1–225).
BiFold—Hinged in the middle as well as the side,
like many closet doors. You can also use this type
You define each type of door with four points:
Drag the first two, followed by two move-click
sequences. The Creation Method setting
determines the order in which these actions define
the door’s dimensions.
Width/Depth/Height—The first two points define
the width and angle of the base of the door. You
set these points by dragging in a viewport, as the
first step in creating a door. The first point, where
you click and hold before dragging, defines a
point on the jamb at the hinge for single-pivot and
bifold doors (both jambs have hinges on double
doors, and sliding doors have no hinge). The
second point, where you release the button after
dragging, specifies the width of the door, as well as
the direction from one jamb to the other. This lets
you align the door with a wall or opening when
you place it. The third point, where you click after
moving the mouse, specifies the depth of the door,
and the fourth click, where you click after moving
the mouse again, specifies the height.
Width/Height/Depth—Works like the
Width/Depth/Height option, except that
the last two points create first the height and then
the depth.
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Note: With this method, the depth is perpendicular
to the plane set by the first three points. Thus,
if you draw the door in the Top or Perspective
viewport, the door lies flat on the active grid.
Allow Non-vertical Jambs—Lets you create tilted
doors. Set snaps (page 2–625) to define points off
the construction plane. Default=off.
Parameters rollout
Frame group
This rollout has controls for the door-jamb frame.
Though part of the door object, the frame behaves
as if it were part of the wall. It doesn’t move when
you open or close the door.
Create Frame—This is turned on as a default to
display the frame. Turn this off to disable display
of the frame.
Width—Sets the width of the frame parallel to the
wall. Available only when Create Frame is on.
Depth—Sets the depth of the frame as it projects
from the wall. Available only when Create Frame
is on.
Door Offset—Sets the location of the door relative
to the frame. At 0.0, the door is flush with one
edge of the trim. Note that this can be a positive or
negative value. Available only when Create Frame
is on.
Generate Mapping Coords—Assigns mapping
coordinates to the door.
Real-World Map Size—Controls the scaling method
used for texture mapped materials that are applied
to the object. The scaling values are controlled
by the Use Real-World Scale settings found in
the applied material’s Coordinates rollout (page
2–1224). Default=off.
Height—Sets the overall height of the door unit.
Width—Sets the overall width of the door unit.
Depth—Sets the depth of the door unit.
Open—With Pivot doors, specifies in degrees the
extent to which the door is open. With Sliding and
BiFold doors, Open specifies the percent that the
door is open.
Doors
Leaf Parameters rollout
Bottom Rail—Sets the width of the panel framing at
the base of the door. This setting is apparent only
if the door is paneled.
# Panels Horiz.—Sets the number of panel divisions
along the horizontal axis.
# Panels Vert.—Sets the number of panel divisions
along the vertical axis.
Muntin—Sets the width of the separations between
the panels.
Panels group
Determines how panels are created in the door.
None—The door has no paneling.
Glass—Creates glass panels with no beveling.
Thickness—Sets the thickness of the glass panels.
Beveled—Choose this to have beveled panels.
The remaining spinners affect the beveling of the
panels.
Bevel Angle—Specifies the angle of the bevel
between the outer surface of the door and the
surface of the panel.
Provides controls that affect the door itself (as
opposed to the door unit, which includes the
frame). You can adjust the dimensions of the
door, add panels, and adjust the dimensions and
placement of those panels. The total number of
panels for each door element is the number of
horizontal divisions times the number of vertical
divisions. Pivot doors have a single door element
unless they are double doors. BiFold doors have
two door elements, or four if they are double
doors. Sliding doors have two door elements.
Thickness—Sets the thickness of the door.
Stiles/Top Rail—Sets the width of the panel framing
on the top and sides. This setting is apparent only
if the door is paneled.
Thickness 1—Sets the outer thickness of the panel.
Thickness 2—Sets the thickness where the bevel
begins.
Middle Thick.—Sets the thickness of the inner part
of the panel.
Width 1—Sets the width where the bevel begins.
Width 2—Sets the width of the inner part of the
panel.
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Pivot Door
Interface
Parameters rollout
Create panel > Geometry > Doors > Pivot button
Create menu > AEC Objects > Pivot Door
The Pivot door is hinged on one side only. You can
also make the door a double door, with two door
elements, each hinged on its outer edge.
Single and double pivot doors
This topic describes only controls and behavior
unique to the Pivot door. Most door parameters
are common to all kinds of doors; see Doors (page
1–219).
The Parameters rollout contains three check boxes
specific to Pivot doors.
Double Doors—Makes a double door.
Flip Swing—Changes the direction the door
swings.
Flip Hinge—Places the door hinges on the opposite
side of the door. This option is unavailable for
double doors.
Sliding Door
Sliding Door
Interface
Parameters rollout
Create panel > Geometry > Doors > Sliding button
Create menu > AEC Objects > Sliding Door
The Sliding door slides as if on a track or railing.
It has two door elements: one remains stationary
while the other moves.
Sliding doors with different numbers of panels
This topic describes only controls and behavior
unique to the Sliding door. Most door parameters
are common to all kinds of doors; see Doors (page
1–219).
Flip Front Back—Changes which element is in front,
compared to the default.
Flip Side— Changes the current sliding element to
the stationary element, and vice versa.
BiFold Door
Create panel > Geometry > Doors > BiFold button
Create menu > AEC Objects > BiFold Door
The BiFold door is hinged in the middle as well
as on the side. It has two door elements. You can
also make the door a double door, with four door
elements.
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The Parameters rollout contains three check boxes
specific to BiFold doors.
Double Doors—Makes the door a double door,
with four door elements, meeting in the center.
Flip Swing—Makes the door swing in the opposite
direction from the default.
Flip Hinge—Makes the door hinged on the opposite
side from the default. Flip Hinge is unavailable
when Double Doors is on.
Single and double bifold doors
This topic describes only controls and behavior
unique to the BiFold door. Most door parameters
are common to all kinds of doors; see Doors (page
1–219).
Windows
Create panel > Geometry > Windows
Create menu > AEC Objects
Interface
Parameters rollout
The window object lets you control details of a
window’s appearance. You can also set the window
to be open, partially open, or closed, and you can
animate the opening over time.
Different types of windows in a model of a house
Autodesk VIZ offers six kinds of windows:
• The Casement window (page 1–231) has one
or two door-like sashes that swing inward or
outward.
Windows
• The Pivoted window (page 1–233) pivots
at the center of its sash, either vertically or
horizontally.
• The Projected window (page 1–234) has three
sashes, two of which open like awnings in
opposite directions.
• The Sliding window (page 1–235) has two
sashes, one of which slides either vertically or
horizontally.
• The Fixed window (page 1–232) doesn’t open.
• The Awning window (page 1–230) has a sash
that is hinged at the top.
window in the opening, and link (page 2–745) it, if
you choose, as a child of the wall.
Note: Using snaps, you can insert a window
in a wall object, automatically linking the two
and creating a cutout for the window. See the
procedure To create and place a window or door
in a wall: (page 1–199).
Procedures
To create a window:
1. On the Object Type rollout, click the button for
the type of window you want to create.
2. Choose options as needed, such as changing
Windows and Materials
By default, Autodesk VIZ assigns five different
material IDs to windows. The aectemplates.mat
material library includes Window-Template,
a multi/sub-object material designed to be
used with windows. Each component of the
window/material is listed below along with its
corresponding Material ID.
the default creation method. Turn on Allow
Non-vertical Jambs if you want an inclined
window.
3. Drag the mouse in the viewport to create the
first two points, defining the width and angle of
the base of the window.
4. Release the mouse and move to adjust the depth
of the window (default creation method), and
then click to set.
Material ID
Window/Material Component
1
Front Rails
2
Back Rails
3
Panels (glazing), with 50% opacity
4
Front Frame
click to finish.
5
Back Frame
The height is perpendicular to the plane defined
by the first three points and perpendicular to
the active grid.
Note: Autodesk VIZ does not automatically assign
a material to the window object. To use the
included material, open the library and then assign
the material to your object.
Making an Opening for a Window
To make an opening in a wall, you can perform a
Boolean operation (page 1–300) with the wall as
Operand A, and another object, such as a box,
as Operand B. Then, you can create and add a
By default, the depth is perpendicular to the
line between the first two points and parallel
to the active grid.
5. Move the mouse to adjust the height, and then
You can adjust the height, width, and depth
values on the Parameters rollout.
In the Creation Method rollout, you can change
the creation order to width-height-depth instead
of width-depth-height.
To create a window material:
1. Create a window or select an existing window.
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2. Open the Material Editor, and select a slot for
the material.
3. Click the Type button below the Material Editor
toolbar.
each window type describes its unique controls
and behavior.
Object Type rollout
The Material/Map Browser dialog opens.
4. In the Material list, double-click the
Multi/Sub-Object item, and then on the
Replace Material dialog that appears, choose
either option and click OK.
5. On the Multi/Sub-Object Basic Parameters
rollout, click Set Number and change Number
Of Materials to 5. Click OK.
6. Optionally, change the sub-material names to
those specified in the above table.
7. Edit the material as you would any
Multi/Sub-Object material.
Six types of window are available in Autodesk VIZ:
Awning—Has a sash that is hinged at the top. See
Awning (page 1–230).
Casement—Has one or two door-like sashes that
swing inward or outward. See Casement (page
1–231).
Fixed—Doesn’t open. See Fixed (page 1–232).
To animate a window:
You can animate a window opening and closing by
keyframing the Open setting.
1. Create a window or select an existing window.
2. If using an existing window, also access the
Modify panel.
3. Set the Parameters rollout > Open parameter to
the amount you want the window to be open at
the start of the animation. If you want it to be
closed, set it to 0.
4. Click the Auto Key button (page 3–405) to turn
Pivoted—Pivots at the center of its sash, either
vertically or horizontally. See Pivoted (page 1–233).
Projected—Has three sashes, two of which open
like awnings in opposite directions. See Projected
(page 1–234).
Sliding—Has two sashes, one of which slides
vertically or horizontally. See Sliding (page 1–235).
Name and Color rollout
See Object Name and Wireframe Color (page
3–443).
it on, and advance to the first keyframe.
5. Change the Open setting.
Creation Method rollout
6. Continue moving to any additional keyframes
and changing the Open setting as necessary.
7. Play the animation.
Interface
Most window parameters are common to all kinds
of windows, and are described here. The topic for
You define each type of window with four points:
Drag the first two, followed by two move-click
Windows
sequences. The Creation Method setting
determines the order in which these actions define
the window’s dimensions.
Parameters rollout
Width/Depth/Height—The first two points define
the width and angle of the base of the window. You
set these points by dragging in a viewport, as the
first step in creating a window. This lets you align
the window with a wall or opening when you place
it. The third point, where you click after moving
the mouse, specifies the depth of the window, and
the fourth click, where you click after moving the
mouse again, specifies the height.
Width/Height/Depth—Works like the
Width/Depth/Height option, except that
the last two points create first the height and then
the depth.
Note: With this method, the depth is perpendicular
to the plane set by the first three points. Thus, if
you draw the window in the Top or Perspective
viewport, the door lies flat on the active grid.
Allow Non-vertical Jambs—Select to create tilted
windows. Set snaps (page 2–625) to define points
off the construction plane. Default=off.
Height/Width/Depth—Specifies the overall
dimensions of the window.
Frame group
Horiz. Width—Sets the width of the horizontal part
of the window frame (at the top and bottom).
This setting also affects the glazed portion of the
window’s width.
Vert. Width—Sets the width of the vertical part of
the window frame (at the sides). This setting also
affects the glazed portion of the window’s height.
Thickness—Sets the thickness of the frame. This
also controls the thickness of casements or railings
on the window’s sashes.
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Glazing group
Interface
Thickness—Specifies the thickness of the glass.
Parameters rollout
Generate Mapping Coordinates—Creates the object
with the appropriate mapping coordinates (page
3–647) already applied.
Real-World Map Size—Controls the scaling method
used for texture mapped materials that are applied
to the object. The scaling values are controlled
by the Use Real-World Scale settings found in
the applied material’s Coordinates rollout (page
2–1224). Default=off.
Awning Window
Create panel > Geometry > Windows > Awning button
Create menu > AEC Objects > Awning Window
The Awning window has one or more sashes that
are hinged at the top.
The topic for each kind of window describes its
unique controls and behavior. Some window
parameters are common to all kinds of windows;
see Windows (page 1–226).
Rails and Panels group
Awning window
Width—Sets the width (depth) of the rails in the
sashes.
Panel Count—Sets the number of sashes in the
window. If you use more than one sash, each is
hinged at its top edge. Range=1 to 10.
Casement Window
Open Window group
Interface
Open—Specifies the percent the window is open.
This control is animatable.
Parameters rollout
Casement Window
Create panel > Geometry > Windows > Casement button
Create menu > AEC Objects > Casement Window
The Casement window has one or two sashes that
are hinged on the side, like a door.
Casement window
The topic for each kind of window describes its
unique controls and behavior. Some window
parameters are common to all kinds of windows;
see Windows (page 1–226).
Casements group
Panel Width—Changes the size of the glazed panel
within each sash.
One/Two—Specifies the number of window panels:
one or two. Using two panels creates a window like
a double door; each panel is hinged on its outside
side edge.
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Open Window group
Interface
Open—Specifies the percent that the window is
open. This control is animatable.
Flip Swing—Turn this on to have the sashes open in
the opposite direction.
Fixed Window
Create panel > Geometry > Windows > Fixed button
Create menu > AEC Objects > Fixed Window
Fixed windows do not open, thus have no Open
Window control. In addition to the standard
window object parameters, the Fixed window
provides the Rails And Panels group of settings for
subdividing the window.
Parameters rollout
Fixed windows
The topic for each kind of window describes its
unique controls and behavior. Some window
parameters are common to all kinds of windows;
see Windows (page 1–226).
Rails and Panels group
Width—Sets the width (depth) of the rails in the
sashes.
# Panels Horiz—Sets the number of horizontal
divisions in the window.
# Panels Vert—Sets the number of vertical divisions
in the window.
Pivoted Window
Chamfered Profile—Chamfers the rails between
Interface
the glazed panels, as in a conventional wooden
window. When Chamfered Profile is off, the rails
have a rectangular profile.
Parameters rollout
Pivoted Window
Create panel > Geometry > Windows > Pivoted button
Create menu > AEC Objects > Pivoted Window
A pivoted window has one sash only, hinged
midway through the side of the sash. It can swing
open either vertically or horizontally.
Pivoted windows
The topic for each kind of Window describes its
unique controls and behavior. Most Window
parameters are common to all kinds of Windows;
see Windows (page 1–226).
Rails group
Width—Sets the width of the rails in the sash.
Pivots group
Vertical Rotation—Switches the pivot axis from
horizontal to vertical.
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Open Window group
Interface
Open—Specifies the percent that the window is
open. This control is animatable.
Parameters rollout
Projected Window
Create panel > Geometry > Windows > Projected button
Create menu > AEC Objects > Projected Window
Projected windows have three sashes: The top
sash doesn’t move, while the bottom two sashes
swing open like awning windows, but in opposite
directions.
Projected window
The topic for each kind of window describes its
unique controls and behavior. Some window
parameters are common to all kinds of windows;
see Windows (page 1–226).
Rails and Panels group
Width—Sets the width (depth) of the rails in the
sashes.
Middle Height—Sets the height of the middle sash,
relative to the window’s frame.
Bottom Height—Sets the height of the bottom sash,
relative to the window’s frame.
Sliding Window
Open Window group
Interface
Open—Specifies the percent that the two movable
sashes are open. This control is animatable.
Parameters rollout
Sliding Window
Create panel > Geometry > Windows > Sliding button
Create menu > AEC Objects > Sliding Window
Sliding windows have two sashes: one fixed,
one movable. The sliding part can move either
vertically or horizontally.
Sliding windows
The topic for each kind of Window describes its
unique controls and behavior. Most Window
parameters are common to all kinds of Windows;
see Windows (page 1–226).
Rails and Panels group
Rail Width—Sets the width of the rails in the sash.
# Panels Horiz—Sets the number of horizontal
divisions in each sash.
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# Panels Vert—Sets the number of vertical divisions
in each sash.
Chamfered Profile—Chamfers the rails between
the glazed panels, as in a conventional wooden
window. When Chamfered Profile is off, the rails
have a rectangular profile.
Open Window group
Hung—When on, the window slides vertically.
The program supplies 11 basic spline shape
objects, two types of NURBS curves, and five
extended splines. You can quickly create these
shapes using mouse or keyboard entry and
combine them to form compound shapes. See
Splines and Extended Splines (page 1–239) for
information about the methods and parameters
used to create these shapes.
Creating Shapes
When off, the window slides horizontally.
Open— Specifies the percent that the window is
open. This control is animatable.
Shapes
Create panel > Shapes
Create menu > Shapes
A shape is an object made from one or more
curved or straight lines.
Autodesk VIZ includes the following shape types:
Splines and Extended Splines (page 1–239)
NURBS Curves (page 2–451)
Using Shapes
Shapes are 2D and 3D lines and groups of lines that
you typically use as components of other objects.
Most of the default shapes are made from splines.
You use these spline shapes to do the following:
To access the shape creation tools, go to the
Create panel and click the Shapes button. You’ll
find the standard shapes under Splines in the
category list, Point Curve and CV Curve under
NURBS curves, and WRectangle, Channel, Angle,
Tee, and Wide Flange under Extended Splines.
As you add plug-ins, other shape categories might
appear in this list.
The Object Type rollout contains the spline
creation buttons. You can combine one or more of
these spline types into a single shape.
Create Shape from Edges
You can create shapes from edge selections in
mesh objects. In Edit/Editable Mesh objects, at the
Edge selection level, in the Edit Geometry rollout,
is a button called Create Shape from Edges that
creates a spline shape based on selected edges. See
Editable Mesh (Edge) (page 2–352). Similarly, with
Editable Poly objects, you can use the Create Shape
button at the Edge selection level. See Editable Poly
(Edge) (page 2–381)
• Generate planar and thin 3D surfaces
Editable Splines
• Define loft components such as paths, shapes,
and fit curves
You can convert a basic spline to an editable spline
object (page 1–262). The editable spline has a
variety of controls that let you directly manipulate
it and its sub-objects. For example, at the Vertex
sub-object level you can move vertices or adjust
their Bezier handles. Editable splines let you create
• Generate surfaces of revolution
• Generate extrusions
• Define motion paths
Shapes
shapes that are less regular, more free-form than
the basic spline options.
3. If you plan to assign a mapped material to the
spline, turn on Generate Mapping Coords.
When you convert a spline to an editable
spline, you lose the ability to adjust its creation
parameters.
When Enable in Renderer is on, the shape is
rendered using a circle as a cross section. Mapping
coordinates are generated with U mapped once
around the perimeter, and V mapped once along
the length.
Renderable Shapes
When you use a shape to create a 3D object by
lofting, extruding, or other means, the shape
becomes a renderable 3D object. However, you
can make a shape render without making it into a
3D object. There are three basic steps to rendering
a shape:
1. On the Rendering rollout of the shape’s creation
parameters, turn on Enable In Renderer.
2. Specify the thickness for the spline using the
Thickness spinner in the Rendering rollout.
The software provides more control over
renderable shapes; viewports, including wireframe
viewports, can display the geometry of renderable
shapes. The rendering parameters for shapes
appear in their own rollout.
The Steps settings affect the number of cross
sections in the renderable shape.
Please observe the following:
• When you apply a modifier that converts a
shape into a mesh (such as Extrude (page
2–117) or Lathe (page 2–132)), the object
automatically becomes renderable, regardless
of the state of the Enable in Renderer check box.
You need to turn on the Enable in Renderer
check box only when you want to render an
unmodified spline shape in the scene.
• As with all objects, a shape’s layer must be on
for the shape to render. See Layer Properties
(page 3–329).
• The Object Properties dialog (page 1–109) also
has a Renderable check box, which is turned on
by default. Both this check box and the General
rollout > Renderable check box must be turned
on in order to render a shape.
Shapes as Planar Objects
A straightforward usage for shapes is 2D cutouts or
planar objects. Examples include ground planes,
text for signs, and cutout billboards. You create a
planar object by applying an Edit Mesh modifier
(page 2–74) to a closed shape, or by converting it
to an editable mesh object (page 2–342).
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2D objects
You can also apply an Edit Mesh modifier to a 3D
shape (for example, a shape whose vertices have
been moved vertically away from the construction
plane by different amounts) to create a curved
surface. The resulting 3D surface often requires
manual editing of faces and edges to smooth
surface ridges.
Initial text shape with extruded shape below
Extruded and Lathed Shapes
You can apply modifiers to a shape to create a 3D
object. Two of these modifiers are Extrude and
Lathe. Extrude (page 2–117) creates a 3D object
by adding height to a shape. Lathe (page 2–132)
creates a 3D object by rotating a shape about an
axis.
Lathed object with initial shape on right
Lofting Shapes
You create Lofts (page 1–313) by combining two
or more splines in special ways. Shapes form the
lofting path, loft cross-sections, and loft fit curves.
Shapes as Animation Paths
You can use shapes to define the position of an
animated object. You create a shape and use it to
define a path that some other object follows.
Some possible ways for a shape to control animated
position are:
Shape Check Utility
• You can use a Path constraint (page 2–722) to
use a shape to control object motion.
• You can convert a shape into position keys using
the Motion panel > Trajectories > Convert
From function (see Trajectories (page 2–668)).
See also
Edit Modifiers and Editable Objects (page 2–34)
Modifying at the Sub-Object Level (page 2–35)
Modifier Stack Controls (page 3–446)
Intersection points highlighted by Shape Check
Shape Check Utility
Utilities panel > Utilities rollout > More button Utilities
dialog > Shape Check
The Shape Check utility tests spline and
NURBS-based shapes and curves for
self-intersection and graphically displays
any instances of intersecting segments.
Self-intersecting shapes used to produce lathed,
extruded, lofted, or other 3D objects can result in
rendering errors.
The utility is "sticky" in that once you’ve picked
a shape object for it to check, you can pan/zoom
viewports and it will continually display the
locations of intersecting curves in the shape you
pick.
Interface
Pick Object—Click this button, and then click the
shape for the utility to check. You can pick only
spline- and NURBS-based shapes and curves.
Points of intersection discovered by the utility are
highlighted with red boxes. The text below the
button indicates whether any points of intersection
occur.
Close—Closes the utility.
Splines
Create panel > Shapes > Splines
Create menu > Shapes
Create panel > Shapes > Extended Splines
Splines include the following object types:
Line Spline (page 1–244)
Rectangle Spline (page 1–246)
Circle Spline (page 1–246)
Ellipse Spline (page 1–247)
Arc Spline (page 1–248)
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Donut Spline (page 1–249)
NGon Spline (page 1–250)
Star Spline (page 1–251)
Text Spline (page 1–252)
Helix Spline (page 1–254)
Section Spline (page 1–255)
Extended Splines include the following object
types:
WRectangle Spline (page 1–257)
Channel Spline (page 1–258)
Angle Spline (page 1–259)
Tee Spline (page 1–261)
Wide Flange Spline (page 1–261)
This topic covers aspects of spline and extended
spline creation that are common to all spline
object types, including the parameters available
in the General rollout. For parameters unique to
a particular spline or extended spline type, see its
section by clicking the appropriate link above.
• You can go back and change the parameters
of a shape containing a single spline after the
shape is created.
• You can create a compound shape by adding
splines to a shape: Select the shape, turn off
Start New Shape, and then create more splines.
• You cannot change the parameters of a
compound shape. For example, create a
compound shape by creating a circle and then
adding an arc. Once you create the arc, you
cannot change the circle parameters.
To create a spline using keyboard entry:
1. Click a spline creation button.
2. Expand the Keyboard Entry rollout.
3. Enter X, Y, and Z values for the first point.
4. Enter values in any remaining parameter fields.
5. Click Create.
Interface
Object Type rollout (Splines and Extended
Splines)
Procedures
To control starting a new shape manually:
1. On the Create panel, turn off the check box
next to the Start New Shape button.
2. Click the Start New Shape button.
AutoGrid—Lets you automatically create objects
3. Begin creating splines.
on the surface of other objects by generating and
activating a temporary construction plane based
on normals of the face that you click.
Each spline is added to the compound shape.
You can tell you are creating a compound shape
because all the splines remain selected.
4. Click Start New Shape to complete the current
shape and prepare to start another.
Issues to remember about creating shapes:
For more information, see AutoGrid (page 2–603).
Start New Shape—A shape can contain a single
spline or it can be a compound shape containing
multiple splines. You control how many splines are
in a shape using the Start New Shape button and
check box on the Object Type rollout. The check
box next to the Start New Shape button determines
Splines and Extended Splines
when new shapes are created. When the box is on,
the program creates a new shape object for every
spline you create. When the box is off, splines are
added to the current shape until you click the Start
New Shape button.
Shape Selection buttons—Lets you specify the type
of shape to create.
Name and Color rollout
Lets you name an object and assign it a viewport
color. For details, see Object Name and Wireframe
Color (page 3–443).
Rendering rollout
You can convert the displayed mesh into a mesh
object by applying an Edit Mesh or Edit Poly
modifier or converting to an editable mesh or
editable poly object. If Enable In Viewport is off
when converting, closed shapes will be “filled
in” and open shapes will contain only vertices;
no edges or faces. If Enable In Viewport is on
when converting, the system will use the Viewport
settings for this mesh conversion. This gives
maximum flexibility, and will always give the
conversion of the mesh displayed in the viewports.
Enable In Renderer—When on, the shape is
rendered as a 3D mesh using the Radial or
Rectangular parameters set for Renderer. In
previous versions of the program, the Renderable
switch performed the same operation.
Enable In Viewport—When on, the shape is
displayed in the viewport as a 3D mesh using the
Radial or Rectangular parameters set for Renderer.
In previous versions of the program, the Display
Render Mesh performed the same operation.
Use Viewport settings—Lets you set different
rendering parameters, and displays the mesh
generated by the Viewport settings. Available only
when Enable in Viewport is turned on.
Generate Mapping Coords—Turn this on to apply
mapping coordinates. Default=off.
Autodesk VIZ generates the mapping coordinates
in the U and V dimensions. The U coordinate
wraps once around the spline; the V coordinate is
mapped once along its length. Tiling is achieved
using the Tiling parameters in the applied material.
For more information, see Mapping Coordinates
(page 2–1026).
Lets you turn on and off the renderability of a
spline or NURBS curve, specify its thickness in the
rendered scene, and apply mapping coordinates.
Real-World Map Size—Controls the scaling method
used for texture mapped materials that are applied
to the object. The scaling values are controlled
by the Use Real-World Scale settings found in
the applied material’s Coordinates rollout (page
2–1224). Default=off.
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Viewport—Choose this to specify Radial or
Rectangular parameters for the shape as it will
display in the viewports when Enable In Viewport
is on.
Angle—Adjusts the rotational position of the
cross-section in the viewport or renderer. For
example, if you have a square cross-section you
can use Angle to position a "flat" side down.
Renderer—Choose this on to specify Radial or
Aspect—Sets the aspect ratio for rectangular
Rectangular parameters for the shape as it will
display when rendered or viewed in the viewport
when Enable in Viewport is turned on.
cross-sections. The Lock check box lets you lock
the aspect ratio. When Lock is turned on, Width is
locked to Length that results in a constant ratio of
Width to Length.
Radial—Displays the 3D mesh as a cylindrical
object.
Thickness—Specifies the diameter of the viewport
or rendered spline mesh. Default=1.0. Range=0.0
to 100,000,000.0.
Auto Smooth—If Auto Smooth is turned on, the
spline is auto-smoothed using the threshold
specified by the Threshold setting below it. Auto
Smooth sets the smoothing based on the angle
between spline segments. Any two adjacent
segments are put in the same smoothing group if
the angle between them is less than the threshold
angle.
Note: Turning Auto Smooth on for every situation
does not always give you the best smoothing
quality. Altering the Threshold angle may be
necessary or turning Auto Smooth off may
produce the best results.
Splines rendered at thickness of 1.0 and 5.0, respectively
Sides—Sets the number of sides (or facets) for
the spline mesh n the viewport or renderer. For
example, a value of 4 results in a square cross
section.
Threshold—Specifies the threshold angle in
degrees. Any two adjacent spline segments are put
in the same smoothing group if the angle between
them is less than the threshold angle.
Interpolation rollout
Angle—Adjusts the rotational position of the
cross-section in the viewport or renderer. For
example, if the spline mesh has a square cross
section you can use Angle to position a "flat" side
down.
Rectangular—Displays the spline’s mesh shape as
a rectangle.
Length—Specifies the size of the cross–section
along the local Y axis.
Width—Specifies the size of the cross–section
along the local X axis.
These settings control how a spline is generated.
All spline curves are divided into small straight
lines that approximate the true curve. The number
of divisions between each vertex on the spline are
called steps. The more steps used, the smoother
the curve appears.
Splines and Extended Splines
Steps—Spline steps can be either adaptive (that
is, set automatically by turning on Adaptive) or
specified manually.
When Adaptive is off, use the Steps field/spinner
to set the number of divisions between each vertex.
Splines with tight curves require many steps to
look smooth while gentle curves require fewer
steps. Range=0 to 100.
Optimize—When on, removes unneeded steps
from straight segments in the spline. Optimize is
not available when Adaptive is on. Default=on.
Adaptive—When off, enables manual interpolation
control using Optimize and Steps. Default=off.
Edge—Your first click defines a point on the side or
at a corner of the shape and you drag a diameter
or the diagonal corner.
Center—Your first click defines the center of the
shape and you drag a radius or corner point.
Text (page 1–252) and Star (page 1–251) do not
have a Creation Methods rollout.
Line (page 1–244) and Arc (page 1–248) have
unique Creation Methods rollouts that are
discussed in their respective topics.
Keyboard Entry rollout
When on, Adaptive sets the number of steps for
each spline to produce a smooth curve. Straight
segments always receive 0 steps.
Optimized spline left and adaptive spline right. Resulting
wireframe view of each, respectively, on the right.
The main use for manual interpolation of splines
is in operations where you must have exact control
over the number of vertices created.
Creation Method rollout
Many spline tools use the Creation Methods
rollout. On this rollout you choose to define
splines by either their center point or their
diagonal.
You can create most splines using keyboard entry.
The process is generally the same for all splines
and the parameters are found under the Keyboard
Entry rollout. Keyboard entry varies primarily in
the number of optional parameters. The image
above shows a sample Keyboard Entry rollout for
the Circle shape.
The Keyboard Entry rollout contains three
fields for the X, Y, and Z coordinates of the
initial creation point, plus a variable number of
parameters to complete the spline. Enter values
in each field and click the Create button to create
the spline.
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Line Spline
Create panel > Shapes > Splines > Object Type rollout
> Line
Create menu > Shapes > Line
Use Line to create a free-form spline made of
multiple segments.
To create a line using rectilinear and angle-snap
options:
These two options aid in creating regular shapes:
• While creating a spline with the mouse, press
and hold Shift to constrain new points to
90-degree-angle increments from previous
points. Use the default Initial type setting of
Corner and click all subsequent points to create
fully rectilinear shapes.
• While creating a spline with the mouse, press
and hold Ctrl to constrain new points to angle
increments determined by the current Angle
Snap setting (page 2–607). To set this angle,
right-click the Grid button in the status bar to
display the Grid and Snap Settings dialog. Click
the Options tab in the dialog, and change the
Angle (deg) field/spinner.
Example of line
Procedures
To create a line:
Go to the Create panel and choose
1.
• Click the first vertex and click Yes in the
"Close spline?" dialog to create a closed
spline.
The angle for each new segment relates to the
previous segment, so the angle snap works only
after you’ve placed the first two spline vertices
(that is, the first segment). Angle Snap need not be
enabled for this feature to work.
Shapes.
2. On the Object Type rollout, click the Line
button.
3. Choose a creation method.
4. Click or drag the start point.
Clicking creates a corner vertex; dragging
creates a Bezier vertex.
5. Click or drag additional points.
Clicking creates a corner vertex; dragging
creates a Bezier vertex.
6. Do one of the following:
• Right-click to create an open spline.
To create a line from the keyboard:
1. Enter values in the X, Y, and Z fields to specify a
vertex coordinate.
2. Click Add Point to add a vertex to the current
line at the specified coordinate.
3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 for each additional vertex.
4. Do one of the following:
• Click Finish to create an open spline.
• Click Close to connect the current vertex to
the first vertex and create a closed spline.
Line Spline
Interface
Automatic Conversion to an Editable Spline
Corner—Produces a sharp point. The spline is
linear to either side of the vertex.
Because the Line object has no dimension
parameters to be carried over to the Modify panel,
it converts to an editable spline (page 1–262) when
you move from the Create panel to the Modify
panel. While you are creating the line, the Create
panel displays the original controls, such as
Interpolation, Rendering, Creation Method, and
Keyboard Entry. After creating the line, when you
go to the Modify panel you have immediate access
to the Selection and Geometry rollouts to edit the
vertices or any part of the shape.
Smooth—Produces a smooth, nonadjustable curve
through the vertex. The amount of curvature is set
by the spacing of the vertices.
Rendering and Interpolation rollouts
linear to either side of the vertex.
All spline-based shapes share these parameters.
See Splines (page 1–239) for an explanation of
these parameters.
Smooth—Produces a smooth, nonadjustable curve
through the vertex. The amount of curvature are
set by the spacing of the vertices.
Creation Method rollout
Drag Type group
Sets the type of vertex you create when you drag a
vertex location. The vertex is located at the cursor
position where you first press the mouse button.
The direction and distance that you drag are used
only when creating Bezier vertices.
Corner—Produces a sharp point. The spline is
Bezier—Produces a smooth, adjustable curve
through the vertex. The amount of curvature
and direction of the curve are set by dragging the
mouse at each vertex.
Keyboard Entry rollout
Creation method options for lines are different
from other spline tools. You choose options to
control the type of vertex created when you click
or drag vertices.
You can preset the default types of spline vertices
during line creation with these settings:
Initial Type group
Sets the type of vertex you create when you click
a vertex location.
Keyboard entry for lines is different from keyboard
entry for other splines. Entering keyboard values
continues to add vertices to the existing line until
you click Close or Finish.
Add Point—Adds a new point to the line at the
current X/Y/Z coordinates.
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Close—Closes the shape, adding a final spline
segment between the most recent vertex and the
first.
Finish—Finishes the spline without closing it.
Creation Method rollout
The Rectangle shape uses the standard creation
methods of Center or Edge. Most spline-based
shapes share the same Creation Method
parameters. See Splines (page 1–239) for an
explanation of these parameters.
Rectangle Spline
Parameters rollout
Create panel > Shapes > Splines > Object Type rollout
> Rectangle
Create menu > Shapes > Rectangle
Use Rectangle to create square and rectangular
splines.
Once you have created a rectangle, you can make
changes using the following parameters:
Length—Specifies the size of the rectangle along
the local Y axis.
Examples of rectangles
Procedure
To create a rectangle:
Width—Specifies the size of the rectangle along the
local X axis.
Corner Radius—Creates rounded corners. When
set to 0, the rectangle contains 90-degree corners.
Go to the Create panel and choose
1.
Shapes.
Circle Spline
2. Click Rectangle.
3. Choose a creation method.
Create panel > Shapes > Splines > Object Type rollout >
Circle
4. Drag in a viewport to create a rectangle.
Create menu > Shapes > Circle
Optionally, press Ctrl while dragging to
constrain the spline to a square.
Interface
Rendering and Interpolation rollouts
All spline-based shapes share these parameters.
See Splines (page 1–239) for an explanation of
these parameters.
Use Circle to create closed circular splines made of
four vertices.
Ellipse Spline
Once you have created a circle, you can make
changes using the following parameter:
Radius—Specifies the radius of the circle.
Ellipse Spline
Create panel > Shapes > Splines > Object Type rollout
> Ellipse
Create menu > Shapes > Ellipse
Use Ellipse to create elliptical and circular splines.
Example of circle
Procedure
To create a circle:
Go to the Create panel and choose
1.
Shapes.
2. Click Circle.
3. Choose a creation method.
4. Drag in a viewport to draw the circle.
Examples of ellipses
Procedure
To create an ellipse:
Interface
Rendering and Interpolation rollouts
All spline-based shapes share these parameters.
See Splines (page 1–239) for explanations of these
parameters.
Creation Method rollout
Go to the Create panel and choose
1.
Shapes.
2. Click Ellipse.
3. Choose a creation method.
4. Drag in a viewport to draw the ellipse.
Optionally, press Ctrl while dragging to
constrain the spline to a circle.
The Circle shape uses the standard creation
methods of Center or Edge. Most spline-based
shapes share the same Creation Method
parameters. See Splines (page 1–239) for an
explanation of these parameters.
Interface
Parameters rollout
All spline-based shapes share these parameters.
See Splines (page 1–239) for explanations of these
parameters.
Rendering and Interpolation rollouts
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Creation Method rollout
The Ellipse shape uses the standard creation
methods of Center or Edge. Most spline-based
shapes share the same Creation Method
parameters. See Splines (page 1–239) for an
explanation of these parameters.
Parameters rollout
Creating an arc using the End-End-Middle creation method
To create an arc using the center-end-end method:
Once you have created an Ellipse, you can make
changes using the following parameters:
1.
Length—Specifies the size of the Ellipse along the
2. Click Arc.
local Y axis.
Go to the Create panel and choose
Shapes.
3. Choose the Center-End-End creation method.
Width—Specifies the size of the Ellipse local X axis.
4. Press the mouse button to define the center of
the arc.
5. Drag and release the mouse button to specify
Arc Spline
the start point of the arc.
Create panel > Shapes > Splines > Object Type rollout
> Arc
Create menu > Shapes > Arc
6. Move the mouse and click to specify the other
end of the arc.
Use Arc to create open and closed circular arcs
made of four vertices.
Procedures
To create an arc using the end-end-middle method:
Creating an arc using the Center-End-End creation method
Go to the Create panel and choose
1.
Shapes.
2. Click Arc.
3. Choose the End-End-Middle creation method.
4. Drag in a viewport to set the two ends of the arc.
5. Release the mouse button, then move the
mouse and click to specify a third point on an
arc between the two endpoints.
Interface
Rendering and Interpolation rollouts
All spline-based shapes share these parameters.
See Splines (page 1–239) for an explanation of
these parameters.
Donut Spline
Creation Method rollout
Closed pie slice arcs
These options determine the sequence of mouse
clicks involved in the creation of the arc.
End-End-Middle—Drag and release to set the two
endpoints of the arc, and then click to specify the
third point between the two endpoints.
Center-End-End—Press the mouse button to specify
the center point of the arc, drag and release to
specify one endpoint of the arc, and click to specify
the other endpoint of the arc.
Reverse—When on, the direction of the arc spline
is reversed, and the first vertex is placed at the
opposite end of an open arc. As long as the shape
remains an original shape (and not an editable
spline), you can switch its direction by toggling
Reverse. Once the arc is converted to an editable
spline, you can use Reverse at the Spline sub-object
level to reverse direction.
Donut Spline
Parameters rollout
Create panel > Shapes > Splines > Object Type rollout
> Donut
Create menu > Shapes > Donut
Use Donut to create closed shapes from two
concentric circles. Each circle is made of four
vertices.
Once you have created an arc, you can make
changes using the following parameters:
Radius—Specifies the arc radius.
From—Specifies the location of the start point as
an angle measured from the local positive X axis.
To—Specifies the location of the end point as an
angle measured from the local positive X axis.
Pie Slice—When on, creates a closed spline in the
form of a pie. The start point and end point are
connected to the center with straight segments.
Example of donut
Procedure
To create a donut:
Go to the Create panel and choose
1.
Shapes.
2. Click Donut.
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3. Choose a creation method.
4. Drag and release the mouse button to define
the first donut circle.
5. Move the mouse and then click to define the
radius of the second concentric donut circle.
The second circle can be larger or smaller than
the first.
NGon Spline
Create panel > Shapes > Splines > Object Type rollout >
NGon
Create menu > Shapes > NGon
Use NGon to create closed flat-sided or circular
splines with any number (N) of sides or vertices.
Interface
Rendering and Interpolation rollouts
All spline-based shapes share these parameters.
See Splines (page 1–239) for explanations of these
parameters.
Creation Method rollout
The Donut shape uses the standard creation
methods of Center or Edge. Most spline-based
shapes share the same Creation Method
parameters. See Splines (page 1–239) for an
explanation of these parameters.
Parameters rollout
Examples of NGons
Procedure
To create an NGon:
Go to the Create panel and choose
1.
Shapes.
2. Click NGon.
3. Choose a creation method.
4. Drag and release the mouse button in a
viewport to draw the NGon.
Once you have created a donut, you can make
changes using the following parameters:
Interface
Radius 1—Sets the radius of the first circle.
All spline-based shapes share these parameters.
See Splines (page 1–239) for an explanation of
these parameters.
Radius 2—Sets the radius of the second circle.
Rendering and Interpolation rollouts
Creation Method rollout
The NGon shape uses the standard creation
methods of Center or Edge. Most spline-based
shapes share the same Creation Method
parameters. See Splines (page 1–239) for an
explanation of these parameters.
Star Spline
Parameters rollout
Examples of stars
Procedure
Once you have created an NGon, you can make
changes using the following parameters:
Radius—Specifies the NGon radius. You can use
either of two methods to specify the radius:
• Inscribed—The radius from the center to the
corners of the NGon
• Circumscribed—The radius from the center to
the sides of the NGon.
To create a star:
Go to the Create panel and choose
1.
Shapes.
2. Click Star.
3. Drag and release the mouse button to define
the first star radius.
4. Move the mouse and then click to define the
second star radius.
Sides—Specifies the number of sides and vertices
used by the NGon. Range=3 to 100.
Interface
Corner Radius—Specifies the degree of rounding to
Rendering and Interpolation rollouts
apply to the corners of the NGon. A setting of 0
specifies a standard unrounded corner.
Circular—When on, specifies a circular NGon.
All spline-based shapes share these parameters.
See Splines (page 1–239) for explanations of these
parameters.
Parameters rollout
Star Spline
Create panel > Shapes > Splines > Object Type rollout
> Star
Create menu > Shapes > Star
Use Star to create closed star-shaped splines with
any number of points. Star splines use two radiuses
to set the distance between the outer points and
inner valleys.
Once you have created a star, you can make
changes using the following parameters:
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Radius 1—Specifies the radius of the inner vertices
(the valley) of the star.
Radius 2—Specifies the radius of the outer vertices
(the points) of the star.
Points—Specifies the number of points on the star.
Range=3 to 100.
A star has twice as many vertices as the specified
number of points. Half the vertices lie on one
radius, forming points, and the remaining vertices
lie on the other radius, forming valleys.
Distortion—Rotates the outer vertices (the points)
about the center of the star. This produces a
sawtooth affect.
Fillet Radius 1—Rounds the inner vertices (the
valleys) of the star.
Fillet Radius 2—Rounds the outer vertices (the
points) of the star.
Text Spline
Create panel > Shapes > Splines > Object Type rollout
> Text
Create menu > Shapes > Text
Use Text to create splines in the shape of text.
The text can use any Windows font installed on
your system, or a Type 1 PostScript font installed
in the directory pointed to by the Fonts path on
the Configure System Paths dialog (page 3–497).
Because fonts are loaded only at first use, changing
the font path later in the program has no effect.
The program must be restarted before the new
path is used, if the font manager has been used by
the program.
Examples of text
You can edit the text in the Create panel, or later in
the Modify panel.
Using Text Shapes
Text shapes maintain the text as an editable
parameter. You can change the text at any time.
If the font used by your text is deleted from the
system, Autodesk VIZ still properly displays the
text shape. However, to edit the text string in the
edit box you must choose an available font.
The text in your scene is just a shape where each
letter and, in some cases, pieces of each letter are
individual splines. You can apply modifiers like
Edit Spline (page 2–117), Bend (page 2–54), and
Extrude (page 2–117) to edit Text shapes just like
any other shape.
Procedures
To create text:
Go to the Create panel and choose
1.
Shapes.
2. Click Text.
3. Enter text in the Text box.
4. Do either of the following to define an insertion
point:
Text Spline
• Click in a viewport to place the text in the
scene.
Parameters rollout
• Drag the text into position and release the
mouse button.
To enter a special Windows character:
1. Hold down the Alt key.
2. Enter the character’s numeric value on the
numeric keypad.
You must use the numeric keypad, not the row
of numbers above the alphabetic keys.
For some characters, you must enter a leading
zero. For example, 0233 to enter an e with an
acute accent.
3. Release the Alt key.
Interface
Settings available for text include kerning, leading,
justification, multiple lines, and a manual update
option.
Rendering and Interpolation rollouts
All spline-based shapes share these parameters.
See Splines (page 1–239) for an explanation of
these parameters.
Once you have created text, you can make changes
using the following parameters:
Font list—Choose from a list of all available fonts.
Available fonts include:
• Fonts installed in Windows.
• Type 1 PostScript fonts located in the directory
pointed to by the Fonts path on the Configure
System Paths dialog (page 3–497).
Italic style button—Toggles italicized text.
Underline style button—Toggles underlined
text.
Align Left—Aligns text to the left side of its
bounding box.
Center—Aligns text to the center of its
bounding box.
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Align Right—Aligns text to the right side of
Helix Spline
its bounding box.
Create panel > Shapes > Splines > Object Type rollout >
Helix
Justify—Spaces all lines of text to fill the
extents of the bounding box.
Note: The four text-alignment buttons require
multiple lines of text for effect because they act
on the text in relation to its bounding box. If
there’s only one line of text, it’s the same size as
its bounding box.
Create menu > Shapes > Helix
Use Helix to create open flat or 3D spirals.
Size—Sets the text height where the height
measuring method is defined by the active font.
The first time you enter text, the default size is 100
units.
Kerning—Adjusts the kerning (the distance
between letters).
Leading—Adjusts the leading (the distance
between lines). This has an effect only when
multiple lines of text are included in the shape.
Examples of helixes
Procedure
To create a helix:
Go to the Create panel and choose
1.
Text edit box—Allows for multiple lines of text.
Press Enter after each line of text to start the next
line.
• The initial session default is "VIZ Text."
• The edit box does not support word wrap.
Shapes.
2. Click Helix.
3. Choose a creation method.
4. Press the mouse button to define the first point
of the Helix start circle.
• You can cut and paste single- and multi-line
text from the Clipboard.
5. Drag and release the mouse button to define
Update group
6. Move the mouse and then click to define the
the second point of the Helix start circle.
height of the Helix.
These options let you select a manual update
option for situations where the complexity of the
text shape is too high for automatic updates.
7. Move the mouse and then click to define the
Update—Updates the text in the viewport to match
Interface
the current settings in the edit box. This button is
available only when Manual Update is on.
Manual Update—When on, the text that you type
into the edit box is not shown in the viewport until
you click the Update button.
radius of the Helix end.
Rendering rollout
All spline-based shapes share these parameters.
See Splines (page 1–239) for explanations of these
parameters.
Section Spline
Interpolation
The helix differs from other spline-based shapes
in that it always uses adaptive interpolation: the
number of vertices in a helix is determined by the
number of turns.
Creation Method rollout
The Helix shape uses the standard creation
methods of Center or Edge. Most spline-based
shapes share the same Creation Method
parameters. See Splines (page 1–239) for an
explanation of these parameters.
Parameters rollout
Helical spline varied only by bias settings
• A bias of –1.0 forces the turns toward the start
of the helix.
• A bias of 0.0 evenly distributes the turns
between the ends.
• A bias of 1.0 forces the turns toward the end of
the helix.
CW/CCW—The direction buttons set whether the
Helix turns clockwise (CW) or counterclockwise
(CCW).
Section Spline
Create panel > Shapes > Splines > Object Type rollout
> Section
Once you have created a helix, you can make
changes using the following parameters:
Radius 1—Specifies the radius for the Helix start.
Radius 2—Specifies the radius for the Helix end.
Height—Specifies the height of the Helix.
Turns—Specifies the number of turns the Helix
makes between its start and end points.
Bias—Forces the turns to accumulate at one end of
the helix. Bias has no visible affect when the height
is 0.0.
Create menu > Shapes > Section
This is a special type of object that generates other
shapes based on a cross-sectional slice through
mesh objects. The Section object appears as a
bisected rectangle. You simply move and rotate
it to slice through one or more mesh objects, and
then click the Create Shape button to generate a
shape based on the 2D intersection.
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Interface
Rendering and Interpolation rollouts
All spline-based shapes share these parameters.
See Splines (page 1–239) for an explanation of
these parameters.
Section Parameters rollout
Red line shows the section shape based on the structure.
Procedure
To create and use a section shape:
Go to the Create panel and choose
1.
Shapes.
2. Click Section.
3. Drag a rectangle in the viewport in which you
want to orient the plane. (For example, create it
in the Top viewport to place the Section object
parallel with the XY home grid.)
The Section object appears as a simple rectangle
with crossed lines indicating its center. With
the default settings, the rectangle is for display
purposes only, because the effect of the Section
object extends along its plane to the full extents
of the scene.
4. Move and rotate the section so that its plane
Create Shape—Creates a shape based on the
currently displayed intersection lines. A dialog is
displayed in which you can name the new object.
The resulting shape is an editable spline consisting
of curve segments and corner vertices, based on all
intersected meshes in the scene.
intersects mesh objects in the scene.
Yellow lines are displayed where the sectional
plane intersects objects.
5. On the Create panel, click Create Shape, enter a
Update group
Provides options for specifying when the
intersection line is updated.
name in the resulting dialog, and click OK.
When Section Moves—Updates the intersection line
An editable spline (page 1–262) is created, based
on the displayed cross sections.
when you move or resize the Section shape.
When Section Selected—Updates the intersection
line when you select the section shape, but not
WRectangle Spline
while you move it. Click the Update Section button
to update the intersection.
Provides spinners that let you adjust the length
and width of the displayed section rectangle.
Manually—Updates the intersection line only when
Length/Width—Adjust the length and width of the
displayed section rectangle.
you click the Update Section button.
Update Section—Updates the intersection to match
the current placement of the Section object when
using When Section Selected or Manually option.
Note: When using When Section Selected or
Manually, you can offset the generated cross
section from the position of the intersected
geometry. As you move the section object, the
yellow cross-section lines move with it, leaving
the geometry behind. When you click Create
Shape, the new shape is generated at the displayed
cross-section lines in the offset position.
Section Extents group
Choose one of these options to specify the extents
of the cross-section generated by the section
object.
Infinite—The section plane is infinite in all
directions, resulting in a cross section at any mesh
geometry in its plane.
Section Boundary—The cross-section is generated
only in objects that are within or touched by the
boundary of the section shape.
Note: If you convert the section grid to an editable
spline, it’s converted to a shape based on the
current cross section.
Extended Splines
WRectangle Spline
Create panel > Shapes > Extended Splines > Object Type
rollout > WRectangle
Create menu > Shapes > WRectangle
Use WRectangle to create closed shapes from two
concentric rectangles. Each rectangle is made of
four vertices. The WRectangle is similar to the
Donut tool except it uses rectangles instead of
circles.
WRectangle stands for “walled rectangle”.
Off—No cross section is displayed or generated.
The Create Shape button is disabled.
Color swatch—Click this to set the display color of
the intersection.
Section Size rollout
Example of WRectangle
Procedure
To create a wrectangle:
Go to the Create panel and choose
1.
Shapes.
2. Open the Shapes List and choose Extended
Splines.
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3. Click WRectangle.
4. Drag and release the mouse button to define
the outer rectangle.
5. Move the mouse and then click to define the
inner rectangle.
Interface
Rendering and Interpolation rollouts
and exterior corners of the wrectangle. It also
maintains the thickness of the section. Default=on.
