To open the tutorial file
- Open the file called pda_rendering.wire, located in the wire sub-directory of the CourseWare directory.
- A dialog box appears, asking if you want
to delete all objects, shaders, views, and actions. Click Yes.
- If your construction tolerance values
differ from those in the pda_rendering.wire file, you
will be prompted by a Construction Options dialog box. Click Accept
New Settings to use the construction tolerances in the pda_rendering.wire file.
The file is displayed.
- Next, choose Preferences > Workflows > Visualize . This will hide all tools
not needed for visualization or rendering work.
- Close the tool palette. To pick objects
or components, you can use the marking menus.
- Choose Windows > Control Panel . This opens up a frame in
the window containing frequently used tools for the visualization
process. Between the menus, marking menus, and control panel, you
have all the tools you need to work on an image at your fingertips.
- Click the Maximize icon on the Perspective
view to expand it.
Your Alias window
should look like the following illustration.
As a first step in the
journey to understanding rendering, you will use shaded mode. This tool
provides a fast colored and shaded reference of a model in a modeling
window. You can also enable textures, shadows, reflections, and
more. For more information about all the functionality of this mode,
see WindowDisplay > Hardware Shade .
To enable shaded mode
- Choose WindowDisplay > Hardware Shade ❒ to open the Hardware Shade window.
- In the Hardware Shade window,
click the Shade on button to shade the
model in the Perspective view.
Tumble about to get a good view of the model.
- Close the option window.
- Now choose WindowDisplay > Hardware Shade without opening the option
window. It applies the Shade settings to the window, without having
to open the window.
will notice that color and surfaces have been applied to the wire
frame of the personal digital assistant (PDA). These colors and
textures are created by a number of shaders, which are visible in
the Resident Shaders tab of the
- Now, turn off Shade by choosing WindowDisplay > Hardware Shade again.
We will take a quick look at shaders, and the
tools you can use to change them.
Shaders and textures
After you have created
wire frames, such as those supplied in the PDA model, you will want
to see them wrapped in surfaces that can then be transformed into
rendered images. To make the rendered images as striking and realistic
as possible, you need to apply shaders and textures to your objects.
Alias uses shaders
to define the appearance of your objects, so they look as if they
were created with real materials. Textures can also be applied to
the shaders to create more sophisticated visual effects. As you
will discover in later tutorials, you can even add special effects
to shaders to make them appear semi-transparent or to give them a
sense of 3D relief.
Shaders determine what
surfaces look like (for example, color, reflectivity, and roughness).
Once you create a shader, you can assign it to one or more surfaces.
You can also layer more than one shader on any given surface.
The Visualization panel
The visualization panel
provides you with fast access to libraries of shaders and to the most-used
capabilities of the multi-lister.
In the previous section
of this tutorial, when you switched to shaded mode via WindowDisplay > Hardware Shade , you were viewing a shader
we already applied to the model. Let’s now look at the shaders in
the Visualization panel.
- Drag the bar down until you see all the
shaders in this wire file. The resident shaders section should now
look similar to the following image.
All of these spheres are shaders that are assigned
to different parts of the PDA. To see which sphere is assigned to
which part of the PDA, click a sphere.
- Choose the second icon from the left
in this section of the panel:
This tool picks objects by the current shader.
You can choose each shader and click this tool to see which shaders
are assigned to what parts of the model by looking in the Perspective
view after you have clicked this tool.
- Click each shader, and then click the Pick
Objects by Current Shader tool to see the assignments.
You can also modify some
attributes of shaders in the visualization panel.
- Click the green shader, and then Pick
Object by Current Shader.
You will see that the button at the top of the
PDA is highlighted.
- Push the bar under the Resident Shaders
section up to reveal the Shader Parameters for this shader. The
most commonly used shader parameters are shown in this section of
- Click the green rectangle under RGB
Color. This opens the color palette, so you can choose
a different color for the shader.
- Change the color to orange by clicking
the color wheel. You can modify the color’s intensity in the HSV
triangle. Close the window when you have got a bright orange selected.
- Notice that the color rectangle in the
Visualization panel has changed to orange.
- Use the marking menu to pick nothing,
then choose WindowDisplay > Hardware Shade to see the model with an
- For a better view without the wireframe,
choose Model (unchecking it) from
the Show menu on the window bar
to hide the wireframe.
In addition to editing
shaders, you can also create new shaders by copying and modifying existing
shaders, or import new shaders to your model from a library by double-clicking a
shader in the library.
The Multi-lister is the
full interface you use to create, edit, manage, and display shaders, textures,
lights, and the environment. You also use the Multi-lister to access
the Control Window and the Color
To open shaders in the
- Choose Render > Multi-lister >
Shaders. A number of shaders have been supplied for this tutorial.
You can adjust the size of the icons by clicking the over the background of the
multi-lister, and choosing either Large Icons or Small Icons. The
images in this tutorial show small icons.
The Chrome shader
was applied to the PDA case. Next, you will edit it to make it reflect
- In the Shaders window,
double-click the Chrome icon.
The Chrome editor
is opened. Notice there are two tabs: Software and Hardware. You can
use either tab for this exercise. The Hardware tab shows a subset
of the fields available on the Software tab: these fields are used
in WindowDisplay > Hardware Shade.
you use the Hardware tab, you must first set the Shading
method to Per pixel or Per
vertex in the Hardware Shade option
- In the Shader Name field, rename the
shader to Case.
- Click the Map... button
associated with the Reflection parameter found in the Phong Shader
opens the texture editor for the Chrome reflection.
- Scroll down and click the Sky button
located in the Environments section.
This opens the SkyTexture editor.
The Shaders window
is updated to reflect the changes. Note how the Chrome shader wears
the Sky texture.
To see the effect of your changes, look at the
shaded model in the perspective window.
Now it is reflecting the sky.