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Tools Menu Commands

The Tools menu commands allow you to choose one of several different tools to manipulate objects and render the contents of your scene.

Tools menu

Note graphic NOTE! Some of the Tools Menu commands are available in the toolbars that you find in the Load, Pose/Animate, and Render Activity Tabs (in the Basic Layout.

Tip graphic TIP! The Rotate, Translate, and Scale Manipulators are great for getting poses, objects, etc., into their rough positions. For fine tuning, you will probably want to use the Parameters tab since it gives you more precise control.

The Tools menu commands serve the following functions:

Node Selection

To select any item in your scene, choose Tools > Node Selection or click the Node Selection Tool icon in the Pose toolbar. After you select an item you can view its properties in the Parameters window to make adjustments. You can also delete any selected item.

Rotate

To rotate items in your scene, choose Tools > Rotate or click the Rotate Tool icon in the Pose toolbar. In most cases, you cannot rotate body parts; however, because the hip is usually the root part of a figure you can rotate the entire body of a poseable figure by selecting the hip. The Rotate manipulator displays the rotation axes in three colors: Red rotates the object about the X axis. Green rotates the object about the Y axis. Blue rotates the object about the Z axis. Click and drag the circle that corresponds to the axis you want to rotate.

Translate

To move items in your scene, choose Tools > Translate or click the Translate Tool icon in the Pose toolbar. In most cases you cannot translate body parts; however, because the hip is usually the root part of a figure you can translate the entire body of a poseable figure by selecting the hip. The Translation manipulator displays three arrows pointing in the direction of each axis. The Red arrow translates the object in the X axis. The Green arrow translates the object along the Y axis. The Blue arrow translates the object along the Z axis.

Scale

To scale items in your scene, choose Tools > Scale. If you select a body part (or bone) in a poseable figure, the scale function applies only to the geometry associated with that body part, and moves all children of that body part accordingly. For example, when you stretch the forearm, the hand and fingers at the end of the forearm move accordingly. To scale an entire figure, select it in the Scene Tab, then use the Parameters pane to perform the scaling. If you select a prop or other object with no body parts (such as a light), you will scale the entire object.

The Scaling manipulator displays each axis with a box on each end. To use the manipulator, click and drag the line corresponding to your desired axis, with Red being the X axis, Green being the Y axis, and Blue being the Z axis.

Surface Selection

Choose Tools > Surface Selection to select one or more surfaces to modify in the Surfaces tab. Right-click on a surface and you can select an individual surface for manipulation, select all surfaces with that selection’s Diffuse Color, select all surfaces that use the same Texture Map, or simply clear a previous surface selection. The affected surfaces will show in a white cross-hatched pattern as shown above.

Spot Render

Choose Tools > Spot Render to render a small portion of your scene for test purposes. To use this feature, click the button, then draw a rectangle in any viewport around the area you want to render.

PowerPose

Choose Tools > PowerPose or click the Active Pose Tool icon in an applicable toolbar to select and use the PowerPose tool.