Corner Radius 1—Controls the radius of all four
interior and exterior corners of the section.
If Sync Corner Fillets is turned off, Corner Radius
1 controls the radius of the four exterior corners
of the wrectangle.
Corner Radius 2—Controls the radius of the four
All spline-based shapes share these parameters.
For explanations, see Splines and Extended Splines
(page 1–239).
interior corners of the wrectangle.
Creation Method rollout
Note: Take care when adjusting these settings.
The WRectangle shape uses the standard
creation methods of Center or Edge. Most
spline-based shapes share the same Creation
Method parameters. For explanations, see Splines
and Extended Splines (page 1–239).
Parameters rollout
Corner Radius 2 is only available when Sync
Corner Fillets is turned off.
There are no constraining relationships between
them. Therefore, it’s possible to set an inside
radius (Corner Radius 2) that is greater than the
length and width of the sides.
Channel Spline
Create panel > Shapes > Extended Splines > Object Type
rollout > Channel
Create menu > Shapes > Channel
Use Channel to create a closed “C” shaped spline.
You have the option to specify the interior and
exterior corners between the vertical web and
horizontal legs of the section.
Length—Controls the height of the wrectangle
section.
Width—Controls the width of the wrectangle
section.
Thickness—Controls the thickness of the walls of
the wrectangle.
Sync Corner Fillets—When turned on, Corner
Radius 1 controls the radius of both the interior
Example of Channel
Angle Spline
Procedure
Length—Controls the height of the vertical web
To create a channel:
of the channel.
Go to the Create panel and choose
1.
Shapes.
2. Open the Shapes List and select Extended
Splines.
3. Click Channel.
4. Drag and release the mouse button to define
the outer perimeter of the channel.
5. Move the mouse and then click to define the
thickness of the walls of the channel.
Interface
Rendering and Interpolation rollouts
All spline-based shapes share these parameters.
For explanations, see Splines and Extended Splines
(page 1–239).
Creation Method rollout
The Channel shape uses the standard creation
methods of Center or Edge. Most spline-based
shapes share the same Creation Method
parameters. For explanations, see Splines and
Extended Splines (page 1–239).
Parameters rollout
Width—Controls the width of the top and bottom
horizontal legs of the channel.
Thickness—Controls the thickness of both legs of
the angle.
Sync Corner Fillets—When turned on, Corner
Radius 1 controls the radius of both the interior
and exterior corners between the vertical web and
horizontal legs. It also maintains the thickness of
the channel. Default=on.
Corner Radius 1—Controls the exterior radius
between the vertical web and horizontal legs of the
channel.
Corner Radius 2—Controls the interior radius
between the vertical web and horizontal legs of the
channel.
Note: Take care when adjusting these settings.
There are no constraining relationships between
them. Therefore, it’s possible to set an inside
radius (Corner Radius 2) that is greater than the
length of the web or width of the legs.
Angle Spline
Create panel > Shapes > Extended Splines > Object Type
rollout > Angle
Create menu > Shapes > Angle
Use Angle to create a closed “L” shaped spline. You
have the option to specify the radii of the corners
between the vertical and horizontal legs of the
section.
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Parameters rollout
Example of Angle
Procedure
To create an Angle spline:
Go to the Create panel and choose
1.
Shapes.
2. Open the Shapes List and select Extended
Splines.
3. Click Angle.
4. Drag and release the mouse button to define
the initial size of the angle.
5. Move the mouse and then click to define the
thickness of the walls of the angle.
Interface
Rendering and Interpolation rollouts
All spline-based shapes share these parameters.
For explanations, see Splines and Extended Splines
(page 1–239).
Creation Method rollout
The Angle shape uses the standard creation
methods of Center or Edge. Most spline-based
shapes share the same Creation Method
parameters. For explanations, see Splines and
Extended Splines (page 1–239).
Length—Controls the height of the vertical leg of
the angle.
Width—Controls the width of the horizontal leg
of the angle.
Thickness—Controls the thickness of both legs of
the angle.
Sync Corner Fillets—When turned on, Corner
Radius 1 controls the radius of both the interior
and exterior corners between the vertical and
horizontal legs. It also maintains the thickness of
the section. Default=on.
Corner Radius 1—Controls the exterior radius
between the vertical and horizontal legs of the
angle.
Corner Radius 2—Controls the interior radius
between the vertical and horizontal legs of the
angle.
Edge Radii—Controls the interior radius at the
outermost edges of the vertical and horizontal legs.
Note: Take care when adjusting these settings.
There are no constraining relationships between
them. Therefore, it’s possible to set an inside
radius (Corner Radius 2) that is greater than the
length or width of the legs of the angle.
Tee Spline
Creation Method rollout
Tee Spline
Create panel > Shapes > Extended Splines > Object Type
rollout > Tee
Create menu > Shapes > Tee
Use Tee to create a closed T-shaped spline. You
can specify the radius of the two interior corners
between the vertical web and horizontal flange of
the section.
The Tee shape uses the standard creation methods
of Center or Edge. Most spline-based shapes
share the same Creation Method parameters. For
explanations, see Splines and Extended Splines
(page 1–239).
Parameters rollout
Length—Controls the height of the vertical web of
the tee.
Example of Tee
Width—Controls the width of the flange crossing
Procedure
the tee.
To create a Tee spline:
Thickness—Controls the thickness of the web and
Go to the Create panel and choose
1.
Shapes.
flange.
Splines.
Corner Radius—Controls the radius of the two
interior corners between the vertical web and
horizontal flange of the section.
3. Click Tee.
Note: Take care when adjusting these settings.
2. Open the Shapes List and select Extended
4. Drag and release the mouse button to define
the initial size of the tee.
5. Move the mouse and then click to define the
There are no constraining relationships between
them. Therefore, it’s possible to set a radius
(Corner Radius) that is greater than the length of
the web or width of the flange.
thickness of the walls of the tee.
Interface
Rendering and Interpolation rollouts
All spline-based shapes share these parameters.
For explanations, see Splines and Extended Splines
(page 1–239).
Wide Flange Spline
Create panel > Shapes > Extended Splines > Object Type
rollout > Wide Flange
Create menu > Shapes > Wide Flange
Use Wide Flange to create a closed spline shaped
like a capital letter I. You can specify the interior
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corners between the vertical web and horizontal
flanges of the section.
Parameters rollout
Example of Wide Flange
Length—Controls the height of the vertical web
Procedure
of the wide flange.
To create a Wide Flange spline:
Width—Controls the width of the horizontal
flanges crossing the wide flange.
Go to the Create panel and choose
1.
Shapes.
2. Open the Shapes List and select Extended
Thickness—Controls the thickness of the web and
flanges.
3. Click Wide Flange.
Corner Radius—Controls the radius of the four
interior corners between the vertical web and
horizontal flanges.
4. Drag and release the mouse button to define
Note: Take care when adjusting these settings.
Splines.
the initial size of the wide flange.
5. Move the mouse and then click to define the
thickness of the walls of the wide flange.
There are no constraining relationships between
them. Therefore, it’s possible to set a radius
(Corner Radius) that is greater than the length of
the web or width of the flanges.
Interface
Rendering and Interpolation rollouts
All spline-based shapes share these parameters.
For explanations, see Splines and Extended Splines
(page 1–239).
Creation Method rollout
The Wide Flange shape uses the standard
creation methods of Center or Edge. Most
spline-based shapes share the same Creation
Method parameters. For explanations, see Splines
and Extended Splines (page 1–239).
Editable Spline
Create or select a spline > Modify panel > Right-click
spline entry in the stack display > Convert To: Editable
Spline
Create a line > Modify panel
Create or select a spline > Right-click the spline >
Transform (lower-right) quadrant of the quad menu >
Convert To: > Convert to Editable Spline
Editable Spline provides controls for manipulating
an object as a spline object and at three sub-object
levels: vertex, segment, and spline.
Editable Spline
The functions in Editable Spline are the same as
those in the Edit Spline modifier (page 2–117). The
exception is that when you convert an existing
spline shape to an editable spline, the creation
parameters are no longer accessible. However,
the spline’s interpolation settings (step settings)
remain available in the editable spline.
When a spline-editing operation (typically,
moving a segment or vertex) causes end vertices
to overlap, you can use the Weld command to
weld the overlapping vertices together or the Fuse
command if you want the two overlapping vertices
to occupy the same point in space but remain
separate vertices.
Note: Welding coincident vertices is controlled by
• In a viewport, right-click the object and choose
Convert To: > Convert to Editable Spline from
the Transform (lower-right) quadrant of the
quad menu.
• Create a shape with two or more splines by first
turning off Start New Shape (on the Create
panel). Any shape made up of two or more
splines is automatically an editable spline.
• Apply an Edit Spline modifier to a shape, and
then collapse the stack. If you use the Collapse
utility (page 2–312) to collapse the stack, be sure
to choose Output Type > Modifier Stack Result.
• Import a .shp file.
• Merge a shape from a 3ds Max file.
the End Point Auto-Welding feature.
To select shape sub-objects:
Show End Result
1. Expand the object’s hierarchy in the stack
If you have several modifiers higher in
the modifier stack, and want to see the results
of edits in an Edit Spline modifier or Editable
Spline object, then turn on Show End Result on
the Modify panel. As you edit the spline network,
you’ll be able to see the result of modifiers above
the Editable Spline object. This is useful for
Surface Tools work where you add a Surface
modifier above an Editable Spline object in the
modifier stack.
display and choose a sub-object level, or click
one of the sub-object buttons at the top of the
Selection rollout.
You can also right-click the object in the
viewports and choose a sub-object level from
the quad menu: Tools 1 (upper-left) quadrant
> Sub-objects > Choose the sub-object level.
2. Click a selection or transform tool, and then
select sub-objects using standard click or
region-selection techniques.
Edit Modifiers and Editable Objects (page 2–34)
Because sub-object selections can be complex,
you might consider using one of the following
techniques to prevent clearing the sub-object
selection by accident:
Modifying at the Sub-Object Level (page 2–35)
• Use Lock Selection (page 3–395).
Modifier Stack Controls (page 3–446)
• Name the sub-object selection (see Named
Selection Sets List (page 1–63)).
See also
Procedures
To produce an editable spline object, first select the
shape, and then do one of the following:
• Right-click the shape entry in the stack display
and choose Convert To: Editable Spline.
To clone sub-object selections:
• Hold down the Shift key while transforming
the sub-objects.
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You can clone segment and spline sub-objects,
but not vertices.
Rendering and Interpolation rollouts
To draw a spline cage:
1. Select a segment sub-object on a spline.
2. On the Geometry rollout in the Connect Copy
group, turn on Connect.
3. Hold down the Shift key and transform the
selected segment. You can move, rotate or
scale using the transform gizmo to control the
direction.
Notice that with Connect Copy on, new splines
are drawn between the locations of the segment
and its clone.
Tip: Use Area Selection or Fuse before selecting
and moving these vertices. They will not move
together as they do with the Cross-Section
modifier. Or use Fuse to keep the vertices
together.
Interface
The following controls are available at the object
(top) level and at all sub-object levels.
These creation parameters appear in these rollouts
for editable splines. For splines to which the
Edit Spline modifier has been applied, creation
parameters are available by selecting the object
type entry (for example, Circle or NGon) at the
bottom of the modifier stack (page 3–446).
Rendering rollout
Controls here let you turn on and off the
renderability of the shape, specify its thickness
in the rendered scene, and apply mapping
coordinates. The spline mesh can be viewed in the
viewports.
You can also convert the displayed mesh into a
mesh object by applying an Edit Mesh modifier
or converting to an Editable Mesh. The system
will use the Viewport settings for this mesh
conversion if Use Viewport Settings is turned on;
Editable Spline
otherwise it will use the Renderer settings. This
gives maximum flexibility, and will always give the
conversion of the mesh displayed in the viewports.
The U coordinate wraps once around the thickness
of the spline; the V coordinate is mapped once
along the length of the spline. Tiling is achieved
using the Tiling parameters in the material itself.
display when rendered or viewed in the viewport
when Enable in Viewport is turned on.
Radial—Displays the 3D mesh as a cylindrical
object.
Thickness—Specifies the diameter of the viewport
or rendered spline mesh. Default=1.0. Range=0.0
to 100,000,000.0.
Enable In Renderer—When on, the shape is
rendered as a 3D mesh using the Radial or
Rectangular parameters set for Renderer. In
previous versions of the program, the Renderable
switch performed the same operation.
Enable In Viewport—When on, the shape is
displayed in the viewport as a 3D mesh using the
Radial or Rectangular parameters set for Renderer.
In previous versions of the program, the Display
Render Mesh performed the same operation.
Splines rendered at thickness of 1.0 and 5.0, respectively
Use V iewport settings—Lets you set different
rendering parameters, and displays the mesh
generated by the Viewport settings. Available only
when Enable in Viewport is turned on.
Sides—Sets the number of sides (or facets) for
the spline mesh n the viewport or renderer. For
example, a value of 4 results in a square cross
section.
Generate Mapping Coords—Turn this on to apply
Angle—Adjusts the rotational position of the
cross-section in the viewport or renderer. For
example, if the spline mesh has a square cross
section you can use Angle to position a "flat" side
down.
mapping coordinates. Default=off.
The U coordinate wraps once around the thickness
of the spline; the V coordinate is mapped once
along the length of the spline. Tiling is achieved
using the Tiling parameters in the material itself.
Rectangular—Displays the spline’s mesh shape as
Real-World Map Size—Controls the scaling method
used for texture mapped materials that are applied
to the object. The scaling values are controlled
by the Use Real-World Scale settings found in
the applied material’s Coordinates rollout (page
2–1224). Default=off.
rectangular.
Viewport—Turn this on to specify Radial or
Length—Specifies the size of the cross–section
Rectangular parameters for the shape as it will
display in the viewport when Enable in Viewport
is turned on.
along the local Y axis.
Renderer—Turn this on to specify Radial or
Rectangular parameters for the shape as it will
Aspect—Sets the aspect ratio for rectangular
cross-sections. The Lock check box lets you lock
the aspect ratio. When Lock is turned on, Width
is locked to Depth that results in a constant ratio
of Width to Depth.
Width—Specifies the size of the cross–section
along the local X axis.
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Angle—Adjusts the rotational position of the
cross-section in the viewport or renderer. For
example, if you have a square cross-section you
can use Angle to position a "flat" side down.
the Adaptive check box. The main use for manual
interpolation is to create splines for operations
where you must have exact control over the
number of vertices created.
Auto Smooth—If Auto Smooth is turned on, the
spline is auto-smoothed using the threshold
specified by the Threshold setting below it. Auto
Smooth sets the smoothing based on the angle
between spline segments. Any two adjacent
segments are put in the same smoothing group if
the angle between them is less than the threshold
angle.
Optimize—When on, removes unneeded steps
from straight segments in the spline. Default=on.
Note: Optimize is not available when Adaptive is
on.
Threshold—Specifies the threshold angle in
degrees. Any two adjacent spline segments are put
in the same smoothing group if the angle between
them is less than the threshold angle.
Interpolation rollout
The Interpolation controls set how the program
generates a spline. All spline curves are divided
into small straight lines that approximate the true
curve. The number of divisions between each
vertex on the spline is called steps. The more steps
used, the smoother the curve appears.
Splines used in above lathed objects contained two steps (left)
and 20 steps (right)
Steps—Use the Steps field to set the number of
divisions, or steps, the program uses between each
vertex. Splines with tight curves require many
steps to look smooth while gentle curves require
fewer steps. Range=0 to 100.
Spline steps can be either adaptive or manually
specified. The method used is set by the state of
Optimize was used to create spline in this lathed object.
Adaptive—When on, automatically sets the
number of steps for each spline to produce a
smooth curve. Straight segments always receive
0 steps. When off, enables manual interpolation
control using Optimize and Steps. Default=off.
Editable Spline
Selection rollout
Splines—Are a combination of one or more
connected segments.
Named Selections group
Copy—Places a named selection into the copy
buffer.
Paste—Pastes a named selection from the copy
buffer.
Lock Handles—Normally you can transform the
tangent handles of only one vertex at a time, even
when multiple vertices are selected. Use the Lock
Handles controls to transform multiple Bezier and
Bezier Corner handles simultaneously.
Provides controls for turning different sub-object
modes on and off, working with named selections
and handles, display settings, and information
about selected entities.
When you first access the Modify panel with
an editable spline selected, you’re at the Object
level, with access to several functions available as
described in Editable Spline (Object) (page 1–268).
You can toggle the sub-object modes and access
relevant functions by clicking sub-object buttons
at the top of the Selection rollout.
You can work with parts of shapes and splines
using shape sub-object selection of the Editable
Spline object. Clicking a button here is the same
as selecting a sub-object type in the Modifier List.
Click the button again to turn it off and return to
object selection level.
Vertices—Define points and curve tangents.
Segments—Connect vertices.
Alike—As you drag the handle of an incoming
vector, all incoming vectors of the selected vertices
move simultaneously. Likewise, moving the
outgoing tangent handle on one vertex moves the
outgoing tangent handle for all selected vertices.
All—Any handle you move affects all handles in
the selection, regardless of whether they’re broken.
This option is also useful when working with a
single Bezier Corner vertex when you want to
move both handles.
Shift +click a handle to "break" the tangent
and move each handle independently. The Alike
option must be chosen to break the tangent.
Area Selection—Lets you select automatically all
vertices within a specific radius of the vertex you
click. At the Vertex sub-object level, turn on Area
Selection, and then set the radius with the spinner
to the right of the Area Selection check box. This
is useful when moving vertices that have been
created using Connect Copy or Cross Section
button.
Segment End—Select a vertex by clicking a
segment. In Vertex sub-object, turn on and select a
segment close to the vertex that you want selected.
Use this when there are a number of coincident
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vertices and you want to select a vertex on a
specific segment. The cursor changes to a cross
when it is over a segment. By holding down the
Ctrl key you can add to the selection.
Select By—Selects vertices on the selected spline
or segment. First select a spline or segment in
sub-object spline or segment, then turn on vertex
sub-object and click Select By and choose Spline
or Segment. All the vertices on the selected spline
or segment are selected. You can then edit the
vertices.
Display group
Show Vertex Numbers—When on, the program
displays vertex numbers next to the selected
spline’s vertices at any sub-object level.
Selected Only—When on, the vertex number or
numbers appear only next to selected vertices.
displays the number of vertices it contains. When
more than one spline is selected, the number
of splines selected is displayed on the first line,
and the total number of vertices they contain is
displayed on the second line.
Geometry rollout
The Geometry rollout provides functions for
editing a spline object and sub-objects. The
functions available at the spline object level (when
no sub-object level is active; see Editable Spline
(Object) (page 1–268)) are also available at all
sub-object levels, and work exactly the same at
each level. Other functions are also available,
depending on which sub-object level is active.
Those that apply to other sub-object levels are
unavailable.
For specific information, see these topics:
Editable Spline (Object) (page 1–268)
Soft Selection
For information on the Soft Selection rollout
settings, see Soft Selection Rollout (page 2–310).
Editable Spline (Vertex) (page 1–270)
Editable Spline (Segment) (page 1–277)
Editable Spline (Spline) (page 1–282)
Selection Info
At the bottom of the Selection rollout is a text
display giving information about the current
selection. If 0 or more than one sub-object is
selected, the text gives the number selected.
At the Vertex and Segment sub-object levels,
if one sub-object is selected, the text gives the
identification numbers of the current spline (with
respect to the current object) and of the current
selected sub-object. Each spline object contains
a spline number 1; if it contains more than one
spline, the subsequent splines are numbered
consecutively higher.
When a single spline is selected at the Spline
sub-object level, the first line displays the
identification number of the selected spline and
whether it’s open or closed, and the second line
Editable Spline (Object)
Select an editable spline > Modify panel > Editable spline
(not a sub-object level) selected in the modifier stack
Select an editable spline > Right-click the spline > Tools
1 (upper-left) quadrant of the quad menu > Sub-objects
> Top-level
The functions available at the editable spline object
level (that is, when no sub-object level is active)
are also available at all sub-object levels, and work
exactly the same at each level.
Editable Spline (Object)
Interface
Rendering, Interpolation, and Selection rollouts
See the Editable Spline topic for information on
the Rendering and Interpolation rollouts (page
1–264), and Selection rollout (page 1–267) settings.
Geometry rollout
When this option is chosen, new vertices that
overlap are automatically welded.
• Bezier—New vertices will have bezier tangency.
• Bezier Corner—New vertices will have bezier
corner tangency.
Create Line—Adds more splines to the selected
spline. These lines are separate spline sub-objects;
create them in the same way as the line spline (page
1–244). To exit line creation, right-click or click
to turn off Create Line.
Break—Splits a spline at the selected vertex or
vertices. Select one or more vertices and then
click Break to create the split. There are now two
superimposed non-connected vertices for every
previous one, allowing the once-joined segment
ends to be moved away from each other.
Attach—Lets you attach another spline in the scene
to the selected spline. Click the object you want to
attach to the currently selected spline object. The
object you’re attaching to must also be a spline.
New Vertex Type group—The radio buttons in this
group let you determine the tangency of the new
vertices created when you Shift +Clone segments
or splines. If you later use Connect Copy, vertices
on the splines that connect the original segment or
spline to the new one will have the type specified
in this group.
This setting has no effect on the tangency of
vertices created using tools such as the Create Line
button, Refine, and so on.
• Linear—New vertices will have linear tangency.
• Smooth—New vertices will have smooth
tangency.
Unattached splines (left) and attached splines (right)
When you attach an object, the materials of the
two objects are combined in the following way:
• If the object being attached does not have a
material assigned, it inherits the material of the
object it is being attached to.
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• Likewise if the object you’re attaching to doesn’t
have a material, it inherits the material of the
object being attached.
• If both objects have materials, the resulting new
material is a multi/sub-object material (page
2–1205) that encompasses the input materials.
A dialog appears offering three methods of
combining the objects’ materials and material
IDs. For more information, see Attach Options
Dialog (page 2–364).
Attached shapes lose their identity as individual
shapes, with the following results:
• The attached shape loses all access to its
creation parameters. For example, once you
attach a circle to a square you cannot go back
and change the radius parameter of the circle.
• The modifier stack of the attached shape is
collapsed.
Any edits, modifiers, and animation applied
to the attached shape are frozen at the current
frame.
Reorient—When on, rotates the attached spline so
that its creation local coordinate system is aligned
with the creation local coordinate system of the
selected spline.
Attach Mult.—Click this button to display the
End Point Auto-Welding group
• Automatic Welding—When Automatic Welding
is turned on, an end point vertex that is
placed or moved within the threshold distance
of another end point of the same spline is
automatically welded. This feature is available
at the object and all sub-object levels.
• Threshold—A proximity setting that controls
how close vertices can be to one another before
they are automatically welded. Default=6.0.
Insert—Inserts one or more vertices, creating
additional segments. Click anywhere in a segment
to insert a vertex and attach the vertex to the
mouse. Optionally move the mouse and then
click to place the new vertex. Continue moving
the mouse and clicking to add vertices. A single
click inserts a corner vertex, while a drag creates a
Bezier (smooth) vertex.
Right-click to complete the operation and release
the mouse. At this point, you’re still in Insert
mode, and can begin inserting vertices in a
different segment. Otherwise, right-click again or
click Insert to exit Insert mode.
Editable Spline (Vertex)
Attach Multiple dialog, which contains a list of all
other shapes in the scene. Select the shapes you
want to attach to the current editable spline, then
click OK.
Select an editable spline > Modify panel > Expand the
editable spline in the stack display > Vertex sub-object
level
Cross Section—Creates a spline cage out of
Select an editable spline > Right-click the spline > Tools
1 (upper-left) quadrant of the quad menu > Sub-objects
> Vertex
cross-sectional shapes. Click Cross Section,
select one shape then a second shape, splines are
created joining the first shape with the second.
Continue clicking shapes to add them to the cage.
This functionality is similar to the Cross Section
modifier, but here you can determine the order
of the cross sections. Spline cage tangency can be
defined by choosing Linear, Bezier, Bezier Corner
or Smooth in New Vertex Type group.
Select an editable spline > Modify panel > Selection
rollout > Vertex button
While at the Editable Spline (Vertex) level, you can
select single and multiple vertices and move them
using standard methods. If the vertex is of the
Bezier or Bezier Corner type, you can also move
and rotate handles, thus affecting the shapes of any
segments joined at the vertex. You can copy and
Editable Spline (Vertex)
paste the handles between vertices using tangent
copy/paste. You can reset them or switch between
types using the quad menu. The tangent types are
always available on the quad menu when a vertex
is selected; your cursor doesn’t have to be directly
over them in the viewport.
Bezier vertex (left) and Bezier Corner vertex (right)
Procedures
To set a vertex type:
1. Right-click any vertex in a selection.
2. Choose a type from the shortcut menu. Each
vertex in a shape can be one of four types:
To copy and paste vertex tangent handles:
1.
Turn on Vertex Selection, then Select the
vertex you want to copy from.
2. On the Geometry rollout scroll down to the
Tangent group and click Copy.
• Smooth: Nonadjustable vertices that create
smooth continuous curves. The curvature
at a smooth vertex is determined by the
spacing of adjacent vertices.
3. Move your cursor over the vertices in the
• Corner: Nonadjustable vertices that create
sharp corners.
4. On the Geometry rollout scroll down to the
• Bezier: Adjustable vertex with locked
continuous tangent handles that create a
smooth curve. The curvature at the vertex
is set by the direction and magnitude of the
tangent handles.
5. Move your cursor over the vertices in the
• Bezier Corner: Adjustable vertex with
discontinuous tangent handles that create a
sharp corner. The curvature of the segment
as it leaves the corner is set by the direction
and magnitude of the tangent handles.
To reset vertex handle tangency:
viewport. The cursor changes to a copy cursor.
Click the handle you wish to copy.
Tangent group and click Paste.
viewport. The cursor changes to a paste cursor.
Click the handle you wish to paste to.
The vertex tangency changes in the viewport.
It is easy to make the handles very small and
coincident with the vertex, which makes them
hard to select and edit. Reset the vertex handle
tangency to redraw your handles
1. Select the vertex that is problematic.
2. Right-click and choose Reset Tangents.
Any vertex handle editing you have done is
discarded and the handles are reset.
Smooth vertex (left) and Corner vertex (right)
Interface
Rendering, Interpolation, and Selection rollouts
For information on the Rendering, Interpolation
(page 1–264) and Selection rollout (page 1–267)
settings, see Editable Spline (page 1–262).
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Soft Selection rollout
For information on the Soft Selection rollout
settings, see Soft Selection Rollout (page 2–310).
Geometry rollout
New Vertex Type group
The radio buttons in this group let you determine
the tangency of the new vertices created when you
Shift +Clone segments or splines. If you later use
Connect Copy, vertices on the splines that connect
the original segment or spline to the new one will
have the type specified in this group.
This setting has no effect on the tangency of
vertices created using tools such as the Create Line
button, Refine, and so on.
• Linear—New vertices will have linear tangency.
• Smooth—New vertices will have smooth
tangency.
When this option is chosen, new vertices that
overlap are automatically welded.
• Bezier—New vertices will have bezier tangency.
• Bezier Corner—New vertices will have bezier
corner tangency.
1–244). To exit line creation, right-click or click
to turn off Create Line.
Break—Splits a spline at the selected vertex or
vertices. Select one or more vertices and then
click Break to create the split. There are now two
superimposed non-connected vertices for every
previous one, allowing the once-joined segment
ends to be moved away from each other.
Attach—Attaches another spline in the scene to the
selected spline. Click the object you want to attach
to the currently selected spline object. The object
you’re attaching must also be a spline.
For further details, see Attach.
Attach Mult.—Click this button to display the
Attach Multiple dialog, which contains a list of all
other shapes in the scene. Select the shapes you
want to attach to the current editable spline, then
click OK.
• Reorient—When on, reorients attached splines
so that each spline’s creation local coordinate
system is aligned with the creation local
coordinate system of the selected spline.
Cross Section—Creates a spline cage out of
cross-sectional shapes. Click Cross Section,
select one shape then a second shape, splines are
created joining the first shape with the second.
Continue clicking shapes to add them to the cage.
This functionality is similar to the Cross Section
modifier, but here you can determine the order
of the cross sections. Spline cage tangency can be
defined by choosing Linear, Bezier, Bezier Corner
or Smooth in New Vertex Type group.
Tip: When you edit the spline cage, use Area
Create Line—Adds more splines to the selected
object. These lines are separate spline sub-objects;
create them in the same way as the line spline (page
Selection before selecting your vertices. This will
keep their positions together as you transform
them.
Editable Spline (Vertex)
Refine group
makes a separate copy of each new vertex and then
connects all of the copies with a new spline.
Note: For Connect to work, you must turn it on
before you click Refine.
The Refine group includes a number of functions
useful for building spline networks for use with
the Surface modifier (page 2–203).
Refine—Lets you add vertices without altering the
curvature values of the spline. Click Refine, and
then select any number of spline segments to add
a vertex each time you click (the mouse cursor
changes to a "connect" symbol when over an
eligible segment). To finish adding vertices, click
Refine again, or right-click in the viewport.
You can also click existing vertices during a refine
operation, in which case Autodesk VIZ displays a
dialog asking if you want to Refine or Connect
Only to the vertex. If you choose Connect Only,
Autodesk VIZ will not create a vertex: it simply
connects to the existing vertex.
The Refine operation creates a different type of
vertex depending on the types of vertices on the
endpoints of the segment being refined.
After turning on Connect and before beginning
the refinement process, turn on any combination
of these options:
• Linear—When on, makes all segments in the
new spline straight lines by using Corner
vertices. When Linear is off, the vertices used
to create the new spline are of the Smooth type.
• Bind First—Causes the first vertex created in a
refinement operation to be bound to the center
of the selected segment. See Bound Vertex (page
3–613).
• Closed—When on, connects the first and last
vertices in the new spline to create a closed
spline. When Closed is off, Connect always
creates an open spline.
• Bind Last—Causes the last vertex created in a
refinement operation to be bound to the center
of the selected segment. See Bound Vertex (page
3–613).
End Point Auto-Welding group
• If the bordering vertices are both Smooth types,
the Refine operation creates a Smooth type
vertex.
• If the bordering vertices are both Corner types,
the Refine operation creates a Corner type
vertex.
• If either of the bordering vertices is a Corner
or Bezier Corner, the Refine operation creates
a Bezier Corner type.
• Otherwise, the operation creates a Bezier type
vertex.
Connect—When on, creates a new spline
sub-object by connecting the new vertices. When
you finish adding vertices with Refine, Connect
Automatic Welding—When Automatic Welding is
turned on, an end point vertex that is placed or
moved within the threshold distance of another
end point of the same spline is automatically
welded. This feature is available at the object and
all sub-object levels.
Threshold—The threshold distance spinner is a
proximity setting that controls how close vertices
can be to one another before they are automatically
welded. Default=6.0.
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Make First—Specifies which vertex in the selected
shape is the first vertex. The first vertex of a spline
is indicated as a vertex with a small box around
it. Select one vertex on each spline within the
currently edited shape that you want to change and
click the Make First button.
On open splines, the first vertex must be the
endpoint that is not already the first vertex. On
closed splines, it can be any point that isn’t already
the first vertex. Click the Make First button, and
the first vertices will be set.
Weld—Converts two end vertices, or two adjacent
vertices within the same spline, into a single vertex.
Move either two end vertices or two adjacent
vertices near each other, select both vertices, and
then click Weld. If the vertices are within the unit
distance set by the Weld Threshold spinner (to the
right of the button), they’re converted into a single
vertex. You can weld a selection set of vertices, as
long as each pair of vertices is within the threshold.
Connect—Connects any two end vertices, resulting
in a linear segment, regardless of the tangent
values of the end vertices. Click the Connect
button, point the mouse over an end vertex until
the cursor changes to a cross, and then drag from
one end vertex to another end vertex.
Insert—Inserts one or more vertices, creating
additional segments. Click anywhere in a segment
to insert a vertex and attach the mouse to the
spline. Then optionally move the mouse and
click to place the new vertex. Continue moving
the mouse and clicking to add vertices. A single
click inserts a corner vertex, while a drag creates a
Bezier (smooth) vertex.
Right-click to complete the operation and release
the mouse. At this point, you’re still in Insert
mode, and can begin inserting vertices in a
different segment. Otherwise, right-click again or
click Insert to exit Insert mode.
The first vertex on a spline has special significance.
The following table defines how the first vertex is
used.
Shape Use
First Vertex Meaning
Loft Path
Start of the path. Level 0.
Loft Shape
Initial skin alignment.
Path
Constraint
Start of the motion path. 0% location on
the path.
Trajectory
First position key.
Fuse—Moves all selected vertices to their averaged
center.
Fuse is useful for making vertices coincide when
building a spline network for use with the Surface
modifier (page 2–203).
Note: Fuse doesn’t join the vertices; it simply moves
them to the same location.
Three selected vertices (left); fused vertices (right)
Editable Spline (Vertex)
Cycle—Selects successive coincident vertices.
Select one of two or more vertices that share the
exact same location in 3D space, and then click
Cycle repeatedly until the vertex you want is
selected.
Cycle is useful for selecting a specific vertex from a
group of coincident vertices at a spline intersection
when building a spline network for use with the
Surface modifier (page 2–203).
Tip: Watch the info display at the bottom of the
Selection rollout to see which vertex is selected.
CrossInsert—Adds vertices at the intersection of
two splines belonging to the same spline object.
Click CrossInsert, and then click the point of
intersection between the two splines. If the
distance between the splines is within the unit
distance set by the CrossInsert Threshold spinner
(to the right of the button), the vertices are added
to both splines.
You can continue using CrossInsert by clicking
different spline intersections. To finish, right-click
in the active viewport or click the CrossInsert
button again.
CrossInsert is useful for creating vertices at spline
intersections when building a spline network for
use with the Surface modifier (page 2–203).
Note: CrossInsert doesn’t join the two splines, but
simply adds vertices where they cross.
Fillet—Lets you round corners where segments
meet, adding new control vertices. You can apply
this effect interactively (by dragging vertices) or
numerically (using the Fillet spinner). Click the
Fillet button, and then drag vertices in the active
object. The Fillet spinner updates to indicate the
fillet amount as you drag.
Original rectangle (left), after applying Fillet (top right), and
after applying Chamfer (bottom right)
If you drag one or more selected vertices, all
selected vertices are filleted identically. If you drag
an unselected vertex, any selected vertices are first
deselected.
You can continue using Fillet by dragging on
different vertices. To finish, right-click in an active
viewport or click the Fillet button again.
A fillet creates a new segment connecting new
points on both segments leading to the original
vertex. These new points are exactly <fillet
amount> distance from the original vertex along
both segments. New fillet segments are created
with the material ID of one of the neighboring
segments (picked at random).
For example, if you fillet one corner of a rectangle,
the single corner vertex is replaced by two vertices
moving along the two segments that lead to the
corner, and a new rounded segment is created at
the corner.
Note: Unlike the Fillet/Chamfer modifier, you can
apply the Fillet function to any type of vertex, not
just Corner and Bezier Corner vertices. Similarly,
adjoining segments need not be linear.
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• Fillet Amount—Adjust this spinner (to the right
of the Fillet button) to apply a fillet effect to
selected vertices.
Chamfer—Lets you bevel shape corners using
a chamfer function. You can apply this effect
interactively (by dragging vertices) or numerically
(using the Chamfer spinner). Click the Chamfer
button, and then drag vertices in the active object.
The Chamfer spinner updates to indicate the
chamfer amount as you drag.
If you drag one or more selected vertices, all
selected vertices are chamfered identically. If you
drag an unselected vertex, any selected vertices are
first deselected.
You can continue using Chamfer by dragging on
different vertices. To finish, right-click in an active
viewport or click the Chamfer button again.
A chamfer "chops off " the selected vertices,
creating a new segment connecting new points
on both segments leading to the original vertex.
These new points are exactly <chamfer amount>
distance from the original vertex along both
segments. New chamfer segments are created with
the material ID of one of the neighboring segments
(picked at random).
For example, if you chamfer one corner of a
rectangle, the single corner vertex is replaced by
two vertices moving along the two segments that
lead to the corner, and a new segment is created
at the corner.
Note: Unlike the Fillet/Chamfer modifier, you
can apply the Chamfer function to any type of
vertex, not just Corner and Bezier Corner vertices.
Similarly, adjoining segments need not be linear.
• Chamfer Amount—Adjust this spinner (to the
right of the Chamfer button) to apply a chamfer
effect to selected vertices.
Tangent group
Tools in this group let you copy and paste vertex
handles from one vertex to another.
Copy— Turn this on, then choose a handle. This
action copies the selected handle tangent into a
buffer.
Paste—Turn this on, then click a handle. This
pastes the handle tangent onto the selected vertex.
Paste Length—When this is on, the handle length is
also copied. When this is off, only the handle angle
is considered, the handle length is unchanged.
Hide and Bind group
Hide—Hides selected vertices and any connected
segments. Select one or more vertices, and then
click Hide.
Unhide All—Displays any hidden sub-objects.
Bind—Lets you create bound vertices (page 3–613).
Click Bind, and then drag from any end vertex
in the current selection to any segment in the
current selection except the one connected to the
vertex. Before dragging, when the cursor is over
an eligible vertex, it changes to a + cursor. While
dragging, a dashed line connects the vertex and
the current mouse position, and when the mouse
cursor is over an eligible segment, it changes to
a "connect" symbol. When you release over an
eligible segment, the vertex jumps to the center of
the segment and is bound to it.
Editable Spline (Segment)
Bind is useful for connecting splines when building
a spline network for use with the Surface modifier
(page 2–203).
Unbind—Lets you disconnect bound vertices
(page 3–613) from the segments to which they’re
attached. Select one or more bound vertices, and
the click the Unbind button.
Delete—Deletes the selected vertex or vertices,
along with one attached segment per deleted
vertex.
Display group
Procedure
To change segment properties:
1. Select an editable spline segment, and then
right-click.
2. On the Tools 1 (upper-left) quadrant of the
quad menu, choose Line or Curve.
The effect of changing segment properties
varies according to the type of vertices at the
segment end.
• Corner vertices always result in line
segments regardless of the segment property.
• Smooth vertices can support both line or
curve segment properties.
Show selected segs—When on, any selected
segments are highlighted in red at the Vertex
sub-object level. When off (the default), selected
segments are highlighted only at the Segment
sub-object level.
This feature is useful for comparing complex
curves against each other.
• Bezier and Bezier Corner vertices apply their
tangent handles only to curve segments.
Tangent handles are ignored by line
segments.
• A tangent handle associated with a line
segment displays an X at the end of the
handle. You can still transform the handle,
but it has no effect until the segment is
converted to a curve segment.
Tip: If you have problems transforming the
Editable Spline (Segment)
Select an editable spline > Modify panel > Expand the
editable spline in the stack display > Segment sub-object
level
Select an editable spline > Modify panel > Selection
rollout > Segment button
Select an editable spline > Right-click the spline > Tools
1 (upper-left) quadrant of the quad menu > Sub-objects
> Segment
handles, display the axis constraints toolbar
and change the transform axis there.
Interface
Rendering, Interpolation, and Selection rollouts
For information on the Rendering, Interpolation
(page 1–264) and Selection rollout (page 1–267)
settings, see Editable Spline (page 1–262).
Soft Selection rollout
A segment is the portion of a spline curve between
two of its vertices. While at the Editable Spline
(Segment) level, you can select single and multiple
segments and move, rotate, scale or clone them
using standard methods.
For information on the Soft Selection rollout
settings, see Soft Selection Rollout (page 2–310).
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Geometry rollout
New Vertex Type group
The radio buttons in this group let you determine
the tangency of the new vertices created when you
Shift +Clone segments or splines. If you later use
Connect Copy, vertices on the splines that connect
the original segment or spline to the new one will
have the type specified in this group.
This setting has no effect on the tangency of
vertices created using tools such as the Create Line
button, Refine, and so on.
• Linear—New vertices will have linear tangency.
• Smooth—New vertices will have smooth
tangency.
When this option is chosen, new vertices that
overlap are automatically welded.
• Bezier—New vertices will have bezier tangency.
• Bezier Corner—New vertices will have bezier
corner tangency.
Create Line—Adds more splines to the selected
spline. These lines are separate spline sub-objects;
create them in the same way as the line spline (page
1–244). To exit line creation, right-click or click
to turn off Create Line.
Break—Lets you specify a break point at any
segment in the shape (you do not have to first select
a segment). When on, the mouse icon changes
to a Break icon. You can now click any spot on a
segment. The clicked spot becomes two coincident
vertices, and the segment is split into two parts.
Attach—Attaches another spline in the scene to the
selected spline. Click the object you want to attach
to the currently selected spline object. The object
you’re attaching to must also be a spline.
For further details, see Attach.
Reorient—Reorients the attached spline so that its
creation local coordinate system is aligned with
the creation local coordinate system of the selected
spline.
Attach Mult.—Click this button to display the
Attach Multiple dialog, which contains a list of all
other shapes in the scene. Select the shapes you
want to attach to the current editable spline, then
click OK.
Cross Section—Creates a spline cage out of
cross–sectional shapes. Click Cross Section, select
one segment then another sub-object segment,
splines are created joining the first shape with the
second. Continue clicking segments to add them
to the cage. All segments must be part of the same
object to build cross sections. This functionality
is similar to the Cross Section modifier, but here
you can determine the order of the cross sections.
Spline cage tangency can be defined by choosing
Linear, Bezier, Bezier Corner or Smooth in New
Vertex Type group.
Tip: When you want to move these vertices, turn
on Area Selection before you select them. When
you transform them, the vertices will stay together.
Refine group
Editable Spline (Segment)
The Refine group includes a number of functions
useful for building spline networks for use with
the Surface modifier (page 2–203).
After turning on Connect and before beginning
the refinement process, turn on any combination
of these options:
Refine—Lets you add vertices without altering the
• Linear—When on, makes all segments in the
new spline linear by using Corner vertices.
When Linear is off, the vertices used to create
the new spline are of the Smooth type.
curvature values of the spline. Click Refine, and
then select any number of spline segments to add
a vertex each time you click (the mouse cursor
changes to a "connect" symbol when over an
eligible segment). To finish adding vertices, click
Refine again, or right-click in the viewport.
• Bind First—Causes the first vertex created in a
refinement operation to be bound to the center
of the selected segment.
For more information, see Bound Vertex (page
3–613).
You can also click existing vertices during a refine
operation, in which case Autodesk VIZ displays a
dialog asking if you want to Refine or Connect to
the vertex. If you choose Connect, Autodesk VIZ
will not create a vertex: it simply connects to the
existing vertex.
• Closed—When on, connects the first and last
vertices in the new spline to create a closed
spline. When Closed is off, Connect always
creates an open spline.
The Refine operation creates a different type of
vertex depending on the types of vertices on the
endpoints of the segment being refined.
• Bind Last—Causes the last vertex created in a
refinement operation to be bound to the center
of the selected segment.
• If the bordering vertices are both Smooth types,
the Refine operation creates a Smooth type
vertex.
• If the bordering vertices are both Corner types,
the Refine operation creates a Corner type
vertex.
• If either of the bordering vertices is a Corner
or Bezier Corner, the Refine operation creates
a Bezier Corner type.
• Otherwise, the operation creates a Bezier type
vertex.
Connect—When on, creates a new spline
sub-object by connecting the new vertices. When
you finish adding vertices with Refine, Connect
makes a separate copy of each new vertex and then
connects all of the copies with a new spline.
Note: For Connect to work, you must turn it on
before you click Refine.
For more information, see Bound Vertex (page
3–613).
Connect Copy group
Connect Copy—When on, Shift +Cloning a
segment creates a new spline sub-object with
additional splines that connect the new segment’s
vertices to the vertices of the original segment. It
is analogous to Shift +Cloning edges in Editable
Mesh and Editable Poly objects.
Note: For Connect Copy to work, you must turn it
on before you Shift +Clone.
Threshold— Determines the distance soft selection
will use when Connect Copy is on. A higher
threshold results in more splines being created; a
lower threshold results in fewer splines.
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End Point Auto-Welding group
Hide—Hides selected segments. Select one or more
segments, and then click Hide.
Unhide All—Displays any hidden sub-objects.
Delete—Deletes any selected segments in the
current shape.
Automatic Welding—When Automatic Welding is
turned on, an end point vertex that is placed or
moved within the threshold distance of another
end point of the same spline is automatically
welded. This feature is available at the object and
all sub-object levels.
Threshold—The threshold distance spinner is a
proximity setting that controls how close vertices
can be to one another before they are automatically
welded. Default=6.0.
Selected and deleted segment
Divide—Subdivides the selected segment or
Insert—Inserts one or more vertices, creating
additional segments. Click anywhere in a segment
to insert a vertex and attach the mouse to the
spline. Then optionally move the mouse and
click to place the new vertex. Continue moving
the mouse and clicking to add vertices. A single
click inserts a corner vertex, while a drag creates a
Bezier (smooth) vertex.
segments by adding the number of vertices
specified by the spinner. Select one or more
segments, set the Divisions spinner (to the button’s
right), and then click Divide. Each selected
segment is divided by the number of vertices
specified in the Divisions spinner. The distance
between the vertices depends on the segment’s
relative curvature, with areas of greater curvature
receiving more vertices.
Right-click to complete the operation and release
the mouse. At this point, you’re still in Insert
mode, and can begin inserting vertices in a
different segment. Otherwise, right-click again or
click Insert to exit Insert mode.
Selected and divided segment
Detach—Lets you select several segments in
various splines and then detach them (or copy
them) to form a new shape. Three options are
available:
Editable Spline (Segment)
• Same Shp—(Same Shape) When on, Reorient
is disabled, and a Detach operation keeps the
detached segment as part of the shape (rather
than producing a new shape). If Copy is also
on, you end up with a detached copy of the
segment in the same location.
• Reorient—The detached segment copies the
position and orientation of the source object’s
creation Local coordinate system. The new
detached object is moved and rotated so that
its Local coordinate system is positioned and
aligned with the origin of the current active
grid.
• Copy—Copies the detached segment rather
than moving it.
Surface Properties rollout
Material group
You can apply different material IDs to spline
segments (see Material ID (page 3–649)). You
can then assign a multi/sub-object material (page
2–1205) to such splines, which appears when the
spline is renderable, or when used for lathing or
extrusion. Be sure to turn on Generate Material
IDs and Use Shape IDs when lofting, lathing or
extruding.
Set ID—Lets you assign a particular material
Original and detached splines
Display group
ID number to selected segments for use with
multi/sub-object materials and other applications.
Use the spinner or enter the number from the
keyboard. The total number of available IDs is
65,535.
Select ID—Selects the segments or splines
corresponding to the Material ID specified in
the adjacent ID field. Type or use the spinner to
specify an ID, then click the Select ID button.
Show selected segs—When on, any selected
segments are highlighted in red at the Vertex
sub-object level. When off (the default), selected
segments are highlighted only at the Segment
sub-object level.
This feature is useful for comparing complex
curves against each other.
Select By Name—This drop-down list shows
the names of sub-materials if an object has a
Multi/Sub-object material assigned to it. Click
the drop arrow and select a material from the list.
The segments or splines that are assigned that
material are selected. If a shape does not have a
Multi/Sub-Object material assigned to it, the name
list will be unavailable. Likewise, if multiple shapes
are selected that have an Edit Spline modifier
applied to them, the name list is inactive.
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Clear Selection—When turned on, selecting a new
ID or material name forces a deselection of any
previously selected segments or splines. When
turned off, selections are cumulative so new ID
or material name selections add to a previous
selection set of segments or splines. Default=on.
Editable Spline (Spline)
Select an editable spline > Modify panel > Expand the
editable spline in the stack display > Spline sub-object
level
Select an editable spline > Modify panel > Selection
rollout > Spline button
Select an editable spline > Right-click the spline > Tools
1 (upper-left) quadrant of the quad menu > Sub-objects
> Spline
While at the Editable Spline (Spline) level, you can
select single and multiple splines within a single
spline object and move, rotate, and scale them
using standard methods.
Procedure
To change spline properties:
• You change the properties of a spline from Line
to Curve by right-clicking and choosing Line or
Curve from the Tools 1 (upper-left) quadrant
of the quad menu.
Changing the spline property also changes the
property of all vertices in the spline:
• Choosing Line converts vertices to Corners.
• Choosing Curve converts vertices to Beziers.
Interface
Rendering, Interpolation and Selection rollouts
For information on the Rendering, Interpolation
(page 1–264) and Selection rollout (page 1–267)
settings, see Editable Spline (page 1–262).
Soft Selection rollout
See Soft Selection Rollout (page 2–310) for
information on the Soft Selection rollout settings.
Geometry rollout
Editable Spline (Spline)
New Vertex Type group
The radio buttons in this group let you determine
the tangency of the new vertices created when you
Shift +Clone segments or splines. If you later use
Connect Copy, vertices on the splines that connect
the original segment or spline to the new one will
have the type specified in this group.
This setting has no effect on the tangency of
vertices created using tools such as the Create Line
button, Refine, and so on.
• Linear—New vertices will have linear tangency.
• Smooth—New vertices will have smooth
tangency.
When this option is chosen, new vertices that
overlap are automatically welded.
• Bezier—New vertices will have bezier tangency.
• Bezier Corner—New vertices will have bezier
corner tangency.
Create Line—Adds more splines to the selected
spline. These lines are separate spline sub-objects;
create them in the same way as the line spline (page
1–244). To exit line creation, right-click or click
to turn off Create Line.
Attach—Attaches another spline in the scene to the
selected spline. Click the object you want to attach
to the currently selected spline object. The object
you’re attaching to must also be a spline.
For further details, see Attach.
Reorient—Reorients the attached spline so that its
creation local coordinate system is aligned with
the creation local coordinate system of the selected
spline.
Attach Mult.—Click this button to display the
Attach Multiple dialog, which contains a list of all
other shapes in the scene. Select the shapes you
want to attach to the current editable spline, then
click OK.
Cross Section—Creates a spline cage out of
cross–sectional shapes. Click Cross Section,
select one shape then a second shape, splines are
created joining the first shape with the second.
Continue clicking shapes to add them to the cage.
This functionality is similar to the Cross Section
modifier, but here you can determine the order
of the cross sections. Spline cage tangency can be
defined in the New Vertex Type group.
Tip: When you edit the spline cage, use Area
Selection before selecting your vertices. This will
keep their positions together as you transform
them.
Connect Copy group
Connect Copy—When on, Shift +Cloning a spline
creates a new spline sub-object with additional
splines that connect the new spline’s vertices to the
vertices of the original segment. It is analogous
to Shift +Cloning edges in Editable Mesh and
Editable Poly objects.
Note: For Connect Copy to work, you must turn it
on before you Shift +Clone.
Threshold—Determines the distance soft selection
uses when Connect Copy is on. A higher value
results in more splines being created, a lower value
results in fewer splines.
End Point Auto-Welding group
Automatic Welding—When Automatic Welding is
turned on, an endpoint vertex that is placed or
moved within the threshold distance of another
endpoint of the same spline is automatically
welded. This feature is available at the object and
all sub-object levels.
Threshold—A proximity setting that controls how
close vertices can be to one another before they are
automatically welded. Default=6.0.
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Insert—Inserts one or more vertices, creating
additional segments. Click anywhere in a segment
to insert a vertex and attach the mouse to the
spline. Then optionally move the mouse and
click to place the new vertex. Continue moving
the mouse and clicking to add vertices. A single
click inserts a corner vertex, while a drag creates a
Bezier (smooth) vertex.
Select one or more splines and then adjust the
outline position dynamically with the spinner, or
click Outline and then drag a spline. If the spline is
open, the resulting spline and its outline will make
a single closed spline.
Right-click to complete the operation and release
the mouse. At this point, you’re still in Insert
mode, and can begin inserting vertices in a
different segment. Otherwise, right-click again or
click Insert to exit Insert mode.
