AstroGrav icon AstroGrav Help / Window Types / View Windows Version 4.3.1

AstroGrav icon    View Windows

Introduction

View windows let you view a simulation in the form of a three-dimensional interactive model.

You can open a new view window by using the Window / New View command, or by using the Window / Duplicate command on an existing view window.

Using view windows fluently takes some practice - there are many operations that you can perform that involve mouse clicks or drags combined with different modifier keys.

Selecting Objects

You can select as few or as many objects as you like in a view window using combinations of the following commands.

You can also select a particular object using the Edit / Find... command.

Fixing an Object

You can change the point about which the system rotates (see Rotating the System below) by using the View / Fix... command, which displays a dialog that gives you several different choices. This point at the center of rotation is called the 'Fixed' point, and its current setting is displayed (along with other items) on the status bar. By default, the center of mass of the system is fixed. You can also Alt+Shift+Click on an object to fix it, or Alt+Shift+Click anywhere in the window where there are no objects present to display the 'Fix' dialog.

If you have a two or three button mouse, you can also set the fixed point by clicking the right button. This option is only available if you have selected 'Use Right Button For Navigation' in the view preferences. You can do this by using the Edit / Preferences... command (AstroGrav / Preferences... on a Mac).

Viewing From an Object

You can change the object that you view from by using the View / View From... command, which displays a dialog that gives you several different choices. Your viewpoint will then shift to the chosen object, and remain there even if you evolve the system. The fact that you are viewing from an object is indicated by the 'Viewpoint' item on the status bar. When viewing from an object, looking around and rotating the view are allowed, but rotating the system and moving to/from are impossible (because they move your viewing position in space). You can also Alt+Control+Click (Alt+Command+Click on a Mac) on an object to view from it, or Alt+Control+Click (Alt+Command+Click on a Mac) anywhere in the window where there are no objects present to display the 'View From' dialog.

If you have a three button mouse, you can also change the object that you view from by clicking the middle button.

Looking Around

To look around, drag the mouse without holding any modifier keys down. This will enable you to look left, right, up, or down without moving your viewing position in space.

You can also look around using the keyboard. To look left, right, up, or down without moving your position in space, use one of the four arrow keys without holding any modifier keys down.

Rotating the View

To rotate the view, drag the mouse while holding down the Alt key. This will enable you to rotate your view clockwise or anticlockwise without moving your viewing position in space.

You can also rotate the view using the keyboard. To rotate your view clockwise or anticlockwise without moving your position in space, use one of the four arrow keys while holding down the Alt key.

Rotating the System

To rotate the system about the fixed object, drag the mouse while holding down the Shift key. This will enable you to rotate the system about an axis in the plane of the window (and perpendicular to the direction of dragging) that passes through the fixed object.

If you have a two or three button mouse, you can also rotate the system about the fixed object by dragging the mouse with the right button. This option is only available if you have selected 'Use Right Button For Navigation' in the view preferences. You can do this by using the Edit / Preferences... command (AstroGrav / Preferences... on a Mac).

You can also rotate the system about the fixed object using the keyboard. To rotate the system about an axis in the plane of the window that passes through the fixed object, use one of the four arrow keys while holding down the Shift key.

Moving To/From

To move to/from the fixed object, drag the mouse while holding down the Control key (Command key on a Mac). This will enable you to move your viewpoint towards or away from the fixed object depending on whether you drag towards the upper-right or the lower-left.

If you have a three button mouse or a mouse with a scroll wheel, you can also move to/from the fixed object by dragging the mouse with the middle button or rotating the scroll wheel.

You can also move to/from the fixed object using the keyboard. To move towards or away from the fixed object, use one of the four arrow keys while holding down the Control key (Command key on a Mac).

Displaying Angles

To temporarily display the angle between two points, drag the mouse from one point to the other while holding down the Control and Shift keys (Command and Shift keys on a Mac).

You cannot temporarily display the angle between two points using the keyboard.

Mouse Click/Drag Summary Tables

The main mouse click and mouse drag operations that can be performed on view windows are summarised in the following tables. These tables can also be viewed from within AstroGrav itself by using the Help / Navigation Guide command. The right button operations are only available if you have selected 'Use Right Button For Navigation' in the view preferences. You can do this by using the Edit / Preferences... command (AstroGrav / Preferences... on a Mac).

Mouse Clicks


Operation               Left Button         Right Button    Middle Button   Where

Select Object                       Click         x                x        On an object
Select / Deselect           Shift   Click         x                x        Anywhere
Select / Deselect           Control Click         x                x        On an object
Fix Object              Alt Shift   Click         Click            x        On an object
Fix Center of Mass      Alt Shift   Click         Click            x        Empty Space
View From Object        Alt Control Click         x                Click    On an object
View From Space         Alt Control Click         x                Click    Empty Space

[On a Mac, Command should be used in place of Control.]

Mouse Drags


Operation           Left Button     Right Button    Middle Button   Keyboard Alternative

Look Around                 Drag          x                x                    LRUD
Rotate View         Alt     Drag          x                x            Alt     LRUD
Rotate System       Shift   Drag          Drag             x            Shift   LRUD
Move To/From        Control Drag          x                Drag         Control LRUD

LRUD = Left/Right/Up/Down

[On a Mac, Command should be used in place of Control.]

Changing the Magnification

To change the magnification, you can use the items in the View / Magnification menu, or the corresponding buttons in the tool palette. There are the following four commands.

Changing the Brightness

To change the brightness, you can use the items in the View / Brightness menu, or the corresponding buttons in the tool palette. There are the following four commands.

Changing the Object Style

To change the object style, you can use the items in the View / Object Style menu, or the corresponding buttons in the tool palette. There are the following four commands.

Changing the Show Options

To change the show options, you can use the items in the View / Show menu, or the corresponding buttons in the tool palette. There are the following six commands, which are effectively on/off switches in the form of checkbox menu items and buttons.

Changing the Show All Options

To change the show all options, you can use the items in the View / Show All menu, or the corresponding buttons in the tool palette. There are the following eight commands, which are effectively on/off switches in the form of checkbox menu items and buttons.

Changing the Show Selected Options

To change the show selected options, you can use the items in the View / Show Selected menu, or the corresponding buttons in the tool palette. There are the following eight commands, which are effectively on/off switches in the form of checkbox menu items and buttons.

Changing the Background Options

To change the background options, you can use the items in the View / Background menu, or the corresponding buttons in the tool palette. There are the following twelve commands, which are effectively on/off switches in the form of checkbox menu items and buttons. These commands are only available when using solar system simulations.



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