3D Scene Options Dialog   Surface Master Version 13.6.27 -- Surface Master, Llc. 2013

3D Scene Options Dialog

 
What is this Dialog used For?
 
We sincerely hope that you will spend quite a bit of time using Surface Master.  In recognition of this Surface Master includes a number of options that you may use to tailor the 3D Model Window to (hopefully) enhance both your enjoyment and for more practical reasons to support your workflow.  None of the options that are available in this dialog are designed to directly modify how the basic capabilities of Surface Master actually work (e.g. they do not change the behavior of fundamental Tools such as Paint or Retouch).  However, the majority of these options are intended to address a number of awkward situations that are inherent in most 3D content development applications.  In this dialog you will find a number of options that might be thought of as being targeted in three general areas:
 
 
  • Orientation Feedback:  One of the most common challenges to working in a simulated 3D environment is the sparsity of clues that provide robust indications of how the view of the model is oriented.  In the real world our bodies have evolved such sophisticated feedback mechanisms that we very seldom experience a moments doubt regarding how our bodies (and our environment) are oriented.  However these clues are not limited to the visual system but come more from sophisticated sensors in our inner ears.  Providing a strictly visual set of clues that are not totally objectionable is more challenging. 
 
When developing a sophisticated Surface, an intuitive recognition of the current orientation is vital.  For example many of the shapes that you will evolve are likely to have a very simple geometry that can be symmetrical from many directions.  These shapes typically do not provide inherit orientation clues (i.e. cubes, spheres and cylinders), but they were created with a specific geometrical orientation.  For example, if your goal is to evolve a simple cube into a representation of a shipping crate, you are likely to need to include a 'this way up" decoration.  If the final scene includes animation and voice where one character comments that another character is carrying the package upside down, but your decoration clearly contradicts this then the overall content development workflow would be degraded and you client might not be totally satisfied.
 
In Surface Master we have adopted several mechanisms that we hope partially address this fundamental requirement.  Some of these mechanisms are embodied within our primary Camera System, but others can be selectively added via this Dialog:   These include:
 
  • Show 3D Grid.  It is quite common for a 3D content rendering system to include a simple 'ground plane grid' that indicated where the zero elevation plane is.  While this is quite useful, it does not really provide many clues related to the actual viewing direction (e.g. looking East has about the same visualization as looking South).  Surface Master extends this common approach to show Three Orientation Planes.  When you elect to display this type of decoration, Surface Master will show:
 
  • an Elevation Grid.  Surface Master will detect the orientation of your current view and add an additional "Prop Model" to the rendering to indicate the X-Z plane in the 3D Visualization.  In order to reduce the chance that this additional element would obstruct your view of the actual project Surfaces, Surface Master will always place this decoration behind the project Surfaces regardless of which Camera that you current use.
 
  • Surface Master has supplied two 'prop' models that would be used for the Top or Bottom elevation Grids. By default both of these models are simple rectangular grids that are composed of a number of small cylinders that are color coded with lighter shades toward the positive Z direction and darker shades toward the negative Z direction.  The same shading mechanism is used to indicate increasing values in the X direction.  We believe that this color coding will provide an additional clue to the orientation.  These models are standard LightWave models, so you have the capability to either modify or replace our standard Prop models.  For example, you might feel that it is more useful to have the 'Bottom' become a wood or tile floor, while the "Top" model be a simple plane with a sky texture.  You may want to review the Customizable 3D Props topic for a more complete explanation regarding how these modifications may be performed.
 
  • a Height Grid.  There are many applications (such as Power Point or Excel) that have the capability to produce 3D Bar Graphs.  Most of these applications have recognized that a single 'ground plane' is often insufficient to provide appropriate clues to interpret the data.  Those applications can also include an additional vertically oriented grid behind the 3D bars.  For those applications this additional height grid serves as an aid to the determination of the maximum values for each 3D Bar.  In our environment knowing the actual height of a Surface is probably not very important, but we believe that this same type of decoration can serve as very useful clue regarding how the X and Y axis are aligned. In order to reduce the chance that this additional element would obstruct your view of the actual project Surfaces, Surface Master will always be place this decoration behind the project Surfaces regardless of which Camera that you current use.
 