Reverse—Reverses the direction of the selected
spline. If the spline is open, the first vertex will
be switched to the opposite end of the spline.
Reversing the direction of a spline is usually done
in order to reverse the effect of using the Insert
tool at vertex selection level.
Original and outlined splines
Note: Normally, if using the spinner, you must first select a spline
before using Outline. If, however, the spline object contains only
one spline, it is automatically selected for the outlining process.
Center—When off (default), the original spline
remains stationary and the outline is offset on
one side only to the distance specified by Outline
Width. When Center is on, the original spline and
the outline move away from an invisible center line
to the distance specified by Outline Width.
Original and reversed splines
Outline—Makes a copy of the spline, offset on
all sides to the distance specified by the Outline
Width spinner (to the right of the Outline button).
Editable Spline (Spline)
• Subtraction—Subtracts the overlapping portion
of the second spline from the first spline, and
deletes the remainder of the second spline.
• Intersection—Leaves only the overlapping
portions of the two splines, deleting the
non-overlapping portion of both.
Original splines (left), Boolean Union, Boolean Subtraction,
and Boolean Intersection, respectively
Mirror—Mirrors splines along the length, width, or
diagonally. Click the direction you want to mirror
first so it is active, then click Mirror.
• Copy—When selected, copies rather than moves
the spline as it is mirrored.
Boolean—Combines two closed polygons by
performing a 2D Boolean operation that alters
the first spline you select, and deletes the second
one. Select the first spline, then click the Boolean
button and the desired operation, and then select
the second spline.
• About Pivot—When on, mirrors the spline
about the spline object’s pivot point (see Pivot
(page 2–782)). When off, mirrors the spline
about its geometric center.
Note: 2D Booleans only work on 2D splines that
are in the same plane.
There are three Boolean operations:
• Union—Combines two overlapping splines
into a single spline, in which the overlapping
portion is removed, leaving non-overlapping
portions of the two splines as a single spline.
Mirrored splines
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Trim—Use Trim to clean up overlapping segments
in a shape so that ends meet at a single point.
To trim, you need intersecting splines. Click the
portion of the spline you want to remove. The
spline is searched in both directions along its
length until it hits an intersecting spline, and
deleted up to the intersection. If the section
intersects at two points, the entire section is
deleted up to the two intersections. If the section
is open on one end and intersects at the other, the
entire section is deleted up to the intersection and
the open end. If the section is not intersected, or
if the spline is closed and only one intersection is
found, nothing happens.
Extend—Use Extend to clean up open segments in
a shape so that ends meet at a single point.
To extend, you need an open spline. The end of
the spline nearest the picked point is extended
until it reaches an intersecting spline. If there is
no intersecting spline, nothing happens. Curved
splines extend in a direction tangent to the end of
the spline. If the end of a spline lies directly on a
boundary (an intersecting spline), then it looks for
an intersection further along.
Detach—Copies selected splines to a new spline
object, and deletes them from the currently
selected spline if Copy is clear.
• Reorient—The spline being detached is moved
and rotated so that its creation local coordinate
system is aligned with the creation local
coordinate system of the selected spline.
• Copy—When selected, copies rather than moves
the spline as it is detached.
Explode—Breaks up any selected splines by
converting each segment to a separate spline
or object. This is a time-saving equivalent of
using Detach on each segment in the spline in
succession.
You can choose to explode to splines or objects. If
you choose Object, you’re prompted for a name;
each successive new spline object uses that name
appended with an incremented two-digit number.
Surface Properties rollout
Infinite Bounds—For the purposes of calculating
intersections, turn this on to treat open splines as
infinite in length. For example, this lets you trim
one linear spline against the extended length of
another line that it doesn’t actually intersect.
Material group
Hide—Hides selected splines. Select one or more
splines, and then click Hide.
Unhide All—Displays any hidden sub-objects.
Delete—Deletes the selected spline.
Close—Closes the selected spline by joining its end
vertices with a new segment.
You can apply different material IDs (see
material ID (page 3–649)) to splines in shapes
containing multiple splines. You can then assign
a multi/sub-object material (page 2–1205) to
such shapes, which appears when the spline is
renderable, or when used for lathing or extrusion.
Set ID—Lets you assign a particular material
ID number to selected segments for use with
multi/sub-object materials and other applications.
Compound Objects
Use the spinner or enter the number from the
keyboard. The total number of available IDs is
65,535.
Select ID—Selects the segments or splines
corresponding to the Material ID specified in
the adjacent ID field. Type or use the spinner to
specify an ID, then click the Select ID button.
Select By Name—This drop-down list shows
the names of sub-materials if an object has a
Multi/Sub-object material assigned to it. Click
the drop arrow and select a material from the list.
The segments or splines that are assigned that
material are selected. If a shape does not have a
Multi/Sub-Object material assigned to it, the name
list will be unavailable. Likewise, if multiple shapes
are selected that have an Edit Spline modifier
applied to them, the name list is inactive.
Clear Selection—When turned on, selecting a new
ID or material name, forces a deselection of any
previously selected segments or splines. If turned
off, selections are cumulative so new ID or material
name selections add to a previous selection set of
segments or splines. Default=on.
Compound objects include the following object
types:
Scatter Compound Object (page 1–287)
Connect Compound Object (page 1–294)
ShapeMerge Compound Object (page 1–297)
Boolean Compound Object (page 1–300)
Terrain Compound Object (page 1–308)
Loft Compound Object (page 1–313)
Scatter Compound Object
Select an object. > Create panel > Geometry > Compound
Objects > Object Type rollout > Scatter
Select an object. > Create menu > Compound > Scatter
Scatter is a form of compound object that
randomly scatters the selected source object either
as an array, or over the surface of a distribution
object.
Compound Objects
Create panel > Geometry > Compound Objects
Create menu > Compound
Compound objects generally combine two or
more existing objects into a single object.
The plane of the hill is used to scatter the trees and two different
sets of rocks.
Procedures
To create a Scatter object:
1. Create an object to be used as a source object.
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2. Optionally, create an object to be used as a
distribution object.
3. Select the source object, and then click Scatter
in the Compound Objects panel.
Note: The source object must be either a mesh
object or an object that can be converted to a
mesh object. If the currently selected object is
invalid, the Scatter button is unavailable.
2. Choose the method by which you want to clone
the distribution object (Reference, Copy, Move,
or Instance.)
3. Click Pick Distribution Object, and then select
the object you want to use as a distribution
object.
4. Make sure that Use Distribution Object on the
Scatter Object rollout is chosen.
5. Use the Duplicates spinner to specify the
number of duplicates. (This is not necessary
if you’re using the All Vertices, All Edge
Midpoints or All Face Centers distribution
methods.)
6. Choose a distribution method in the Scatter
Object rollout > Distribute Object Parameters
group under Distribute Using.
7. Optionally, adjust the Transform spinners to
randomly transform the duplicates.
Results of scattering source object with distribution object
visible (above) and hidden (below)
You now have two choices. You can either
scatter the source object as an array without
using a distribution object, or use a distribution
object to scatter the object. See the following
procedures.
8. If the display is too slow, or the meshes too
complicated, consider choosing Proxy on the
Display rollout or decreasing the percentage of
displayed duplicates by reducing the Display
percentage.
To scatter the source object without a distribution
object:
1. Choose Use Transforms Only in the Scatter
Objects rollout > Distribution group.
2. Set the Duplicates spinner to specify the desired
total number of duplicates of the source object.
3. Adjust the spinners on the Transforms rollout
to set random transformation offsets of the
source object.
To scatter the source object using a distribution
object:
1. Make sure the source object is selected.
Scatter objects (the grass) with a high number of duplicates
Scatter Compound Object
Interface
Scatter Objects rollout
Pick Distribution Object rollout
Contains the options for selecting a distribution
object.
Object—Displays the name of the distribution
object selected with the Pick button.
Pick Distribution Object—Click this button, then
click an object in the scene to specify it as a
distribution object.
Reference/Copy/Move/Instance—Lets you specify
how the distribution object is transferred to the
scatter object. It can be transferred either as a
reference (page 3–673), a copy, an instance (page
3–639), or moved, in which case the original shape
is not left behind.
The options on this rollout let you specify how the
source object is scattered, and let you access the
objects that make up the compound Scatter object.
Distribution group
These two options let you choose the basic method
of scattering the source object.
Use Distribution Object—Scatters the source object
based on the geometry of the distribution object.
Use Transforms Only—This options doesn’t need
a distribution object. Instead, duplicates of the
source object are positioned using the offset values
on the Transforms rollout. If all of the Transform
offsets remain at 0, you won’t see the array because
the duplicates occupy the same space.
Objects group
Contains a list window showing the objects that
make up the Scatter object.
List Window—Click to select an object in the
window so that you can access it in the Stack. For
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example, if your distribution object is a sphere,
you can click Distribution: D_Sphere01, open the
Stack list, and select Sphere to access the sphere’s
parameters.
Base Scale—Alters the scale of the source object,
Source Name—Lets you rename the source object
the vertices of the source object.
within the compound Scatter object.
Distribution Name—Lets you rename the
distribution object.
Extract Operand—Extract a copy or an instance of
the selected operand. Choose an operand in the
list window to enable this button.
affecting each duplicate identically. This scale
occurs before any other transforms.
Vertex Chaos—Applies a random perturbation to
Animation Offset—This feature does not apply to
Autodesk VIZ; it appears for file compatibility
with 3ds Max.
Distribution Object Parameters group
Note: This button is available only on the Modify
panel. You can’t extract an operand while the
Create panel is active.
Instance/Copy—This option lets you specify how
the operand is extracted: as either an instance
(page 3–639) or a copy.
Source Object Parameters group
These options affect the source object locally.
Duplicates—Specifies the number of scattered
duplicates of the source object.
This number is set to 1 by default, but you can
set it to 0 if you want to. Note that the Duplicates
number is ignored if you’re distributing the
duplicates using either Face Centers or Vertices. In
these cases, one duplicate is placed at each vertex
or face center, depending on your choice.
These options affect how the duplicates of
the source object are arranged, relative to the
distribution object. These options have an effect
only when a distribution object is used.
Perpendicular—When on, orients each duplicate
object perpendicular to its associate face, vertex,
or edge in the distribution object. When off, the
duplicates maintain the same orientation as the
original source object.
Use Selected Faces Only—When on, limits
distribution to the selected faces passed up the
Stack. Perhaps the easiest way to do this is to use
the Instance option when picking the distribution
object. You can then apply a Mesh Select modifier
Scatter Compound Object
to the original object and select only those
faces you want to use for the distribution of the
duplicates.
Distribute Using
The following options let you specify how the
geometry of the distribution object determines the
distribution of the source object. These options are
ignored if you’re not using a distribution object.
Area—Distributes duplicate objects evenly over the
total surface area of the distribution object.
Objects distributed over a spherical surface with Area turned on
Even—Divides the number of faces in the
distribution object by the number of duplicates,
and skips the appropriate number of faces in the
distribution object when placing duplicates.
All Edge Midpoints—Places a duplicate at the
midpoint of each segment edge.
All Face Centers—Places a duplicate object at the
center of each triangular face on the distribution
object. The Duplicates value is ignored.
Volume—Scatters objects throughout the
distribution object’s volume. All other options
restrict distribution to the surface. Consider
turning on Display rollout > Hide Distribution
Object with this option.
Objects fill a spherical volume with Volume turned on
Display group
Skip N—Skips N number of faces when placing
duplicates. The editable field specifies how many
faces to skip before placing the next duplicate.
When set to 0, no faces are skipped. When set to 1,
every other face is skipped, and so on.
Random Faces—Applies duplicates randomly over
the surface of the distribution object.
Along Edges—Assigns duplicates randomly to the
edges of the distribution object.
All Vertices—Places a duplicate object at each
vertex in the distribution object. The Duplicates
value is ignored.
Result/Operands—Choose whether to display the
results of the scatter operation or the operands
before the scattering.
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Transforms rollout
distribution object, you must adjust the Transform
settings in order to see the duplicates.
Rotation group
Specifies random rotation offsets.
X, Y, Z deg—Enter the maximum random rotational
offset you want about the local X, Y, or Z axis of
each duplicate.
Use Maximum Range—When on, forces all three
settings to match the maximum value. The other
two settings become disabled, and the setting
containing the maximum value remains enabled.
Local Translation group
Specifies translation of the duplicates along their
local axes.
X, Y, Z—Enter the maximum random movement
you want along the X, Y, or Z axis of each duplicate.
Use Maximum Range—When on, forces all three
settings to match the maximum value. The other
two settings become disabled, and the setting
containing the maximum value remains enabled.
Translation on Face group
Lets you specify the translation of duplicates
along barycentric (page 3–609) face coordinates
of the associate face in the distribution object.
These settings have no effect if you’re not using a
distribution object.
The settings in the Transforms rollout let you
apply random transform offsets to each duplicate
object. The values in the transform fields specify
a maximum offset value that’s applied randomly
with a positive or negative value to each duplicate.
Thus, if you set a rotation angle of 15 degrees,
duplicates are rotated randomly from -15 to +15
degrees. For example, one duplicate might be
rotated 8 degrees, another -13, another 5, and so
on. You can use the Transform settings with or
without a distribution object. When there is no
A, B, N—The first two settings specify the
barycentric coordinates on the surface of the face,
while the N setting sets the offset along the normal
of the face.
Use Maximum Range—When on, forces all three
settings to match the maximum value. The other
two settings become disabled, and the setting
containing the maximum value remains enabled.
Scatter Compound Object
Scaling group
Lets you specify the scaling of duplicates along
their local axes.
X, Y, Z %—Specifies the percent of random scaling
along the X, Y, or Z axis of each duplicate.
Use Maximum Range—When on, forces all three
settings to match the maximum value. The
other two settings become disabled, and the one
containing the maximum value remains enabled.
Lock Aspect Ratio—When on, maintains the
original aspect ratio of the source object. Typically,
this provides uniform scaling of duplicates. When
Lock Aspect Ratio is off, and any of the X, Y, and
Z settings contain values greater than 0, the result
is non-uniform scaling of duplicates because the
values represent random scaling offsets in both
positive and negative directions.
Display rollout
no effect on the rendered image, which always
displays the mesh duplicates.
Mesh—Displays the full geometry of the duplicates.
Display %—Specifies the percentage of the total
duplicate objects that appear in the viewports.
This has no effect on the rendered scene.
Hide Distribution Object—Hides the distribution
object. The hidden object does not appear in the
viewport or in the rendered scene.
Uniqueness group
Lets you set a seed number upon which the
random values are based. Thus, altering this value
changes the overall effect of the scattering.
New—Generates a new, random seed number.
Seed—Use this spinner to set the seed number.
Load/Save Presets rollout
Provides options that affect the display of the
Scatter object.
Display Options group
These options affect the display of the source and
destination objects.
Proxy—Displays the source duplicates as simple
wedges and speeds up viewport redraws when
manipulating a complex Scatter object. This has
Lets you store preset values to use in other Scatter
objects. For example, after setting all of your
parameters for a specific Scatter object and saving
the settings under a specific name, you can then
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select another Scatter object and load the preset
values into the new object.
Preset Name—Lets you define a name for your
settings. Click the Save button to save the current
settings under the preset name.
Saved Presets group
A list window containing saved preset names.
LOAD—Loads the preset currently highlighted in
the Saved Presets list.
SAVE—Saves the current name in the Preset Name
field and places it in the Saved Presets window.
Left: Before connect
Right: After connect
DELETE—Deletes the selected items in the Save
Presets window.
Connect Compound Object
Select an object. > Create panel > Geometry > Compound
Objects > Object Type rollout > Connect
Select an object. > Create menu > Compound > Connect
The Connect compound object lets you connect
two or more objects between "holes" in their
surfaces. To do this, you delete faces in each object
to create one or more holes in their surfaces,
position them so that the holes face one another,
and then apply Connect.
Note: Connect is not suited to NURBS objects,
because they convert into many separate meshes
instead of one big mesh. The workaround is
simple: apply a Weld modifier to the NURBS
object (thus converting it to a mesh and zipping up
its seams) before using it as part of a connect.
Connect generates the best mapping coordinates it
can for the bridges between the various holes in the
meshes. While some ideal cases, such as a cylinder
above another cylinder, can generate good UVW
map interpolations, most cases cannot. You’ll need
to apply mapping to the bridge faces with a UVW
Map modifier (page 2–272).
Vertex colors, on the other hand, interpolate
smoothly.
Notes:
• You can use Connect on objects that have
multiple sets of holes. Connect will do its best
to match up the holes between the two objects.
• The mapping coordinates assigned to the
original two objects are maintained to the
extent possible. You might find irregularities in
the bridged area, depending on the complexity
and difference between the two original sets
of mapping coordinates and the types of
geometry.
Connect Compound Object
Procedures
7. Click the Pick Operand button, and then click
To create a Connect object:
the upper cylinder.
1. Create two mesh objects.
New faces are created that span the openings in
the two cylinders.
2. Delete faces on each to create holes where you
want to bridge the objects.
Example continued: To try out some options:
Position the objects so that the normals of
the deleted faces of one object point toward
the normals of the deleted faces of the other
object (assuming that deleted faces could have
normals).
1. Go to the Modify panel and increase the
3. Select one of the objects. On the Create panel >
Geometry > Compound Object Type rollout,
click Connect.
4. Click the Pick Operand button, and then select
the other object.
5. Faces are generated connecting the holes in the
two objects.
Segments spinner to 5 or more.
As the segments increase, the connection
becomes curved.
2. Set the Tension spinner to 0 to straighten the
connecting surface, increase it to 1, and then
return it to 0.5.
3. Try different combinations of the Bridge and
Ends options.
Interface
Pick Operand rollout
6. Adjust the connection with the various options.
Example: To connect two cylinders:
1. Create a cylinder with a radius of 15 and a
height of 30. Use the default settings for the
remaining parameters.
2. Create a second cylinder centered on the first
with a radius of 30, a height of 30, and 13 sides.
(The fewer sides are to demonstrate the mesh
interpolation in the connection.)
3. Move the first, narrower cylinder straight up
along Z so its bottom cap is about 15 units
above the top cap of the larger cylinder.
4. Convert both cylinders to editable meshes.
5. Delete the lower cap of the upper cylinder, and
the upper cap of the bottom cylinder. (Hint: Go
to Editable Mesh (Polygon) mode, select each
end in turn, and then press the Delete key.)
6. Exit sub-object mode, select the lower cylinder,
and click Connect.
Pick Operand—Click this button to connect an
additional operand to the original object.
For example, you might begin with a single object
with two holes, and arrange two additional objects,
each with one hole, outside of those holes. Click
the Pick Operand button and select one of the
objects, which is connected, and then click Pick
Operand again and select the other object, which
is connected. Both connected objects are added to
the Operands list.
Reference/Copy/Move/Instance—Lets you specify
how the operand is transferred to the compound
object. It can be transferred either as a reference
(page 3–673), a copy, an instance (page 3–639),
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or moved, in which case the original is not left
behind.
Note: Connect works only with objects that are
capable of being converted into editable surfaces,
such as editable meshes (page 2–342).
Parameters rollout
Note: This button is available only in the Modify
panel. You can’t extract an operand while in the
Create panel.
Instance/Copy—Lets you specify how the operand
is extracted: as either an instance (page 3–639) or a
copy.
Interpolation group
Segments—Sets the number of segments in the
connecting bridge.
Tension—Controls the curvature in the connecting
bridge. A value of 0 provides no curvature, while
higher values create curves that attempt to more
smoothly match the surface normals on either
end of the connecting bridge. This spinner has no
apparent effect when Segments is set to 0.
Smoothing group
Bridge—Applies smoothing between the faces in
the connecting bridge.
Ends—Applies smoothing between the faces that
Operands group
Operands list—Displays the current operands.
Select an operand to rename, delete or extract by
clicking it in this list.
Name—Renames a selected operand. Type in a
new name, and then press Tab or Enter .
Delete Operand—Deletes a selected operand from
the list.
Extract Operand—Extracts a copy or an instance of
the selected operand. Choose an operand in the
list to enable this button.
border the old and new surfaces of the connecting
bridge and the original objects. When turned off,
Autodesk VIZ assigns a new material ID number
to the bridge. The new number is one higher than
the highest ID number assigned to either of the
original objects. When on, the ID number is taken
from one of the original objects.
Note: If both Bridge and Ends are on, but the
original objects contain no smoothing groups,
then smoothing is assigned to the bridge and to
the faces bordering the bridge.
ShapeMerge Compound Object
Display/Update rollout
ShapeMerge Compound Object
Select an object. > Create panel > Geometry > Compound
Objects > Object Type rollout > ShapeMerge
Select an object. > Create menu > Compound >
ShapeMerge
Display group
Determines whether the shape operands are
displayed.
• Result—Displays the result of the operation.
• Operands—Displays the operands.
Update group
These options determine when the projection for
the compound object is recalculated. Because
complex compound objects can slow performance,
you can use these options to avoid constant
calculation.
ShapeMerge combines the lettering, a text shape, with the
mesh that models the tire.
ShapeMerge creates a compound object consisting
of a mesh object and one or more shapes. The
shapes are either embedded in the mesh, altering
the edge and face patterns, or subtracted from the
mesh.
• Always—The object is updated constantly.
Procedure
• When Rendering—The object is recalculated
only when the scene is rendered.
To create a ShapeMerge object:
• Manually—Activates the Update button for
manual recalculation.
2. Align the shapes in the viewport so they can be
Update—Recalculates the projection.
3. Select the mesh object, and click the
1. Create a mesh object and one or more shapes
projected toward the surface of the mesh object.
ShapeMerge button.
4. Click Pick Shape, and then select the shape.
The geometry of the surface of the mesh object is
altered to embed a pattern matching that of the
selected shape.
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Interface
Parameters rollout
Pick Operand rollout
Pick Shape—Click this button, and then click the
shape you want to embed in the mesh object. The
shape is projected onto the mesh object in the
direction of the shape’s local negative Z axis. For
example, if you create a box, and then create a
shape in the Top viewport, the shape is projected
onto the top of the box. You can repeat this process
to add shapes, and the shapes can be projected in
different directions. Simply click Pick Shape again,
and then pick another shape.
Reference/Copy/Move/Instance—Lets you specify
how the shape is transferred to the compound
object. It can be transferred either as a reference
(page 3–673), a copy, an instance (page 3–639), or
moved, in which case the original shape is not left
behind.
Operands group
Operands list—Lists all operands in the compound
object. The first operand is the mesh object, and
any number of shape-based operands can follow.
Delete Shape—Remove selected shapes from the
compound object.
Extract Operand—Extracts a copy or an instance of
the selected operand. Choose an operand in the
list window to enable this button.
Instance/Copy—Lets you specify how the operand
is extracted. It can be extracted either as an
instance (page 3–639) or a copy.
Operation group
These options determine how the shape is applied
to the mesh.
ShapeMerge Compound Object
Cookie Cutter—Cuts the shape out of the mesh
Display/Update rollout
object’s surface.
Merge—Merges the shape with the surface of the
mesh object.
Invert—Reverses the effect of Cookie Cutter or
Merge. With the Cookie Cutter option, the effect
is obvious. When Invert is off, the shape is a hole
in the mesh object. When Invert is on, the shape
is solid and the mesh is missing. When you’re
using Merge, Invert reverses the sub-object mesh
selection. As an example, if you merge a circle
shape and apply a Face Extrude, the circular area is
extruded when Invert is off, and all but the circular
area is extruded when Invert is on.
Output Sub-Mesh Selection group
Provides options that let you specify what selection
level is passed up the Stack. The ShapeMerge
object stores all selection levels; that is, it stores the
vertices, faces, and edges of the merged shape with
the object. (If you apply a Mesh Select modifier
and go to the various sub-object levels, you’ll see
that the merged shape is selected.) Thus, if you
follow the ShapeMerge with a modifier that acts on
a specific level, such as Face Extrude, that modifier
will work properly.
If you apply a modifier that can work on any
selection level, such as Volume Select or XForm,
the options will specify which selection level is
passed to that modifier. You can use a Mesh Select
modifier (page 2–141) to specify a selection level.
• None—Outputs the full object.
• Face—Outputs the faces within the merged
shape.
• Edge—Outputs the edge of the merged shape.
• Vertex—Outputs the vertices defined by the
spline of the shape.
Display group
Determines whether the shape operands are
displayed.
• Result—Displays the result of the operation.
• Operands—Displays the operands.
Update group
These options specify when the display is updated.
Typically, you use them when the viewport display
is slow.
• Always—Updates the display at all times.
• When Rendering—Updates the display only
when the scene is rendered.
• Manually—Updates the display only when you
click the Update button.
Update—Updates the display when any option
except Always is chosen.
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Boolean Compound Object
Select an object. > Create panel > Geometry > Compound
Objects > Object Type rollout > Boolean
Select an object. > Create menu > CompoundObjects >
Boolean
A Boolean object combines two other objects by
performing a Boolean operation on them.
from an earlier version of Autodesk VIZ, the
Modify panel displays the interface for the earlier
Boolean operation.
You can layer Booleans in the stack display, so that
a single object can incorporate many Booleans. By
navigating through the stack display, it’s possible
to revisit the components of each Boolean and
make changes to them.
Operand A (left); Operand B (right)
These are the Boolean operations for geometry:
Union—The Boolean object contains the volume
of both original objects. The intersecting or
overlapping portion of the geometry is removed.
Intersection—The Boolean object contains only
the volume that was common to both original
objects (in other words, where they overlapped).
Subtraction (or difference)— The Boolean object
contains the volume of one original object with the
intersection volume subtracted from it.
The two original objects are designated as operand
A and B.
Beginning with version 2.5 of Autodesk VIZ, a
new algorithm computes the Boolean operation.
This algorithm produces more predictable results
and less complex geometry than earlier 3D Studio
Booleans. If you open a file that contains a Boolean
Subtraction: A-B (above); B-A (below)
Boolean Compound Object
• If operand A doesn’t have a material, it inherits
operand B’s material.
• If operand B doesn’t have a material, it inherits
operand A’s material.
• If both operands have materials, the new
material is a multi/sub-object material that
combines the materials from both operands.
For more information, see Material Attach Options
Dialog (page 1–307).
Solutions When Working with Booleans
The Boolean algorithm caused unpredictable
behavior in earlier releases. The solutions are
discussed here.
Surface Topology
Boolean requires that operands’ surface topology
be intact: This means no missing or overlapping
faces and no unwelded vertices. The surface
should be one continuous closed surface.
Union (above); Intersection (below)
Booleans with Objects That Have
Materials Assigned to Them
Most primitives use several material IDs (page
3–649) on their surfaces. For example, a box
uses material IDs 1–6 on its sides. If you assign a
Multi/Sub-Object material (page 2–1205) with six
sub-materials, Autodesk VIZ assigns one to each
side. If you assign a multi/sub-object material with
two sub-materials, Autodesk VIZ assigns the first
material to sides 1, 3, and 5, and the second goes
to sides 2, 4, and 6.
When you create a Boolean from objects that
have materials assigned to them, Autodesk VIZ
combines the materials in the following way:
The Boolean corrects operands that fail to
meet this requirement. However, the automatic
correction may not be exactly what you want, so in
some cases it might be safer to correct the surfaces
manually.
To check for holes in the geometry, use the
STL-Check modifier (page 2–195) or the Measure
utility (page 2–641).
To fill holes, use the Cap Holes modifier (page
2–63).
Face Normals
Booleans require that the face normals of the
surface be consistent. Flipped normals can
produce unexpected results. Surfaces where some
faces are facing one way and adjacent faces are
flipped are also problematic, and are commonly
found in geometry imported from CAD programs.
The Boolean fixes these faces as best it can.
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Again, it might make more sense to correct these
manually.
Use shaded viewports to look for normal problems,
watching for objects that appear inside-out or look
otherwise incorrect. You can also turn on Show in
the Editable Mesh (Face) (page 2–355) > Surface
Properties rollout > Normals group. Fix normals
here, or with a Normal modifier (page 2–157).
Alignment
If two Boolean operands are perfectly aligned
without actually intersecting, the Boolean
operation might produce the wrong result.
Although this is rare, if it does occur, you can
eliminate it by making the operands overlap
slightly.
Relative Complexity Between Operands
Overlapping Elements
Because Boolean operations depend on a clear
understanding of what is inside and what is outside
a mesh, meshes that overlap themselves can
produce invalid results. For instance, if you use the
Collapse utility (page 2–312) with two overlapping
objects without turning on the Boolean feature,
the resulting object will not make a good Boolean
operand. This is also a problem for the Teapot
primitive (page 1–156) (with all parts turned on),
which overlaps itself.
If you need to use such an object as a Boolean
operand, you might reconstruct it as a single
non-overlapping mesh by separating the
components and combining them with Boolean.
Working with Inverted Meshes
Boolean doesn’t always produce the ideal result on
"inverted meshes" (meshes that have been turned
inside-out by having their normals flipped).
The problem is that the area inside the flipped
mesh is correctly seen as "outside," but the area
outside it may also be seen as “outside.” To remedy
this, instead of inverting the mesh, make a very
large box or other primitive centered on (but not
touching) the mesh and subtract the mesh from
it using Boolean. Then convert it to an editable
mesh, and delete the box faces. This produces a
correctly inverted mesh that works correctly with
Boolean.
Boolean works best when the two operands are
of similar complexity. If you wish to subtract
text (a complex object made of many faces and
vertices) from a box without any segments, the
result is many long, skinny faces that are prone to
rendering errors. Increasing the number of box
segments produces better results. Try to maintain
a similar complexity between operands.
Coplanar Faces/Colinear Edges
Previously, Boolean required that objects overlap.
If two objects did not overlap but merely touched
an edge to an edge, or a face to a face, the Boolean
would fail.
Boolean allows for non-overlapping objects.
Coincident faces/edges and vertices are no longer
a problem. You can use objects completely encased
within another object, where no edges intersect,
to create Booleans.
See also Collapse Utility (page 2–312) to create
Booleans with multiple objects.
See also
Fixing Boolean Problems (page 3–583)
Procedures
To create a Boolean object:
1. Select an object. This object becomes operand
A.
2. Click Boolean. The name of operand A appears
in the Operands list on the Parameters rollout.
Boolean Compound Object
3. On the Pick Boolean rollout, choose the copy
method for operand B: Reference, Move, Copy,
or Instance. (These methods are described in
the Pick Boolean rollout section, later in this
topic.)
4. On the Parameters rollout, choose the Boolean
operation to perform: Union, Intersection,
Subtraction (A-B), or Subtraction (B-A). You
can also choose one of the Cut operations,
described later in the Operation group section.
5. On the Pick Boolean rollout, click Pick
Operand B.
6. Click in a viewport to select operand B.
Autodesk VIZ performs the Boolean operation.
The operand objects remain as sub-objects
of the Boolean object. By modifying the
creation parameters of the Boolean’s operand
sub-objects, you can later change operand
geometry in order to change the Boolean result.
want to see operand B, choose Display/Update
rollout > Display group > Operands or Result
+ Hidden Ops.
If you want to modify the Cylinder or the
Cylinder’s parameters you can now access them
in the modifier stack display.
6. If you want to modify the sphere’s parameters,
choose the box in the Operands list.
7. Now there are two entries labeled Boolean in
the stack display. Choose the lower entry. The
Sphere is displayed in the Operands list.
8. Choose the Sphere from the Operands list. The
sphere’s parameters are available by clicking the
sphere’s name in the modifier stack display.
9. Use this technique to change parameters any of
the operands within the multiple Boolean.
Interface
Pick Boolean rollout
Example: To create and modify a single object that
contains multiple Booleans:
Suppose you want to create a box with two holes
in it. One hole is to be cut by a sphere, and the
second by a cylinder. If you want to make changes
to the sphere or the cylinder later, you can do so
by following these steps:
1. Create a Boolean following the steps in the
previous sections. The original object (the box)
is converted to a Boolean, and is designated
operand A. The second object (the sphere) is
converted to operand B.
2. Deselect the Boolean object. Build the cylinder
if it does not already exist.
3. Select the Boolean object; and under
Compound Objects, click Boolean again.
4. Click Pick Operand B and click the cylinder in
the viewport. It is converted to operand B.
5. On the Modify panel, choose Operand B from
the Parameters rollout > Operands list. If you
When you select operand B, you designate it
as a Reference, Move (the object itself), Copy,
or Instance, according to your choice in the
Pick Boolean rollout for Boolean objects. Base
your selection on how you want to use the scene
geometry after you create the Boolean.
Because you usually create Boolean objects from
overlapping objects, if the B object isn’t removed
(if you don’t use the default Move option), it often
obstructs your view of the completed Boolean.
You can move the Boolean or the B object to better
see the result.
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Pick Operand B—Use this button to select the
Operands group
second object to use to complete the Boolean
operation.
Operands list field—Displays the current operands.
Reference/Copy/Move/Instance—Lets you specify
how operand B is transferred to the Boolean
object. It can be transferred either as a reference
(page 3–673), a copy, an instance (page 3–639), or
moved.
• Use Reference to synchronize modifier-induced
changes to the original object with operand B,
but not vice-versa.
• Use Copy when you want to reuse the operand
B geometry for other purposes in the scene.
• Use Move (the default) if you’ve created the
operand B geometry only to create a Boolean,
and have no other use for it.
Object B geometry becomes part of the Boolean
object regardless of which copy method you
use.
Parameters rollout
Name—Edit this field to change the name of the
operands. Choose an operand in the Operands list
and it will also appear in the Name box.
Extract Operand—Extracts a copy or an instance of
the selected operand. Choose one of the operands
in the list window to enable this button.
Note: This button is available only in the Modify
panel. You can’t extract an operand while the
Create panel is active.
Instance/Copy—Lets you specify how the operand
is extracted: as either an instance (page 3–639) or a
copy.
Operation group
Union—The Boolean object contains the volume
of both original objects. The intersecting or
overlapping portion of the geometry is removed.
Intersection—The Boolean object contains only
the volume that was common to both original
objects (in other words, where they overlapped).
Subtraction (A-B)—Subtracts the intersection
volume of operand B from operand A. The
Boolean object contains the volume of operand A
with the intersection volume subtracted from it.
Subtraction (B-A)—Subtracts the intersection
volume of operand A from operand B. The
Boolean object contains the volume of operand B
with the intersection volume subtracted from it.
Cut—Cuts operand A with operand B, but doesn’t
add anything to the mesh from operand B. This
works like the Slice modifier (page 2–187), but
instead of using a planar gizmo, Cut uses the shape
of operand B as the cutting plane. Cut treats the
geometry of the Boolean object as volumes rather
than closed solids. Cut does not add geometry
from operand B to operand A. Operand B
Boolean Compound Object
intersections define cut areas for altering geometry
in operand A.
Display/Update rollout
There are four types of Cut:
• Refine—Adds new vertices and edges to
operand A where operand B intersects the
faces of operand A. Autodesk VIZ refines
the resulting geometry of operand A with
additional faces inside the intersected area of
operand B. Faces cut by the intersection are
subdivided into new faces. You might use this
option to refine a box with text so that you can
assign a separate material ID to the object.
• Split—Works like Refine but also adds a second
or double set of vertices and edges along the
boundary where operand B cuts operand A.
Split produces two elements belonging to the
same mesh. Use Split to break an object into
two parts along the bounds of another object.
• Remove Inside—Deletes all operand A faces
inside operand B. This option modifies and
deletes faces of operand A inside the area
intersected by operand B. It works like the
subtraction options, except that Autodesk VIZ
adds no faces from operand B. Use Remove
Inside to delete specific areas from your
geometry.
• Remove Outside—Deletes all operand A faces
outside operand B. This option modifies and
deletes faces of operand A outside the area
intersected by operand B. It works like the
Intersection option, except that Autodesk VIZ
adds no faces from operand B. Use Remove to
delete specific areas from your geometry.
Display group
Visualizing the result of a Boolean can be tricky,
especially if you want to modify . The Display
options on the Boolean Parameters rollout help
you visualize how the Boolean is constructed.
The display controls have no effect until you’ve
created the Boolean.
• Result—Displays the result of the Boolean
operation; that is, the Boolean object itself.
• Operands—Displays the operands instead of the
Boolean result.
Tip: When operands are difficult to see in a
viewport, you can use the Operand list to select
one or the other. Click the name of the A or B
operand to select it.
• Results + Hidden Ops—Displays the "hidden"
operands as wireframe.
Operand geometry remains part of the
compound Boolean object, although it isn’t
visible or renderable. The operand geometry is
displayed as wireframes in all viewports.
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Displaying the operands
Displaying the hidden operand after B-A
Update group
By default, Booleans are updated whenever you
change the operands. The update options provide
alternate methods to improve performance.
• Always—Updates Booleans immediately when
you change an operand, including the original
object of an instanced or referenced B operand.
This is the default behavior.
Displaying the result (A-B)
• When Rendering—Updates Booleans only when
you render the scene or click Update. With this
option, viewports don’t always show current
geometry, but you can force an update when
necessary.
• Manually—Updates Booleans only when you
click Update. With this option, the viewports
and the render output don’t always show
current geometry, but you can force an update
when necessary.
Update—Updates the Boolean. The Update button
is not available when Always is selected.
Displaying the hidden operand after A-B
Material Attach Options Dialog
Material Attach Options Dialog
Interface
Use objects with different materials assigned to them. >
Create panel > Geometry > Compound Objects > Object
Type rollout > Boolean > Pick Boolean rollout > Pick
Operand B button > Select object in the viewport that
is operand B.
When you use Boolean operations with objects
that have been assigned different materials,
Autodesk VIZ displays the Material Attach
Options dialog. This dialog offers five methods for
handling the materials and the material IDs (page
3–649) in the resultant Boolean object.
Note: If operand A has no material, and operand
B has a material assigned, the Boolean dialog lets
you choose to inherit the material from operand B.
If operand A has a material assigned and operand
B has no material assigned, the Boolean object
automatically inherits materials from operand A.
Procedure
To create a Boolean from objects that match material
IDs to material:
1. Create a Boolean (page 1–302) using at least one
object that has a multi/sub-object material (page
2–1205) assigned to it.
2. On the Pick Boolean rollout, click Pick
Operand B.
3. Click in a viewport and select the B operand.
Autodesk VIZ displays the Match Attach
Options dialog.
4. Choose Match Material IDs to Material to
complete the Boolean operation.
Match Material IDs to Material—Autodesk VIZ
modifies the number of material IDs in the
combined object to be no greater than the number
of sub-materials assigned to the operands. For
example, if you combine two boxes that have
standard materials and each box is assigned six
material IDs (the default), the resulting combined
object has two operands with one material ID each,
rather than the 12 that would result from using
the Match Material to Material ID option. After
you complete the operation, Autodesk VIZ creates
a new multi/sub-object material with two slots.
Autodesk VIZ assigns the sub-materials to the
operands as they appeared before the operation.
The number of resulting material IDs matches the
number of materials between the original objects.
You might use this option to reduce the number of
material IDs.
Match Material to Material IDs—Maintains the
original material ID assignment in the operands
by adjusting the number of sub-materials in
the resultant multi/sub-object material. For
example, if you combine two boxes, both
assigned single materials, but with their default
assignment of six material IDs, the result would
be a multi/sub-object material with 12 slots (six
containing instances of one box’s material, and six
containing instances of the other box’s material).
Use this option when it’s important to maintain
the original material ID assignments in your
geometry. Also use this option when material IDs
have been assigned, but materials have not been
assigned.
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Note: You can make the instanced sub-materials
unique one at a time with the Make Unique button
(page 2–1062) in the Material Editor.
Do Not Modify Mat IDs or Material—If the number of
material IDs in an object is greater than the number
of sub-materials in its multi/sub-object material,
then the resultant face-material assignment might
be different after the Boolean operation.
Discard New Operand Material—Discards the
material assignment of operand B. Autodesk VIZ
assigns operand A’s material to the Boolean object.
Discard Original Material—Discards the material
assignment of operand A. Autodesk VIZ assigns
operand B’s material to the Boolean object.
Using contours to build a terrain
Note: A UVW Map modifier (page 2–272) must be
Lower left: Terrain object used as the basis of a landscape
used with compound objects to apply mapping
coordinates.
If you import an AutoCAD drawing file to use as
contour data, Autodesk VIZ names each object
based on the AutoCAD object’s layer, color,
or object type. A number is appended to each
name. For example, an AutoCAD object on the
layer BASE becomes an object named BASE.01.
See Importing DWG Files (page 3–222) for more
information.
Terrain Compound Object
Select spline contours. > Create panel > Geometry >
Compound Objects > Object Type rollout > Terrain
Select spline contours. > Create menu > Compound >
Terrain
The Terrain button lets you produce terrain
objects. Autodesk VIZ generates these objects
from contour line data. You select editable splines
representing elevation contours and create a mesh
surface over the contours. You can also create a
"terraced" representation of the terrain object so
that each level of contour data is a step, resembling
traditional study models of land forms.
Upper left: The contours
Upper right: The terrain object
After you import or create the contour data,
select the objects, and click the Terrain button,
Autodesk VIZ creates a new triangulated mesh
object based on the contour data. The name of
the first selected spline becomes the name of the
terrain object. Other splines in the selection are
treated according to the previously set Reference,
Move, Copy, or Instance selection in the Pick
Operand rollout, described below.
Keep in mind that the Terrain object can use
any spline objects as operands, whether they
are horizontal splines or not. Though the most
common scenario is when sets of elevational
contours are used to create terrain forms, it is
possible to append or refine Terrain objects by
using non-horizontal splines.
Terrain Compound Object
Note: To ensure that Autodesk VIZ imports
polylines as splines, when you import an
AutoCAD drawing file, turn off Import AutoCAD
DWG File dialog > Geometry Options group >
Cap Closed Entities.
Following are examples of uses of the Terrain
feature:
• Visualizing the effects of grading plans in 3D.
• Maximizing views or sunlight by studying
topographical undulation of land forms.
6. Click Blend To Color Above to see the elevation
changes blended.
Interface
Name and Color rollout
Displays the name of the terrain object.
Autodesk VIZ uses the name of one of the selected
objects to name the terrain object.
Pick Operand rollout
• Analyzing elevation changes by using color on
the data.
• Adding buildings, landscaping, and roads
to a terrain model to create virtual cities or
communities.
• Viewing corridors and completing ridge
analyses from particular locations on a site by
adding cameras to the scene.
Procedure
To analyze elevation changes:
1. Import or create contour data.
2. Select the contour data, and click the Terrain
button.
3. On the Color By Elevation rollout, enter
elevation zone values between the maximum
and minimum elevations in the Base Elev box.
Click Add Zone after entering the value.
Autodesk VIZ displays the zones in the list
under the Create Defaults button.
4. Click the Base Color swatch to change the color
of each elevation zone. For example, you could
use a deep blue for low elevations, a light blue
for intermediate elevations, and perhaps greens
for higher elevations.
5. Click Solid To Top of Zone to see the elevation
changes in a striped effect.
Pick Operand—Adds splines to the terrain object.
You might do this if you didn’t select all the objects
before generating the terrain object, or if some
objects in the imported data weren’t included in
the terrain object. You can also use this option
to add existing splines in the current scene to the
terrain object.
Reference/Copy/Move/Instance—When you click
Pick Operand, the copy method you designate
determines how the operands are used. When
Move is the method, the original contour data
is moved from the scene and into the operands
of the new terrain object. Copy, Reference, and
Instance retain the original contour data in the
scene and create copies, references or instances of
the contour data as operands in the terrain object.
This is similar to the copy method for Boolean
(page 1–300).
Override—Allows you to select closed curves that
override any other operand data within their
interior. Within the area an Override operand
encloses (as seen in plan), other curves and points
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of the mesh are disregarded and the elevation
of the Override operand supersedes them. An
Override operand is indicated in the operands list
by a # after its name. Override is only effective
on closed curves. If multiple override operands
overlap, later overrides (higher operand numbers)
take preference.
Parameters rollout
the operand. The operand name comprises layer,
color, or object type name plus a numeric suffix.
Delete Operand—Deletes a selected operand from
the Operands list.
Form group
• Graded Surface—Creates a graded surface of the
mesh over the contours.
Terrain created as a graded surface
• Graded Solid—Creates a graded surface with
skirts around the sides and a bottom surface.
This represents a solid that is visible from every
direction.
• Layered Solid—Creates a "wedding cake"
or laminated solid similar to cardboard
architectural models.
Operands group
Operand list—Displays the current operands. Each
operand is listed as "Op" followed by a number
and the name of the object that is being used as
Terrain created as a "layered solid" surface, with levels
Terrain Compound Object
Stitch Border—When on, suppresses the creation of
new triangles around the edges of terrain objects
when edge conditions are defined by splines that
are not closed. Most terrain forms display more
reasonably when this is turned off.
Retriangulate—The basic Terrain algorithm tends
to flatten or notch contours when they turn
sharply upon themselves. A typical situation in
which this may happen is when a narrow creek
bed is described with contours; the resulting
form may look more like a series of cascades at
each elevational contour, rather than a smoothly
descending ravine. When Retriangulate is
checked, a somewhat slower algorithm is used
that follows contour lines more closely. This
may be particularly evident in the Layered Solid
display mode. For additional precision, try using
Retriangulate in conjunction with horizontal
interpolation.
original object of an instanced or referenced
operand.
• When Rendering—Updates the terrain object
when you render the scene or when you click
Update. With this option, viewports won’t
show current geometry unless you click Update.
• Manually—Updates the terrain object when you
click Update.
Update—Updates the terrain object. This button is
not enabled only when Always is the active option.
Simplification rollout
Display group
• Terrain—Displays only the triangulated mesh
over the contour line data.
• Contours—Displays only the contour line data
of the terrain object.
• Both—Displays both the triangulated mesh
and the contour line data of the terrain object.
You can select the terrain object by clicking
its surface, but not by clicking a contour line.
When Both is selected, contour lines may not
be apparent in Wireframe display modes or
when Edged Faces are displayed.
Update group
The items in this group box determine when
Autodesk VIZ recalculates the projection for the
terrain object. Because complex terrain objects
can slow performance, you can use these options
to avoid constant calculation.
• Always—Updates the terrain object immediately
when you change an operand, including the
Horizontal group
• No Simplification—Uses all the operands’
vertices to create a complex mesh. This results
in greater detail and a larger file size than the
two fractional options.
• Use 1/2 of Points—Uses half the set of vertices
in the operands to create a less complex mesh.
This results in less detail and a smaller file size
than using No Simplification.
• Use 1/4 of Points—Uses a quarter of the of
vertices in the operands to create a less complex
mesh. This results in the least detail and
smallest file size of these options.
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• Interpolate Points * 2—Doubles the set of
vertices in the operands to create a more refined
but more complex mesh. This is most effective
in terrain forms that use constructive curves
such as circles and ellipses. This results in
more detail and a larger file size than using No
Simplification.
Color by Elevation rollout
• Interpolate Points * 4—Quadruples the set
of vertices in the operands to create a more
refined but more complex mesh. This is most
effective in terrain forms that use constructive
curves such as circles and ellipses. This results
in more detail and a larger file size than using
No Simplification.
Vertical group
• No Simplification—Uses all the spline
operandsvertices of the terrain object to create
a complex mesh. This results in greater detail
and a larger file size than the other two options.
• Use 1/2 of Lines—Uses half the set of spline
operands of the terrain object to create a less
complex mesh. This results in less detail and a
smaller file size than using No Simplification.
• Use 1/4 of Lines—Uses a quarter of the of spline
operands of the terrain object to create a less
complex mesh. This results in the least detail
and smallest file size of the three options.
Maximum Elev.—Displays the maximum elevation
in the Z axis of the terrain object. Autodesk VIZ
derives this data from the contour data.
Minimum Elev.—Displays the minimum elevation
in the Z axis of the terrain object. Autodesk VIZ
derives this data from the contour data.
Reference Elev.—This is the reference elevation,
or datum, that Autodesk VIZ uses as a guide
for assigning colors to zones of elevation. After
entering a reference elevation, click the Create
Defaults button. Autodesk VIZ treats elevations
above the reference elevation as solid land and
those below the reference elevation as water.
Loft Compound Object
If you enter a value no greater than the minimum
elevation in the object, Autodesk VIZ divides
the range between the reference and minimum
elevations into five color zones: dark green, light
green, yellow, purple, and light gray.
If you enter a value between the minimum and
maximum elevations, Autodesk VIZ creates six
color zones. Two zones (dark blue and light
blue) are used for elevations below the reference
elevation. These are considered to be under water.
One zone (dark yellow) is used for a narrow range
around the reference elevation. Three zones
(dark green, light green, light yellow) are used for
elevations above the reference elevation.
If you enter a value at or above the maximum
elevation, Autodesk VIZ divides the range between
the minimum and reference elevations into three
zones (dark blue, medium blue, light blue).
Zones by Base Elevation group
Create Defaults—Creates elevation zones.
Autodesk VIZ lists the elevation at the bottom of
each zone, referenced to the datum (the reference
elevation). Autodesk VIZ applies the color of the
zone at the base elevation. Whether the colors
blend between zones depends on your choice of
the Blend to Color Above or Solid to Top of Zone
option.
Base Color—Click the color swatch to change the
color of the zone.
• Blend to Color Above—Blends the color of the
current zone to the color of the zone above it.
• Solid to Top of Zone—Makes a solid color at the
top of the zone without blending to the color of
the zone above it.
Modify Zone—Modifies selected options of a zone.
Add Zone—Adds values and selected options for a
new zone.
Delete Zone—Deletes a selected zone.
Loft Compound Object
Select a path or shape. > Create panel > Geometry >
Compound Objects > Object Type rollout > Loft
Select a path or shape. > Create menu > Compound
Objects > Loft
Color Zone group
The items in this group box assign colors to
elevation zones. For example, you might want
to change levels of blue to indicate the depth for
water. Your changes in the Color Zone area don’t
affect the terrain object until you click the Modify
Zone or Add Zone button.
Base Elev—This is the base elevation of a zone to
which you assign color. After entering a value,
click Add Zone to display the elevation in the list
under Create Defaults.
Roadway created as a lofted shape
Loft objects are two-dimensional shapes extruded
along a third axis. You create loft objects from
two or more existing spline objects. One of these
splines serves the path. The remaining splines
serve as cross-sections, or shapes, of the loft
object. As you arrange shapes along the path,
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Autodesk VIZ generates a surface between the
shapes.
2. Create one or more shapes to be loft cross
You create shape objects to serve as a path for
any number of cross-section shapes. The path
becomes the framework that holds the cross
sections forming your object. If you designate only
one shape on the path, Autodesk VIZ assumes an
identical shape is located at each end of the path.
The surface is then generated between the shapes.
3. Do one of the following:
Autodesk VIZ places few restrictions on
how you create a loft object. You can create
curved, three-dimensional paths and even
three-dimensional cross sections.
sections.
• Select the path shape and use Get Shape to
add the cross sections to the loft.
• Select a shape and use Get Path to assign
a path to the loft. Use Get Shape to add
additional shapes.
You can use the loft display settings to view the
skin generated by your loft in both wireframe and
shaded views.
To create a loft with Get Path:
When using Get Shape, as you move the cursor
over an invalid shape, the reason the shape is
invalid is displayed in the prompt line.
1. Select a shape as the first cross-section shape.
Unlike other compound objects, which are created
from the selected object as soon as you click the
compound-object button, a Loft object is not
created until you click Get Shape or Get Path, and
then select a shape or path.
3. On the Creation Method rollout, click Get Path.
Loft is enabled when the scene has one or more
shapes. To create a loft object, first create one
or more shapes and then click Loft. Click either
Get Shape or Get Path and select a shape in the
viewports.
2. Click Create panel > Geometry > Compound
Objects > Loft.
