Productivity Tips

Network rendering rules of thumb are:

Use analytical objects as much as possible in complex scenes - SDS and NURBS objects use larger amounts of memory.

Use the SHIFT key to constrain objects and tools to horizontal or vertical directions. The SHIFT key can also be used to size object proportionally when using object handles, and set rotation angles to 45 degree increments.

Snap to points and corners of objects with the '5' key.

On color swatches, right click to bring up the "expand" option. This allows you to quickly select the appropriate color using the color wheel.

Make use of clip maps to reduce scene complexity.

Use level structures to organize your work - drop multiple objects to their own level by multi-selecting with the SHIFT key, then right click on the select window and select "Drop to a level" from the popup menu. Projects organized with clever level use are far more manageable.

To change parameters of any sub objects - (e.g. change all objects in a level to "not selectable") simply select the level object, change the "not selectable" tag and all sub object are then not selectable. Likewise, to change all the objects in a scene to have an alpha value of 1 (to render to an alpha channel): Select the ROOT level, and change the 'Col/Surface properties/Alpha' value to 1 - all objects will be rendered solid against a clear background.

When panning and zooming objects, occasionally they may "disappear" in the view window. This is most likely due to the clipping planes utilized to speed up view refreshes. To see all the objects in a scene, simply drag the "Root" level icon into the view window. This sets the clipping planes to the extents of the scene and allows the user to see all objects. Conversely, dragging the object in question to the view zooms to the extents of that object/level.

Snap to edges and lines with the 6 key.

You can use CAD packages to model a complex geometry and use the IGES plugin to import it. This allows you to make use of CAD programs' inherent speed and accurate modeling tools, then import them into Realsoft 3D as splines, which can then be extruded or lofted into 3D shapes (Requires IGES plugin).

Use multiple Input Planes to align new objects with existing objects. Simply drag the IPlane onto the view to set it as the current IPlane - and make sure that under the view properties window "Lock to Input Plane" is set. To align the input plane to the current view angle, use the "Set Input Plane Orthogonal to View" button. To match the rotation of an object, simply copy the rotation angle from the object in question and paste it into the rotation angle field of the IP plane.

To set camera keyframes very quickly:

1. Create a camera from the view - select the camera button - then accept it straight away.

2. Under view properties dialog box, turn on 'Camera/tracking/track always'.

3. Turn on RECORD in the animation slider bar. (This is important - use "track always" with caution when NOT in animation recording as it saves the view position to the camera at all times.)

4. Move the time slider along halfway. Move the camera with the Alt/Right mouse button.

5. Move the time slider to the end. Move the camera with the Alt/Right mouse button.

6. Turn off RECORD. This has set 3 keyframe positions for the camera. Make sure you TURN OFF "track always" now before moving the view again.

7. Move the time slider and the view pans through the 3 keyframes you just set.

[Note] Note
Keep the movements relatively small between keyframes (<45 degrees per key) to keep the results predictable. The first keyframe is created automatically at frame 0.

One can save "selection sets" of meshes as separate objects by using the "group" tool. Edit the mesh - select the points - select "group" - accept.

[Note] Note
One can have as many sub-groups as required. Separate groups can have the same points inside.

To get soft shadows, create a point light and turn up the "size" field. Use the "Quality" setting to find a good balance of speed vs. output quality.

Boolean objects can be easily edited and animated. Simply turn off "wire invisible" of sub objects then move/size/rotate them.

To "depth" (3D) snap points - use the comma (,) key in conjunction with dragging.

To draw on an object - use "surface input" under view properties/input. This allows the user to draw curves on surfaces.

You can use the unified creation tools to create an SDS object that can then be edited. For example, SDS cubes and SDS rectangles are good starting points.

Use can convert NURBS meshes to SDS objects using the To SDS tool in the 'Construction' tab of the toolbar. Polygonal NURBS meshes are best for converting to SDS objects. Keep SDS objects as simple as possible at all times.