  • Surface Master has supplied two 'prop' models that would be used for the Front or Back elevation Grids. By default both of these models are simple rectangular grids that are composed of a number of small cylinders that are color coded with lighter shades toward the positive Y direction and darker shades toward the negative Y direction.  The same shading mechanism is used to indicate increasing values in the X direction.  We believe that this color coding will provide an additional clue to the orientation. These models are standard LightWave models, so you have the capability to either modify or replace our standard Prop models.  For example, you might feel that it is more useful to have the 'Back' become a draped curtain, while the "Font" model be a simple plane with a texture of rows of theater seats.  You may want to review the Customizable 3D Props topic for a more complete explanation regarding how these modifications may be performed.
 
  • a Side Grid. There are many applications (such as Power Point or Excel) that have the capability to produce 3D Bar Graphs. Most of these applications have recognized that a single 'ground plane' is often insufficient to provide the appropriate clues to interpret the data. Those applications can also include an additional vertically oriented grid to the right or left of  the 3D bars. For those applications this additional height grid serves as an aid to the determination of the maximum values for each 3D Bar.  In our environment knowing the actual height of a Surface is probably not very important, but we believe that this same type of decoration can serve as very useful clue regarding how the Y and Z axis are aligned. In order to reduce the chance that this additional element would obstruct your view of the actual project Surfaces, Surface Master will will always be place this decoration behind the project Surfaces regardless of which Camera that you current use.
 
  • Surface Master has supplied two 'prop' models that would be used for the Front or Back elevation Grids. By default both of these models are simple rectangular grids that are composed of a number of small cylinders that are color coded with lighter shades toward the positive Y direction and darker shades toward the negative Y direction.  The same shading mechanism is used to indicate increasing values in the X direction.  We believe that this color coding will provide an additional clue to the orientation.  These models are standard LightWave models, so you have the capability to either modify or replace our standard Prop models.  For example, you might feel that it is more useful to have the 'Back' become a draped curtain, while the "Font" model be a simple plane with a texture of rows of theater seats.  You may want to review the Customizable 3D Props topic for a more complete explanation regarding how these modifications may be performed.
 
  • Show 3D Axis.  Almost all 3D Content development applications have the capability to include an 'Axis decoration' in their visualizations. Surface Master also supports this common capability.  If you select this option, Surface Master will add an additional 'Axis Prop' to the rendering. Unlike the logic that Surface Master uses to support the three orientation grids, Surface Master will not attempt to place the Axis prop behind the surfaces.  Instead Surface Master will always position this decoration at a predefined point that indicates the center of the X dimension, the minimum point in the Y dimension and the minimum point in the Z direction. In essence this is the bottom front of the project in world coordinates.
 
  • Surface Master has supplied a 'prop' model that would be used for the Axis model.  By default this model has a texture 'Earth' sphere with a Red arrow pointing in the positive X direction, a Green arrow pointing in the positive Y direction and a Blue arrow pointing in the positive Z direction.  You may want to review the Customizable 3D Props topic for a more complete explanation regarding how these modifications may be performed.
  • Informational Feedback:
 
  • Show 3D Lights.  If you wish you can ask Surface Master to include the decorative models for each of the Front, Left and Right Lights.  The inclusion or absence of these models in your visualization has absolutely no effect on the operation of Surface Master and given the predefined locations where Surface Master places these light sources, individual models would not always lie within the viewing frustum of the camera.  Aside from your possible enjoyment, the inclusion of these models offers only two benefits:
 
  • They can serve as a visual reminder about which type of light you have chosen at each location.
 
  • Surface Master will automatically set the "Luminance" attribute for every Surface in the light model to agree with the 'strength' attribute of the light.  However, this can be a pretty subtle effect.
 