4. Choose Move, Copy, or Instance.
5. Click a shape for the path.
The cursor changes to the Get Path cursor as you
move it over valid path shapes. If the cursor does
not change over a shape, that shape is not a valid
path shape and cannot be selected. The first vertex
of the selected path is placed at the first shape’s
pivot and the path tangent is aligned with the
shape’s local Z axis.
Once you create a loft object, you can add and
replace cross-section shapes or replace the path.
To create a loft with Get Shape:
You can’t animate the path location of a shape.
1. Select a valid path shape as the path.
You can convert loft objects to NURBS surfaces
(page 2–461).
2. If the selected shape is not a valid path, the Get
Procedures
To create a loft object:
Creating loft objects is detailed and offers many
choices, but the basic process is quite simple.
1. Create a shape to be the loft path.
Shape button is unavailable.
3. Click Create panel > Geometry > Compound
Objects > Loft.
4. On the Creation Method rollout, click Get
Shape.
5. Choose Move, Copy, or Instance.
6. Click a shape.
Creation Method Rollout
The cursor changes to the Get Shape cursor as you
move it over potential shapes. The selected shape
is placed at the first vertex of the path.
Tip: You can flip the shape along the path by
On the Creation Method rollout, you determine
whether to use a shape or path for creating the loft
object, and the type of action you want for the
resulting loft object.
holding down Ctrl when using Get Shape. For
example, if you select the lowercase letter "b" with
a Ctrl +click, the loft will look like the letter "d".
Get Path—Assigns a path to the selected shape or
Interface
changes the current assigned shape.
You use the following rollouts for setting loft object
parameters:
Creation Method Rollout (page 1–315)
Surface Parameters Rollout (page 1–315)
Path Parameters Rollout (page 1–317)
Skin Parameters Rollout (page 1–319)
Once you’ve created a loft object, you can also use
the Modify panel’s Deformations rollout to add
complexity. See Deformations (page 1–324) for
further information.
Creation Method Rollout
Select a path or shape. > Create panel > Geometry
> Compound Objects > Object Type rollout > Loft >
Creation Method rollout
Select a path or shape. > Create menu > Compounds >
Loft > Creation Method rollout
You can choose between a shape or a path for
creating the loft object using the Creation Method
rollout, as well as the type of action for the loft
object.
Interface
changes the current assigned path.
Get Shape—Assigns a shape to the selected path or
Tip: Hold down Ctrl while getting the shape to
flip the direction of the shape’s Z axis.
Move/Copy/Instance—Lets you specify how the
path or shape is transferred to the loft object. It can
be moved, in which case no copy is left behind, or
transferred as a copy or an instance (page 3–639).
Tip: Use the Instance option if you expect to edit or
modify the path after the loft is created.
Surface Parameters Rollout
Select a path or shape. > Create panel > Geometry >
Compound Objects > Object Type rollout > Loft > Surface
Parameters rollout
Select a path or shape. > Create menu > Compounds >
Loft > Surface Parameters rollout
On the Surface Parameters rollout, you control
smoothing of the surface of the loft as well as
designate if texture mapping is applied along the
loft object.
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Interface
Smooth Width—Provides a smooth surface around
the perimeter of the cross-section shapes. This
type of smoothing is useful when your shapes
change the number of vertices or change form.
Default=on.
Mapping group
Bitmap used to create the lines on the road
Smoothing group
Mapped roadway showing U and V dimensions for the loft
Apply Mapping—Turns lofted mapping coordinates
on and off. Apply Mapping must be on in order to
access the remaining items.
Left: Smoothing the length
Right: Smoothing the width
Rear: Smoothing both length and width
Smooth Length—Provides a smooth surface along
the length of the path. This type of smoothing is
useful when your path curves or when shapes on
the path change size. Default=on.
Real-World Map Size—Controls the scaling method
used for texture mapped materials that are applied
to the object. The scaling values are controlled
by the Use Real-World Scale settings found in
the applied material’s Coordinates rollout (page
2–1224). Default=off.
Length Repeat—Sets the number of times a map
repeats along the length of the path. The bottom
of the map is placed at the first vertex of the path.
Path Parameters Rollout
Width Repeat—Sets the number of times a map
repeats around the perimeter of cross-section
shapes. The left edge of a map is aligned with the
first vertex of each shape.
Normalize—Determines how path vertex spacing
affects a map along both the path length and
shape width. When on, vertices are ignored.
Map coordinates and Repeat values are applied
evenly along the length of the path and around the
shapes. When off, major path divisions and shape
vertex spacing affects map coordinate spacing.
Map coordinates and Repeat values are applied
proportionally according to the path division
spacing or shape vertex spacing.
Shape material IDs used to give the roadway two materials:
concrete for supports and railings, asphalt with white lines for
the traffic lanes
Output Group
Patch—The lofting process produces a patch
object.
Mesh—The lofting process produces a mesh
Before and after applying Normalize to loft
Materials group
Generate Material IDs—Creates Material IDs during
the loft process.
Use Shape IDs—Offers the choice of using the
object. This is the default, and was the only output
type available with Loft in versions prior to version
3 of Autodesk VIZ.
You can also create NURBS objects from lofting by
choosing Convert To: NURBS from the modifier
stack right-click menu (page 3–452).
spline material IDs to define the material IDs.
Note: Prior to version 3 of Autodesk VIZ, splines
could not hold material IDs.
Note: Shape IDs are inherited from shape cross
sections, not from the path spline.
Path Parameters Rollout
Select a path or shape. > Create panel > Geometry >
Compound Objects > Object Type rollout > Loft > Path
Parameters rollout
Select a path or shape. > Create menu > Compounds >
Loft > Path Parameters rollout
The Path Parameters rollout lets you control the
position of shapes at various intervals along the
path of the loft object.
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Interface
Distance—Expresses the path level as an absolute
distance from the first vertex of the path.
Path Steps—Places shapes on path steps and
vertices, rather than as a percentage or a distance
along the path.
When Path Steps is on, the following take place:
• The Path spinner specifies the step along the
path. The first step, at 0, is the first vertex.
On the Path Parameters rollout, you control the
position of multiple shapes at different intervals
along the path of the loft object.
Path—Lets you set a path level by entering a value
or dragging the spinner. If Snap is on, the value
will jump to the previous snap increment. The
Path value depends on the selected measuring
method. Changing the measuring method causes
the Path value to change.
• The total number of steps, including vertices,
appears in parentheses beside the Path spinner.
• The current path level is indicated by the
standard yellow X when it’s a step, and by a
small boxed X when it’s a vertex.
• Get Shape places a selected shape on the
specified step or a vertex of the path.
• Adaptive Path Steps on the Skin Parameters
rollout is unavailable. (If it were available, the
path steps and shapes would change positions
along the path, depending on the result of the
adaptive algorithm.)
Please note the following when using the Path
Steps option:
Inserting different shapes at different positions on the path
Snap—Lets you set a consistent distance between
shapes along the path. The Snap value depends
on the selected measuring method. Changing the
measuring method also changes the Snap value to
keep snap spacing constant.
On—When On is turned on, Snap is active.
Default=off.
Percentage—Expresses the path level as a
percentage of the total path length.
• When you switch to Path Steps with a loft object
that already contains one or more shapes, an
alert message tells you that this action may
relocate shapes. This is because there are a
limited number of path steps, and only one
shape can be on a single step or vertex. The
Percentage and Distance options, on the other
hand, provide an almost unlimited number of
levels on which to place shapes. Thus, if you
change from Percentage or Distance to Path
Steps, the shapes must be moved to existing
steps. If there are more shapes than can be
moved to nearby steps, you could end up with
more than one shape on a step. Switching from
Path Steps to either Percentage or Distance,
however, can always be done without loss of
data.
Skin Parameters Rollout
• If you alter the Path Steps spinner while in Path
Steps mode, the location of your shapes might
change. An alert message warns you of this.
4. Create a loft object in which the larger rectangle
is the path and the square is the shape.
5. On the Modify panel, open the Skin Parameters
Pick Shape—Sets the current level at any shape
rollout, and turn on Skin in the Display group.
on the path. When you pick a shape on the path,
Snap is turned off and Path is set to the level of
the picked shape, where a yellow X appears. Pick
Shape is available only from the Modify panel.
You can now see the wireframe structure of
the lofted rectangle, with cross-sectional sides
parallel to its corners.
Previous Shape—Jumps the path level from its
current location to the previous shape along the
path. A yellow X appears at the current level.
Clicking this button turns Snap off.
Next Shape—Jumps the path level from its current
location to the next shape along the path. A yellow
X appears at the current level. Clicking this button
turns Snap off.
Skin Parameters Rollout
Select a path or shape. > Create panel > Geometry >
Compound Objects > Object Type rollout > Loft > Skin
Parameters rollout
Select a path or shape. > Create menu > Compounds >
Loft > Skin Parameters rollout
On the Skin Parameters rollout, you adjust the
complexity of the mesh of the loft object. You can
also optimize the mesh by controlling the face
count.
Procedure
Example: To use a constant cross-section:
1. Enlarge the Front viewport to full screen, and
then draw a Rectangle object (page 1–246) with
Ctrl held down to create a square about 20
x 20 units.
2. Create another rectangle beside it about 200 x
100 units.
3. Apply a Skew modifier to the large rectangle,
but don’t alter the Skew parameters.
Make sure the color assigned the loft object is
easily visible. Change it if necessary.
6. Turn off Constant Cross-Section, and observe
the corners.
When Constant Cross-Section is off, the
corners become pinched.
7. Turn on Constant Cross-Section to restore the
corners.
Acute angles can cause problems when the cross
sections formed by the path steps intersect at
the corners. You can mitigate this by avoiding
acute angles or by reducing the path steps.
8. Press H on the keyboard to display the
Select Objects dialog (page 1–75), and choose
Rectangle02 (the second larger rectangle).
9. On the Skew panel, change the Skew Axis to Y,
and then set the Amount spinner to 95.
10. Use Zoom Region to zoom in on the upper-left
corner of the rectangle so you can see the mesh
in detail.
At a skew of less than 100, the acute angle still
works because the path cross-sections haven’t
intersected.
11. Set the Skew Amount to 300, and examine the
same corner.
At this angle, the path cross sections intersect,
causing problems in the mesh.
12. Select the loft object, and set the Path Steps to 1.
The cross sections no longer intersect, and the
corner is clean.
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When creating straight-edge molding for
architectural modeling, you can avoid mangled
corners by simply reducing the path steps to 0.
produces a surface of evenly sized faces that can be
deformed easily by other modifiers.
Interface
Roadway lofted with capping turned off
Capping group
Cap Start—When on, the end of a loft at the first
vertex of the path is covered, or capped. When off,
the end is open, or uncapped. Default=on.
Cap End—When on, the end of a loft at the last
vertex of the path is covered, or capped. When off,
the end is open, or uncapped. Default=on.
Morph—Arranges cap faces in a predictable,
repeatable pattern necessary for creating morph
targets (for compatibility with 3ds Max). Morph
capping can generate long, thin faces that do not
render or deform as well as those created with grid
capping.
Grid—Arranges cap faces in a rectangular grid
trimmed at the shape boundaries. This method
Roadway lofted with capping turned on
Options group
Shape Steps—Sets the number of steps between
each vertex of the cross-section shapes. This value
affects the number of sides around the perimeter
of the loft.
Skin Parameters Rollout
Left: Shape Steps=0.
Right: Shape Steps=4.
Path Steps—Sets the number of steps between each
main division of the path. This value affects the
number of segments along the length of the loft.
Frame lofted with Path Steps=5
Optimize Shapes—When on, the Shape Steps
setting is ignored for straight segments of
cross-section shapes. If multiple shapes are on the
path, only straight segments that have a match on
all shapes are optimized. Default=off.
Frame lofted with Path Steps=1
Left: Optimize Shapes turned on
Right: Optimize Shapes turned off
Optimize Path—When on, the Path Steps setting is
ignored for straight segments of the path. Curved
sections respect the Path steps setting. Available
only with Path Steps mode. Default=off.
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When Optimize Path is off, the lofted roadway uses more steps.
Lofting the roadway with Contour off causes it to twist.
When Optimize Path is on, straight sections of the lofted
roadway don’t require additional steps.
Roadway lofted with Contour turned on
Adaptive Path Steps—When on, analyzes the
whenever the path bends and changes height in the
path’s local Z axis. The bank amount is controlled
by Autodesk VIZ. Banking is ignored if the path is
2D. When off, shapes do not rotate about their Z
axis as they traverse a 3D path. Default=on.
loft and adapts the number of path divisions
to generate the best skin. Main divisions along
the path occur at path vertices, shape locations,
and deformation curve vertices. When off,
main divisions along the path occur only at path
vertices. Default=on.
Contour—When on, each shape follows the
curvature of the path. The positive Z axis of each
shape is aligned with the tangent to the path at the
shape’s level. When off, shapes remain parallel
and have the same orientation as a shape placed
at level 0. Default=on.
Banking—When on, shapes rotate about the path
Skin Parameters Rollout
Roadway lofted with Banking turned on
Frame lofted with Constant Cross Section turned on
Constant Cross Section—When on, the cross
sections are scaled at angles in the path to maintain
uniform path width. When off, the cross sections
maintain their original local dimensions, causing
pinching at path angles.
Linear Interpolation—When on, generates a loft
skin with straight edges between each shape.
When off, generates a loft skin with smooth curves
between each shape. Default=off.
Left: Object lofted with Linear Interpolation turned off
Frame lofted with Constant Cross Section turned off
Right: Object lofted with Linear Interpolation turned on
Flip Normals—When on, reverses the normals 180
degrees. Use this option to correct objects that are
inside-out. Default=off.
Quad sides—When on, and when two sections of
a loft object have the same number of sides, the
faces that stitch the sections together are displayed
as quads. Sides between sections with different
numbers of sides are not affected, and are still
connected with triangles. Default=off.
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Transform Degrade—Causes the loft skin
to disappear during sub-object shape/path
transformations. For example, moving a vertex
on the path causes the loft to disappear. When
off, you can see the skin during these Sub-Object
transformations. Default=off.
You gain access to loft deformation curves
through the Modify panel’s Deformations rollout.
Deformations are not available in the Create panel.
You must open the Modify panel after you’ve lofted
to access the Deformations rollout, which offers
the following features:
Note: In releases prior to Autodesk VIZ 2005, the
Transform Degrade default was on.
• Each deformation button displays its own
deformation dialog.
Display group
• You can display any or all of the deformation
dialogs simultaneously.
Skin—When on, displays a loft’s skin in all views
using any shading level and ignores the Skin In
Shaded setting. When off, displays only the loft
sub-objects. Default=on.
• The button to the right of each deformation
button is a toggle to enable or disable the
deformation’s effect.
Skin in Shaded—When on, displays a loft’s skin in
shaded views regardless of the Skin setting. When
off, skin display is controlled by the Skin setting.
Default=on.
Procedures
The loft object now retains the Skin and Skin In
Shaded settings from one loft object to the next
one created.
To apply deformations to a loft:
1. Select a loft object.
2. Go to the Modify panel and choose Loft from
the modifier stack display if it’s not already
displayed.
3. Expand the Deformations rollout.
4. Click the deformation that you want to use.
Deformations
Select a Loft object. > Modify panel > Deformations
rollout
The window for the selected deformation
appears.
To toggle the deformation effect:
Deformation controls let you scale, twist, teeter,
bevel or fit shapes along the path. The interface
for all deformations is a graph. Lines with control
points on the graph represent the deformations
along the path. Control points on the graphs can
be moved for modeling purposes or for various
special effects.
Manually creating and placing shapes along the
path to produce these models would be a difficult
task. Lofts solve this problem through the use
of deformation curves. The deformation curves
define changes in scale, twisting, teetering, and
beveling along the path.
• Click Enable/Disable to the right of the
deformation buttons.
Interface
Deform Scale
Deform Scale (page 1–325)
Deform Twist (page 1–325)
Deform Teeter (page 1–326)
Deform Bevel (page 1–327)
Deform Fit (page 1–328)
Deformation Dialog (page 1–329)
Deform Scale
Select a Loft object. > Modify panel > Deformations
rollout > Scale
Scale deformation curve dialog
Procedure
To use Scale deformation:
You can loft objects such as columns and bugles
from a single shape that changes only its scale as it
travels along a path. Use Scale deformation when
you want to make these types of objects.
These are the properties of Scale deformation
curves:
• The two curves are red for X-axis scaling and
green for Y-axis scaling.
• Default curve values are at 100%.
• Values greater than 100% make the shape larger.
• Values between 100% and 0% make the shape
smaller.
• Negative values scale and mirror the shape.
1. Select a loft object.
2. Click Loft in the modifier stack display.
3. Click Scale on the Deformations rollout.
4. Edit the deformation curves for the X axis and
Y axis.
Deform Twist
Select a Loft object. > Modify panel > Deformations
rollout > Twist
Twist deformation lets you create objects that
spiral or twist along their length. Twist specifies
the amount of rotation about the path.
See Deformation Dialog (page 1–329) for specific
information on the dialog controls.
Twist deformation curve dialog
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Deform Teeter
Select a Loft object. > Modify panel > Deformations
rollout > Teeter
Using twist to deform the lofted roadway
These are the properties of Twist deformation
curves:
Teeter deformation rotates shapes about their local
X axis and Y axis. Teetering is what Autodesk VIZ
does automatically when you select Contour on the
Skin Parameters rollout. Use Teeter deformation
when you want to manually control contour
effects.
• A single red curve determines shape rotation
about the path.
• The default curve value is 0 degrees of rotation.
• Positive values produce counterclockwise
rotation, when viewed from the start of the
path.
• Negative values produce clockwise rotation.
Teeter deformation curve dialog
• Both twist deformation and banking produce
rotation about the path. Twist rotation is added
to a shape after the banking angle is applied.
You can use Twist deformation to exaggerate or
reduce the amount of banking.
See Deformation Dialog (page 1–329) for specific
information on the dialog controls.
Procedure
To use Twist deformation:
1. Select a loft object.
2. Click Loft in the modifier stack display.
3. Click Twist on the Deformations rollout.
4. Edit the single deformation curve to specify
rotation about the path.
Roadway lofted with no teeter
Deform Bevel
Deform Bevel
Select a Loft object. > Modify panel > Deformations
rollout > Bevel
Roadway lofted with teeter turned on. Teeter affects the X and
Y axis orientation of the shape in relation to the path.
These are the properties of Teeter deformation
curves:
• The two curves are red for X-axis rotation and
green for Y-axis rotation.
• Default curve values are at 0 degrees rotation.
• Positive values rotate the shape
counterclockwise about the shape’s
positive axis.
• Negative values rotate the shape clockwise
about the shape’s positive axis.
See Deformation Dialog (page 1–329) for specific
information on the dialog controls.
Procedure
To use Teeter deformation:
1. Select a loft object.
2. Click Loft in the modifier stack display.
3. Click Teeter on the Deformations rollout.
4. Edit the deformation curves for X axis and Y
axis rotation.
Roadway with beveled edges
Nearly every object that you encounter in the
real world is beveled. Because it is difficult and
expensive to manufacture a perfectly sharp edge,
most objects are created with chamfered, filleted,
or eased edges. Use Bevel deformation to simulate
these effects.
Note: Bevel is not available when loft output is set
to Patch.
These are the properties of Bevel deformation
curves:
• The single red curve is for bevel amount.
• Bevel values are specified in current units.
• The default curve value is 0 units.
• Positive values reduce the shape, bringing it
closer to the path.
• Negative values add to the shape, moving it
away from the path.
When shapes are nested, the bevel direction is
reversed for interior shapes.
See Deformation Dialog (page 1–329) for specific
information on the dialog controls.
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Normal and Adaptive Beveling
The Bevel Deformation dialog provides three
types of beveling: Normal, Adaptive Linear, and
Adaptive Cubic. These are available from a flyout
at the right end of the dialog toolbar.
Deform Fit
Select a Loft object. > Modify panel > Deformations
rollout > Fit
With normal beveling, the beveled shape
remains parallel to the original, regardless of the
crotch angle of the shape. Steep crotch angles
combined with excessive bevel amounts result in
overshooting at the crotch.
Adaptive beveling alters the length of the bevel
shape based on the crotch angle. Adaptive Linear
alters the length-to-angle in a linear fashion.
Adaptive Cubic alters it more on steep angles than
on shallow angles, producing a subtly different
effect. Both forms of adaptive beveling result in
nonparallel beveled edges, and both are less likely
to produce invalid bevels due to overshoots at the
crotch.
To see the differences in the three types of beveling,
loft a star shape along a straight path and apply
a bevel. When you switch among the three types
of beveling, you’ll see the difference in the bevel
outline. Alter one radius of the star to examine
the beveling with shallow and with sharp crotch
angles.
Procedure
Fit curves define a lofted shape.
Fit deformation lets you use two Fit curves to
define the top and side profiles of your object. Use
Fit deformation when you want to generate loft
objects by drawing their profiles.
Fit shapes are really scale boundaries. As your
cross-section shape travels along the path, its X
axis is scaled to fit the boundaries of the X-axis fit
shape and its Y axis is scaled to fit the boundaries
of the Y-axis fit shape.
Note: Fit is not available when loft output is set to
Patch.
To use Bevel deformation:
1. Select a loft object.
2. Click Loft in the modifier stack display.
3. Click Bevel on the Deformations rollout.
4. Adjust the deformation curve.
Procedure
To use Fit deformation:
1. Select a loft object.
2. Click Loft in the modifier stack display.
3. Click Fit on the Deformations rollout.
4. Select shapes in the viewport to use as fit curves.
Deformation Dialog
Interface
Fit Deformation dialog
Get Shape—Lets you select the shape to use for Fit
deformation. Click Get Shape, and then click the
shape to use in a viewport.
Generate Path—Replaces the original path with a
new straight-line path.
Deformation Dialog
Select a Loft object. > Modify panel > Deformations
rollout > Scale, Twist, Teeter, Bevel, or Fit
The Fit Deformation dialog contains different
buttons than the other deformations. For
descriptions of the first eight buttons on the
toolbar, see Deformation Dialog (page 1–329). The
following descriptions apply to the tools specific to
Fit deformation, and are listed from left to right in
the order they appear on the toolbar.
Fit Deformation toolbar
The Deformation dialogs for Scale, Twist, Teeter,
Bevel, and Fit use the same basic layout. The
buttons in the window’s toolbar and prompt area
perform the following functions:
• Change deformation curve display.
• Edit control points.
• Navigate the Deformation dialog.
Editing Deformation Curves
Mirror Horizontally—Mirrors the shape across the
horizontal axis.
Mirror Vertically—Mirrors the shape across the
vertical axis.
Rotate 90 CCW—Rotates the shape 90 degrees
counterclockwise.
Rotate 90 CW—Rotates the shape 90 degrees
clockwise.
Delete Control Point—Deletes the selected control
point.
Reset Curve—Replaces the displayed Fit curve with
a rectangle 100 units wide and centered on the
path. If Make Symmetrical is on, both Fit curves
are reset even though only one might be displayed.
A deformation curve starts as a straight line using
a constant value. To produce more elaborate
curves, you insert control points and change their
properties.
Use the buttons in the center of the Deformation
dialog toolbar to insert and change deformation
curve control points (see Interface, later in this
topic).
Control Point Types
Control points on a deformation curve can
produce curves or sharp corners, depending on
the control point type. To change a control point
type, right-click the control point and choose one
of these from the shortcut menu:
Delete Curve—Deletes the displayed Fit curve.
• Corner—Non-adjustable linear control point
producing a sharp corner.
If Make Symmetrical is on, both Fit curves are
deleted even though only one might be displayed.
• Bezier Corner—Adjustable Bezier control point
with discontinuous tangent handles set to
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produce a sharp corner. This type produces a
curve that looks like the corner type but has
control handles like the Bezier Smooth type.
• Bezier Smooth—Adjustable Bezier control point
with locked continuous tangent handles set to
produce a smooth curve.
Selecting Control Points
Use the Move Control Point and Scale Control
Point buttons with standard selection techniques
to select control points.
Procedures
To drag Bezier tangent handles:
1. Select one or more Bezier Smooth or Bezier
Corner control points to display their tangent
handles.
2. Click one of the Move Control Point buttons.
3. Drag any tangent handle.
• Only the tangent handle you drag is affected.
Tangent handles on other selected control
points do not change.
• If the tangent handle you drag is part of a
Bezier Smooth control point, both handles
move to maintain the Bezier Smooth type.
• If the tangent handle you drag is part of
a Bezier Corner control point, only that
handle moves.
To change the control point type:
You can change control point types at any time by
right-clicking a selection of one or more control
points.
1. Select one or more control points.
2. Right-click any selected control point.
3. Choose a control point type from the shortcut
menu.
The following conditions apply to changing
control point types:
• The first and last control points must use the
Corner or Bezier Corner type.
• Converting a Bezier Smooth point to a
Bezier Corner point unlocks the tangent
handles but does not change their position.
The curve appears smooth until you drag
one of the tangent handles.
• Converting a Bezier Corner point or inserted
Bezier point to Bezier Smooth locks the
tangent handles and changes their position
and magnitude. The handles are rotated to
the average between their two angles. The
handle magnitudes are averaged and set
equal.
Interface
To move a control point using the Position and
Amount fields:
1. Select a single control point.
2. Do one of the following:
• Move the control point horizontally by
entering a value in the Position field.
• Move the control point vertically by entering
a value in the Amount field.
Toolbar
Buttons for working with a second curve are
disabled for the Twist and Bevel deformations,
which use only one curve. The disabled buttons
Deformation Dialog
are Make Symmetrical, Display X Axis, Display Y
Axis, Display XY Axes, and Swap Deform Curves.
Make Symmetrical—You can apply the same
deformation to both axes of a shape using Make
Symmetrical, which is both an action button
and a curve editing mode. Turning on Make
Symmetrical has the following effect:
• When a single curve is displayed, it copies the
displayed deformation curve to the curve for
the hidden axis.
• When both axes are displayed, the Apply
Symmetry dialog is also displayed. Click the
button for the curve you want to apply to both
axes.
• Changes you make to the selected curve are
duplicated on the other curve.
When Make Symmetrical is not active, curve
editing is applied only to the selected curve.
Display X Axis/Y Axis/XY Axes—You can display
one or both deformation curves using the curve
display buttons near the upper-left corner of the
Deformation dialog.
Move Control Points—This flyout contains three
buttons for moving control points and Bezier
handles:
• Move Control Point—Changes the amount
of deformation (vertical movement) and
the location of the deformation (horizontal
movement).
• Move Vertical—Changes the amount of
deformation without changing the location.
• Move Horizontal—Changes the location of the
deformation without changing the amount.
If one control point is selected, you can move it by
entering values in the control point Position and
Amount fields at the bottom of the Deformation
dialog.
You cannot move end points horizontally.
Intermediate control points are constrained
horizontally to stay between the points on either
side. The amount of horizontal constraint is
determined by the control point type.
• You can move corner control points very close
together, until one is directly above the other.
Turn on the following buttons to display
deformation curves:
• You can move Bezier control points no closer
than the length of their tangent handles.
• Display X Axis—Displays only the X axis
deformation curve in red.
Moving Bezier Tangent Handles—You can use the
• Display Y Axis—Displays only the Y axis
deformation curve in green.
• Display XY Axes—Displays X axis and Y axis
deformation curves together, each using its
own color.
Swap Deform Curves—Copies curves between the
X axis and Y axis. This button has no effect when
Make Symmetrical is on.
Click Swap Deform Curves to copy the X axis
curve to the Y axis, and the Y axis curve to the X
axis. It doesn’t matter which curve is currently
displayed or selected.
Move Control Point buttons to drag a tangent
handle’s angle and magnitude on Bezier Smooth
and Bezier Corner vertices.
Dragging a tangent handle has the following
constraints:
• You cannot move tangent angles beyond
vertical. This prevents deformation curves
from doubling back on themselves.
• You cannot move tangent magnitudes beyond
the preceding or next control point on the path.
Pressing Shift while moving a Bezier Smooth
tangent handle converts the control point to a
Bezier Corner type.
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Scale Control Point—Scales the value of one or
more selected control points with respect to 0. Use
this function when you want to change only the
deformation amounts of selected control points
while maintaining their relative ratio of values.
• Drag downward to reduce values.
• Drag upward to increase values.
Insert Control Point—This flyout contains buttons
for inserting two control point types.
Insert Corner Point—Click anywhere on a
deformation curve to insert a corner control point
at that location.
Insert Bezier Point—Click anywhere on a
deformation curve to insert a modified Bezier
control point at that location. The tangent handles
of the Bezier control point are set to maintain the
shape of the curve before the point was inserted.
If you are not sure which type of control point
you need, or if you change your mind, you can
convert the point to another type by right-clicking
the point and selecting the type from the shortcut
menu.
Both Insert Control Point buttons put you in
insertion mode. Right-click or choose another
button to exit the mode.
Delete Control Point—Deletes selected control
points. You can also delete selected points by
pressing the DELETE key.
Reset Curve—Deletes all but the end control points
and sets the curves back to their default values.
Bevel Type—This flyout, available only in the Bevel
Deformation dialog, lets you choose Normal,
Adaptive Linear or Adaptive Cubic as the bevel
type. For more information, see Deform Bevel
(page 1–327).
Deformation grid
The area in the Deformation dialog that displays
the deformation curves is called the deformation
grid. This grid charts the value of the deformation
along the length of the path.
These are the main grid components:
Active area—The light-colored area of the grid
defines the first and last vertex boundaries of
the path. The ends of the deformation curve lie
on each boundary and cannot be moved off the
boundary.
Horizontal lines—Mark deformation values on
the vertical scale. The following table lists each
deformation curve type and the meaning of the
deformation values.
Deformation Type
Deformation Value
Scale
Percentage
Twist
Rotation Angle
Teeter
Rotation Angle
Bevel
Current Units
The thick horizontal line at 0 represents the
deformation value at the loft path.
Vertical lines—Mark levels of the path. The levels
displayed vary with the Adaptive Path Steps setting
on the Skin Parameters rollout (page 1–319).
If Adaptive Path Steps is on, levels are displayed at
all path vertices and shape locations.
If Adaptive Path Steps is off, levels are displayed
only at path vertices.
Path ruler—Measures the length of the path. The
values on the ruler measure percentage along the
path. You can drag the path ruler vertically in the
Deformation dialog.
Deformation curves—You can see one or two
curves in the Deformation dialog, based on the
Path Commands
deformation type and the curve display setting.
The curves are color-coded by axis.
Zoom Vertical Extents—Changes the view
magnification along the deformation values so the
entire deformation curve is displayed in the dialog.
A red curve displays deformation along the shape’s
local X axis. A green curve displays deformation
along the shape’s local Y axis.
Zoom Horizontally—Changes magnification along
Control Point fields—At the bottom of the
• Drag to the right to increase magnification.
Deformation dialog are two edit fields. When a
single control point is selected these fields display
the path location and deformation amount of the
control point.
• Drag to the left to decrease magnification.
Control Point Position—The left field displays the
the path length.
Zoom Vertically—Changes magnification along the
deformation value.
• Drag upward to increase magnification.
location of the control point on the loft path as a
percentage of the total path length.
• Drag downward to decrease magnification.
Control Point Amount—The right field displays the
path length and the deformation value, preserving
the curve aspect ratio.
deformation value of the control point.
Zoom—Changes magnification along both the
• Drag upward to increase magnification.
Deformation Dialog status bar
The Deformation dialogs have their own view
navigation buttons in the lower-right corner.
These give you controls for zooming and panning
the view of the deformation grid as you edit
the curve values. The status bar also displays
information about the current tool and the selected
control point.
• Drag downward to decrease magnification.
Zoom Region—Drag a region on the deformation
grid. The region is then magnified to fill the
deformation dialog.
Pan—Drag in the view to move in any direction.
Scroll bars—Drag the horizontal and vertical scroll
bars to pan the view in a single direction.
Numeric fields—These two fields are accessible only
if a single control point is selected. The first gives
the point’s horizontal position, and the second
gives its vertical position, or value. You can edit
these fields with the keyboard.
Lock Aspect—This button is present only in the
Fit Deformation dialog. When active, it restricts
zooming to vertical and horizontal at the same
time.
Zoom Extents—Changes the view magnification so
the entire deformation curve is visible.
Zoom Horizontal Extents—Changes the view
magnification along the path length so the entire
path area is visible in the dialog.
Path Commands
Select a Loft object. > Modify panel > Modifier stack
display > Sub-object level > Path > Path Commands
The Path Commands rollout appears only when
you are modifying an existing loft object and have
selected Path from the Sub-Object list. The Put
command allows you to make a copy or instance
of the loft path.
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Interface
Delete—Deletes the shape from the loft object.
Align group
Put group
Put—Places the path into the scene as a separate
object (as a Copy or Instance).
Shape Commands
Select a Loft object. > Modify panel > Modifier stack
display > Sub-object level > Shape > Shape Commands
rollout
These controls let you align and compare shapes
along the loft path.
Interface
The six buttons in this group let you align the
selected shape in relation to the path. Looking
down at a shape from the viewport in which it’s
created, the orientation is left to right along the X
axis, and top to bottom along the Y axis.
You can use a combination of these buttons
for placements such as corner alignment. The
operations are additive. In other words, you can
use both Bottom and Left to place the shape in the
lower-left quadrant.
Center—Centers the shape on the path, based on
the bounding box of the shape.
Default—Returns the shape to its position when
first placed on the loft path. When you use Get
Shape, the shape is placed so that the path goes
through its pivot point. This is not always the
same as the center of the shape. Therefore, clicking
Center is different than clicking Default.
Left—Aligns the left edge of the shape to the path.
Right—Aligns the right edge of the shape to the
path.
Top—Aligns the top edge of the shape to the path.
Bottom—Aligns the bottom edge of the shape to
the path.
Put group
Put—Puts the shape into the scene as a separate
Path Level—Adjusts the shape’s position on the
path.
Compare—Displays the Compare dialog (page
1–335) in which you can compare any number of
cross-section shapes.
Reset—Undoes rotation and scale of the shape
performed with the Select and Rotate or Select
and Scale.
object.
Compare Dialog
Compare Dialog
Select a Loft object. > Modify panel > Modifier stack
display > Sub-object level > Shape > Shape Commands
rollout > Compare button
The Compare dialog lets you compare any number
of cross-section shapes in a loft object for purposes
of making sure their first vertices are properly
aligned. If shapes’ first vertices aren’t aligned,
unexpected lofting results can occur.
Interface
added to the dialog window), and a - sign appears
if the shape is already selected.
With each shape, the Compare dialog displays the
first vertex as a small square. For correct lofting,
the first vertices of all shapes on the path need to
be in the same position.
Reset—Removes all shapes from the display.
Dialog controls
You can scroll the Compare dialog with the scroll
bars at the bottom and right sides. You can also use
the buttons in the lower-right corner to perform
View Extents, Pan, Zoom, and Zoom Region
functions.
Align group
While the Compare dialog is open, you can affect
the shapes’ positions in the dialog window with the
Shape Commands rollout > Align group buttons.
Turn off Pick Shape, select a shape in the viewport,
and then click the Align group buttons. See Shape
Commands (page 1–334) for further information.
Creating Systems
Create panel > Systems
Pick Shape—Lets you select shapes to display from
the selected loft object. Click the Pick Shape
button in the upper-left corner of the dialog. Then,
in the viewport, select the shapes to display. Select
a shape a second time to remove it from the display.
When you position the mouse cursor over a shape
in the loft object, the cursor image changes to
show whether the shape appears in the dialog
window: a + sign appears if the shape isn’t selected
(indicating that if you select the shape, it will be
Systems help you create animations that would
be much more difficult or time-consuming to
produce using features independently.
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• Sunlight (page 1–336) creates and animates a
directional light that follows the geographically
correct angle and movement of the sun over the
earth at a given location.
• Daylight (page 1–336) creates an assembly with
a sky and a sun. Using the Get location function
you can create and animate a light that follows
the geographically correct angle and movement
of the sun over the earth at a given location.
Systems are primarily intended for plug-in (page
3–667) component software. Additional systems
might be available if your configuration includes
plug-in systems.
You can externally reference system objects
in your scene. For more information, see XRef
Objects (page 3–98).
Procedure
To create a system:
1. On the Create panel, click Systems.
The Systems panel is displayed.
2. On the Object Type rollout, choose a system
to create.
3. Drag in a viewport to create the system.
Sunlight and Daylight
Systems
Create panel > Systems > Sunlight button and Daylight
button
Create menu > Lights > Daylight System and Sunlight
System
Create menu > Systems > Daylight System and Sunlight
System
The Sunlight and Daylight systems use light in
a system that follows the geographically correct
angle and movement of the sun over the earth at
a given location. You can choose location, date,
time, and compass orientation. You can also
animate the date and time. This system is suitable
for shadow studies of proposed and existing
structures. In addition, you can animate Latitude,
Longitude, North Direction, and Orbital Scale.
Sunlight and Daylight have a similar user interface.
The difference is that:
• Sunlight uses a directional light (page 2–913).
• Daylight combines Sunlight (page 3–687) and
Skylight (page 3–683). The Sunlight component
can be an IES Sun light (page 2–930), an mr
Sun light (page 2–939), or a standard light (a
target direct light (page 2–912)). The Skylight
component can be an IES Sky light (page
2–932), an mr Sky light (page 2–938), or a
Skylight (page 2–916).
• The IES Sun and IES Sky lights are
photometric lights. It is appropriate to use
them if you are creating a rendering that
uses radiosity (page 2–1377) with exposure
control (page 3–73).
• The mr Sun and mr Sky lights are also
photometric, but are intended for use with
the mental ray Sun & Sky (page 2–934)
solution.
• The Standard light and Skylight are not
photometric. It is appropriate to use them if
your scene uses standard lighting (Sunlight
with its Directional light works for this, too).
Sunlight and Daylight Systems
lights produce parallel illumination regardless
of where their icon is located. Click to finish.
Upon creation you have two objects in your
scene:
• The compass rose (page 2–622), which is
a helper object that provides the world
direction for your sun.
• The light itself, which is a child of the
compass rose, and is permanently targeted
on the center of the compass rose.
Large view shows compass and light in a viewport. The
resulting rendered images are seen above it.
Note: When you create a sunlight system or a
daylight system that uses a target direct light for
the sun, the directional light’s hotspot is set to
encompass all geometry in the scene, so that
shadows will render correctly. Specifically, the
diameter of the hotspot is set to 65 per cent of the
longest diagonal length of the scene extents (page
3–677).
Procedures
To create a Sunlight or Daylight system:
1.
On the Create panel, click Systems
and then click Sunlight or Daylight.
Alternatively, you can create a Daylight system
from the Create menu > Lights or Systems
submenu.
2. Choose a viewport in which to create a compass
rose (the compass direction of your "world").
This should be a Top or Perspective/Camera
view.
3. Drag to create the radius of a compass rose (the
radius is for display purposes only), and then
release the mouse button and move the mouse
to set the orbital scale of the sun light over the
compass rose. This can be any distance you
find convenient, since directional and IES Sun
If you created a Daylight system, the Daylight
Parameters rollout on the Modify panel lets
you choose the type of sunlight and skylight.
The Sunlight drop-down list lets you choose
IES Sun, mr Sun, or Standard (directional).
The Skylight drop-down list lets you choose
IES Sky, mr Sky, or Skylight. These lists
also offer you the options of choosing no
sunlight or no skylight.
Controls for the geographic location and time
of day are on the Motion panel. The default
time is noon, and the default date and time zone
are based on your computer’s local settings.
The default location is San Francisco, CA.
The directional light created by the system is
managed by two special controllers: Solar Date
and Solar Time. After you create your system,
you can access its creation parameters (time
and date, location, orbital scale, and location)
in the Motion panel for the directional light.
The parameters are interrelated, so you can
adjust them in any order. Generally, it’s easiest
to choose a location first, and then adjust the
date and time. You can access the parameters
for selected sunlight or skylight objects in the
Modify panel. The radius of the compass rose
is also editable from the Modify panel, after
selecting the compass rose object.
If Date/Time position is selected the Sun
and Sky multipliers are automatically set and
animated according to their position. They can
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be edited only by using the Manual Position
override.
Tip: Use Exposure Control with Daylight if your
scene rendering is too bright or too dark.
Example: To create a shadow study:
Create a Daylight system.
1.
2. On the Modify panel, set the date and Location.
Note: Once the Daylight system has been
created, you can find these controls on the
Motion panel.
Turn on the Auto Key button.
3.
4. In the Control Parameters Time group, adjust
the Hours spinner to a start time in early
morning.
Sunlight—Select one of three options for sunlight
in your scene:
• IES Sun—Uses an IES Sun object (page 2–930) to
simulate the sun.
•
5.
Click the Go To End button.
6. Animate the end time to late afternoon.
7. For a complete view of your environment and
its shadows, render an animation from a Top
viewport or a view above your scene.
Interface
Daylight Parameters rollout (Daylight system
only)
The Daylight Parameters rollout lets you define
the daylight system’s sun object. You can set the
sunlight and skylight behaviors.
This rollout appears on the Modify panel when the
light component of the Daylight system is selected.
mr Sun—Uses the mr Sun light (page 2–939)
to simulate the sun.
• Standard—Uses a Target Direct light (page
2–912) to simulate the sun.
• No Sunlight—No sunlight is simulated.
Active—Turns sunlight on and off in the viewport.
Control Parameters rollout
This rollout appears on the Create panel, and on
the Motion panel when the light component of the
Daylight or Sunlight system is selected.
Sunlight and Daylight Systems
The Sunlight system adjusts the sun’s azimuth and
altitude accordingly during the summer months.
Hours/Mins/Secs—Specify the time of day.
Month/Day/Year—Specify the date.
Time Zone—Time zones range from –12 to 12. If
you’re uncertain about a time zone, you can look
them up in Window’s Date > Time Properties
dialog (available through My Computer > Control
Panel > Date > Time). Click the Time Zone tab,
and then display the list of world locations and
their time zones.
Daylight Savings Time—When on, calculates
daylight savings by adjusting azimuth and altitude
during the summer months.
Location group
Provides controls for setting the location of your
scene in the world.
Get Location—Displays the Geographic Location
dialog (page 1–340), which lets you set the latitude
and longitude values by selecting a location from
a map or a list of cities.
Note: For precise locations, enter exact coordinates
using Latitude/Longitude.
Manual Override (Daylight system only)—When on,
you can manually adjust the location of the sun
object in your scene, as well as the intensity value
of the sun object.
Azimuth/Altitude—Displays the azimuth and
altitude of the sun. Azimuth is the compass
direction of the sun in degrees (North=0,
East=90). Altitude is the height of the sun above
the horizon in degrees (Sunrise or Sunset=0).
Time group
Provides settings for the time, date, and time zone.
If the location you choose uses Daylight Savings
Time, turn on the Daylight Saving Time checkbox.
[city name text box]—Displays the name of the city
you choose from the Geographic Location dialog.
If you adjust the Latitude or Longitude spinners
after choosing a location, this area becomes blank.
Latitude/Longitude—Specify the location based on
the latitude and longitude.
Site group
Orbital Scale—Sets the distance of the sun (the
directional light) from the compass rose. Because a
directional light casts parallel beams, this distance
has no effect on the accuracy of the sunlight.
However, the light must point toward your model
(not away from it), and the light’s hotspot and
falloff do have an effect.
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The best way to ensure that the light is set up
correctly is to change one viewport to the light’s
view (for example, Sun 01). Then adjust the light’s
location using Dolly (page 3–437), and set the
hotspot so it illuminates the whole model, with no
falloff.
North Direction—Sets the rotational direction
of the compass rose in the scene. This is the
geographical orientation of the compass rose. By
default, north is 0 and points along the positive Y
axis of the ground plane. Positive X (East) is 90
degrees. Adjust the North Direction to correspond
to your site. Accuracy of the system depends on
this correspondence.
4. Click OK to set the Latitude and Longitude to
the location of the cross.
To choose a city by name:
1. Choose a map from the Map list.
The City list updates to show cities in the region
of the map.
2. Choose the name of a city from the list.
3. Click OK to set the Latitude and Longitude to
the location of the city.
Interface
Geographic Location Dialog
Select Sunlight or Daylight system > Motion panel >
Location group > Get Location button
The Geographic Location dialog is part of the
Sunlight and Daylight systems’ (page 1–336)
interface. It lets you set the latitude and longitude
values by selecting a location from a map or a list
of cities. The dialog displays a list of cities at left,
and a map on the right.
Procedures
To use a map:
1. In the Location group on the Control
Parameters rollout, click the Get Location
button.
2. On the Geographic Location dialog choose a
map from the Map list.
3. Click in the map to specify a location.
Autodesk VIZ displays a small cross at the
location you picked. If Nearest Big City is on, it
places the cross at the nearest large city on the
list, and highlights the city’s name in the list.
City—Displays a list of cities within the selected
Map region. As an alternative to selecting a
location by clicking the map, you can select a city
directly from this list. The cross on the map moves
to the location of the selected city.
Map—Lets you choose a map for a portion of the
world, or you can choose the World map, which
includes the entire world.
Nearest Big City—When on, clicking the map
moves the cross to the nearest listed city, which
becomes highlighted in the list. When off, clicking
the map places the cross exactly where you
clicked, and its position generates the Latitude and
Longitude values for that position, regardless of
any cities that might be nearby.
Transforms: Moving, Rotating, and
Scaling Objects
To change an object’s position, orientation, or
scale, click one of the three transform buttons
on the Main toolbar or choose a transform from
a shortcut menu. Apply the transform to a
selected object using the mouse, the status bar
Coordinate Display fields, a type-in dialog, or any
combination of the above.
Transform Managers (page 1–351)
Specifying a Reference Coordinate System (page
1–352)
Choosing a Transform Center (page 1–353)
Using the Axis Constraints (page 1–355)
Transform Commands (page 1–356)
Transform Coordinates and Coordinate Center
(page 1–360)
Transform Tools (page 1–365)
Scaling and Dimensions
If you scale an object and later check its base
parameters in the Modify panel, you see the
dimensions of the object before it was scaled. The
base object exists independently of the scaled
object that is visible in your scene.
The column can be moved, rotated, and scaled.
These topics describe how to use and animate
transforms, with procedures:
You can use the Measure utility (page 2–641) to
measure the current dimensions of an object that
has been scaled or changed by a modifier.
Using Transforms (page 1–342)
Creating Copies and Arrays (page 2–1)
Using Transform Gizmos (page 1–344)
Using Shift +Clone (page 2–8)
Transform Type-In (page 1–348)
Animating Transforms (page 1–350)
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Axis Tripod and World Axis
Two visual aids in Autodesk VIZ give you
information about your current orientation in the
workspace.
Axis Tripod
If no transform tool is active, an axis tripod
appears in the viewports whenever you select one
or more objects, to assist you visually in your
transforms. When a transform tool is active, the
transform gizmo (page 1–344) appears instead,
unless you’ve turned it off.
World Axis
In the lower-left corner of each viewport you
can find the world axis, which shows the current
orientation of the viewport with respect to world
coordinate system. The world axis colors are red
for X, green for Y, and blue for Z. You can toggle
the display of the world axis in all viewports by
turning off Display World Axis, on the Viewports
panel (page 3–508) of the Preference Settings
dialog.
The world axis shows the current viewport orientation.
See also
Using Transform Gizmos (page 1–344)
Transform Managers (page 1–351)
The axis tripod appears when the transform gizmo is inactive.
The axis tripod consists of three lines, labeled X, Y,
and Z, and shows you three things:
Using Transforms
• The orientation of the tripod reveals the
orientation of the current reference coordinate
system.
• The location of the junction of the three axis
lines shows you where your transform center is.
• The highlighted red axis lines show you the axis
or axes to which the transform is constrained.
For example, if only the X axis line is red, you
can move objects only along the X axis.
Changing a model by changing its position, rotation, or scale
A transform is an adjustment of an object’s
position, orientation, or scale, relative to the 3D
world (or world space) in which you’re working.
You can apply three types of transform to an
object:
Using Transforms
•
Position (page 1–357)
•
Rotation (page 1–357)
1–357), or Select And Scale (page 1–358). These
buttons are usually referred to as Move, Rotate,
and Scale.
2. Position the mouse over the object you want
to transform.
•
Scale (page 1–358)
This section presents these brief topics designed to
help you quickly start learning how to transform
objects, and how to animate your transforms:
Using Transform Gizmos (page 1–344)
Animating Transforms (page 1–350)
Transform Managers (page 1–351)
Specifying a Reference Coordinate System (page
1–352)
Choosing a Transform Center (page 1–353)
Using the Axis Constraints (page 1–355)
• If the object is already selected, the cursor
changes to indicate the transform.
• If the object is not selected, the cursor
changes to a small plus sign to show that the
object can be selected.
3. Drag the mouse to apply the transform.
If you drag the mouse over an unselected object,
it becomes selected and is also transformed.
You can use the Transform gizmo to easily
restrict transforms to one or two axes. See
Using Transform Gizmos (page 1–344).
To cancel a transform:
• Right-click while you’re dragging the mouse.
Failure to Move or Rotate
In some cases, an object might fail to move or
rotate, even when the proper button is on and the
object is selected. This could be due to one of the
following reasons:
To transform an object from the quad menu:
1. Right-click a selected object. The quad menu
(page 3–359) lists the three transforms.
2. Choose one of the transforms. The equivalent
transform button is selected on the toolbar.
• The object is frozen. See Selecting Objects (page
1–57).
3. Drag the object to apply the transform.
• A transform controller has been assigned to the
object. See Animation Controllers (page 2–674).
To use transform type-in:
• Inverse Kinematics mode is on and the
preference called Always Transform Children
of the World is off. See Introduction to Inverse
Kinematics (IK) (page 2–758).
Procedures
To transform an object using the Main toolbar:
1.
On the Main toolbar, click
one of the three transform buttons: Select And
Move (page 1–357), Select And Rotate (page
1. Choose Tools menu > Transform Type-In to
display the dialog.
2. Apply a transform to a selected object.
3. You can do any of the following, switching from
one to the other as required.
• Type a value in an axis field and press
Enter to apply the transform change to the
selection.
• Drag a spinner in an axis field to update the
selection.
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• Drag the object to apply the transform and
read the resulting change in the dialog.
For example, if Move is active, the dialog fields
read out both the absolute and offset positions of
the selected object in world space. If no object is
selected, the fields turn gray.
Using Transform Gizmos
Select an object. > main toolbar > Click any transform
button to display the object’s Transform Gizmo icon.
To use transform type-in on the status bar:
1. Select an object or a group of objects.
2. On the Main toolbar, choose a transform
(Move, Rotate, or Scale) to perform on the
objects.
3. On the status bar, you can do any of the
following, switching from one to another as
required:
•
Type a value in an axis field and press
Enter to apply the transform change to the
selection. The Absolute/Offset toggle, to the
right of the X, Y, and Z fields, lets you switch
between entering values that are absolute
(in world space) or offset (relative to the
selection’s present position, orientation, and
dimensions).
Move gizmo
• Drag a spinner in an axis field to update the
selection.
• Drag the object to apply the transform and
read the resulting change in the X, Y, and Z
fields.
Tip: To see the Z field, drag the transform
type-in portion of the toolbar while a pan
hand is visible.
Rotate gizmo
Using Transform Gizmos
position the mouse over one of the plane handles,
and both associated axes turn yellow. You can now
drag the selection along the indicated axis or axes.
Doing so changes the Axis Constraints toolbar
"Restrict to ..." setting (page 1–355).
Move Gizmo
The Move gizmo includes plane handles, and the
option to use a center box handle.
