Join Veejay Gahir for an in-depth discussion in this video Checking out the Alias interface, part of Alias Essential Training.
- OK so let's go ahead and fire up Alias, and you'll notice in my particular installation, I have one view that opens up, and this view is the Perspective view. One way I can tell that is in the top left here I have the word Perspective, and I have a Palette on the left-hand side, I have Shelves on the bottom, and I have a Control Panel on the right-hand side. Now one thing I like to do with all of my training courses is to make sure that we're all starting off on the same page so let's do this, let's close down the Palette if you have it open.
Let's close down the Shelves if you have it open, and let's close down the Control Panel. So all you should see right now is just the Perspective view. Now if you have four views, what I would like you to do is go up to Layouts, and then simply click on Perspective. OK, let's go back up to Windows. Click on Palette one time, we'll click on Shelves one time, and we're going to click on Control Panel as well. This is the standard layout that most people will use for Alias. Now you can move these to a custom location, but typically you'll find that most people have the Palette on the left-hand side, and the Control Panel on the right, but again it's entirely up to you as you get more familiar with the application.
So the Palette is primarily used for creating and modifying data. You can open up these tabs, and inside these tabs are specific commands for that particular workflow. Shelves is primarily used for customizing your own specific workflow commands. So for example you'll see that there are pre-set tabs here, Transformation, Curves, Surfaces, and I can add, and I can delete, and I can re-shuffle these particular commands very simply. So for example with Surface Tools I can go up to Surface, and I want to add this command into my surface tool, so with the middle mouse button, simply drag and place it right in here like that, and you'll notice a red arrow comes up which shows you the location of where I've placed it.
I can still take other commands with my middle mouse button and move them to new locations. Or I can simply with my middle mouse button, drop it right into the trash. You can also right-click in the top gray portion of that dialog box, and create a new shelf, and we could name that one let's say, Diagnostics. We'll say OK to that, and again with Diagnostics we can go in and we can add more diagnostic type of commands into there. Typically I don't use the Shelf because I find with Alias, because you can customize so much oo the interface, and so much of marking menus, and hotkeys, I like to close it down and just free up some more real estate for my modelling.
Now the Control Panel is used for mainly visualization. So you can see at the bottom of the Control Panel, we have the options to display CVs and Hulls, Edit Points, Blend Points, and the U and V parameters. Now we'll get into more of this type of functionality later on in the course, but also you can customize your Control Panel. So I'm just going to take this Control Panel and I'll drag it to the very top like this, and I'll extend it, and you'll notice that we do have Shelves here, we have tabs that we can open and close, and we can add more Shelves in there as well.
So one thing I'd like you to do, is to make sure that we're using the default Control Panel option. So where it says Default at the very top, I'm just going to hold this down, and you can see that we have four preset workflows that Alias provides, so for example if we were more in the Visualization mode, if I checked on Visualization, you'll notice now the Control Panel changes, and it's given me options to apply textures, and everything now is more focused to the visualization type of workflow. But what we're going to be doing, is dropping back to default, and I'll just shorten this and then drop it to the right-hand side.
Now you'll notice when you move these around, there's a slight bias towards an edge, it kind of snaps to the edge. I can also minimize this by just simply clicking this arrow, and the direction of where it collapses is indicated by the arrow itself. So I can open and close. If I hold this down, I can change the direction of collapse to a vertical position like so, just click it one time and it will collapse. Click it again, and it opens. Now there is another way of doing this. I'm going to take you back to the left like so, and just to the left of this arrow, I want to hold this down and click on Auto-Hide.
Now you'll notice as soon as my cursor goes into the middle of the screen, the dialog box collapses, so this helps free up real estate while I'm working. So I can do the same for this side. So now as I'm working in Alias, I have maximum amount of real estate to view my model. So let's go back up to the option, and we'll take off Auto-Hide, back up to this one and we'll take this one off as well. Another option that you do have, is that you can snap additional dialog boxes together to cluster them.
So let's go up to ObjectDisplay, and we're going to go to Diagnostic Shading, just click that one time, and you'll notice now we have another dialog box that appears. And again, we have the same options to collapse, and we have the same options to Auto-Hide. But this time what I'm going to do is I'm going to take this and I'm gonna snap it to the edge of my Palette like so. Now you'll notice now that if I move the dialog box for Diagnostic Shading, it pulls away from the Palette. If I move the Palette it pulls away from Diagnostic Shading.
But what I can do is this. I'm going to hold my Shift down, and then I'm going to attach it to the Palette. Now if I move my Palette, you'll notice that both will move together, it's become a cluster or a group. But if I pull my Diagnostic Shade away, I'm allowed to do that. In other words the Palette becomes the parent. But for now we're gonna keep it very simple, and let's just close this down. Another option that I want to make sure that you have activated is the View Cube in the top right-hand corner. So you'll notice that with a View Cube, I can click on any one of these faces that are highlighted blue, and the 3D view will snap to that particular perspective.
Now I'm just going to drop the Control Panel down a little bit, and you'll notice in this case here, I'm in a true Orthographic Left view. Now in most cases in Alias you'll be able to do all your work working in the Perspective view, so I can go back to my Home button here, and then I can click on a corner, I can click on FRONT, and I can also rotate by 90 degrees, so it's a very efficient way to navigate round the 3D world. Now if you don't see the View Cube, what I'd like you to do is go up to Preferences, General Preferences, and let's just click on Viewing, and do a Reset.
So here the option for ViewCube, you can have ViewCube, you can have None, you can View Panel, you can view the Cube, but right now if we just do a reset, that should be exactly what we need for the moment. Now with respect to Views, we're working in one particular view, and if I click on the Home button here, we are working in the Perspective View, and as I mentioned before, you'll be able to do most of your work in this one particular view. But in some cases you may want to go to a standard four view configuration. So what we're going to do here is go up to Layouts, All Windows, All Windows.
This changes our interface so that in the top right corner we have our Perspective view, and we can see that by the label here that says Perspective. If I click in this view, you'll notice that that particular view has a white border. Now I'm gonna move over to this one here, click it one time, and now this one is active, and this is our Top view as you can see here. Down here, I'm gonna move the Palette out the way so we can see the label for that, and that's our Left view, and this view down here is our Back view. So these three views are our standard orthographic third-angle projection views.
And again don't worry too much about this, we'll be doing most of our work in the Perspective view.
- Manipulating views and entities
- Working with layers
- Creating curves
- Sweeping, extruding, revolving, offsetting, and blending surfaces
- Modifying geometry
- Moving, scaling, flipping, and rotating objects
- Trimming curves and surfaces
- Creating copies of objects
- Aligning, combining, and splitting objects
- Analyzing geometry
- Shading models