Surface Master has supplied a decorative model for the three types of Lights (e.g. Point  ,   Directional   and Spot ).  As it typical with the other decorative models, these are all LightWave models so you are completely free to modify them as you see fit.  You may want to review the Customizable 3D Props topic for a more complete explanation regarding how these modifications may be performed.
 
  • Show Data Status Overlay Panel. If you wish, Surface Master can overlay an informational panel at the lower left corner of the 3D Visualization window.  This information panel would show seven items about the current surface, operation and camera.  Since Surface Master understands that the visibility of any item is dependent upon the contrast between an item and the surrounding Pixels, you are free to choose any color for the informational text.  This area of the screen would report:
 
  • The current cursor location.
  • The number of object in the current project along with the current Surface.
  • The UV Map associated with the current Surface.
  • The number of Polygons that comprise the Surface Geometry.
  • The Bounding Box for the current Surface.
  • The current Surface Master Tool that is active.
  • Which Camera is being used to produce the visualization along with it's viewing parameters (Horizontal and Vertical direction along with the Zoom factor).
 
  • Reference Feedback:
 
  • Scene Background.  When you are developing a sophisticated Surface treatment most of the time the background of the 3D Visualization is not directly relevant to your goals.  However, there are times when it can be a distinct advantage to be able to view these Surface models in a specific context.  For example, if you know that the final content would always be utilized in a particular sylvan setting having the visualization include that context can be quite helpful to understand that your color scheme is suitable.  Surface Master includes the capabilities to tailor the background of the 3D Model window either to further specific workflow goals or simply to enhance your own pleasure.
 
  • Solid Color Background.  As the name implies this option allows you to choose that the background would be a single solid color.  Typically this color would be chosen to either enhance the contrast with the Surface Models so that certain details are more evident or in recognition that you simply prefer a certain color scheme.  For example a significant fraction of 3D Content applications have 'hard coded' a medium to dark gray color scheme in the belief that this can reduce eye strain during long application sessions.  On the other hand most general purpose applications tend to adopt more of a white or pastel color scheme and promote this for the same eye strain reduction rational.  As you have seen, we do not believe that we know more than you so allow you to control as many aspects as practical.
 
  • For your reference you might want to explore the information on the Gradient Overlay since it has the capability to add any defined Gradient Overlay to this Solid Color image.  This allows you to produce complex results where any are of the Gradient that has reduced opacity would utilize the selected Solid Color as the base line color.
 
  • Paint Object Image Background.  As the name implies this allows you to use the Image associated with any defined Paint object as the basis for your background.  Just as with the other locations in Surface Master that allow you to select an Image, this option uses the standard Paint Picker Control.  As a reminder, that control allows you to create a new Image Paint object in the event that you wish to access an Image that has not already been loaded into your Project.  This is achieve through the 'Right Click" menu in the dialog.
 
  • For your reference you might want to explore the information on the Gradient Overlay since it has the capability to add any defined Gradient Overlay to this Image.  This allows you to produce complex results where any are of the Gradient that has reduced opacity would utilize the selected Image Pixels as the base line color.
 
  • Gradient Overlay.  As the name implies, this allows you to modify either the Solid Color or the Paint Object image by overlaying any defined Gradient on top of it.  Since this is an overlay process you could add multiple Gradients to the same base image by sequentially selecting additional Gradient Objects.
 
  • Show 3D Screen Grid Overlay.  In many Image Painting applications there is often an option that can temporarily overlay the image with a grid.  These are often termed Guide Lines and are intended to aid the Artist in understanding both the location of Vertical/Horizontal lines and with being able to quickly locate regular spacing for additional decorations.  This capability is not as prevalent in 3D Content development applications due to the fact that the inherent distortion of image based on factors such as Perspective Distortion and Camera placements.  While we certainly understand that these types of reference guides are not quite as definitive in a 3D Visualization, we do believe that there are situations when they can be useful.  In order to provide you with an advanced set of tools to support your evolution of sophisticated Surface, Surface Master allows you to overlay the 3D Visualization with a temporary grid.  You may dynamically adjust the number of grid rows (from 2 to 256 row) and also select the most appropriate color for these grid lines. 
 
