Floating Views

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Embedded into Genetica's interface are small, continuously updating previews that will give you an idea of the effects your edits are having on your textures.  However, if you are working with the finer details of a texture, larger previews may be needed in order to see how your changes look.  You can always re-render your texture after each change that you want to check (rendering is covered in the Genetica Basics tutorial), but this can become tedious if done continuously.


Floating views offer the best of both worlds.  They provide large, high-resolution previews of your textures just like rendering, but are also automatically updated as you make changes, just like the smaller previews embedded within the interface.  Floating views appear in their own windows, which means that artists with higher resolution screens can drag them to unused parts of their display, while artists with dual-monitor setups can arrange them on a different screen altogether.



Create Floating View

The Create Floating View button creates a window with a large preview of the selected node.



As indicated by the illustration above, a floating view can be created for any of the nodes making up your texture.  Clicking the Create Floating View button more than once with the same node selected will cause multiple floating views to be constructed for that node.  Although these views will initially display identical images, you can adjust the Zoom property (the second drop-down found in a floating view's toolbar) in each to allow you to have simultaneous views of the same node from different distances.



Floating Views



The above illustration provides an example of how four floating views could be organized for a particular texture.  The top left floating view shows the finished texture as it would appear rendered at a resolution of 350 by 350.  The top right floating view provides an unobstructed view of one of the components making up the final texture.  The floating view at the bottom left, like the one directly above it, was opened on the root node of the entire texture.  However, since its Zoom property was set to 50%, it allows the artist to see what the material will look like from a vantage point that is twice as far from the material.  Similarly, the 200% zoom on the bottom right view simulates a vantage point that is half the distance from the material.  As the artist makes changes to the texture, all four of these floating views will be automatically updated.


A number of controls are available along the top of any visible floating view:





The resolution drop-down found at the top left of any floating view window specifies the size at which the preview is to be rendered.  All floating views for a given texture will share this setting.

Color Only Render

This button is found directly to the right of the Resolution drop-down described above.  Activating it will cause this floating view, as well as any other floating views that may be open for the current texture, to switch to color-only mode.  Color-only renders ignore highlights and shadows, creating a flat-looking version of your texture.  For a discussion of why color-only renders are useful, please refer to the Using Effect Maps tutorial.


Adjusting this drop-down is equivalent to moving an imaginary camera closer or farther from your texture, allowing artists to scrutinize how a texture will look from various distances.  Pixels are interpolated when zoomed in, and super-sampled when zoomed out, more closely mimicking how they would appear in an actual 3D scene.

Tile Image

Toggle this button to display either a single copy of the active texture or a repeatedly tiled version.

Export Image

Opens a dialog allowing you to export the image using a common image format so that it can be used by other programs.

Copy Image

Copies the image to the system clipboard so that you can paste it into another application without having to save it to the hard drive first.

Keep Window Visible

By default, any floating views open for the current texture will temporarily vanish when you switch to a different texture.  If you would like a floating view to remain visible ("pinned") regardless of whether it belongs to the current texture, then activate this button.




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