Scale gizmo
The Transform gizmos are viewport icons that
let you quickly choose one or two axes when
transforming a selection with the mouse. You
choose an axis by placing the mouse over any axis
of the icon, and then drag the mouse to transform
the selection along that axis. In addition, when
moving or scaling an object, you can use other
areas of the gizmo to perform transforms along
any two axes simultaneously. Using a gizmo avoids
the need to first specify a transform axis or axes
on the Axis Constraints toolbar (page 3–357), and
also lets you switch quickly and easily between
different transform axes and planes.
A Transform gizmo appears when one or more
objects are selected and one of the transform
buttons (Select And Move (page 1–357), Select And
Rotate (page 1–357), or Select And Scale (page
1–358)) is active on the toolbar. Each transform
type uses a different gizmo. By default, each axis is
assigned one of three colors: X is red, Y is green,
and Z is blue. The corners of the Move gizmo are
assigned the two colors of the related axes; for
example, the corner for the XZ plane is red and
blue.
When you position the mouse over any axis, it
turns yellow to indicate that it’s active. Similarly,
You can select any of the axis handles to constrain
movement to that axis. In addition, the plane
handles allow you to constrain movement to the
XY, YZ, or XZ planes. The selection hotspot is
within the square formed by the plane handles.
You can change the size and offset of the handles
and other settings on the Gizmos panel (page
3–518) of the Preferences dialog (page 3–502).
The Move gizmo with the YZ axes selected.
You can constrain translation to the viewport
plane by dragging the center box. To use this
optional control, turn on Move In Screen Space.
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Rotate Gizmo
The Rotate gizmo is built around the concept
of a virtual trackball. You can rotate an object
freely, about the X, Y, or Z axis, or about an axis
perpendicular to the viewport.
In addition to XYZ rotation, you can also use free
rotation or the viewport handle to rotate objects.
Drag inside the Rotate gizmo (or the outer edge
of the gizmo) to perform free rotation. Rotation
should behave as if you were actually spinning the
trackball.
The outermost circle around the Rotate gizmo is
the Screen handle, which lets you rotate the object
on a plane parallel to the viewport.
You can adjust settings for the Rotate gizmo on
the Gizmos panel (page 3–518) of the Preferences
dialog (page 3–502)
The axis handles are circles around the trackball.
Drag anywhere on one of them to rotate the
object about that axis. As you rotate about the X,
Y, or Z axis a transparent slice provides a visual
representation of the direction and amount of
rotation. If you rotate more than 360°, the slice
overlaps and the shading becomes increasingly
opaque. The software also displays numerical data
to indicate a precise rotational measurement.
Scale Gizmo
The Scale gizmo includes plane handles and
scaling feedback through the stretching of the
gizmo itself.
The plane handles let you perform uniform and
non-uniform scaling without changing your
selection on the toolbar:
• To perform Uniform scaling, drag in the center
of the gizmo.
Using Transform Gizmos
The Transform gizmo with Uniform scaling selected.
• To perform non-uniform scaling, drag on a
single axis or a plane handle.
Top: The Scale gizmo with the YZ plane handle selected
Bottom: Non-uniform scaling on the YZ plane
Note: To perform a Squash operation, you must
choose Select and Squash (page 1–360) on the
main toolbar.
The Scale gizmo provides feedback by changing
its size and shape; in the case of a uniform scale
operation, it will grow or shrink as the mouse
moves, and during non-uniform scaling, the
gizmo will stretch and deform while dragging.
However, once the mouse button is released, the
gizmo returns to its original size and shape.
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You can adjust settings for the Scale gizmo on
the Gizmos panel (page 3–518) of the Preferences
dialog (page 3–502)
7. Drag the mouse anywhere in a viewport away
Notes
8. Point to the X shaft, and drag.
Using a Transform gizmo sets the default axis
constraint to the last axis or plane you used.
If Lock Selection Set is on, you can drag anywhere
in the viewport to transform the object. Dragging
an axis, however, still applies the constraint along
that axis.
Procedure
Example: To explore use of the transform gizmo:
1.
Reset the program, then create a sphere,
and then click the Select and Move button.
The Transform gizmo appears at the center of
the sphere. Because the default axis constraint
on the Axis Constraints toolbar is XY Plane,
the X and Y shafts of the Transform gizmo are
yellow (active), while the Z shaft is blue.
2. Point to any part of the sphere away from the
Transform gizmo, and drag to confirm that the
sphere is locked to the XY plane.
3. Point to the Z-axis shaft, and drag.
The Z shaft turns yellow, the X and Y shafts
turn red and green, respectively, and the sphere
moves along the Z axis.
4. Point to the Y shaft, and drag.
The Y shaft turns yellow, and the sphere moves
along only the Y axis.
5. Point to the red-and-green corner mark
opposite the ends of the X and Y axes, and drag.
The sphere moves along the XY plane.
6. Press the Spacebar to turn on Selection Lock
from the selection.
The sphere moves along the XY plane.
The sphere moves along only the X axis.
Experiment with other transformations, such
as rotation and scale. Try different reference
coordinate systems. Experiment with sub-object
transformations.
Interface
Change default colors—Customize menu >
Customize User Interface dialog > Colors panel
(page 3–485) > Gizmos Element > Active
Transform Gizmo and Transform Gizmo X/Y/Z.
Enable/disable Transform Gizmo—Customize menu
> Preferences > Gizmos panel (page 3–518) > On
check box.
Note: When you turn off the Transform gizmo
in Preferences, the standard axis tripod appears
instead. To toggle display of either the gizmo or
the tripod, press the X key or use Views menu >
Show Transform Gizmo.
There are additional controls for each Gizmo in
the Gizmos panel (page 3–518) of the Preferences
dialog.
Gizmos Preferences (page 3–518)
Transform Type-In
Status bar > Transform Type-In
Edit menu > Transform Type-In
F12
Main toolbar > Right-click Select And Move, Select And
Rotate, or one of the Select And Scale buttons.
(page 3–395).
Transform Type-In is a dialog that lets you
enter precise values for move, rotate, and scale
Transform Type-In
transforms (page 3–693). You can use Transform
Type-In with anything that can display an axis
tripod or Transform gizmo.
You can also use the Transform Type-In boxes on
the status bar (page 3–387). To use the Transform
Type-In boxes on the status bar, simply enter the
appropriate values in the boxes and press Enter
to apply the transformation. You can alternate
between entering absolute transform values or
offset values by clicking the Relative/Absolute
Transform Type-In button to the left of the
transform boxes.
If you choose Transform Type-In from the Edit
menu, press F12 , or right-click one of the
transform toolbar buttons, Transform Type-In
pops up as a dialog. The title of the dialog reflects
the active transform. If Rotate is active, the dialog’s
title is Rotate Transform Type-In and its controls
affect rotation. If Scale is active, its title is Scale
Transform Type-In, and so on. You can enter
either absolute transform values or offset values.
In most cases, both absolute and offset transforms
use the active reference coordinate system (page
1–361). The exceptions are View, which uses the
World coordinate system, and Screen, which uses
World for absolute moves and rotations. Also,
absolute scaling always uses the Local coordinate
system. The dialog labels change to show the
reference coordinate system being used.
When you use the Transform Type-In at a
sub-object level, you transform the transform
gizmo of the sub-object selection. So, for example,
the absolute position values represent the absolute
world position of the transform gizmo. If you’ve
selected a single vertex, it’s the absolute world
position of the vertex.
If multiple vertices are selected, the Transform
gizmo is placed at the center of the selection, so the
position you specify in the Transform Type-In sets
the absolute position of the center of the selected
vertices.
When multiple vertices are selected in Local
transform mode, you end up with multiple
transform gizmos. In this case, only the Offset
control is available.
Because the axis tripods are not scaled, the
Absolute Scale control is not available at the
sub-object level. Only Offset is available.
When you use the Transform Type-In for Absolute
rotation, the state of the Center flyout is respected.
You can perform absolute rotations about the
pivot point of the object, the selection center,
or transform coordinate center. See Choosing a
Transform Center (page 1–353).
Using Type-In with Sub-Object Selection
You can use Transform Type-In with any
sub-object selection or gizmo. The transform
affects the axis tripod for the selection.
Absolute and offset world coordinates are those
of the object’s or selection’s coordinate system,
whose origin is indicated by the axis tripod. If
multiple vertices are selected, the tripod is at the
center of the selection and its location is given in
world coordinates.
Because axis tripods cannot be scaled, Absolute
Scale fields are unavailable when you are at a
sub-object level.
See Basics of Creating and Modifying Objects (page
1–127) for information on sub-object selection
and gizmos.
Procedure
To use transform type-in:
1. Select an object or a group of objects.
2. Choose a transform to perform on the objects
(Move, Rotate, or Scale).
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3. You can do any of the following, switching from
one to another as required:
• Type a value in an axis field and press Enter
to apply the transform change to the object
in the viewport.
• Drag a spinner in an axis field to update the
object in the viewport.
• Drag the object to apply the transform and
read the resulting change in the axis fields.
For example, if Move is active, the fields
read out both the absolute positions of the
selected object in world space. If no object is
selected, the fields turn gray.
Interface
Status bar
Absolute/Offset Mode Transform
Offset group (Dialog)
X, Y, and Z—Display and accept entry for offsets
of the position, rotation, and scale values along
each axis.
Displayed offset values revert to 0.0 after each
operation. For example, if you enter 45 degrees
in a Rotate Offset field, when you press Enter ,
the software rotates the object 45 degrees from
its previous position, increases the Absolute field
value by 45 degrees, and resets the Offset field to
0.0.
Offset labels reflect the active reference coordinate
system. The Offset can be Offset: Local, Offset:
Parent, and so on. If you use Pick to select the
reference coordinate system of a particular object,
the Offset will be named with that object.
Animating Transforms
values you enter into the X, Y, and Z fields as
absolutes. When this is on, the software applies
transform values you enter as relative to current
values; that is, as an offset. Default=off.
You can animate changes in position, rotation, and
scale (transforms) by turning on the Auto Key
button and then performing the transform at any
frame other than frame 0. This creates a key for
that transform at the current frame.
X, Y, and Z—Display and accept entry for values of
position, rotation, and scale along each axis.
Example: To animate an object moving among three
points:
Absolute group (Dialog)
1.
Type-In—When this is off, the software treats
Turn on the Auto Key button (page
2–648).
The Auto Key button and the highlight border
around the active viewport both turn red.
2. Drag the time slider to frame 25.
3. Move the object from its current position (point
A) to another location (point B).
X, Y, and Z—Display and accept entry for absolute
values of position, rotation, and scale along each
axis. Position and rotation are always displayed, as
world scale is always local.
The software creates Move keys at frames 0 and
25. These appear on the track bar (page 3–391).
The establishing key at frame 0 describes the
object’s original position, at point A. The key
Transform Managers
at frame 25 describes the object’s position at
point B.
4. Drag the time slider to frame 50.
5. Move the object from point B to a third location
(point C).
The software creates a Move key at frame 50
that describes the object’s position at point C.
6. Click the Auto Key button to stop recording.
7.
Click the Play button (page 3–409).
The object moves from point A to point B over
frames 0 to 25, and then proceeds to point C
over frames 26 to 50.
8.
The Play button has turned into a Stop
button; click Stop to stop playback.
You can combine different transforms in a single
animation sequence, so that an object appears to
move as it rotates and changes in size.
See Animation Concepts and Methods (page 2–645)
for more information on animation techniques.
The transform manager controls are as follows:
• The Reference Coordinate System drop-down list
(page 1–361), which controls the orientation of
the transform axes, is found to the right of the
Move, Rotate, and Scale transform buttons on
the main toolbar.
• The Transform Center flyout (page 1–363),
which controls the center about which the
software applies the transform, is found to
the right of the Reference Coordinate System
drop-down list.
• The Axis Constraint setting (page 1–355) lets
you restrict the transform to a single axis or two
axes (that is, a plane). The axis constraint tools
appear on the Axis Constraints toolbar, which
is off by default. You can open the toolbar
by right-clicking an empty spot on the main
toolbar and choosing Axis Constraints from
the menu.
Tip: You can also restrict transforms with the
transform gizmos (page 1–344).
Definitions
Certain terms are used in the description of
transforms and the transform managers.
• An axis is a straight line along which an object
is moved or scaled, or about which an object is
rotated. When you work in 3D, you use three
axes, labeled X, Y, and Z, which are oriented 90
degrees from each other.
• A coordinate system specifies the orientation of
the X, Y, and Z axes used by a transform.
An object animated among three points
Transform Managers
Autodesk VIZ provides three controls, collectively
referred to as the transform managers, for
modifying the action of the transform tools.
For example, in the World coordinate system,
as seen from the Front view, the X axis runs
horizontally from left to right, the Y axis
runs from back to front, and the Z axis runs
vertically, from bottom to top.
On the other hand, each object carries its own
Local coordinate system. If the object has been
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rotated, its Local coordinate system might be
different from the world coordinate system.
managers change to whatever combination they
were in when you last used that transform.
• The transform center, or pivot point, is the spot
about which a rotation takes place, or to and
from which scaling occurs.
For example, if you click Rotate and set the
transform managers to Local, Selection Center,
and Y constraint, when you click Move, the
controls might shift to View, Pivot Point, and XY
constraint (whichever combination was set the
last time you used Move). When you go back
to Rotate, the controls revert to Local, Selection
Center, and Y constraint.
Using the transform managers, you can specify
any combination of axes, transform coordinate
systems, and transform centers.
Axis Tripod Icon
• An axis tripod appears in the viewports when
you select one or more objects, to assist you
visually in your transforms. This tripod
consists of three lines, labeled X, Y, and Z, and
shows you three things:
• The orientation of the tripod reveals the
orientation of your coordinate system.
• The location of the junction of the three axis
lines shows you where your transform center is.
• The highlighted red axis lines show you the axis
or axes to which the transform is constrained.
For example, if only the X axis line is red, you
can move objects only along the X axis.
Note: The Transform gizmo supplants the axis
tripod for selections when a transform mode
is active. Besides providing all of the above
functions, it lets you specify the transform axis
or axes without explicitly setting constraints;
see Using the Axis Constraints (page 1–355).
For more on the Transform gizmo, see Using
Transform Gizmos (page 1–344).
You can toggle the display of the axis tripod in
all viewports by choosing Views menu > Show
Transform Gizmo, or by pressing the X key.
Transform Manager Settings
The state of the three transform managers
(coordinate system, center, and axis constraints)
is stored with each type of transform. When you
switch from Move to Rotate to Scale, the transform
Tip: To avoid surprises, always click the transform
button first, and then set the transform managers.
If, instead, you first set the transform managers,
their settings are likely to change as soon as you
choose a new transform button. One way to
remember this is always to set the transform and
managers by working from left to right on the
toolbar. Alternatively, you can turn on Customize
menu > Preferences > General tab > Reference
Coordinate System group > Constant, which keeps
the transform manager settings the same for all
transforms.
Specifying a Reference Coordinate
System
The reference coordinate system determines the
orientation of the X, Y, and Z axes used by the
transform. The type of transform system you use
affects all transform operations.
You specify the transform coordinate system using
the Reference Coordinate System list (page 1–361).
Creating a Local Axis
While modeling, it’s often helpful to have a
temporary, movable local axis so you can rotate or
scale about an arbitrary center.
Note: This technique does not work for animation.
See Choosing a Transform Center (page 1–353) for
animation tips.
Choosing a Transform Center
To create an adjustable local axis:
1. Create a Point helper object.
You can use the Create panel or the Create
menu. On the Create panel, click the Helpers
button, click Point, and then click in a viewport.
Or, choose Create menu > Helpers > Point, and
then click in a viewport.
2. From the Transform Coordinate System list,
choose Pick, and then click the point object.
The name of the point object appears in the list
as the active coordinate system.
Now you can use the point object’s coordinate
system as an adjustable axis.
To use the adjustable axis:
1. Place the point object where you want the rotate
or scale transform to be centered.
2. Select the object you want to transform.
3. Choose the point object’s name in the
Transform Coordinate System drop-down list.
4. From the Use Center flyout (page 1–363) choose
Use Transform Coordinate Center. For more
information, see Choosing a Transform Center
(page 1–353).
5. Proceed with the transform.
Choosing a Transform Center
The transform center affects scale and rotation
transforms, but has no effect on position
transforms.
The software lets you choose from three types of
transform center using the Use Center flyout (page
1–363) on the main toolbar. When you change the
transform center, the junction of the axis tripod
icon moves to the location you specify.
By default, Autodesk VIZ sets the transform
center to Use Pivot Point center for single objects.
When you select multiple objects, the default
transform center changes to Use Selection Center,
because selection sets have no pivot point. You can
change the transform center in either case, and the
program remembers and restores the transform
center setting separately for selections of single
and multiple objects (during the current session).
For example, you might select a single object and
choose Use Transform Coordinate Center, and
then select multiple objects and choose Use Pivot
Point Center. When you next select a single object,
the program switches back to Use Transform
Coordinate Center. Then, when you select multiple
objects, the center switches back to Pivot Point.
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when transforming sub-object selections. You can
override the active transform center and perform
the current transform about a temporary point
by using snaps. When Snaps is active, and your
selection is locked, the point you snap to will set
the point about which the transform is performed.
Using this technique, you can:
• Move relative to two snap points.
• Rotate about a snapped point.
• Scale about a snapped point.
For more details, see Snap Settings (page 2–630).
Animation and the Transform Center
Because of the nature of keyframing, you can
animate rotation and scale transforms properly
only by using an object’s local pivot point. For
example, while modeling, you can rotate an object
that’s offset from the world origin around the
world center coordinate system. The object sweeps
around the origin in a large arc. However, if you
attempt to animate this, the object rotates about its
local axis and moves in a straight line from one
end of the arc to the other.
1. User selects single object.
2. User clicks Use Transform Coordinate Center from Use Center
flyout on Main toolbar.
3. User adds second object to selection.
4. Transform center changes to Use Selection Center when
selection set contains more than one object.
5. User clicks Use Pivot Point Center while multiple objects
still selected.
6. User selects single object.
7. Transform center returns to Use Transform Coordinate
Center (see step 2).
8. User selects multiple objects.
9. Transform center returns to Use Pivot Point Center (see step
5).
Transforming About Snapped Points
While the transform center choices are often useful
at the object level, they are not usually convenient
To avoid this discrepancy, if the Auto Key button is
on and either the Rotate or Scale button is active,
the Use Center flyout is unavailable and set to Use
Pivot Point. When the Auto Key button is off,
all transforms use the center settings previously
described.
You can override this behavior by turning off
Local Center During Animate (page 3–516) in the
Animation Preferences settings.
Keep in mind that this affects only the center of
the transform. The orientation of the selected
transform coordinate system is still in effect.
Animating "Off-Center"
You can animate a rotation or scale about an
off-center point by linking your object as the child
Using the Axis Constraints
of a dummy helper object, and then rotating or
scaling the dummy.
Another technique is to offset the pivot point of
your object using the Hierarchy panel.
For information about linking, dummy objects,
and the Hierarchy panel, see Hierarchies (page
2–740).
Axis Constraint buttons
Using the Axis Constraints
Axis Constraints toolbar > Restrict to X, Y, Z, or a plane
Keyboard >
F5 restricts to X
F6 restricts to Y
F7 restricts to Z
F8 cycles through the three plane restrictions
The Restrict to ... buttons, also called the Axis
Constraint buttons, are located on the Axis
Constraints toolbar (page 3–357), which is off by
default. You can turn it on by right-clicking an
empty spot on the main toolbar and choosing
Constraints from the pop-up menu. These buttons
let you specify one or two axes about or along
which the transform takes place. They help you
avoid transforming an object in a direction you
didn’t intend.
Note: It’s generally easier to use the Transform
gizmos than these buttons; see Using Transform
Gizmos (page 1–344). However, it is helpful to
understand the concepts explained below.
Only one axis constraint can be active at a time.
When a button is turned on, transforms are
constrained to the specified axis (or plane). For
example, if you turn on the Restrict To X button,
you can rotate an object only about the X axis of
the current transform coordinate system.
The axis or axes to which you’re constrained
are highlighted in red on the axis tripod icon in
viewports, or in yellow on the Transform gizmo.
Note: By default, axis constraints don’t apply when
using Snap. You can override this by turning on
Snaps Use Axis Constraint Toggle on the Axis
Constraints toolbar (page 3–357), or by turning
on Use Axis Constraints in Snap Options (page
2–635).
Note: Constraints are set on a transform-bytransform basis, so select the transform before you
select the axis constraint. If you do not want the
constraints to change, turn on Customize menu >
Preferences > General tab > Reference Coordinate
System group > Constant.
The axis constraints are stored separately at
object and sub-object levels. If you set these
three controls one way while in sub-object mode
and another way while in object selection level,
when you return to sub-object mode, they’re
restored to the way they were previously set. For
example, if you’re using XY constraints at object
level, then switch to sub-object level and use Z
constraint, when you return to object level, XY
will be restored.
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Restrict to Plane Flyout
3. On the Reset Transform rollout, click Reset
Selected.
Object rotation and scaling are now carried
by an XForm modifier placed at the top of the
modifier stack.
The Restrict To Plane flyout, available from
the Axis Constraints toolbar, lets you limit all
transformations (move, rotate, scale) to the XY,
YZ, or ZX planes (by default, parallel with the Top
view).
You can also select planar constraint by using the
Move Transform Gizmo (page 1–344). Instead of
dragging one of the axis indicators, drag one of the
plane indicators near the center of the gizmo.
When you move an object along a plane that is
head-on to your view, the object moves along the
single available axis shown in the view.
When you apply the Reset Transform utility,
an XForm modifier (page 2–306) that carries
the rotation and scale values is placed at the
top of the Modifier Stack display. You can
apply other modifiers above and below the
XForm modifier. You can select the XForm
modifier and add other Move, Rotate, and Scale
transforms. You can delete the XForm modifier
to completely remove the transforms from the
object. You can collapse the object to absorb the
rotation and scale values into the object mesh.
Interface
Reset XForm Utility
Utilities panel > Utilities rollout > More button > Utilities
dialog > Reset XForm
Use the Reset Transform utility to push object
rotation and scaling values onto the modifier
stack and align object pivot points and bounding
boxes with the World coordinate system. Reset
Transform removes all Rotation and Scale values
from selected objects and places those transforms
in an XForm modifier.
To reset the transform of a group, use the
Transform button in the Reset group box of the
Hierarchy > Pivot command panel.
Procedure
To reset an object’s transform:
1. Select an object.
2. On the Utilities panel > Utilities rollout, click
the More button and choose Reset XForm.
Reset selected—Removes all Rotation and Scale
values from selected objects and places those
transforms in an XForm modifier.
Transform Commands
The basic transform commands are the most
straightforward way to change an object’s position,
rotation, or scale. These commands appear on the
default main toolbar (page 3–355). They are also
available from the default quad menu (page 3–359).
Select and Move
to the X, Y, or Z axis, or to any two axes, click
the appropriate button on the Axis Constraints
toolbar (page 3–357), use the Transform gizmo
(page 1–344), or right-click the object, and select
the constraint from the Transform submenu.
Select and Move (page 1–357)
Select and Rotate (page 1–357)
Select and Uniform Scale (page 1–359)
Select and Non-Uniform Scale (page 1–359)
Moving an object
Select and Squash (page 1–360)
Move Gizmo (page 1–345)
Moving, Rotating, and Scaling Objects (page 1–341)
Using Shift +Clone (page 2–8)
Transform Type-In (page 1–348)
Select and Rotate
Main toolbar > Select and Rotate
Select and Move
Right-click an object. > quad menu > Transform quadrant
> Rotate
Edit menu > Select and Rotate
Main toolbar > Select and Move
Right-click an object. > quad menu > Transform quadrant
> Move
Edit menu > Select and Move
Use the Select And Move button or the Move
command on the Edit or quad menu to select and
move objects.
To move a single object, you do not need to select it
first. When this button is active, clicking an object
selects it and dragging the mouse moves it.
The direction of the movement is determined
both by your mouse and by the current reference
coordinate system. To restrict object movement
Use the Select and Rotate button or the Rotate
command on the Edit or quad menu to select and
rotate objects.
To rotate a single object, you don’t need to select it
first. When this button is active, clicking an object
selects it and dragging the mouse rotates it.
When you are rotating an object about a single
axis (as is usually the case), don’t rotate the
mouse, expecting the object to follow the mouse
movement. Just move the mouse straight up and
straight down. Up rotates the object one way,
down rotates it the opposite way.
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The center of rotation is determined by the
Transform Center setting (page 1–360).
To restrict rotation about the X, Y, or Z axis, or to
any two axes, click the appropriate button on the
Axis Constraints toolbar (page 3–357), right-click
the object, and select the constraint from the
Transform submenu.
The rotation plays back exactly as you recorded
it.
Select and Scale
Main toolbar > Select and Scale flyout
Right-click an object. > quad menu > Transform quadrant
> Scale
Edit menu > Select and Scale
The Select And Scale flyout on the main toolbar
provides access to three tools you can use to
change object size. These are, from top to bottom:
Rotating an object
Rotate Gizmo (page 1–346)
Select and Uniform Scale (page 1–359)
Select and Non-Uniform Scale (page 1–359)
Procedure
Select and Squash (page 1–360)
This procedure illustrates the intuitive usage of the
default Euler XYZ rotation controller (page 2–683).
In addition, the Scale command is available on
the Edit menu and the Transform quadrant of the
quad (right-click) menu; this activates whichever
scale tool is currently chosen in the flyout.
To animate object rotation interactively:
1. Add an object.
2.
3.
Move the time
slider (page 3–389) to a frame other than 0 and
turn on Auto Key (page 3–405).
Choose Select And Rotate.
4. Rotate the object on any axis by any amount.
5. Move the time slider to a later frame.
6. Rotate the object on the same axis by an amount
greater than 180 degrees.
7. Play back the animation.
Note: The Smart Scale command activates the
Select And Scale function and, with repeated
invocations, cycles through the available scaling
methods. By default, Smart Scale is assigned to
the R key; you can use Customize User Interface
(page 3–477) to assign it to a different keyboard
shortcut, a menu, etc.
Select and Uniform Scale
Select and Uniform Scale
1–358), lets you scale objects in a non-uniform
manner according to the active axis constraint.
Main toolbar > Select and Uniform Scale (on Select And
Scale flyout)
Right-click an object. > Scale (selects current toolbar
Scale mode)
The Select And Uniform Scale button, available
from the Select And Scale flyout (page 1–358),
lets you scale objects by the same amount along
all three axes, maintaining the object’s original
proportions.
Non-uniform scale can change proportions with different
values for different axes.
You can restrict the objects’ scaling about the X, Y,
or Z axis, or to any two axes, by first clicking the
appropriate button on the Axis Constraints toolbar
(page 3–357), or with the Transform gizmo (page
1–344).
To scale a single object, you don’t need to select it
first. When this tool is active, clicking an object
selects it and dragging the mouse scales it.
Uniform scale does not change an object’s proportions.
To scale a single object, you don’t need to select it
first. When this tool is active, clicking an object
selects it and dragging the mouse scales it.
Scale Gizmo (page 1–346)
Select and Non-Uniform Scale
Main toolbar > Select and Non-Uniform Scale (on Select
And Scale flyout)
Right-click an object. > Scale (selects current toolbar
Scale mode)
The Select And Non-Uniform Scale button,
available from the Select And Scale flyout (page
Important: Avoid applying non-uniform scale at
the object level. Non-uniform scaling is applied as
a transform and changes the axes of the object, so
it affects other object properties. It also alters the
properties passed hierarchically from parent to child.
When you perform other operations on the object, such
as rotation, inverse kinematic calculations, and other
positioning operations, you might not get the results
you expect. To recover from these problems, use the
Hierarchy panel’s Reset Scale button or the Utilities
panel’s Reset XForm utility. Either of these options
will reset the axes to use the non-uniform scale as the
fundamental scale for the object.
As an alternative to non-uniform scaling, consider using
the XForm modifier (page 2–306).
Scale Gizmo (page 1–346)
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Select and Squash
Main toolbar > Select And Squash (on Select And Scale
flyout)
Right-click an object. > Scale (selects current toolbar
Scale mode)
The Select And Squash tool, available from the
Select And Scale flyout (page 1–358), lets you scale
objects according to the active axis constraint.
Squashing an object always involves scaling down
on one axis while simultaneously scaling up
uniformly on the other two (or vice-versa).
as rotation, inverse kinematics calculations, and other
positioning operations, you may not get the results
you expect. To recover from these problems, use the
Hierarchy panel’s Reset Scale button or the Utilities
panel’s Reset XForm utility. Either of these options
will reset the axes to use the non-uniform scale as the
fundamental scale for the object.
As an alternative to non-uniform scaling with Select And
Squash, consider using the XForm modifier (page 2–306).
See also
Scale Gizmo (page 1–346)
Transform Coordinates and
Coordinate Center
Controls for setting the coordinate system and
the active center for transforms to use are on the
default main toolbar (page 3–355).
Squash scales two axes in opposite directions, maintaining
the object’s original volume.
You can restrict object scaling to the X, Y, or
Z axis, or to any two axes, by first clicking the
appropriate button on the Axis Constraints toolbar
(page 3–357).
When the Select And Squash tool is active, clicking
an object selects it and dragging the mouse scales
it.
Important: Avoid using Select And Squash at the object
level. The non-uniform scaling that it effects is applied
as a transform and changes the axes of the object,
so it affects other object properties. It also alters the
properties passed hierarchically from parent to child.
When you perform other operations on the object, such
Reference Coordinate System (page 1–361)
Use Pivot Point Center (page 1–364)
Use Selection Center (page 1–364)
Use Transform Coordinate Center (page
1–365)
Moving, Rotating, and Scaling Objects (page 1–341)
Reference Coordinate System
Reference Coordinate System
Main toolbar > Reference Coordinate System list
• X always points right.
• Y always points up.
• Z always points straight out of the screen
toward you.
The Reference Coordinate System list lets
you specify the coordinate system used for
a transformation (Move, Rotate, and Scale).
Options include View, Screen, World (page 3–699),
Parent, Local (page 3–643), Gimbal, Grid, and
Pick.
In the Screen coordinate system, all views
(including perspective views) use the viewport
screen coordinates.
View is a hybrid of World and Screen coordinate
systems. Using View, all orthographic views use
the Screen coordinate system, while perspective
views use the World coordinate system.
Note: The coordinate system is set on a
transform-by-transform basis, so choose the
transform before you specify the coordinate
system. If you do not want the coordinate system
to change, turn on Customize menu > Preferences
> General tab > Ref. Coord. System group >
Constant.
Interface
Different orientations of the View coordinate system:
1. Top viewport.
2. Front viewport.
3. Left viewport.
4. Perspective viewport.
Screen—Uses the active viewport screen as the
coordinate system.
• X is horizontal, running in a positive direction
toward the right.
• Y is vertical, running in a positive direction
upward.
• Z is depth, running in a positive direction
toward you.
View—In the default View coordinate system,
X, Y, and Z axes are the same in all orthogonal
viewports. When you move an object using this
coordinate system, you are moving it relative to
the space of the viewport.
Since the Screen mode depends on the active
viewport for its orientation, the X, Y, and Z
labels on an axis tripod (page 1–342) in an
inactive viewport show the orientation of
the currently active viewport. The labels on
that tripod will change when you activate the
viewport it is in.
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The coordinate system in Screen mode is always relative to the
point of view.
Example of a Parent object coordinate system
World—Uses the world coordinate system. Seen
object. An object’s local coordinate system is
carried by its pivot point (page 3–667). You can
adjust the position and orientation of the local
coordinate system, relative to its object, using the
options on the Hierarchy command panel.
from the front:
• X runs in a positive direction to the right.
• Z runs in a positive direction upward.
• Y runs in a positive direction away from you.
Local—Uses the coordinate system of the selected
When Local is active, the Use Transform Center
button is inactive and all transforms use the local
axis as the center of transformation. In a selection
set of several objects, each uses its own center for
the transform.
The World coordinate system is always fixed.
Parent—Uses the coordinate system of the parent
of the selected object. If the object is not linked to
a specific object, it’s a child of the world, and the
parent coordinate system is the same as the world
coordinate system.
Local uses an individual coordinate system for each object.
Gimbal—The Gimbal coordinate system is similar
to Local, but its three rotation axes are not
necessarily orthogonal to each other.
Use Center Flyout
When you rotate about a single axis with the Local
and Parent coordinate systems, this can change
two or three of the Euler XYZ tracks. The Gimbal
coordinate system avoids this problem: Euler XYZ
rotation about one axis changes only that axis’s
track. This makes function curve editing easier.
Also, absolute transform type-in with Gimbal
coordinates uses the same Euler angle values as
the animation tracks (as opposed to Euler angles
relative to the World or Parent coordinate system,
as those coordinate systems require).
For move and scale transforms, Gimbal
coordinates are the same as Parent coordinates.
When the object does not have an Euler XYZ
Rotation controller assigned, Gimbal rotation is
the same as Parent rotation.
Because the software saves an object’s name in the
list, you can pick an object’s coordinate system,
change the active coordinate system, and then
use the object’s coordinate system again at a later
time. The list saves the four most recently picked
object names.
When using Pick to specify an object as a reference
coordinate system, you can press H to display
the Select Objects dialog (page 1–75) and pick the
object from there.
You can pick objects within an XRef scene as
coordinate reference system.
The Euler XYZ controller can be the active
controller in a List controller, too.
Grid—Uses the coordinate system of the active
grid.
Using another object as the coordinate system
Use Center Flyout
Main toolbar > Use Center flyout
Using an active grid coordinate system.
Pick—Uses the coordinate system of another object
in the scene.
After you choose Pick, click to select the single
object whose coordinate system the transforms
will use. The object’s name appears in the
Transform Coordinate System list.
The Use Center flyout provides access to three
methods you can use to determine the geometric
center for scale and rotate operations. They are,
from top to bottom:
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Use Pivot Point Center (page 1–364)
Use Selection Center (page 1–364)
Use Transform Coordinate Center (page 1–365)
See also
Choosing a Transform Center (page 1–353)
Use Pivot Point Center
Main toolbar > Use Pivot Point Center (on Use Center
flyout)
The Use Pivot Point Center option, available
from the Use Center flyout (page 1–363), lets you
enable rotation or scaling of one or more objects
around their respective pivot points (page 3–667).
When Auto Key (page 3–405) is active, Use Pivot
Point Center is automatically chosen and no other
option is available.
The axis tripods (page 1–342) show the centers that
are currently being used.
Note: The transformation center mode is set on
a transform-by-transform basis, so select the
transform before you select the center mode. If
you do not want the center setting to change, turn
on Customize menu > Preferences > General tab >
Reference Coordinate System group > Constant.
Applying a rotation with the Pivot Point rotates each object
around its own local axis.
Use Selection Center
Main toolbar > Use Selection Center (on Use Center flyout)
The Use Selection Center button, available from
the Use Center flyout (page 1–363), lets you enable
rotation or scaling of one or more objects around
their collective geometric center. If you transform
multiple objects, the software calculates the
average geometric center of all the objects and uses
that for the transform center.
The axis tripod (page 1–342) shows the center that
is currently being used.
Note: The transformation center mode is set on
a transform-by-transform basis, so select the
transform before you select the center mode. If
you do not want the center setting to change, turn
on Customize menu > Preferences > General tab >
Reference Coordinate System group > Constant.
Use Transform Coordinate Center
With the Selection Center option, an averaged coordinate
system is used to rotate the objects.
An example of the World coordinate center
Use Transform Coordinate Center
Transform Tools
Main toolbar > Use Transform Coordinate Center (on Use
Center flyout)
The Use Transform Coordinate Center button,
available from the Use Center flyout (page 1–363),
lets you enable rotation or scaling of an object or
objects around the center of the current coordinate
system. When you designate another object as
the coordinate system with the Pick function (see
Specifying a Reference Coordinate System (page
1–352)), the coordinate center is the location of
that object’s pivot.
The axis tripod (page 1–342) shows the center that
is currently being used.
The transform tools can transform objects
according to certain conditions. Some of them,
such as Array, can also create copies of objects.
These tools (except for Array, Snapshot, Spacing
Tool, and Clone And Align) are available on the
default main toolbar (page 3–355); the remainder
are on the Extras toolbar (page 3–358). Also, they
all appear on the default Tools menu (page 3–346).
Mirror Selected Objects (page 1–366)
Array (page 1–368)
Snapshot (page 1–371)
Note: The transformation center mode is set on
a transform-by-transform basis, so select the
transform before you select the center mode. If
you do not want the center setting to change, turn
on Customize menu > Preferences > General tab >
Reference Coordinate System group > Constant.
Spacing Tool (page 1–372)
Clone and Align Tool (page 1–377)
Align (page 1–380)
Quick Align (page 1–382)
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Normal Align (page 1–383)
Place Highlight (page 1–384)
mirroring their orientation. The Mirror dialog
also allows you to mirror the current selection
about the center of the current coordinate system.
You can create a clone with the mirror dialog at the
same time. If you mirror a hierarchical linkage,
you have the option to mirror the IK limits.
Align Camera (page 1–385)
Align to View (page 1–386)
Moving, Rotating, and Scaling Objects (page 1–341)
Using Shift +Clone (page 2–8)
Creating Copies and Arrays (page 2–1)
Array Flyout
Extras toolbar > Array flyout
Mirroring an object
The Array flyout, available from the Extras toolbar
(page 3–358), provides access to various tools for
creating arrays of objects. These are, from top to
bottom:
Array (page 1–368)
Snapshot (page 1–371)
Spacing Tool (page 1–372)
Clone and Align Tool (page 1–377)
The Mirror dialog uses the current reference
coordinate system (page 1–361), as reflected in
its name. For example, if Reference Coordinate
System is set to Local, the dialog is named Mirror:
Local Coordinates. There is one exception: If
Reference Coordinate System is set to View, Mirror
uses Screen coordinates.
As you adjust the various settings in the Mirror
dialog, you see the results in the viewports.
For more information on using Mirror, see
Mirroring Objects (page 2–21).
Procedures
To mirror an object:
Mirror Selected Objects
Main toolbar > Mirror Selected Objects
Tools menu > Mirror
Clicking Mirror displays the Mirror dialog, which
enables you to move one or more objects while
1. Make any object selection.
2.
Click Mirror on the Main toolbar, or
choose Tools menu > Mirror.
The Mirror dialog opens.
3. Set the mirror parameters in the dialog and
click OK.
Mirror Selected Objects
The active viewport changes to show the effect
of each parameter as you set it. When you click
OK, the software creates the choice of mirror
that you see previewed.
buttons on the Axis Constraints toolbar (page
3–357).
Offset—Specifies the distance of the mirrored
To make a clone using mirror:
object’s pivot point (page 3–667) from the original
object’s pivot point.
1. Make any object selection
Clone Selection group
2.
Click Mirror on the Main toolbar, or
choose Tools menu > Mirror.
Determines the type of copy made by the Mirror
function. Default is No Clone.
The Mirror dialog opens.
No Clone—Mirrors the selected object without
making a copy.
3. In the Clone Selection group, choose Copy,
Instance, or Reference.
4. Make any additional settings as desired and
then click OK.
Copy—Mirrors a copy of the selected object to the
specified position.
Instance—Mirrors an instance (page 3–639) of the
selected object to the specified position.
Interface
Reference—Mirrors a reference (page 3–673) of the
selected object to the specified position.
If you animate (page 2–645) the mirror operation,
mirroring generates a Scale key. If you set Offset
to a value other than 0.0, mirroring also generates
Position keys.
Mirror IK Limits—Causes the IK constraints to be
mirrored (along with the geometry) when you
mirror the geometry about a single axis. Turn
this off if you don’t want the IK constraints to be
affected by the mirror command.
Mirror Axis group
The mirror axis choices are X, Y, Z, XY, XZ,
and YZ. Choose one to specify the direction of
mirroring. These are equivalent to the option
The end effectors used by the IK are not affected
by the Mirror command. To successfully mirror
an IK hierarchy, first delete the end effectors: Go
to the Motion panel > IK Controller Parameters
rollout > End Effectors group and, under Position,
click the Delete button. After the mirror operation,
create the new end effector using the tools on the
same panel.
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Array
Extras toolbar > Array
2.
3. On the Array dialog, select the type of object
to output: Copy, Instance, (page 3–639) or
Reference (page 3–673)).
Tools menu > Array
The Array command displays the Array dialog,
which enables you to create an array of objects
based on the current selection.
Click the Array button, or choose Tools
> Array.
4. In the Preview group, click the Preview button
to turn it on.
This lets you see the results of the array
operation in the viewports, with changes
appearing in real time.
5. In the Array Transformation group, click
the arrows to set Incremental or Totals array
parameters for Move, Rotate, and Scale.
6. Enter coordinates for the Array Transformation
parameters.
7. Indicate whether you want a 1D, 2D, or 3D
array.
8. Set Count to the number of copies on each axis.
A one-dimensional array
The items in the Array Dimensions group let
you create one-, two-, and three-dimensional
arrays. For example, a row of five objects is a
single-dimension array, even though it takes up
three-dimensional space in the scene. An array
of objects that’s five rows by three columns is a
two-dimensional array, and an array of objects
that’s five rows by three columns by two levels is a
three-dimensional array.
Tip: You can preview the array by turning on the
Preview button. With Preview on, changing the
array settings updates the viewports in real time.
9. Enter the appropriate values in the numeric
fields for Incremental Row Offsets.
10. Click OK.
The current selection is duplicated the specified
number of times, with each object transformed
as indicated.
To replace an array:
1. Undo the array to replace, using Edit > Undo
Create Array, or press Ctrl+Z .
2. Change the coordinate system and transform
center, if needed.
3.
For more information on using Array, see Arraying
Objects (page 2–14).
Procedures
To create an array:
1. Select the objects to array.
Click the Array button, or choose Tools >
Array, and adjust any parameters on the Array
dialog that is displayed.
4. Click OK to create a new array, which replaces
the previous version. Repeat these steps to
fine-tune the array.
Array
Example: To create an array of objects that numbers
5 x 4 x 3:
1. Create a sphere with a radius of 10 units.
2. Choose Tools > Array to display the Array
dialog.
3. In the Incremental set of parameters, set Move
X (the upper-left field) to 50. This causes each
object in the array to be positioned 50 units
apart on the X axis.
4. In the Array Dimensions group, choose the 3D
button to enable all the spinners in that group.
5. Set the 1D Count spinner to 5, the 2D Count
If the Front viewport is not visible, press
Alt+W to switch to a four-viewport layout.
spinner to 4, and the 3D Count spinner to 3.
This creates a row of 5 objects that are 50 units
apart, and then 4 rows of those five objects,
and then 3 rows of the 5 x 4 matrix of objects,
resulting in a box array.
3.
Choose Use Transform Coordinate
Center on the Main toolbar.
6. In the 2D row, set the Y spinner to 80.
4. Choose Tools > Array.
7. In the 3D row, set the Z spinner to 100.
5. Click the arrow button to the right of the Rotate
8. Click OK.
A box array of spheres appears. The first
dimensional array is five created along the
X world axis, 50 units apart (as specified in
the Array Transform group). The second
dimensional array is four layers created along
the Y world axis, 80 units apart (as specified
in the Array Dimensions group). The third
dimensional array is three layers created along
the Z world axis, 100 units apart. The total
number of objects in the array is 60.
Example: To create a 360-degree array:
1. Reset Autodesk VIZ.
2. Near the top of the Front viewport (away
from its center), create a long, thin box at the
twelve-o’clock position (as if the viewport were
a clock face).
label to enable the three Rotate fields in the
Totals section.
6. Set the Z parameter to 360.0.
7. In the Array Dimensions group, choose 1D and
set Count to 12.
8. Click OK.
The software creates an array of 12 boxes in a
full circle.
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Array Transformation group
Specifies which combination of the three
transforms to use to create the array. You also
specify the extent, along the three axes, for each
transform. You can specify the extent of the
transform in increments between each object,
or in totals for all objects. In either case, the
distances are measured between the pivot points
of the objects. The arrays occur using the current
transform settings, so the group title changes
depending on the transform settings.
Click the left or right arrow button for Move,
Rotate, or Scale to indicate whether you want to set
Incremental or Total array parameters.
Incremental
Move—Specifies the distance between each arrayed
object along the X, Y, and Z axes, in units.
world coordinates. When clear, the objects
maintain their original orientation.
Scale—Specifies the total scale of the objects along
each of the three axes.
Uniform—Disables the Y and Z spinners and
applies the X value to all axes, resulting in a
uniform scale.
Type of Object group
Determine the type of copies made by the Array
function. The default is Copy.
Copy—Arrays copies of the selected object to the
specified position.
Instance—Arrays instances of the selected object
to the specified position.
Reference—Arrays references of the selected object
to the specified position.
Rotate—Specifies the degree of rotation about any
of the three axes for each object in the array, in
degrees.
Scale—Specifies the percentage of scale along any
of the three axes for each object in the array, in
percentages.
Totals
Move—Specifies the overall distance, along each of
the three axes, between the pivot points of the two
outer objects in the resulting array. For example, if
you’re arraying 6 objects and set Move X total to
100, the six objects will be arrayed in a row that’s
100 units between the pivot points of the two outer
objects in the row.
Rotate—Specifies the total degrees of rotation
applied to the objects along each of the three axes.
You can use this, for example, to create an array
that totals 360 degrees.
Re-Orient—Rotates the generated objects about
their local axes while rotating them about the
Array Dimensions group
Lets you add to the Array Transformation
dimension. The additional dimensions are
positional only. Rotation and scale are not used.
1D—Creates a one-dimensional array, based on
the settings in the Array Transformation group.
Count—Specifies the total number of objects along
this dimension of the array. For 1D arrays, this is
the total number of objects in the array.
2D—Creates a two-dimensional array.
Count—Specifies the total number of objects along
this second dimension of the array.
X/Y/Z—Specifies the incremental offset distance
along each axis of the second dimension of the
array.
3D—Creates a three-dimensional array.
Count—Specifies the total number of objects along
this third dimension of the array.
Snapshot
X/Y/Z—Specifies the incremental offset distance
along each axis of the third dimension of the array.
Total in Array—Displays the total number of entities
that the array operation will create, including the
current selection. If you’re arraying a selection set,
the total number of objects will be the result of
multiplying this value times the number of objects
in the selection set.
Preview—Toggles a viewport preview of the
current array settings. Changing a setting updates
the viewports immediately. If the update slows
down feedback with large arrays of complex
objects, turn on Display As Box.
Display as Box—Displays the array-preview objects
as bounding boxes instead of geometry.
Reset All Parameters—Resets all the parameters to
their default settings.
Using an ice-cream cone animated along a path, Snapshot
creates a stack of cones.
Snapshot spaces the clones equally in time.
Adjustments in Track View let you space the clones
equally along the path instead (see the second
procedure, below).
Like other clone techniques, Snapshot creates
copies, instances, or references.
Procedures
Snapshot
Extras toolbar > Snapshot (on Array flyout)
To clone an object over time:
1. Select an object with an animation path.
Snapshot also shows the effect of any other
transform animations, such as rotate or scale.
Tools menu > Snapshot
Clicking Snapshot displays the Snapshot dialog.
This enables you to clone an animated object over
time.
2.
Click the Snapshot button on the Extras
toolbar > Array flyout, or choose Tools menu
> Snapshot.
3. Set parameters in the dialog, and click OK.
To space clones evenly by distance:
1. Select an object with an animated position.
2. Open Track View and find the Position track
for the original object.
3. Click Assign Controller and check that the
track is using a Bezier Position controller. Do
one of the following:
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• If the track is already using a Bezier Position
controller, proceed to step 4.
Specify the range with the From/To settings and
the number of clones with the Copies setting.
• If the track is not using a Bezier Position
controller, change the controller (page
2–833), then proceed to step 4.
From/To—Specifies the range of frames to place the
4. Select all the transform keys and right-click
one of the selected keys to display the Key Info
dialog (page 2–671).
cloned object along the trajectory.
Copies—Specifies the number of clones to place
along the trajectory. They are evenly distributed
over the time period, but not necessarily over the
spatial distance along the path.
5. Click Advanced to expand the dialog.
6. Click Normalize Time.
7. Set Constant Velocity on.
8.
Click the Snapshot button on the Array
flyout, or choose Tools menu > Snapshot.
The Snapshot dialog appears.
9. Set parameters in the dialog, and click OK.
Interface
Clone Method group
With the Copy, Instance, and Reference methods,
the clone retains any animation within the object,
so all the clones will be animated in the same way.
Copy—Clones copies of the selected object.
Instance—Clones instances (page 3–639) of the
selected object.
Reference—Clones references (page 3–673) of the
selected object.
Mesh—Use this to create mesh geometry.
Spacing Tool
Extras toolbar > Spacing Tool (on Array flyout)
Tools menu > Spacing Tool
The Spacing tool lets you distribute objects based
on the current selection along a path defined by a
spline or a pair of points.
Snapshot group
Single—Makes a clone of the geometry of the
object at the current frame.
Range—Makes clones of the geometry of the
object along the trajectory over a range of frames.
The distributed objects can be copies, instances
(page 3–639), or references (page 3–673) of the
current selected object. You define a path by
picking a spline or two points and by setting a
number of parameters. You can also specify how
the spacing between objects is determined and
whether the pivot points of the objects align to the
tangent of the spline.
Spacing Tool
Note: The Spacing tool is also available on
rollouts for various components of the Railing
object (page 1–190).
3. On the Spacing Tool dialog, click Pick Path or
Pick Points to specify a path.
If you click Pick Path, select a spline from your
scene to use as the path.
If you click Pick Points, pick a start and an end
to define a spline as the path. When you’re
finished with the Spacing tool, the software
deletes this spline.
The Spacing tool distributes the vases along the sides of the
curved street. The vases are all the same distance from each
other; fewer appear on the shorter side.
Tip: You can use compound shapes containing
multiple splines as the spline path for distributing
objects. Before creating shapes, turn off Start
New Shape on the Create panel. Then create your
shapes. The software adds each spline to the
current shape until you click the Start New Shape
button so that it’s turned on. When you select the
compound shape so that the Spacing tool can use
it as a path, objects are distributed along all of
the splines of the compound shape. For example,
you might find this technique useful in spacing
light standards along a path defined by separated
splines.
You can pick splines within an XRef scene as
path reference.
For more information, see Using the Spacing Tool
(page 2–21).
Procedure
To distribute objects along a path:
1. Select the objects to distribute.
2.
Click Spacing Tool, or choose Tools
menu > Spacing Tool.
4. Choose a spacing option from the Parameters
list.
The parameters available for Count, Spacing,
Start Offset, and End Offset are dependent on
the spacing option you choose.
5. Specify the number of objects to distribute by
setting the value of Count.
6. Depending on the spacing option you choose,
adjust the spacing and offsets.
7. Under Context, choose Edge to specify that
spacing be determined from the facing edges of
each object’s bounding box, or choose Centers
to specify that spacing be determined from the
center of each object’s bounding box.
8. Turn on Follow if you want to align the pivot
points of the distributed objects to the tangent
of the spline.
9. Under Type of Object, select the type of object
to output (copy, instance (page 3–639), or
reference (page 3–673)).
10. Click Apply.
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Spacing—Specifies the space in units between the
objects. The software determines this spacing
based on whether you chose Edges or Centers.
Start Offset—The number of units specifying an
offset from the start of the path. Clicking the lock
icon locks the start offset value to the spacing value
and maintains the count.
End Offset—The number of units specifying an
offset from the end of the path. Clicking the lock
icon locks the end offset value to the spacing value
and maintains the count.
Distribution drop-down list—This list contains a
number of options for how to distribute the objects
along the path, as follows:
• Free Center—Distributes equally spaced objects
along a straight line toward the end point of the
path, beginning at the start of the path. A spline
or a pair of points defines the path. You specify
the number of objects and the spacing.
The Spacing tool gives you a choice of two basic
methods for setting spacing: using a path, or
specifying endpoints explicitly.