  • We have found that this can be quite useful when you wish to place a Vector Shape or Text Shape at a particular location on your model.  This is especially true if you have a need to make sure that these shapes are positioned so that a 'border area of the Surface does not receive this decoration.  As you can well image, since these Grid lines are locked to the Screen Window, you will probably also need to carefully position the Camera view using the Pan / Zoom / Rotate Dialog in order to receive the maximum benefit from these optional guidelines.  In other words, since the Guideline will not move, you will want to move the model to align them with the Grid.
 
Workflow Tip:  A very useful alternative to this 'positioning guides' is to create a Child Image for the Surface that is a Grid Pattern using the Create New Image Dialog.  This Child Image can be turned on or off during various steps using the Advanced Channel Dialog and would always reflect the actual Image locations regardless of the distortion within the 3D Model window.
 
How do I get to this Dialog?
 
There are two ways to gain access to the 3D Scene Options Dialog:
 
 
  • The Dialogue may also be initiated from the primary File Menu under the "Operational Preferences" group.  In particular, this dialog is selected through the 3-D Scene Settings menu option.  The sole advantage of this menu option is that it allows you to review and modify your preferences even before you actually begin a project or import a 3D object.
 
How does this dialog work?
 
The rest of this topic will discuss those controls that are unique to this dialog.

3D Scene Options Dialog

Control Specific Details

 
1

Solid Color Background

1. Solid Color Background
When you are developing a sophisticated Surface treatment most of the time the background of the 3D Visualization is not directly relevant to your goals.  However, there are times when it can be a distinct advantage to be able to view these Surface models in a specific context.  For example, if you know that the final content would always be utilized in a particular sylvan setting having the visualization include that context can be quite helpful to understand that your color scheme is suitable.  Surface Master includes the capabilities to tailor the background of the 3D Model window either to further specific workflow goals or simply to enhance your own pleasure.
 
  • As the Solid Color Background name implies this option allows you to choose that the background would be a single solid color.  Typically this color would be chosen to either enhance the contrast with the Surface Models so that certain details are more evident or in recognition that you simply prefer a certain color scheme.  For example a significant fraction of 3D Content applications have 'hard coded' a medium to dark gray color scheme in the belief that this can reduce eye strain during long application sessions.  On the other hand most general purpose applications tend to adopt more of a white or pastel color scheme and promote this for the same eye strain reduction rational.  As you have seen, we do not believe that we know more than you so allow you to control as many aspects as practical.
 
  • The value for the Solid Color Image is defined using the advanced Color Picker Control.  When you have selected the appropriate color value, Surface Master will create a temporary internal image that is sized to match the output of the 3D Model Window.
 
  • For your reference you might want to explore the information on the Gradient Overlay since it has the capability to add any defined Gradient Overlay to this Solid Color image.  This allows you to produce complex results where any are of the Gradient that has reduced opacity would utilize the selected Solid Color as the base line color.
 
  • For your convenience, when this option is selected, Surface Master will:
 
  • Update the background of the 3D Model window to reflect your choice.
 
  • Update the Sample Window to reflect your choice.
 
  • Update the Gradient Overlay sample window to reflect what this choice would look like if you also elected to overlay it with the current Gradient Definition.
2

Paint Image Background

2. Paint Image Background
When you are developing a sophisticated Surface treatment most of the time the background of the 3D Visualization is not directly relevant to your goals.  However, there are times when it can be a distinct advantage to be able to view these Surface models in a specific context.  For example, if you know that the final content would always be utilized in a particular sylvan setting having the visualization include that context can be quite helpful to understand that your color scheme is suitable.  Surface Master includes the capabilities to tailor the background of the 3D Model window either to further specific workflow goals or simply to enhance your own pleasure.
 
