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Wavelength | Your Game Editing Resource | Moving Around the Viewports
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Moving Around the Viewports [Print this Article]
Posted by: Mosquito
Date posted: Mar 28 2004
User Rating: 4 out of 5.0
Number of views: 11420
Number of comments: 0
Description: This is a short article describing the 2 options for moving around the viewports.
SoftImage - Moving Around the Viewports

**This document is an article for nubs by nubs.  A nub is any person that either just downloaded the program and feels like they are in a hedge maze the size of Canada, or those that have had the program for awhile, and are still in the hedge maze.**

Ok, so what do I mean by controller? It's not a fancy term. I'm a nub too, so I won't use fancy terms, and if I do, I will most certainly explain them. If I don't, and there's a term you don't know, I will provide a fake email address that you may send all your flaming comments to your hearts content. But I digress…

The camera controller that I am speaking of is the positioning view in each (1)viewport. You can move this camera to get a better view of your model. You can also zoom in and out, (2)dolly, and rotate. It's is the most important first step to learning this beast. You can't model if you can't see your model.

So, as far as I know, there are only 2 ways to manipulate that camera. As I learn more I will update this article. The text on the left is the mode that the program will enter, when you press the button(s) on the right.

Pan or Zoom Camera – Z

The Pan or Zoom mode allows you to (3)pan in any viewport, as well as control zoom. When in the 2D viewports, the pan and zoom work normally. You can move the view up or down, or side to side. In modelling terms, this is called X, Y, and Z.

* If you were looking at it from the front view, up and down would be Y and left and right would be X. Z would be back to front. Or, on the top viewport, Z would be top to bottom. But that's neither here not there.

Pan = Click and drag with the left mouse button.
Zoom In = Click and drag with the middle mouse button.
Zoom Out = Click and drag with the right mouse button.

* If you are ever wondering what keyboard buttons to push with a certain tool, just look at the bottom of the screen. The icons that say L, M, and R. L stands for left mouse button. M stands for middle mouse button. R stands for… you guessed it, Right mouse button.

The 2D views are really easy going with this tool. It's the 3D view that might mess you up. The pan works great in the 3D view, but the zoom tool that works differently. Zooming into the 3D-viewport changes the view from telephoto to wideangle. You will notice that as you zoom in, the grid warps into a diamond shape and the actual model looks warped as well. Unless you want this effect, and it can be really cool for movies, I would suggest you use the dolly mode. And I will explain the differences in just a bit.

Multi-Purpose Navigation Tool – S

This is the other tool for moving the view. This tool is the better tool for manipulating the 3D view. It doesn't warp the model. Ok, so the zoom function is very similar to the zoom function in the other tool, except that you have to push and hold the middle mouse button while moving the mouse up or down. The pan is the same, just click and drag (left button). The 2D views don't have anything for the right button. The 3D view allows you to rotate around your model with the right button. The middle button allows you to dolly, or move closer to you object.

* What's the difference between zoom and dolly? Think of a digital camera. Zoom is when you're standing in one spot and you press the W and T buttons to get a close up of your cat's face. Dolly is when you actually starting walking closer to your cat. (I just got a new digital camera and I must have taken 500 pictures of my cat… If you're wondering where the reference came from…)

This is what dolly does in the 3D view.
user posted image

This is what zoom does in the 3D view. Totally wacked!
user posted image

And that's it. 2 useful tools that you can use depending on your needs. Personally, though, I would use S for the 3D view, and Z for the 2D views. As soon as I figure out where you actually go in the program to access these tools, I'll update it, with screenshots and the like.

1. Viewport – The square thing that you view your model in. There are usually 4. 3 are usually 2D wireframe views of your model, and 1 is usually 3D. (Top Right)
2. Dolly – Similar to zoom except in 3D. Dolly means to move towards the object. When movie producers want to move closer to the scene, they usually put the camera on a track, like a train track, and push the camera on this track. Only the 3D view can dolly, and dolly replaces zoom in this instance.
3. Pan – Moving the view up down, and side to side. Try it out, you'll get my meaning.

If I have missed something in this article, or there is something that I have said, please contact me with your concerns at:

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