Pick Path—Click this, and then click a spline in the
viewport to use as the path. The software uses the
spline as the path along which to distribute objects.
Pick Points—Click this, and then click a start and
an end to define a path on the construction grid.
You can also use object snap to specify points in
space. The software uses these points to create a
spline as the path along which to distribute objects.
When you’re finished with the Spacing tool, the
software deletes the spline.
Parameters group
Count—The number of objects to distribute.
• Divide Evenly, Objects at Ends—Distributes
objects along a spline. The group of objects
is centered at the middle of the spline. The
Spacing tool evenly fills the spline with the
number of objects you specify and determines
the amount of space between objects. When
you specify more than one object, there are
always objects at the ends of the spline.
• Centered, Specify Spacing—Distributes objects
along a path. The group of objects is centered
at the middle of the path. The Spacing tool
attempts to evenly fill the path with as many
objects as it can fit along the length of the
path using the amount of space you specify.
Whether there are objects at the ends of the
path depends on the length of the path and the
spacing you provide.
• End Offset—Distributes the number of objects
you specify along a straight line. The objects
begin at an offset distance that you specify.
This distance is from the end of the spline to its
Spacing Tool
start point, or from the second pair of points
to the first point. You also specify the spacing
between objects.
• End Offset, Divide Evenly—Distributes the
number of objects you specify between the start
of a spline or a pair of points and an end offset
that you specify. The software always places an
object at the end or its offset. When you specify
more than one object, there is always an object
placed at the start. The Spacing tool attempts
to evenly fill the space with the objects between
the end offset and the start.
• End Offset, Specify Spacing—Distributes objects
toward the start of a spline or a pair of points,
starting at the end or its offset. The software
always places an object at the end or its offset.
You specify the spacing between objects and the
offset from the end. The Spacing tool attempts
to evenly fill the space with as many objects
as it can fit between the end or its offset and
the start. There might not always be an object
placed at the start.
• Start Offset—Distributes the number of objects
you specify along a straight line. The objects
start at an offset distance that you specify. This
distance is from the start of the spline to its end
point, or from the first of a pair of points to the
second. You also specify the spacing between
objects.
• Start Offset, Divide Evenly—Distributes the
number of objects you specify between the
end of a spline or a pair of points, starting at
an offset that you specify from the start. The
software always places an object at the start or
its offset. When you specify more than one
object, there is always an object placed at the
end. The Spacing tool attempts to evenly fill
the space with the objects between the start or
its offset and the end.
• Start Offset, Specify Spacing—Distributes
objects toward the end of a spline or a pair of
points, starting at the start. The software always
places an object at the start or its offset. You
specify the spacing between objects and the
offset from the start. The Spacing tool attempts
to evenly fill the space with as many objects
as it can fit between the start or its offset and
the end. There might not always be an object
placed at the end.
• Specify Offsets and Spacing—Distributes as
many equally spaced objects as possible along a
spline or between a pair of points. You specify
the spacing between objects. When you specify
offsets from the start and end, the software
distributes equally spaced objects between the
offsets. There might not always be an object
placed at the start and ends.
• Specify Offsets, Divide Evenly—Distributes the
number of objects you specify along a spline
or between a pair of points. If you specify one
object the software places it at the center of the
path. If you specify more than one object the
software always places an object at the start
offset and the end offset. If you specify more
than two objects the software evenly distributes
the objects between the offsets.
• Space from End, Unbounded—Distributes the
number of objects you specify along a straight
line from the end toward the start of a spline
or a pair of points. You specify the spacing
between objects. The software locks the end
offset so that it’s the same as the spacing.
• Space from End, Specify Number—Distributes
the number of objects you specify toward the
start of a spline or a pair of points, starting
at the end. The Spacing tool determines the
amount of space between objects based on the
number of objects and the length of the spline
or the distance between the pair of points. The
software locks the end offset so that it’s the
same as the spacing.
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• Space from End, Specify Spacing—Distributes as
many equally spaced objects as possible toward
the start of a spline or a pair of points, starting
at the end. You specify the spacing between
objects. The software locks the end offset so
that it’s the same as the spacing.
Context group
• Space from Start, Unbounded—Distributes the
number of objects you specify along a straight
line toward the end of a spline or a pair of
points, starting at the start. You specify the
spacing between objects. The software locks the
start offset so that it’s the same as the spacing.
• Space from Start, Specify Number—Distributes
the number of objects you specify toward the
end of a spline or a pair of points, starting at
the start. The Spacing tool determines the
amount of space between objects based on the
number of objects and the length of the spline
or the distance between the pair of points. The
software locks the start offset so that it’s the
same as the spacing.
1. Edge-to-edge spacing
2. Center-to-center spacing
Edges—Use this to specify that spacing is
determined from the facing edges of each object’s
bounding box.
• Space from Start, Specify Spacing—Distributes
as many evenly spaced objects as possible
toward the end of a spline or a pair of points,
starting at the start. You specify the spacing
between objects. The software locks the start
offset so that it’s the same as the spacing.
Centers—Use this to specify that spacing be
determined from the center of each object’s
bounding box.
• Specify Spacing, Matching Offsets—Distributes
as many evenly spaced objects as possible along
a spline or between a pair of points (and their
offsets). You specify the spacing. The software
locks the start and end offsets so that they’re
the same as the spacing.
Type of Object group
• Divide Evenly, No Objects at Ends—Distributes
the number of objects you specify along a spline
or between a pair of points (and their offsets).
The Spacing tool determines the amount of
space between objects. The software locks the
start and end offsets so that they’re the same as
the spacing.
Follow—Use this to align the pivot points of the
distributed objects to the tangent of the spline.
Determines the type of copies made by the Spacing
tool. The default is Copy. You can copy, instance
(page 3–639), or reference (page 3–673) objects.
Copy—Distributes copies of the selected object to
the specified position.
Instance—Distributes instances of the selected
object to the specified position.
Reference—Distributes references of the selected
object to the specified position.
Tip: You can use compound shapes containing
multiple splines as the spline path for distributing
Clone and Align Tool
objects. Before creating shapes, turn off Start New
Shape under Shapes on the Create panel. Then
create your shapes. Autodesk VIZ adds each spline
to the current shape until you click the Start New
Shape button so that it’s checked. When you select
the compound shape so that the Spacing tool can
use it as a path, objects are distributed along all of
the splines of the compound shape. For example,
you might find this technique useful in spacing
light standards along a path defined by separated
splines.
the members of each cloned group, aligning the
selection center with the destination’s pivot.
Procedure
To use the Clone And Align tool:
1. Create or load an object or objects to be cloned,
as well as one or more destination objects.
2. Select the object or objects to be cloned.
3. Open the Clone And Align dialog.
Note: The order of steps 2 and 3 can be reversed.
4. Do either of the following:
Clone and Align Tool
Extras toolbar > Clone and Align Tool (on Array flyout)
Tools menu > Clone and Align
The Clone And Align tool lets you distribute source
objects based on the current selection to a second
selection of destination objects. For example, you
can populate several rooms simultaneously with
the same furniture arrangement. Similarly, if you
import a CAD file that contains 2D symbols that
represent chairs in a conference room, you can use
Clone And Align to replace the symbols with 3D
chair objects en masse.
The distributed objects can be copies, instances
(page 3–639), or references (page 3–673) of the
current selected object. You determine the number
of clones or clone sets by specifying any number of
destination objects. You can also specify position
and orientation alignment of the clones on one,
two, or three axes, with optional offsets.
You can use any number of source objects and
destination objects.
You can pick objects within an XRef scene as
destination objects.
With multiple source objects, Clone And Align
maintains the positional relationships among
• Click Pick once and then click each
destination object in turn. Next, click Pick
again to turn it off.
• Click Pick List and then use the Pick
Destination Objects dialog to pick all
destination objects simultaneously.
5. On the Clone Parameters rollout, choose the
type of clone, and, if appropriate, how to copy
the controller. For details, see Clone Options
Dialog (page 2–6).
6. Use the Clone Parameters rollout settings to
specify position, orientation, and scale options.
7. At any time, when Pick is off, you can change
the source selection in a viewport. This causes
the dialog to lose focus; click it again to regain
focus and refresh the viewport preview of the
clone operation.
8. To make the clones permanent, click Apply,
and then click Cancel or the close button (X, in
upper-right corner) to close the dialog.
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When the dialog focus is lost by activating another
dialog or clicking in a viewport (that is, its title bar
is gray rather than blue), the preview no longer
appears in the viewports. To make the cloned
objects permanent, click Apply when the dialog
is active.
Source and Destination Parameters rollout
Designate source objects by selecting them in a
viewport. If you do this with the Clone And Align
dialog open, the dialog loses focus; click the dialog
to regain focus and update the settings.
Destination Objects [label]—This read-only field
shows the number of destination objects. To
change this value, use Pick, Pick List, and Clear.
Pick—When on, each object you click in the
viewports is added to the list of destination objects.
Click again to turn off after picking all destination
objects.
To qualify as a valid destination object, an object
must:
• not have been designated as a source or
destination object.
• be selectable (frozen objects can’t be selected).
• not be a temporary cloned object.
Pick List—Opens the Pick Destination Objects
dialog, which lets you pick all destination objects
simultaneously, by name. In the dialog, highlight
the destination objects, and then click Pick.
Clear All—Removes all destination objects from the
The Clone and Align tool takes the form of a
non-modal dialog; it remains open while you
work in the viewports. While the dialog is active,
the results of the current settings appear as a
preview in the viewports. Because of the dialog’s
non-modal nature, you can change the selection of
source and destination objects on the fly and see
the results immediately in the viewports.
list. Available only when at least one destination
object is designated.
Source Objects [label]—This read-only field shows
the number of source objects. To change this value,
keep the dialog open, make sure Pick is off, and
then select source objects in the viewports. When
you click the dialog, the field updates.
Align Flyout
Link to Destination—Links each clone as a child of
its destination object.
Clone Parameters rollout
These settings let you determine the type of clone
to create, and, if appropriate, how to copy the
controller. For details, see Clone Options Dialog
(page 2–6).
Align Parameters rollout
The Align Position and Align Orientation group
names are followed by the current reference
coordinate system (page 1–361), in parentheses,
which they use as the coordinate system for
positioning and aligning the clones. When the
View coordinate system is active, alignment uses
the World coordinate system.
The Offset parameters always use each destination
object’s Local coordinate system.
Align Position group
value to take effect, the respective Orientation
check box must be on.
Match Scale —Use the X Axis, Y Axis, and Z Axis
options to match the scale axis values between the
source and destination.
This matches only the scale values you’d see in
the coordinate display (page 3–396). It does not
necessarily cause two objects to be the same size.
Matching scale causes no change in size if none of
the objects has previously been scaled.
Reset All Parameters—Returns all settings in the
Align Parameters rollout to their default values.
Apply—Generates the clones as permanent objects.
After clicking Apply, you can use Clone And Align
to generate additional clones, using the results of
previous clonings as source or destination objects
if you like.
Cancel—Aborts the current cloning operation and
closes the dialog.
X/Y/Z Position—Specifies the axis or axes on
which to align the clones’ position. Turning on all
three options positions each set of clones at the
respective destination object’s location.
X/Y/Z Offset—The distance between the destination
object’s pivot and the source object’s pivot (or
source objects’ coordinate center). For an Offset
value to take effect, the respective Position check
box must be on.
Align Orientation group
X/Y/Z Orientation—Specifies the axis or axes about
which to align orientation. Turning on all three
options aligns each set of clones’ orientation fully
with that of the respective destination object.
X/Y/Z Offset—The angle by which the source
objects are rotated away from the destination
object’s orientation about each axis. For an Offset
Align Flyout
Main toolbar > Align flyout
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The Align flyout, available from the Main toolbar
(page 3–355), provides access to six different
tools for aligning objects. These are, from top to
bottom:
Align (page 1–380)
Quick Align (page 1–382)
Normal Align (page 1–383)
Place Highlight (page 1–384)
Align Camera (page 1–385)
When performing sub-object alignment, the
Current Object options and the Match Scale boxes
are disabled. If you plan to align orientation for
sub-objects, first switch to Local transform mode
on the Main toolbar so that the axis tripod is
properly aligned with your sub-object selection.
Other alignment tools on the Align flyout are
Quick Align (page 1–382), Normal Align (page
1–383), Place Highlight (page 1–384), Align to
Camera (page 1–385), and Align to View (page
1–386).
Align to View (page 1–386)
Align
Main toolbar > Align (on Align flyout)
Tools menu > Align
Keyboard > Alt+A
Interface (page 1–382)
Align enables you to align the current selection
to a target selection. The name of the target
object appears in the title bar of the Align dialog.
When performing sub-object alignment, the title
bar of the Align dialog reads "Align Sub-Object
Selection."
You can align the position and orientation of the
bounding box (page 3–613) of the source object to
the bounding box of a target object.
You can use the Align tool with any selection that
can be transformed. If an axis tripod is displayed,
you can align the tripod (and the geometry it
represents) to any other object in the scene. You
can use this to align an object’s pivot point.
You can use objects within an XRef scene as
references with all alignment tools on the Align
flyout, except Align to View.
Aligning objects along an axis
Upper: Y position, maximum
Lower: Y position, minimum
Procedures
To align an object with a point object:
1. Create a point helper object and position it at
a target location in your scene. Rotate it as
necessary to adjust final orientation.
2. Select a source object.
3.
On the Main toolbar, click Align, or
choose Tools > Align.
Choose Tools > Align.
Align
The Align cursor appears attached to a pair of
cross hairs.
coordinate system. Setting all three moves the
objects as close as possible, given the Current
Object and Target Object settings.
4. Move the cursor over the point object and click.
The Align Selection dialog appears. If
necessary, move the dialog out of the way so
you can see the active viewport.
6. In the Align Orientation group, turn on any
combination of X Axis, Y Axis, or Z Axis.
The source object realigns accordingly. If the
objects already share an orientation, turning
on that axis has no effect. Once two axes are
aligned in orientation, the third is automatic.
5. In the Align Position group, turn on X Position.
The selected source object shifts to align with
the X axis of the point object.
6. Turn on Y Position and Z Position.
The source object moves so its center is at the
point object.
7. Turn on X Axis, Y Axis, and Z Axis in the Align
Orientation group to reorient the object to
match the coordinates of the point.
To align a gizmo to another object:
1. Display the gizmo level of the Sub-Object
selection.
2.
3. Click to select a target object in the viewport.
(You can select the same object containing the
gizmo to align the gizmo to a part of its own
object.)
To align objects by position and orientation:
1. Select a source object (the object to move into
alignment with the target object).
2.
On the Main toolbar, click Align, or
choose Tools > Align.
The Align cursor appears. When over an
eligible target object, the cursor also shows
crosshairs.
On the Main toolbar, click Align, or choose
Tools > Align.
4. Use the available settings in the Align dialog to
adjust the transformation of the gizmo.
To align a sub-object selection of geometry to
another object:
1. Do one of the following:
• Convert the object to an editable mesh, and
then perform the sub-object selection at any
level.
3. Position the cursor over the target object and
click.
The Align Selection dialog appears. By default,
all options in the dialog are turned off.
• Apply a Mesh Select modifier, followed by an
XForm modifier. (The Mesh Select modifier
by itself doesn’t allow transforms.)
4. In the Current Object and Target Object
groups, choose Minimum, Center, Pivot Point,
or Maximum.
2.
These settings establish the points on each
object that become the alignment centers.
3. Use the settings in the Align dialog to perform
5. Begin alignment by turning on any combination
of X Position, Y Position, and Z Position.
The source object moves in relation to the
target object, along the axes of the reference
On the Main toolbar, click Align, or choose
Tools > Align, and then select a target object.
the alignment.
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Maximum—Aligns the point on the object’s
bounding box with the highest X, Y, and Z values
with the chosen point on the other object.
Align Orientation (Local) group
These settings let you match the orientation of the
local coordinate systems between the two objects
on any combination of axes.
This option is independent of the position
alignment settings. You can leave the Position
settings alone and use the Orientation check
boxes to rotate the current object to match the
orientation of the target object.
Position alignment uses world coordinates (page
3–699), while orientation alignment uses local
coordinates. (page 3–643)
Align Position group
Match Scale group
X/Y/Z Position—Specifies on which axis or axes
Use the X Axis, Y Axis, and Z Axis options to
match the scale axis values between the two
selected objects. This matches only the scale values
you’d see in the Transform Type-In (page 1–348).
It does not necessarily cause two objects to be the
same size. There will be no change in size if neither
of the objects has previously been scaled.
to perform the alignment. Turning on all three
options moves the current object to the target
object’s location.
Current Object/Target Object groups
Specify which points on the objects’ bounding
boxes to use for the alignment. You can choose
different points for the current object and the
target object. For example, you can align the
current object’s pivot point (page 3–667) with the
center of the target object.
Minimum—Aligns the point on the object’s
bounding box with the lowest X, Y, and Z values
with the chosen point on the other object.
Center—Aligns the center of the object’s bounding
box with the chosen point on the other object.
Pivot Point—Aligns the object’s pivot point with
the chosen point on the other object.
Quick Align
Main toolbar > Quick Align (on Align flyout)
Tools menu > Quick Align
Keyboard > Shift+A
Quick Align lets you instantly align the position
of the current selection to that of a target object.
If the current selection is a single object, Quick
Align uses the two objects’ pivots (page 3–667). If
the current selection comprises multiple objects
or sub-objects, Quick Align aligns the source’s
selection center (page 1–364) with the pivot of the
target object.
Normal Align
Procedure
To use Quick Align:
1. Select one or more objects or sub-objects to
align.
For an object with no faces (such as helper objects
and atmospheric gizmos), Normal Align uses
the Z axis and origin of the object as a normal.
Thus, you can use a Point object (page 2–619) with
Normal Align.
2. Press Shift+A or choose Quick Align from
the Tools menu or Main toolbar > Align flyout.
Procedure
The mouse cursor turns into a “lightning-bolt”
symbol. When positioned over an acceptable
alignment target, a crosshairs symbol also
appears.
To align normals:
3. Click an object to which to align the selection
from step 1.
The alignment is performed.
Normal Align
Main toolbar > Normal Align (on Align flyout)
Tools menu > Normal Align
Keyboard > Alt+N
Normal Align uses the Normal Align dialog to
align two objects based on the direction of the
normal (page 3–656) of a face or selection on each
object. To open the Normal Align dialog, select
the object to be aligned, click a face on the object,
and then click a face on a second object. Upon
releasing the mouse, the Normal Align dialog
appears.
If you use Normal Align while a sub-object
selection is active, only that selection is aligned.
This is useful when aligning sub-object selections
of faces, since otherwise there’s no valid face
normal for the source object.
Normal Align respects smoothing groups and uses
the interpolated normal, based on face smoothing.
As a result, you can orient the source object face to
any part of the target surface, rather than having
it snap to face normals.
1. Select a source object. This is the object that
moves during alignment.
2.
Click Normal Align on the Main toolbar,
or choose Tools > Normal Align.
3. Drag across the surface of the source object.
The Normal Align cursor appears, attached to a
pair of cross hairs. A blue arrow at the cursor
indicates the current normal.
4. Move the cursor and blue arrow until you locate
the normal you want to use, then release.
The blue arrow remains as reference to the
source normal.
5. Drag across the surface of the target object.
A green arrow at the cursor indicates the
current normal.
6. Move the cross hairs and green arrow until you
locate the normal you want to use as a target,
then release.
The source object moves into alignment with
the target normal, and the Normal Align dialog
appears.
7. Do one of the following:
• Click OK to accept the alignment.
• Using the dialog, make modifications to the
alignment before clicking OK.
• Click Cancel Align to cancel the alignment
procedure.
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the original transform (page 3–693) of the source
object.
Place Highlight
Main toolbar > Place Highlight (on Align flyout)
Tools menu > Place Highlight
Keyboard > Ctrl+H
Place Highlight, available from the Align flyout
(page 1–379), enables you to align a light or object
to another object so that its highlight or reflection
can be precisely positioned.
The Normal Align dialog lets you adjust or cancel
the current alignment, and contains the following
controls:
Position Offset group
Lets you translate the source object perpendicular
to the normal on the X, Y or Z axes.
X/Y/Z—These three fields let you affect how much
of an offset will be given to the selected faces.
Rotation Offset group
Lets you rotate the source object about the
normal’s axis. You see the rotation in real time.
Angle—This field lets you define the angle for the
rotational offset.
Flip Normal—Determines whether the source
normal matches the target normal’s direction.
This defaults to off, since you usually want the
two normals to have opposing directions. When
you turn this on or off, the source object flips 180
degrees.
OK/Cancel Align—The Cancel button is labeled
Cancel Align to make it clear that you’re not only
canceling the settings in the dialog, but canceling
In Place Highlight mode, you can click and
drag the mouse around in any viewport. Place
Highlight is a viewport-dependent function, so
use the viewport that you’re going to be rendering.
As you drag the mouse in the scene, a ray is shot
from the mouse cursor into the scene. If it hits a
surface, you see the surface normal (page 3–656) at
that point on the surface.
When you designate a surface, any selected objects
are positioned along a line that represents the ray
reflected off the surface about the surface normal.
The objects are positioned along this line based on
their original distance from the surface point. For
example, if the object is 100 units from the surface
point before being moved, it will be positioned 100
units from the surface point along the reflected ray.
If the object is a light, the position of the highlight
on the surface of the object will be the surface
point that you’ve chosen.
Tip: Place Highlight works with any kind of
selected object. It can be used to move objects
based on a combination of face normals and initial
distance from the face. You can also use Place
Highlight with a selection set that contains more
than one object. All objects maintain their initial
distance from the face. In this case it has nothing
Align Camera
to do with highlights, but is simply being used to
position objects.
Note: Highlight rendering depends on the
material’s specular properties and the type of
rendering you use.
When you place an omni, free spot, or
directional light, the software displays a face
normal for the face the mouse indicates.
When you place a target spotlight, the software
displays the light’s target and the base of its
cone.
5. Release the mouse when the normal or target
display indicates the face you want to highlight.
The light now has a new position and
orientation. You can see the highlight
illumination in shaded viewports that show
the face you chose, and when you render those
views.
Align Camera
Main toolbar > Align Camera button (on Align flyout)
Place Highlight aligns a camera and a spotlight to the same
face.
Other alignment tools on the Align flyout are Align
(page 1–380), Quick Align (page 1–382), Normal
Align (page 1–383), Align to Camera (page 1–385),
and Align to View (page 1–386).
Procedure
To position a light to highlight a face:
1. Make sure the viewport you plan to render is
active, and that the object you want to highlight
is visible in it.
The result of Place Highlight depends on what
is visible in the viewport.
2. Select a light object.
3.
Click Place Highlight, or choose Tools >
Place Highlight.
Tools menu > Align Camera
Align Camera, available from the Align flyout
(page 1–379), lets you align a camera to a selected
face normal.
Align Camera works similarly to Place Highlight
(page 1–384), except that it operates on face
normals instead of the angle of incidence, and
occurs when you release the mouse button instead
of dynamically acting during the mouse drag. Its
purpose is to let you align a Camera viewport to
a specified face normal.
Other alignment tools on the Align flyout are Align
(page 1–380), Quick Align (page 1–382), Normal
Align (page 1–383), Place Highlight (page 1–384),
and Align to View (page 1–386).
Procedure
Choose Tools > Place Highlight.
To use Align Camera:
If the button is not visible on the toolbar,
choose it from the Align flyout.
1. Select the camera used for the viewport you
4. Drag over the object to place the highlight.
want to align.
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2.
Click Align Camera or choose Tools menu
> Align Camera.
3. In any viewport, drag the mouse over an object
The alignment takes place while the dialog is
displayed.
5. Click OK to complete the process.
surface to choose a face.
To align a grid to a view
The chosen face normal appears as a blue arrow
beneath the cursor.
1. Activate a grid object (page 2–615).
2. Activate a viewport and use viewport controls
4. Release the mouse to perform the alignment.
The software moves the camera so it faces
and centers the selected normal in the camera
viewport.
(page 3–415) to set up the view you want.
3.
On the Modify toolbar, click Align to
View.
4. On the Align To View dialog, make the desired
settings and click OK.
Align to View
Interface
Main toolbar > Align to View (on Align flyout)
Tools menu > Align to View
Align to View, available from the Align flyout
(page 1–379), displays the Align To View dialog,
which lets you align the local axis of an object or
sub-object selection with the current viewport.
You can use Align to View with any selection that
can be transformed.
Other alignment tools on the Align flyout are Align
(page 1–380), Quick Align (page 1–382), Normal
Align (page 1–383), Place Highlight (page 1–384),
and Align to Camera (page 1–385).
Procedures
To align the local axis of a selection with the current
viewport:
1. Select the objects or sub-objects to align.
2.
Click Align to View.
3. Specify the local axis of the selected object to
align with the current viewport’s Z axis.
4. Select the Flip check box when you switch the
direction of the alignment.
The Align to View dialog contains the following
options:
Align X, Align Y, Align Z—Specifies which local
axis of the selected object will be aligned with the
current viewport’s Z axis.
Flip—Switches the direction of the alignment.
index
Index
Symbols & Numerics
1-rail sweep surface 2–546
2.5D snap 2–625
2-point perspective 2–1008
2-rail sweep surface 2–551
2-sided 3–555, 3–599
2D
2D coordinates rollout 2–1224
2D images 3–283
2D maps 2–1224
2D snap 2–625
2D map
glossary 3–599
32–bit floating-point output 3–287
3D
3D coordinates rollout 2–1262
3D maps 2–1261
3D snap 2–625
viewing and navigating 3D space 1–19
3D displacement shader (mental ray) 2–1312
3D DWF
exporting 3–241
glossary 3–599
3D map
glossary 3–600
3DS files
3DS import dialog 3–216
exporting 3–218
importing 3–216
3ds Max
files 3–214
materials 2–1409
3dsviz.ini file 1–16 to 1–17
A
about
about MAXScript 1–xi
absolute snap 2–625, 2–630
absolute/offset coordinate display 3–397
acceleration (raytrace) 2–1146
acceleration techniques (raytracer) 2–1144
AccuRender materials
in Autodesk VIZ 3–159
activate all maps 1–48
activating
grid object 2–624
home grid 2–624
joint axes 2–780
maps 1–48
active link (glossary) 3–601
active time segment 2–655
active time segment (glossary) 3–601
active viewport 1–20
adaptive antialiaser dialogs 2–1148 to 2–1149
adaptive control 1–140, 2–190, 2–1149, 2–1296
adaptive degradation
glossary 3–602
override 1–32
viewport configuration dialog 3–558
adaptive subdivision dialog 2–131
add
atmosphere 2–970, 3–83
default lights to scene 1–46
effect 2–970
note track (Track View) 2–839
time tag dialog 3–398
visibility track 2–843
add keys
function curves 2–866
Track View toolbar 2–846
add selection to current layer 3–339
add texture elements dialog 2–1479
add to track set 2–876
add/edit DBR host dialog 2–1453
388
Index
adding
editable spline vertices 1–270
splines 1–277, 1–282
additive opacity (glossary) 3–602
adjust animation range (track bar) 3–391
adjust color dialog
vertexpaint modifier 2–297
adjust pivot rollout 2–783
adjust transform rollout 2–784
adjusting
normals and smoothing 1–139
object transforms 2–755
pivots 2–746
Adobe Illustrator files
exporting 3–220
importing AI 88 format 3–220
advanced effects rollout 2–960
advanced file link settings 3–135
advanced key info 2–673
advanced lighting
object properties 1–115
select advanced lighting rollout 2–1376
advanced lighting override material 2–1211
advanced quad menu options 3–488
advanced ray-traced parameters rollout 2–974
advanced shaders rollout
mental ray material 2–1161
advanced surface approximation dialog 2–587
AEC design elements 1–182
AEC extended 1–182
editing wall objects 1–200
foliage 1–186
railing 1–190
wall 1–195
affect region 2–52
soft selection rollout (EMesh) 2–310
soft selection rollout (NURBS) 2–490
affine transformation (glossary) 3–603
AI import dialog 3–213
aliasing/antialiasing
alias against background 3–512
and supersampling 2–1078
fast adaptive 2–1148
filters 2–1370
glossary 3–603
multiresolution adaptive 2–1149
align 1–380
align geometry dialog (edit poly) 2–116
and pivot point 2–783
camera 1–385
dialog 1–380
editable mesh objects 2–357
editable mesh vertices 2–357
flyout 1–379
grid to view 2–624
keys (Track View) 2–842
normals 1–383, 2–606
objects 2–604
to view (dialog) 1–386
to view (toolbar) 1–386
allow non-vertical jambs 1–182
alpha channel 3–53, 3–604
alpha map (baking) 2–1471
altitude (sunlight and daylight systems) 1–339
ambient
and diffuse map lock 2–1092
and raytrace materials 2–1131
color (glossary) 3–604
light 2–896, 2–898 to 2–899, 3–605
lighting (rendered environment) 3–53
mapping 2–1115
analysis of lighting 2–1402
analyzing
Shockwave 3D files 3–260
W3D files 3–260
anchor (VRML97 helpers) 3–272
anchor patches 2–314
angle 1–259
angle of incidence 2–896, 2–898
angle separation 3–512
angle snap 2–626
animated
bitmap 2–1070
material previews 2–1069
texture 3–605
animating
attachment 2–756
cameras 2–999, 2–1009
lights 2–902
links 2–753
materials 2–1069
scene 1–8
shift+rotate 2–12
shift+scale 2–12
sub-object geometry 2–344
transforms 1–350
with applied IK 2–776
with IK solvers 2–763
with interactive IK 2–775
animation
auto key mode 2–648
concepts 2–645 to 2–646
constraints 2–718
controllers 2–674, 3–606
glossary 3–605
methods 2–645
Index
preferences settings 3–515
show ghosting 1–44
toggle animation mode 2–648
utilities 2–888
with radiosity 2–1386
animation controls 3–405
animation layers 3–395
animation menu 3–351
constraints 2–701, 2–718 to 2–719, 2–721 to 2–722,
2–726, 2–730, 2–733
dummy 2–612
IK solvers 2–761
make preview 2–1480
previews 2–1480
rename preview 2–1482
view preview 2–1482
walkthrough assistant 2–1009
wire parameters 2–735 to 2–736
animation mode
set key 2–649
animation modifiers 2–52
animation quad menu 3–362
animation range
ignore 2–811
respect 2–811
animlayer 3–395
anisotropic highlights 2–1109
anisotropic shader
anisotropy mapping 2–1121
basic parameters rollout 2–1097
antialiasing 2–1423, 3–627, 3–675
applied ik
glossary 3–606
applied IK 2–761, 2–776, 2–785
apply ease curve 2–868
apply ease or multiplier curve (Track View) 2–868
apply multiplier curve 2–868
applying materials 2–1025, 2–1029
arc 1–248
arc rotate 3–430
arch & design material
main reference 2–1162
overview 2–1176
tips & tricks 2–1183
architectural material 2–1150
advanced lighting override rollout 2–1155
and radiosity solution 2–1155
physical qualities rollout 2–1151
special effects rollout 2–1154
templates rollout 2–1151
archive
file menu 3–184
program (files preferences) 3–506
archiving scenes 1–17
area light rollout 2–973
area light sampling rollout 2–973
area lights 3–606
omni 2–918
spotlight 2–920
area omni light 2–918
area shadows 3–607
area shadows rollout 2–976
area spot light 2–920
array 1–368
arraying objects 2–14
button 1–368
creating 2–1
creating arrays 2–17, 2–19
dialog 1–368
flyout 1–366
using the array dialog 2–15
array dialog 1–368
array flyout 1–366
artificial light 2–899
ASCII files: exporting 3–220
ASE files 3–220
aspect ratio 2–1363, 3–607
assemblies
and groups 1–95
and selection sets 1–95
attach to 1–105
close 1–104
create 1–102
disassemble 1–105
explode 1–105
open 1–104
working with 1–95
assembly commands 1–102
assembly heads helper objects 1–106
assembly menu
assemble 1–102
attach 1–105
detach 1–105
disassemble 1–105
explode 1–105
asset browser 3–191
geo-referencing 3–191
internet download dialog 3–204
preferences 3–203
using 1–15
Volo View Express 3–191
asset tracking
dialog 3–174
icons 3–183
open from vault 3–93
asset tracking dialog 3–174
389
390
Index
asset tracking dialog icons 3–183
asset tracking prompts 3–183
assign
controller (Track View) 2–833
controller rollout (motion panel) 3–460
material to selection 2–1061
random colors 1–134
vertex colors utility 2–1330
assign random colors 1–134
assign renderer rollout 2–1367
assigning
colors to objects 1–132
controllers 2–661
materials 2–1025, 2–1029
asterisk (in modifier stack) 2–37
atmospheres and effects
adding atmosphere 3–57
and raytracing 2–1144
atmospheric effect 3–53, 3–62, 3–64, 3–68
for atmospheric apparatus 3–83
for lights 2–969
atmospheric apparatus 3–83
BoxGizmo 3–84
CylGizmo 3–85
SphereGizmo 3–87
attach
attach options 2–364
attaching and importing Autodesk VIZ objects 2–465
controls dialog (block controller) 2–715
editable mesh edges 2–357
editable patch object 2–332
object 2–314, 2–332
splines 1–268, 1–270, 1–282
to assembly 1–105
to groups 1–101
attachment
animating 2–756
constraint 2–719
attenuation 2–896, 2–898, 3–608
and lights 3–508
parameters 2–965
raytrace attenuation rollout 2–1304
audio controller 2–675, 2–713
AudioClip (VRML97 helpers) 3–281
auto expand
animated 2–817
base objects 2–817
keyable 2–817
materials 2–817
transforms 2–817
xyz components 2–817
auto key 2–648, 3–405
and set key 2–650
auto termination rollout 2–793
AutoCAD
blocks 3–161 to 3–162
importing DWG and DXF files 3–222
importing DXF files 3–237
instanced objects 3–161
AutoCAD Architecture
files 3–148
materials 3–150
objects 3–148, 3–165
styles 3–165
AutoCAD blocks in Autodesk VIZ 3–146
AutoCAD DWG/DXF import options dialog 3–222
AutoCAD, AutoCAD Architecture, and Revit
working with 3–145
autodesk inventor files
importing 3–238
Autodesk Vault 3–174
Autodesk VIZ
help 1–vii
main window 1–9
autogrid 3–609
AutoGrid 2–603
automatic
auto archive 3–506
auto backup 1–17, 3–506
auto secondary (lens effects) 3–19
auto termination (IK) 2–793
automatic exposure control 3–74
automatic mapping rollout
rendering to texture 2–1478
autoplay preview file 3–503
AVI files 2–1480, 3–284
awning window 1–230
axis constraints 1–355, 3–357
and hierarchies 2–794
and rollouts 2–794
and snaps 2–630
axis constraints toolbar 3–357
axis tripod 1–43
and transform managers 1–351
and World Axis 1–342
axonometric views 1–22, 3–609
azimuth (sunlight and daylight system 1–339
B
B-spline (glossary) 3–609
backburner
network rendering 2–1513, 2–1520
Backburner 2–1485
backburner command line control 2–1527
backface cull on object creation 3–508
backfacing - ignore 2–342, 2–357, 2–365
Index
background 1–42
and antialiasing 2–60, 2–1370
color 3–53, 3–57
image 3–53
reset background transform 1–43
sample slot 2–1053
select background image 1–40
update viewport image 1–42
viewport 3–418
viewport background 1–36
VRML97 helpers 3–279
backlight (sample slot) 2–1053
backup
auto 3–506
backing up and archiving scenes 1–17
backup on save 3–506
files 3–506
recovered files 1–18
baked material rollout
rendering to texture 2–1477
baking textures 2–1467
target map slot 2–1472
texture elements 2–1470
barycentric
coordinates (glossary) 3–609
basic file link settings 3–132
basic key info 2–671
basic parameters rollout
materials 2–1088
basics
basic building blocks 1–129
creating and modifying objects 1–127
file linking 3–119
selecting objects 1–60
batch
rendering 2–1513, 2–1516, 2–1520
batch rendering 2–1513, 2–1516, 2–1520
backburner 2–1513 to 2–1514, 2–1520
batch render dialog 2–1516
batch render tool 2–1516
cameras 2–1513, 2–1516, 2–1520
error dialog 2–1516
errors 2–1516
network rendering 2–1513, 2–1516, 2–1520
presets 2–1516
quick start 2–1513
scene states 2–1513, 2–1516, 2–1520
using 2–1514
batch rendering completed 2–1516
bend modifier 2–54
bevel
bevel modifier 2–56
bevel profile modifier 2–59
deformation 1–327
faces and polygons 2–357
patches 2–332
types of beveling 1–327
bevel polygons dialog 2–412
bezier
controllers 2–676
handle control 2–867
bezier curves 3–610
bias
mental ray shadow maps 2–979
bifold door 1–225
billboard (VRML97 helpers) 3–282
binding
objects 2–760, 2–764, 2–786
vertices 1–270
bitmap map 2–1231
bitmap pager 3–514
bitmap pager statistics dialog 3–203
bitmap/photometric path editor 3–196, 3–205
bitmaps
choosing 2–1235
display 3–527 to 3–528, 3–531
glossary 3–610
Material Editor 2–1231, 2–1235
path configuration 3–190, 3–499
path editor 3–196
blend
blend curve (NURBS) 2–501
blend element parameters 2–1465
blend material 2–1201
blend object (glossary) 3–611
blend surface (NURBS) 2–525
blend map (baking) 2–1471
blend materials
limitations when baking textures 2–1470
Blinn highlights 2–1110
Blinn shader basic parameters 2–1097
block
controller 2–716 to 2–717
block controller 2–678
block reference 3–611
block/style parent 3–611
blocks 3–162
and linking to Autodesk VIZ 3–611, 3–696
AutoCAD 3–146, 3–161
AutoCAD and Autodesk VIZ 3–142
material assignment 3–163
materials 3–163
multi-view 3–163
propagation 2–1052
blowup (render) 2–1353
391
392
Index
blur
and blur offset (glossary) 3–611
rendering effect 3–41
BMP files 3–285
Boolean controller 2–681
Booleans
alignment 1–300
and editable splines 1–282
Boolean objects 1–300
Boolean operation (glossary) 3–612
colinear edges 1–300
combining objects that have materials 1–307
complexity between operands 1–300
coplanar faces 1–300
face normals 1–300
inverted meshes 1–300
material IDs 1–300
overlapping elements 1–300
surface topology 1–300
troubleshooting problems with 3–583
with maps and materials 1–300
bound vertex 1–270, 3–613
bounding box (glossary) 3–613
box
BoxGizmo 3–84
standard primitive 1–144
box caustics filter 2–1431
box selected
render bounding box/selected dialog 2–1356
break
spline at selected vertex 1–270
vertices 2–357
bricks 2–1257
bridge dialog 2–413
bridge edges dialog 2–414
brightness and contrast effect 3–46
browser
material/map 2–1032
browsing from Autodesk VIZ 3–191
brush options 2–307
BSP method 2–1454
BSP method, raytrace acceleration 3–671
bubble notification
communication center 3–404
buckets, distributed rendering 2–1449
build face 2–357
bump mapping 2–1123, 2–1154
bump shader (mental ray) 2–1313
button
2.5D snap 2–625
2D snap 2–625
3D snap 2–625
align 1–380
align camera 1–385
align to view 1–386
angle snap 2–626
animate 3–405
arc rotate 3–430
array 1–368
auto key 3–405
button sets (utilities) 3–465
clone and align tool 1–377
crossing 1–90
current frame 3–411
dolly camera 3–432
dolly light 3–437
dolly target 3–432, 3–437
full screen 3–424
get material 2–1059
go forward to sibling 2–1067
go to end 3–411
go to frame 3–411
go to parent 2–1066
go to start 3–409
light falloff 3–440
light hotspot 3–438
lock selection 2–842
make unique (Material Editor) 2–1062
material and map type 2–1069
Material Editor 2–1047
Material Editor options 2–1056
maximize viewport 3–424
mirror 1–366
next frame 3–410
normal align 1–383
orbit/pan camera 3–435
orbit/pan light 3–441
pan (Track View) 2–879
pan (user interface) 3–429
percent snap 2–627
perspective 3–433
pick material from object 2–1068
place highlight 1–384
play/stop 3–409
previous frame 3–409
quick align 1–382
quick render (Production) 2–1356
render scene 2–1351
roll camera 3–434
roll light 3–439
scale keys 2–845, 2–864
scale values 2–865
select and link 2–746
select and manipulate 2–611
select and move 1–357
select and rotate 1–357
Index
select and uniform scale 1–359
select by material 2–1059
select by name 1–74
select object 1–73
selection center 1–364
selection lock 3–395
sets of modifiers 3–458
show curves 3–393
show end result 2–1066
snapshot 1–371
spacing tool 1–372
spinner snap 2–627
squash 1–360
transform coordinate center 1–365
truck camera 3–434
truck light 3–441
unlink selection 2–746
use pivot point center 1–364
zoom 3–425
zoom (Track View) 2–881
zoom all 3–426
zoom extents 3–426
zoom extents all 3–423
zoom extents all selected 3–423
zoom extents selected 3–426
zoom horizontal extents 2–880
zoom region 3–429
zoom region (Track View) 2–881
zoom selected object 2–873
zoom value extents 2–880
button appearance 3–490
by layer 3–613
bylayer 3–327
C
C-Ext 1–173
calculation order (joint precedence) 2–770
calculator 1–10
camera correction modifier 2–1008
camera effects rollout 2–1426
camera map modifier
object space 2–60
world space 2–42
camera map per pixel map 2–1328
camera match
camera match helper 2–1007
camera match point 2–1007
camera match utility 2–1003
camera point 2–1007
CamPoint 2–1007
camera tools
customize heights dialog 3–373
camera view
right-click menu 3–418
camera viewports 1–31, 3–431
cameras 2–984, 2–990
align camera button 1–385
animating 2–999, 2–1009
camera object icons 2–984
camera view 1–22
camera viewport controls 3–431
choosing for vertical views 2–984
common parameters 2–992
create camera from view 1–46
depth of field parameters (mental ray renderer) 2–1001
dolly or target 3–432
free 2–988
match camera to view 1–385
multi-pass parameters 2–1001
orbit/pan 2–999, 3–435
placing 1–6
roll 3–434
setting lens size 2–992
target 2–989
truck 3–434
using clipping planes to exclude geometry 2–998
using horizon to match perspective 2–998
using move and rotate to aim 2–997
using transforms to aim 2–997
with target 2–989
zoom 2–999
cameras palette 3–371
candela 3–645
canopy mode 1–186
cap holes modifier 2–63
cap surface 2–537
capsule 1–168
capture viewport 1–33
car paint material and shader 2–1190
casement window 1–231
category, hiding and unhiding objects by 1–68
caustics 2–1417, 2–1431
caustics (mental ray) 2–1406
caustics and global illumination rollout 2–1431
CCB files 2–298
cellular map 2–1263
center 1–353
chains (kinematic) 2–774, 3–641
chamfer
and editable splines 1–270
chamfer curve (NURBS) 2–504
ChamferBox 1–164
ChamferCyl 1–165
editable mesh edges 2–357
glossary 3–613
chamfer dialog 2–416
change of value over time 2–863
393
394
Index
changed feature in 2008 2–1425, 2–1429, 2–1431, 2–1437,
2–1441, 2–1523, 3–98, 3–102, 3–225, 3–236, 3–495,
3–497 to 3–498, 3–501, 3–508
changed name 2–1257, 2–1280
changed path 2–1147, 2–1365, 2–1368, 2–1396 to 2–1397,
2–1401, 2–1462
changing
controller properties 2–660
light objects 2–901
link inheritance 2–757
smoothing 1–140
video system 2–1054
channel 1–258
channel (map) 3–646
checker map 2–1237
children
don’t affect 2–784
choose directory dialog 3–495, 3–497
choose renderer dialog 2–1368
choosing
child-to-parent precedence 2–771
colors for realism 2–1020
parent-to-child precedence 2–772
playback speed and frame rate 2–656
transform center 1–353
CIBSE files 3–613
cineon image file format dialog 3–285
circle 1–246
circular
falloff graph 3–35
circular arrays 2–19
circulating
materials 2–1052
clean multimaterial utility 2–1335
clean remove 2–385
clipping planes 2–992, 2–998, 3–614
clone 2–6
clone and align tool 1–377
cloning 2–6
clone 2–6
materials 2–1052
objects 1–371, 2–3, 2–13
shape sub-object selections 1–262
shift+move 2–9
shift+rotate 2–10
shift+scale 2–11
sub-object geometry 2–344
close
assembly 1–104
group (group menu) 1–100
close curve dialog 2–571, 2–578
CLR files 3–485
cmdjob.exe 2–1527
codec (glossary) 3–614
coincident - making splines 2–203
collapse