  • As the Paint Image Background name implies this allows you to use the Image associated with any defined Paint object as the basis for your background.  Just as with the other locations in Surface Master that allow you to select an Image, this option uses the standard Paint Picker Control.  As a reminder, that control allows you to create a new Image Paint object in the event that you wish to access an Image that has not already been loaded into your Project.  This is achieve through the 'Right Click" menu in the dialog.
 
  • For your convenience, when this option is selected, Surface Master will:
 
  • Update the background of the 3D Model window to reflect your choice.
 
  • Update the Sample Window to reflect your choice.
 
  • Update the Gradient Overlay sample window to reflect what this choice would look like if you also elected to overlay it with the current Gradient Definition.
3

Gradient Overlay

3. Gradient Overlay
When you are developing a sophisticated Surface treatment most of the time the background of the 3D Visualization is not directly relevant to your goals.  However, there are times when it can be a distinct advantage to be able to view these Surface models in a specific context.  For example, if you know that the final content would always be utilized in a particular sylvan setting having the visualization include that context can be quite helpful to understand that your color scheme is suitable.  Surface Master includes the capabilities to tailor the background of the 3D Model window either to further specific workflow goals or simply to enhance your own pleasure.
 
  • As the Gradient Overlay name implies, this allows you to modify either the Solid Color or the Paint Object image by overlaying any defined Gradient on top of it.  Since this is an overlay process you could add multiple Gradients to the same base image by sequentially adding one Gradient, exiting this Dialog and then adding additional Gradients in subsequent usages of this dialog.
 
  • When this choice is made, Surface Master will:
  • Update the background of the 3D Model window to reflect your choice.
 
  • Update the Sample Window to reflect your choice.
 
  • In addition to being able to specify that a Gradient Overlay is to be performed, this group of controls also provided access to the standard Define Gradient Dialog.  That dialog will allow you to review and/or modify any of the current Gradient Definitions.  As you would expect, the Define Gradient Dialog also allows you to create new Gradients that may be used throughout Surface Master.
 
  • If you do access the Define Gradient Dialog your newly selected Gradient will automatically be added to the Scene Background Image.  This has two implications for your workflow:
 
  • When you first turn on the Gradient Overlay option, the current Gradient may not match you optimal desire.  In that case, you may use the Define Gradient dialog to switch to a different Gradient.  However, since the dialog had already added the prior Gradient definition to either the Solid Color or the Paint Image, then you would actually end up with both the prior and new Gradient on overlaid on to the base image.  This is pretty easy to correct.  Simply reselect either the Solid Color or the Image Paint option to provide Surface Master with a fresh copy of the base image.  Then re-select the Gradient Overlay and it will correctly reflect only the newly defined Gradient.
 
  • Since this command will overlay whatever the current Gradient to the base image, you can easily add multiple Gradients during a single session.  Each time that you execute the Define Gradient Dialog, an additional Gradient would be blended with the Image.
4

Sample Window

4. Sample Window
For your convenience, this window will show you a reduced copy of the current 3D Model Window Background Image.  This sample is automatically updated to reflect your Solid Color, Paint Image and Gradient Overlay selections.
5

Orientation Grid

5. Orientation Grid
It is quite common for a 3D content rendering system to include a simple 'ground plane grid' that indicated where the zero elevation plane is.  While this is quite useful, it does not really provide many clues related to the actual viewing direction (e.g. looking East has about the same visualization as looking South).  Surface Master extends this common approach to show Three Orientation Planes.  When you elect to display this type of decoration, Surface Master will show:
 
  • an Elevation Grid.  Surface Master will detect the orientation of your current view and add an additional "Prop Model" to the rendering to indicate the X-Z plane in the 3D Visualization.  In order to reduce the chance that this additional element would obstruct your view of the actual project Surfaces, Surface Master will always place this decoration behind the project Surfaces regardless of which Camera that you current use.
 
