Wings 3D/User Manual/A Quick Start Guide/Finger exercises to get you started

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== Finger exercises to get you started == ...... note this a wip !


Figure 7: A cube primitive has been added to the workspace.

After starting Wings3D you will obtain the Wings3D program window with an empty workspace.

Right click anywhere in the empty workspace and the Primitives context sensitive menu will be displayed.
Move your mouse over the Cube menu item. It will become highlighted in blue.
Left click on the word Cube and a cube primitive will be added to your workspace, so it should then be similar to Fig.7.

Now we'll just try out some of the basic functions to become more familiar with the interface before going on to one of the tutorials that follow.

Remember that switching to vertex, edge, face or body selection mode can be done by either clicking on the appropriate icon on the Icon Bar (the middle four) or by pressing the keyboard hotkeys V, E, F or B.
Right clicking with any element(s) selected will display the appropriate context sensitive menu whereas right clicking with no selection displays the Primitives menu.
The Space Bar (and clicking on the 2 blank areas between the icons on the icon bar) will deselect everything.

Note that L,M and R on the lower information line refer to the relevant mouse buttons and that keyboard commands are denoted here by having square brackets around them. eg [Q].
Keyboard commands are NOT case sensitive - when modifiers such as Shift / Alt / Cntrl are required, such info will be explicitly stated.


Figure 8: Basic Wings navigation.

Fig.8 - What's happening:

a) We've changed to Vertex Selection Mode, either click on the Vertex Icon or hit V. You should now see your vertices at each corner of the cube. Note that the Vertex selection mode icon now has a white frame around it to show that it's the mode in use.

b) Wings needs to know what you want to modify - so click on the two upper left vertices and note that they change colour (and size). (Both selected vertex size and the selection colour have been slightly adjusted for reasons of clarity - see Edit | Preferences)
Details of your selection are additionally being displayed, in this case, which verts, the direct distance between them and also the distances between these verts along the x,y,z axes (useful when verts aren't parallel to a main axis).

c) Now right click in workspace. The Vertex Operations menu is displayed. It presents you with vertex specific commands only, thus limiting the amount of confusion possible. This context sensitive method of working is considered one of the strong points of Wings3D and leads to very short learning curve. Click, or hover, on Move. Note that a side bar menu of Move specific options comes up (Figure 8.d). Click on Normal and move the mouse around a little to see what happens. Then move it to the right until the distance moved is 1.0 as indicated on the Status Bar at the bottom of the Wings window. Left click to end the Move command. Your cube should now look like figure 8.e. Hit the Tab key to see a Smooth Shaded view of the modified cube (Figure 8.f). Hit the Tab Key again to go back to Shaded Wireframe mode.


Figure 9: Working with the Wings interface.

If you did not hit the Space Bar, the two vertices should still be selected. In fact you should have noticed they were still selected even when we were in Smooth Shaded mode. So now switch to Edge Selection Mode (hit the E key). Notice that all the edges that were adjacent to the selected vertices are now automatically selected (Figure 9.a). Because Wings3D uses winged-edge topology it can keep track of what elements are associated with what. So Wings can carry forward selections from mode to mode, which can greatly speed up your modeling.

Now right click in the workspace to bring up the Edge Operations menu (Figure 9.b). Choose Bevel from the menu and move the mouse to the right until the Status Bar reads 0.50 then left click to end the command (Figure 9.c). Note a couple of things here. Bevel ended and put us into Face Selection Mode automatically. See the faces are already highlighted and the active icon is now the Face Icon. Wings attempts to end commands by making the elements that it just created active on the assumption that since you just made them, you will want to do something with them. Not always true, but it's a pretty valid assumption most of the time and can help speed up your modeling.

Since we are in Face Mode, lets right click again and bring up the Face Operations menu (9.d). Extrude Normal by 0.25 (Figure 9.e). Now Switch to Body Mode (hit the B key or click the Icon). The whole object becomes highlighted. Right click to bring up the Body Operations menu and choose Smooth. Your object should like like that in Figure 9.f. Hit the Space Bar to deselect it then hit the Tab Key to see it smoothed. Now hit the U key to watch it rotate (Left click to stop the rotation). Well, quite by accident we made a fairly reasonable facsimile of a tooth! But the idea here was not to build a meaningful model, but to get you used to the Wings3D user interface. You should be fairly comfortable with it now and ready to go on to the Dog House Tutorial.

Quick Tip: The Nature of Normals Assuming the reader may be new to 3D modeling as well as to Wings3D, it may be useful to explain what a normal is and why they are useful in commands such as Move | Normal. Simply put, a Normal is a vector that extends outward perpendicular to a graphic element. Faces, edges and vertices all have normals. So, when we move a face along its normal we will move it out along a line that extends from its center outward, like a flag pole sticking up from the ground.