collapse utility 2–312
stack 2–312
vertices 2–357
collapse controller tool (Track View) 2–812
color
and light 2–896, 2–898, 2–951
and program state 1–10
and realism 2–1020
assigning to objects 1–132
balance (render effect) 3–46
bleeding 2–1419
changing vertex color 2–355
color selector 1–135
copying 1–138, 2–1071
display 1–49
illegal video colors 2–1054
name and color rollout 3–443
object color dialog 1–133
parameters 2–965
selecting vertices by 2–88, 2–375
temperature (light color) 2–896
color clipboard files 2–298
color clipboard utility 1–138
color controls 2–1103
color modifier maps 2–1290
color palette
vertexpaint modifier 2–298
color RGB controller 2–682
color selector 1–135, 3–503
color space 2–1341
colors
assign random 1–134
colors panel (customize UI) 3–485
combining objects 1–300
Combustion
adding workspace 2–1460
combustion map 2–1238
combustion workspace file 3–285
command line
rendering 2–1521, 2–1523, 2–1527
startup options 3–343
command panel
troubleshooting when missing 3–591
command panels
create 3–443
display 3–461
hierarchy 3–459
modify 3–444
motion 3–459
overview 3–442
Index
utilities 3–464
command-line options (MAXScript) 3–469
command-line options (starting Autodesk VIZ) 3–343
command-line rendering 2–1521, 2–1527
backburner command line 2–1527
batch render 2–1521
DOS 2–1523
pre-render scripts 2–1521, 2–1527
commands provided only from the keyboard 3–341
comments on the documentation 3–572
common panel
render scene dialog 2–1360
common parameters rollout 2–1360
commonality 2–38
communication center 3–400 to 3–401
bubble notification 3–404
configure 3–402
new information 3–404
notifications 3–404
refresh content 3–404
settings 3–402
welcome wizard 3–402
compare dialog (loft objects) 1–335
compass helper object 2–622
complete map (baking) 2–1471
component color - specular 3–684
composite
glossary 3–614
map 2–1286
material 2–1203
composite materials
limitations when baking textures 2–1470
compositor
compositor maps 2–1285
compound materials
glossary 3–614
kinds of 2–1200
compound objects 1–287
Boolean 1–300
connect 1–294
scatter 1–287
ShapeMerge 1–297
terrain 1–308
concepts 2–1413
concrete palette 3–365
cone 1–145
cone (spotlight) 2–958
cone caustics filter 2–1431
configuration
network rendering 2–1487
configuration settings 2–1444
configure
communication center 3–402
Direct3D 3–531
driver 3–508, 3–527
key mode 3–412
modifier sets 3–458
OpenGL 3–528
software display driver 3–527
system paths 3–497
time 3–412
track bar 3–391
user paths 3–495
utilities button sets 3–465
viewports 3–552
configure paths 3–495
configure preset dialog 2–1365
configure system paths 3–497
plug-ins path configuration 3–501
configure user paths 3–495
bitmaps 2–1502
external files 3–499
file i/o path configuration 3–498
FX files 3–499
using 2–1502
connect compound object 1–294
connect edges dialog 2–416
connect parameter to shader dialog (mental ray) 2–1311
constant
coordinate system 3–503
facet shading 3–624
constrained point
glossary 3–615
constraints 2–658, 2–718
attachment 2–719
axis constraints 1–355, 3–357
link 2–728
look-at 2–730
orientation 2–733
path 2–722
position 2–726
surface 2–721
contacting us 1–ix
containers (glossary) 3–615
content browser 3–197
utility 3–197
content browser (glossary) 3–615
continuity 3–615
continuity level (glossary) 3–615
NURBS concepts 2–436
contour shading
mental ray 2–1422
contrast sampling thresholds 2–1423
control lattice (glossary) 3–616
control objects (IK) 2–758
control vertex (CV) 3–617
395
396
Index
control vertex (glossary) 3–616
controller 3–616
controller menu, Track View 2–811
controller toolbar, Track View 2–828
controller window, Track View 2–805
controllers 2–663 to 2–665, 2–674
assigning 2–661
audio 2–675
bezier 2–676
block 2–678
Boolean 2–681
categories of 2–658
changing length 2–796
changing properties 2–660
changing range 2–796
collapsing procedural controllers 2–812
color RGB 2–682
copy 2–832
default settings 3–515
Euler XYZ rotation 2–683
frame duration 2–796
general-purpose controllers 2–663
limit 2–686
linear 2–691
list 2–692
local euler XYZ rotation 2–694
look at 2–695
make unique 2–837
noise 2–696
on/off 2–698
paste 2–833
point3 XYZ 2–682
position XYZ 2–699
properties 2–847
PRS 2–700
scale XYZ 2–701
script 2–702
slave 2–678
smooth rotation 2–704
specifying default 2–662
TCB 2–705
time duration 2–796
transform script 2–707
types of 2–657, 2–833
understanding 2–658
viewing types 2–658
waveform 2–709
working with 2–657
xref 2–711
controlling
display performance 1–26
flipping on path 2–722
IK precision 2–765
object display 1–49
position 2–666
rotation 2–667
time 2–654
transforms 2–666
viewport rendering 1–25
controls
camera viewport 3–431
light viewport 3–436
perspective and orthographic 3–425
special 1–10
viewport 3–422
conversion modifier
turn to mesh 2–232
turn to patch 2–234
turn to poly 2–235
convert surface dialog 2–569
convex hull property (glossary) 3–616
cool (glossary) 3–616
coordinate display (mouse position) 3–396
coordinate system 1–361
coordinate system category manager dialog 3–535
coordinates
absolute/offset display 3–397
barycentric (glossary) 3–609
coordinate display 3–396
coordinate system 1–361
coordinates rollouts 2–1224, 2–1262
mapping 2–1026
copies 2–2
creating 2–1
overview 2–2
copy
a material, map, bitmap, or color 2–1038
copy controller 2–832
copy keys 2–864
copy map dialog 2–1070
copy tangent handles 1–270
copy time (Track View) 2–853
copying
and pasting items/objects 2–860 to 2–861
colors 1–138, 2–1071
copy controller (Track View) 2–832
copy time (Track View) 2–853
copy track (Track View) 2–853
joint parameters 2–790
materials 2–1029, 2–1052
modifiers 2–832
patch surface 2–314
presets 3–141
splines 1–282
transform keys 2–652
crash recovery 1–18
Index
create assembly (assembly menu) 1–102
create assembly dialog 1–102
create camera from view 1–46
create key dialog 2–653
create material preview dialog 2–1071
create menu 1–308, 3–347
AEC objects 1–186, 1–190, 1–195, 1–205, 1–208,
1–212, 1–216, 1–224 to 1–225, 1–230 to 1–235
cameras 2–984, 2–988 to 2–989
compound objects 1–287, 1–294, 1–297, 1–300, 1–313
extended primitives 1–159
lights 2–891
NURBS 2–447 to 2–448, 2–451, 2–455
patch grids 2–339 to 2–341
photometric lights 2–923, 2–925 to 2–929
shapes 1–236, 1–244, 1–246 to 1–252, 1–254 to 1–255,
1–257 to 1–259, 1–261
standard lights 2–908 to 2–910, 2–912 to 2–913, 2–915
standard primitives 1–143
create new layer 3–339
create out of range keys 2–822
create out-of-range keys utility (Track View) 2–849
create panel 1–128, 3–443
cameras 2–984
helpers 2–598
lights 2–891, 2–921
systems 1–335
create position lock key 2–676
create rotation lock key 2–676
create shape (editable patch) 2–332
creating
1-rail sweep surface 2–546
2-rail sweep surface 2–551
an object 1–131
animated material previews 2–1069
arrays 2–1
blend surface 2–525
cap surface 2–537
chamfer curve 2–504
circular and spiral arrays 2–19
copies 2–1
curve sub-objects 2–494
custom sample object 2–1046
CV curve on surface 2–515
CV curve sub-object 2–495
CV surface 2–448
CV surface sub-object 2–521
dependent curve point 2–563
dependent curve-curve point 2–566
dependent curves 2–494
dependent offset point 2–562
dependent surface point 2–564
dependent surface-curve point 2–567
dependent surfaces 2–520
editable mesh edges from shapes 2–352
editable mesh vertices 2–357
extrude surface 2–531
faces 2–357
fillet curve 2–506
fillet surface 2–559
independent surfaces from NURBS curve objects 2–459
iso curve 2–511
lathe surface 2–533
linear arrays 2–17
mirror curve 2–502
mirror surface 2–529
models with NURBS 2–439
multicurve trim surface 2–557
multiple slices 2–365
multisided blend surface 2–556
normal projected curve 2–512
NURBS curves from splines 2–460
NURBS CV curve 2–455
NURBS models 2–425
NURBS point curve 2–451
NURBS sub-objects 2–427
NURBS surfaces 2–446, 2–461
objects (basics) 1–127
offset curve 2–502
offset surface 2–528
point curve on surface 2–517
point curve sub-object 2–498
point curve with curve fit 2–499
point sub-objects 2–424, 2–561
point surface 2–447
point surface sub-object 2–523
primitives from the keyboard 1–142
ruled surface 2–535
shapes 1–236
sub-objects 2–520
surface edge curve 2–519
surface offset curve 2–510
surface sub-objects 2–520
surface-surface intersection curve 2–508
transform curve 2–500
transform surface 2–524
U loft surface 2–538
UV loft surface 2–543
vector projected curve 2–513
creation method rollout 1–315
creation parameters
glossary 3–617
cross sections 1–255, 1–257 to 1–259, 1–261, 2–64, 2–203
cross-hairs cursor 3–503
crossing selection 1–90
CrossSection modifier 2–64
397
398
Index
CUI files 3–491, 3–493
current frame 3–389, 3–411
current value editor 2–822, 2–850
currentdefaults.ini 3–476
currently installed driver 3–508
curve editor 2–795, 2–802, 2–824
display menu 2–820
modes menu 2–811
curves
curve approximation 2–581
curve fit 2–499
curve point 2–563
curve-curve intersection point 2–566
curve-curve point 2–566
freeze non-selected 2–872
curves menu
Track View 2–815
curves toolbar 2–824
custom grid 2–615
custom splash screen 1–16
custom UI and defaults switcher 3–476
custom UI scheme 3–491
customize
keyboard shortcut 2–1052
toolbar 2–1052
customize menu 3–353
configure system paths 3–497
configure user paths 3–495
customize user interface 3–477
grid and snap settings 2–629
load custom UI scheme 3–493
lock UI layout 3–474
plug-in manager 3–475
preferences 3–502
revert to startup UI layout 3–495
save custom UI scheme 3–493
show UI 3–474
viewport configuration 3–552
customize user interface 3–477
colors 3–485
keyboard shortcuts 3–478
load UI scheme 3–493
lock UI layout 3–474
menus 3–483
overview 3–471
quad menus 3–481
revert to startup layout 3–495
save UI scheme 3–493
shortcuts 3–478
tool palettes 3–487
toolbars 3–479
customizing user interface
Track View 2–883
cut
and slice 2–357, 2–365
and snaps 2–365
time (Track View) 2–853
cut time (Track View) 2–853
cutout mapping 2–1155, 2–1157
CV 3–617
CV curve
CV curve 2–455
CV curve (glossary) 3–617
CV curve on surface 2–515
CV curve sub-object 2–495
CV sub-objects 2–431
CV surface
CV surface 2–448
CV surface (glossary) 3–618
CV surface sub-object 2–521
CWS file 2–1460
CWS file (combustion workspace) 3–285
cycling
animation 2–838
cylinder
chamfer 1–165
CylGizmo 3–85
standard primitive 1–150
cylindrical area omni light 2–918
D
damping joint action 2–769
data files
path for 3–501
data management
asset tracking dialog 3–174
open from vault 3–93
datum
define 3–537
manager 3–536
modify 3–543
properties 3–536
select 3–546
datum manager dialog 3–536
datum properties dialog 3–536
daylight
IES sky 2–932
IES sun 2–930
DDS files (glossary) 3–286
deactivate all maps 1–48
decay 2–965
default
controller settings 2–662, 3–515
controllers 2–662
heights 2–597
keyboard shortcuts 2–257, 2–804, 3–569
lighting 2–891, 2–894
Index
material settings 2–1062
defaults
setting 3–476
setting and changing 1–16
switching 3–476
defaultui.cui file 1–10
define datum dialog 3–537
define ellipsoid dialog 3–538
define global coordinate system dialog 3–538
defining
search terms (HTML help viewer) 3–574
time tags 3–398
deform
deform bevel 1–327
deform fit 1–328
deform scale 1–325
deform teeter 1–326
deform twist 1–325
deformations (and loft objects) 1–324, 1–329
degradation override 1–32
degree 2–436, 3–618
delete 1–92
controller 2–836
keys 2–841, 3–391
maps 2–1034
material 2–1034
mesh modifier 2–67
patch modifier 2–67
Schematic View 3–325
selected keys (track bar) 3–391
spline modifier 2–68
time (Track View) 2–852
Track View 2–882
delete keys 2–797, 2–841
delete selected animation 3–363
delete time (Track View) 2–852
delete Track View 2–882
deleting
blocks of time 2–852
editable mesh edges 2–357
editable mesh vertices 2–357
isolated editable mesh vertices 2–357
patch surfaces 2–314
splines 1–282
vertices 1–270
dent map 2–1266
dependencies (views menu) 1–45
dependent 3–618
dependent sub-objects 2–433, 3–618
depth of field 2–1001, 2–1416, 2–1426, 3–50
description dialog 3–384 to 3–385
deselect all 1–84
Design Web Format 3–241
designing materials 2–1015
detach
detach (assembly) 1–105
detach (group menu) 1–101
detach dialog (edit poly) 2–116
detach dialog (NURBS curve/surface) 2–571
editable mesh vertices 2–357
editable patches 2–332
patch surface 2–314
detach editable mesh vertices 2–357
DGS material (mental ray) 2–1193
dgs material shader (mental ray) 2–1314
diagnostics
mental ray renderer 2–1448
dialog
asset tracking 3–174
bevel polygons 2–412
bitmap pager statistics 3–203
chamfer 2–416
color selector 1–135
connect edges 2–416
extrude polygons 2–418
flatten mapping 2–262
MAXScript debugger 3–469
normal mapping 2–263
prompts 3–183
relax tool 2–265
track sets editor 2–876
unfold mapping 2–269
unwrap options 2–269
XRef objects 3–101
dialogs
toggling 3–342
dielectric material shader (mental ray) 2–1317
different ambient and different diffuse materials
dialog 3–201
diffuse
diffuse color (glossary) 3–619
diffuse distribution 2–943
diffuse level 2–1106
diffuse level mapping 2–1116
diffuse mapping 2–1115
roughness mapping 2–1117
diffuse map (baking) 2–1471
diffuse parameters rollout 2–1467
diffuse texture element rollout 2–1467
direct manipulation mode 2–368
Direct3D driver 3–525, 3–530 to 3–531
Direct3D driver setup dialog 3–530
directional parameters 2–968
directories
for network rendering 2–1499
mounting 2–1501
399
400
Index
sharing 2–1501
disassemble 1–105
disc (circular) area light 2–920
displace
disp approx modifier (OSM) 2–68
displace mesh (world space) 2–42
displace modifier (OSM) 2–70
displace NURBS (world space) 2–44
displacement mapping 2–68, 2–1128, 2–1154
displacement shading
mental ray renderer 2–1421
display
backface cull 3–461
coordinate display 3–396
display controls for NURBS models 2–462
display driver (specifying at startup) 3–343
display floater 3–461
display floater (Schematic View) 3–324
display image 3–188
display performance 1–26
display plane 2–602
display properties rollout 1–52
grid settings 3–398
hide/unhide (glossary) 3–634
hide/unhide objects 3–461
key bracket display 3–515
layer properties 3–328
line parameters for NURBS surfaces 2–464
nth frame 3–508
NU scale warning 3–503
properties 3–461
reflectance 2–1050
selection floaters 1–76
stack collapse warning 3–503
topology-dependence warning 3–503
track bar 3–395
transmittance 2–1050
world axis 3–508
display color rollout 1–49
display driver setup dialog 3–525
display menu
curve editor 2–820
display menu (Schematic View) 3–317
display panel 3–461
display color rollout 1–49
display properties rollout 1–52
freeze rollout 1–51
hide by category rollout 1–50
hide rollout 1–51
link display rollout 1–55
object display 1–49
displaying
links 2–745
selected key statistics (Track View) 2–879
selected keys 2–879
distance
distance from origin (accuracy setting) 3–503
measuring 2–609, 2–611
distributed bucket rendering rollout 2–1449
distributed maps 2–1449
distributed rendering 2–1449, 3–672
distribution
materials 2–1052
dithering (glossary) 3–619
divide
edges 2–365
editable mesh edges 2–357
faces 2–357
segments 1–277
docking 3–620
documentation for Autodesk VIZ 1–ix
DOF 2–1001, 3–50
dolly
camera 3–432
light 3–437
target 3–432, 3–437
don’t affect children 2–784
donut 1–249
doors 1–182, 1–219
bifold 1–225
pivot 1–224
sliding 1–225
doors / windows palette 3–365
dope sheet 2–795, 2–802
modes menu 2–811
toolbars 2–826
DOS
command-line rendering 2–1523
double-sided 3–599
double-sided material 2–1204
download options (asset browser) 3–204
drag and drop
and copied/instanced maps 2–1070
and instanced objects 3–161
content from web pages 3–212
maps and materials 2–1043
modifier 2–28
sub-object material assignment 2–1044
with i-drop indicator 3–212
draw links as lines 3–508
drawing aids 2–597, 2–640
DRF files 3–214 to 3–215
driver setup/configuration 3–525, 3–527 to 3–528, 3–531
dummies
dummy helper object 2–612
dummy object (glossary) 3–620
Index
dummy objects
using 2–752
duplicate name dialog (material library) 2–1072
DWF
exporting 3–241
DWG files 3–620
exporting 3–236
importing 3–222
DWG/DXF import options dialog 3–222
geometry panel 3–225
layers panel 3–230
spline rendering panel 3–231
DXF files 3–620
exporting 3–238
importing 3–222, 3–237
E
ease curve
applying 2–868
deleting 2–869
enable toggle 2–869
glossary 3–621
ease out-of-range types (Track View) 2–870
edge - definition 3–621
edge count 2–595, 3–560
edge visibility threshold 2–352
edges
aligning 2–357
and rendering 3–512
attaching 2–357
chamfer 2–357
creating shapes from 2–352
cut and slice 2–357
deleting 2–357
divide 2–365
dividing 2–357
extruding 2–357
make planar 2–357
rotating 2–357
welding 2–357
edges, deleting 2–357
edit
button appearance 3–490
preset settings 3–142
ranges (Track View) 2–858
tag 3–399
time 2–851
time tag dialog 3–399
edit category dialog 3–539
edit commands 1–91
edit curve on surface dialog 2–571
edit geometry rollout
edit poly modifier 2–110
editable mesh 2–357
editable poly 2–401
edit keys (Track View) 2–818, 2–841, 2–845
edit keys mode 2–803
edit macro button dialog 3–490
edit menu 3–345
clone 2–6
delete 1–92
edit named selections 1–80
fetch 1–92
hold 1–92
move 1–357
object properties 1–109
region 1–89
rotate 1–357
scale 1–358
select all 1–84
select by 1–84
select by color 1–84
select by layer 1–85
select by name 1–85
select invert 1–84
select none 1–84
select region crossing 1–90
select similar 1–85
selection method 1–89
transform type-in 1–348
undo/redo 1–91
edit menu (Schematic View) 3–315
edit modifiers
and editable objects 2–34
edit mesh modifier 2–74
edit patch modifier 2–75
edit poly modifier 2–77
edit spline modifier 2–117
edit named selections 1–80
edit poly
align geometry dialog 2–116
border 2–100
bridge edges dialog 2–414
chamfer dialog 2–416
connect edges dialog 2–416
detach dialog 2–116
edge 2–93
object 2–88
paint deformation rollout 2–410
polygon/element 2–103
preserve map channels dialog 2–421
relax dialog 2–422
vertex 2–88
edit poly modifier 2–77
edit geometry rollout 2–110
selection rollout 2–83
edit ranges 2–858
401
402
Index
edit ranges mode (Track View) 2–803, 2–818
edit texture surface dialog 2–573
edit time mode (Track View) 2–818, 2–851
edit time tag 3–399
edit track set 2–876
edit UVWs dialog 2–245
menu bar 2–252
edit wire 2–736
editable mesh 2–342, 3–621
aligning 2–357
edge 2–352
edit geometry rollout 2–357
element 2–355
exploding 2–357
face 2–355
object 2–347
polygon 2–355
selection rollout 2–345
vertex 2–349
editable objects and edit modifiers 2–34
editable patch 2–314
attach 2–332
changing vertex type 2–332
deleting vertices 2–332
detach 2–332
edge 2–326
element 2–330
geometry rollout 2–332
handle 2–325
object 2–320
patch 2–327
vector 2–325
vertex 2–321
visibility of 2–332
editable poly 2–367
border 2–390
bridge edges dialog 2–414
chamfer dialog 2–416
connect edges dialog 2–416
edge 2–381
edit geometry rollout 2–401
glossary 3–622
object 2–374
paint deformation rollout 2–410
polygon/element 2–394
preserve map channels dialog 2–421
relax dialog 2–422
selection rollout 2–370
subdivision displacement rollout 2–409
subdivision surface rollout 2–406
vertex 2–375
editable spline 1–262, 2–203
and overlapping vertices 1–262
attaching to 1–277
general rollout (for object and sub-objects) 1–262
identification numbers and 1–262
object 1–268
rendering options 1–262
segment 1–277
setting vertex type 1–270
spline 1–282
vertex 1–270
vertex area selection 1–262
editing
animation 2–671
curve cv sub-objects 2–472
curve sub-objects 2–479
modifier stack 2–33
named selection sets 1–63
point sub-objects 2–468, 2–561
strokes 3–565
surface cv sub-objects 2–475
surface sub-objects 2–485
time (Track View) 2–851
time tags 3–399
wall objects 1–200
editing track sets 2–874
edtiable patch
selection rollout 2–317
effects 3–1
auto secondary lens effects 3–19
blur lens effects 3–41
brightness and contrast lens effects 3–46
color balance lens effects 3–46
depth of field lens effects 3–50
effects (rendering menu) 3–2
effects panel 3–3
environment and effects dialog 3–1
file output lens effects 3–47
film grain lens effects 3–49
glow lens effects 3–7
lens effects 3–4
manual secondary lens effects 3–23
merging from other files 3–4
ray lens effects 3–15
rings lens effects 3–11
star lens effects 3–27
streak lens effects 3–31
elements 3–622
of rendered textures 2–1470
rendering 2–1455
ellipse 1–247
ellipsoid
define 3–538
manager 3–540
modify 3–544
Index
properties 3–541
select 3–547
ellipsoid manager dialog 3–540
ellipsoid properties dialog 3–541
email notification
network rendering 2–1509
rendering 2–1366
enable ease or multiplier curve toggle 2–869
encapsulated PostScript files 3–286
end effectors 2–760 to 2–761, 2–766, 2–774, 3–622
animating 2–763
linking to parent 2–763
entering frames 2–878
entities
AutoCAD 3–146
environment 3–52
and raytrace materials 2–1131
environment map (glossary) 3–623
environment panel 3–53
exposure controls 3–73
environment and effects dialog 3–1
effects panel 3–3
environment panel 3–53
environment effect
fire 3–57
fog 3–62
volume fog 3–64
volume light 3–68
environment shader (mental ray) 2–1318
environments 3–1
environment and effects dialog 3–1
EPS files 3–286
ERCO luminaires palette 3–374, 3–379
errors 1–18
Euler XYZ rotation controller 2–683
exclude
exclude left end point (Track View) 2–856
exclude right end point (Track View) 2–856
exclude/include lights 2–903, 2–955
exclude left end point (Track View) 2–856
exclude right end point (Track View) 2–856
excluding layers 3–143
execute network rendering 2–1494
exit command (file menu) 3–189
expert mode 1–48
explicit axis keys 2–665, 2–700
explode
assemblies 1–105
editable mesh objects/sub-objects 2–357
explode angle threshold 2–357
groups 1–101
splines 1–282
explode angle threshold 2–357
export selected (file menu) 3–173
exporting
3D DWF 3–241
3DS files 3–218
Adobe Illustrator files 3–220
ASCII files 3–220
DWG files 3–236
DXF files 3–238
export (file menu) 3–173
FBX 3–244
IGES files 3–248
MTL 3–265
OBJ 3–263
objects 3–173
selected objects 3–173
Shockwave 3D files 3–255
stereolithography 3–262
STL files 3–262
to IGES 3–249
VRML97 files 3–266
W3D files 3–255
exporting materials 2–1027
expose transform
helper object 2–612
exposetm 2–612
helper object 2–612
exposure control 3–73
automatic 3–74
linear 3–76
logarithmic 3–77
pseudo color 3–79
expression evaluator 1–10
expression techniques 1–120
extended parameters rollout (materials) 2–1089
extended primitives 1–159
C-Ext 1–173
capsule 1–168
chamfer box 1–164
chamfer cylinder 1–165
gengon 1–172
hedra 1–160
hose 1–178
L-Ext 1–171
L-Extrusion 1–171
oil tank 1–167
prism 1–177
ringwave 1–175
spindle 1–169
torus knot 1–162
extended shapes
angle 1–259
channel 1–258
tee 1–261
403
404
Index
wide flange 1–261
wrectangle 1–257
extended splines 1–239
extents
scene extents 3–677
extents (glossary) 3–624
external reference 3–700
external reference, AutoCAD (glossary) 3–700
extras dope sheet toolbar
Track View 2–829
extras toolbar 3–358
extrude
editable mesh edges 2–357
extrude modifier 2–117
extrude surface (NURBS) 2–531
faces 2–119
faces and polygons 2–357
patches 2–332
extrude edges dialog 2–419
extrude polygons along spline dialog 2–417
extrude polygons dialog 2–418
extrude vertices dialog 2–419
extruded shapes 1–171, 1–173
eyedropper tool 2–1068
F
f-stop 2–1416, 2–1426
fabrics palette 3–365
face - definition 3–624
face extrude modifier 2–119
face/edge thresholds (optimize modifier) 2–160
faces
assigning to smoothing groups 2–355
beveling and extruding 2–357
creating 2–357
dividing 2–357
tessellating 2–357
faces, assigning to smoothing groups 2–355
faceted (glossary) 3–624
fade in/out (lights) 2–965
falloff 2–958
falloff map 2–1269
glossary 3–637
light falloff 3–440
family elements
from Revit 3–162
rendering properties 3–162
fast adaptive antialiaser 2–1148
fast view display mode 3–553
favorite location dialog 3–205
favorites
asset browser 3–205
HTML help viewer 3–576
FBX
exporting 3–244
importing 3–244
feedback about the documentation 1–ix, 3–572
fence selection region 1–87
fetch (edit menu) 1–92
FFDs 3–624
FFD 2x2x2 2–120
FFD 3x3x3 2–120
FFD 4x4x4 2–120
FFD modifier 2–120
FFD(box) modifier 2–122
FFD(cyl) modifier 2–122
FGM files 3–625
field of view
flyout 3–427
glossary 3–625
field-of-view
field-of-view button 3–427
fields (glossary) 3–625
file corruption 3–581
file i/o path configuration 3–498
file link 3–601
advanced settings 3–135
basic settings 3–132
basics 3–119
excluding layers 3–143
file link settings dialog 3–132, 3–139
including layers 3–143
manager utility 3–126
presets 3–132, 3–135
tips for using 3–122
working with drawing files 3–121
xref resolution 3–143
file menu 3–90, 3–345
archive 3–184
exit 3–189
export 3–173
export selected 3–173
file link manager 3–126
file properties 3–185
import 3–172
merge 3–168
new 3–90
open 3–91
open recent 3–94
print setup 3–187
print viewport 3–188
replace 3–171
reset 3–91
save 3–94
save as 3–95
save copy as 3–96
Index
save selected 3–96
summary info 3–184
view image file 3–188
XRef objects 3–98
XRef scene 3–111
file output 3–47
file properties 3–185
file types
CWS 2–1460
file-handling commands 3–90
files
backup and saving 3–506
compressed 3–506
finding 3–199
incremental saves 3–506
managing 1–13
mismatched units 3–551
preferences settings 3–506
recent in file menu 3–506
fillet
and editable splines 1–270
fillet curve 2–506
fillet surface 2–559
fillet/chamfer modifier 2–125
glossary 3–626
film grain effect 3–49
filter color mapping 2–1120
filter color/filter opacity (glossary) 3–626
filtering bitmaps 3–627
filters 2–1423
caustics 2–1431
environment backgrounds (viewports) 3–508
filter (track bar) 3–391
filter combinations dialog 1–78
filtering selections 1–77
filters button (Track View) 2–830
filters dialog (Track View) 2–830
key 3–407
sampling 3–675
final gather map (FGM file) 3–625
final gather rollout 2–1437
final gathering 2–1419, 2–1437, 3–627
finishes palette 3–365
fire environment effect 3–57
first vertex 1–270, 3–628
fit (deformation) 1–328
fix ambient utility 3–201
fixed window 1–232
fixing problems 3–581
flag properties dialog (Material Editor) 2–1255
flag with black 3–512
flat mirror map 2–1293, 2–1409, 3–629
flatten mapping 2–255, 2–262
flatten sides 2–357
flip normals 1–139, 2–355
float controllers 2–665
float limit controller 2–686
floaters 1–348, 3–461
display floaters 3–461
Schematic View display floater 3–324
selection floaters 1–76
transform type-in 1–348
floating 3–620
flooring palette 3–365
fluorescence (glossary) 3–629
fluorescent light tools
customize heights dialog 3–373
fluorescent palette 3–371
flyouts 1–10
align 1–379
arc rotate 3–430
array 1–366
dolly camera/target 3–432
dolly light/target 3–437
field of view 3–427
flyout (glossary) 3–629
material ID channel 2–1064
orbit/pan light 3–441
select and scale 1–358
selection region 1–77
timing preferences 3–503
use center 1–363
zoom extents 3–426
zoom extents all 3–423
focus plane 2–1416
fog
VRML97 helper 3–275
fog environment effect 3–62
foliage 1–182, 1–186
follow object
binding to 2–764
glossary 3–630
follow/bank utility 2–888
footcandle 3–638
forward kinematics 3–630
and IK 2–758
manipulating hierarchies with 2–749
FOV
field-of-view button 3–427
fps 2–595
frame rate 2–656, 3–412, 3–630
frames (snapping) 2–841
frames per second 3–560
free area light 2–929
free camera 2–988
405
406
Index
free lights
direct 2–913
linear 2–927
spot 2–910
free-form deformation (FFD)
box/cyl modifier 2–122
modifier 2–120
freeze
freeze rollout (display panel) 1–51
freeze/unfreeze (glossary) 3–631
freezing/unfreezing objects 1–66, 3–461
freeze non-selected curves (Track View) 2–872
freeze selection’s layer 3–340
full screen 3–424
function curve editor 2–802, 2–824
function curves
add keys mode 2–866
glossary 3–631
show tangents 2–867
Track View 2–863
fuse vertices 1–270, 1–277, 1–282
fusing (glossary) 3–631
G
G-buffer 3–632
layers (rendering preferences) 3–512
gamma correction (glossary) 3–632
gamma preferences 3–511
general parameters (lights) 2–951
general preferences settings 3–503
general settings rollout
render to texture 2–1473
gengon 1–172
geographic location dialog 1–340
geometric primitives 3–633
geometry
AutoCAD 3–145
AutoCADArchitectural Desktop 3–147
compound objects 1–287
doors 1–219
extended primitives 1–159
file formats 3–212
geometric primitives 1–142
importing 3–213
loft object 1–313
standard primitives 1–143
types of 1–129
windows 1–226
geometry rollout
patch 2–332
GeoSphere 1–149
get material 2–1059
getting started 1–1
ghosts
ghost before/after current frame 3–508
ghost in wireframe 3–508
GI (global illumination) 2–1377
GIF files 3–286
gizmo
box atmospheric apparatus 3–84
cylinder atmospheric apparatus 3–85
gizmo/center (glossary) 3–633
preferences 3–518
sphere atmospheric apparatus 3–87
types of 3–83
using transform gizmos 1–344
global and local exclude/include dialog (for raytraced maps
and materials) 2–1147
global coordinate system 3–523
category manager 3–535
define 3–538
edit category 3–539
manager 3–541
modify 3–544
new category 3–546
properties 3–542
select 3–547
global coordinate system manager 3–541
global coordinate system properties 3–542
global illumination 2–1377, 2–1387, 2–1419, 2–1431,
3–627
global illumination (mental ray) 2–1406
global lighting (rendered environment) 3–53
global raytracer settings dialog 2–1144
global shadow parameters (Track View) 2–805
gloss palette 3–365
glossary 3–599
glossiness mapping 2–1119, 3–634
glow
render effect 3–7
go to settings
Material Editor 2–1066 to 2–1067
time 3–395, 3–409, 3–411
goniometric diagrams 2–946
grab viewport 1–33
gradients
gradient map 2–1250
gradient ramp map 2–1252
graph editors menu 3–352
delete schematic view 3–325
delete Track View 2–882
new schematic view 3–311, 3–325
new Track View 2–882
saved schematic views 3–311
saved Track View 2–883
Track View 2–882
Index
Track View - curve editor 2–795
Track View - dope sheet 2–795
graphics driver setup dialog 3–525
grid
autogrid 2–603
grid and snap settings 2–629
grid nudge distance 3–508
grid setting display 3–398
home grid settings 2–638
options 2–635
snap override 2–634
snaps 2–630
user grids settings 2–640
grid method 2–1454
grid method, raytrace acceleration 3–671
grids 2–623, 3–634
activating 2–624
align to view 2–624
aligning to 2–357
and resolution of patch model surface 2–332
grid and snap settings 2–629
grid helper object 2–615
show home grid 2–623
using 2–599, 2–601
viewing 2–602
group menu 1–99, 1–104, 3–346
attach 1–101
close 1–100
detach 1–101
explode 1–101
group 1–99
open 1–100
ungroup 1–100
groups 1–93
and assemblies 1–95
and selection sets 1–93, 3–346
closing nested groups 1–100
detach from 1–105
explode 1–101
smoothing 1–140
using 3–346
usingworking with 1–93
H
handle display size 3–509
HD IK solver 2–761, 2–763, 2–770, 2–786, 2–789 to 2–791
HD solver 2–791
HD Solver 2–764 to 2–765, 2–771, 2–773 to 2–774, 2–786,
2–789 to 2–790
HDR file format 3–287
HDRI files 3–287
head object 1–106
head object (glossary) 3–634
hedra 1–160
height map displacement shader (mental ray) 2–1319
helix 1–254
help 1–vii, 3–571
about HTML help 3–571
contents 3–571
favorites tab 3–576
index 3–571
search 3–571
searching for help topics 3–574
help menu 3–354
helper object 3–634
helpers 2–598, 2–609
atmospheric apparatus 3–83
camera match 2–1007
compass 2–622
dummy 2–612
expose transform 2–612
exposetm 2–612
grid 2–615
luminaire 1–106
point 2–619
protractor 2–621
standard 2–611
tape 2–620
VRML97 3–271
hide 1–51, 3–634
hide by category 1–50
hide selection’s layer 3–340
hiding and unhiding 1–51
by category 1–50, 1–68
by selection 1–67
edges 2–332
editable spline vertices 1–270
hide rollout 1–51
hierarchical linkage 3–635
hierarchical subdivision surfaces 2–126
hierarchies
hierarchical linkage (glossary) 3–635
joint limits 2–745
navigating 2–749
terminology 2–740
using multiple 2–742
viewing 2–748
hierarchy panel 3–459
commands 2–782
IK 2–785
link info rollouts 2–794
pivot 2–782
hierarchy right-click menu (Track View) 2–808
hierarchy window (Track View)
placing selected objects 2–873
selecting by name 2–873
high dynamic range images 3–287, 3–295
407
408
Index
high intensity discharge 3–371
high intensity discharge light tools
customize heights dialog 3–373
high-resolution rendering 2–1509
highlights
anisotropic 2–1109
Blinn 2–1110
metal 2–1111
multi-layer 2–1112
Oren-Nayar-Blinn 2–1110
Phong 2–1110
specular color 3–684
hinge polygons from edge dialog 2–419
history list 3–94, 3–188, 3–314
history-dependent IK solver 2–761
hold (edit menu) 1–92
home grid 1–21
glossary 3–635
settings 2–638
using 2–600
views based on the world coordinate axes 1–21
horizon (glossary) 3–636
horizontal (move key) 2–864
horizontal bezier handle control 2–867
hose 1–178
hosts file 2–1449
hot (glossary) 3–636
hot keys 2–257, 2–804, 3–569
hotspot 2–958, 3–438, 3–637
how to (NURBS)
fix objects 2–443
improve performance 2–444
make things 2–439
HSDS modifier 2–126, 2–131
HSV (glossary) 3–673
HTML help viewer
favorites tab 3–576
keyboard shortcuts 3–577
right-click menus 3–577
searching in 3–574
toolbar 3–576
using 3–572
hue/saturation/value (glossary) 3–673
I
i-drop Indicator 3–212
IAM files
importing 3–238
ICB targa files 3–307
icons
color scheme 3–493
path for additional 3–501
ID
material ID channel 2–1064
IES 2–948
IES sky 2–932
IES sun 2–930
IFL files 3–290
and view file command 2–1345, 3–188
IFL manager utility 3–292
image file list control dialog 3–292
IGES 3–637
and NURBS surfaces 3–244
export/import log file 3–246, 3–248
exporting to 3–249
file translation 3–244
history 3–244
IGES import dialog 3–246
import table to Autodesk VIZ 3–247
log files 3–246
overview 3–244
temporary files 3–246
ignore animation range 2–836
ignore backfacing 2–342, 2–357, 2–365
IK
and control objects 2–758
and set key 2–650
animating with interactive IK 2–775
IK joints 2–760
IK solution (glossary) 3–638
preferences 3–517
IK rollouts 2–785
auto termination 2–793
inverse kinematics 2–792
object parameters 2–786
IK solvers 2–761, 2–763
illegal video colors 2–1054
illuminance 3–638
image file formats 3–283
image file list
IFL control dialog 3–292
IFL manager utility 3–292
image motion blur (glossary) 3–638
image sequence 2–1345
images (2D) 3–283
import
file menu 3–172
IGES files 3–246 to 3–247
import options 3–261
importing
3DS files 3–216
Adobe Illustrator 88 files 3–220
and attaching Autodesk VIZ objects 2–465
DDF 3–249
DEM Models 3–249
DWG and DXF files 3–222
DXF files 3–237
Index
FBX 3–244
IAM files 3–238
IGES files 3–246
IPT files 3–238
landXML 3–249
PRJ files 3–218
scenes 1–14
SHP files 3–219
STL files 3–261
VRML files 3–265
importing geometry 3–213
merge or replace scene 3–213
IMSQ files 3–293
incandescent light tools
customize heights dialog 3–373
incandescent palette 3–371
include/exclude lights 2–903
including layers 3–143
incremental saves 1–17, 3–506
independent 3–244, 3–639
index of refraction 2–1089, 2–1126, 2–1131, 2–1153,
2–1269, 2–1300
indirect illumination 2–1431, 3–666
influence 1–75 to 1–76, 3–111, 3–170, 3–639
inherit rollout 2–795
inheritance 2–757
initial graphics exchange specification (IGES) 3–244,
3–637
inline (VRML VRML97 helpers) 3–282
insert
time (Track View) 2–855
vertices 1–268, 1–282
insert keys 2–845
inset polygons dialog 2–420
installing
Autodesk VIZ (for network rendering) 2–1499
instance duplicate maps utility 2–1337
instanced modifiers 2–40
instanced objects
AutoCAD 3–161
rendering properties 3–161 to 3–162
instances 2–2
glossary 3–639
make unique 2–860, 2–862
of maps 2–1070
overview 2–2
propagating materials 2–1052
propagation 2–1052
intensity (light) 2–896, 2–898
intensity mapping 2–1154
intensity/color/attenuation parameters 2–965
intensity/color/distribution rollout 2–971
interactive IK 2–775
interactive manipulation mode 2–368
interactive rendering 3–696
interactive update (Track View) 2–816
internet
access 3–211
connection 3–191
internet download dialog 3–204
interpolation 3–640
intersection 3–508
introduction
inverse kinematics 2–758
NURBS modeling 2–424
object selection 1–57
rendering effects 3–2
sub-object selection 1–70
to this reference 3–571
inventor files
importing 3–238
inverse kinematics
controlling precision 2–765
glossary 3–640
introduction 2–758
methods 2–761
preferences settings 3–517
rollout 2–792
terminology 2–760
invert selection 1–84
IOR 2–1089, 2–1126, 2–1131, 2–1153, 2–1269, 2–1300
IPT files
importing 3–238
iso curves 2–511
iso line (glossary) 3–640
isolate selection tool 1–69
isolate selection’s layer 3–340
isometric views 1–22
isotropic light distribution 2–943
iteration setting (HD IK solver) 2–765
J
jambs 1–182
jitter (antialiasing control) 2–1423, 3–675, 3–677
job archives
network job assignment 2–1511
network rendering 2–1485
job dialogs (network rendering) 2–1503
join dialogs (NURBS) 2–574 to 2–575
joints
activating joint axes 2–780
joint limits (hierarchies) 2–745
joint parameters 2–778, 2–790
joint precedence 2–770 to 2–771, 2–789
joint resistance and spring back 2–769
limiting joint action 2–781
path 2–778
409
410
Index
rotational 2–778
setting joint precedence 2–770
setting joint resistance 2–769
setting parameters 2–778
sliding 2–778
sliding and rotational 2–791
surface 2–778
using default joint precedence 2–771
JPEG files 3–294
K
KBD files 3–478, 3–491
key filters 2–874, 3–407
key info
Bezier controllers 2–676
key info rollouts 2–671, 2–673
key mode 3–411
key modes (links) 2–753
key tangents toolbar 2–824
key tools toolbar 2–824
keyable icons 2–820
keyboard
additional commands 3–341
creating primitives from 1–142
keyboard entry rollout 1–142
keyboard panel (customize UI) 3–478
keyboard shortcuts 2–257, 2–804, 3–478, 3–569
HTML help viewer 3–577
override toggle 3–570
keyframe interpolation 2–672
keyframe mode 3–405
glossary 3–641
keys
adding 2–846
aligning 2–842
create out of range 2–822
create out-of-range 2–849
delete 2–797, 2–841
editing 2–841
glossary 3–641
interpolating 2–672
key mode 3–411
key properties (track bar) 3–391
key statistics (Track View) 2–879
key time display (Track View) 2–878
moving 2–844, 2–864
moving a group of 2–845
moving horizontal and vertical (Track View) 2–864
randomize 2–822
randomize utility 2–848
reducing 2–857
select 2–797
select by time 2–822, 2–850
soft selection manager 2–822
keys menu
Track View 2–814
keys windows (Track View) 2–798
kinematic chains 2–760, 3–641
knot (glossary) 3–641
Kodak Cineon 3–285
L
L-Ext 1–171
L-Extrusion 1–171
l-type stair 1–205
landXML importer 3–249
landXML/DEM model import dialog 3–250
Large BSP method 2–1454
lasso selection region 1–87
lathe
lathe modifier 2–132
lathe surface (NURBS) 2–533
lattice modifier 2–134
launch script (glossary) 3–641
layer controller 3–395
layer defaults 3–503
layer list 3–338
layer manager 3–329
layer properties dialog 3–334
layers 1–109, 3–327
AutoCAD and Autodesk VIZ 3–142
excluding in file linking 3–143
freeze 3–340
from AutoCAD 3–125
from Revit 3–125
glossary 3–642
hide 3–340
including in file linking 3–143
isolate 3–340
layer list button 3–338
layer manager 3–329
layer properties dialog 3–334
select dialog 3–143
layers toolbar 3–357
add selection to current layer 3–339
create new layer 3–339
select objects in current layer 3–339
set current layer to selection’s layer 3–339
layout (viewports) 1–24, 3–556
layout menu (Schematic View) 3–316
layout mode
glossary 3–642
legacy DWG import 3–233
lens effects 3–4
auto secondary 3–19
blur 3–41
brightness and contrast 3–46
color balance 3–46
Index
depth of field 3–50
file output 3–47
film grain effect 3–49
glow 3–7
manual secondary 3–23
ray 3–15
ring 3–11
star 3–27
streak 3–31
lens size (cameras) 2–992
level of detail
VRML97 helpers (LOD) 3–276
light distribution
diffuse 2–943
isotropic 2–943
spotlight 2–944
web 2–945
light include/exclude tool 2–903
light lister 2–904
light map 3–642
light painting rollout (radiosity) 2–1396
light parameters
mental ray indirect illumination rollout 2–962
mental ray light shader rollout 2–964
light shader rollout 2–964
light shaders
mental ray 2–964
light tracer 2–1376
light viewports 1–22, 1–31, 3–436
lighting
exclude/include dialog 2–955
general parameters 2–951
guidelines 2–899
in Autodesk VIZ 2–898
lighting analysis 2–1402, 3–79, 3–301
lighting analysis dialog 2–1402
lighting data exporter utility 3–82
lighting map (baking) 2–1471
lights 2–891, 2–921
add default lights to scene 1–46
advanced effects rollout 2–960
and atmospheres 2–970
and effects 2–970
and materials 2–1019
and shading 2–1019
and shadows 2–898
animating 2–902
atmospheres and effects for 2–969
dolly 3–437
free area 2–929
free direct 2–913
free linear 2–927
free point 2–925
free spotlight 2–910
light falloff 3–440
light include/exclude tool 2–903
light lister 2–904
mental ray shadow maps 2–979
mr sky 2–938
mr sun 2–939
name and color rollout 2–893
omni 2–915
orbit/pan 3–441
photometric lights 2–921
placing 1–6
positioning 2–901
properties of 2–896
roll 3–439
standard 2–908
target area 2–928
target direct 2–912
target linear 2–926
target point 2–923
target spotlight 2–909
truck 3–441
types of 2–891, 2–921
using 2–893
viewport controls 3–438, 3–440
working with 2–894
lights name and color rollout 2–893
lights palette 3–371
Lightscape
export 3–251
import 3–252
Lightscape import
Lightscape Materials utility 3–253
lightscape material 2–1215
Lightscape Materials utility 3–253
limit controller 2–686
limiting animation ranges 2–686
limiting joint action 2–781
line 1–244
linear arrays (creating) 2–17
linear controller 2–691
linear exposure control 3–76
linear light rollout 2–972
link
linking drawing files 3–674
link constraint 2–728
link rollouts 1–55, 2–794
link info inherit 2–795
link info locks 2–794
linkage, hierarchical 3–635
linked file states 3–126
linked objects
assigning materials to 3–150, 3–159
411
412
Index
conversion settings 3–132, 3–139
selecting when file linking 3–144
linking
and unlinking objects 2–745
animatable parameters 2–735 to 2–736
bones to follow objects 2–763
end effectors to parent 2–763
strategy 2–742
linking files 3–126
links
adding and deleting 2–753
and pivots 2–749
animating links 2–753
changing link inheritance 2–757
displaying 2–745
link inheritance (selected) utility 2–758
main toolbar 2–746
list
layers 3–338
list controller 2–692
named selection sets 1–79
selection filter 1–77
transformation axis coordinate system 1–361
list views (Schematic View) 3–317
listener
listener window (glossary) 3–643
MAXScript listener 3–467
load custom UI scheme 3–493
local
working folder 3–174
local center during animate 3–515
local coordinate system (glossary) 3–643
local euler XYZ rotation controller 2–694
local illumination 2–1377
lock
lock selection 2–842
lock time tag 3–398
lock UI layout 3–474
locking object transforms 2–756
selection lock 3–395
lock selection
status bar 3–395
Track View 2–842
locks rollout 2–794
LOD
VRML97 helpers 3–276
loft object 1–313
creation method rollout 1–315
deform bevel 1–327
deform fit 1–328
deform scale 1–325
deform teeter 1–326
deform twist 1–325
deformation dialog 1–329
deformations 1–324
path commands 1–333
path parameters rollout 1–317
shape commands 1–334
skin parameters rollout 1–319
surface parameters rollout 1–315
lofting 3–644
shapes 1–236
log file 2–1449, 3–644
log files
IGES 3–246
logarithmic exposure control 3–77
LogLUV format (TIFF files) 3–82
look at controller 2–695
look-at constraint 2–730
looping
animation 2–838
animation (Track View) 2–856
low pressure sodium light tools
customize heights dialog 3–373
low res environment background 3–508
low-polygon modeling 2–594
low-pressure sodium palette 3–371
LS colors 2–45
LS colors modifier 2–45
LS mesh modifier 2–137
LTLI files 3–644
lume shaders 2–1310
lumen 3–644
LumeTools shaders 2–1310
luminaire helper object 1–106
luminaires palette 3–374, 3–379
luminance 3–644
luminous flux (glossary) 3–644
luminous intensity (glossary) 3–645
lux 3–638
LZF files 3–645
LZG files 3–645
LZH files 3–645
LZO files 3–645
LZV files 3–645
M
macro recorder (MAXScript) 3–468
macros
path for additional 3–501
main toolbar 3–355
main window 1–9
make absolute 3–497
make controller/object unique (Track View) 2–837
make curve on surface dialog 2–569
make loft dialog 2–576
make material copy 2–1062
Index
make point curve dialog 2–577
make point dialog 2–577
make preview 2–1055, 2–1480
make relative 3–497
make unique 2–33, 2–40, 2–862, 3–455
Material Editor 2–1062
manage scene states 3–207
manage scene states dialog 3–209
manager (network rendering) 2–1494
managers (transform) 1–351
managing
files 1–13
scenes and projects 3–89
manipulators
built-in 2–611
select and manipulate 2–611
manual secondary flares 3–23
mapped material
glossary 3–646
mapping
ambient color 2–1115
anisotropy 2–1121
bump 2–1123
coordinates (glossary) 3–647
cutout 2–1157
diffuse color 2–1115
diffuse level 2–1116
diffuse roughness 2–1117
displacement 2–1128
filter color 2–1120
flatten 2–262
glossiness 2–1119
map network drive dialog 2–1501
mapping coordinates 2–1026
metalness 2–1123
normal 2–263
opacity 2–1120
orientation 2–1122
reflection 2–1125
refraction 2–1126
self-illumination 2–1119
shininess 2–1119
shininess strength 2–1118
specular color 2–1117
specular level 2–1118
unfold 2–269
maps 2–1261, 2–1449, 3–190
2D 2–1224
3D 2–1261
activate all 1–48
camera map per pixel 2–1328
cellular 2–1263
checker 2–1237
color modifier 2–1290
combustion 2–1238
composite 2–1286
compositor maps 2–1285
custom Autodesk VIZ mental ray shaders 2–1309,
2–1312 to 2–1314, 2–1317 to 2–1322, 2–1326,
2–1328
cutout mapping 2–1157
deactivate all 1–48
deleting 2–1034
dent 2–1266
dragging and dropping 2–1043
falloff 2–1269
flat mirror 2–1293
glossary 3–648
gradient 2–1250
gradient ramp 2–1252
hierarchy (glossary) 3–650
light map 3–642
lume shaders 2–1310
map bias (glossary) 3–645
map channel (glossary) 3–646
map types 2–1217
mapped materials 2–1065
maps rollout 2–1092
marble 2–1272
mask 2–1287
mental ray shaders 2–1309
mix 2–1287
noise 2–1273
”other” (in the material/map browser) 2–1293, 2–1296
to 2–1297, 2–1300, 2–1309 to 2–1310, 2–1312 to
2–1314, 2–1317 to 2–1322, 2–1326, 2–1328
output 2–1290
Perlin marble 2–1275
planet 2–1275
procedural 3–669
projected 2–960
raytrace 2–1296
reflect/refract 2–1297
reflection and refraction 2–1293
RGB multiply 2–1289
RGB tint 2–1291
show in viewport 2–1065
smoke 2–1277
speckle 2–1278
splat 2–1278
stucco 2–1279
swirl 2–1256
thin wall refraction 2–1300
tiles 2–1257
to enhance material 2–1023
transparency 2–1157
413
414
Index
type button (Material Editor) 2–1069
vertex color 2–1291
waves 2–1280
wood 2–1281
MapScaler object-space modifier 2–137
MapScaler world-space modifier 2–47
marble map 2–1272
market-specific defaults 3–476
mask map 2–1287
mask viewport to safe region 3–508
masonry palette 3–365
master block parameters dialog (block controller) 2–716
master object 2–24
material
xref material 2–1216
material assignment
blocks 3–163
material attach options dialog (Boolean objects) 1–307
Material Editor 2–1029
bitmap 2–1231
maps rollout 2–1092
material ID channel 2–1064
menu bar 2–1048
options dialog 2–1056
tools 2–1047
type button 2–1069
material ID
and attaching objects 2–364
and Booleans 1–300
and editable meshes 2–355
and editable patches 2–327
and editable splines 1–282
glossary 3–649
material ID channel
flyout 2–1064
Material Editor 2–1064
material propagation 2–1052
material shaders rollout
mental ray material 2–1159
material studios 3–374 to 3–375
material to shader 2–1320
material xml exporter utility 2–1027
material/map browser 2–1032
material/map navigator 2–1067
materialbyelement modifier 2–140
materials 2–1015, 2–1020, 2–1409
adding to library 2–1027
advanced lighting override 2–1211
and attaching objects 2–364
and blocks 3–162
and styles 3–165
animating 2–1069
applying to an object 2–1025
applying to objects 2–1029
arch & design (mental ray) 2–1162
architectural 2–1150
Architectural Desktop 3–150
assign to selection 2–1061
assigning 3–150, 3–159
AutoCAD Architecture 3–150
blend 2–1201
blocks 3–163
car paint (mental ray) 2–1190
changing 3–150, 3–159
combined when attaching objects/splines 1–268, 2–357
components 2–1019
composite 2–1203
compound materials 2–1200
copying 2–1029
default material settings 2–1062
deleting 2–1034
designing 2–1015
DGS material (mental ray) 2–1193
double-sided 2–1204
dragging and dropping 2–1043
editable 2–1150
exporting 2–1027
get 2–1059
getting from library 2–1029
glass (mental ray) 2–1195
glossary 3–650
hierarchy (glossary) 3–650
ID channel 2–1064
lightscape 2–1215
loading from scene 2–1029
make copy 2–1062
material modifier 2–139
material name field 2–1068
material properties rollout (NURBS) 2–492
matte/shadow 2–1197
mental ray 2–1158
multi/sub-object 2–1205
name 2–1016, 2–1029
pick from object 2–1068
propagation 2–1052
put to library 2–1063
put to scene 2–1061
raytrace 2–1129
Revit 3–157, 3–159