  • Surface Master has supplied two 'prop' models that would be used for the Top or Bottom elevation Grids. By default both of these models are simple rectangular grids that are composed of a number of small cylinders that are color coded with lighter shades toward the positive Z direction and darker shades toward the negative Z direction.  The same shading mechanism is used to indicate increasing values in the X direction.  We believe that this color coding will provide an additional clue to the orientation.  These models are standard LightWave models, so you have the capability to either modify or replace our standard Prop models.  For example, you might feel that it is more useful to have the 'Bottom' become a wood or tile floor, while the "Top" model be a simple plane with a sky texture.  You may want to review the Customizable 3D Props topic for a more complete explanation regarding how these modifications may be performed.
 
  • a Height Grid.  There are many applications (such as Power Point or Excel) that have the capability to produce 3D Bar Graphs.  Most of these applications have recognized that a single 'ground plane' is often insufficient to provide appropriate clues to interpret the data.  Those applications can also include an additional vertically oriented grid behind the 3D bars.  For those applications this additional height grid serves as an aid to the determination of the maximum values for each 3D Bar.  In our environment knowing the actual height of a Surface is probably not very important, but we believe that this same type of decoration can serve as very useful clue regarding how the X and Y axis are aligned. In order to reduce the chance that this additional element would obstruct your view of the actual project Surfaces, Surface Master will always be place this decoration behind the project Surfaces regardless of which Camera that you current use.
 
  • Surface Master has supplied two 'prop' models that would be used for the Front or Back elevation Grids. By default both of these models are simple rectangular grids that are composed of a number of small cylinders that are color coded with lighter shades toward the positive Y direction and darker shades toward the negative Y direction.  The same shading mechanism is used to indicate increasing values in the X direction.  We believe that this color coding will provide an additional clue to the orientation. These models are standard LightWave models, so you have the capability to either modify or replace our standard Prop models.  For example, you might feel that it is more useful to have the 'Back' become a draped curtain, while the "Font" model be a simple plane with a texture of rows of theater seats.  You may want to review the Customizable 3D Props topic for a more complete explanation regarding how these modifications may be performed.
 
  • a Side Grid. There are many applications (such as Power Point or Excel) that have the capability to produce 3D Bar Graphs. Most of these applications have recognized that a single 'ground plane' is often insufficient to provide the appropriate clues to interpret the data. Those applications can also include an additional vertically oriented grid to the right or left of  the 3D bars. For those applications this additional height grid serves as an aid to the determination of the maximum values for each 3D Bar.  In our environment knowing the actual height of a Surface is probably not very important, but we believe that this same type of decoration can serve as very useful clue regarding how the Y and Z axis are aligned. In order to reduce the chance that this additional element would obstruct your view of the actual project Surfaces, Surface Master will will always be place this decoration behind the project Surfaces regardless of which Camera that you current use.
 
  • Surface Master has supplied two 'prop' models that would be used for the Front or Back elevation Grids. By default both of these models are simple rectangular grids that are composed of a number of small cylinders that are color coded with lighter shades toward the positive Y direction and darker shades toward the negative Y direction.  The same shading mechanism is used to indicate increasing values in the X direction.  We believe that this color coding will provide an additional clue to the orientation.  These models are standard LightWave models, so you have the capability to either modify or replace our standard Prop models.  For example, you might feel that it is more useful to have the 'Back' become a draped curtain, while the "Font" model be a simple plane with a texture of rows of theater seats.  You may want to review the Customizable 3D Props topic for a more complete explanation regarding how these modifications may be performed.
6

Lights

6. Lights
If you wish you can ask Surface Master to include the decorative models for each of the Front, Left and Right Lights.  The inclusion or absence of these models in your visualization has absolutely no effect on the operation of Surface Master and given the predefined locations where Surface Master places these light sources, individual models would not always lie within the viewing frustum of the camera.  Aside from your possible enjoyment, the inclusion of these models offers only two benefits:
 
  • They can serve as a visual reminder about which type of light you have chosen at each location.
 
  • Surface Master will automatically set the "Luminance" attribute for every Surface in the light model to agree with the 'strength' attribute of the light.  However, this can be a pretty subtle effect.
 
