Controlling the camera

Mouse gestures at a glance

Using default settings (which is set to the Camera orbit mode), left clicking the mouse and dragging it in any direction will translate the view according to the mouse movement made, using the focus point found under the mouse at the time of the click:

Right clicking the mouse and dragging it will rotate the view around the focus point following the vertical direction:

Using the mouse wheel will zoom in or zoom out the image, from the focus point defined by the found point under the mouse:

The default camera is an orbiting camera and the control system uses an auto focus setup dynamically, using the found hit position which is under the mouse at the time of the manipulation. A camera has three navigation modes:

The picking of transparent objects can be enabled or disabled:

Cameras can be saved into scenes, set, reloaded as other documents:

And last if you do a mistake don't forget to:

Translating the view

The view is translated by a left mouse button click followed by a dragging operation. If the mouse is over some geometry or over a landscape element (as illustrated by arrow 1 below), then the camera focus is set that element position. From this position, the translation gets defined. If the mouse is flying over the sky at the time of the operation (as illustrated by arrow 2), then the last focus point will be used.

Rotating the view

The view is rotated by a right mouse button click followed by a dragging operation. The focus definition mechanism is identical as the one illustrated above for translations. If the camera is an ORBIT camera, then the rotation occurs around the pitch and yaw axis defined at the focus point position:

If the view is using an EXAMINE camera, then we add a roll axis combination that is coupled with the two other axises:

If the view is using a FLY camera, then a left mouse click will enter a head rotation mode driven by mouse movements. Exiting that mode is done by left clicking again.

Zooming the view

The zooming behavior is triggered by operating the mouse wheel. It's active in the EXAMINE and ORBIT camera modes. FLY mode cameras don't have a zoom. Operating the mouse wheel will move the camera closer to or farther from the focus point:

Camera examine mode

The camera EXAMINE mode is a free rotation mode, intended to allow all viewing angles to freely examine an object. The only difference between the EXAMINE and the ORBIT modes is that the EXAMINE mode does not keep the head up aligned to the vertical direction. EXAMINE mode is good for close geometry inspection or for planetary level reviews, due to the fact that ORBIT modes don't work well when looking at an entire planet.

Camera orbit mode

The camera ORBIT mode is similar to the EXAMINE mode, so free rotations, translations and zoom, except that the head will remain vertical. The upper part of the screen will always be pointing toward the sky.

Camera fly mode

The fly mode uses the keyboard and mouse:

In fly mode, the head is keeping the vertical up.

Turning transparency picking on or off

By checking or unchecking the transparency picking button of the camera toolbar, the picking of transparent elements can be toggled on or off. By default the picking of transparent elements is enabled so that clouds, glasses and all items with transparency will be picked in a scene. It can be helpful to turn off the picking of transparent entities sometimes for instance to get through a layer of clouds and to reach the ground.

Get back to the previous camera

A must have. Press the corresponding button in the camera toolbar (see the image at the top of this page) or press "B" to get back.

Creating and managing cameras

Press the "plus" button in the camera toolbar to create a new camera (marker 1 in image below). Rename it in the toolbar or in the current scene where it's now listed (marker 2):

Create a camera

Several operations are possible then:

Cameras are saved in scenes when these scenes get saved. Please remind that the default scene is NOT saved unless renamed, so cameras created in the default scene will be lost if that default scene is not renamed into something else before being saved.