saving 2–1027, 2–1029
scene 2–1061
select by 2–1059
shell 2–1211
shellac 2–1208
show end result 2–1066
SSS materials (mental ray) 2–1197
Index
standard 2–1083
subsurface scattering (SSS) materials (mental
ray) 2–1197
top-bottom 2–1209
type 2–1017, 2–1076
type button (Material Editor) 2–1069
types of 2–1076
updating 2–1061
using 1–6
using maps to enhance 2–1023
matte object (glossary) 3–651
matte/shadow material 2–1197
MAX file finder utility 3–199
MAXScript
about MAXScript 1–xi
command-line 3–469
glossary 3–651
listener 3–467
MAXScript listener 3–467
menu 3–353, 3–466
mini listener 3–387
open MAXScript 3–467
preferences settings 3–520
run script 3–467
running scripts from asset browser 3–191
MAXScript debugger dialog 3–469
MAXScript menu 3–353, 3–466
macro recorder 3–468
MAXScript listener 3–467
new script 3–467
open script 3–467
run script 3–467
measure distance 2–611
measuring 2–609, 2–620, 2–641
memory management 3–203
memory use 2–1454
mental ray
add/edit DBR host dialog 2–1453
arch & design material 2–1162, 2–1176, 2–1183
car paint material and shader 2–1190
DGS material 2–1193
distributed bucket rendering 2–1453
distributed bucket rendering rollout 2–1449
glass material 2–1195
material 2–1158
object properties 1–118
satellite processors 2–1453
satellites 2–1449
subsurface scattering materials 2–1197
mental ray Connection rollout 2–1080
mental ray indirect illumination rollout 2–962
mental ray light shader rollout 2–964
mental ray material
advanced shaders rollout 2–1161
material shaders rollout 2–1159
mental ray materials 2–1158
mental ray messages 2–1449
mental ray renderer 2–1403, 3–627
contour shading 2–1422
diagnostic tools 2–1448
displacement shading 2–1421
feature enhancements 2–1410
FGM file 3–625
final gather map 3–625
materials 2–1158
messages window 2–1412
MI files 3–651
object properties 1–118
PASS file 3–663
photon map 3–666
preferences 3–524
processing panel 2–1412
shadow map rollout 2–979
volume shading 2–1420
mental ray shaders 2–1080, 2–1307, 2–1309
3D displacement 2–1312
bump shader 2–1313
car paint shader 2–1190
connect parameter to shader dialog 2–1311
custom Autodesk VIZ shaders 2–1309
dgs material shader 2–1314
dielectric material shader 2–1317
environment shader 2–1318
height map displacement 2–1319
material to shader 2–1320
mr physical sky 2–941
shader list 2–1321
third-party shaders 2–1308
uv coordinate 2–1326
uv generator 2–1322
uv generator parameters rollout 2–1322
uv generator shaders rollout 2–1325
XYZ coordinate 2–1328
XYZ generator 2–1326
XYZ generator parameters rollout 2–1327
XYZ generator shaders rollout 2–1327
menu bar
curve editor 2–811
dope sheet 2–811
Material Editor 2–1048
Track View 2–811
menus
animation 3–351
controller 2–811
create 3–347
415
416
Index
customize 3–353
edit 3–345
file 3–345
graph editors 3–352
group 3–346
help 3–354
material editor copy and paste 2–1038
MAXScript 3–353, 3–466
menu bar 3–344
menus panel (customize UI) 3–483
modifiers 3–349
rendering 3–352
Schematic View 3–315
tools 3–346
views 3–346
merge 3–168
custom sections 2–220
effects 3–4
merge dialogs 2–1073, 3–110, 3–168, 3–170
scenes 1–14
shapes 2–220
merge from file
sweep modifier 2–220
merge xref controller 2–711
mesh
editable mesh 2–342
mesh select modifier 2–141
meshsmooth modifier 2–144
turbosmooth modifier 2–229
working with mesh sub-objects 2–344
mesh - definition 3–651
meshing parameters rollout (radiosity) 2–1393
meshsmooth modifier 2–144
meshsmooth selection dialog 2–420
messages 2–1449
metal highlights 2–1111
metal palette 3–365
metal shader 2–1098
metalness mapping 2–1123
methods (IK) 2–761
MI file 2–1444, 2–1449
MI files 3–651
middle button pan/zoom (viewports preferences) 3–508
MIDI time slider control (animation preferences) 3–515,
3–534
mini listener (MAXScript) 3–387
mini Track View (track bar) 3–391
mirror 1–366
main toolbar 1–366
mirror curve (NURBS) 2–502
mirror dialog 1–366
mirror modifier 2–150
mirror surface (NURBS) 2–529
mirroring joint parameters 2–790
mirroring objects 2–21
splines 1–282
mirror dialog 1–366
missing external files dialog 3–190
missing map coordinates dialog 2–1223
missing XRef paths dialog 3–119
mix map 2–1287
MNU files 3–481, 3–483, 3–491
modal (glossary) 3–652
modeless (glossary) 3–652
modeling
objects 1–5, 2–203
modes
Track View 2–811
modes menu
curve editor and dope sheet 2–811
modifier list 3–444
modifier sets menu 3–457
modifier stack 3–446
collapsing 2–33
editing 2–33
glossary 3–652
modifier stack rollout 2–31
right-click menu 3–452
using 2–31
using at sub-object level 2–37
modifiers 2–23, 2–27, 2–50, 2–52
affect region 2–52
and AutoCAD object transforms 3–146
and transforms 2–28
bend 2–54
bevel 2–56
bevel profile 2–59
camera correction 2–1008
camera map 2–42, 2–60
cap holes 2–63
conversion 2–232, 2–234 to 2–235
CrossSection 2–64
delete mesh 2–67
delete patch 2–67
delete spline 2–68
displace 2–70
displace mesh (world space) 2–42
displace NURBS (world space) 2–44
edit mesh 2–74
edit patch 2–75
edit poly modifier 2–77
edit spline 2–117
extrude 2–117
face extrude 2–119
FFD 2–120, 2–122
fillet/chamfer 2–125
Index
free-form deformation 2–120, 2–122
glossary 3–653
HSDS 2–126, 2–131
instanced 2–38, 2–40
lathe 2–132
lattice 2–134
list of 2–27
LS colors (world space) 2–45
LS mesh 2–137
make controller unique 2–837
MapScaler (object space) 2–137
MapScaler (world space) 2–47
material 2–139
materialbyelement 2–140
mesh select 2–141
meshsmooth 2–144
mirror 2–150
multires 2–151
noise 2–155
normal 2–157
normalize spline 2–159
NSurf sel 2–159
object space 2–52
patch select 2–163
PatchDeform 2–48, 2–165
PathDeform 2–48, 2–167
poly select 2–169
preserve 2–173
push 2–176
relax 2–177
renderable spline 2–179
ripple 2–180
shell 2–182
skew 2–186
slice 2–187
smooth 2–190
spherify 2–191
spline select 2–192
squeeze 2–193
STL check 2–195
stretch 2–197
substitute 2–201
surface 2–203
surface mapper (world space) 2–51
SurfDeform 2–52, 2–209
sweep 2–209, 2–218 to 2–219
symmetry 2–222
taper 2–224
tessellate 2–226
topology dependent 3–690
trim/extend 2–227
turbosmooth 2–229
turn to mesh 2–232
turn to patch 2–234
turn to poly 2–235
turn-to modifiers 2–232, 2–234 to 2–235
twist 2–237
unwrap UVW 2–239
UVW map 2–272, 3–151, 3–160
UVW Xform 3–151, 3–160
UVW XForm 2–283
vertexpaint 2–284
volume select 2–300
wave 2–304
world space 2–41
WSM 2–41
XForm 2–306
modifiers menu 2–47, 3–349
animation modifiers 2–52, 2–165, 2–167, 2–209
free-form deformers 2–120, 2–122
mesh editing 2–63, 2–67, 2–74, 2–117, 2–119, 2–157,
2–160, 2–190, 2–195, 2–222, 2–226, 2–284
nurbs editing 2–52, 2–68, 2–209, 2–446
parametric deformers 2–52, 2–54, 2–70, 2–134, 2–150,
2–155, 2–173, 2–176 to 2–177, 2–180, 2–186 to
2–187, 2–191, 2–193, 2–224, 2–237, 2–304, 2–306
patch/spline editing 2–64, 2–67 to 2–68, 2–75, 2–117,
2–125, 2–132, 2–159, 2–203, 2–209, 2–218 to
2–219, 2–227
radiosity modifiers 2–50, 2–200
selection modifiers 2–141, 2–163, 2–192, 2–300
subdivision surfaces 2–144, 2–200
surface 2–68, 2–139 to 2–140
UV coordinates 2–42, 2–51, 2–60, 2–272, 2–283
modify child keys 2–819
modify child keys (Track View) 2–804
modify datum dialog 3–543
modify ellipsoid dialog 3–544
modify global coordinate system dialog 3–544
modify panel 2–28, 3–444
modify subtree (Track View) 2–804, 2–818
modifying
at sub-object level 2–35
multiple objects 2–38
NURBS models 2–427
objects (basics) 1–127
more palette info dialog 3–384
more tool info dialog 3–385
motion blur 2–1415, 2–1426, 2–1439, 3–50, 3–638, 3–658,
3–677
motion panel 2–668, 2–670 to 2–671, 2–673, 2–766, 3–459
mounting a directory (network rendering) 2–1501
mouse sensitivity 3–508
MOV files 3–294
move 1–357
417
418
Index
move keys (Track View)
curve editor 2–864
dope sheet 2–844
edit keys 2–844
function curves 2–864
moving
cameras 1–6
keys 2–844 to 2–845
lights 1–6, 2–902
through time 2–656
to first frame 3–409
to last frame 3–411
to next frame 3–410
to previous frame 3–409
to transform keyframes 3–411
MPEG files 3–295
mr physical sky shader 2–941
MSP files 3–653
MTL
exporting 3–265
mtl files (wavefront) 3–263
multi-layer basic parameters 2–1099
multi-layer highlights 2–1112
multi-level shader 2–1121
multi-pass parameters (cameras)
depth of field 2–1001
multi-pass rendering effects 2–1403
multi-pass rendering effects (cameras) 2–1000
multi/sub-object material 2–195, 2–1205
multi-threading 3–512
multi-view
blocks 3–163
multicurve trim surface 2–557
multiplicity (glossary) 3–653
multiplier (glossary) 3–654
multiplier curve
applying 2–868
deleting 2–869
enable toggle 2–869
glossary 3–654
multiplier out-of-range types (Track View) 2–871
MultiRes modifier 2–151
multiresolution adaptive antialiaser 2–1149
multisided blend surface 2–556
multithreading and rendering 3–514
MVBlocks 3–163
N
N blend surface 2–556
name
object name 3–443
name and color rollout 3–443
for lights 2–893
named selection sets 1–63, 1–79 to 1–80, 2–37
names
material 2–1016
selecting by (Track View) 2–873
naming layers 3–327
naming materials 2–1029
natural light 2–899
navigating
3D space 1–19
blocks 3–164
camera and light views 1–31
hierarchies 2–740, 2–749
rendered panorama 2–1485
viewports 3–422
navigator (material/map) 2–1067
NavInfo (VRML97 helpers) 3–274
nested expressions (HTML help viewer) 3–574
net render control (common parameters rollout) 2–1405
network
working folder 3–174
network plug-in configuration 3–502
network rendering 2–1485, 2–1487, 3–672
advanced settings 2–1511
Backburner 2–1485
configuration 2–1487
email notification 2–1509
error messages 2–1496
glossary 3–655
how it works 2–1493
installing Autodesk VIZ for 2–1499
job dependencies 2–1508
job dialogs 2–1503
job handling 2–1511
manager 3–655
per-job timeouts 2–1511
pre-render MAXScript 2–1511
pre-render scripts 2–1485
server (glossary) 3–655
set up 2–1487
single computer 2–1514
starting 2–1494
TCP post number 2–1511
troubleshooting 2–1496
new
new command (file menu) 3–90
new Schematic View 3–325
new script 3–467
new Track View 2–882
new category dialog 3–546
Index
new feature in 2008 1–75, 1–85, 1–336, 1–338, 2–595,
2–638, 2–666, 2–711, 2–759, 2–938 to 2–939, 2–941,
2–1162, 2–1176, 2–1183, 2–1190, 3–97, 3–104, 3–106,
3–110 to 3–111, 3–130, 3–167, 3–170, 3–223, 3–242,
3–354, 3–420 to 3–421, 3–507 to 3–508, 3–524, 3–554,
3–560
new preset 3–141
new settings preset dialog 3–141
new Track View 2–882
next frame 3–410
next key 3–410
NGon 1–250
node (glossary) 3–655
node track (glossary) 3–655
noise
and terrain effects 2–156
noise controller 2–696
noise map 2–1273
noise modifier 2–155
noise rollout (2D) 2–1230
noise threshold 2–1250, 2–1252, 2–1273, 3–62, 3–68
non-vertical jambs 1–182
nonrelational NURBS surfaces 2–461
nonscaling object size 3–508
normal mapping 2–255, 2–263
normal projected curve 2–512
normalize spline modifier 2–159
normals 1–139
adjusting 1–139
aligning 1–383, 2–606, 2–783
flipping 1–139
normal modifier 2–157
scaling vertex and face 2–342
unifying 1–139
viewing and changing 1–139
note keys 2–839
note track 2–839 to 2–840
NSurf sel modifier 2–159
nth serial numbering 3–512
NTSC 3–512, 3–656
numeric calculator 1–10
numerical expression evaluator 1–10
NURBS
and modifiers 2–435
blend curve 2–501
blend surface 2–525
cap surface 2–537
chamfer curve 2–504
concepts 2–436
creating models 2–439
curve approximation 2–581
curve fit 2–499
curve point 2–563
curve sub-objects 2–479
CV curve 2–455
CV surface 2–448
definition 2–436
extrude surface 2–531
fixing problems with models 2–443
glossary 3–656
improving performance 2–444
introduction 2–424
lathe surface 2–533
mirror curve 2–502
mirror surface 2–529
offset curve 2–502
offset surface 2–528
point 2–562
point curve 2–451
point point 2–562
point surface 2–447
ruled surface 2–535
sub-object clone options dialog 2–579
surf point 2–564
surface approximation 2–581
tips 2–439, 2–445
transform curve 2–500
transform surface 2–524
U and V iso curves 2–511
U loft surface 2–538
using toolbox to create sub-objects 2–429
working with models 2–426
NURBS curves 2–451
creating from splines 2–460
fillet 2–506
glossary 3–656
NURBS models 2–424
creating 2–425
creating sub-objects 2–427
dependent sub-objects 2–433
display controls for 2–462
glossary 3–657
modifying 2–427
objects and sub-objects 2–424
overview 2–426
sub-object selection 2–430
working with 2–426
NURBS surfaces 2–446
and IGES 3–244
creating from geometric primitives 2–461
display line parameters 2–464
glossary 3–657
making rigid imported surfaces independent 3–244
surface approximation 2–581
NURMS 2–144, 2–349
419
420
Index
O
OBJ
exporting 3–263
obj files (wavefront) 3–263
object color dialog 1–133
object data flow 2–24
object display 1–49
object display culling 1–56
object instance 3–657
object motion blur (glossary) 3–658
object parameters rollout 2–786
copying/pasting/mirroring joint parameters 2–790
position/orientation/bind to follow 2–786
precedence 2–789
sliding and rotational joints 2–791
object properties 1–109, 2–1406
advanced lighting panel 1–115
edit menu 1–109
general panel 1–109
mental ray panel 1–118
user defined panel 1–119
object selection (introduction) 1–57
object space 3–658
object space modifiers 3–659
object transforms 2–755 to 2–756
object-layer relationships 3–327
object-space modifier 2–52
MapScaler 2–137
objects 1–127, 2–901
aligning 2–604
arraying 2–14
binding 2–764
color 1–133
combining 1–300
copies/instances/references 2–2
creating 1–131
exporting 3–173
freezing and unfreezing 1–66
glossary 3–657
make controller unique (Track View) 2–837
modeling 1–5
modifying multiple objects 2–38
object properties 1–109
properties 1–109
select and manipulate 2–611
select and move 1–357
select and rotate 1–357 to 1–358
selecting 1–57, 1–73
selecting by material 2–1059
techniques for cloning 2–3
objects to bake rollout 2–1474
obsolete file alert 3–94, 3–506
odd/even 3–512
offset
offset curve 2–502
offset point 2–562
offset surface 2–528
offset/absolute coordinate display 3–397
oiltank (extended primitive object) 1–167
omni light 2–915, 3–659
omnidirectional light 3–659
on/off controller 2–698
online help
using HTML help viewer 3–572
online reference
introduction 3–571
searching in 3–574
using HTML help viewer 3–572
opacity 2–1106
falloff (glossary) 3–660
mapping 2–1120
open
assembly 1–104
file (file menu) 3–91
from vault 3–93
group (group menu) 1–100
new bitmap file 2–1235
script (MAXScript menu) 3–467
open from vault 3–93
open recent 3–94
OpenEXR files
format 3–295
opening 3–299
saving 3–296
OpenGL driver 3–525, 3–528
opening screen 1–16
operands 1–300, 3–660
optical markers 3–660
optimizations rollout 2–980
optimize modifier 2–160
options 3–515
grid and snap 2–635
Material Editor 2–1056
rendering 3–512
viewports 3–508
options menu
Track View 2–816
options menus (Schematic View) 3–316, 3–318
orbit/pan
camera 2–999, 3–435
light 3–441
Oren-Nayar-Blinn basic parameters rollout 2–1099
Oren-Nayar-Blinn highlights 2–1110
organic surfaces 2–203
orientation
changing 1–341
Index
constraint 2–733
mapping 2–1122
origin (glossary) 3–661
origin point helper 3–135
origin slider 3–503
ortho snapping mode 2–628
orthographic view 3–661
orthographic views 1–22
out-of-range
keys (Track View) 2–849
types 2–838, 2–870 to 2–871, 3–662
outline 1–282
output map 2–1220, 2–1290
output rollout 2–1220, 2–1475
overlapping vertices and editable rollout (for object and
sub-objects) 1–262
overlays
xref scenes 3–112, 3–116
overriding (degradation) 1–32
overshoot (glossary) 3–662
overview of Autodesk VIZ 1–1
P
pack UVs dialog 2–264
paint (vertexpaint modifier) 2–284
paint deformation rollout 2–410
brush options 2–307
paint palette 3–365
paint selection region 1–88
paint weights 2–307
paintbox
vertexpaint modfier 2–289
painter options 2–307
PAL 3–512, 3–663
palette
vertexpaint modifier 2–298
palette properties dialog 3–384
paletted 3–512
pan
panning views 1–27
Track View 2–879
viewport controls 3–429
pan view 3–429
panels
create 3–443
customize UI 3–478 to 3–479, 3–481, 3–483, 3–485,
3–487
display 3–461
hierarchy 3–459
modify (command panel) 2–28, 3–444
motion 3–459
render scene 2–1387, 3–3
scripted utility 3–678
utilities (command panel) 3–464
panorama exporter 2–1482
render setup dialog 2–1483
viewer 2–1485
parallel projection 1–22
parameter (glossary) 3–663
parameter curve out-of-range types (Track View) 2–838
parameter space (glossary) 3–663
parameter wiring 2–735 to 2–736
parameters
HD Solver 2–786
wiring 2–735
parametric (glossary) 3–663
PASS file
mental ray renderer 3–663
paste
a material, map, bitmap, or color 2–1038
paste controller (Track View) 2–833
paste tangent handles 1–270
paste time/track (Track View) 2–853
pasting joint parameters 2–790
patch (glossary) 3–664
patch grids 2–339
quad patch 2–340
tri patch 2–341
patch select modifier 2–163
patch surfaces 2–203, 2–339
copying 2–314
deleting 2–314
PatchDeform
object-space modifier 2–165
world-space modifier 2–48
path constraint 2–722
path joints 2–780 to 2–781
PathDeform
object-space modifier 2–167
world-space modifier 2–48
paths
and AutoCAD xrefs 3–135
and XRefs 3–115, 3–119
configuring paths 1–13
configuring system paths 3–497, 3–501
configuring user paths 3–495, 3–498 to 3–500
glossary 3–664
moving a camera along 2–999, 2–1009
path commands (loft objects) 1–333
path parameters rollout 1–317
pattern background 2–1053
per-pixel camera map 2–1328
per-pixel camera projection 2–1328
percent snap 2–627
performance 2–1431, 2–1454, 3–671
and weight painting 2–308
controlling display performance 1–26
421
422
Index
improving in NURBS 2–444
while running Autodesk VIZ 3–587
Perlin marble map 2–1275
perspective
and orthographic viewport controls 3–425
glossary 3–665
matching 2–998
viewport control 3–433
perspective view 1–22
Phong highlights 2–1110
Phong shader 2–1097, 2–1099
photometric lights 1–6, 2–891, 2–921
area light sampling rollout 2–973
common lamp values 2–949
data file 2–948 to 2–949, 2–973
example of photometric data file 2–949
free area light 2–929
free linear light 2–927
free point light 2–925
IES standard file format 2–948
linear light rollout 2–972
mr sky light 2–938
mr sun light 2–939
photometric webs 2–946
preset lights 2–923
target area light 2–928
target linear light 2–926
target point light 2–923
web 2–946
web parameters 2–973
photometry 3–665
photon map 3–666
photon maps 2–1419, 2–1431
photorealistic renderer 2–1370
physical scale 3–74, 3–76 to 3–77, 3–79
PIC file format 3–287
PIC files 3–82, 3–301
pick material from object 2–1068
ping-pong (playback direction setting) 3–410
pivot door 1–224
pivot points 2–782
glossary 3–667
use pivot point center 1–364
using 2–38
pivoted window 1–233
pivots
adjust pivot rollout 2–783
adjust transform rollout 2–784
adjusting 2–746
and links 2–749
resetting 2–746
pixel 3–667
pixel data (rendered frame window) 2–1347
place highlight 1–384, 2–901
planar
constraints 1–355
make edges 2–357
make vertices 2–357
threshold 2–141, 2–342
plane 1–158
planet map 2–1275
plastic palette 3–365
plate match 2–1370
play selected 3–409
playback speed 2–656
playing
animated material previews 2–1069
animation 3–409
preview 2–1055
plug-ins
color selector (general preferences) 3–503
glossary 3–667
plug-in manager 3–475
sharing over a network 3–502
system path configuration 3–501
plugin.ini file 1–16
PMAP file 3–667
PNG file 3–302
point 2–562
glossary 3–667
helper object 2–619
sub-object 2–431, 2–562
point curve 2–451
glossary 3–668
on surface 2–517
sub-object 2–498
point point 2–562
point surface 2–447
glossary 3–668
sub-object 2–523
point3 XYZ controller 2–682
polar snapping mode 2–628
poly select modifier 2–169
polygon - definition 3–624
polygon count 2–595, 3–560
polyhedra 1–160
position
changing 1–341
controlling 2–666
ranges (Track View) 2–859
position constraint 2–726
position ranges (Track View) 2–859
position XYZ controller 2–699
position/orientation/bind to follow object 2–786
position/rotation threshold (IK) 2–765
Index
position/rotation/scale (PRS)
controller (Track View) 2–700
parameters (motion panel) 2–670
pre-render scripts
advanced settings 2–1485
command-line rendering 2–1523
network rendering 2–1503
precedence 2–789
child-to-parent 2–771
glossary 3–668
parent-to-child 2–772
setting manually 2–773
precedence, and keyboard shortcuts 3–570
precision and drawing aids 2–597
preferences 3–502
animation 3–515
asset browser 3–203
files 3–506
gamma 3–511
general settings 3–503
gizmos 3–518
inverse kinematics 3–517
MAXScript preferences 3–520
mental ray renderer 3–524
MIDI time slider control 3–534
preference settings dialog 3–503
Autodesk VIZ preferences 3–523
radiosity settings 3–522
rendering 3–512
Schematic View 3–318
strokes 3–561, 3–566
texture coordinates 3–503
viewports 3–508
premultiplied alpha 3–307
premultiplied alpha (glossary) 3–668
preserve map channels dialog 2–421
preserve modifier 2–173
preset height 3–373
preset lights 2–923
preset rendering options 2–1356
preset views 1–22
presets 2–1356, 3–141
rendering 2–1356
preview
animated material previews 2–1069
make 2–1055
play 2–1055
renderings 2–1480
save 2–1055
previewing
Shockwave 3D files 3–259
W3D files 3–259
previous frame 3–409
previous key 3–409
primitives
creating with keyboard 1–142
extended 1–159
standard 1–143
print setup (file menu) 3–187
print size wizard 2–1358
print viewport (file menu) 3–188
prism 1–177
PRJ files 3–218, 3–600
problems 3–581
problems caused by unit settings 3–590
procedural maps
dent 2–1266
glossary 3–669
wood 2–1281
process options rollout 2–1449
processing panel
mental ray 2–1412
processing parameters rollout (radiosity) 2–1390
program window 1–9
project file format 3–218
project folder 3–97
project workflow in Autodesk VIZ 1–1
projected window 1–234
projection - preferences 3–508
projector light 2–960, 3–670
projects - managing 3–89
prompt line 3–387
propagate materials to instances 2–1052
propagation
blocks 2–1052
instances 2–1052
materials 2–1052
styles 2–1052
properties
animation controllers 2–809
changing layer properties 3–339
controller (Track View) 2–847
dialog (Track View) 2–809
file menu 3–185
of light 2–896
viewports 3–418
waveform controllers 2–809
protractor helper object 2–621
ProxSensor (VRML97 helpers) 3–273
proxy object
XRef object 3–118
proxy object rollout
XRef object 3–118
PRS
PRS controller (Track View) 2–700
PRS parameters 2–670
423
424
Index
PS files 3–286
PSD file 3–302
pseudo color exposure control 3–79
publish Shockwave 3–255
publishing to
3D DWF 3–241
push
modifier 2–176
put material to scene 2–1061
put to library 2–1063, 2–1074
pyramid 1–155
Q
QOP files 3–488, 3–491
quad menu
Schematic View 3–325
quad menus 2–428, 2–823, 3–359, 3–362, 3–481, 3–488
animation 3–362
quad patch 2–340
quads panel (customize UI) 3–481
quadtree 3–670
quaternions 2–683
queue manager 3–670
queue monitor
client (glossary) 3–670
quick align 1–382
quick render 2–1356
quick start (batch rendering) 2–1513
quickslice 2–113, 2–403
QuickTime movies 3–294
R
radial dialogs
density 3–37
falloff 3–38
size 3–40
radiance file format 3–287
radiance map 3–287
radiance picture files 3–301
radiosity 2–898, 2–1377
and animation 2–1386
and architectural materials 2–1155
choosing radiosity 2–1376
controls 2–1387
how it works 2–1382
light painting rollout 2–1396
lighting analysis 2–1402
lighting analysis dialog 2–1402
meshing parameters rollout 2–1393
preferences settings 3–522
processing parameters rollout 2–1390
rendering parameters rollout 2–1397
skylight 2–916
statistics rollout 2–1401
workflows 2–1383
radiosity solution 2–1377, 2–1382
railing 1–182, 1–190
RAM player 3–309, 3–311
randomize keys 2–822
randomize keys utility (Track View) 2–848
ranges
editing 2–858
positioning 2–859
realigning with keys 2–859
recoupling 2–859
ranges toolbar
Track View - dope sheet 2–829
ray
render effect 3–15
ray tracing 2–1406, 2–1442
ray-traced
reflections and refractions 2–1414
shadows 2–1414, 2–1439, 3–681
ray-traced shadows
glossary 3–672
parameters 2–981
ray-trace bias (glossary) 3–671
RAYHOSTS file 2–1449, 3–672
specifying name and path 2–1449
raytrace
acceleration parameters 2–1146
adaptive antialiaser dialogs 2–1148
attenuation rollout 2–1304
basic material extensions rollout 2–1305
basic parameters rollout 2–1131
extended parameters rollout 2–1135
global settings 2–1144
map 2–1296
map and material 2–1147
maps rollout 2–1140
material 2–1129
messages 2–1144
raytracer controls rollout 2–1138
refractive material extensions rollout 2–1306
raytrace acceleration 2–1442, 3–671
parameters for BSP method 2–1454
parameters for Grid method 2–1454
parameters for Large BSP method 2–1454
raytrace map 2–1409
raytrace material 2–1406, 2–1409
raytracer parameters rollout 2–1302
raytracing acceleration parameters dialog 2–1146
real time (glossary) 3–672
real-world map size 2–1219
real-world mapping 2–1219
rebuild dialogs
CV curve 2–578
Index
CV surface 2–578
texture surface 2–579
recorder (MacroRecorder) 3–468
recouple ranges (Track View) 2–859
_recover.max files 1–18
recovered file 1–18
rectangle 1–246
rectangular area light 2–920
rectangular region 3–429
rectangular selection region 1–86
recursion depth 2–1144
recycled materials 3–367
red/green/blue (glossary) 3–673
redo 1–34, 1–91
redraw all views 1–47
reduce keys (Track View) 2–857
reference coordinate system 1–352, 1–361, 3–503
references 2–2, 2–862
glossary 3–673
overview 2–2
using XRefs 3–97
refine
editable spline segments 1–277
editable spline vertices 1–270
glossary 3–674
refining curves and surfaces (concept) 2–436
reflect/refract map 2–1297, 2–1409
reflectance display 2–1050
reflection maps 2–1125, 2–1293
reflections 2–1414
refraction maps 2–1126, 2–1293
refractions 2–1414
refresh content
communication center 3–404
refresh viewport display 1–47
regathering 2–1387
region 1–62
selection 1–62, 1–77, 1–86 to 1–88
selection method (edit menu) 1–89
selection preferences 3–559
zoom region (viewport control) 3–429
region net render 2–1509
relative snap 2–625, 2–630
relax dialog 2–422
relax mesh 2–332
relax modifier 2–177
relax tool dialog 2–265
relaxing texture coordinates 2–265
remove
ease or multiplier curve (Track View) 2–869
note track (Track View) 2–840
remove from track set 2–876
remove note track 2–840
rename objects tool 1–119
rename preview 2–1482
rename settings preset dialog 3–142
render
blowup 2–1353
common parameters rollout 2–1360
dialogs 2–1074, 2–1342, 2–1348, 3–307
presets 2–1356
render scene 2–1342, 2–1351
render type list (main toolbar) 2–1353
rendered output 3–53
rendering elements separately 2–1455
scripts rollout 2–1366
selected objects 2–1353
to texture 2–1467
vertex coloring 2–1291
VUE files 2–1455
render bounding box/selected dialog 2–1356
render effects 2–805, 3–2 to 3–4, 3–7, 3–11, 3–15, 3–19,
3–23, 3–27, 3–31, 3–41, 3–46 to 3–47, 3–49 to 3–50
render elements 2–1455, 2–1462
velocity 2–1465
render scene dialog
advanced lighting panel 2–1376
common panel 2–1360
render panel 2–1342
renderer panel 2–1368
render shortcuts toolbar 3–358
render to texture 2–1467, 2–1470, 2–1472, 2–1474 to
2–1475, 2–1477 to 2–1479
render to texture dialog 2–1472
add texture elements dialog 2–1479
automatic mapping rollout 2–1478
baked material rollout 2–1477
general settings rollout 2–1473
objects to bake rollout 2–1474
output rollout 2–1475
renderable spline modifier 2–179
rendered frame window 2–1345
rendered output 2–1485
renderer
configure preset dialog 2–1365
renderer panel
render scene dialog 2–1368
renderers 2–1367 to 2–1368, 2–1370, 2–1455
interactive 3–696
panorama exporter 2–1482
photorealistic 3–677
scanline 3–677
viewport 3–696
rendering 2–1341, 2–1405
and multithreading 3–514
batch 2–1513 to 2–1514, 2–1520
425
426
Index
command line 2–1521, 2–1523, 2–1527
commands 2–1351
don’t alias against background 3–512
elements separately 2–1462
email notification 2–1366
large images 3–514
on multiprocessor systems 3–514
portions of scene 2–998
preferences settings 3–512
presets 2–1356
render farms 2–1493
rendering method 3–553
scene 1–8
shapes 1–236
to texture 2–1467, 2–1470, 2–1472
watermark parameters 2–1376
with caustics (mental ray) 2–1406
with global illumination (mental ray) 2–1406
with motion blur 2–1415
with shadow maps 2–1415
rendering algorithms rollout 2–1442
rendering commands
render last 2–1357
rendering effects
multi-pass (cameras) 2–1000
rendering for print 2–1509
rendering menu 3–352
advanced lighting 2–1376
effects 3–2
environment 3–52 to 3–53
lighting analysis 2–1402
Material Editor 2–1029
material/map browser 2–1032
print size wizard 2–1358
radiosity 2–1387
RAM player 3–309
raytrace global exclude 2–1147
raytrace settings 2–1144
render 2–1351
render scene 2–1351
render to texture 2–1472
show last rendering 2–1357
rendering parameters rollout (radiosity) 2–1397
rendering properties
family elements 3–162
instanced objects 3–161 to 3–162
renderingmenu
panoramic exporter 2–1482
reparameterize dialog 2–579
repathing 3–174
replace (file menu) 3–171
replace dialogs 2–1075, 3–171
replace keys 2–864
replacing scenes 1–14
requirements
system (see Installation Guide) 1–ix
rescale world units utility 2–642
reset 3–91
reset background transform (viewport image) 1–43
reset material settings to default 2–1062
reset XForm (transform) utility 1–356, 2–755
reset position 3–146
reset tangents 1–270
resolution
glossary 3–674
resolve externally referenced file dialog 3–143
resource collector utility 3–200
resource information dialog 3–206
respect animation range 2–837
restore
active view (views menu) 1–35
to default settings (animation controllers) 3–515
restrict to axis buttons 1–355
restrict to x 1–355
restrict to xy plane 1–355
restrict to y 1–355
restrict to yz plane 1–355
restrict to z 1–355
restrict to zx plane 1–355
reverse time (Track View) 2–855
revert to startup UI layout 3–495
reviewing and editing strokes 3–565
Revit
files 3–152
materials 3–157
objects 3–152
settings 3–155
workflow 3–157
Revit material
Autodesk VIZobjects 3–160
RGB (glossary) 3–673
RGB files 3–307
RGB maps
multiply 2–1289
tint 2–1291
right-click menus 3–359
additional quad menus 3–362
animation 3–362
customize display 3–473
display option 3–508
display preference setting 3–508
HTML help viewer 3–577
material editor copy and paste 2–1038
modifier stack 3–452
named selection sets 1–82
NURBS 2–428
Index
sample slot 2–1042
Schematic View selection 3–325
snaps 2–630
spinner 2–651
Track View 2–808, 2–823
Track View toolbar 2–887
viewports 3–418
XRef entities list (XRef object dialog) 3–109
XRef files list (XRef object dialog) 3–107
rigid surfaces (NURBS) 2–435
ring
render effect 3–11
ringwave 1–175
ripple
modifier 2–180
RLA files 3–304
RMAT materials
in Autodesk VIZ 3–151
roll angle manipulator 2–954
roll viewport controls
camera 3–434
light 3–439
rollout
distributed bucket rendering 2–1449
rollouts 1–10, 2–783, 2–785
inverse kinematics 2–792
maps 2–1092
materials 2–1088
paint deformation 2–410
rotate 1–357
rotating
editable mesh edges 2–357
lights 2–902
views 1–27
rotation
controlling 2–667
increment (viewport preference) 3–508
rotational joints 2–781, 2–791
rotoscoping (glossary) 3–674
roughness 2–1107
roughness mapping 2–1117
RPF files 3–305
RPS files 2–1356
rubber palette 3–365
ruled surface sub-object 2–535
run script 3–467
RVT link 3–674
S
safe frames 3–419, 3–557, 3–696
safe video threshold 2–1054
sample object 2–1052
preview 2–1055
UV tiling 2–1053
video color check 2–1054
sample range (glossary) 3–675
sample rate 2–1423
sample slot 2–1040, 2–1042
active 2–1061
adding bitmap 2–1231
and material name 2–1016
background 2–1053
backlight 2–1053
cool 2–1062
default 2–1062
display adjustment 2–1056
hot 2–1062
right-click menu 2–1042
sample type
cube 2–1052
cylinder 2–1052
sphere 2–1052
sample UV tiling 2–1053
sampling 3–675
filters 2–1423
sampling quality rollout 2–1423
thresholds 2–1423
satellites 2–1449
save commands
hold 1–92
save (file menu) 3–94
save active view (views menu) 1–35
save as (file menu) 3–95
save copy as (file menu) 3–96
save custom UI scheme 3–493
save preview (Material Editor) 2–1055
save selected (file menu) 3–96
scene/settings in buffer 1–92
save copy as 3–96
save custom UI scheme 3–493
saving
backup on save 3–506
compressed file 3–506
files from previous versions 3–94
material 2–1027
materials 2–1029
thumbnail image 3–506
UI configuration on exit 3–503
scale 1–358
scale synchronization between AutoCAD and
Autodesk VIZ 3–126
scale values (Track View) 2–865
scaling 1–359
changing 1–341
deformation 1–325
face and vertex normals 2–342
function curves 2–864
427
428
Index
keys (Track View) 2–845, 2–864
rendering preferences 3–512
scale XYZ controller 2–701
time (Track View) 2–855
values (Track View Curve Editor) 2–865
scaling objects 1–358
scanline renderer 2–1370, 3–677
scanline rendering 2–1442
scatter 1–287
scene extents 3–677
scene motion blur (glossary) 3–677
scene state
camera properties 3–207
camera transforms 3–207
delete 3–209
environment 3–207
layer assignments 3–207
layer properties 3–207
light properties 3–207
light transforms 3–207
materials 3–207
object properties 3–207
rename 3–209
restore 3–209
save 3–209
selected parts 3–207
scene-in use tool right-click menu 3–382
scene-unused tool right-click menu 3–382
scenegraph 3–255
scene–in use palette 3–367
scenes 1–4
animating 1–8
archiving 1–17
backing up 1–17
importing 1–14
managing 3–89
merging 1–14
rendering 1–8
replacing 1–14
scene–unused palette 3–367
Schematic View
delete Schematic View 3–325
display floater 3–324
displaying in viewport 3–418
glossary 3–678
list views 3–317
menus 3–315
new Schematic View 3–325
preferences dialog 3–318
right-click menu (selection) 3–325
Schematic View window 3–311
selecting with 1–66
toolbars 3–322
using 3–313
screen 3–424
script
and scripting definitions 3–678
script controller (Track View) 2–702
scripts
debugging 3–469
path for additional 3–501
scripts rollout 2–1366
scrolling panels/toolbars 1–10
searching
defining search terms 3–574
for files 3–199
for help topics 3–574
using nested expressions 3–574
section 1–255
seed value (glossary) 3–678
segment (glossary) 3–679
segments shadow mode 2–1439
select 1–360
select all (edit menu) 1–84
select and link button 2–746
select and manipulate 2–611
select background image dialog 1–40
select bitmap image file dialog 2–1235
select invert (edit menu) 1–84
select keys by time (Track View) 2–850
select layers dialog 3–143
select linked objects dialog 3–144
select none (edit menu) 1–84
select object (main toolbar) 1–73
select objects dialog 1–74
select similar 1–85
select time (Track View) 2–852
selection floater 1–76
select and move 1–357
select and non-uniform scale 1–359
select and rotate 1–357
select and scale 1–358
select and squash 1–360
select and transform buttons
move 1–357
non-uniform scale 1–359
rotate 1–357
scale flyout 1–358
squash 1–360
uniform scale 1–359
select and uniform scale 1–359
select bitmap image file dialog 2–1235
select by 1–84
color 1–84
layer 1–85
material 2–1059
Index
material ID 1–277, 1–282, 2–327, 2–355, 2–580
name 1–74, 2–873
name (button) 1–74
name (edit menu) 1–85
select similar 1–85
smoothing group 2–327, 2–355
time (Track View) 2–850
vertex color 2–349
select datum dialog 3–546
select ellipsoid dialog 3–547
select global coordinate system dialog 3–547
select keys 2–797
select keys by time 2–822
select menu (Schematic View) 3–315
select objects dialog 1–74
select objects in current layer 3–339
select region
crossing 1–90
lasso 1–87
paint 1–88
window 1–89
window/crossing 1–90
select similar 1–85
select time (Track View) 2–852
selecting
and blocks 3–164
basics 1–60
by ID 1–277, 1–282, 2–327, 2–355
by material 2–1059
by name 1–63
by region 1–62
hierarchies 2–748
mesh sub-objects 2–344
named selection sets 1–63
objects 1–57, 1–60
open editable mesh edges 2–357
selection filters 1–64
shadow type 2–951
shape sub-objects 1–262
successive vertices 1–270
time 2–852
with Schematic View 1–66
with Track View 1–65
selection center (use center flyout) 1–364
selection commands 1–72
selection filter (main toolbar) 1–77
selection floater (tools menu) 1–76
selection lock toggle 3–395
selection region 1–77, 1–86 to 1–88
selection rollout
edit poly modifier 2–83
editable mesh 2–345
editable poly 2–370
selection sets 1–63, 1–77, 1–79, 2–40
selection statistics 2–595
self-illumination 2–1097 to 2–1099, 2–1104
self-illumination (glossary) 3–679
self-illumination mapping 2–1119
server setup and managing (network rendering) 2–1494
set current layer to selection’s layer 3–339
set key 2–649, 3–407
set project folder 3–97
setting up
directories 2–1499
rendering software 2–1499
your scenes 1–4
settings
communication center 3–402
Revit 3–155
SGI image file formats 3–307
shade selected (views menu) 1–45
shaded viewports 1–49
shader basic parameters rollout 2–1084
shader list 2–1321
shaders 2–1084, 2–1086, 2–1097 to 2–1100, 2–1102,
2–1121
car paint (mental ray) 2–1190
custom Autodesk VIZ 2–1309
for standard materials 3–680
lume 2–1310
LumeTools 2–1310
mental ray 2–1307, 2–1309, 2–1320 to 2–1321, 3–679
mental ray (third party) 2–1308
mr physical sky 2–941
shading and lights 2–1019
shading type 2–1017 to 2–1018
shadow maps 2–982, 3–681
mental ray 2–979
shadow parameters (lights) 2–956
shadow types 2–951
shadows 2–1414
shadow maps 2–1415, 2–1439, 3–681, 3–701
shadow modes 2–1439
shadows rollout 2–1439
shadows and rendering 2–951
shadows map (baking) 2–1471
shape check utility 1–239
shape commands (loft objects) 1–334
shape sub-objects
cloning selections 1–262
selecting 1–262
shape-file format 3–219
ShapeMerge object 1–297
shapes 1–236, 1–255, 3–682
creating from edges 2–93, 2–381
lofting 1–236
429
430
Index
rendering 1–236
sharing
materials 2–1052
sharing a directory (network rendering) 2–1501
sharing plug-ins with a network 3–502
shell material 2–1211
shell modifier 2–182
shellac material 2–1208
shift+clone 2–3, 2–8 to 2–11
animating 2–12
shininess 2–1152
shininess and shininess strength 2–1118 to 2–1119, 3–634
Shockwave 3D files
analyzing 3–260
exporting 3–255
previewing 3–259
shortcuts 3–569
shortcuts - default keyboard
Track View 2–804
unwrap UVW 2–257
show
show curves button 3–393
show dependencies (views menu) 1–45
show end result (Material Editor) 2–1066
show end result (modifier stack) 2–32
show frame numbers (viewports preference) 3–508
show ghosting (views menu) 1–44
show home grid (views menu) 2–623
show key times (views menu) 1–44
show last rendering (rendering menu) 2–1357
show map in viewport (Material Editor) 2–1065
show safe frame 3–696
show selected key statistics (Track View) 2–879
show tangents (Track View) 2–867
show UI 3–474
show vertices as dots (viewports preference) 3–508
transform gizmo 1–43
show icon control 2–918, 2–920
show safe frame 3–557
show selected key statistics (Track View) 2–879
show statistics 2–595
show tangents (Track View) 2–867
SHP files 3–219, 3–683
shutter speed 2–1426
sibling
go forward 2–1067
go to 2–1067
Simes luminaires palette 3–374, 3–379
simple shadow mode 2–1439
single-axis constraints 1–355
size of grid square 3–398
sketch tool dialog 2–266
sketch UVWs 2–255
skew modifier 2–186
skin parameters rollout (loft objects) 1–319
sky 2–932
skylight 2–916
radiosity 2–916
skylight (glossary) 3–683
slave controller 2–678
slave parameters dialog (block controller) 2–717
slice
editable mesh edges 2–357
editable mesh vertices 2–357
modifier 2–187
slide keys 2–845
slider, time/frame 3–389
sliding door 1–225
sliding joints 2–780 to 2–781, 2–791
sliding window 1–235
smart scale 1–358
smart select 1–73, 1–77
smoke map 2–1277
smooth modifier 2–190
smooth rotation controller 2–704
smoothing groups 3–132, 3–683
assigning faces to 2–355
assigning patches to 2–327
viewing and changing 1–139 to 1–140
SMPTE (glossary) 3–683
snap frames (Track View) 2–841
snap options 2–607
snaps
2D/2.5D/3D 2–625
and cuts 2–365
grid and snap settings 2–629
options/settings 2–607, 2–635
setting standard 2–606
snap commands 2–624
snap override 2–634
snaps toggle
angle 2–626
percent 2–627
spinner 2–627
snaps toolbar 3–359
ortho snapping mode 2–628
polar snapping mode 2–628
snapshot 1–371
cloning objects over time 2–13
dialog 1–371
snapshot dialog 1–371
soft selection 2–815
soft selection manager 2–822
soft selection rollout
brush options 2–307
soft selection rollouts 2–310, 2–490
Index
software display driver 3–525, 3–527
sort order (select objects dialog) 1–74
sort shadow mode 2–1439
sound
options dialog (Track View) 2–810
sound plug-in (animation preference) 3–515
threshold 2–713
VRML97 helpers 3–275
spacing tool 1–372, 2–21
special controls 1–10
special-purpose controllers 2–664
specification 3–271, 3–637
specifying
default controller values 2–662
default controllers 2–662
speckle map 2–1278
specular
color 3–684
color mapping 2–1117
level mapping 2–1118
specular highlight 2–1099
specular highlights
anisotropic 2–1109
Blinn 2–1110
metal 2–1111
multi-layer 2–1112
Oren-Nayar-Blinn 2–1110
Phong 2–1110
specular map (baking) 2–1471
sphere
object 1–147
SphereGizmo helper 3–87
spherical area omni light 2–918
spherify modifier 2–191
spindle 1–169
spinner right-click menu 2–651
spinners 1–10
spinner snap 2–627
spiral stair 1–208
splash screen 1–16
splash.bmp file 1–16
splat map 2–1278
spline select modifier 2–192
splines 1–239, 2–203
adding 1–277, 1–282
arc 1–248
attach 1–270, 1–282
circle 1–246
cleaning up segments 1–282
copying (outline) 1–282
deleting 1–282
donut 1–249
editable splines 1–262, 1–268, 1–270, 1–277, 1–282
ellipse 1–247
explode 1–282
glossary 3–684
helix 1–254
line 1–244
making coincident 2–203
mirror 1–282
NGon 1–250
rectangle 1–246
star 1–251
text 1–252
split mesh 2–357
split scan lines 2–1509
spotlights
parameters 2–958
spotlight distribution (photometric lights) 2–944
spring back - setting (IK) 2–769
squash 1–360
squeeze modifier 2–193
SSS materials (mental ray) 2–1197
stack 2–31, 2–33, 2–37, 3–652
stack.see modifier stack 3–446
stairs 1–182, 1–204
l-type 1–205
spiral 1–208
straight 1–212
u-type 1–216
standard helpers 2–611
compass 2–622
dummy 2–612
expose transform 2–612
exposetm 2–612
grid 2–615
point 2–619
protractor 2–621
tape 2–620
standard lights 2–891, 2–908
skylight 2–916
standard material 2–1083
standard materials
shaders (glossary) 3–680
standard primitives 1–143
box 1–144
cone 1–145
cylinder 1–150
GeoSphere 1–149
plane 1–158
pyramid 1–155
sphere 1–147
teapot 1–156
torus 1–153
tube 1–152
standard snaps 2–606
431
432
Index
standard user grids 2–615
star 1–251
lens effects 3–27
starting
manager and server (network rendering) 2–1494
network rendering 2–1494
startup files 1–16
startup layout - return to 3–495
startup screen 1–16
startup script (glossary) 3–685
startup scripts
path for additional 3–501
statistics 3–560
statistics rollout (radiosity) 2–1401
status bar controls 3–387
main window 3–389
Track View 2–872
steps
and editable patch 2–332
and editable spline 1–262
stereolithography (STL) 3–261
stitch tool dialog 2–268
stitch UVWs 2–255
STL
exporting files 3–262
importing files 3–261
STL check modifier 2–195
stop animation playback 3–409
straight stair 1–212
Strauss basic parameters rollout 2–1100
streak
render effect 3–31
stretch modifier 2–197
strokes 3–567
defining 3–563
preferences 3–561, 3–566
reviewing and editing strokes 3–565
viewport preferences 3–508
stucco map 2–1279
studio palettes 3–374
studios 3–374, 3–377
styles
and Architectural Desktop objects 3–165
propagation 2–1052
sub-materials 3–503
sub-object
chamfer curve (NURBS) 2–504
common controls 2–467
glossary 3–686
material assignment 2–1044
selection 1–70, 2–35, 2–37, 2–344, 2–430
subdivide 2–332, 2–357, 2–365
subdivide modifier 2–200
subdivide modifier (world space) 2–50
subdivision displacement rollout
editable poly 2–409
subdivision surface rollout
editable poly 2–406
subdivision surfaces 2–126, 2–309
substitute modifier 2–201
subsurface scattering (SSS) materials (mental ray) 2–1197
subtractive opacity (glossary) 3–686
subtree - modifying (Track View) 2–818
summary info 3–184
sun 2–930
sunlight 1–336
sunlight (glossary) 3–687
super black 3–512, 3–687
superimposed material 2–1208
supersampling 2–1078, 3–687
surf point 2–564
surface approximation 2–581, 2–587 to 2–588
surface constraint 2–721
surface joints 2–780 to 2–781
surface properties rollout (editable objects) 2–347, 2–355
surfaces
NURBS surfaces 2–446
surface approximation (NURBS) 2–581, 2–587 to
2–588, 2–594
surface deform (SurfDeform) 2–52
surface edge curve 2–519
surface mapper (world space) 2–51
surface modifier 2–64, 2–203
surface offset curve 2–510
surface parameters (loft objects) 1–315
surface point 2–564
surface properties rollout (editable objects) 1–282,
2–327, 2–347, 2–349, 2–352, 2–355
surface sub-objects - creating 2–520
surface tools 2–64, 2–203
surface trimming 2–426
surface-curve intersection point 2–567
surface-surface intersection curve 2–508
SurfDeform modifiers 2–209
SurfDeform modifiers 2–52, 2–209
swap
colors 2–1071
maps 2–1070
sweep modifier 2–209
extract 2–219
merge from file 2–220
pick shape 2–218
swirl map 2–1256
symmetry modifier 2–222
synchronizing animated bitmap with the scene 2–1070
system paths 3–501
Index
system unit
setup dialog 3–549
units mismatch dialog 3–551
systems 1–335
daylight 1–336
sunlight 1–336
T
tags (time) 3–398
tangent handles 1–270
tangent types 2–672
tangents
glossary 3–687
locking 2–868
type of 2–676
tape helper object 2–620
taper modifier 2–224
targa files 3–307
targa files (glossary) 3–668
target
camera 3–432
lights 2–909, 2–912, 2–923, 2–925 to 2–926, 2–928
target area light 2–928
target camera 2–989
target distance 2–1416
target linear light 2–926
target map slot 2–1472
target objects - look at controller 2–695
target point light 2–923
TCB
controllers 2–705
glossary 3–688
teapot 1–156
techniques
NURBS 2–439
tee 1–261
teeter deformation 1–326
temp
path for 3–501
temporary
buffer 1–92
IGES files 3–246
tension/continuity/bias (glossary) 3–688
terminating chains 2–774
terminators 2–760
terminology (inverse kinematics) 2–760
terrain 1–308
creating effects with noise modifier 2–156
glossary 3–689
tessellate
faces 2–357
tessellate modifier 2–226
tessellate selection dialog 2–422
texel 3–689
text 1–252
texture
baked elements 2–1470
baking 2–1467
rendering to 2–1467, 2–1470, 2–1472
target map slot 2–1472
texture baking - shell material 2–1211
textures
and imported mask bitmaps 3–216
and material properties 2–492
and NURBS models 2–445
baking 2–1472
disable texture map display 3–553
pick texture option (edit UVWs dialog) 2–245
pinning 2–239
TGA files 3–307
thin wall refraction map 2–1300, 2–1409
threshold 1–140, 2–190
adaptive control 2–1149, 2–1296
and HD IK solver 2–766
color 2–1278 to 2–1279
edge visibility 2–352
explode angle 2–357
noise 2–1250, 2–1252, 2–1273, 3–62, 3–68
optimize 2–160
planar 2–141, 2–342
position/rotation (IK) 2–765
reduce keys 2–857
safe video 2–1054
sound 2–713
super black 3–512
supersampling 2–1078
use secondary (IK) 3–517
weld 1–270, 2–203, 2–245, 2–269, 2–357, 3–228, 3–261
thumbnails
open file 3–91
viewport image 3–506
ticks (glossary) 3–689
TIFF files 3–82, 3–308
tile/mirror (glossary) 3–690
tiles map 2–1257
time
controlling 2–654
copy (Track View) 2–853
cutting 2–853
deleting 2–852
editing 2–851
fitting into 2–855
insert (Track View) 2–855
moving through 2–656
paste (Track View) 2–853
removing 2–855
rescaling active time segment 2–655
433
434
Index
reverse (Track View) 2–855
scale (Track View) 2–855
selecting 2–852
setting time segments 2–655
specifying active time segment 2–655
time configuration button 3–412
time ruler (Track View) 2–804
time slider 2–804, 2–842, 3–389
time tags 3–398 to 3–399
time controls 3–405
time menu, Track View 2–816
time paste (Track View) 2–853
time reverse (Track View) 2–855
time ruler (Track View) 2–804
TimeSensor (VRML97 helpers) 3–278
tips
adjusting radiosity 2–1155
camera correction 2–1009
copying keys between frames 3–391
flipping face normals 2–356
magnifying camera adjustment 3–433
maintaining consistent camera lens size 2–992
NURBS 2–439
output size and rendering speed 2–1360
playing animations in all viewports 3–410
propagating layer properties 3–329
radiosity and walkthroughs 2–1386
selecting faces to hide 2–346
testing radiosity 2–1386
textures (NURBS) 2–445
turning off material propagation 3–455
updating information in light lister 2–905
using file link manager 3–122
VRML97 3–269
toggles
angle snap 2–626
animation mode 2–648, 3–405
auto key mode 2–648, 3–405
auto material propagation 2–1052
degradation override 1–32
enable ease or multiplier curve 2–869
full screen 3–424
key mode 3–411
maximize viewport 3–424
percent snap 2–627
selection lock 3–395
shortcut keys 3–570
spinner snap 2–627
window/crossing 1–90
toggling dialogs 3–342
tool palettes 3–363
cameras palette 3–371
concrete palette 3–365
doors / windows palette 3–365
ERCO luminaires 3–379
ERCO luminaires palette 3–374
fabrics palette 3–365
finishes palette 3–365
flooring palette 3–365
fluorescent palette 3–371
gloss palette 3–365
high inten