Join Veejay Gahir for an in-depth discussion in this video View and entity manipulation, part of Alias Essential Training.
- In this video, I'm gonna show you how to work with views and entity manipulation in Alias. Let's go up to file open and if you've pointed Alias to the correct chapter, it should naturally go straight to the wire file and let's select the very first wire file. Now, Alias comes back with a question. It's asking you, "Do you want to delete all the objects, "shaders, views and actions before opening this file?" And typically, the answer for this is always yes. Let's do this again. Let's open up the next wire file and this time, I'm gonna say no.
And let's see what happens. When I say no to this, Alias has now kept the original wire file open at the same time and at the very top here, you have something called a Stage. If I just hold this down, you'll notice I can switch between my original file and this file. If I did file open again, and let's go to the third wire file and say open and let's say no, again, now, you'll notice in the Stages, I have actually got three sessions of Alias open at the same time. Now, I can go in and edit those as well.
I can actually switch between which is my active session. I can choose an active wire file with a different window source and there's a lot of different options that you can use with Stage as it is. In other words, basically, you can have two or three different wire files open at the same time and you can swap between them without having to reopen Alias but in this case here, we're gonna work with just one file. If you do ever see these green entities appearing as ghost entities within your model, just simply go back up to file open.
Let's go back to our original view manipulation file and this time, I'm gonna say yes. Okay, let's talk about view manipulation in Alias. We've opened up in the perspective view here as we can see from the very top here. In the top left corner, we have Perspective or we can press F8 for Perspective. Now, if I hold my shift and alt down and with my left mouse button, I can rotate this file around like this. Still holding the shift and alt, middle mouse button, allows me to pan and my right mouse button, allows me to zoom in and out.
Now remember, we are in the perspective view here. Let's press F5 and now, we're gonna jump into our top view. Again, we shift and alt, left mouse button, You'll notice the left mouse button doesn't do anything. Shift and alt, middle mouse button allows me to pan in this top view, shift and alt with my right mouse button, allows me to zoom in and out. There are only two active buttons here using my shift and alt combination, in a true orthographic view is my middle for panning and my right for zooming. This stands true for all orthographic view.
If I jump to F6 now, which is my left view, shift and alt, left mouse button didn't do anything, middle mouse button pans, right mouse button zooms. Let's go back into the top view, which is F5 and I'm going to zoom out. I'm gonna take these entities to my middle mouse button and I'm gonna push them off into space like this. Sometimes during the modeling process, you can lose your entities and there's a way to reset this view. Let's go to the View tab here and I can right click on this tab as well at the same time or I can just use the icons but I find it easy when you're learning Alias to right click on the tab and actually, go to the command because it's written out.
It's a little bit more intuitive. What we're gonna do here is reset the view. Just release the mouse button with reset and look at the very top here. This prompt box throughout this course is gonna be our key to helping us through these commands. Right now, Alias is telling us to click in the model window to reset. Simply just using our left mouse button, click one time and it resets that view. Shift alt, right mouse button, I can zoom it out. Let's go back into our perspective view, which is F8. Now, with the perspective view, again, what we're gonna do now is shift alt and I'm just gonna with my right mouse button zoom way off like that out into space until it's gone beyond my tipping planes.
Again, go into our View tab, Reset View, click one time and it will reset that view for us. That's one quick way of getting your view back into a reset state. Okay, let's close down View for a second. I'm gonna close down the Surfaces tab and let's open up our Pick tab. Now, we're gonna use the very first option here to select an entity and that's gonna be by using this icon here, Pick Object. So, let's pick the object and you'll notice that when I select Pick Object, the boundary of that particular icon goes red and that's telling me that command is now active.
I can simply just window over this cone here. Now try to not just specifically try to pick an edge. It's a lot easier to window over an entity like so. Like this and again, using my left mouse button, I can use the same action to deselect. Okay, so we've picked one of the entities here and now, we're gonna move it and Move is a Transform function. So, click on the Transform tab. Click on Move and you'll notice that the Move icon now is highlighted in red or I can simply right click on there and use Move.