Surface Master has supplied a decorative model for the three types of Lights (e.g. Point  ,   Directional   and Spot ).  As it typical with the other decorative models, these are all LightWave models so you are completely free to modify them as you see fit.  You may want to review the Customizable 3D Props topic for a more complete explanation regarding how these modifications may be performed.
7

3D Axis

7. 3D Axis
Almost all 3D Content development applications have the capability to include an 'Axis decoration' in their visualizations. Surface Master also supports this common capability.  If you select this option, Surface Master will add an additional 'Axis Prop' to the rendering. Unlike the logic that Surface Master uses to support the three orientation grids, Surface Master will not attempt to place the Axis prop behind the surfaces.  Instead Surface Master will always position this decoration at a predefined point that indicates the center of the X dimension, the minimum point in the Y dimension and the minimum point in the Z direction. In essence this is the bottom front of the project in world coordinates.
 
  • Surface Master has supplied a 'prop' model that would be used for the Axis model.  By default this model has a texture 'Earth' sphere with a Red arrow pointing in the positive X direction, a Green arrow pointing in the positive Y direction and a Blue arrow pointing in the positive Z direction.  You may want to review the Customizable 3D Props topic for a more complete explanation regarding how these modifications may be performed.
8

Status Panel

8. Status Panel
If you wish, Surface Master can overlay an informational panel at the lower left corner of the 3D Visualization window.  This information panel would show seven items about the current surface, operation and camera.  Since Surface Master understands that the visibility of any item is dependent upon the contrast between an item and the surrounding Pixels, you are free to choose any color for the informational text.  This area of the screen would report:
 
  • The number of object in the current project along with the current Surface.
 
  • The UV Map associated with the current Surface.
 
  • The number of Polygons that comprise the Surface Geometry.
 
  • The Bounding Box for the current Surface.
 
  • The current Surface Master Tool that is active.
 
  • Which Camera is being used to produce the visualization along with it's viewing parameters (Horizontal and Vertical direction along with the Zoom factor).
9

Grid Overlay

9. Grid Overlay
In many Image Painting applications there is often an option that can temporarily overlay the image with a grid.  These are often termed Guide Lines and are intended to aid the Artist in understanding both the location of Vertical/Horizontal lines and with being able to quickly locate regular spacing for additional decorations.  This capability is not as prevalent in 3D Content development applications due to the fact that the inherent distortion of image based on factors such as Perspective Distortion and Camera placements.  While we certainly understand that these types of reference guides are not quite as definitive in a 3D Visualization, we do believe that there are situations when they can be useful.  In order to provide you with an advanced set of tools to support your evolution of sophisticated Surface, Surface Master allows you to overlay the 3D Visualization with a temporary grid.  You may dynamically adjust the number of grid rows (from 2 to 256 row) and also select the most appropriate color for these grid lines. 
 
  • We have found that this can be quite useful when you wish to place a Vector Shape or Text Shape at a particular location on your model.  This is especially true if you have a need to make sure that these shapes are positioned so that a 'border area of the Surface does not receive this decoration.  As you can well image, since these Grid lines are locked to the Screen Window, you will probably also need to carefully position the Camera view using the Pan / Zoom / Rotate Dialog in order to receive the maximum benefit from these optional guidelines.  In other words, since the Guideline will not move, you will want to move the model to align them with the Grid.
 
Workflow Tip:  A very useful alternative to this 'positioning guides' is to create a Child Image for the Surface that is a Grid Pattern using the Create New Image Dialog.  This Child Image can be turned on or off during various steps using the Advanced Channel Dialog and would always reflect the actual Image locations regardless of the distortion within the 3D Model window.
10

Done

10. Done
Once you're satisfied that the operation has been performed according to your desires, the done button is used to close the dialog.
 
For your convenience, Surface Master will save your preferences in the Registry.  This means that the next time that you execute Surface Master, your desired options will be restored.
11

Help

11. Help
The standard help button is used to display the appropriate help topic associated with the current dialog.  As the yellow background indicates this is the default button for the dialog, and simply pressing the return key in the dialog will display the help topic for this dialog.
 
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