newUser interface

We'll provide a detailed view of the user interface in this book. For an early stage and quick review of the interface, please follow this link: The user interface at a glance that'll provide you all the basics of the user interface.

A multiple documents application

NDunes is a product that manipulated multiple kinds of documents. Each document type has a dedicated folder in the data organization of a working directory, (details here: Choosing a working directory), to this folder there's a corresponding document view that can be enabled or disabled from the documents menu as illustrated below:

documents menu

For any given view, we can toggle the display of empty folders:

Show empty folders

Activating this option will reveal the file tree structure below the main folder of the documents of the selected kind. Below, for instance, an example for Plants:

Document folder view

Folders can be created or deleted both sides: from the Windows Explorer or from NDunes. Just right click in the document view and "Synchronize" its contents to reveal any operation made in Windows Explorer in NDunes. By default, NDunes will not check changes in any folder structure:

Tree view contextual menu

There's a small tip to know about this system: if you create a folder because you wish to create something in it, at'll disappear right after having been created if the "Show Empty Folders" option is not checked: when you create it in NDunes, it's unless the "Show Empty Folders" option is checked, it'll disappear immediately. It'll appear only if there's a document in it.

Using scenes

Scenes documents are central documents in NDunes. The main rendering window of NDunes always displays the current scene which is highlighted in blue:

Visualizing the current scene

In that example, we have a desertic landscape, a biome and an atlas. The "Desert" scene is highlighted in blue, telling us that it's the current scene. We also have documents that are unique for every scene and that don't appear in the list: Settings and Tonemapping. Each scene own a separate document for its settings and can have a specific tonemapping. The Performances button opens a view which is common to all scenes. It's more a generic performance information panel, helpful to improve display performances, rather than a document in which we do setup things specifically for a scene.

Note that the default scene is never saved. On exiting NDunes, you'll be prompted on renaming it before quitting the product:

Save the default scene before exiting

If you answer yes, you'll have to rename the default scene into another document for it to be saved. You can change this prompting behavior in the Options of the product. Options are accessible from the Tools / Options menu entry.