Now, with my left mouse button with no keyboard interaction, left mouse button moves in the X vector. Now, you'll notice that in the bottom left here, I have my global triad and the X direction is red, Y direction is green and the blue is the Z direction and the same here if I zoom into view this triad here. We have X is red. Y is green. Z is blue. Autodesk are very good about keeping the standard color configuration between their applications like Inventor or Maya.
Again, this is zoom out a fraction, rotate and now, no keyboard interaction, and I'm gonna use my left mouse button to move purely in the X vector. Middle mouse button, moves in the Y vector, right mouse button moves in the Z vector. Let's do an F5 on this. We're gonna go into our true orthographic top view. Left mouse button in this case, allows me to pan freely. Middle mouse button now, has switched to moving in the X vector and my right mouse button now is moving in the vertical or in the Y direction.
Let's try that again with F6. Left mouse button, no keyboard interaction. Left mouse button is pure free panning. Middle X. Right is Z. Let's go back to F8, which is our perspective view and I'm gonna take this entity now and just using my left mouse button, let's push it off into space. Let's assume during our modeling process, we've lost that entity and we wanna try to bring it back or reframe it into our view.
It's a view oriented command or a view focus command. We're gonna go to our View tab. We can right click on that and we can say Look At. The selected entity is now reframed into our view but you'll notice it's pushed all the other entities out of that view because the focus really is right now is to reframe on that selected view. So, what we can do is we can go up to the very top here under Layers and right now, you'll see something called Entities that's highlighted in yellow and that's a layer that I've set up for all these entities.
So, I can right click on this and say, Pick Objects and then I can alt L and that's gonna reframe everything. Pick Object picks the objects on that particular layer. Now, if you don't see any layers here at all right now, what I'd like you to do is just go up to Layers, Toggle Layer Bar until you see those layers up here. And then in this case, we're gonna go up to the very top here onto Pick and pick Nothing. Let's go to F5.
Again, I can't select that cone now because it's out of my view. What I could do is I could go back to F8, pick objects, just window over this object, go to F5, alt L and that's gonna reframe that entity for me. I can right click over entities, pick objects, alt L and that's gonna reframe everything. In this case here, what I'm gonna do is I'm going to just window over all of these entities on the right hand side here to deselect them and I'm gonna go to Transform, Move and then just with my left mouse button, I'm just gonna push this cone roughly back in the right place like that and then F8 to go into our perspective, alt L to reframe.
Okay, the next thing I'd like to talk to you about is point of interest. In this perspective view, I'm holding my shift and alt, left mouse button and I'm rotating this model around. Now it's rotating around a particular point but which point? Where is that pointing? How can I reset that point? Well, with shift and alt held down, if I click one time on this cone with my left mouse button, another triad appears and this is what's called a point of interest and this is where the rotation is happening. Now, if I rotate, it's clearer to see.
I can move this point of interest to this curve here for example. If I click on the curve, you'll notice it jumps down to curve and then I can slide it along the curve to any location. Incidentally, the point of interest has to be attached to an entity. In other words, if I try to pick out here on the grid somewhere, it's not gonna work. When I go back to the cone, click one time. You'll notice I can drag it anywhere I want to on the cone but it will always attach to the cone itself. I can't take it away from the cone or make it drop off into space.
Same with the sphere. You can drag it anywhere but it has to be attached to the sphere or onto this cylinder. Let's take it back onto the cone, right to the very top and let's rotate the model now and all the time I've been doing this, I've been holding my shift and alt down. Now, I can pick on one of these arrows and I can view straight down onto the arrow, a true view onto the arrow. This is another way that you can manipulate views in Alias. If I pick on this curve, rotate to this point, pick on this arrow and on a loop through onto the arrow like so.
Now, one thing you'll notice here is that if I move this palette out of the way is that the point of interest triad does not mimic the global triad. In other words, this X vector now that we see here for this point of interest is not lining up with the X vector for the global triad. There is no link there at all. This is completely independent now. That's very simply how you can move between views and move entities in Alias. It can be a little confusing at first but you'll end up using a very slick workflow and again, with every count systems, there's more than one way of doing this.
We're gonna be taking a look at some others as we work through some of these exercises.
- 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