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Panes of 3D View


In the new version of our products, each 3D View window has 3 panes. The panes are separated by two thin bars (one vertical and one horizontal). You can resize the panes moving these bars.


The right pane is the 3D view itself, which we discussed in the chapter Getting Started.


When you open a scene file first time, two left panes of the 3D View window are minimized. To see left panes, move the thin vertical bar that divides the panes to the right. Then you will see all 3 panes as it is shown on the screen shot below. 




The tree view pane


The top left pane shows the tree view of the scene structure. It is more intuitive representation than the message box that appears after the "Scene Structure..." command of the "3D View" menu. The tree view shows the parent/child relationship between objects of the scene. See Set Parent Coordinate System for more details.


The tree view works like the left pane "Folders" of the Windows Explorer. You can expand/collapse branches of the tree clicking on small square boxes with signs "+" or "-", which correspond to the collapsed or expanded states of the branches.


The tree view is also a useful and more friendly interpretation of the scene structure, because it allows you to name the objects to make them more distinguishable and recognizable.  


The objects in the tree are denoted by their numbers. If the parameter "Name" of the object is not an empty string, the number is followed by the name of the object. It is the same numbers as ones that are shown in the list of the combo box SCENE. It is the sequential numbers of the objects inside the scene. However, there is a difference. In the tree view, the number is followed by the "own" object name, which you can edit as the "value" of the parameter "Name", while in the combo box SCENE, the number is followed by the not-editable name of the object type, which you selected in the combo box "NEW" before you created the object.


You can select an object clicking on its number (or name) in the tree view. The selection inside the tree view pane is synchronized with the selection in the combo box SCENE as well as with the graphical selection of the object inside the 3D view pane, where the selected object is marked by the inverse color of its edges.


Two additional not-selectable lines at the bottom of the tree view show the total number of objects in the scene and the total number of levels in the tree. If the scene consists of independent objects without any parent objects, the tree has only one level.


The object parameters pane


The bottom left pane shows the list of all parameters of the selected object. It contains two columns "PAR" and "Value". If no object is selected, this pane is empty.


You cannot edit the parameter values directly inside the parameters pane. Its lines are selectable but not-editable. Instead, the selection of a line in the parameters pane is synchronized with the selection in the combo box PAR as well as with the Edit control (to the right of the combo box PAR), where you can edit the parameter value as usual (and then click on the "E" button to the right of the Edit control).


The parameters pane has two modes: "usual" and "extended". In the "usual" mode, the last line in the parameter list is the parameter "Name". In the "extended" mode, there are additional lines that shows:



These additional lines do not represent any parameter of the list of the combo box PAR. Therefore, when you select one of them, the combo box PAR returns to its neutral state (it removes the selection, and shows the title line "PAR").


To switch between the "usual" and "extended" modes, click on the "inf" button of the "3D View" toolbar when the parameters pane is active (just after you have selected one of its lines).


The active pane


Working with the different panes of the 3D View window, you need to remember that only one pane can be currently active, while the entire 3D View window as a frame of its panes is still active (and its title bar is highlighted).


You need to click on a particular pane to make it active. If one of two left panes is active, the selection inside it is more contrast, otherwise it is less contrast. If both of them are less contrast, then the 3D view pane is active.


It is important only in those cases when the same control element (like the "inf" button) implements different commands in different panes.